A Founding Father's viewpoint appropriate for every American today:
"Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country,
every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes
that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to
the Union of America,
and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it."
Founding Father James Madison, 1788
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THIS WEEK A MAJOR NATIONAL HOLIDAY WAS OBSERVED,
AND THAT EVENT OPENED A LINE OF THOUGHT ABOUT
SOME OF THE HOLIDAYS WE OBSERVE IN THE USA
This is not going to be an essay or a treatise on the subject of the holidays we
observe, or at least have the opportunity to observe, here in America. A quick
bit of research discloses that there are least 45 holidays in this year 2012, but
they vary widely, of course, in the degrees of observance. But 45 out of 365
days in a calendar year -- that's 12% of the year. So it can be said that the
American people understand holidays.
And there is nothing wrong with that. Taking a holiday off as a rest or respite
from work is a Biblical principle. From about as far back as you can go in the
annals of history -- the book of Genesis -- we read: "And on the seventh day
God ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day
from all His work." (Gen. 2:2) And God didn't forget this principle, for in the
commandments which He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, He included as the
fourth of ten commandments for His people to observe, in the words of Moses,
"Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do
all thy work ... for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and
all that in them is, and rested the seventh day..."(Exodus 20: 8,9,11)
From the earliest days of this nation, our Founding Fathers, and the national
leaders who followed them, have seen fit to carry on this principle of setting days
apart from work, and have established -- often by act of Congress and enactment
into law -- national holidays. At the start there were Christmas and Easter, then
soon the observance of Independence Day, the 4th of July, and in recent years
the number of holidays has grown to more than 40 today. The "major" ones might
number seven, of which two are distinctly Christian -- Christmas and Easter;
Thanksgiving Day is also religious; three are patriotic, Independence Day,
Memorial Day and Veterans Day. New Year's Day may be considered "personal."
And interspersed throughout the year are a plethora of other holidays, including
Mother's Day and Father's Day, George Washington's Birthday (also called
Presidents' Day), Martin Luther King Day, Columbus Day, and Groundhog Day.
But our focus this week has been on Memorial Day. Some of us can
remember when May 30 was designated as Decoration Day, and we visited the
cemeteries where our family members were buried, and decorated their grave
sites with flowers. The concept of Decoration Day was begun by a proclamation
from General John Logan, the Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the
Republic, in which he set aside May 30, 1868 as Decoration Day, when the
American people would decorate the graves of our Civil War Dead -- Union
and Confederate soldiers, 625,000 of them, or 3% of the population. In a speech
at that time General Logan expressed his intent for this day of remembrance, "Let
us revive our patriotism and love of country by this act, and strengthen our
loyalty by the example of the noble dead around us...."
Gradually, the name changed to Memorial Day, and in 1971 it became a Federal
Holiday, to be observed not on May 30, but on the last Monday in May, and to
honor not only our military dead, but also the departed loved ones of family and
friends. But somehow in the "progress" of the years, the meaning and purpose of
Memorial Day has become diluted, until for many it has become a date to feature
commercial sales, and barbeques, baseball games and auto races. Increasingly, less
recognition is being given to the 1.2 million of America's military who have been
killed in our nation's wars, while at the same time thousands of America's finest are
engaged in conflicts -- declared and undeclared -- all over the world. And the
number of military dead continues to rise -- in the most recent reports 4,500 in
Iraq, and 3,000 in Afghanistan.
In the Wall Street Journal, last week, Col. Tom Manion, USMCR (Ret.),
who served 30 years in the military wrote: "As the father of a fallen Marine,
I hope Americans will treat this Memorial Day as more than a time for
pools to open, for barbecues or for a holiday from work. It should be a
solemn day to remember heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and
also a stark reminder that our country is still at war."
As a final thought -- even as we suggested that Thanksgiving Day should not be
a one-day-a-year occasion to thank God for our many blessings, or that the
National Day of Prayer not be a one-day-a-year time to turn to Him in prayer,
so we suggest that Memorial Day not be a one-day-a-year time to remember
and honor our military dead who gave their lives in support of our nation's
liberty and very existence.
As the much vaunted "Arab Spring" continues to disintegrate into near
disasters and ever growing crises throughout the Middle East and North Africa,
the desire of the affected nations is much like our own here in America -- we
realize the need to forego the unfulfilled promise of "hope and change" for the
more realistic "hope for a change." As Egypt faces a runoff election with the
probable dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood ... as Libya struggles to form
some type of stable government ... as Syria's Assad continues to kill his own
people under the watchful eye of the as-always useless UN ... as Iran thwarts
the efforts of other national powers and looks toward Lebanon as their new
partner in eradicating Israel ... as the U.S. doctrine of diplomacy and pseudo-
military action results in failure after failure ... we can only conclude that the
promise of a new birth of freedom and democracy throughout the Arab world
has in fact produced a much more complicated reality. The question arises: Why
does it seem that movements toward democracy are failing to be accepted in
the Arab world? And like it or not, the pronouncement of American super-star
John Wayne some 35 years ago is relevant today, "If we want to keep these
freedoms, we may have to fight again. God forbid, but if we do, let's
always fight to win...Face the flag....and thank God it's still there."
In every issue of ANC we speak about the "Prayer Countdown" to
Election Day, 2012 -- November 6. As of today there are just 160 days in
which to pray about what is conceivably the most important election in our
nation's history -- certainly the most important in our time. When we look
about us ... when we read the daily news ... when we watch the TV news
programs, we become painfully aware that America is turning its back on the
Bible's promise: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." (Ps. 33:12)
Some of us can remember the Rev. Peter Marshall, Washington, D.C. pastor,
and Chaplain of the United States Senate. On January 13, 1947, Chaplain
Marshall made this statement: "The choice before us is plain: Christ or
chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather
tired of hearing about our rights...The time has come to hear about
responsibilities...America's future depends upon her accepting and
demonstrating God's government." That challenge of Peter Marshall faces
us today, and every day during the just over 5 months before we vote on Nov.
6. But until that election day, we must be in prayer for our nation, for wisdom
for our leaders to make right decisions, and for guidance as we -- the solid
Christian majority in these United States -- vote to restore America to being
the nation it was founded to be. There are enough of us to make a difference.
One of the best services we can provide is to help you not to have to rely
on the Main Stream Media by bringing to you "What Others Are Saying"
David Limbaugh (expert in law and politics): "Obama is so self-satisfied
that in his mind, his legacy was largely written before he stepped into office.
So fervent is his ideological belief system that even objective evidence of his
dismal policy failures doesn't shake his confidence in his prescriptions.
Because the facts don't square up with his pre-inauguration narrative, he
simply changes the facts to make them conform, essentially saying: 'The
economy isn't good, but it's much better than it would have been had I not
been in office. To the extent it's still bad, it's Bush's fault.'"
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein (President IFCJ): "With Hezbollah to the north,
Hamas in the south, and Syria and Iran to the east, Israel is surrounded by
enemies bent on her destruction."
Jonathan Falwell (in Falwell Confidential): "America is rapidly becoming
a nation of intolerance toward public expressions of faith — expressions
that were common and cherished in the days of our founding. It is a modern
tragedy that our courts are purging public prayer and depictions of
Christianity from the public square. Our Founders would be astonished that
their beloved nation has arrived at such a point."
Marjory Wildcraft (in Absolute Rights): "Over the years I’ve watched
time and time again as the US Government passed laws that reduced
personal liberty, violated the constitution, or blatantly transferred more
wealth to the already wealthy...I continue to watch as more and more rights
are eroded away, more and more money is printed, and the US Gov’t.
continues to get bigger and more powerful...Surely people must be outraged?
The Tea Party and the Occupy movement have some spunk, but nothing
really in comparison to the magnitude of the crimes. The powers that be
seem to be able to do anything they like while people continue to roll over
and not care."
R. Hanny (in Conservative Outpost): "NATO has picked up and moved
on. The world leaders have met, discussed and departed, for good or ill.
And with the exception of a few fatigued, dedicated stragglers most of
the lunatics that occupied the Chicago streets have also departed...
Troubled youths intoxicated by the very spirit Barrack Obama has
instilled in the hearts of so many in this country: wealth is sin and rich
people are evil."
The American Dream (on how things have changed!): "The quickest way
to divide people is to have them speak different languages. America has
always been a nation of immigrants, but one of the things that has always
united us as a nation has been the English language. In the past, it was
always understood that if you wanted to thrive in the 'land of opportunity'
that you had better learn English and learn it well. Unfortunately, times
have changed. Today, many radical activist groups are actually referring
to the English language as a 'tool of oppression' and are demanding that
special accommodations be made for those that do not wish to learn the
Steve Strang (in the Strang Report): "We were late to the anti-abortion
debate allowing the Catholics to fight it alone for many years. Now things
have gotten to the point where many in the culture are wanting to approve
so-called gay marriage—even the President of the United States. They are
trying to say it's a civil rights issue, but what they really want is special
rights, which would impinge on our religious freedom to teach what the
Bible says about morality and sexuality. And they would teach gay
orientation in the public schools as if it is right. This is now the pivotal
issue in this election season... And if Obama is re-elected there's no
stopping the extreme social agenda he apparently has."
From our research this week here are just a few "One Liners"
Vice President Joe Biden in a campaign event in New Hampshire last week
spoke rather disparagingly about financial management executives saying,
"That no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber."
[One can guess that by that insult -- the latest of the many Biden gaffes --
he probably lost the votes of America's plumbers.]
Tony Perkins, in Family Research Council: "The more work Sen. Harry
Reid (D, NV) does, the less secure our values seem to be."
And from the past, but applicable to today, H. L. Mencken, Essayist and
Critic, in 1920: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face
for the urge to rule it."
And from even further in the past, Benjamin Franklin in 1776: "Rebellion
to tyrants is Obedience to God."
And this week, as always, there a few "Afterthoughts" to consider.
An after-effect of the Obama repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The ongoing effort to legalize same-sex "marriage" throughout the US is now
reaching into the armed forces, and threatening the liberty (that word keeps
coming up!) of our military chaplains to uphold traditional marriage. Chaplains
may be forced to perform same-sex "marriage" ceremonies in violation of their
Christian beliefs. For chaplains from some of the more liberal denominations,
this might not present a problem. (According to the last available survey,
there are 448 Southern Baptist, and 252 Roman Catholic chaplains, compared
with 56 Episcopal, 17 United Church of Christ, and 2 Unitarian-Universalist
chaplains.) A religious liberty measure has already passed the House, but how
it will fare in the Democrat-controlled Senate is not known. The basic premise is
that military chaplains’ ability to minister to our servicemen and women is closely
tied to their freedom to operate according to the tenets of their faith. Military
chaplains must be free to exercise their faith and not be required to violate their
religious beliefs by performing same-sex "marriage" ceremonies.
Ever wonder what all that "bail out" money accomplished? Mr. Obama
called it "stimulus" money. We all know what happened to the more than half a
billion dollar loan guarantee awarded to Solyndra, which was supposed to create
4,000 new jobs. Instead, the firm declared bankruptcy, laid off 1,100 employees.
and shut down. But that was a small one. General Motors received $80 billion in
"bailout" funds, and then reduced its operations here in the US and moved much
of it to China. Today it is estimated that 70% of GM's vehicles are made outside
America. So unless you want to spend sleepless nights worrying about more
"stimulus" funds giveaways, don't check up on this misuse of taxpayers' money.
Another story the Main Stream Media has pretty much ignored: President
Obama has appointed another "Czar" to oversee part of his agenda. This one
is definitely a first for the United States: his "Assassination Czar." John Brennan,
formerly Obama's chief counter-terrorism advisor will now be the lead voice in
choosing who will be targeted for drone attacks and raids, and Obama has
appointed him as the sole authority to designate individuals for assassination
under any US assassination program. This has aroused even the ACLU, which
filed a Freedom of Information request for information about that program, but
the government denied the request on the grounds that it was "top secret." From
what information is available, under Obama's new plan, the Brennan staff will
compile a potential target list ... it will be circulated to other government agencies,
like the State Department, and ultimately Brennan will have the sole authority to
decide upon targets for assassination. This comment appeared about the program:
"Who would have thought twenty years ago that Americans would stand for
such a thing! The question is: are we going to stand for it today?"
During the week when we in the 21st century observe Memorial Day,
it is worth recalling how our Founding Fathers spoke of Patriotism.
"The consciousness of having discharged that duty which we owe to our
country is superior to all other considerations."
-- George Washington, 1788
"Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every
man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may
cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be
able to set a due value on the means of preserving it."
-- James Madison, 1788
"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings
they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!"
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1785
And this final word on this week's issue: So many appreciative comments
were received about last week's "formal" statement concerning ANC's means
of support, that it seems like a good idea to repeat it ... so here, once again, is
that formal statement: American News Commentary (ANC) is not sponsored
by or supported by any political party or any special interest group, and has
never sold any thing, and has never accepted any advertising. There has never
been any subscription charge, so ANC's publication is made possible solely by
the voluntary financial contributions of our readers. As long as its publication
continues to be possible, under the free press rights of the First Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution, it will always fulfill its basic premise as pro-Christian,
pro-American, pro-Conservative. And as we always offer this reminder, please
click HERE for information on how to contribute to ANC by check or credit
card. We'll be grateful for your help!