I have a strange feeling that there is something that I am meant to do, and that it concerns my country, and my God. I believe it had something to do with last weeks series¹ on the Patriarchs as proto-Americans. I think it also is connected with Public Catholic’s Rebecca Hamilton and her series on Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting², as well as Dan Miller’s foreboding piece on what may happen after the election³. Always there is the undertone of the base of the American population arming itself, not only against criminals but as the ultimate militia.
There is the fact that the dependency plantation as Dan Miller refers to it is (and has) become far more violent, especially against gays, and our media actively suppresses the news.
Then there is the piece of the puzzle that a dear friend of mine, Jessica Hoff of All along the Watchtower† made a pilgrimage recently to Walsingham. She lit a candle for me. This moves me very deeply, although veneration of The Lady is not only not in but, actually contrary to my tradition. In addition to this while I’ve always been (or at least tried to be) a good and proud Christian, I am now talking far more about it, and finding it more and more important. .
We know that our forefathers saw America as the new Jerusalem
First let us recall that last week we learned that the Patriarchs of the Old Testament from Abraham to Joseph can be used as placeholders for American archetypes. This led to John Winthrop’s City on the Hill sermon, which we have lived by ever since. But, is that the only parallel? No, it isn’t. More on that later.
This from Daren Jonescu struck me strongly the other day:
In short, Western society has essentially ceased to be the glorious crown of humanity that it once was. The wellspring of ethical individualism has regressed into a fear-addled horde of collectivists.
The philosophical birthplace of the individuated soul with its higher callings — philosophy, art, faith — has devolved into an orgy of mindless pleasure pursued at the expense of any concern for, or belief in, the difference between scratching an itch and contemplating the divine.
And the civilization that, through its dual focus on human reason and the individual soul, planted the seed of that political liberty which is literally inconceivable in any other historical context has allowed itself to recede into an increasingly unvarnished mob of angry, frightened children clamoring for their “fair share,” for what they are “entitled to” — for a ruler to take care of them, freedom be damned.
The West’s economic insolvency is merely a practical manifestation of moral bankruptcy. America’s irreversible prison sentence of debt stretching for generations into the future is only a foreshadowing of the more explicit form of bondage that takes hold of societies after they disintegrate into practical despair and irrationality.‡
We need to remember that these United States were the last and greatest flowering of the Enlightenment that produced the world we know today.
Reading this is when I decided to write this article. It is so very true. Americans, once again, stand alone. Yes we have friends, individual friends, many of them, around the world. But, and this is important, there is no government, anywhere, not in Washington, not in London, nor Paris, or Berlin, that has individual liberty as its watchword. And as the author told us, Europe’s populations went down because they couldn’t define their goals.
In another analogy from the Old Testament we learn that the Kingdom of Israel (actually the United Monarchy) was formed to defend the Israelites. They clamored to God for a king like their neighbors had, God granted the prayer and Israel was destroyed, when the ten tribes disappeared into the Assyrian empire. Judea and Samaria lasted long enough to be ruled by Rome and disappeared shortly after Masada. None reappeared until restored by American feelings of guilt over the Holocaust in 1948. What have we been doing since 2001, at least, if not selling our freedom for security? Just like the Israelites.
The salient facts about the Americans are trifold.
We are the last civilian population in the west in which the freeman have not relinquished the right and duty to bear arms, the very last. It is a tradition that precedes Beowulf, but all the rest of the west have given it up with nary a whimper, and are now defenseless against their governments, even if they had the will to resist. But not Americans. America remains unconquerable, even by the US military.
We are also the last western power to still have a basis of Christianity. I’m speaking here of real Christianity, the kind that looks into the fires of Hell unflinchingly. This, the religion of the individual and his God, has been one of the drivers of our civilization for the last 2000 years. The great unspoken service that Martin Luther performed was to unshackle the church, all of the church, including Rome, from playing politics and go back to being the Body of Christ on earth.
Europe has succumbed to cultural relativism where there is no evil because there is no good, it’s all various shades of gray. We have them among us as well but, we also have that hard core of Christians who believe as their forefathers did. No church has a monopoly on them, in all are what we call C&E (Christmas and Easter) Christians but there is also, in all of our churches, a core group of real believers who, even as I am, are finding their beliefs challenged. And we are beginning to find leaders, thanks to the statists, the contraception mandate has forced the usually quiescent Catholic hierarchy, as well as others, to choose between God and state, and these are men who deep down know how to lead, and whose organization conquered Rome, itself.
We, here in America, wrote the book. The founding documents are a detailed blueprint for a free society. They are clear beyond all obfuscation. That is why, as Americans, we know what we are fighting for, as the Europeans did not. it is also why, as the author said, we will bear the worst fury of the statists. And also, as he said, as the battle intensifies, the statists will become more and more openly anti-American.
You, and I, play a role here, in keeping the story of the truth out there, to be found, we may not be Paine, or Jefferson, or Madison but, it is our mission. Yes, the torch is burning low and occasionally flickering but the left has caused a great awakening in America, the last time this happened 600,000 Americans died for freedom, either of slaves or from their own government depending on side. The time before the United States themselves were spawned from Brittania’s breast and head.
So we find that we are a three-legged construct, with an armed citizenry being pushed to our arms, while clinging to our Bibles, and our common heritage of freedom. It’s a very powerful construct, it has built the modern world but, can it beat the New World Order, which is nothing more than a return to the slavery which our forefathers fought and defeated in their time. I believe so but I also believe it will be very hard, for tyrants tend to cling to their power.
It will depend more than anything on our courage, steadfastness, and our individual willingness to offer up “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor”. I recall that some men that signed that mission statement died in battle, many died penniless, none sacrificed their honor. One of those who died penniless, advised the Continental Army to burn his plantation because the British were using it as a headquarters.
That is the kind of devotion that liberty has always, and still does, require. Not always, not from everyone, but sometimes and from some. You need to be prepared to pay the price, whatever it may be.
What matters is the will of the forces of the free. Do enough of our people still have the will to renew liberty. Or as a friend put it to me in an E-mail today:
Perhaps the parallel goes beyond just the early pilgrims? America is either a vision of what can be, or it is nothing.
That is the choice we face, and it’s a stark one. Either we are who we have always said we are, or we are just another slave state like Europe. The question must be answered by the American people, we already know what the government thinks, don’t we?
Churchill said, in the Grand Alliance
But I had studied the American Civil War, fought out to the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. I thought of a remark which Edward Grey had made to me more than thirty years before—that the United States is like “a gigantic boiler. Once the fire is ignited under it there is no limit to the power it can generate.
That is true, we are Americans, we can do anything, if we choose to. Is the fire under the boiler lighted? If it is not, the dream is over. If it is, anything is possible for us.
It was true in the Second World War but, we have been coasting for nearly 70 years since then. Yes we defeated the Soviet Union but, for a semi-free society, it was a cakewalk. Mainly it provided jobs and innovation in the defense industry, and as long as we didn’t overdo the welfare system, it was no sweat.
But the war we are now engaged in is not with a foreign power, it is with a domestic cabal who believes that America is just another strip of dirt to be enslaved. We have been fighting this war since at least 1912, we have fought every battle as we watched ally after ally go down without a whimper, and now we are alone. “We the people” have lost nearly every battle and have been dragged into the very mouth of the socialist beast. We will lose more but, with each battle more of the left’s mask comes off, and it becomes more and more clear that they are actively anti-American. Someday, they will overplay their hand, and if we are ready, we will win, for our generation.
I find increasingly that at this moment, for me, secondary things are dropping away, the Islamic menace, racism, the election, political correctness, the UN, and all the others. To me they are merely bellwethers of the battle, the standards advancing and retreating on the battlefield. This is the only question that matters. The rest will follow. Yes, as leaders we must speak of the others and support the side of freedom. The battles are important to the cause. As General Green said during the Revolution, “We Fight, Get Beat, Rise, and Fight Again”
But if we win the war, the outcome of the skirmishes is inconsequential. If we lose the final battle, liberty itself dies.
And that may explain the strange sensation that Jessica’s candle brought forth in me. I knew beforehand, so there was no surprise to the honor. I thought, like the good Lutheran that I am, there is no harm in it. But, I found myself moved to the core, and I have not been the same since. I will not say I have changed, for I have not. I have, however, a peace, a sure knowledge that God has something in mind for me.
I believe this blog is part of it. My friendship with Jessica is a twofold coincidence, I followed a link to Public Catholic, and from there followed a comment to Jessica. I commented on one of her posts, and shortly she became as dear a friend as I have ever had. As a planner, I do not believe in coincidence. All things have cause. That includes this and the strange peace of knowing that a candle was lighted for me, in Walsingham. Which is so far from my ordinary experience as to be inexplicable, except by God.
Perhaps Sir Phillip Howard’s lines sum these several lines of thought up as well as may be.
Weep, weep, O Walsingham
Whose days are nights,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deeds to despites.
Sin is where Our Lady sat,
Heaven turned into hell,
Satan sits where Our Lord did sway,
Walsingham, oh farewell!
Or will Henley have written the poem.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
In the end, it will be one or the other, the choice is with each of us.
‡ Conservatives Have a Secret: American Thinker