IN GOD WE TRUST
The Pitched Battle for the Soul of
Copyright � 2007 Victor Shane, all
THE AMERICAN MILITARY
Founders believed that man was created in the image of God, endowed with unalienable
rights and invested with absolute
values worth defending. Contrariwise the liberal left believes man to be a
product of random processes in a meaningless universe in which he creates his
own relative values.
does the liberal left take such a dim view of those who embrace monotheism,
or continue to believe in absolutes such as the God of the Bible? The argument is plausible
enough and might go something like this:
who believe in absolutes such as
“God” end up believing that they have right on their side, and
people who believe that they have right on their side, can do horrendous
things! Belief in any sort of absolute
must be discouraged at all costs because it fosters intolerance, prejudice
is why the doctrine of political correctness is duty-bound to deny the
existence of an absolute Creator—supposedly
to avoid all the hurt feelings, intolerances, prejudices, oppressions, injustices,
conflicts, wars, sorrows and miseries that result from beliefs in absolutes.
incidentally, is also the reason why the liberal left harbors so much
contempt for the American military. If all values were relative,
if all truth claims were equally valid, if reality was observer-dependent,
if good and evil were situational, if right and wrong depended on
one’s point of view, then there would be no absolute values to preserve, protect,
defend or die for—one man’s “terrorist” would be
another man’s “freedom fighter,” depending on one’s
point of view.
the face of it, at least, the worldview of the left provides a plausible
argument in favor of a more liberal consensus in which there is no God,
there are no absolutes, there is nothing to foster intolerance, nothing to
produce injustice, nothing to hurt people’s feelings, no heaven or
hell to lose sleep over, nothing to kill or die for, no religions, no
nation states, no borders, no boundaries, nothing to divide the
world—just “people living life in peace” (to paraphrase
the words of John Lennon’s pacifist anthem, Imagine). A plausible solution to the world’s ills? The
problem is that it doesn’t work! And the reason it doesn’t work
is because it doesn’t deal with the root cause of the world’s ills—human nature.
that the men and women of our Armed Forces are willing to put their lives
on the line to preserve, protect and defend something invested with absolute value, they are defying the
rudiments of political correctness. In that the very existence of the
American military presupposes absolutes, our men and women in uniform stand in defiance of the
foundational principles of the liberal left. It should therefore come as no
surprise to find those on the left secretly despising the American
History has seen many conventional armies come and go, driven by compulsion, marching in step, doing obeisance to Caesar, Emperor, Tzar and King, making an outward show of obedience, mindful of their taskmasters' whips. The Armed Forces of the United States, however, are in many respects unique in that they are made up of free men and women, marching voluntarily and without compulsion, answering to a higher authority than that of mortal man, invested of a most unconventional spiritual discipline. And they are all the more unique in that they are sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution
of the United States. But what’s so special about the Constitution of
the United States?
is said that reality is the greatest tutor. The Founders of America had
just such a tutor. They themselves had just escaped from the yoke of
European oppression, religious and otherwise. They were privy to the weaknesses
and failures of various forms of government. They had seen human authority
vaunt itself upon the head of humanity. They had seen government bear false
witness against its own subjects. They had seen the state become the
accuser of its citizens and a contractor of forced labor. They did not need
to go rummaging through the rotten parchments of history to see all of
this. They saw it with their own eyes, in their own time.
might say that in most respects America’s Founders sought a discharge
from the involuntary dependency of the people on the amateur providences of
the state, knowing such dependency to be the greatest asset of tyrants.
Beginning with their Declaration of Independence, they gave the primacy to the Creator, and relative subordinacy to the created state, thereby
removing the God-given rights of man beyond the reach and control of
Caesars, Czars, kings, princes, pashas, despots and tyrants.
Founders knew unrestrained power to be food unto evil, and they understood
that evil, searching for its food, invariably finds it in the institution
of government. Familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of various forms
of government, they chose a rule of constitutional law administered by duly
elected representatives, instituting redundant measures to deny the derivative state footholds, handholds and
strangleholds on the lives and fortunes of the people.
dividing power among three equal branches of government, America’s
Founders prevented the unlimited deposit of power in one place. By dividing
Congress into two houses, they saw to it that no single group or cabal
could make laws binding on the whole nation. By defining authority in
government to be lawful only when delegated
by the people, and by incorporating into the framework of government
redundant checks, balances and provisions of disclosure and accountability,
they succeeded in further safeguarding the rights of the people.
all that they incorporated into the framework of the new government
America’s Founders succeeded in binding down the hands of the derivative state from mischief, by the
chains of the Constitution. And we see that the result of their labor has
been productive of good and enduring fruit of every description. For we see
here in recorded history the first real and concrete departure from the
former ways of wholesale ruin and extinction. Not a brief departure
occasioned by happenstance, compulsion, violence, force, mischief and
anarchy; not a chance departure based on wishful thinking, vain philosophy,
pious folly and noble vanity; but a concrete departure, signed, sealed and
ratified in a Constitution and a Bill of Rights affording a legacy of
enduring liberty unto future generations.
of this, America’s Founders succeeded in accomplishing, first by
giving the primacy
to the Creator, second by declaring all men to be created equal, and third
by rendering the state the servant and protector of those unalienable
rights that make all of God’s children equal in His sight.
then shall we say about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, documents that
were drawn up to safeguard the unalienable gifts equally bestowed on all
men by their Creator? Suffice it to say that miracles such as these do not cluster, neither do they grow on trees. In all the
annals of body politic there shall not be found a death blow more severely
delivered into the ribcage of the idol that has been competing against the
labor of man and seeking to deprive him of the dignity of his origins than
the one found in these documents.
what value shall we place on a heritage such as this? Is it something to be
taken for granted? Is it something to be squandered for a scant fare of
bread and water? Nay, it is something well worth defending! It is something
that Americans have fought to preserve, protect and defend since the
inception of the Republic. Even today, it is something that Americans will
join ranks to preserve, protect and defend with their very lives.
contemporary Americans may at times be confused by the welter of change
going on in the world today, or at times be overwhelmed by the urgent needs
of daily living, we are persuaded that through it all they are not
unmindful of their heritage of freedom, nor ungrateful to God for the
unalienable rights that He has bestowed on themselves and their children.
Be they of Native American descent, or Anglo Saxon descent, or African
descent, or Hispanic descent, or Armenian descent, or Irish descent, or
Italian descent, or Jewish descent, or German descent, or Polish descent,
or Hungarian descent, or Greek descent, or Scandinavian descent, or Russian
descent, or Arab descent, or Lebanese descent, or Turkish descent, or
Philippine descent, or Japanese descent, or Korean descent, or Chinese
descent, or any other descent, true Americans will, in a moment of need,
put away their differences, answer the call, enlist in the Armed Forces and
close ranks to defend the Constitution of the United States—and the
God-given liberty of man—with their very lives.
is not free, and neither does it grow on trees in a derivative world such as this. The price we
pay for freedom is dear indeed, and it has been paid time and time again by
the American defender of liberty, whose name and fame is well-known
throughout the world, whose resolve, fortitude, discipline and courage was
the subject of General Douglas MacArthur’s
farewell speech at West Point Military Academy in 1962.1
AMERICAN DEFENDER OF LIBERTY
was the American defender of liberty? He was in all respects an ordinary
citizen, in just cause stirred to extraordinary effort. A teacher from Cleveland.
A bus driver from Fresno. A farmer from Boise. An appliance repairman from
Detroit. A housewife from San Diego. A doctor from Minneapolis. An auto
mechanic from Houston. A chemist from Albuquerque. A salesman from
Galveston. Against storms of advancing tanks, against hails of artillery
shells, against blizzards of machinegun fire, against Blitzkriegs, Kamikaze attacks and suicide bombers, he earned an everlasting reputation for himself. In
hundreds of campaigns, on a thousand battlefields, and around ten thousand
campfires, he drained deep the bitter cup of war.
the staggering columns of the first World War, slogging ankle deep through
winter’s mud, blue-lipped and frost-bitten. In the filth of murky
foxholes, and in the slime of dripping dugouts. In the horror of stricken
areas of war. In the bitterness of long separation from loved ones back
home. Against all odds, against hell and high water, against the chords of Sheol and the torrents of Perdition, he put his hand to
the plow and never looked back.
B-24 Liberators, over the inferno of Ploesti. In
B-17 Flying Fortresses, on perilous daylight precision bombing runs over
the submarine pens of Wilhelmshaven, easy
pickings for German fighters. On August 17th, 1943, 376 Flying Fortresses
took off from airfields in England; 60 of them, with crews of 10 each, did
not return. And those that did return told harrowing tales, tales of
“flak so thick, you could get out and walk on it.”
eyes nervously peeled to the skies in the Flying Fortress Memphis Belle. Caliber 50 machine
guns echeloned to the right and to the left, above and below, to direct
concentrated cones of fire against enemy fighters. Pilot: Captain Robert
Morgan, industrial engineer from Ashville, North Carolina. Co-pilot:
Captain Jim Verinis, business administration
student at the University of Connecticut. Radio operator and gunner: Sargent Bob Hanson, construction worker from Spokane,
Washington. Navigator: Captain Chuck Leighton, chemistry student at Ohio
Wesleyan. Engineer and top turret gunner: Sargent
Harold Loch from Greenbay, Wisconsin. Tail
gunner: Sargent John Quinlan of Yonkers, New
York. Turret gunner: Sargent Cecil Scott of
Rahway, New Jersey. Bombadier: Captain Vince
Evans of Fort Worth, Texas. Left waist gunner: Sargent
Bill Winchell of Chicago, Illinois. Right waist
gunner: Sargent Tony Nastal
7th 1941. Day of infamy. One tranquil Sunday in December air raid sirens
blared in Honolulu as Japanese Zeros
swept over Pearl Harbor, leaving behind “blood, guts, burning oil and
bursting shells.” Here, too, persevered the American defender of
liberty. On the other side of the globe, the same obstinate endurance of
will, the same code of honor, the same ironclad imperative of discipline,
the same indomitable American spirit, the same selfless sacrifice, the same
uncompromising attack, the same swift and sure victory.
the decks of the aircraft carriers Enterprise,
Hornet, Yorktown, and Lexington.
Borne by the wings of P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs. At the decisive
battle of Midway. At Guadalcanal. In rat-infested trenches in the
Philippines. Corregidor. Bataan.
Guam. Mindanao. Okinawa....
also stood the gaunt, gray, battle-weary American defender of liberty,
half-starved and almost out of ammunition, driving forward through thick
and thin, through the bloody haze of the last reverberating shots, to
decisive victory. And as the dust was settling, he and his comrades found a
long pipe, stuck Old Glory’s pole into it, and raised it atop Mt. Suribachi.
here, and over there, he drained deep the bitter and horrible cup of war.
In the four corners of the world, he gave his full measure of devotion. In
the European Theatre. In the Pacific Theatre. In Korea. In Vietnam. In
Afghanistan. In Iraq. At Omaha Beach and at Utah Beach; in the frozen
forests of the Ardenne and at the Maginot Line; on the sands of Iwo
Jima and at Leyte Gulf; at
Heartbreak Ridge and on Porkchop Hill; in the
heat of the Tet Offensive and in the inferno of Dien Bien Fu; at Khe Sahn and at Da Nang; in the streets of
Mogadishu, Somalia; in Kabul and in Kandahar; in
Baghdad and in Najaf, in Anbar
Province and in Fallujah, he gave up his life to
the obscenity of war, to defend the God-given Liberty of man.
U.S. Army Soldiers of Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat
Team, 1st Cavalry Division, patrol the roads near a tactical checkpoint in Taji, Iraq, Sept. 17, 2007. (U.S. Army photo/ Senior Airman Steve Czyz)
shall we say then, and how shall we thank these honored dead? In the words
of Abraham Lincoln:
world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
forget what they did.... It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great
task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure
of devotion—that 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, and for the
people shall not perish from the earth.2
psalmist stated the matter long ago:
the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
the foundations of America have survived the ravages of time, it is because
her Founders were wise enough to give the primacy
to the Creator, and relative subordinacy to the created state. America started out well. The Bible
was her national Book and her Constitution and Bill of Rights were
predicated on great Christian-Biblical teachings. With these sure and
auspicious foundations, she grew to be the greatest nation of all
times—a beacon of liberty and an exemplar of true democracy on earth.
There was a time when the whole world looked up to America with envy, awe
what happened to change all of that?
a house is beginning to fall apart, it is probably because it has slid off
its foundations. If the endeavors of America are becoming vain, it is
because the nation has ceased to be under the action of the causes that
gave birth to it. If the confidence of America is waning at home and her
strength seemingly declining abroad, it is because the spiritual and
political leaders of the nation have lost sight of causes upon which the
nation was founded.
the pages of In God We Trust you
will learn a great deal more about America’s legacy of freedom. You
will also find out exactly what has to be done to restore trust, confidence
and respect for the United States of America throughout the world.
1. General Douglas MacArthur gave his farewell
speech at West Point Military Academy in May 1962, on the occasion of his
acceptance of the Sylvanus Thayer Award for service to his
country. MacArthur had brought no prepared text
and literally spoke “from the heart.” There were no TV cameras
to record his speech. Fortunately, however, a tape recording was made, from
which The National Observer was
able to produce a written transcript, appearing exclusively in The National Observer of May 20,
1962. Some of the words attributed to MacArthur
are incorporated into the Tribute found above and the one found on page 146
of In God We Trust.
2. Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863.
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