by Gerald L. K. Smith

We are growing a generation of human beings that look and act like vegetables. They wilt in the sun. They break in the wind and they wither in the cold. Carrots, turnips and celery are nice for vegetable salads but their bloodless brittleness does not offer an inspiring example for the behavior of human beings. Personalities are now being produced on the assembly line. They are being turned out as mind-washed robots allergic to the virtues and characteristics that were the attributes of greatness when this nation was founded and as late as twenty-five years ago. Children and young people are actually being taught that they will be suspect if they display the characteristics of individuality and uniqueness. In this brief article I shall summarize some of the basic virtues of tradition which are now being pooh-poohed by the sophisticates, the mind-washers, the Freudians and the intellectual nit-wits in general.

1. COUNTENANCE. Our fathers taught us, that character was related to countenance and that good men had good faces and that bad men had bad faces. Today, I see an unusual percentage of men in positions of power and influence in every segment of our life who have the countenances of thieves and the shifty-eyed appearance of villains. We are taught by people who assume the attitude of superiority that no man is to be judged by his countenance. True enough, we have all met individuals in our lifetime with good faces who turned out to be villains, but they have been the exceptions. We should teach our young people that the way they live the first thirty-five years will determine how they will look in their faces from then on.

2. INDIGNATION. The time was when righteous indignation was considered a civilized art. Men knew how to walk out of a meeting when obscene remarks were made. Women knew how to be insulted when vulgar statements were made in their presence. Men of character would rise to their feet and challenge their offenders when profanity was exercised in the presence of a lady. America would rise in indignation when even one of her citizens was offended or abused by a foreign country. Today indignation when expressed in the old-fashioned spirit of self-respect is viewed with alarm and ridicule by 'vegetated' personalities who question the emotional balance of anyone with enough sense and character to show righteous anger.

3. ZEAL. The word 'zeal' among the inflated apostles of self-esteem is a word that implies fanaticism. In their judgment the word itself implies a personality tinged with fanaticism - and what is wrong with fanaticism? It usually implies a personality completely dedicated to a principle. Such dedication may not be required of all people, but if it had not been for constructive fanaticism there would have been no Columbus and no Samuel Adams who organized the Boston Tea Party. There would have been no '49ers and no railroads through the Rocky mountains, etc., etc. At this very moment America needs a million zealots who love their country more than even TV westerns or fin-ladened automobiles. God bless the constructive fanatics and zealots of history.

4. ENTHUSIASM. "Beware of enthusiasm", cry the psycho hunters. Don't pass the treat when the baby is born. Don't clap your hands too hard in a patriotic meeting and whatever you do, never leap for joy or jump up and shout when some great, good thing happens. These all suggest, according to the 'frigidair' mentalities, that you are on the edge of instability. The Scripture tells us how people leaped for joy and great shouts went up on certain occasions but the 'ivy league' boys who run the Turkish bathhouses of intellectualism insist that we must wash out of our minds anything that might tempt us to express wild enthusiasm. It is a violation of the unwritten law of mental sophistication for one to be constructively excited about anything.

5. DIGNITY. There are large areas of our society where a neatly dressed woman accompanied by a husband with his shirttail tucked in seems freakish. Careless language and sloppy dress seem to be the pattern in many areas and segments of our society. Well spoken sentences, neat and clean preparation for the eating of a meal and families with enough self-respect to dress for dinner even though there are no guests are becoming increasingly rare. Millions of American women feel that they have the right to be sloppy and ill-kempt in the presence of their husbands. They must only dress up and be neat in the presence of strangers. Then they wonder why the husband sometimes loses interest and casts his eye at some girl in the office or the shop smart enough to be dignified and neat a maximum portion of the time. To be dignified does not mean that we need to 'stuff our shirts' with synthetic poses but we should practice dignity in relationship to the members of our own family so that children growing up can develop a natural and honest respect for the adults in their household.

6. RESPECT FOR THE PAST. It has been a 'smart alec' fad to ridicule the 'days of yore' and laugh off the values that were recognized in the days of Washington and Jefferson. Ridiculers of tradition seem to delight in cursing the days of our greatest and most aggressive and progressive growth; namely, the latter part of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century. These were the days when America grew out of colonialism and threat of a divided union into the most opportune land on earth. These were the days when mountains were moved, rivers were straightened, deserts became gardens of Eden and the Middle west blossomed as the breadbasket of the world. But most any cheap politician can get a hand in an audience of mind-washed nit-wits when he ridicules President McKinley and the leaders of that dynamic period of growth in our nation's life. In fact, John F. Kennedy devoted a goodly portion of his acceptance speech following the Democratic Convention which met in Los Angeles to ridiculing the past and belittling the 'days of yore'. Any man with enough sense to recognize elementary values should know that the past in the life of a great nation like the United States of America is the soil on which the future must grow and is the foundation on which the civilization of tomorrow must build. If our background was barbaric and atheistic and savage we would have little on which to build, but our tradition and our past has grown out of the Ten Commandments, the Christian religion, the Magna Carta and the Constitution of the United States. Can Kennedy or anyone else improve upon such tradition? A 'new frontier' without a solid background is stage scenery which is all front door and when you open the front door you are immediately in the back yard.

7. GENUINE FEMININITY. I have often said if I had a wife who insisted on wearing trousers under any circumstance, I would grow a beard down to my waist so that when we walked down the street strangers could tell the man from the woman. The masculinity of females has become one of the offensive characteristics of the so-called modern generation and it indicates a social problem which goes far beyond the manner of dress. Whenever nations lose respect for tradition and racial culture, and the dynamic qualities of Holy faith they usually degenerate into mongrelization and sex perversion. What greater ambition could a young woman have than to appear strictly feminine. In so appearing she is justified in making herself as charming as self-respect and feminine sagacity can devise. My father said "no creature in this world can rise as high or sink as low as a woman. She can rise high enough to be worthy of the worshipful admiration of man, higher than any man can rise. In debauchery and perversion she can sink lower than any man can sink." God give us a new growth of charming, pure, intelligent femininity.

8. GENUINE MASCULINITY. It is amazing how many men exist in this world who will not rise to the defense of their women or resist crude invasions of their homes and of other areas of respectability. Casper Milquetoast has become an apostle in modern society. We are short of men with enough courage to even save their sweethearts from runaway bulls in a cow pasture, let alone juvenile delinquents on the street. They would rather see their sweethearts die than to lose an inch of skin off of their noses. We have altogether too many sissies and the word 'sissy' is rather a polite term for a disgraceful type of manhood altogether too prevalent in our society. Masculinity thrives on the crusading hardships which beset men who battle for traditional racial self-respect and Christian faith.

9. WHOLESOME SENSE OF HUMOR. We have become so jaded that the great humorists in the world of entertainment are going broke. Our families would rather see 900 murders a week on television than to smile and laugh at wholesome humor. In fact, we have almost raised a generation of children who do not know the quality of humor as exercised by Mark Twain and Will Rogers. If Will Rogers, the great American humorist were alive, I doubt seriously if he could get a sponsor on television, and Mark Twain would scarcely draw a smile from the jaded youngsters who have seldom experienced the exercise of wholesome laughter.

In desperation the perverted entertainers have degenerated themselves into what is now known as 'sick comedians'. The television humor when 'cleaned up' by censors has nothing left because most of the so-called joke tellers have as their back ground the American saloon and night club with naked entertainers and dirty stories palmed off as humor. Most of the so-called humorists are completely speechless when in an environment that prohibits filthy dirty sex-based jokes.

A sense of humor, rich and wholesome, which makes it possible for a well-balanced individual to not only laugh at others, but laugh at himself is a pearl of great price which every ambitious youngster should seek to possess.

10. FLAG WAVING. We have actually reached the place in our sophisticated areas of education where 'flag waving' is looked down upon. It is viewed as chauvinism, symptomatic of super-patriotism. I say "What is wrong with super-patriotism?" I prefer Nathan Hale to Francis Gary Powers. In earlier days in our nation's life spies sought out the secrets of the enemy for love of country and when caught they were in the mood of Nathan Hale who said "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country". Powers was paid $2500.00 per month and $30,000.00 a trip for flying over Russia while based in luxury in Turkey. When caught he said he was sorry. He praised the enemy. He cursed his own country and violated the pledges he had taken by saving his own life. His manner seemed to suggest that he was sorry that he had even one life to risk for his country. Oh, how America could have used a Chauvinist, a super-patriot and a real wild flag waver under such circumstances.

National holidays come and go and not one out of one hundred families display the American flag although it symbolizes all the blood, all the sweat and all the tears that have represented the purchase price of American freedom.

11. INDIVIDUALITY. An individual who thinks for himself and who does not always follow the beaten path and who has a spiritual and intelligent understanding of his special and individual relation to God Almighty - such a person is frequently referred to as an eccentric and sometimes even as a psychopath or a 'nut'.

Elementary common sense should be enough to convince us that no two things in this world are exactly alike. No two grains of sand. No two maple leaves.   (go to top)

(continued - Forbidden Virtues)
No two pebbles on the beach. No two Hereford cattle. No two children born the same day of the same mother. Identity and individual identity, whether it embraces the sands of the sea or the stars of the Heavens is one of the most obvious facts in nature.

The mind-washers and the assembly line educators would destroy individuality and would ridicule expressed individuality and exercised individuality as eccentricity and lunacy. Look to the pages of history and whether it be our Lord Jesus Christ, or St. Paul the Apostle or Joan of Arc or St. Francis or Thomas Edison or Henry Ford - civilization has had its greatest social improvements and in fact its only social improvements under the leadership of individuals with highly developed individuality. if these individuals were alive today they would be under observation. They would be committed to the Freudian couch.

God give us a new generation of men and women who do not look like carrots in a row or pastry stamped out like animal crackers by carefully patterned cookie cutters.

12. EMOTION. I like to visit with people whose faces grimace if I offend them and whose countenances take on the shape of a composite smile or an expression of receptivity when I say something that sounds good to them. We are producing a generation of 'so what' poker-faced robots who are about as interesting in conversation as if one were target shooting into a mud bank where there is no mark, no splash and no nothing to show for the shot.

I respect people who know how to exercise self-control and who do not break out with the symptoms of emotional instability when confronted with minor situations, but I do hold in high esteem the individual who has enough warmth in his heart and enough sense in his head and enough character in his spirit to drop a tear when a great and effective truth is uttered. I wouldn't give two cents for a citizen that could not be moved to a moistened eye by such an address as that which was delivered by General Douglas MacArthur to the Congress of the United States upon his return from the Orient.

What is more disgusting than to view the inspiring antics of a lovely child or to hear the expressed humor of a brilliant conversationalist - what is more distressing in the presence of such wholesome amusement than to be in the company of an individual whose faceless expression does not change under such circumstances, and who lacks the academic conscience necessary to exercise a polite smile or a cordial spirit or receptivity.

Emotion is the lubrication which drives a man on further than any intellectual conviction that he can develop. The knowledge of truth gives him the right direction and the emotion he develops gives him the will to follow in that direction. It is the tool of the spirit. It is an attribute which belongs exclusively to the human race. No creature on earth can weep or laugh except a human being. God must have expected us to exercise these attributes or he would not have made us the possessors of same.

13. RESPECT FOR AGE. California has a law which makes it a criminal offense for a son or daughter to neglect a needy parent providing that son or daughter has an income. A radical committee known as the Committee for Democratic Action recently met and asked for the repeal of this law and insisted that all the financial responsibility for parenthood should be shifted from the children to the state. It is a fundamental law of humanity that we honor our father and our mother. This is not to be a patronizing honor because in every other civilization but ours, age is supreme. The grandfather of the family is the final authority in all family arguments. When family reunions are held the offspring recognizes the senior member of the family as the last word in authority and wisdom. Today it seems to be a campus fad in this assembly line civilization to ridicule age, scorn the past and discredit the man who has lived 70 or 80 years upon this earth. In every other field of endeavor the one who has traveled the farthest is considered the most experienced and the most authoritative in describing the area covered.

If America endures, I prophesy that there will be a reversal in this trend and that age will again be supreme. Why do so many aging people become so melancholy when they pass 60? My answer is cruel, but true. Namely, they are scared to death that they will be as mistreated and as forgotten as were their parents when they reached maturity. Millions of aging people are panic-stricken today because they were the young people of yesterday who neglected their fathers and mothers and they are terrified with the grizzly thought that they will be as neglected by their children as they, in turn, neglected their parents.

14. INTELLIGENT SELF-INTEREST. Jesus was not a sissy. He was not a sap. He was not a pacifist and he did not despise intelligent self-interest. A generation of softies in the pulpit and elsewhere have galvanized the Christian public with the false theory that intelligent self-respect is not Christian. They seem to have forgotten the text "He that careth not for his own is worse than an infidel", and that no intelligent self-interest could be symbolized more than the command of our Lord who said "Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and all these things shall be added unto you."

Sentimental nit-wits would have us believe that it is a disgrace to give first consideration to our home, our nation and our race.

How can one exercise even common charity if he does not have enough sense and character to do his best to avoid becoming an object of charity himself? There is no such thing as a strong community unless that strong community is made up of strong individuals and strong homes. A family that does not understand the virtue of righteousness and intelligent self-interest can never make a vital contribution to the community in which he lives.

Internationalists condemn nationalism on the grounds that it is Chauvinistic, selfish and super-patriotic. It is strange to observe however, that whereas the Jews and Communists and the liberals in general condemn home-grown nationalists who cry 'America First', they are quick to come to the defense of alien nationalists, especially if they are moving towards the Left as in Central Africa. They seem to adore the nationalism of the Congo and hate the nationalism of South Korea. They praise the nationalism of Cuba but hate the nationalism of Egypt.

The reason that America became strong enough to put every nation in the world on its 'gift list' was because we became a strong nation that grew out of an intense spirit of nationalism. How can there be inter-nation relationship if there are no nations?

The white race, through some dynamic and Divine Providence has become the superior race. This opinion is not based on arrogance or egotism. It is based on fact. The white people know how to develop the earth and turn its resources into the comforts of man as no other race of people in existence. It has required at least 5,000 years to do this. It has become patently popular among the 'vegetated' intellectuals to despise one's racial background. The same year that the State of California repealed the law forbidding the marriage of white and colored -- that same year they passed a regulation making it a violation of law to grow anything but hybrid, long-staple cotton. Have we become so superficial and so 'turnip-headed' in our thinking that we would say to the world "we must have well bred cotton and mongrelized people"?

A white family of dignity and character and background which dilutes its blood with negroid breeding destroys in one generation what it has required God and Providence and Christian civilization 5,000 years to create. Don't apologize for intelligent self-interest. It is the foundation of charity, humanitarianism and Christian civilization.

Jesus even teaches us that we have no value in making Christians until we have put ourselves first by making ourselves Christian before even offering the message to others. This is the formula for reasonable and constructive existence. A formula which inspires men of intelligence and character to build first the individual soul and then the family unit based on racial self-respect and then the national identity. These are the first interests of man and they develop almost simultaneously.

15. ABANDONMENT FOR PRINCIPLE. We live in an age of body worship. We are being taught to put flesh above principle and physical existence above the fulfillment of ideals. Excitement and hard work and dangerous undertakings are discouraged. But if it had not been for these physical risks taken by our forefathers we would not have the America which means so much to us today.

This civilization was built by people who served in the spirit of consecrated abandon. Many men and women died in their 20s and 30s and 40s who could have lived to a ripe old age if they had not served in the spirit of abandon for the sake of high principle. Many a pioneer gave his life in order to 'build a bridge' for the generations to come. A man of character completely dedicated to high principle and spiritual values realizes that he is building an immortal structure. If he dies young he enters a new phase of his immortal existence in advance of those who live to ripe old age. St. Paul suggested that his faith in the next life was so real and so complete that if he were to follow his selfish desires, he would prefer to die. In fact he said "for me to live is Christ, but for me to die is gain ". In the general letter where he wrote these words he went on to suggest that even though it would be more blissful for him to die and be received into the arms of his Eternal Father, he would nevertheless stay as long on this earth as possible in order to fulfill responsibilities that were his.

America was built by Christian men and women. Yes, I realize that many of the pioneers were rugged and even in the colonial days and in the pioneer days there was the usual quota of evil men and evil women, but the dynamic force, the directing spirit, the ideological force which had to do with the building of this nation came out of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and was executed by men dedicated to the principle "he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" and "greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends".

I make no claim that I have summarized all the forbidden virtues. A book could be written on this subject, but I trust that there has been enough thought stimulated and suggested in this little theme to inspire the reader to reconsecrate himself to the basic virtue of all virtues; namely, Christian faith.

If this beautiful faith is allowed to flower and unfold, it will produce naturally the virtues that have been summarized above as well as a thousand others.

One of the most powerful and sacred texts of Scripture along this line can be found in the Second General Epistle of St. Peter, Chapter 1 Verses 5 through 8 which reads as follows:

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Learn what Dr. Smith knew - More Info