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An Unholy Trinity: A Six Year Old's Perspective on Religion and World Events
The Flag of the Soviet Union
The unholy trinity was not what I called them at age six, but reflecting back more than fifty years, I know that's how I felt about them. Three monsters is what I saw on the IMAX in my head, three stars of a horror film being acted out in my world, the real world. I could not have told you of a specific evil any of them had committed. Impressions were more effective at shaping a young mind than straightforward instruction.
Cronkite told me bedtime stories about the Bay of Pigs, the construction of a wall in Berlin and the mass murder of religious people behind the Iron Curtain. Names of places meant nothing to this boy growing up a quarter mile from the nearest county road, surrounded by alfalfa patches and cornfields. But somehow three names reached out and forced themselves into my consciousness.
They were the essence of evil, not that I understood either essence or evil at the time, but these three were the stooges in a tragedy taking place on the world stage, a production I ignored because the stakes were so enormous. I cowered from them and hid my young face in things familiar, innocent things such as ponies, calves and barn kittens.
They were ensconced in my mind as twisted deities. History books characterize two of them as ruiners of a world already on the verge of social and political upheaval. One died in Moscow in the early seventies. Another outlasted his contemporaries by decades and passed away in Cuba. The unholy trinity is now down by two, and the one who remains isn't going anywhere.
Flag of Cuba Before the Sky Blue Was Changed to Darker Blue
But in the early 60s, all three were alive and well. I had an image in my mind of the three faces of evil, and in my heart I harbored a scheme to take them down. It seems silly now. Hell, it was silly. But you couldn't have convinced me of that in those days. I only knew that evil followed these three and that people suffered and died because they lived. That was my six year old perception. So I plotted their downfall.
I sat beneath two boxelder trees in our yard. I had just come from digging through my father's tool box. It's odd how clear this memory is when others are so clouded and distorted by time. In my hand I held three spike nails, each about five or six inches long. In the other hand I held a hammer.
One by one I drove the spikes into the dry dirt of midsummer in Indiana. In my minds eye, I could see the sharp points protruding down into the tunnels of hell. What was I thinking? What could possibly have been on the developing mind of that innocent child?
Here is what I know for certain about one of the clearest memories from my childhood. I fully intended for Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro and Satan, as they strolled together along the highways and byways of hell, to pass beneath my trap, scratch their heads on the nails and die from an infection.
Was this act of mine the result of absorbing the news of the day and blending it with the teachings of Christianity? Was this a psychological experience, a spiritual experience or the active imagination of a budding fiction writer?
I look forward to your thoughts in the comments below.
Satan Presides Over Hell
Historical Events at This Time in My Life
- My Birth-1957
- Childhood in very religious home. Satan considered to be a real being.
- The anti-religious campaigns of Krushchev and the USSR- 1958-1964.
- The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis-1961-1962.
- My Solution-Summer of 1963, just prior to the assassination of JFK.