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Just dropping by ... Freedom’s Ship

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 30 June 2017

Sadly, all is not well. Termites are at work. At first, no one noticed them. They were only innocuous holes in the bow of the ship and the mast. They were only dissenting voices in the political process and judges turning a blind eye to unethical behavior in the name of tolerance.

For nearly 250 years, the Freedom Ship of America has sailed unscathed over the murky shark-infested waters of the world. This proverbial ship had her beginnings long before the Founding Fathers took pen in hand to write the immortal Declaration of Independence.

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This dream ship of freedom is a flame ignited in the heart of every human being since the world began. Adam and Eve sought freedom when they ate the forbidden fruit. The children of Israel yearned for liberty as they toiled to build the pyramids of Egypt, and freedom’s quest raged in the heart of Spartacus who led a rebellion of slaves against oppressive masters.

When the Roman generals demanded Spartacus be turned over to them, the cry of thousands was, “I am Spartacus!” The Pilgrims escaped the tyranny of a domineering government to find freedom, and the colonists would rather die than pay tribute to an unfair king.

The Founding Fathers fanned the flame of freedom and forged a ship that would last through the ages and weather any storm. The undergirding of the ship was built on Biblical principles, natural laws and the historical records of other governments that had been successful for a time. They took from the Greeks, the Romans and even the Iroquois.

The Founders were meticulous in their quest and construction. The sides of the ship framed with the Constitution built on six defining doctrines penned so beautifully in the Preamble: ... “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ...” The Founders made sure the government was not the focus of their endeavor.

The people’s freedom was paramount. In fact, it was assembled with protections against a tyrannical government.

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The ship was pitched and tarred on the outside with the Bill of Rights. Brave fore-thinking men would not sign the nearly perfect document even after months of work and deliberation with their pride at stake. These men held to their convictions. They knew a document that did not protect the rights of every citizen would, in time, be chipped away and finally destroyed by power-hungry men.

This Bill of Rights was not for kings and dictators but for the common man. Every right and privilege written in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution were written in blood and bought with thousands of lives strewn on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War.

They were not simply meaningless platitudes to be spoken to the masses and then forgotten. They were a shield and armor for every citizen against the tyranny of greedy bureaucrats who would seek to dethrone the Constitution.

The Framers expected God to be the sails and the wind that would propel the ship across the rolling angry waters of the world. The billowing sails would fill with righteousness. As Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, “with malice toward none, with charity for all ... to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

The Founders knew, as so aptly stated by Alexis de Tocqueville, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” The laws spelled out in the Constitution depend on the honesty and integrity of the judges, politicians and presidents who enforce the laws. If these leaders are corrupt, the Constitution is meaningless. In such a government, rights and privileges, as well as justice and mercy, have a price.

God was intended to be the ultimate sovereign. Every man and woman accountable to God for his or her behavior. If mistakes were made, God would, at judgment day, make everything right. Prayer and fasting was a means of divine communication.

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As God was the wind and sails of this Freedom Ship, citizens depended on Him for victory in war, sustenance in drought and relief in calamity. If an unrighteous leader ruled, the people mourned, and if a righteous leader ruled, the people rejoiced and prospered. That was the intention, and for nearly 200 years it was so.

The helm of the Freedom Ship is a lens that looks to the future while remembering the past. George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and de Tocqueville said, “When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.”

The Founders, in building the Freedom Ship, did not ignore the past as they wrote the Constitution. They embraced it. They looked to the Law of Moses, the Republic of Rome, Iroquois Nations, The Mayflower Compact and many other sources for their new document.

They remembered and learned from the past. Still today, the courts of the nation look to precedence for decisions. In other words, they look to the past rulings to see what others have said on the subject. History was to be an important component of education. The Founders were determined not to forget the past because it was the light to guide the future.

This magnificent Freedom Ship still sails on stormy seas. It rises and falls over the waves like a giant bird, free in the bright blue of the morning. Seeing it float, one would cry, “All is well.” Watching the fireworks that commemorate the maiden voyage of this proverbial Freedom Ship, one could cry, “All is well.”

To see the Freedom Ship’s glorious flag flapping in the wind, one would shout, “All is well. Yes, all is well.”

Sadly, all is not well. Termites are at work. At first, no one noticed them. They were only innocuous holes in the bow of the ship and the mast. They were only dissenting voices in the political process and judges turning a blind eye to unethical behavior in the name of tolerance.

Who would have thought free speech would be subject to the overriding law of “It offends me”? Who would have thought God would be so offensive that people would rise up to forbid prayer, speeches and Christian symbols to be displayed in public, and that there would be those who would seek to change the Bible because some verses offend a lifestyle choice?

Not one Founder would have guessed being offended would become a cause for political action, but here it is. Reference to Christianity in any form is offensive – and therefore must be squelched.

To these termites, profaning God’s name is nothing. For many, His laws have become a hiss and a byword, and His statutes a cause for degradation and ridicule. No one thought God’s law would be superseded by man’s law to allow the killing of the most innocent of all, but it has been happening for more than half a century.

Furthermore, many Christians are becoming disillusioned and are joining the termites. Who would have guessed there would come a time when young people would feel threatened by the truth and would cower and cover their ears at opposing opinions? Holes in the ship are becoming more and more apparent.

If not checked, termites will drop the mast of the Freedom Ship. Without a mast, the Freedom ship will be marooned at sea at the mercy of typhoons and hurricanes.

The helm of the Freedom Ship is in danger as well. Termites are chewing away at the past at a rapid pace. Statues and artifacts are being removed from cities in the name of the new unwritten law, “It offends me.”

Textbooks are being changed to reflect the opinions of the present, whether they represent the eyewitness accounts of the past or not. Children are learning termite doctrines of destruction instead of the tenets of liberty.

The termites must be stopped. Our children must learn the Freedom Ship is the greatest, most magnificent ship of liberty that has ever sailed the stormy waters of the world – but it is not free. Freedom comes with a price, and every generation must pay it or it will be taken away.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people.”  end mark

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