(Matthew 16:26). Forty-odd years ago, when I was in highrnschool, we were told that an article of America’s faith was therninfinite value of every human life. That was unbelievable; itrnwas totally out of proportion. Only God is infinite. Today it hasrnbeen inverted into its opposite, or even worse: not merely thernzero value, but the negative value of every human life. Man—rnmen and women—who lose sight of God may for a while thinkrnthat their place is with divinity, but all too soon they come tornfind themselves among the demons. In 1962, when thernSupreme Court was preparing to ban the reading of the Biblernfrom public schools, the occult was widely held to be a foolishrnsuperstition. In 1994, a generation later, we see—on the vergernof Halloween—that the occult is becoming an article of belief.rnO.J. Simpson, accused of a double murder, has become a folkrnhero, and both he and his alleged victims provide the materialrnfor Halloween celebrations in the schools, where no one darernmention a Commandment or sing a Christmas carol. ThernPsalmist said it well: “The wicked strut about on every side,rnwhen vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (12:8). Wernforget that, and disregard the Book from which it comes, at ourrnperil. We are being told to forget it, at least to forget it officially,rnand we are in peril, not least from our officials.rnPriority. We should certainly look at things from the rightrnperspective, and keep them in proportion, but there must bernsomething that is seen to come first. Perhaps it was not necessaryrnto place “In God we trust” on our coinage and, under PresidentrnEisenhower, to add it to our banknotes. Perhaps it wasrnnot necessary to post the Ten Commandments on schoolroomrnwalls, to have Nativity scenes in public places, to sing carols inrnschools, or even to say “Merry Christmas.” These are not thernChristian heritage: they are only fragmentary by-products.rnThey are not necessarily unattractive or useless by-products,rnbut little can be gained by fighting for them, or recoveringrnthem. Being fallible human beings, limited in knowledge, inrnstrength, and in the ability to will what is good, we cannot buildrnthe City of God on earth. Being human, we need manyrnthings—food, drink, raiment, shelter—but the way to havernwhat we need of them is not to put them first. Instead, heedrnthese words, the last part of the heritage that I can mention today:rnthe priority. “Your heavenly Father knows that you havernneed of these things [food, drink, raiment]. Seek ye first thernkingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these thingsrnshall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).rn<£-‘rnAfterrnby Rudolph SchhmerrnWill we be whistling to each other then.rnCroaking through the treetops, saying.rnYonder lies the forest freehold.rnAnd beyond it, fields afloat?rnWill the wind no longer whip usrnNow that night has come for good.rnNor the frost unduly nip usrnMore than strictures ever could?rnWill the nightingale surprise usrnAs the lark so often did.rnAnd purling serenades apprize usrnOf a charmed Valladolid?rnOr will the rasping note prevailrnUntil our ears acclaim discordrnAnd we go down beneath a hailrnOf atonalities abhorred?rnWill our trained spirits fall to musingrnOn the vacant and the dead.rnOr by more energetic choosingrnBreed vitality instead?rnShall we go whispering to sleeprnWith no intention of reprise,rnAs if God had no word to keep.rnNo creed to bring us to our knees?rnWill the strains our hearts were torn byrnEcho through a sullen voidrnAnd the banners we had sworn byrnFlutter loosely, undeployed?rnWill our arrows, limply whizzingrnThrough the penetrable air.rnFall to earth in gentle shower.rnWith no power to impair?rnOr will old weapons, newly wielded.rnStill avail to daunt the foe.rnAnd all our seignories be shieldedrnAs when first we drew the bow?rnLet us hope—for hope is cure—rnThat we retain the facultyrnTo nurse a vision clear and purernOf all that we aspire to be.rnLet us dream—for dreams avail—rnThat we concur, as children do.rnIn one transcendent fairy talernWhere all advertisement comes true.rn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn