Childhood Lost

From the book Rape Of A Nation by Jimmy Swaggart
May 2021

In his foreword of the 1985 book, Rape of a Nation, Tim LaHaye wrote: “We are now in a struggle for survival in this country. The humanists say they will make America a humanist nation by the year 2000. That means Sodom and Gomorrah if they succeed. Who is there to stop this moral slide into national perversion? The church of Jesus Christ! The church is the one army large enough to awaken this country to the loss of its moral foundation and call her to return to moral sanity. But who will awaken the sleeping church, many of whose members are not even registered to vote? The preachers! Jimmy Swaggart is one such preacher. He is using his enormous influence as America’s most watched television minister to confront the church with her responsibility to be “salt” and “light.” He has spoken out courageously on every moral issue of our time and has incurred the wrath of the liberal media establishment in the process. But he is undaunted. This new book is his latest attempt to stir Christians to action, for he knows that if enough of God’s people will take up the call, we can yet rid our government of those elected and appointed individuals who do not share America’s traditional moral values. Reading this book will enable you to be a part of the cure of America’s ills and help you to preserve the future for our children.” The following is an excerpt from Chapter One of Rape of a Nation.

Utter the word childhood and any number of images might flood your mind — depending on the type of childhood you had. Even to the person burdened by a less-than-perfect one, the word may still elicit a sense of nostalgia and the warm glow a person associates with an idealized picture of those early years. Unfortunately, there are few persons (or perhaps none) who are lucky enough to experience a perfect childhood.

Like most of life’s experiences, growing up becomes a series of compromises and accommodations as circumstances intrude in a more or less haphazard way. Generally, however, for the last several generations, childhood has been a pleasant and profitable experience, more often than not fitting the young person to reach legal age prepared to meet the responsibilities of adult life. (This isn’t necessarily the situation today, however, and it hasn’t always been the situation.)

Living as we do in the middle of the 20th century, we tend to think that childhood has always been what it is now — a period set aside for growth and development, and a time when the child is insulated from the stresses and pressures of the real world. Childhood over the centuries has varied considerably, however, differing greatly from one historic period to another. In some societies childhood has been enriched; in others, degraded; and in still others, more or less ignored.

In America today, childhood is rapidly disappearing. Is that a shocking statement? It is shocking perhaps, but true. The long-lamented “generation gap” has finally begun to close, and with its closing, childhood has been squeezed almost out of existence.

Where have our children gone? My heart was recently burdened with the realization that the minds of our precious little ones, perhaps our nation’s richest treasure, are literally being raped. Rape imposes someone’s will on an unconsenting victim, and that’s exactly what’s happening to our youngsters today. You don’t have to be a psychologist or a sociologist to recognize it. It’s obvious to anyone who has any degree of contact with the young people of our society.

The Historical Perspective
The majority of children being reared today, especially in middle-class America, are being cheated of childhood. Adult secrets, pressures, and demands assault the blissful ignorance, the blessed wonder, and the sense of innocence that used to characterize the younger years. Now children are being physically ejected from the womb and thrust directly into the path of stresses and pressures that cause even adults to stumble. Our present society robs children of their childhood by pressing them into the mold of miniature adults, and it is evil beyond imagination!

Of course, viewing children as miniature adults is not a new concept. During the Middle Ages, childhood didn’t exist! If you were to search the historical records, you would find that children of that period were offered no special status from that of adults. Neither were they offered protection from the problems of adult life. They were simply viewed as “small adults.” In fact, the concept of childhood as a unique condition or period of life didn’t come about until the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was during that period that childhood began to realize a special status and importance in America.

For the first time ever, efforts were made to get all children into schools, out of the factories, and into their own clothing, furniture, literature, games, and social patterns. Hundreds of laws were passed to preserve and protect the rights of children. Even during this progressive period, however, Satan plotted to rape the minds of children, and he chose one of his brighter students — Charles Darwin — to clear the path. Darwin presented the notion that “individual development relives species development.” He proposed that evolution could best be understood by studying the individual development of children. In this way, broad conclusions could be drawn that would apply to society as a whole. Children thus began to be considered as a “scientifically valuable” commodity.

And lest we look too innocently at the efforts to increase the educational levels of children, it should be realized that it was originally a thinly veiled effort to train children for more effective factory work. The educational movement was pushed along by one John Dewey, now known as “the father of modern education.” He was, incidentally, a socialist interested in promoting the advancement of socialism.

John Dewey constructed the framework that resulted in the surrender of our educational system to the philosophy of secular humanism. Dewey can thus be remembered as the messenger who brought Satan’s diabolical scheme of liberal mind control to our American system of public education.

Interestingly, his philosophy is the undergirth of an ever-diminishing concern for human life and is the same philosophy that was imported to Rome (through Greek “scholars”), which led to Rome’s decline and eventual collapse. With the introduction of Greek humanism, such moral evils as abortion, infanticide, pedophilia, and child abuse became widespread throughout Rome. We shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, to see an appalling rise in these same sordid practices in our land today.

It seems obvious that this is not a haphazard series of incidental occurrences. It was a regressive accumulation of events in Rome that led to its demise, and current events in our nation closely parallel them. Rome fell. We are in grave peril of following Rome down the same path to destruction.

The Right To Life
In ancient times, the right to life wasn’t an automatic consequence of birth; it was “ritually bestowed.” In other words, at some traditional age, a ritual was performed — at which time the recipient became a “person” within the society and received all the conventional rights of personhood. What were they until then? Children had no rights, being as valueless (and as helpless) as unwanted puppies or kittens are in our society. If you didn’t have any use for them, and if you couldn’t sell them, you could easily dispose of them.

During such periods, unwanted children were routinely drowned. Infanticide was sometimes compulsory in order to spare society the problem of caring for the weak, the premature, or the deformed. Girls especially were in jeopardy of being killed, sold, or abandoned. The mentally retarded (considered to be possessed by Satan) were almost universally disposed of. Many young boys were even castrated to produce eunuchs for harems or to retain their soprano voices for church choirs.

Other barbaric practices included “hardening.” Hardening was the practice of plunging newborn babies into an icy stream or of leaving them in the snow for some period of time to test their hardiness. Abortion, abandonment, wet nursing (during which sixty percent of infants died), the sealing of children into the cornerstones of buildings, and the use of children as “playthings” in sporting events were other common practices during these barbaric times.

Historically, sexual offenses against children were common. Supposedly enlightened, civilized human beings gave vent to their depraved and sinful natures by practicing the vilest of sexual acts on children. In many cultures, wives and daughters were supplied to guests as an act of hospitality. Since children were considered more commodities than human beings, they were also frequently hired out as sexual partners. Brothels housed large numbers of ten- and twelve-year-old prostitutes.

Pederasty (sex with young boys) was stylish and almost openly practiced in Rome, Greece, and other early cultures. Nurses quieted irritable or unruly children by stroking their genitals. Rape, incest, and flagellation (sexual stimulation through physical abuse such as beatings) were also common. Sex torturers (sadists), using secret codes known to fellow perverts, laced ads to obtain children for their sordid practices. Even colonial newspapers in this country carried regular ads for runaway children. Adults addicted to sexual experimentation with children exploited children mercilessly.

Society, considering children as an economic drain, refused to concern itself with their welfare. If they were not to be disposed of, they could certainly be put to work. Child labor cast children into the direst of straits and the most deplorable of conditions. The excesses were so extreme that there began to be a reaction around the middle of the nineteenth century. Until that time, children of six or seven years of age labored as beasts of burden, dragging coal buckets down narrow mine shafts. The wet shafts, coupled with temperatures of forty to fifty degrees and sixteen- to eighteen-hour workdays, created a high mortality rate among child workers. As such, conditions began to receive publicity, and the public responded by supporting laws to restrict the conditions of child workers — under the age of eight!

In the United States, the first child abuse literature was published in 1871. Among the incidents described was that of a child found chained to a bed where she was regularly beaten for no reason. The problem in such cases was that there were laws to protect animals but not children. In order to bring justice to bear in such cases, it was necessary to have the child declared a member of the animal kingdom.

Read Part II of “Childhood Lost” in the June issue of The Evangelist.

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