Back in the mid 1950’s, my junior high gym class was a rowdy bunch, with some tough kids in that class. Coach Bob Maddox was just the man to handle the class. He was all man, impressive in appearance, trim and fit, with his slightly graying brown hair combed straight back. With Coach Maddox in charge, everybody toed the line. When Zeke Torres, a tough 8th grader, got very out of line one day, Coach Maddox didn’t hesitate, applying his big wooden paddle on Zeke’s posterior with due diligence. Zeke got the message, and so did the rest of us.
The girl’s coach, Ms Sippel, on the other hand was tall, gangly, and uncoordinated. A vindictive person, given to talking too much, she was too weak to carry out her threats personally. However, her vituperative utterances to members of her following were clearly divisive, splitting her class in two factions.
When Coach Maddox left the class one week, Coach Sippel was left to handle things. The boy’s class quickly got out of hand, with the tougher, bigger kids taking over, and the wannabe tough kids following their lead. The bullying miscreants were first encouraged by Coach Sippel’s weakness, and then by her inexplicabe coddling up to, and eventually caving to them. Where discipline was clearly necessary, her aim was instead to manage the situation through passivness. Sheer bedlam was the result, with the smaller boys bearing the brunt of much bullying! Then, to make matters worse, rather than face up to what her spinelessness had created, Coach Sippel withdrew from the scene. She was present, but she was not, busying herself in myriad and mostly unimportant, and certainly less vexing problems. Oh, if only she didn’t have to think about that rowdy boy’s gym class! Maybe, just maybe, things would get better if the class were left unattended. The smaller boys, wondered if they could last out the week, till their deliverance came.
“All the world’s a stage,” trumpeted Jaques, in William Shakespeare’s play, “As You Like It,” and we might suggest that the rowdy gym class is symbolic of our world today. Coach Maddox may then be likened unto the influence of the United States on the world stage, and the leadership role it played, until recently. Things were not perfect, but the bullies knew their place. With Coach Maddox (the United States in all its military might) absent from the scene, the bullies are out in force, and the world is in turmoil.
I am no learned scholar, therefore accept my writings at your own risk, and judge them by your own readings of the goings on around you. I am a dreamer of dreams, and I begin to understand the dream of thirty five years past, of a civilian plane being flown deliberately into a building.
Immediate and decisive action is needed. Let us put politics aside, and unitedly pray for the good of our nation. Except we have strong leadership, we shall flounder, and as goes the United States, so goes the world. Our military is the mightiest in the world, but it has been much abused of late, fighting at the whim of political leaders, who repeatedly discount the advice of the military commanders on the ground. No terror group in the world can stand up to them, IF they are allowed to do their job. The hostages who have now been beheaded, were located in Syria. A Special Ops group of several dozen men was ready to move. Permission was requested from the President. It took him two weeks to make a decision, to give a green light to a mission which required immediate action! Nonetheless, the group found the location, but by now the hostages had been moved. Military operations rely on speed and overwhelming force. Thus, as in the case of the terrible Benghazi fiasco, such operations are hampered by civilian leaders who have no idea of the importance of striking hard and violently, and in virtually every instance, within a window of opportunity which is extremely small. That this nation’s warriors, the best in the world, should be required to wait for two weeks to take action, and this at the whim of a man who has never been in so much as a fist fight, is ludicrous.
And so it has been been in dealing with the savages of ISIS. The commander in chief has known about them for a year. Options have repeatedly been set before him by his military commanders, to include the total decimation and annihilation of the ISIS terrorists. He has done that which is anathema to fighters; he has dawdled, finding the golf course and political fund raising more to his liking than giving his military commanders permission to wipe ISIS off the map. He has bragged about the 150 air strikes contucted by the US Air Force in the past month. We may understand how greatly he differs in thinking from his mlitary commanders, when we realize that they have suggested 200 air strikes a day! We understand that air strikes alone will not get the job done. With the Russians on the move, and China pushing the envelope in the Far East, and North Korea breathing threats; with Mexican Cartels and ISIS at our open Southern border, and with some Central and South American countries leaning toward Communism, America MUST retake the initiative, and regain its place as the foremost and most exceptional nation in the world. Experts warn of pending attacks within this country. Close the Southern Border! In the face of threats within this country, we might show concern regarding the rationality of his thought, in the President’s assignment of forty Department of Justice investigators to Ferguson, Missouri, to make a case against a police officer in the shooting of a young Black man. Given the rising threats facing this country from within, (with September 11 on the horizon) thirty nine, if not all, of those investigators would be better used elsewhere.
Dear reader, it is time to make our voices known. We must, if we are going to save our country and avoid the possible eventuality of a world wide conflagration.
Let us come to the realization that ultimately this nation will be saved only when we recognize Jesus Christ as the God of this land. We must stand firm against those who would deny us our right to worship God. Where necessary, let us repent of our sins, and dedicate ourselves to keeping His commandments, all of them! Only then can we go before His throne of mercy with any expectation of having our prayers heard in behalf of our families and our country. Only then will we know the sweet comfort of standing in Holy places.
Let me close with counsel given by church leader Thomas S. Monson, “ communication with our Father in Heaven—including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us—is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life. The Lord invites us, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me.” As we do so, we will feel His Spirit in our lives, providing us the desire and the courage to stand strong and firm in righteousness—to “stand … in holy places, and be not moved.”