I wasn’t ready for Monday after a busy weekend. I lay in bed playing games on my phone until I guilted myself into getting up, but preparations were slow and my mind was scattered. It was after 9 a.m. when I finally started my morning ablutions–with the radio on, as is my habit. I had missed my favorite morning news show on NPR, so I tuned in to listen to Jan Mickelson on WHO radio. He was talking about visiting Auschwitz with a group–not the pick-me-up I was looking for–but for some reason I kept listening… (http://www.whoradio.com/onair/mickelson-in-the-morning-7738/freedom-tour-report-13003625/)
Jan told about the ultimate death machine that was built for annihilation of whole people group. He described rooms full of human hair that had been used to weave into doilies and tea cosies. Another room was stacked full of children’s shoes.,,the trains, the “showers,” the converted horse barns for bunking Polish prisoners where their life expectancy was only one month from the date of their detention, and the horror of it all.
He asked the guide if the Poles were worried that they would be enslaved again: after all, their freedom was only recently won from Russia. How did they deal with the decades of slavery their country had endured. The 26-year-old woman said, “Oh, it won’t happen again; NATO will save us.” Translate NATO to mean the United States.
I am writing this on Tuesday, the day after the riots in Ferguson and St. Louis–just the latest in disturbing events taking place in our country. Would we really be able to “save” another country? Look at the state of ours.
Mike Huckabee, a member of the touring group, gave a short talk on an open green field. “It’s not enough to remember Auschwitz…When the day comes when we in America are called to take a stand. Will we run like lemmings to our death?…”
Again, I ask you to look around. Great nations before ours have followed their golden years with a decline into periods of decay, degeneracy, and collapse. They have won great battles only to fall into into old habits that lead to enfeeblement, inertia, and burnout as a country. [Want a Biblical example? Read Judges 2:1-10.]
Have you visited our battlefields and memorials? Tourists come from all over to see the horrors of the past: our Revolution, the Trail of Tears, Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, 9/11, and more. We fought battles that we thought we would never have to face again. We need only to watch the news–virtual tourists–to see that we are repeating the age-old patterns.
Quoting from Jan Mickelson again, “Evil is always waiting for decency to soften so it can make another run on a person or a culture or a whole country. It’s time to stop being tourists. We have to learn some really bitter lessons that the previous generations learned so well…”
It’s time to quit being tourists, taking pictures, and feeling only momentary sorrow or horror. It’s time to take a stand.