Drawn by Michael Ramirez – Saturday, July 2, 2016
URL of the original posting site: http://townhall.com/political-cartoons/michaelramirez/
URL of the original posting site: http://townhall.com/political-cartoons/michaelramirez/
Oklahoma State University is located at Stillwater, Oklahoma.
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URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/11/veterans-day-the-american-devotion-to-military-service
Tocqueville described the conditions which would draw Americans into war, certainly applicable to World War I: “When war has at length, by its long continuance, roused the whole community from their peaceful occupations, and ruined their minor undertakings, the same passions which made them attach so much importance to the maintenance of peace will be turned to arms…”
Historian Erick L. McKitrick described Tocqueville’s observation of the kind of patriotism that would become a hallmark of the American republic in relation to an “Austrian peasant of 1914 being conscripted into the imperial army”:
“The powers above” he might have said, “tell me that I must go and do my duty; therefore, of course, I must.” This is the tradition of authority, acceptance, and obedience. The same tradition can also be one of revolution and mutiny: there is something removed from the community scene, yet something focused and personified in the heads of the state, that can specifically be resisted… Yet in our own military tradition, such as it is, there are no such themes, either of implicit acquiescence or revolt. The conviction that our military enterprises are just and righteous does not flow automatically from on high…
Where do the convictions of the righteousness of American soldiers and the justice or their cause emanate from?
“…They emanate, in a special sense, from ourselves. Nobody, for instance, wants very much to be drafted for military service, but the sanctions are hard to ‘mutiny’ against; they come not so much from the President as from a ‘local board composed of your neighbors.’”
In keeping with the American tradition of venerating those who serve, in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first Armistice Day specifically to commemorate those who had fought in the First World War. The date holds special significance because it marked the end of hostilities in the “war to end all wars” on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.
The poor treatment of returning veterans after the Vietnam War was an outlier to this long-term trend and was a product of the culture war that divided Americans at that time and still does today. However, Americans have mostly doubled down in their devotion to returning veterans since that time, as there are now more generations who have returned home from fighting on our behalf.
There is a common perception that America is becoming more self-obsessed and narcissistic, unable to care about or comprehend such notions as duty or devotion to country. While this is often sadly the case, there is another side to this country that hasn’t lost these defining features.
I recently visited the World War II monument in Washington, DC, which is an appropriate and profound tribute to the generation that fought and won the greatest conflict in world history. Though I came to pay my respects, I was enraged at the large number of tourists who treated the memorial as if it were nothing more than a park for personal amusement. Selfie sticks abounded, and a number of people were wading in the central pool that clearly had a sign “Do not put your feet in the water.”
This spectacle left me feeling despondent about the future of the country and ashamed about what past generations would think of the American people in the 21st century. However, my entire perception changed in an instant as a sudden stream of veterans arrived at the monument as part of the Honor Flight program.
Though seeing these distinguished men and women was special, what was perhaps even more important was the sudden and impromptu outpouring of devotion from the ordinary Americans who witnessed their arrival. Gone were the selfie sticks, and in their place appeared handshakes and personal thanks for the veterans’ service.
On this Veterans Day, it should be the duty of every American who still believes in the principles that this country was founded upon—and in the men and women who fought on its behalf—to make some tribute or gesture of thanks. It was established as a custom and a sign of respect to those who have fought for our country to hold a brief moment of silence at 11:00 AM, a tradition that every American should uphold.
This year marked the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Not insignificantly, Barack Obama intentionally ignored God in his July 4th “video tribute to America.”However, the signers of the Declaration of Independence—and the majority of America’s 200 Founders—were quite clear: they believed in the God of the Bible. They consistently and publicly acknowledged and thanked God; their speeches, statements, and letters total many tens of thousands of volumes of books.
Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court of the last century, the Constitution communicates the Founder’s intentions by acknowledging both Christianity and Jesus Christ.
When the delegates deliberated over each word when writing the First Amendment, they did so within a specific religious and historical context— influenced by Christianity. In fact, George Mason proposed that the First Amendment include the following terminology:
“[A]ll men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.” (Rowland, 1892, 1:244).
The Annals of Congress, records of their deliberations, evidence the Framers’ discussions about “religion” pertained to Christianity—not Islam, not Hinduism, not Buddhism, and not Judaism (Annals of Congress, 1789, pp. 440ff; Story, 1833, 3.1873:730-731).
Furthermore, Section 7 of Article I, refers to Christianity, not any other religion: “If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it….”
If this exception were made for Jews, Congress would have stated, “Saturdays excepted;” if for Muslims, “Fridays excepted.” If for people practicing no faith, delegates would have specified that the government be closed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Yet the Founders specified: “Sundays excepted,” recognized the importance of the Christian faith to America’s founding.
Their Christian worldview primarily explains the Founders’ reasoning to intentionally insert two Religion Clauses to prohibit federal government interference.
Significantly, the U.S. Constitution closes with the following words after Article VII: “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth …”
The Framers intentionally used the “Year of our Lord” (English for the Latin “Anno Domini,”A.D.). Granted, all western Christiansocio-political cultures have recorded time—dates and calendars of events—based on the person of Jesus Christ. Datesprior to Christwere recorded as B.C. (“Before Christ”).The Framers could have used a nominal pluralistic, multi-cultural, or politically correct designation like C.E. (“Common Era”) and B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”). If they wanted to historically date the Constitution according to the Islamic calendar they would have used “A.H.” (“Anno Hegirae,” “in the Year of the Hijrah”), referring to Muhammad’s escape from Mecca in A.D. 622, officially marking Islam’s beginning.
The adjective, “Our Lord,” didn’t refer to a generic deity or to God as father or creator. It explicitly referred to Jesus Christ, who Christians (not anyone else) worship as the Son of God.
The Founder’s commitment to the Bible is noteworthy. Prior to the Revolutionary War, King George prohibited American colonists from printing the Bible in English. However this changed after the Battle of Yorktown when colonists first became free of British policies. In 1782 Congress, in its entirety, approved printing the Bible in English. On the first page of each newly printed Bible read: “Resolved, that the United States in Congress assembled … recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States.”
John Adams, one of the most influential Founders, wrote in his diary and to his beloved friend Thomas Jefferson,
“Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts that there exhibited… What a Utopia—what a Paradise would this region be! The Bible is the best book in the world.”
It was no accident that “In God We Trust” and “Annuit Coeptis” (Latin, “God has favored our undertaking”) were first printed on American currency—to be used as the basis for all financial transactions.