The young man was just becoming an adult. One day he sat down to visit with his grandfather.
“Gramps,” the young man said, “I wish I lived in a country where we didn’t have to lock our doors and windows all the time. Where we did not have to be fearful of someone breaking into our house and harming us. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“Yep,” replied Gramps, “that would be nice. I know it would be nice because I lived in a country like that one time. In fact, in the house I grew up in we didn’t even have a lock on any door or window.”
“And, Gramps, I notice you always lock your car when you park it. You even have a security alarm so if anyone tries to get into your car, it goes off. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a country where you could leave your keys in your car if you desired and no one would bother it?” the young man asked.
“Yep,” replied Gramps, “that would be nice. I know it would be nice because I lived in a country like that one time. I used to leave my car unlocked with the keys in the ignition.”
“There’s something else I would like, Gramps,” the young man said. “Wouldn’t it be nice if my friends and I weren’t always tempted by so much sex in movies and TV? Why can’t they encourage us to live a clean life like you and Grandma? Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“Yep,” replied Gramps, “I know it would be nice because I lived in a country like that one time. Entertainment was good and clean and wholesome.”
“Gramps, wouldn’t it be nice to live in a country where little babies were gifts from God and not simply a mass of tissue inside the womb? Where we didn’t take the life of the most innocent, helpless members of our society. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
“Yep,” replied Gramps, “that would be nice. I know because I lived in a country like that one time. Society encouraged the mother-to-be to watch what she did and to watch what she ate and drank to make sure that the baby was born healthy,” Gramps responded.
“Gramps, why can’t we live in a country where couples stay married forever, like you and Grandma? Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a country where everyone knew that marriage is between a man and a woman?”
“It sure would be,” Gramps replied. “I lived in a country like that at one time.”
“And what about being able to go to school where you were not afraid? Where students said ‘Yes sir’ and ‘No sir’ to their teachers. Where you said the Pledge of Allegiance each morning and you could pray and thank God for the food.
“Nowadays, Gramps, discipline is a real problem. At my school half of the students did drugs, and teachers were afraid to do anything because of the fear of being sued.”
“That would be nice, Son. It would be really nice. I know because I lived in a country like that at one time,” Gramps said.
“Gramps, I didn’t know you ever lived anywhere but America.”
“Son,” Gramps said, “it was America. All these things and many more good things were a part of our life.”
“But Gramps,” the grandson said, “we live in America.”
“I know, Son. But America isn’t America anymore,” Gramps said.
Editor’s Note: This column was first published in the July 2003 edition of the AFA Journal. It is just as relevant 18 years later.
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