By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
EDITORIAL DESK |
February 15, 2004, Sunday
My War By Larry David (NYT) 645 words
Late Edition – Final , Section 4 , Page 11 , Column 2
DISPLAYING FIRST 50 OF 645 WORDS –
“I couldn’t be happier that President Bush has stood up for having served in the National Guard, because I can finally put an end to all those who questioned my motives for enlisting in the Army Reserve at the height of the Vietnam War.”
By Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Obviously the piece was a satire meant to demean President Bush for his service in the National Guard as though he was cowardly, a semi-draft dodger, thus without strong grounds in his criticism of Kerry’s stand on Iraq, or without moral authority in matters military because he served in the Guard stateside, and not with the Army in Vietnam.
The article brought back memories of my own war of the 60s/70s as I served on the USS Kitty Hawk, CVA 63, stationed off North Vietnam as a midshipman, and as an officer on the USS Sam Houston, SSBN 609 Gold Crew. The article provided an opportunity for me to examine how my own perspective has changed with the years, how I have been able to frame my own motives and understanding of the purpose of war, the responsibility of leadership, and the significance of my own personal participation in the public debate over national policy and foreign intervention.
I was accepted into the Naval ROTC program at UCLA in 1969. I participated in the Vietnam War during the time I was on board the Kitty Hawk, but my only experience of being under enemy fire occurred during a rocket attack at 3 AM at Da Nang airbase. The air raid sirens awakened us and signaled us to take cover in the bunkers. The defenders of the base responded by shooting brilliant pink-white flares high into the sky that floated down slowly on parachutes to illuminate the area. This event was the finale of my summer cruise.
That summer of 1972 on board the USS Kitty Hawk is seared in my memory. The “Hawk” is an aircraft carrier, and our battle group was stationed off North Vietnam and tasked with daily bombing runs. I will never forget the roar of the afterburners on the F104 Phantoms as they held their engines at full throttle in preparation for the catapult launch off the flight deck. And, I still ponder the significance and emotion of the announcement over the shipboard PA system reporting that one of our pilots did not return from his mission that day.
We were a nation at war, and I found myself surrounded by another type of war at home. UCLA was in a state of extreme upheaval after the Kent State massacre of 5 dead in Ohio. Students marched through the campus yelling, “On Strike, Shut it Down” and “Off the Pig.” An early morning bomb destroyed our own campus NROTC wardroom. Our unit became such a focal point in the conflict between these two factions that Governor Reagan came to speak to our NROTC battalion as we assembled in formation at the track stadium next to Pauley Pavilion. The dichotomy of social forces was strong; protesters played the 1968 Beatles song, “Revolution” from a Sproul Hall dorm room window as Reagan gave his message of encouragement and praise for the efforts of our fighting men.
At the time I did not have a deep understanding of the significance of war or the military. But as the years have passed, I have begun to more clearly see the solemnity and significance of the struggle between the forces of oppression and freedom. The contribution of any one man is small, but I feel blessed to have participated in a very small way in defense of the freedom of an oppressed people. The struggle was to keep the South Vietnamese people free was noble, even if the war was initiated under false pretenses and fought with inappropriate political restrictions.
As a young man, the significance of war and military service was an academic concept. My personal motivation was to challenge my metal in the company of men. I purposefully chose a difficult route, going into a culture of strong egos for the purpose of developing my character and learning to meet them on an equal footing. I wanted to be a leader and felt the difficult military environment would teach me those skills. Although my time in the service was short, not long enough to fully mature as a leader, the learning process continued far beyond my short tenure as an officer. That time of service has continued to influence me and form my perspective on life.
War is a brutal experience, and few people would willingly choose to expose themselves to its horrors. The liberal, anti-war cynic might claim that the only people who would choose to serve in the military are the poor and those who have few options in life to upgrade their social position. Throughout history, the poor and oppressed may have served as the proxies of the affluent in their wars of colonial imperialistic passion. But, in the case of a war which threatens the homeland, many more of those outside of the lower economic classes enlist and serve out of a sense of duty, honor, and country.
Every man who serves, regardless of rank or duty, contributes to the cause. The efforts of many are required to support the few who perform the heroic acts of bravery and participate in the critical actions that result in victory.
The question at hand is, “What makes a hero?” Heroism is action on a commitment to a larger ideal that involves a great risk of personal loss and sacrifice. A military hero risks harm above the call of duty to forward the larger will of God for his country.
My father was a World War II Veteran who served in the Army Air Corp as a meteorologist in Italy. He raised me to believe our country engaged in only righteous military actions to defend the highest ideals, and to establish justice throughout the world. I felt betrayed when I saw the insincerity of the Vietnam War’s execution, and for a time I questioned our country’s commitment to the righteous principles of representative democracy.
But, as the years have passed, I have learned to separate the failures and shortcomings in character of our leaders from the great principles upon which our country was established and the divine destiny which God has for our nation. As such, I have deep faith in the goodness of America because I believe that America is at its heart structured on the principles of true Godliness and righteousness.
The vast majority of the population at the time of the Founding of our country was Christian, the Founders included Christian actions in some of the initial acts of Congress, and I believe God has blessed our nation with unusual prosperity and protection because of our devotion to Him. It is for this reason that we should continue to overtly declare ourselves as a Christian Nation. We risk the blessings of liberty if we adopt the principles and beliefs of other world religions into our governmental structure.
I believe God has given us free will, and does not impose beliefs upon us. This is the essence of freedom of religion; every man is free to choose his own form of worship. But, not all religions are identical, and God he has created a world that speaks in the language of consequences. Choice is free; consequences are not. As such, I believe choosing the God of Abraham and His Messiah is a wise choice, having noted the fruit of such a choice.
The movement to remove God from all public life is a religion in its own right, and not a religion that will produce good fruit. The atheist activist groups such as the ACLU want to remove God from every public function in the name of honoring the principle of the Separation of Church and State. But, their shrill rhetoric is a ruse to convince Godly men to willingly remove themselves from the cultural battle for souls. They seek to play on the immature value systems of those in power and seduce our leaders to willingly divest the land of our shield of faith, a shield which protects this country and makes it great.
A brief examination of the cultural conflict reveals a war being waged in the heavens between the forces of good and evil. The masses are being led to the slaughter. Those who attempt to throw off the yoke of an overtly Christian government proclaim they are fighting a constitutionally prohibited imposition of a State religion. And, they claim the country will be freer when we no longer mention the Christian God in our government and public lives. But we risk the opposite result when we no longer have the True God of the Universe as our moral compass guiding our group and personal lives.
There is a gradient of degradation associated with various world religions and the interpretations internal to each. The Muslim religion practiced in its highest form, is charitable and almost Christian. They have a law that advocates good works, but they lack a dedication to the Lordship of Jesus. But as seen by the terrorist attacks, those who have interpreted the Islamic teachings through the lens of Jihadism have brought utter horror and destruction to the world.
Anyone can misinterpret the words of a teacher speaking in parables. To divine the intended Godly message requires intense searching and dedication to the Truth. Can any one person claim they possess the Absolute Truth on all issues? No, we are all human and the fog of the future and the partial vision of the human perspective cloud our vision. Nevertheless, we must still engage in a sincere search for Truth, act on our best understanding, and seek to enroll others in our position. A group consensus of Truth emerges amidst a hearty debate of the facts and philosophy. And, if the seekers are committed to Truth, God will use the individual pieces brought by each member of the congregation to form a group consensus that embodies a larger and more accurate vision of the Truth.
But, when men use their own wisdom and false gods as their measure of truth, their paradigm will naturally fall short of the perfection of God’s standard. When an inner personal sense of good and right no longer restrains the people, the thin blue line of the State has no option but to impose a tyranny of external control on those who would act without restraint in acting out their individual passions. Many would bristle at the declaration that their particular brand of a non-Christian rule of the nation would be in some way detrimental to the freedom we all highly cherish. But, if the God of the Bible is truly the God of Heaven and nature, then the ultimate consequences of forming a society on any other pattern will lead to a less optimum social configuration. Embedded in this statement is the presumption that following God’s laws produces an optimum benefit of prosperity on all levels considered good and profitable to the human heart.
The man who is committed to his own flesh will follow desires that oppose God’s way. He will call these restrictions oppressive because of the prohibition against satisfying the quick pleasures of the flesh. Such denial of thrills and delayed satisfaction is a type of pain. But, the unseen cost of following the way of the flesh is degradation on all levels. Disease and unhappiness may follow, and difficulties will eventually follow that outweigh the short-term pleasure. Forces act on the spirit level to effect the enforcement of the consequence of breaking spiritual law. The agents of God, whether angelic or demonic, act lawfully and covertly to ensure justice on every level.
But, this entire examination assumes the existence of God, and that He is the God of the Judeo-Christian worship. The justification for continuing in obedience to and the inclusion of His rules in public life is predicated upon the proposition that He is truly the God of eternity and that there is no other greater.
The constitution overtly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. But, the modern day revisionists have rewritten the original intent of the Founders. They now claim the Founders intended a high wall of Separation of Church and State, which will prevent the Church from being involved in any government functions. Religion has been reinterpreted to mean any activity of the Church, rather than the entire body of faith and doctrinal orthodoxy. Thus, by interpreting religion as every act associated with faith, the anti-Christian lobby can declare that classroom prayer, Bible reading, Christian clubs, Christmas trees, and praise songs for talent shows have violated the Constitution. This State enforced tyranny of orthodoxy to the tenants of the Secular Humanist religion has the effect of establishing a Federal Religion. We have now entered the phase of history where Satan has blinded the eyes of the people, and Christians are now persecuted for the free exercise of religion in the name of a God-Free religious orthodoxy. As could be expected by the spirit of lies, the document that was meant to protect freedom has now been appropriated by the Evil One to prosecute the very people it was framed to protect.
The Framers of the Constitution were concerned primarily with the establishment of a single State-authorized/supported Christian denomination. The King of England, Henry the 8th, had formed the Episcopalian Church as the Church of England as a break off from the Catholic Church, so he could belong to a religion that would sanction his divorce from Ann Bolen. Thus, the Founders were well aware of the problems associated with a State Religion and wished to prevent installing that same power structure in the US Government. They did not intend to create a government free of any religious (Christian) influence; rather they intended to prevent the tyranny of a denominational orthodoxy from being imposed on the entire nation. In other words, sound historical and logical arguments support the proposition that the Founders intended to prevent the formation of a State religion/denomination.
A cursory examination of the historical record of church splits reveals that every denomination has taken the Holy Judeo-Christian scriptures and interpreted them in a slightly to a radically different way. This does not mean that there is no truth in the Scriptures. Rather, it indicates that there are many viewpoints and perspectives when looking at a complex set of interrelated principles and metaphorical illustrations of the principles of truth.
The Constitutional Framers recognized the inherent difficulty man faces as he attempts to divine the Absolute Truth of Scripture. This is not to say that some behaviors violate trivial Scriptural standards of behavior such as homosexuality, adultery, fornication, prostitution, and abortion. Modern-day rebels have presented the sexual sins as though they were great moral mysteries. On the other hand, the questions about the proper application of free will, atonement, forgiveness, service, selflessness, humility, peace, Godliness, patience, love, faith, hope, temperance, and kindness are sufficiently abstract that philosophers will continue to sincerely examine the perfect execution of these intangible spiritual gifts.
But, if the Judeo-Christian Scriptures truly do reflect the Absolute Truth of the Eternal God, then they will prove to be valuable tools in grasping the true execution and embodiment of these complex concepts. The Word could only function as a complete guide to proper behavior if it was encoded with infinite layers of meaning, implication, and application. In fact, the hologram of Biblical Truth embodies all Truth, and any single creed that attempts to capture that Truth in a simple linear expression will be inherently limited. Thus, a more full expression of Biblical Truth will emerge when Christians of many different perspectives come together to debate the proper application of scripture in the crafting of legislation.
The complexity of the human condition defies prediction because humans can participate in an almost infinite variety of circumstances. Still, we attempt to pass legislation to establish standards of good behavior and provisions for punishment for violation of those standards. But, it is impossible to predict and legislate every possible permutation of the human situation. Thus, we must legislate in generalities, and leave the judgment of individual behavior to the legal system. Therefore, the courts, judges, lawyers, and police are on the front lines of judging bad behavior. They can properly execute their duties as agents of God when they have His Word deeply embedded within their hearts; which can only happen when every man in the legal system has taken the study of Scripture seriously in his own personal life.
Our best hope of establishing and maintaining a righteous nation is to educate every generation in the ways of God. Every person will be an asset to society if he attempts to embed the fullness of God’s complexity in his or her individual life. And, the surest path to this development of spirit and soul is by daily reading, study, and meditation on the Word of God. The Founders provided a model of this method by overtly including Sunday worship in the legislative chambers, by including the Bible as the primary text of the founding schools and incorporating prayer in the daily conduct of Legislative business. The Founders expected His blessing and wisdom as the cornerstone of security for this nation.
Case law will continue generating new and specific examples of the kaleidoscopic complexity of human interactions throughout future history. The variety of trespasses is so vast that there is no possibility of legislating proper human behavior in every circumstance. Thus, the principles of conducting Godly government must be applied to individual and public policy. Legislation should be passed to provide framework only guidelines for behavior; case law provides us with analogies and precedents, and the Administrative branch of government judges the compliance with legislative intent in specific circumstances for business and professions. But, all of this human law has no cohesive core unless the society holds a fundamental common understanding of moral law.
The primary arenas of human discord are around territory, survival, and taste. These issues stimulate us to passionately advocate for fairness and right action in our own behalf. The principle of loving neighbor as self is illuminated strongly in issues where the point of sharing, sacrifice, and mutual benefit is obscure. This principle of honoring another person’s taste and territory by negotiating differences to a place of mutual satisfaction is the foundational transaction in issues of relationship.
When any denominational creed is established as the basis for law, the nation will probably fall eventually under the judgment of the priests of that religion. This is a theocracy, and the fullness of the Scripture will be reduced to spiritually dead law and generate a stagnant Pharisee-class of rulers. Jesus preached against the legalists and literalists who attempted to rule by the letter of the law. The fact that the primary antagonists of Jesus were the Pharisees indicates the importance of this particular spiritual drama as a major theme in human affairs. The Pharisees ultimately killed the actual embodiment of God and His incarnated Truth. We can expect a similar outcome if we attempt to establish a state denomination. The Constitutional Framers clearly recognized this danger since they overtly prohibited the establishment of a single denominational “truth” in the First Amendment, and likewise prohibited the State from interfering with any denominational expression of worship and belief.
The current mantra of Separation of Church and State is producing an ever more powerful Secular Humanist State religion. The effect of preventing religious expression in governmental function is to establish a de facto State religion of Secular Humanism, and a government supported indoctrination and enrollment of the next generation. Thus, the Department of Education has become the propaganda and indoctrination arm of the Secular Humanist religion as the school systems promote and propagate their belief system to the exclusion of all others. Since Everson v. Board of Education, the judicial system has increasingly supported the Secular Humanist cause by preventing the expression of Judeo-Christian ritual, scripture, or worship in the public sphere. Their legal reasoning has become ever more swayed by the concept that prevention of any expression of religion in publicly supported institutions was a central theme and intent of the Framers.
History has shown repeatedly that a state tyranny can result when men are given the authority to speak into the realm of political action/law while being backed by the state-supported authority of a denomination. We see examples of this principle of government supporting a particular interpretation of the larger body of scripture in England in the 1700s, as well as in the Afghanistan and Iran of 2000. In the spirit of the Law is life, and in the letter of the Law is death. I believe the Constitutional Framers were placing a constitutional injunction against Christian denominational legalism by the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Supreme Court ruled in Trinity v. United States, in 1892, validated the implicit framing of the Constitution as allowing and endorsing governmental participation in Christian observances by declaring that we are a “Christian nation.”
What is the balance between being a Christian nation, and the non-establishment of a state religion/denomination? The fact of the inclusion of God, and specifically and purposefully the Judeo-Christian God, into the moral structure and guidance of the government of this country is simply a truth of history. Those who wish to discredit this fact have chosen to emphasize the deist philosophies of some of the founders. Such arguments and the validity/invalidity of such claims are the subjects of many learned historical treatises. I shall simply note the overt incorporation of the Judeo Christian God and the recognition of Christianity as the moral background of the nation in Governmental ceremony, slogan, and procedure until recent years. It may be a consciously organized cabal, it may be a distributed network of unrelated people and organizations that are opposed to the rule of God in their lives, or it may be random satanically inspired attacks on our culture and God. Regardless, the roots of our morality as a Judeo-Christian nation are eroding at the hand of these purposeful and evil attacks.
The most important question we must ask is, “Should the God of Abraham be acknowledged and preferred above the gods of all others religions as an overt practice, honor, and consideration in matters of public policy, governmental debate, and legal reference?” The answer is of course “Yes.” If in fact, the God of Israel is the True God, then His way of life truly is Life. To follow another path, a less true path, is folly and an exercise in delusion.
Over the course of the Nation’s history, the 10 Commandments and the larger work of the Judeo-Christian Scripture has biased a significant percentage of the people of the nation and its leaders. As a result, much case law and Constitutional law was influenced by Scriptural moral metaphor. Until recent years, the force of the Judeo-Christian moral ethic pervaded the schools, the courts, and the legislatures. Therefore, this background bias of Judeo-Christian morality moved in the public and private arena.
But, in recent years, those who are committed to creating a Godless society have become ever more bold and successful in promoting their revisionist history that the Constitution was meant to be interpreted as preventing any religious expression in any State-related function. Thomas Jefferson used the phrase, “A wall of separation between Church and State…” in private correspondence with the Danbury Baptist Church, in reply to a concern that the State would regulate the Church.
But clearly, the current interpretation of that phrase was not the intention of Jefferson in that correspondence. At the very time, Jefferson made the “Wall of separation” comment, the Capitol Congressional chambers were being used as the location of the Sunday church service for Congress. Clearly, the Founders embraced the overt inclusion of Christianity in our governmental processes, symbols, considerations, and legislative debates. The same men who had penned the words of the Constitution were acting out and implementing the intended meaning of the Constitutional spirit in their lives and governmental processes. Thus, the actions of the men of that era interpreted the original intent of the phrases and words of the Constitution.
The original intention of the Founders to include Christianity in public life and governmental debate is not really a question. Those who wish to remove Christian influence from the land have used various ploys to convince the naïve politicians, leaders, and citizenry to remove Christianity from the public/governmental sphere. The fact of this conspiracy and effort by those who hate Christianity is not a matter of debate or speculation. Rather, the question is whether the good of the nation is well served by following the lead of those who wish to expunge the name of the Judeo-Christian God from all publicly funded property and functions?
There was clearly an intended meaning and historical context of the Constitution. The bottom line is, did the Founders want us to place the Judeo-Christian God as the moral and spiritual center of our society. And in turn, do we now wish to continue on with this heritage? The Constitution is the framework of principles by which we should generate and interpret all other laws. And, if we are to be true to the Constitution, we should implement it as the Founders intended. The Constitution is a living document only in the sense that the Bible is a living document. The spirit of them both is the same, and it speaks to our hearts about the Godly way in which to relate.
The current attempt to redefine and re-contextualize the phrases of the Constitution is to rewrite it without the decision of the people. Such a move is in effect to have no Constitution; instead, we are left with a document that we rewrite each day to reflect our current concepts of morality. If man were God, such a constant revision would be appropriate because man’s law would be God’s law. But, since God is God, and man is subject to His universal Law, we will do better as a people to simply follow God’s law. We can only hope, pray, and trust that the Founders, in fact, were led by divine providence as they penned our Constitutional Framework. If they did, then we are wise to continue in following their directions and assuming the guidance of that same Spirit.
If we look around, we see a revolution in progress. For the most part, it has been a bloodless coup, but when Godless man overthrows the rule of a previously Godly-people, blood will eventually flow. The libertines among us are rewriting the Constitution to reflect the modern enlightenment and the morality de jour and leading us down the path of covert Constitutional linguistic revisionism.
God has built the universe on a set of Laws, both natural law and moral law, and has placed limits on both physical and moral behavior. But, we cannot violate natural law; we simply suffer the effects of ignoring the Law. The same inexorable pain and destruction results when we ignore the presence of moral law. Ignorance of the law is simply the state of childish ignorance or foolishness. The rebel against God’s Laws is blind; looking at moral law as a human construct, an agreement that can be made or remade by simple negotiation or declaration. But God’s law is powerful and produces an actual effect in the life of the violator. But, moral law takes time to produce its cause and effect, so those who wish not to see can ignore the fruit of their actions. Moral law produces its effects by spiritual mediators of cause and effect, and hence their invisibility. Nevertheless, God’s laws produce their effect, even though delayed, and their mechanism of action unseen.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
The question is then, “Is it appropriate, given the restriction the First Amendment places on establishing a State Religion, that America be devoted to only the Judeo-Christian God?” The answer is “Yes”. The nation was started, founded, and based on Christian principles, and God should continue to possess this territory. The pretense that the Founders intended an iron wall of separation between Religion and State is either insincere, blind or the product of a rabid devotion to producing a Secular Humanist State. Regardless of the motivation, the conclusion is wrong from many different perspectives: acts of Congress, evaluations of the Supreme Court, the words of the Founders, and the historical religious bias of the majority of Americans. But, the Godless Humanists are attempting to appeal to the new PC morality of the latter 20th Century where tolerance is the greatest virtue. They argue that public funding and promoting Christianity violates the principles of tolerance and equal protection. Therefore by extension, a governmental embrace of Christianity is unconstitutional.
Other nations have embraced a Godless pagan and Humanist system into their cultures, and they have every right to rebel against God and legislate behaviors according to their false systems. But, no logical necessity requires them to own and dominate every nation on Earth. In fact, since Christianity has proven to be such an excellent reformer of the human heart and organizer of a good and just society, its fruit bears reasonable witness to the proposition of its Absolute Truth.
A brief examination of the territorial drives gives credibility to the hypothesis that various religions and their spirits vie for control of every heart mind/soul and body. This drive for domination is integral to the heart of all spiritual beings. In the human, the analog to the reptilian brain structure controls the drive for territorial dominion. And, while the brain is important to function, every emotion and drive correlates to a soul and spirit level. Given this drive of mind, soul, and spirit for domination, little extrapolation is needed to understand the drive for conquest operating inside those possessed by the Anti-Christian spirit. Likewise, we can easily see how the Anti-Christ spirit would use the tactic of rewriting history to eliminate the restrictive influences, cultural, social, behavioral restrictions imposed upon them by the Judeo-Christian God.
Another common tactic of the Anti-Christ spirit is to use the sense of kindness, fairness, and honesty against the Christian stand for righteousness. The Anti-Christ spirit will propose objections, considerations, and doubts about the proper interpretation of the law. Thus, a weak understanding of Christian principles and an immature connection with the Holy Spirit will leave the naïve Christian vulnerable to accepting false conclusions if the context of the principles underlying the law is made sufficiently extraordinary. Thus, the Christian population can be seduced into relinquishing the Truly Godly principles of the Constitution out of a well-meaning sense of honesty, fairness, or compassion. There is no substitute for maturity and a deep knowledge of God’s Truth. And yes, there is a time to simply discipline people as rebels and subject them to the reforming word of God. Such a healing balm must be applied in the Penitentiary, the place of penitence; the time when violators must change their heart to be fit for release into free society.
The complexity of the human condition, the lag time between action and reaping of cause and effect consequence, and the plausible non-existence of God, His influence, or His Laws in ordinary life, lead to an acceptance of the revisionist proposition that there is no place for the Judeo Christian God in American public life. The Anti-Messiah spirit will continue until the return of the Lord to pressure the human heart by any and every tactic to remove all vestiges of cultural pressure to conform to His Way. Such is the Anti-Christ spirit expression of dominion.
Service to the country in its highest sense is to contribute one’s efforts to defending and supporting the nation’s highest ideals. Protecting borders is a tangible expression of the struggle to defend the spirit of a country. The intangible group mind imperceptibly influences the movement of the nation in relation to the community of nations. The group mind likewise shapes the internal culture of the nation as codified by law, manners, and social norms. As such, the principles of right and wrong embraced by it, the actions to defend and expand the territory occupied by that belief system, are all a reflection of service to the God exalted by the group mind.
There is no one point at which the national God is dethroned and replaced by a new god. The transfer of allegiance, the movement of devotion from one National God to another is a gradual process embodied by the thought, speech, and action of every man woman and child of a nation. Every vote, every action by every citizen at every moment, every law passed or overthrown, every lesson taught to every child, friend, student, spouse, and co-worker is a thread in the fabric of the National spirit. That National spirit can be in concert with the Holy Spirit of God, or it can resonate and reflect the pattern of another god. Each spirit has its own fruit.
We are each under a moral obligation to defend the borders and territory of our nation to the extent that we each sense that there truly is value in the spirit of the nation. The potential reflected in the full fruition of the foundational ideals of a country make that country worth defending. Each nation engenders love for its land, people, and culture, and enrolls the hearts and minds of the citizens in its defense. Each individual in a nation is more subject to the societal forces than they are captains of the Ship of State. Therefore, citizens will find themselves enrolled in causes that are not of their own making. They will find their passions being fired by the slogans and music of the homeland as its leaders seek to enroll the will and action of the people. The hearts of the mothers will ache; the fathers will proudly sacrifice their youth in defending the ideals of territory and homeland. Such chauvinistic enthusiasm is unavoidable, but we should not condemn this primal instinct; there is a time for its proper use. The real work of the Revolution is not done with guns, bullets, and bombs. Rather, the final peace is achieved when we have won the hearts and minds of the people for Christ.
The true enrollment and missionary work are in showing the world and neighborhood a better way. The example of a life lived well is the most excellent object lesson, even though a perfect demonstration is difficult. By living well, in some small way, the balance of power and the hearts of the populace will be moved. Eventually, the heads of State will be moved by the will and minds of the people, and the laws and policies of the nation will be affected. The witness of a nation producing good fruit, and in turn sharing that good fruit, and showing other nations how to grow their own good fruit is the best evangelism. The stomachs are filled and the gospel is preached. The faith and works are consistent and the heart is pure.
I don’t think I saw deeply into the significance of my contribution to the protection and maintenance of the Godly national spirit during my time of service. I was just trying to make it through life. I didn’t want to die, I certainly had no principle or ideal for which I had an overpowering call to defend in the conflict. As a youth, I was subject to the same moral confusion that many young people struggle with. We were fighting a war to prevent the spread of communism to prevent the subjugation of a people to tyranny; certainly, such a cause was righteous. It took me many years to realize the valor and right purpose of the Vietnam struggle. It is painful to me as an American to think that we lost the war because of poor leadership and improper restrictions being placed on our fighting men. No doubt sacrifices were made that were literally heroic, but the fruit of that heroism could not grow because of the wrong judgment of unrighteous leaders.
When I faced the questions about Vietnam as a college-age youth, I simply wanted to grow and understand life. At that young age, I simply wanted to learn how properly respond to life in this cruel world. I believe most of us participate in the larger drama of the State without a great deal of understanding of the larger purpose. Few are given a sufficiently universal perspective at a young age to enter into life as a fully prepared adult.
As a result, the average citizen feels like a helpless cipher and hapless victim in a sea of forces far larger than our ability to resist. But, this is the norm since we each have a dominion of authority throughout life. As we grow in skill and knowledge we transition from servant to king; as we become increasingly masterful, we move through the various stations of authority and responsibility in the Kingdom. We each have authority in the domain of our expertise, but we are each limited in our vision and influence in areas outside our domain. Unless like-minded men are well organized to express their opinions as a voting block, the democratic will of the people cannot be registered and effective in the political process. Thus, to exert political force, we must establish alliance and allegiance with leaders we trust, and we must be willing to do a modest amount of work to contribute our voice toward enrollment and action. The spiritual purpose of this exercise is the development of community. Likewise, we are being challenged to hone our character and values to be more Godly as we lobby for proper legislative standards by our representative body.
The drama will go forever, since the eternal struggle between good and evil springs eternal as a war between the spirit and flesh. The purpose of the struggle is the enrollment of human hearts in the willful allegiance and love of God. The drama of love is played out using with the game board tokens of money, emotions, effort, pain, and territory. The ultimate prize is actually feeling God’s love and relationship. But, until then we must simply know the Truth of right behavior, and act on it. In time the sacrifice will produce fruit.
Spirit world forces seek to seduce and pressure us to engage in Godless self-fulfillment, and to the extent we follow the false gods of self, addiction, and rebellion we create a world of bondage. This is the great illusion that the Rules and Laws of God appear to be bondage, but that they actually guide us in the way of actual freedom. The Law articulates and establishes restrictions in action and belief, but inside of that complex of prescribed and prohibited thoughts, speech, and actions, is an infinitely free universe of available options. The allowed ways lead to the greatest fulfillment of the human soul, while those prohibited by the Law appear beautiful, exciting, and satisfying, but behind that façade is death.
Life was designed as a puzzle, an enigma, and a maze with no obvious direction, conclusion, or purpose. But, when we see everything as a test of our Love of God, we can make conscious choices to obey His laws, and avoid the forbidden pleasures. Until we see Him clearly face-to-face, the Love of God will is only seen through a glass darkly. Still, as we love Him by our obedience, the glow of love in our spirit grows, and we do receive a payoff for our devotion to righteousness.
The question we confront here is patriotism, and whether the nation is worthy of feeling a patriotic spirit? Those who wish us to overturn our Christian heritage and establish our nation as a Secular Humanist theocracy would turn America into a cesspool of self-indulgent materialistic children. No, this nation was established as one nation under the Christian God. That nation is worthy of honor, respect, and sacrifice. That is the nation I grew up loving and believing in.
The value of our patriot fervor is directly related to the righteousness of our national stand for God. The standards of the Constitution are worthy of defending if they, in fact, have underneath them a commitment to implementing the Laws of God. The Constitution is worthless and harmful when judges rewrite it by fiat rulings that protect and promote sexual perversion and suppress the teaching of Godliness.
The Revolutionary War we must fight as modern day patriots is the oppression of judges who dictate new Constitutional principles de novo. It is time for every American patriot to put on his armor and band together in groups of like-minded men. We must exert the force of opinion and democratic action (voting) on our representatives to overturn the unrighteous rulings of the Supreme Court. Righteous men must be willing to serve in the halls of legislative debate, and unrighteous judges must be exposed by the ridicule of public opinion.
The battle starts with the individual struggle to restore God’s sovereignty in our hearts. Collectively, the assembly of the 1000 points of light forms a shining beacon that can properly lead our national spirit. The struggle we face is worthy of fighting, it’s time to take control of our own hearts and win back this Land from the unseen enemy.
1) “America’s Real War”, by Rabbi Lapin
2) “Useful Idiots”, by Mona Charon