If you were not born in the post-war “Baby Boom” period, you probably cannot imagine what life was like in the years between the end of World War II and the closure of that tragic “super-council”, Vatican II. In those two decades, there was a gentility and civility to life. It certainly wasn’t perfect, but for those of us who lived in those times, today’s America is nearly unrecognizable. For example, elections were not blatantly stolen (except in Texas, where the deceased of the Lone Star State helped LBJ win his first U.S. Senate seat in 1948). More significantly, the Catholic Church in America was welcoming tens of thousands of converts into the fold each year — not through illegal immigration but through good old-fashioned evangelization. And television programs were governed by a “Code of Broadcasting,” which was heavily influenced by the orthodox and mostly doctrinally sound Catholic prelates. It was not considered “hate speech” for television characters like Lucas McCain of The Rifleman and Sheriff Andy Taylor of The Andy Griffith Show to speak of Christianity and the Bible in general, and Our Lord Jesus Christ, in particular — yes, on weekly TV shows. We really did not have garbage consistently thrown at us on television until an atheist Jew named Norman Lear and his “People for the American Way” succeeded in getting aired a disgusting show called All in the Family (which sadly featured a practicing Catholic actor in the lead). It was the beginning of the end for decent television.
But there have been occasional bright spots over the intervening years. One of the most popular 1960s Christmas specials that used to air annually in December, A Charlie Brown Christmas, included an unabashedly Christian segment in which Linus responds to Charlie Brown’s complaint that no one seems to know what Christmas is all about. Here is Linus, quoting straight from the Gospel (the King James translation, but let’s not be too pedantic). Would that we could be offered programming like this for our children and grandchildren: