Is it just me? Am I dreaming something that never was? Or do you remember the same things I do?

Wasn’t there a “once upon a time” when families all consisted of a mom, a dad and a kid or two? When most people went to a worship service every Saturday or Sunday, and many even enjoyed a midweek prayer meeting as well?

Do you remember a time when families – Mom and Dad and all the kids – actually went to the neighborhood theater on Friday night, bought some 25-cent popcorn and all watched the same movie, together?

I really seem to recollect watching TV, on one of the three networks, with my brother and sisters and parents, all laughing at the same things and enjoying the same dramas, and feeling closer to my family for the experience. There were no other options even thought of, alternative channels that continually featured things I didn’t want anybody else to know I was watching.

When you were growing up, was abortion or homosexuality or even sex outside of marriage ever discussed, or much even considered? Weren’t such activities just considered “wrong,” taboo, not to be discussed in polite company, and never, never to be condoned?

Weren’t most elected officials and representatives, from the president on down, respected and looked up to, even if your folks hadn’t voted for them? Didn’t it seem that almost all of them were trying to do the right thing, and didn’t it seem that America would always come out on top? And even if Daddy had to work very hard; and Mama, too, seemed to work nonstop from early morning till after your bedtime – didn’t it seem there was always enough, with maybe a little to spare for a neighbor who needed help?

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Listen, as far back as most of us can remember, the house – the home – was the best investment a family could make. Combined with whatever savings and stock purchases a man could put together, his Social Security and the equity in his home would surely provide for his retirement. Real estate values always rose, right?

Didn’t “liberty” and “freedom” seem real, tangible and just natural in this country? And even when the nation was at war, didn’t it seem inevitable that we and our way of life would win out?

Am I crazy, or wasn’t there the general, widespread and shared feeling that we were blessed by God and that He was pleased with us and our efforts to live life as He ordained it? Not that any of us was perfect, but that we expected the best behavior from ourselves and each other? That there are proven and accepted moral standards to live by?

If this wasn’t all a dream, if you remember most of this like I do, what happened? How do we find ourselves in this nightmare of contemporary America? And how has it changed so radically, so fast?

As I reach back into this horrible nightmare, I seem to hear a loud, almost fanatic threat echoing in the night … “We are just five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America!

And while the country was already in trouble in many ways, with the collapse of irresponsible financial institutions, almost nonexistent borders, runaway government spending and the expense of war on two fronts, after that five day span, when the current president and his eventual administration took over the White House, the United States has indeed been undergoing a fundamental, catastrophic transformation.

I pray regularly for the president and his advisers, asking God to guide their thoughts and actions on our behalf. Why? Because I read the directive in the Bible, 1 Timothy 2, “Pray for those in authority, that you may lead peaceable and godly lives.” That’s my goal, and I think most Americans share it: We want our government to assure us we can go on living our peaceable and godly lives in the America we’ve always lived in.

But what’s happened since the new president and his appointed team took over, just two years ago? With full knowledge and intent, we have collectively been encumbered with trillions of dollars in new debt; we (supposedly the government) have seized control of two of the big three auto manufacturers and given 40 percent of that ownership to the unions; we have bailed out and rewarded the very banks and financial institutions that caused their own collapse, and that of our economy – with the result that our current annual deficit is $1.5 trillion!

Though the presidency is granted by the voting public and meant to serve their wishes, the incumbent gives little if any evidence that he cares much at all about the expressed wishes of the citizenry. He promised he’d try to cut abortions in half, knowing that the majority of Americans abhor the practice, but his first executive order was a $200 million grant to Planned Parenthood International, guaranteeing that abortions would increase, not diminish.

While the vast majority of citizens approved of the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by Bill Clinton, this president just ignored the will of the people and the decree of our Congress, signing an executive order (his will, not ours) ordering his Justice Department not to defend the DOMA when it is challenged in court by those who want to “fundamentally transform” even the institution of marriage itself.

Following the meticulously laid out agenda of Saul Alinsky, the Chicago Communist who wrote his infamous “Rules for Radicals,” our leaders (including unconstitutionally appointed “czars” who only answer to the president, not to Congress), have rammed through a 2,200-page health-care bill, with an $800 billion price tag, over the strenuous objections of the people. Mr. Obama wants to “freeze” discretionary (his discretion) spending at current levels (the highest in history) for five years – telling us it will save $40 billion a year – when he knows the “savings” will be the billions that would otherwise be added over that period.

We appear to be living in George Orwell’s “1984,” in which the government says the exact reverse of the truth – and the poor brainwashed public has to accept it.

What will it take to wake us from this nightmare?

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