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Thoughts on Anarchy and Tyranny

Kind folks have been sharing an essay I wrote 4 years ago, in which I opined about the future of our nation. In it, I mentioned the natural progression of our land into anarchy or tyranny unless we patriotic Americans stand up for the right. Though time has passed, I still stand by what I wrote–although today I would emphasize the absolute necessity of prayer for a true Christian revival. Please bear with me as I share a couple of thoughts on anarchy and tyranny.

I recently watched a documentary that looked at the hippie/anti-war/psychedelic/”tune-out-and-don’t-trust-anyone-over-30″ generation of the 1960’s and ’70’s. The anarchistic movements of today, with their anger, rejection of traditional values, and often the tendency toward violence if they don’t get their own way, remind me very much of those days. And what happened to the majority of those malcontents? According to the CNN program, they ultimately got jobs and assimilated into the “establishment” they had railed against in their youthful enthusiasm. (They kept their music, however.)

All of which raises the question: where are the jobs today? Where is the hope of the American dream that can lure millennial malcontents into the satisfaction of working hard to support a family, own a home, and make lives better for those who will follow? Home ownership is at a 48-year low, and the number of Americans not working is at an all-time high. We cannot rely on economic realities to draw our people together once more. Something more drastic is needed–and short of a new “Great Awakening” I’m not sure how we will reach the hearts and minds of today’s anarchists.

On the other hand, what can make a President a tyrant? First, strong personal beliefs and goals; second, the inability to achieve those goals through legitimate democratic means; and third, the inability or unwillingness on the part of Congress and courts to restrain and curtail tyrannical actions.

Do either of this year’s major candidates have firmly-held beliefs about what they want for America? Yes. Will Ms. Clinton get the cooperation of a Republican Congress? Will Mr. Trump be any more likely to get their cooperation? No, on both counts. That means that it will be up to Congress to stand against the excesses of the Executive branch. And can we trust the incumbents to take a Constitutional stand next year, when they have refused to do so for the past 4 years?

I have come full circle to my blog from 4 years ago. It is time for us God-fearing, law-abiding, America-loving citizens to study politics and do our job to elect representatives who will protect us from our own leaders.

When Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” in 1918, the original words of his prayers asked the Almighty to “…stand beside her and guide her to the right with the Light from above.” May that be our prayer today.

Happy Independence Day!

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10 Facts for those who want to know me

1. The Lord Jesus is still the most important person in my life. I am active in my church, teach in a Christian school, fill in for preachers who need a break, and try not to embarrass Him as I live in my home and community.

2. My wife is my rock. After 36.5 years of marriage, Darlene still loves me and tolerates my failures. She has taught with me, been my secretary, and is once again practicing as a nurse in a doctor’s office. In addition to raising our three kids, she now cares for her elderly father in our home.

3. Our kids have grown up to make us proud. Jennifer married a pastor’s son and is a missionary in northern Canada; Beth works as a nurse and is married to an engineer; and Jeremy runs the Late Night program at the local state university. They have given us three grandchildren that we love dearly and see too seldom.

4. My ministry has taken us from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, to Bay City, Michigan; Hallstead, Pennsylvania; Binghamton, NY; Dunellen and Parsippany, NJ; and Norwich, NY, where I currently teach high school English and history. Over the years I have spent 16 years teaching and 14 years in administration. I can still teach effectively, but my management skills were better fitted to an older time and culture.

5. I have written and directed a number of school plays, and one was bought and published by Bob Jones University Press. In addition, I have had journal articles published and a poem featured on the nationally-syndicated “Joni and Friends” radio broadcast. Most recently I published a collection of short stories for e-readers, and the royalty payments indicate that they are fairly popular in the UK. I have started a novel which will be finished in a couple of years if the Lord allows.

6. My physical health has been relatively good over the years. However, my mental and emotional health have suffered. Due to a hormonal imbalance, I suffer from mental illness—clinical depression and all that goes with that. Two years ago I had a breakdown that landed me in the local psychiatric ward for a week, and destroyed my memory as well as my ability to concentrate or tolerate minor annoyances. God has been good, and I am in recovery—but until the physical causes are discovered and controlled, I expect to be in recovery for the rest of my life.

7. I was in Washington, D.C., going through security at the White House for a briefing when the attacks came on September 11, 2001. From the guards telling us to leave the White House and, “Run—you’re not safe here!” to watching the Pentagon burn, and all the rest, it was a terrifying and life-changing day. For years I had a fear of low-flying planes.

8. I have done a lot of research into my family tree, and find that I am descended from European royalty on my mother’s side. My ancestors include Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, and evil King John; and my cousins include Winston Churchill and both Presidents Bush.

9. Although my degrees and certification are in social studies, over the years I have taught English, Biology, Choir, PE, Library, Algebra II, Advanced Accounting, Humanities, Office Procedures, Spanish, Music Appreciation, 5th/6th Reading, Family Life Skills, Typing, etc. in addition to all the social studies and Bible classes. Some of my favorite teaching has come when I led student tours of Washington, D.C. and the Gettysburg battlefield.

10. While I enjoy staying home, my wife and I have come to enjoy cruising the Caribbean; and we regularly make journeys to the Yukon Territory of northern Canada where our oldest daughter and her family are missionaries to the Klingit people.

That’s a little bit about me. You can learn more about me by reading old posts on this blog—I wrote a lot in the months after my breakdown, not so much recently. But now I want to know more about you, my friends. Private messages or emails to rdbowker@yahoo.com would be welcome. (You can send your comments here for me to read, but I will not post them without your specific permission.)

Peace and Blessings on you all.

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Genealogy Insights

Those who know me well know that I have had a serious interest in family trees for some time.  Knowing my ancestors has given me a connection to history that I would not have felt otherwise.  Yesterday, when a list of the 25 richest people of all time was published, I could demonstrate that I am a direct descendant (on my mother’s side) of at least three of them–though you wouldn’t know it by looking at my bank balance.  I have given my kids letters telling them who they are related to and how they are related, though reminding them that the most important relationship is to be a child of the Heavenly King.

My wife, bless her heart, has had little patience with my hobby, and has repeatedly told people that while my family ruled in the palace, her family was cleaning the kitchen, or some such thing.

But now, thanks to a free two-week trial at ancestry.com, I have discovered some unsettling news.  It turns out that her family on her mother’s side is descended from royalty, just like mine.

JUST like mine.

EXACTLY like mine.

It turns out that Darlene and I are both descended from the same royal ancestor 21 generations ago.  We are cousins. 

Just another reminder that past connections are not nearly as important as the present ones that really matter.

BTW:  1,375 Nerd points to whoever can tell me which of my ancestors the coat of arms belongs to.

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