I love the old classic westerns, especially the television ones. Many of you probably remember The Rifleman, Cheyenne, Gunsmoke (of course), and Wagon Train, among others. We’ve seen them for years as reruns. Wagon Train is one of my favorites. I’ve been watching and paying much closer attention to these shows of late, realizing, as I do now, how different the messaging from Hollywood was in the days those classic movies and TV shows were made.
Back then, the shows were wholesome, always reinforcing the traditional values of America. God, Country, and Family were recurrent themes. Loyalty, honesty, decency, punishment and justice – all were part of the message and it reinforced these virtues for the culture at large. I’ll write more about this in future posts, but I want to take a look at Wagon Train, and in particular those words, “Find Your Faith.”
Major Adams (Ward Bond), played the wagon master for wagon trains going west. He was the leader, judge, father confessor and he even dispensed justice. Kind of like the captain on a ship – his word was law, the only law available to the people in the wilderness. “Find your faith” are the words he used in one episode in counseling a woman, a woman who was at her wit’s end, and had gone through the trials of Job. And then Major Adams uttered those three simple words, haunting words of wisdom that had great impact. Long story short, she found her faith and was able to cope with tragedy.
Why is this phrase important and haunting? It occurred to me this past week as I’ve thought about the Leftist Mayor Bloomberg and his decree that no clergy would be allowed to participate in the formal memorial ceremonies for 9/11. He also forbade the participation of the police and firemen. Mayor Bloomberg is the leader of the most populous city in the United States, and it is also the site of the horrendous attack by radical Islamists in 2001. When the 9/11 attacks occurred, Americans had to reach down, deep inside and find their faith. Many did, and no one can deny it, though Leftists like Bloomberg try to.
“Find your faith.” People by the tens of thousands paused and prayed, and cried, and prayed some more. They sought solace in every nook and cranny of spiritual sustenance they could find. One such place that providentially withstood the onslaught of the demise of the Twin Towers, was St. Paul’s Church. This church is an old (George Washington worshiped here), 18th century Episcopal Church, directly across the street from the Twin Towers. It survived the devastation. Here are the pastor’s words:
When I saw the spire still standing, I was overwhelmed. It took my breath away. Opening the door to enter St. Paul’s was an extraordinary experience; except for a layer of ash and soot, the building survived unscathed. Many proclaimed that “St. Paul’s had been spared.”
This church became a center of support and sustenance for the entire post 9/11 recovery efforts. People stumbled in, desperate, disheveled, and broken with grief. They found spiritual comfort in a sacred place. On the spot shrines appeared all over the streets of NYC, including in the firehouses and police stations from which so many were lost. A makeshift shrine grew in this church as well. It became a place of pilgrimage. Prayers and candles were all that many could offer, and they offered those prayers, and lit those candles, to God, the Creator. The One – whom the majority of Americans believe in, and certainly appeal to when great tragedy strikes at the heart of their country. They did on 9/11 and in the days since. They still do to this day. We have not forgotten. Now where does this leave Mayor Bloomberg, who decreed that no representatives (clergy) of any faith would be allowed to participate on the 10th anniversary of 9/11? It leaves him without faith, without any sensitivity nor understanding about the true character or spirit of the American people. Studies have shown that more than 90% of Americans believe in a Being greater than themselves. Mayor Bloomberg and his Leftist cohorts would deny this.
Communism is the world of atheism. In the Communist world, all traces of religion are stamped out, all belief practices denied, and punished harshly if discovered. Just look at Communist China and the old Soviet Union for the truth on this. The secular-progressives of this country are trying to drive a stake through the heart of this country by removing God from the public square. That’s what the job of the ACLU is – to make sure every aspect of spiritual beliefs (especially Judaic-Christian) is wiped out from the public consciousness. They’ve succeeded in removing God from the public schools, many public squares and now they are waging a final assault attacking public meetings, ceremonies and memorials. Thus, Mayor Bloomberg made his move against faith and the people.
Tragic to think that when this country was founded, there was a firm belief in a Supreme Being, and the immigrants came to this wonderful land especially for religious freedom. We’re going backwards now, living in an atheist-secular society that is destroying the moral framework of this nation. Mayor Bloomberg is only a symptom of the challenge we face to regain our rights. In the meantime, for all of us, who on 9/11 (and other times) found our faith, we remember those that died, those that suffered grievous losses, and those that continue to suffer, and we do it in spite of Mayor Bloomberg and the Left.
Picture credits: James Wheeldon.