13 May 2013

battlefield

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.  We are met on a great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they have the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

The words themselves are sobering, more so when one takes pause to consider their context.  Lincoln presided over a deeply divided nation, whose future was uncertain.  That moment on which he was called to speak over one of the bloodiest battlefields of the war he reflected on the ideals which gave birth to this great nation.  Even though he lived through one of this country's darkest hours, he stood firm in its great principles.  His was not a pie-in-the-sky, idealized, glorified patriotism, but rather a deep and sober faith in God and country.  He was not ashamed of his nation - even in the throes of a civil war - but continued to see its greatness, and used his position as president to strengthen the cause of liberty.

When we reflect on Lincoln's words, it is equally sobering to feel the resonance of his words today that we must confess that we are presently engaged in another civil war which has much of our country deeply divided once more.  Just as in Lincoln's day, the presidential administration has taken sides in this conflict - although this time our government is not interested in edifying our nation's foundation, but rather in rewriting it.

We see this when we consider all that has been coming to light in these last few weeks.  Those who claimed that this administration could not be trusted were called hateful, racist, and conspiracist.  Yet, sometimes the paranoid are actually being followed.  Even when the truth crashed down their poorly constructed cover-ups, this administration - aided by a willing mainstream liberal media - presses the lies.  What happened in Benghazi was reprehensible, and the blood of American citizens and soldiers is on the hands of our own leadership.  This same administration is seeking to eliminate the Second Amendment, which was written to guarantee this nation of liberty.  While progressives in our government seek to gain the power to make drone attacks on innocent American citizens legal, the IRS has been moving on their given targets of conservative and patriotic groups.  And now it appears that the White House has been tapping the phones of news organizations for six months - a breach of free speech and press that is found in the First Amendment.  (These are mentioned simply as a short list of those activities which cannot be reduced to a difference of American ideology; these show a disturbing trend of ant-American behavior being perpetuated by the American government.)

This brings up an important point for all Americans to remember, and to reclaim: America is not the United States government.  Lincoln asserted this in his famous last-line: ours is a government of the People, by the People, for the People.  Somewhere along the way government became about power and money rather than the protection of the Republic.  This federal behemoth is now being turned against the People rather than being a reflection of the will of the People.  Even though elections have consequences, this country is being ruled by a small minority of those who have had the audacity to lie, cheat and steal the American experience from our culture.  We face a more tyrannical force than has ever threatened us from within our own government before, and the assaults on our freedom continues to grow.

We must reassert what our Founders established, and what men and women throughout our history have confirmed with their lives - that the sovereign in the United States is We the People.  It will not do for us to fear our own government, or those who will seek our destruction, in public and private.  And this is what the IRS situation has shown us, that there are many who are willing to attack their fellow countrymen because of an ideology that seeks to undermine our nation's greatness.  Although it is still able to put on a good front, this progressive-liberal agenda is in fact crumbling from within, and it will not be able to stand for much longer.

Thomas Jefferson once said: "It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself."  So true.

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