The Big Picture Podcast 46: The “Boomer Cata-Lists”

The Big Picture Podcast 46: The “Boomer Cata-Lists” August 19, 2014


Welcome to the Big Picture Podcast. I’m Joel Fieri and this podcast seeks to begin and hopefully sustain a conversation about current trends, ideas and issues in the Church and greater society.

On today’s podcast I think it’s time to check in and hang out with the “Late Boomer” as he continues to mop up the societal mess that is the legacy of his generation, the Baby Boomers. No presentation by a Boomer would be complete without a list. Boomers love lists, and I’m no different. So much so that today I’ve decided to give you two, with a few high points and a few low points from the ‘boomer era, to see how these events served as catalysts for societal change, both good and bad (if you’ve been listening, you know that it’s mostly bad).

So here are what I call my  “Boomer Cata-Lists”, starting with the ‘Boomer Cata-List Low Points.  That’s right, some (certainly not all) of the low points from the Baby Boom era, that helped lead to a lowering of societal standards with negative consequences for just about everyone.

I’ve decided to go chronologically. Here goes

  1. 1963 – JFK assassinated – The first truly tragic event in America since the end of World War II. It served as a catalyst for a loss of American idealism and sense of security.
  2. Also in 1963 – The Supreme Court rules against prayer and Bible reading in public schools. This provided a catalyst for many significant cultural victories for atheists and counter-culture forces in the 1960s.
  3. 1965 – LBJ’s Great Society – A disaster for American society that we still have not recovered from. It was, and remains, the catalyst for the breakdown of the family, community and race relations. I’ll no doubt have a few more podcast on this debacle later on.
  4. 1972-1974 – Watergate scandal – Richard Nixon’s demise. This was the catalyst for media political bias, along with the decline of both civility and trust in our political system.
  5. 1973 – Roe v. Wade decided – A total end run around the Constitution which has not only led to the loss of millions of innocent lives, it was also a catalyst for the devaluing of human life and of personal responsibility.
  6. 1978 – The movie ‘Animal House’ – Very funny movie, with a really tragic influence on our society. Animal House served as a catalyst for the descent of boys and men into permanent adolescence and immaturity.
  7. 1981 – MTV Launched – Music television not only killed FM radio, MTV was a catalyst for the profaning of culture, the loss of childhood innocence and, worst of all, the degradation of women.

Now it wasn’t all bad in ‘boomer time. There were some high points, which brings us to list number Two: ‘Boomer Cata-List – High Points.  Yes, I’ve managed, with some difficulty, to scrape together some positive events from the ‘boomer era. Here goes

  1. 1961 – JFK challenges U.S. to send a man to the Moon by decade’s end – In response to the Soviets launching the satellite Sputnik, this challenge was a catalyst for not just the the Apollo 11 Moon Walk, but unbelievable technological innovation.
  2. 1963 – Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech – Brilliant oration that cut through prejudice, it was the catalyst for ending segregation.
  3. 1975 – The Altair Computer introduced – No one much noticed at the time, but this was THE catalyst for the digital revolution, and here we are.
  4. 1980 – Ronald Reagan elected President – Now, I voted for the other guy. Really, I did. I was young. Besides, who knew that Reagan would turn out to be the catalyst for renewed patriotism, economic recovery AND, most important of all the fall of Communism. Which leads to the final event on our lists…
  5. 1989 – The Iron Curtain falls – The end of the worst oppression, murder and enslavement of humanity in human history, it was a catalyst for the spread of freedom throughout Eastern Europe. Let’s hope and pray that it lasts.

So that’s it for today’s visit with the Late ’Boomer. Thanks for hangin’ out, and as always, I’d dig a few comments.

In closing, as always, it’s time for the Great Cloud Of Witnesses, the segment of our podcast where we meet and hear the stories of those who have given, and some who are still giving, their lives by faith in the promises of God, and of whom the world was and is not worthy (if you don’t know that reference, please check out Hebrews chapter 11-12 in your Bible).

Now I need to apologize for once again bringing you an un-named witness, but as I’m recording this, North Korea is in the news, so I wanted to give you a little peek behind the scenes that I came across to see if we can get an idea of what God can do even in a country with so much suffering. Here’s the story:

“This gift is for you.”

“What is it?” The missionary asked his friend while preparing for his trip into North Korea.

“Just take it.  You’ll know when to open it.”

Disguised as a businessman, the missionary journeyed into North Korea.  He was assigned a Communist guide with a penchant for long naps.  Seeing his opportunity, the missionary quietly left his hotel while his “guide” slept.  He entered a nearby village and met up with a small group of Believers.  As soon as they realized that the young missionary was an ordained minister, they said, “You must baptize us!  We have waited for someone to baptize us.”

In a land where merely possessing a Bible could mean a 15-year sentence, a formal baptism could mean certain death.

Without any lake or river nearby, the missionary simply prayed over the Believers one by one as a symbol of their faith.  But to his amazement, they were not satisfied.

“We have waited 40 years for Communion.”

One of the Believers immediately brought out some rice cakes.  The missionary thought, “Well, they just had a baptism without water, maybe they could have Communion without drink.”

Then he remembered the gift his friend had handed him before going into North Korea.  He quickly grabbed his travel bag and took out the package – a bottle of wine.

Speechless, each villager wept openly, praising God for His timely gift.

So, even in a country with seemingly no hope for God’s people to praise Him, these faithful, unknown witnesses for His glory show us that, in the Big Picture, He is in control, using sleepy guards or secret gifts to advance His Kingdom.

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this week’s Big Picture Podcast, please go to my web site at and also check out our other podcasts and points of view on the E-Squared Media Network at Wherever you go, leave a few comments and tell your friends and maybe even your pastor about us. See you next time on the Big Picture podcast. Be blessed!

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