There’s a Battle Outside, and It is a Ragin’….

Posted: March 30, 2017 in World On The Edge

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Two months after my husband and I graduated from Spring Hill College and were married, I began teaching at Fourth Grade at Holy Spirit School in Tuscaloosa and he began Law School at the University of Alabama.  My classroom was a makeshift one. At the time, the Catholic Schools were overflowing, so my classroom had been made from the lunch room. Over the top of a partition, wonderful smells of baking bread flowed into the room, churning the stomachs of teacher and students.

The mother of one of my students was the school baker. Every morning in Holy Spirit’s kitchen, she made fantastic rolls, and sent any left over home with the teachers. She was a tall German woman who had immigrated to America, a single parent who I never saw without a baker’s cap. A woman who exuded love, she took pride in her citizenship, her job, her faith, and especially her son. Even today, I remember the face of her son, as well as the faces of my other students. They were faces of freshness, of optimism, and of potential.

But precarious changes were coming. Vietnam had become a full-blown war, and fingers were pointing, condemning capitalism, and touting ‘free love’ and ‘free money’ for everyone.

“The Times They Are A Changin’” Bob Dylan sang.

Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call.

Don’t stand in the doorway.

Don’t block up the hall.

For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled.

There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’.

 It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls.

For the times they are a-changin’

I don’t know how many of my Fourth-grade students absorbed and acted on the call for change, but young people like to be part of a group, so I think many surely did. Those faces of freshness, optimism, and potential may have heard the call for change with wonderfully good hearts, but very tender ears. I was young then, too, and also heard the admonition that came during the height of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley—Don’t trust anyone who’s over the age of thirty.

Some of us who experienced those many ‘changes’ first-hand are now decades away from their beginnings, so we can come to some conclusions at least. We needed to get rid of dirtied water, but we should not have thrown the baby out with it. We should not have thrown out a proven morality.  We should not have thrown prayer out of the schools, and denied life to the most vulnerable–the person in the womb. We should not have turned over the true meaning of Tolerance to those who would intentionally misuse it for political purposes.

Except, we did.

And then, we tolerated anything and everything under its guise. Like  badly behaving children,  not only ignored anyone who disagreed, but we also ignored the laws of God, as if they didn’t matter at all. And worst of all, we made LOVE a false platitude. The worst of hypocrisy.

History repeats itself, of course, and those under thirty back then are well over it today. Now battles are ragin’ again. And once more, the times are changing.

Except this time, the bulk of Americans have had enough of the old, false tolerances.

People long to return to the real God of love,  not the previous government’s hackneyed platitudes.

So, let’s put a new face on the old song, and sing it with new meaning, loudly as it was sung years ago.

Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call.

Don’t stand in the doorway.

Don’t block up the hall.

For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled.

There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’.

 It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls.

For the times they are a-changin’

 

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