We are Americans.
We are free to, as Wesley said, think and let think. We are also our government.
Did you get that last?
America is governed by the people. As Lincoln phrased it, we have a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” He ended that phrase by saying “should not perish.” That government of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish.
Lincoln first said that at the dedication of a huge cemetery created to bury soldiers who had been slaughtered in the worst war this country ever fought. More Americans died in the Civil War than all the other wars we have fought combined.
Lincoln, even though he was steadfastly opposed to slavery, veered different directions on the question in his desire to save the Union. Ultimately, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a document which wrote the legal end of slavery and also sealed the country into a war that could end only with the total defeat of one side or the other. The Union-saving compromise Lincoln had tried to find died with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Make no mistake about it, Lincoln ended slavery in this country, but he did it by nearly destroying the nation and by fighting the bloodiest war in our history in order to save that nation.
I just said that Lincoln ended slavery. He also saved the Union. If Lincoln had caved in — and the pressures on him to do so were enormous — America would have splintered into small nation states which most likely would have kept on splitting. We would never have become the great nation we are. If Lincoln had not saved the Union, the history of the world would be entirely different, and almost certainly much darker.
It mattered that Lincoln saved the Union. It matters today that we save America again.
I’ve been reading a novel called Agent Running in the Field by John le Carre. It’s escapist fare, a good read.
It has a line in it that, while it has nothing to do with the situation I am discussing, seems apt. Nothing survives that is not fought for.
Freedom and America certainly fall into that category. If we want our country to survive, we need to take its survival seriously. If we want to continue to live under a government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” then we have to be willing to oppose all those who would destroy it.
Right now, We the People are engaged in a rancorous debate about how we should deal with our president. On the one hand, he has made good on promises to appoint pro life judges, and has supported moves to end the legal harassment of people of faith. On the other hand, he has engaged in activities which are criminal, dictatorial and a clear and present danger to our national security and the united front of Western civilization against tyranny.
He also has continued down the path of compulsive lying, bullying, race-baiting, and misogyny. He was a crook before he was elected, and does not appear to have changed his ways. He did the things he was impeached for. They are crimes, they rise to the level of impeachable offenses, and they endanger the freedom and security of every American.None of these are trivial things.
On the other hand, we are faced with a Democratic Party which aggressively supports legal abortion, and which, when their own president engaged in sexual predation, stood by him. The fact that this is ancient history going back over 20 years does not change what they did.
What to do?
Any honest person who loves this country and wants to build a pro life culture is going to feel the tension.
I do not intend to tell you what ultimate decisions you should make about all this. I don’t see that as my place in this world or your life.
But I am going to say without equivocation that you need to stop being so mean and crazy as to how you go about it. Whether you oppose Donald Trump or support him, you should have enough sense to realize that there is sufficient cause for other people of good will and sensitive conscience who are earnestly and honestly trying to do the right thing to come to a different conclusion.
In addition, a reasoned and — if you are honest — pained decision to take one side or the other on the question of how you cast your vote this fall does not in any way support a unilateral abrogation of your responsibility as a free human being to stand against the evils of either of the two political power structures in our country.
If you are a Democrat, and you support your party so blindly that you are either indifferent to or actually back them in their pro choice position and attacks on the First Amendment such as the HHS Mandate, then you need to do some more thinking.
On the other hand, if you are Republican, and you’ve allowed yourself to become so co-opted by Trump that you seriously maintain that these things he is doing are ok, or you even go so far as to support him and repeat his idiotic lies concerning his racism, love of rapists, and traitorous behavior toward this country, then you also need to do some more thinking.
In either case, if you want to continue to call yourself a Christian, please stop battering, bullying, threatening and demeaning everyone who disagrees with you. You aren’t going to convert anyone, behaving like that. All you will accomplish is to harden them in their positions. I would add that you also can’t make a credible case for being “pro life and pro woman” after you’ve backed every single sexual predator the Republican Party can throw at you. It just doesn’t wash.
If you can’t at least behave like a civil and honest person, and you still have a shred of something in you that believes in Jesus, then stop using Him to attack and bully people.
A lot of people are being driven away from the faith by this behavior. Souls are being lost because of it.