The Forth Admonition of Chivalry is:
Thou shalt love the Country in which thou wast born.
This wasn’t supposed to be so hard. This is the admonition that caught my eye that started this series. It’s rather straightforward, isn’t it? So why, why, does it tangle in my thoughts so? Let’s address things one at a time.
In some ways, this admonitions is a balance to the second admonition, “Thou shalt defend the Church“. That admonition asserted the loyalty the knight owed the Church, and here it is balanced with love of homeland. Mind you, this is not love of the state, government, or even the current culture. I would say that love of the Country in which one is born (and, I am inferring from the statement, raised) is a love of the essence of that particular place, the essence that underlies and endures through civil wars, invasions, reckless and weak generations. One is to love that which makes your people your people, and to love the land itself– mountains and valleys, deserts and oceans, all the work of God in the place He has placed you.
Each country, each nation, is different from all others — and this is exactly how God wants things. The idea of “All people becoming one people” is not, to my recollection, anywhere desired by God, except perhaps as one people under Him . . . but still being “of all nations”. The New Jerusalem is to be filled with stetsons, bow ties, tabi, robes, boots, cloaks, bodices, sari and togas. The Unending Feast will feature tempura, fresh pasta, curry, tzaziki, ice cream, and even my mother’s apple pie. To love the country in what you were born is to be grateful for the shattering of the Tower of Babel, to relish that you were put among a people with something all their own to bring to that final celebration. What is the contribution of your people? Forget the negatives at the moment, as all nations have those too. What is the best of your people? What is it that endures among your people, among your land, from age to age? What is the essential story of your people? Endurance? Strength? Freedom? Beauty? Reason?
One implied reminder of this admonition (IMHO), is the reminder that you were born where you were born, and when you were born, for a reason. If God is the Giver of Life, and the Maker of Each Individual and, more importantly, a God of Love and Reason, then it follows that every person is conceived to a specific time and place as part of God’s Purpose. You are Australian, Indian, French, Arabian, Canadian, British, Israeli, Turkish, Greek, American, etc. . . and born to this time for a reason. Be honored to be living in these days.
Now I’m going to slightly veer my attention because, let’s face it, your author is American, and we face an important election tomorrow, and there are some things I need to get off my chest. I write to all Americans now, but especially to my fellow civilians:
My dear readers,
I am aware of the long simmering discontent we have long felt regarding the choices we have been given for elections low these past years. Indeed, I sympathize that none of the “men” in our roster satisfy our general desire for a man that is a cross between Chesty Puller and Ronald Reagan. I too want a candidate who will nominate Ron Paul as the head of the Federal Reserve, and will supply him with all the necessary tools he’ll need, like bulldozers and a nice supply of C-4. A man who would choose John Bolton as Secretary of State, with R. Lee Ermey as the backup plan. A man who makes Wolverine look like a little girl. Yeah, a girl can dream . . . but she’s got to get back to reality. This reality is bounded by a social idea called The Overton Window.
We need to thank Glenn Beck for bringing this idea into the mainstream of American consciousness. The idea of the Overton Window is that for any given idea, or set of ideas, there is a “window” of what the average member of a society will see within the bounds of “normal,” beyond which is the realm of “Crazy-town”. This window is not stationary, but it does take great effort and time to move. A great recent example of an Overton Window being deliberately moved deals with the issue of 2nd Amendment Rights vs. “Gun Control.” I remember that when I was growing up, people who owned guns were seen as kin to the Uni-bomber. One did not speak of owning firearms without getting the hairy-eye. But now, I can talk about going shooting at work, I can discuss ammo and calibers in public, and only occasionally get the “crazy lady” reaction. This is because there was a deliberate push of the Overton Window by conservatives, headed up especially by the NRA. Gun ownership is now not considered everyday, but is no longer the realm of the crazy people.
Likewise, farther back in history, the Hebrews had to be lost in the desert for 40 years, to allow the generational movement of the Overton Window from the Slave-Mentality to the Freeman-Mentality. The Hebrews could not go right from the Red Sea to Israel– they had to spend 40 years learning to take care of themselves again, learning what it was to be free, learning to be warriors. Even Moses himself couldn’t enter Israel, he could only come to the border.
Likewise, my dear friends, the Overton Window of America has been forcibly shifted to the Left by our schools and our media for a century. For one hundred years. Not a single one of us, no matter how young or old, has escaped this poison. We all want the Land of Milk and Honey, we don’t want to wander in the desert anymore. But not a one of us can do so, for not a drop of that poison can enter such a place. We can only wander through the years and, if God blesses us beyond all measure, perhaps we will live long enough to see the happy borders of that fair land.
But some of us have become impatient, so like our forebears in the desert. Grumbling, tired of the wandering, we leave. We pull ourselves out of the journey. We divorce ourselves from the People that God has placed us within, because we want to skip to the end, and better to die alone in the desert than the wander aimlessly any longer. “Look!”, we say. “The compass and the map both agree, North!” But still, despite our superior knowledge, the people still wander, because there is too much poison to be leached out of our system yet before we can go north.
Who among us truly thinks that electing Romney will save America? The sentiment seems more to me not that one election can save America, but rather that one election can give America another two years. Perhaps four. But still, those four years will be precarious. America will not– indeed, can not— be saved in anything less than 100 years. And even then, the saving will not be the work of her people, but rather the work of God, through the American people. We have to keep pushing that window to the right, keep begging the mercy and forbearance of God. Even should the long awaited Second Civil War break out, and the Tree of Liberty finally watered once more, even should the forces of liberty win the day, nothing less than 100 years and God’s Grace will save us.
But if you yield to your impatience, if you remove yourself from the people, then there are fewer of us to push that window, and the journey becomes longer, and more fraught with danger. If you yield to your impatience, your despair, or your selfish desire for immediate satisfaction, then you are not remaining true to your principles– you are betraying your comrades. You are leaving the fight when you are needed most.
Every time you have stuck to your principles and pulled yourself out of the fight, the window has shifted to the left. You were irritated with the Republicans in 2006 and their spending, so you sat out, and handed the Legislative Branch to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Jeez, thanks so much. Your principled stand was so inspiring, it makes me cry in retrospect. In 2008, you thought that Palin was ok, but McCain was worthless, so you sat it out as a protest, or voted third party, and handed the Executive to Barack Obama. Look where your principles have wrought– the exact opposite of what your principles hold most dear. Leaving the fight is not standing for your principles, it is abandoning them.
There is a long, difficult, dangerous, and probably bloody road before us. Our children, and their children, will not be un-scarred by this long slog. We can not afford to not use every possible moment, every possible way, to shift that window even the smallest amount. That means voting for people who are less than our ideal of perfect. It means torrents of disappointment in our fellows and our leaders. It means angst and frustration and grappling with despair. Most of the time, we’ll feel like we’re pounding on a brick wall. We will not feel like we’re making any sort of progress. But even through all of this, we must endure. We must persevere. We need everyone to push that window.
This is when Love of Country means something. Do you love your country enough to commit to the long fight? To commit to the long, grueling, tedious pushing this nation from the very edge? The frustrating task of renewing the American Covenant in the hearts of the American people, when it seems that no one is listening and no one cares? The unending dissatisfaction with nominees that still aren’t properly liberty-oriented.
Or are you already giving up? So early in the fight, and you are pulling out because we haven’t won yet?
Perhaps Mr. Whittle can say it more clearly than my rambling fingers:
May God Bless the people and nations of all our readership, where ever they may be. May the Holy Spirit bless us all with wisdom and discernment. May God remember His promises to Israel. And may the Grace and Mercy of God rain softly upon the United States of America. Amen.