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Just dropping by ... Precious freedom

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairy Published on 05 February 2021

I don’t know about you, but I am getting fed up with the political war that never ends. I am not referring to the endless foreign wars where brave soldiers give their lives to keep a commitment to America.

I speak of the outrageous war between conservatives and liberals, the left and the right, which boils down to the war between tyranny and freedom. The muckraking, the yellow journalism, the lies and the name-calling sicken my heart. Treason screams from every corner of the media. This is not new.

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George Washington in Valley Forge shivered with his soldiers while the Tories sat in their warm houses and cried “Treason!” From Lexington, over Bunker Hill to Valley Forge and on to the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the Tories cried, “Foul! Treason! What useless waste of human lives. We have no business in the war. The taxes were not that high. King George has been more than fair. We should hang the whole lot of them.”

By contrast, the patriots loved Washington. After the war, he bid farewell to his troops. Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge recalled the event:

Such a scene of sorrow and weeping, I had never before witnessed

. . . The simple thought that we were then about to part from the man who had conducted us through a long and bloody war, and under whose conduct the glory and independence of our county had been achieved, and that we should see his face no more in the world, seemed to me utterly (unbearable.)

All along the thoroughfare from New York to Virginia, crowds cheered the hero of the American independence. Down through the pages of history, right-thinking patriots have praised Washington for giving freedom to the greatest nation in the world. In the end, the Tories joined the crowd. They did not cry treason anymore, and in generations to come they learned to bless the name of George Washington, for they too enjoyed a freedom for which thousands of soldiers paid the ultimate price.

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Lincoln stood between the South and her rebellion. He could have said, “Let them go. What is the problem with sister countries? We will survive without them,” but Lincoln didn’t let the South have her way. He took the stand in his oath of office address, “No state . . . can lawfully get out of the Union.” He promised, however, that if there was to be a war, the South would start it.

As the Civil War commenced, half of the county cried, “Foul! Traitor! What a useless waste of human lives. We have no business in the war. Lincoln should just let those Southern rebels hang themselves. We should not be sending our boys to fight to save the United States. Slavery has been in place for years. We should not meddle in other people’s affairs. The South does not want to be saved. Why should we try?” On the other hand, true-hearted people saw the plight of the Blacks and cried, “This practice is heinous and inhumane. We cannot in good conscience stand before our Maker, if we let slavery stand, no matter what the cost. We must right their wrongs. We will sacrifice all in the cause of righteousness.”

Lincoln was not bothered by polls. He was not scheming to win a popularity contest or win an election. His goal was to carry out his sacred pledge.

“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain__ That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom__ and that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Lincoln was a man of integrity. He did not make promises lightly, and he did everything in his power to keep his commitments to God and the American people.

Today, America is a union of states, not sister countries who squabble back and forth over borders and boundaries, because Lincoln made a commitment to the American people and kept it. Even when the tidal wave of opposition swept over him, even when soldiers came home in pine boxes or were buried in unmarked graves on the battlefields, even when election prospects looked grim, he did not change his commitment or ride a different horse. His mission and allegiance were to the American people and to God.

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President Lincoln’s second inaugural address was given on March 4, 1865.

The stirring words brought tears to the eyes of thousands and hope to all right-thinking Americans.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan__ to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”

By contrast, there were some who cried “Treason!” They wanted to punish the South. They wanted revenge. There are those in every age whose hearts point inwardly. The personal cause far outweighs the national cause. In those cases, I ask, “Who is the traitor?”

Wars are always an ugly business. There are those who fight on the right side, and those who think they are fighting on the right side, and those who sit on the fence and point fingers at both sides. The fence-sitters should never be allowed to make the rules because in every age they have proven to be chameleons. They change color with every breath. They do not have the courage to stand up and be counted on either side. They just complain, and their commitments are as unstable as water.

The history of the world would look radically different if patriots would have listened to the chameleons on the fence or followed the screaming crowds who did not understand the price that must be paid for freedom. King George would still be in power, and taxes would be at the whim of Parliament. Millions of Blacks would have died in slavery instead of living as freemen in a free land. If the chameleons and the rabble rousers had had their way during World War II, millions more Jews would have perished in the gas chambers, and Hitler’s successor would rule the world. Instead of an industrial country whose influence has blessed every nation of the world, we would live in agricultural poverty like many third-world countries.

There would be no cellphones with power to criss-cross the world. Computers would not even fill an entire wall as they did when they were first invented. They probably would not even enter the mind of the inventor because he would be too busy worrying about feeding the starving wolf that circles around his door day and night. Horses and buggies would be possessions of only the wealthy. Cars of every make and model and heavy farm equipment would be only a fantasy, the wish of a bone-weary farmer wiping his brow over the endless rows of corn waiting for the rain to water his thirsty crops.

Those who clamber and scream treason in the streets, crashing cars, shattering windows and setting fires have no idea what it would mean to live in a country where the free expression of thought and actions are not tolerated. They cannot imagine a place where a dictator’s whim controls life and death or how free thought could place them in the death grip of a tyrant who demands absolute power. If they do not believe it is possible, it is obvious they have not read history. Every tyrant who ever came to power used his will to enslave and conquer without mercy or justice. He was never beholden to those who championed his cause. He executed them as readily as he did those who had opposed him. Those who riot, destroy and burn businesses and homes in our streets have been hooked by the propaganda spewed from lips of liars who promise free stuff without the price of labor.

Freedom is precious. It must be taught, fought for and preserved with precious blood if necessary. We must stand with Washington and Lincoln to travel through the dark days of the American history that we are writing today. We must make it our prayer with unyielding conviction, “God, please bless America.” end mark

Yevet Crandell Tenney is a Christian columnist who loves American values and traditions. She writes about faith, family and freedom.

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