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Lessons from the 1940s – Have Faith

US poster, 1942

US poster, 1942

Here’s a poster you wouldn’t see today: “Strong in the strength of the Lord, we who fight in the people’s cause will never stop until that cause is won.” While researching my World War II novels, I was surprised at the religious tone in the writings. Top Ten songs like “Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer,” “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” and a humble prayer in the middle of the lyrics of “American Patrol.” A prayer on the front page of the local newspaper on D-Day. Mainstream movies and books in which people attend church and pray.

Freedom of religion is a good thing. I’m thankful I live in a country where we’re free to worship God as we see fit. The founders of the United States remembered too well what happened when religion was mandated by the government rather than by the individual. However, they certainly never imagined an America free from religion.

During World War II, the majority of Americans were people of faith. This gave the nation a bedrock foundation of moral truth on which decisions were made. The human decision-making process comes from a combination of emotion and logic. Emotion, as we all know, is easily swayed. But logic has flaws as well – logical, well-reasoned arguments can be made on polar opposite sides of any issue. Logic and emotion have been used to justify some of the grossest atrocities of modern times, and are being used now to justify what would have been unthinkable in the 1940s.

A civilization can remain civilized only when the balloons of logic and emotion are tethered to the foundation of truth, to the basic knowledge of right and wrong. Cut less from this mooring, logic and emotion blow any which way and can take our society to ruin.

In the 1940s, people of faith spoke up without apology – but without shrill, angry, off-putting voices. They made decisions grounded in God’s truth, and tried their best to live lives of morality and integrity. Their strength came from the Lord, and that strength brought them through the horrors and deprivation of war.

I pray that America can return to the source of its strength so we can face whatever challenges come in the future.

4 responses to “Lessons from the 1940s – Have Faith”

  1. Amen, Sarah.

    BTW, I am currently reading A Distant Melody and really enjoying it. Finally, a romance for the rest of us. Walt reminds me a lot of my husband, we are average looking, wrote a lot of letters to each other even though we weren’t far apart, and my husband has a great sense of humor like Walt. I love that your book shows that those of us who are ordinary can and do have a wonderful romance, too! I love all your detail! Glad I don’t have long to wait before book #2.

  2. How far we have fallen as a nation!!

    My favorite time in history is the 1940’s, and this is part of the reason why…strong morals, commitment to God, commitment to family.

    Blessings to you,

  3. Sarah Sundin says:

    Julia – I do get tired of every hero & heroine being breathtakingly gorgeous 🙂 As a girl I grew up convinced that you had to be beautiful to be loved – yet one look at the world around you shows that’s a big fat lie. Normal people have beautiful love stories too. Of course, in Book 2 – both Jack and Ruth are gorgeous – but it’s a problem for them. Ha! I’m so mean!
    Patti – thanks! I admire that generation so much – solid and faithful and blessed. I hope we haven’t come too far…

  4. I’m so glad your hero and heroine are ordinary looking! LOL-can’t wait to read about Jack & Ruth either!

Embers in the London Sky cover
“Another masterful installment in Sundin’s roster of WWII novels.”
—Booklist starred review for Embers in the London Sky

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