Way back in the days of the ancients, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, there was a radio program called Life Line that was broadcast daily on many stations in the U.S. The commentator was someone named Melvin Munn. Printed copies of these short Life Line "Freedom Talks" were also available. The fine print at the end of each "Freedom Talk" stated: LIFE LINE MATERIAL MAY BE REPRODUCED WITH OR WITHOUT CREDIT. The price was noted as 3 for 25¢, or a one-year subscription (a weekly mailing of 7 commentaries) for only $5.00. The staff of 101Bananas.com recently discovered a stash of old "Freedom Talks" in the back of a closet beneath a stack of very old Playboy magazines and decided to transcribe several of them for the web. Reading them today you can't help but be amazed they have only become more relevant over the past 50 years than they were when first broadcast.

Life Line Freedom Talk

A Daily Radio Commentary By
Life Line
Dallas, Texas 75206
June 9, 1971



       This is the age of the ostrich. Americans of powerful influence pretend a lot. They give us pat answers to grave problems while the problems grow bigger and answers less true.
       Leaders in the ostrich age keep telling our people: “Ignore bad things and they will just go away.” But they never do. They keep coming at us.
       One of life's richest gifts is to be able to dream. The limitless mind of man is able to conjure up any kind of hope, pleasure, and circumstance. The mind can select from its dreams goals for a better world which the dreamer can conclude are attainable.
       Dreams have to be translated into plans, organization, execution, and some practical approach to fulfillment. Reality challenges the mildest of dreams and often shatters entirely our greatest ones. Nothing really ever gets done until one person grasps a vision, holds it up before the rest, and enlists the multitudes in a new drive for glory.
       This age has its leaders. All but a few of those leaders are honorably motivated, earnestly dedicated, and give the appearance of boldness and certainty. Ah, but that is the rub! We have the appearance of courage, conviction, high resolve, and selfless dedication. But all too often the substance just is not there.
       It is so much more pleasant to walk with the masses with head held high, chanting assurances that all will be well if you will ignore danger and pretend there are no threats.
       At the very head of the list is the unreal dialogue in communist thought. Many of our visible leaders in most of our national church bodies, in our seminaries, in our colleges and universities, in political office, in education, in economics, and in the behavioral sciences are earnestly dedicated to the task of shielding our people from any consciousness of communist danger.
       These leaders and decision makers who constantly reassure our people that the world is in no danger from communism may very well be following the highest of motives. Such people often say that keen awareness of power moves on the world stage would lead to a massive hysteria among Americans.
       Some of our most respected people harshly question the loyalty, the purpose, the intelligence, the wisdom, and the intent of any voice, however calm, that urges our people to recognize and understand facts and to live with those facts.
       It does not trouble me for one minute to proclaim that the record of the American people is incomparable in the annals of history. This is a nation whose people have, from its first day of birth, accepted the duties, responsibilities, and challenges, as well as the rewards, of constantly renewing freedom and liberty for themselves and the future.
       There is courage abundant within the lives of modern Americans. There is vast intelligence out there in the land. There is inherent wisdom that has marked the generations of millions of families, and it has grown with every age. There are boldness, imagination, creativity, and spiritual power that could be awesome once again if only our leaders would reflect the strength and character of those whom they are supposed to lead.
       Which is the greater danger to our people—the risk of some unavoidable excesses in reaction to true facts concerning communism, or the unbearable excesses that threaten from within which are the result of today's constant teaching that we are in no danger from communism?
       Which is the worst danger—the possibility of too much military influence upon our lives if we regain and keep arms superiority, or our leaders permitting Russia to increase its position and reduce us to a second-rate power, making us subject to its cruel demands?
       The age of the ostrich finds our leaders never speaking to the real issues. Never do they explain how a communist system that has already enslaved more than thirty once-free nations, and that never ceases threatening this country, is no threat to freedom. Never do we hear any logical excuse—for there can be none—for communist dictators around the world murdering as many as 100 million people in asserting themselves as dictators.
       In the age of the ostrich we are told that communism is no danger to this country because we have so few identified communists among us. That is precisely the point. The American who publicly acknowledges his loyalty to Moscow or Peking is not our greatest danger. The communist we have to fear is the one nobody knows—or nobody can prove—to be a communist. Subversion and espionage have always turned on anonymity. To suppose that a system which has been so frighteningly successful in infiltrating, subverting, and overthrowing other free and representative governments is not constantly striving to do that same thing here is more than naive, it is stupid.
       In countless ways we, the people of the United States, are doing to ourselves and to this country the precise things that both visible and hidden communist forces have done to other countries where they had the strength and power.
       A lot of our scholars, in just about every field of endeavor, keep finding themselves out on various limbs. Time and again impressive units of our society commit the very acts for which they condemn others.
       For example, anyone who contends that sound national money policies require either a balance or a surplus in our Treasury, warns against the dangers of spiraling inflation, the threat of an ever growing public and private debt, and gives evidence of the failure of Keynesian economics is effectively restrained from putting his factual information before the public. But anyone demanding a constant increase in the national debt, a greater amount of criminal waste of tax funds, and throwing good money after bad gets all the public exposure one could possibly want.
       Another example: The television airwaves, including many newscasts and network talk shows, have a great affection for radicals, identified communists, socialists, and even convicted lawbreakers, but you rarely see a responsible, articulate, and colorful defender of basic principles of honor, integrity, and decency on such shows.
       Yet those holding different views and supporting alternatives to popular fads are repeatedly accused of fostering censorship, government controls, and federal laws that dictate to the press. The truly constructive citizen is always among the first to combat censorship. But the ostriches among us do a very effective job of censoring any thought, expression, idea, or support of human and spiritual principles of humility, charity, faith, and mutual trust. To merely suggest that someone in power might have more interest in advancing himself than the country at large is to be roundly condemned as a fascist or a capitalist!
       The age of the ostrich is illogical. With crime increasing at better than a ten percent rate of growth each year—over the previous year— there is vastly more effort to discredit law enforcement agents, police departments, and city administrations than there is effort to rally our people to support these agencies as a matter of self-defense. In an age when alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, pornography, obscenity, hatred, and brutality have reached a staggering level of daily occurrence among our people, some of our religious ostriches urge the civil and political leadership to become even more tolerant, more understanding, and more patient with sin and evil!
       At a time when every noncommunist nation operating under socialist principles is suffering grave and serious problems in finance, in services the federal government is supposed to provide, and in human relations, many of our most powerful leaders are absolutely dedicated to moving the United States into collectivist and socialist principles in health care, transportation, communication, and welfare.
       Our War on Poverty has succeeded a little, but failed a lot. So, naturally, in this age of the ostrich we pretend we have not thrown away several billions of dollars. We pretend that employees of welfare programs have all been lily-white, absolutely pure, and nobody ever stole one dime from the poor people of this country. Having come to that conclusion it is then a simple matter to appropriate a few more billion dollars and pour it down the same ratholes while our fellow Americans who are truly in need of help continue to suffer deprivations and wonder who gets all the money.
       The National Council of Churches barges into the jungles and thickets of politics, international conflict, and the national affairs of foreign countries. It gives the distinct impression that it is acting on behalf of some 44 million Americans who belong to the churches affiliated with the NCC. That this is not the case at all in no way deters the decision makers of the NCC. Neither does it deter top officials—both lay and clerical—in several denominations that are fascinated with the activities of the NCC. Nor does it deter the theologian, the seminarian, or most of our institutions of higher learning from barging dead ahead into growing frustrations and confusion, leaving amazed, confused, and even frustrated citizens in their wake, wondering if all of this is real.
       If you wish to be honored and recognized as a leader in the age of the ostrich, you must hear the truth according to an impulse cult; heed the word of the latest star among faddists; and you must, above all, stand strongly against anyone who questions policy in the least.
       The National Council of Churches spawned the Consultation on Church Union. However noble may have been its basic purpose, COCU failed almost totally to recognize the concern, the knowledge, and the intelligence of those 25 million people who are members of the nine denominations engaged in this consultation. Making little or no effort to discover the will of the membership, delegates were persuaded to follow modern innovators toward an ultimate agreement called the Plan of Union.
       In the age of the ostrich almost every individual and movement of great influence begins from the very same premise. They first conclude that Americans are so poorly informed, so badly motivated, so preoccupied, so intent upon material things, and so emotionally unreliable that the last thing they ever want to do is to allow the "voice of the people" to really speak. Whether it be in government, in education, in religion, in justice, in race relations, or in any vital field of our lives, the ostriches among us bury their heads in the sand, communicate through the gritty grains, and conclude that their superior wisdom requires of them that they be our keepers, our decision makers, and our protectors.
       The age of the ostrich ought to end and every agency of responsible bearing should speak to the people honestly, factually, calmly, and constantly, and the citizens of this country must keep reminding themselves of one truth about our system of life. That truth is that you and I believe in government as protector and not in government as provider.

       Just because intelligent people wish certain things to be true in no way assures that they are true—or ever will be.