Quartz Hill School of Theology

Old Diatribe

The Good Old Days...Yeah, Right

by R.P. Nettelhorst

        The good old days never were. Perhaps, in an individual's life, there are better times and worse times, but those who look back on the past and tell me that it was "oh so much better" than the present make me wonder: why is the past viewable only through rose-colored glasses?
        Those who imagine the past was better than the present seem to forget that the past is also filled with human beings. And, if we still insist that in the past the level of religious belief was higher and the morality stronger, consider this little tidbit I ran across by accident while looking up some books in the Library of Congress catalogue:
        John Gordon Lorimer wrote a book titled: The Past and Present Condition of Religion and Morality in the United States of America. It is described as "An exposure of the religious statistics of America, put forth by the Voluntary Church Magazine. It shows, on the testimony of Americans themselves, the deplorable destitution of the means of grace, the immense progress of error, and the extensive prevalence of other great moral and religious evils, which obtain in the United States." He also argues, therefore, against the separation of church and state, seeing this separation as the cause of the moral reprobation rampant in America.
        Nothing too remarkable about it, until you consider that Lorimer's book was published in 1833.


Library of Congress


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