"Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it." --Psalm 127:1

Fireworks, Gettysburg, and a Bittersweet Fourth of July

July 4, 2005

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The fourth of July has become a rather bittersweet celebration for me these last few years. Of course, I am thankful to God for our courageous and self sacrificing founders and for their clarity of purpose and expression springing from their faith in Christ as the Ruler and Sustainer of the universe.

Moreover, I marvel at the mercy of a loving God who has been so patient with a country that has so squandered its birthright and turned its back on His law and even the acknowledgement of His existence. I am most grateful for His mercy though I can't conceive or measure it. Yet I know His patience is not unlimited.

My sadness, I think, has two sources.

One is the knowledge that, as a people, we've blown it.

Our civil leaders are worse than corrupt. They represent a perversion of government – a perversion of law and the language of liberty. They have called good evil and evil good. Our Supreme Court makes it up as they go along. Our law schools teach "anti-law". Our judges, almost exclusively, are ignorant fools that think there is no God (or think that they are God). We kill our own young for the sake of convenience and we now have allowed - and rallied to support - judicial murder.

But it's worse than that. All of this goes on while Christians – God's people – sit around and fiddle and, in some cases, aid and abet the murder of the innocents, the destruction of liberty and the mocking of God. Indeed Americans and Christians are so ignorant of their own history and heritage that they don't know who their Father is. They don't know where the landmarks are. They have not only lost their way, they have lost the instinct that would tell them they are lost. They have lost the knowledge of God and He has given them over to their sin.

The second sadness comes from the historical proximity of the defeat of our American forces at Gettysburg.

On the fourth of July, 1863, after three days of brutal and desperate fighting to defend and preserve an American way of life, American soldiers retreated in the rain through Frederick, Maryland and slipped back across the Potomac River to the relative safety of Virginia.

I wonder what "Independence Day" thoughts went through the minds of these men as they marched away from that horrific scene where they and their brethren had sacrificed life and limb for the cause of American Independence. What singular faith and courage led them to continue the struggle to defend America from the growing tyrant!

Though most people living in America don't realize it, the Army of Northern Virginia was the last force capable of countermanding the centralized tyranny that had, more than one hundred forty-two years ago, succeeded in undermining the concept of the Constitutional Republic. When Lee lost at Gettysburg, no earthly force remained that could stand against the Washington leviathan. This growing monster would eventually murder fifty million innocent American babies, would murder Terri Schiavo, would send our daughters and sisters (along with our sons and brothers) off to die stupidly and needlessly in order to satisfy its lust for blood and power, would undermine fatherhood and our families and seek dominion over our children, would stare at us from every street corner with its Cyclops eye to make sure we have our seat belt buckled, would number and monitor us and would drug our children to make sure they grow up without any idea of what liberty means or any knowledge of the true Source of law and liberty and government.

After Gettysburg, the struggle became one in which Lincoln's Generals waged "total war" against the women and children of the South, burning and destroying all in their path. During this time Grant sacrificed thousands of his own men for the sake of consolidating power in Washington, DC. This same power would one day be used at Ruby Ridge and Waco – and, more recently, at Pinellas Park, Florida

As I sit in a picturesque setting among a cadre of well-to-do folks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, waiting for the fireworks ritual to begin, I wonder how many of these wealthy people realize where America's real wealth comes from. Do they even know what the fireworks signify? Do they teach their children what America stands for – and what a patriotic American won't stand for?

As I said, most people "living in America" might not see the connection between the defeat of Lee and Longstreet and Pickett and Armistead at Gettysburg and the death of fifty million babies.

Most people in America wouldn't understand. In large measure, this is because most people in America have been led to think that America won that war.

But the evidence is more and more clear to me that America and our American Constitution lost that war.

You see, an American would know that the reason we celebrate America's birth is that America, as Chesterton said, "was founded on a creed". The Declaration of Independence predicates America's right to exist on the belief that God exists, that our rights come from Him, and that the purpose of government is to protect and defend these rights. I wonder how many of these fireworks-watchers, or, for that matter, how many people "living in America" are, in fact, Americans? That is, I wonder how many of them know what an American believes, or how many of them teach these beliefs to their children or grandchildren. It seems that most of them don't, and I'm suggesting that this is traceable to the fact that, as a conquered people, they have been re-educated, by a foreign power, away from the very beliefs on which America was founded and prospered.

Well, so much for the sadness. My joy comes from the realization of the profound truth of something that was succinctly and eloquently expressed by my son Patrick a few years ago after one of my more memorable foul-ups. Patrick looked at me and cheerfully said, "Hey, don't worry. You're still God's child!"

Thank you, Patrick. You are correct. On the Fourth of July, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Five, God is still Our Father. And He's still in charge.

This is why we must give thanks and continue to do our duty.

Michael

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