Slavery, indentured servitude, debt bondage, all scars on the soul of mankind. But they are as old as mankind too. And the sin they were born of is as indisputable and omnipresent in the 21st Century as it was in the beginning. But our interpretations of these stains on our existence have been influenced by a great many things as well as confused by a great many opportunistic historical figures over millennia. Accordingly, Jesus Christ would be the only historical figure to get it right. “Love one another as I have loved you”. Simple you say? Not so much as it turns out. Let me explain…
The more I search for an answer to the quandaries of our time, the more I keep coming back to Christ as the only hope for a lost world. Nevertheless, I remain unable and frankly unwilling to abandon the notion of this free republic and the reasoning behind its birth and continued existence. You see my Christian friends, just spending some time in your local library and/or at your computer keyboard will help you to understand, that despite the mistakes, missteps and yes, outright sin of this young country and its people, there exists no other nation on planet earth and in all of time which has done more to advance the just causes of human freedom than the United States of America. And there are reasons for that.
For starters though, let’s take a look at more recent events such as in Virginia and now other states, where hate and divisiveness have ruled the day, with protesting factions and groups like the Ku-Klux Klan, ANTI-FA and Black Lives Matter taking center stage. Now common sense and a little historical perspective tell us the KKK are an inherently evil group with nefarious intent. In some instances, they’ve usurped the name of God and used their twisted version(s) of history to portray themselves as legitimate participants in the “civil” discourse which they obviously are not, and the evidence tells us this. The real history of this sinister organization is one of deceit, mayhem and murder with no place in any civilized society.
Now ANTI-FA are of a different sort, but in some ways no less nefarious in their intent. Masquerading as an “anti-Fascist” group, the American version is organized and funded by the very villains they claim to abhor and who laude the very views they claim to despise. They don’t seem to comprehend that the same laws they seek to silence those with whom they disagree, could be used to one day silence them. (History 101 boys and girls…) They are highly militant and often coached in their approach and have been at the heart of violent protests themselves over the past few years, most notably during and immediately following Election 2016. (Oh and it’s always quite amusing to note their “signage” if you will, as many can’t even spell the Fascism they’re macing you in the face to protest).
And finally, Black Lives matter or BLM is more of a singular movement obviously requiring racial division and bigotry to exist. BLM’s organizers and supporters espouse the existence of “white privilege” and racism, yet excuse away black on black violence as if it were simply collateral damage. Many in leadership roles call for the outright killing of those sworn to protect their right to march in the street chanting that very thing. And the successes of great American’s like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson and Congresswoman Mia Love are dismissed out of hand, while the dismantling of one of the greatest Christian cultures in American history is facilitated by way of the violent anti-social rhetoric of a media culture gone wrong. But all of this is not a secret. And as I’ve said, all one has to do is their own homework to understand. But that my friends is where the train leaves the tracks.
Let’s face it, we’re all desperate to be right. And in our mission to validate our opinions, the truth is sometimes lost, (or cast aside as inconvenient). For my part, I’ve learned this is futile and that the truth will bubble up at some point. You can’t stop it, especially if it’s His truth. Yes, the Ten Commandments require adherence to God’s laws, but that’s the point. Aspiring to them and attempting to daily, is the antidote for much if not all of what’s killing our society. At some point it becomes the responsibility of those arguing for the future of our posterity to apply those truths as a means to avoid tragedies like Charlottesville. And that’s just not happening right now. There is no debate. Both sides are dug in and politicians and the press are bent on keeping it that way, some for power, some for money and ratings, and some because they actually believe their own you know what. Hence the violence we are now seeing across our country, as ideological vultures descend on the carcasses of ignorance.
In fact, the true history of our nation, good and bad is being demolished. OK yes, there were those who penned our founding documents who owned slaves. It was wrong, but it was the time. But did you know the word slave is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, and that if you read it carefully one gets the sense this was done intentionally, and that they were trusting us to remedy in our time that which they could not adequately remedy in theirs.
Did you know that George Washington freed his and his wives’ slaves, even providing pensions to some who had suffered injuries or illness and who he felt would be unable to support themselves? And what of those who signed the Declaration of Independence proclaiming God given freedom for all men, and for their efforts lost everything, in some cases their very lives.
What of men like Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who fought for the same rights and privileges for the all black 54th Massachusetts under his command, from their socks and boots to equal pay as the white soldier, and who was shot dead at Fort Wagner and buried in a common grave with black soldiers he’d charged headlong into battle with? Were the lessons he learned as a privileged Boston abolitionist’s son, flung into the reality of 1863 meaningless? He was just 25 years old.
Yes Robert E. Lee owned slaves. But he was conflicted by it and rightly pointed out that many in the North owned slaves as well. It was this economic hypocrisy which influenced his decision to decline Lincoln’s offer to command the “Army of the Potomac” and take up arms in defense of his beloved Virginia. So you see folks, our short national history is not as simple as some uneducated/unemployed, agitator/anarchist would have you believe. And there is far more at stake than simply marble figures, lofty quotes and concrete horses.
Now we can debate all of this, and we should. But how dangerous is it when we haven’t even done our own due diligence ahead of that debate? Where have we arrived when a reluctant rebel general who would ultimately became the respected president of Washington University has his likeness vandalized and even removed from the history of this country? What does it say when a statue of Abraham Lincoln is broken and spray painted, when it was Lincoln himself who would ultimately link emancipation to victory in the Civil War, (and was murdered for it)?
And in modern times, (which will be history someday), what will that history say about “We the people” when the elected Congressman and Senators of our time advocate for the removal of historical monuments to our own storied history, yet allow a statue in Seattle Washington (yes in the USA) of Vladimir Lenin, a man historians see as the architect of 20th Century human genocide. What would they say when they read that sharia law, which promotes (and practices) the subjugation and brutalization of women was held up as “Constitutionally protected”? How twisted and convoluted a light will we be viewed in when our children’s children read of the five police officers gunned down in the streets of a major metropolitan city protecting the rights of protesters to protest them? And what will they really think of us when they know we promoted abortion not as crime, but somehow as a cure? Bottom line here folks, we have a chance to learn from history! Attempting to erase it serves only the dictator.
No nation is perfect to be sure. However, if we refuse to teach our young people of the Mayflower Compact and the Bible as the first school book issued by the Congress of the United States, then how do we have a legitimate platform for even the most basic conversation about our true national history? You see, right or wrong, any debate based on revisionist history and void of truth and reason is doomed to descend into protest, and thus be marred by the participation of those seeking only to take advantage of an uneducated citizenry.
Look, everyone knows the KKK/Nazi/skinhead, whatever you want to call them, had one intention when they pulled the permit for that event. Those who stoked those flames with political gasoline of their own however, must share in the aftermath and its consequences. And selective outrage is as hypocritical as the 24 hour news sharks feeding in the bloody water of any ensuing political chaos. Moreover, can we ever reverse the dangerous consequences of actions based on emotion and not fact? And beyond original intent, there is still Christ’s original solution of love one another as I have loved you, to be sure, the closest thing we have left to the truth. Finally, there remain the tried and proven principles of Christianity at our nation’s core, that when applied as He would have it, have never and will never fail us. Together, with Christ in our hearts is the only way we begin to heal the gaping wound of hate.
For now, please pray for Heather Heyer’s family and friends, as well the two Virginia State Troopers killed in the line of duty when their department helicopter crashed policing the protest. And pray for all those injured in subsequent clashes. But also pray that God will see our difficulties for what they are, and that He will intervene, giving us wisdom, mercy and empathy, so we may defy the odds and come together as one people, living out that tenet of our Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal”. Oh, and if I might leave you with a final thought, I feel President Lincoln’s short but inspirational words at Gettysburg are so needed and appropriate at this juncture. God bless you all, and God please bless the United States of America.
“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 battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here 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 gave 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.”