I grew up in one of those Judeo-Christian homes that apparently strike terror in the hearts of the likes of Betty Friedan, Alan Grayson and Kathryn Joyce. My parents never had sex until they got married to each other. Theirs is an enduring...

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

What I've Been Reading

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, had me on the edge of my seat from the first page. It appears that, like Israel underwent a pestilence that took the lives of thousands, all on account of breaking a treaty with the Gibeonites (the ones who disguised their bread with mold and said they were from far away), America didn't get off scott-free for going back on her word to the Native-American nations.

The book wove a tale of the unlivably dark, blinding and choking days of the American dust bowl, of which I had never heard. I had heard that we had a dust bowl, during the thirties, coinciding with the great depression, but no one had ever told me what it was, nor that it killed, that children and elderly suffocated in the dust, slowly choked to death by dust pneumonia, and that adults and the middle-aged were made elderly, if they didn't lose their lives as well. No one told me that people ate tumbleweeds, as their livestock died of dust inhalation, and the soil they would have farmed rained down on the Atlantic Ocean.

It was a sobering reminder that God holds us accountable to our word, that an oath, or a vow or a treaty is not to be taken lightly, and that nobody, but nobody, just gets by with stuff. It also made me consider the value of fresh water, as the epilogue explained that at the time of publishing, thirty percent of our nation's agriculture relied on an underground reservoir that was being depleted at a rate of 21 million acre-feet per year.

Being constantly alerted to an invisible "drought" in Southern California, interspersed with frequent El Ninos, when everything floods, and our waterways spill over their concrete banks, didn't help disenchant me of the notion that the water shortage was made up by the green extremists. And it was obvious the man doing magic shows for school children at the LA County Fair was full of bunk when he said the world would likely be completely out of fresh water within seventy years. But the scenario of the dust bowl was sobering, and now I think there is an arrogance in being reckless with our water, and even more arrogance in being reckless with our consciences, and with our response to the will of God.