A call to courage

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This essay was read and discussed with Bo Snerdley on the Saturday Morning Extravaganza, 77 WABC, on January 28, 2023. 

When our founding fathers established this nation, their hallmarks were courage, faith in
God, and an unquenchable love for freedom. It was this love that drove them, it was
their faith that sustained them, and it was their courage that made them look tyranny
squarely in the face.

It was tyranny that blinked. Because of their courage, America was born.

Courage, Merriam-Webster says, is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere,
and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The battlefields on our precious shores are
hallowed grounds, for there the blood of these courageous patriots watered the seeds of
freedom for all. These freedom seeds included, among others, the freedom to bear
arms, freedom of the press, freedom to gather peacefully, freedom of religion, and the
freedom of speech.

Over 200 years later, every one of these freedoms is under attack. Very noticeably in
recent months, the freedom of speech has felt the blade. Where public discourse once
was open and unfettered, now the iron hand of tyranny grips free speech around the
throat. It wears a velvet glove called tolerance, stitched together by relative truth, and it
masquerades as love. Those who resist its cruel grip and seek to cry out warnings,
ripping back the glove to reveal the hand within, those brave souls are besieged by the
howling mob.

“Barabbas! Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!” We have heard this chant before.
True courage, the kind that causes a man to give his life for another; that causes a
woman to give hers, too. Real courage that builds nations and defends the helpless and
does impossible things, that courage is grounded in a two-fold kind of love.

First, such courage loves Truth. It knows that truth is eternal, always constant, never
changing. It believes that Truth has its source in an Almighty God Who, too, is eternal
and unchanging. This is a cause worth defending, worth protecting. For the sake of
Truth, courage gives its all.

Second, courage loves others. The hearts of noble men and women are ruled by love. It
is a love that puts others first and themselves last. It fills them with a mental and moral
strength to venture, persevere, and withstand all manner of dangers, fears, and
difficulties. This love will die before it gives up, and such has been our heritage of gold
as America’s sons and daughters.

The patriots who birthed this country with all of its great and wonderful blessings have
passed. They have gone on to their rewards. They have finished the task. In this grave
hour, the fight for freedom and for the future of this nation now falls to us.

In Samuel Adams’ American Independence Speech in 1776 are these prescient words:

“You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp
their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of
wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would,
for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then,
in your generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success, and confidence
of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you
the common danger and common glory. If I have a wish dearer to my soul than
that my ashes may be mingled with those of a Warren and Montgomery, it is that
these American States may never cease to be free and independent.”

In these perilous days, may our hearts beat high with the spirit of freedom. May we go
on in our generous enterprise with gratitude to Heaven for past success and confidence
of it in the future. May the God of unchanging Truth and unconditional Love fill our
hearts with courage; a courage that loves others more than ourselves and a courage
that loves the Truth too much to give up.

And as always, may God bless America. Amen.

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