Freedom Liberty and the American Way…

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Imagine for a moment that you have the freedom to choose what you will have to eat this very day.

Some do not have this freedom.

From Every Patriot Grave

By Robert Morrison, FRC’s Senior Fellow for Policy Studies

Abraham Lincoln had no chance to prepare for war. He took the Oath of Office on March 4, 1861. In his Inaugural Address, the new president appealed for peace. He ended with this eloquent paean to patriotism.

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

That same day, Gen. Winfield Scott gave him a message from the besieged Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. Capt. Robert Anderson informed his Washington superiors that he could not hold out against the rebels much longer. Lincoln was unprepared for the artillery barrage that opened up on Fort Sumter on April 12th, but he said, “we have the war upon us.”

When the Great War broke out in Europe one hundred years ago this July, the United States was not involved. President Woodrow Wilson urged Americans to remain neutral in thought as well as deed. He would say: “there is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight.” He kept the United States out of the European war for almost three years. In that time, he might have prepared this country in case we found ourselves drawn in despite our prayers. He chose not to do so.

Wilson’s Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, actually took pride in the fact that we were unprepared when war finally came in 1917. “I delight in the fact that when we entered this war were not, like our adversary [Germany], prepared for it and inviting it. Accustomed to peace, we were not ready.”

Such statements seem ridiculous to us today, or should. But they are not much different than hearing our current Secretary of Defense say we cannot afford the defense we may need. So, in the face of mounting threats abroad, he is forcefully advocating deeper cuts in our defense budget. At least he is doing something forcefully.

It is not that this administration is wholly unprepared for conflict. They are conducting a vigorous kulturkampf (culture clash) against believers within our all-volunteer services. They seem to think that if they cannot make our adversaries fear us, at least they can put the fear of God into the godly.

The poignant story of the painting Gassed, by John Singer Sargent needs to be studied and reflected upon. Sargent was one of the most famous American artists of his day.