Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Redneck Review
No. 42 2/8/2016
On occasion, it is wise to look at history, and remember, as discussed in RNR 2, that "Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them." What does a look there have to tell us about mistakes made and their consequences?
For starters, there is the Old Testament which is filled with the rise and the fall of Israel, claimed by the Bible to have been God's chosen people. Prior to that time, old history records that earlier civilizations practiced polytheism, the worship of many gods. Israel was a rare exception. Yahweh, the name given to their one God, is said to have given the Ten Commandments to Moses. Just prior to his death, Moses warned his people in Deuteronomy, Ch. 30, verses 1 to 20, concerning their need to obey them and His laws: "Here then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God..., loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering.... If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish... I will call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendents may live..."
Further reading in the history of the Hebrews describes their periods of prosperity, at its peak under Solomon, and tragic periods, the low points coming with the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple a couple of times, each time after starvation caused by siege, when the occupants fought over eating their own children! Another low point, was the time prior to the end of WWII, when the Jewish people had no country at all, but were scattered all over the world seeking refuge! And we know that those who located in Germany were the most unfortunate, to later suffer what history calls the Holocaust, with the wholesale slaughter of some 15 to 20 million Jews in Hitler's gas chambers.
And even our own country might serve as a lesson in history. It is recorded historical fact that our ancestors who settled in this country were committed Christians, of many different denominations it is true, but followers of the Ten Commandments and of life styles based on belief in God and concern for neighbor. People struck by disaster during those years were normally assisted by their neighbors, and did not think about calling on government.
Now however, 200 to 300 years later, we find Christianity under attack, prayer banned from our schools, and court sanctioned behaviors like abortion and gay marriage the rule of the day. Say nothing of the blind belief that government is the solution to all of our problems, and that anyone who believes otherwise is old fashioned, and maybe even a "Red Neck," like myself! Of course, the unlimited creation of electronic money has also pushed God to the side, and implies that wealth and easy living is our modern god. Maybe one should compare the reputation and position we had in the world in the past with our current one today! Could it be related to our morality and our life styles? Or to our concern for what is #1 in our lives? The Bible says one cannot simultaneously love God and Mammon!
Oh, yes! Maybe now is the time to review the cycle discussed in RNR16, that the life of the average nation is 200 years before it collapses in dependency and bondage. Or the claim of professor Tyler in the 19th century, that "democracies are only temporary in nature, and will collapse due to loose fiscal policy." Should these claims somehow concern us?
Jake Wren 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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