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A Vanishing American Treasure? Mourning Small Town America

We just finished a three week construction project working for Mobile Missionary Assistance Program at Cedar Springs Wesleyan Camp in Floyd, Iowa. Cedar Springs, on the banks of the Cedar River, is situated in a tall pine forest. The camp has excellent facilities and very gracious hosts. MMAP is a group of retired Christian (that’s right, we are exclusive) folks with RVs that travel nation-wide to camps and churches in need.

Floyd is a tiny little town with two restaurants and a truck stop on US 218 in northeast Iowa. The closest town with any stores, Charles City, is a charming town on the banks of the Cedar River about five miles distant from our camp. It even has a McDonalds, so I suppose it’s a real town. The town has a population of about 7,600 very friendly people. The town population declined 2% from the 2000 to 2010 census.

Winnebago has a plant here, but like most of Iowa, the economy is based upon agriculture. There are many century old homes that have been updated and remodeled. One can actually find a beautiful home here for less than $200,000. There is a peaceful bike path along the river lined with magnificent oaks, maples and cottonwood trees. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at a riverfront café for under $20. There was also a comfortable coffee shop that wasn’t a Starbucks.

But, the nicest thing about Charles City is the people. I’ve rarely visited a friendlier place. We didn’t see any Obama stickers, but there is a solitary Romney sign near the entrance to town. I have a feeling that the town is populated by people that Obama characterized as “bitter clingers” hanging on to their guns and Bibles. As we were shopping at one of the stores, an elderly lady fell and cut her face. Everyone around, including yours truly, rushed to her aid. What truly amazed me was that EMS and police arrived in less than five minutes. Try that in Chicago or New York.

As we were enjoying our coffee, I read a story in the Des Moines Register recounting how Iowa population is moving from small towns like Charles City to big cities like Des Moines. How sad. People don’t know what they’re missing. I was reminded of a news story that I read before the 2008 election about Obama being involved in a group called “Cities Without Suburbs”. The objective of this group is to use public policy to “incentivize” people to move to the inner city.

Ostensibly, the motivation for this strategy is to advance the “green” agenda. Theoretically, packing people into small apartments in the inner city where everyone uses mass transit is better for us. As a conspiracy adherent, my suspicion is that Obama and his ilk want to herd us all into the cities where we’ll be easier to control. With liberals, it’s all about control. They’re control freaks because they live in constant fear. They have no faith in God and His natural law.

The great country that I grew up in is disappearing in many ways. The “fundamental transformation” is progressing at break neck speed. Last weekend I had a conversation with a lady who previously chaired the Rock Island, IL., Republican Women. This lady, who claims to be a Christian, was adamant that Republicans need to unite. Her prescription for “unity” involves “social issue” conservatives abandoning their principles. She insists that sodomy marriage and Obamacare are here to stay and that we just need to accept it or lose elections.

I wanted to barf. She apparently has no concept of how sodomy marriage will destroy the family. If the family is destroyed, so goes the nation. Neither did she understand that state endorsement of sodomy marriage automatically classifies Bible believing Christians as bigots. That will be great for America. Just ask the Mozilla ex- CEO. The conversation reminded me of a satirical video by Andrew Klavan wherein he parrots the progressive argument on so many issues that “the debate is settled.” They don’t want to debate the issues. They, apparently including the Republican establishment, just want us to shut up. I think small town America is more tolerant and diverse in their thinking than Obama’s Borg.

I could be discouraged if I had no faith in God. I read a faith building editorial by Pastor Carey Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach in Sioux City, Iowa, yesterday. His premise is that there are divine natural laws and that government is constrained by reality. One can make all sorts of man-made laws which defy God’s laws, but, at some point, these man-made laws will crash into reality and there will be a natural balance restored, sort of like the Godzilla movie. Or, in biblical parlance, whatsoever a man sews, that shall he reap. Or as the Hindus say, there is karma.

Government based upon God’s laws will offer liberty (read Psalm 119, the perfect law of liberty) while government in defiance of God’s laws will lead to tyranny. People will rebel against tyranny; they always do (Have you heard about what’s going on in Venezuela? You won’t find out about it on CNN). Man can promote sodomy and abortion, but sooner or later, there will be consequences. God is patient, but He is not mocked. He will insure that His natural order is restored. For some, there will be unnecessary suffering. You can look to the government as your god and provider, but you will be left empty, huddling like rats in a huge city.

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Rick David

Rick David retired from a career in business in 2011. His experience includes service in the USAF, in medical sales and in operations for an educational testing company. He has a passion for and has been actively engaged in conservative issue advocacy and campaigning for over 30 years. He currently resides in North Liberty, Iowa where he also served as a church pastor with his wife of 43 years and travels extensively volunteering in lay ministry.