Friday, April 12, 2013

What would it take?

On this day in 1861, Confederate forces in Charleston, S.C., opened fire on Ft. Sumter.  Men who had in some cases served under the Stars and Stripes now found themselves wearing gray and sending shot and shell toward their old banner.

Have you ever pondered the reasons that might compel someone to so radically change their loyalties?  I realize the dominant narrative is that they were all "raciss."  That's the intellectually lazy, Fourth Grade default answer.
"The modern debate over the (Confederate Battle) flag is inherently flawed and unproductive because opposing sides create false dichotomies--arguing that the war was or was not about slavery and that the flag is or is not a symbol of slavery.  Both sides distort the historical record and try to impose simplicity on an ambiguous past.  Acknowledging the centrality of slavery to the Confederacy does not assign moral superiority to the North and guilt to the South.  The war was fundamentally about slavery, but it is erroneous to reduce it to a simple moral equation defined in sectional terms."
             -- John M. Coski, The Confederate Battle Flag

Every person who took up arms that fateful year had their reasons.  Those motivations varied from brave to base, but the point is they all had made a calculation that led them to the conclusion they needed to resist the government they once gave allegiance to.

Is there anything that might cause you to reach that same conclusion?  Is there any line behind which you would stand and say "you may come this far, and no farther?"  I am not convinced we are yet at a Ft. Sumter moment, but the need for sober reflection as to what we will and won't tolerate from our government should be glaringly obvious.  Are we well-served by government that:

- Spends more per household than the median American income??? 
- Increasingly sees large segments of its own citizenry as potential enemies?
- Leaks information to favored members of the Crony Corporatist Club?
- Is determined to strip the Constitutional right to bear arms, but can't secure the arms it owns?
- Ignores the corruption of an entire industry at the heart of the American way of life?
- Can't afford to keep combat units battle ready, but can donate a squadron of aircraft to Egypt?
- Can send 'no-knock' warriors to harass (and sometimes kill) citizens, but won't secure the borders?
- Keeps focus off its shortcomings by continual "Two Minutes Hate" against the regime du jour?

I've heard it said that most people don't truly want to be free; they only hope for a just master.  That's certainly not the spirit that created this nation or sustained it for so long... but it is perhaps the prevalent one today.  The hits just keep coming, and the reaction rarely rises above a shrugging "what can you do?"

I know where my lines are--come for my faith, property, arms and/or my children, and you'll have a fight.  Do you know what it would take to force you to give a forceful--even violent--"NO"?  If not, spend some time figuring it out, lest you be enslaved by default. 

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!”  ― Patrick Henry

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”   ― Samuel Adams

1 comment:

Jim said...

JT - interesting post my friend -- I've taken a moment or two the past couple of days to surf the media to pulse the direction of this country. I'm inclined to think that if you don't know what your beliefs and values are, then as the good book says, "you will be swayed by every wind of doctrine." Sadly, I find myself maybe agreeing with Michelle Obama -- although my reasoning is far different -- maybe I'm not so proud of my country these days either!

As always, thank you for sharing your wisdom -- take courage and keep looking up!


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