John Block Reports from Washington
John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.
Christmas – A Time For Reflection
Dec 24, 2013
I hope you had a Merry Christmas. It’s a wonderful time to bring families together and reflect on the past year. It’s a time to make plans for the New Year.
I think the country has a lot of pluses. We’re not in a war – not a real war. We’re bringing our troops home. I might add – it’s about time.
For decades, we have worried and rattled our sabers to ensure energy security. Hard to imagine, but we are now exporting natural gas. Some of the Eastern European countries want to buy it to reduce their reliance on Russia. We are number one in oil production. We’re pumping so much oil that some of the Middle East countries are getting worried. Gas prices have headed down. That gives our consumers more money to spend on computers and i-phones.
Our food is abundant, inexpensive, and delicious. That contributes to obesity, but we’ll take it over hunger.
Our economy seems to be growing with more jobs created and unemployment ticking down. USA is still the power and envy of the world.
Looking at rural America and agriculture – we are on a roll. Exports pushing 140 billion dollars and near record farm income. We can’t predict next year or the next, but our industry is in a financially strong position to ride the farm roller coaster.
As I reflect this Christmas, there are some changes in our country that give me concern. Maybe I’m too nostalgic for the way it used to be. I remember the one-room country school that I attended for 8 years and the school Christmas tree that we helped decorate. We spent some time every day before Christmas practicing the music and play we would perform the night of the school Christmas party. Our parents would all come. We would sing "Silent Night, Joy to the World, Oh Come All Ye Faithful." Of course, we had a Christmas scene of baby Jesus in the manger.
The change that bothers me is the tradition is under assault. Many schools don’t celebrate the birth of Christ, they don’t sing the hymns that we sang. Gone are the manger scenes from the court houses and other public places. It could be described as a war against Christmas.
I endorse tolerance for others and their beliefs, but this nation was founded as a Christian nation. Maybe our critics should respect that.
Have a wonderful year.