My wife and I recently had the opportunity to tour a few Western states and it gave birth to a flood of stirring thoughts – it was perceptive insight that one can only reflect upon by standing in the presence of such a great witness.
During our trip we had the opportunity to visit Devils Tower near Sundance, Wyoming.
I had seen Steven Spielberg’s 1977 movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before which used the formation as the location for its climactic scenes and that aroused my intrigue.
Richard Dreyfuss didn’t have a hard time ascending the structure in the movie. In reality, you would have to be a rock climber to scale the 867’ sheer rock walls of Devils Tower, and many do each summer.
Congress designated the area a U.S. forest reserve in 1892 and in 1906 the Tower became the nation’s first National Monument by declaration of President Theodore Roosevelt. The first known ascent of Devils Tower was on July 4, 1893 by two local ranchers. Now days, all climbers are required to register with a park ranger before and after attempting a climb.
After we left Devils Tower it reasserted my belief that not much in Hollywood, or Washington for that matter, is real. Actors are just that, actors. Politicians are just that, politicians. The story, or premise that’s spun, is basically a fabrication for entertainment or coercion purposes and truth can be a diminishing allusion to accomplish the goal.
“The death-knell of the Republic has rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others.” (Teddy Roosevelt)
In 2008, I said America’s in trouble. When I made that claim I was laughed at and clucked over. Many in the media said it was an historical event that America has a black president. They’re saying that once more about Hillary Clinton. In reality, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are cut from the same cloth. They see America as a problem. It would appear my prophetic analogy eight years ago wasn’t so far-fetched after all.
“This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.” (Teddy Roosevelt)
The name Devils Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Dodge when his interpreter misinterpreted the name to mean Bad God’s Tower, which then became Devils Tower.
The Tower is sacred to several Native American tribes. Because of that, many Indian leaders objected to climbers ascending the monument, considering this to be a desecration. The climbers argued that they had a right to climb the Tower, since it’s on federal land.
As a compromise climbers are now asked, but not required, to stay off the Tower in June. 85% of climbers honor the ban and voluntarily choose not to climb the Tower during the month of June. However, several climbers along with the Mountain States Legal Foundation sued the Park Service, claiming an inappropriate government entanglement with religion.
Geologists believe the tower is all that remains of what once was a large explosive volcano. Devils Tower did not visibly protrude out of the landscape until the overlying sedimentary rocks eroded away.
The symmetry of analogy applies here for as many who have an eye to see or an ear to hear.
An interruption has occurred in American society in recent years and it’s escalating with ferocity. As citizens, we’ve allowed the ascension of “A Bad God’s Tower.” Morals have been allowed to erode away and the peacemakers who stand between us and anarchy are now targets for assassination.
On the first day of the national Democratic convention it was noticed that no American flags were on display in the arena – only after complaints were lodged were a couple small ones installed on the second day.
Abortion is no longer considered murder and traditional marriage has been redefined.
Prayer in schools has been banished and a small fraction of radical God haters feel like they Tower over the landscape. Those who consider themselves intellectuals are educators who see black and white as gray. Teddy Roosevelt once said: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
Morality has become an obstacle and truth a vanishing mirage.
Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, has been published bi-monthly since 2009. He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor. He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org or follow him on Twitter @GregAllencolumn.