By Dr. Jim Ferguson

We gathered in Chattanooga’s Federal courtroom, but not for a legal battle. Because, as the presiding judge opined, this was a joyful occasion. Becky and I were there with Josie to support our “adopted” son, JP, his wife Reteysia and JP’s mother, Maria, as they took the oath to become citizens of the United States.

The entire Joseph clan came to America eight years ago as refugees from the Hutu and Tootsie wars as depicted in the movie Hotel Rwanda. The Josephs stood in the legal citizenship line for eight years, all the while working and learning English. They paid the hefty Government citizenship fees and passed civics tests that many Americans would fail. Finally, along with fifty others from thirty different countries they stood before the administrative law judge to renounce foreign allegiances, and to Pledge Allegiance to their new country.

Recently, my grandson Noah’s fifth grade teacher challenged her class with fifteen of the 100 questions JP and his family had to learn for their citizenship test. JP and Reteysia knew all the answers as Becky and I helped them prepare for their citizenship test. Noah’s class barely scored fifty percent, though they did much better than the “uninformed” man-on-the-street TV interviews which, to her credit, so concerned Noah’s teacher. Our “summer-school project” is civics 101 so Noah will score 100% and understand what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America. I challenge you to do the same.

How do you celebrate Memorial Day if you are not taught the history of our country or the truth? To paraphrase Mr. Webster, a memorial is done in honor of someone who has died or to remind a people of an event in which many have died. Do we celebrate Memorial Day honoring those who gave “their last full measure of devotion” or is it just a day off from work with little meaning? Perhaps Memorial Day is becoming a memorial of what our country once was.

For many years each Memorial Day I watched the movie Saving Private Ryan. It is a difficult movie to watch, but the closest approximation of sacrifice I can comprehend. My father and father-in-law served in WWII, and I honor their service. When I came of age in 1969 America was withdrawing from war, and though I participated in the “lottery” (substitute for the draft), I was not called to serve my country in the military. I do what I can now by calling attention to God and country and how they must be linked if we are to be John Winthrop’s “city on a hill.” Unfortunately, it is again fashionable by liberal-progressive elites and Obama to eschew war. No sane person wants war, but in this imperfect world it is sometimes necessary for free men to stand against evil and tyranny. We are again seeing the disastrous results of retreat from the battle field.

Recently, I heard an interview with the mother of the first Navy Seal killed in Iraq. She is not a fan of our erstwhile Commander-in-Chief. These days many in the drive-by media ask “gotcha” questions of Republican presidential candidates about whether we should have become militarily involved in the Middle East after 9/11. These questions are the typical disingenuous “questions” of elitist Democrat operatives who masquerade as media.  Hindsight in this regard is ridiculous and is only a politically motivated rhetorical question. Furthermore, similar questions are not asked of the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, though her husband as President said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, as did all the world’s intelligence agencies in the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, Hillary, John Kerry and Obama all voted to invade Iraq in 2003. As John Adams once said, “Facts are such troublesome things.” However, Adams existed in a world where truth mattered. The fact is that Obama and the Democrats lost the peace in Iraq and the Middle East. The scourge of ISIS is the result.

Lately, I’ve rethought Memorial Day and remembrances. I now include police officers who have died in the line of duty protecting us. Like Christians throughout the world, this “thin blue line” is under assault, and those of us in the homeland are in danger as never before. Consider the mob in New York City who chanted, “Whattaya want?” and the response, “Dead cops.” They got their wishes with the assignation of two police officers murdered in their patrol cars, all because of the distortion of truth and lies about events in Ferguson, Missouri. Is anyone surprised that murders in Baltimore have dramatically increased with the indictment of six police officers?

If the police are destroyed, who will protect us from the mob or the racists like the Boston University Professor who Tweets “Kill all white men”? In the social contract we surrender some individual freedom to the State which guarantees to protect us from home invasions and murders such as occurred in Washington. I no longer feel safe in this arrangement and have a carry permit to protect myself, my family and my home. Perhaps Obama should convene another “beer summit” as he did after labeling police officers as stupid when they arrested his out of control black friend. But, like his pals in the drive-by media, Obama has moved on to a new crisis –  the politicized issue of climate change –  after he and Al Sharpton  fanned the flames of class warfare and racial division.

I was stunned by a recent Gallop poll where 26% said the country was on the right path. Do these people understand that 93 million Americans are out of work, and record numbers are on food stamps…uh, EBT cards, in the new non-pejorative lingo? Do these people recognize that we’re 18 trillion dollars in debt and more debt has been created on Obama’s watch than all other presidents combined? Do they not see the world in flames and kids with college educations who can’t get jobs and have to move back in with their parents? And apparently the best candidate the Democrats can field is a liar and an influence peddler in a pant suit. We’re in big trouble, Folks.

The Chronicler got it right when he quoted God telling King Solomon how to fix the mess. Look it up and learn the truth (2 Chronicles 7:14).