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17April…

804a712845d9811f7318a16fb5b4-300x188 It was a boring shift, though I did have the opportunity to speak with a local boiler repair man (Steve) for a good while. Steve is not his real name. I’m using Steve because of the conversation we had. You’ll understand why as you read on.

Steve and I began talking about the usual stuff, not making enough money, the weather, and how we both didn’t like jealous people. Eventually Steve started to go on a bit about boiler repair and I began to disengage. Not wanting to be rude, I stayed in the game and he eventually began to speak about how lucky we both were to live in America. I agreed and he continued on about how vastly different it was from his country of birth. My ears perked up as Steve explained how he had come to the United States from Communist Cambodia in 1980. He was fleeing the final “takeover” of his homeland by the Communist forces. His five brothers, four of whom were considered educators in the township where they lived, had all been rounded up and shot. My heart suddenly sank as I watched the eyes of a man who had been so jovial while describing to me his many mechanical and HVAC attributes, turn suddenly dark and empty. The lengthy conversation that followed was educational and frankly, quite frightening. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many learned folks on a variety of topics over the years, but this was something very different. Knowing my history, it was clear this man had lived through something horrible beyond imagination, and despite his thick accent, I was about to get a firsthand account.

Steve was a young man of 22 whose father had been stolen away to work for “the new government” and was never heard from again. He watched from a distance as his baby brother was ripped from his mother’s arms and taken with 4 other brothers of varying ages to be shot and buried in a ditch by the road. Steve managed to escape leaving his mother, sister and a remaining brother, who was disabled. All would eventually be murdered in the name of a “new order”. Distraught and fearful that he too would meet the same violent end, Steve sewed a small 24 karat rough gold necklace, his only possession in the world, into the collar of his grimy tee-shirt, and stowed away in the belly of a freighter to Thailand. He vowed that if he was to die, it would not be on Cambodian soil.

Steve made it to Thailand and met his future wife who had also escaped what are now known as “the killing fields”. Steve sold his treasured necklace for food and eventually struggled on to the United States. They were cold and hungry, but they were alive. As I sat open-mouthed and gripped by what I was hearing, Steve went on to describe himself in a way that I had only read about. He called himself a “17 April”. This was a designation and date the communists affixed to those they’d chased from Phnom Penh, under the pretext that there would be enemy bombing on April 17, 1975. Subsequently, one of the greatest genocides in human history would be recorded there. Steve recounted in horrific detail his experiences as his family struggled to survive famine, disease and the communist model of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. Babies were smashed against rocks and trees, while whole families were summarily executed and buried as fertilizer for coconut groves. Millions would eventually die. There would be no more schools or infrastructure of a conventional sense, but rather a “system” by which all would be “equal” and loyal to one ideology, or else. Where have we heard this before? I interjected my thoughts where I could and we related our concern for the future of our children, a future reliant on recognizing and acknowledging evil such as this. But mostly, I just listened and absorbed. There before me was history in the flesh, spilling out the stories of the past and sounding the alarm without ever really knowing it.

The conversation eventually grew sparse. Steve explained that he rarely spoke of the past as it often induced nightmares so vivid and terrifying, that he would awaken and run from the house to confirm he stood on American soil. He seemed sad as he remembered his family and murmured of how we must all cherish and protect those we love. He explained how he has sent his wife and son to live in a liberated but still emerging new Cambodia for two years. He wants his boy to know of his father’s birthplace and heritage, and he wants him to truly understand and be grateful for his own birthplace, America. Ironically, Steve reaffirmed his desire never to return there himself. It is too painful for him.

I had one more thing to say to Steve, albeit with a very noticeable lump in my throat at that point, and that was “thank you”. I simply didn’t want to miss the opportunity to let him know how much the conversation had meant to me, though I think he was in another place as he walked off into the night. People ask me about my Constitutional passion, and about the reasons I’m so dedicated to the cause and history of this great nation. I tell them it is not sanctimonious or self-righteous, but rather just concern that drives my approach to the debates of our day. Concern that the next chapter in our history is unfolding right before our very eyes, and only “We the People” have the power to ensure it is a legacy our children will be proud of. I’m not suggesting all must or will be perfect, but to ignore lessons like these is to be simply or even intentionally ignorant. To let pride, vanity, or dogged ideology stand in the way of doing right by our kids, especially when we know the consequences of apathy and complacency, is just plain selfishness. In this authors humble opinion, we should be embracing the “Steve’s” of this world and begging them to speak of their experiences in our children’s classrooms. Only in this model can we be thought of as having done our part on behalf of the next generation. In the end, what could be more important.

National Day of Prayer…

 This is something I wrote for a local Christian newspaper, “The Good News Today”. I have the link in the side bar. It’s a great paper. Support them if you can. soldier-praying-225x300

In 1808 Thomas Jefferson spoke of the danger of affixing federal approval to a national day of prayer. But as I always say, you must put things in context and read a great deal more of Jefferson’s writings to understand he feared only the federal government eventually dictating where, when and how we would pray. This was Jefferson’s way with all things as they related to the federal government and the power granted it by the Constitution. President Lincoln sought divine guidance and healing in a time when we fought against ourselves in the bloodiest of all of our wars. He knew that in times of great peril we must look to a power greater than that of mortal man. President Roosevelt said on “D-Day”, Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. President Reagan I believe said it best though, “On our National Day of Prayer, we join together as people of many faiths to petition God to show us His mercy and His love, to heal our weariness and uphold our hope, that we might live ever mindful of His justice and thankful for His blessing.”

Those were just a few thoughts as we contemplate the decision of U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declaring that a “National Day of Prayer” (NDP) is somehow unconstitutional. Now in my haste to blog about what I saw as just another attempt to rid our Country of its founding and guiding principles, admittedly, I seemed to have missed the boat as well. The idea of a NDP is far more involved than I had originally pondered. So let’s go forward and learn something together, shall we?

As I’ve written of late, you do not have to be a Biblical Scholar or a Theologian to understand the religious frame of mind of our Founding Fathers. Now if you have not done your historical homework in this regard, then the rest of the article will only serve to agitate you. That said, the reading of the story of this Country is made even more inspiring when we witness the faith of so many of our leaders who have been tested at its helm. When we note Lincoln’s trials and how he sought Gods divine intervention through personal and political turmoil, or how FDR moved to comfort the American people in time of great National sacrifice by praying with them by the fireside, or how the prayers of the American People sustained a grieving family and Nation when its leader was shot down in the streets of Dallas, our hearts are filled with a sense of closeness to our God, a closeness and security only attained through recognition of, and faith in His authority and mercy. So when we pick up the paper or turn on the television and witness the slow but steady dismantling of the foundational faith which has set us apart and supported us in times of tribulation, we are obviously angered and confused.

For me personally, being from Rhode Island and all, it is difficult to contain my frustration when I hear some local hypocrite or politician babbling about the “separation of church and state”. I simply want to climb to the highest point I can find and scream, “The Constitution don’t say that”!!! That frustration is made all the more difficult considering our well documented and historically religious background here in “The Ocean State”. But while difficult, we must gather ourselves with the facts first, and proceed with patience.

The National Day of Prayer eventually came to be over a period of about 150 years. It began with President Lincoln as he recognized a Nation on the verge of tearing itself apart, and chose to lead with a belief in God that he wrote about often. In 1863, Lincoln signed a Congressional resolution calling for a day of fasting and prayer during the Civil War that we might pray for the fighting and the fallen, and that with the Lords blessing this great Republic would not perish from the earth.

In April of 1952, both Houses of Congress took it a step further and passed a bill proclaiming that the President should select a day each year as a NDP. President Truman signed that bill into law.

In 1972, a National Prayer Committee was formed, and in 1988 public law 100-307 was signed by President Reagan declaring the first Thursday in May of every year as The National Day of Prayer. Over that time the United States has faced challenges on many levels, but none so great as the one before us today.

Shall we throw away that which has arguably made us the greatest Nation ever to exist on earth? Do we turn our backs on the value of Devine Providence as it relates to all that we hold dear as citizens of this free Republic? Do we condemn our children to a Godless and secular life by virtue of our ignorance and vanity? You see, this is a question as much about who we are to become as who we are today. Every decision made by someone like Judge Crabb is another revisionist assault on our children’s future. As we hear more and more from the likes of radical Christian hater Mikey Weinstein, a man truly devoid of any common decency (in this author’s opinion anyway), do we sit idly by and let these nut jobs and revisionists change the Founder’s intent with the brush of a pen or the key stroke of a laptop? Do we wake up one day in an atheist society with faith only in ourselves and the government? I submit to you that should that day ever come, you will hear the screams of regret reverberate from sea to shining sea, more than likely with crackpots like Weinstein’s being the loudest.

Every day we hear of attacks on prayer, in our schools, our businesses and in our social gathering places, all under the guise of Constitutionality, when in fact the documents authors sought only to reinforce that religion was something to be cherished and not restricted, and that their new government would ensure all could pray as they wished. Nowhere in any writing of the day do we see the famed “separation of Church and state”. This was the farthest thing from the Framers minds and they would have been disgusted at the notion. You would not know this from the writing of today however, as the secularist progressives seek to rid the world of God so they might advance the cause of a world beholden only to those things granted by mankind. I know this may sound a bit deep and prophetic for someone who lacks any formal Biblical insight, but it just seems so clear to me. The writing is on the wall if you choose to read it…

Children are allowed to wear t-shirts in our public schools depicting murderers like Che Guevara, yet they are ridiculed and forbidden to wear a t-shirt depicting a cross or the likeness of Christ. The double standard one would expect to be checked by the “establishment clause” is allowed so as not to offend the “non-Christians”. I am very sure that was not the intent of the First Amendment or any of its components. Make no mistake, what are clearly under attack here though, are our Judeo/Christian beliefs and values.

They are increasingly portrayed as extreme and un-Constitutional. In a blow near and dear to my heart, the United States Army has now withdrawn its invitation to Franklin Graham to speak at the Pentagon on the NDP because of a remark he made about Islam being evil. Now I have always been cautious not to stereotype, but I have also seen the face of the enemy, and he is most certainly proclaiming the religion of Islam in his holy war with the “infidels”, and though he may be the extremist of their faithful, I have still yet to see or hear the outrage from the Muslim Community one would expect when a human beings head is sawed off for the cameras. I do not wish to get side tracked here, so I will try and stay on message, though I feel passionately that this is all linked.

Anyway, the NDP is Thursday May 6th 2010, and thankfully, there is some good news on the subject to report as well. There are still some Politicians willing to step up and be counted among the faithful. 40 or so of them, led by Texas Republican Lamar Smith gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington today to voice their support for the NDP, God Bless em’. Also very notable was the support from the CWA (Concerned Women of America), a bipartisan group whose membership feels strongly about protecting the NDP. Vice President of external relations for Focus on the Family Tim Goeglein praised those defending the NDP today as well stating, “If there was ever a time that we needed a National Day of Prayer, it is certainly now.”

With this in mind, we must turn out in the greatest numbers possible on May 6th. Using the “Tea-Party” model of action, I believe that if we are complacent and idle in the face of the “secular army”, and simply discard our religious roots and their priceless worth to our very way of life for the sake of “political correctness”, there simply won’t be a Country left to fight for in the end. For as I’ve written, I believe God is watching and pondering what we do with this “best arrangement for mankind under Him” which He has blessed us with. So let’s do our homework and head out to our local rallies and make this year a referendum on the Judge Crabbs of the Country. Let’s send an unmistakable message that tells these elitists we know our history (religious and otherwise), and that we are proud of it and don’t want it to be (revised).

Now that my head hurts and my fingers are warm, I think it’s time for me to give you a little local flavor on this one as well, that you might be further inspired to action. “Prayer Rhode Island” is a local project established to encourage Rhode Islanders to keep their elected officials cognizant of the importance of prayer as a means to find the wisdom to lead. Now there’s a thought… I think it’s fair to say that we here in RI have a larger “per capita” corrupt politician to population statistic than most other states. In simple terms, our political leaders need all the help they can get. While the battles on (Smith Hill) rage over how to pay for the “sins” of the past 60 years in our state, it is easy to become cynical when we hear folks at both the State and Federal level telling us we need less of God in our lives. 1 Timothy 2:1,2 “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -for kings and all those in authority, that we may lead peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness.” NIV.

Hmmm…

I have spent a great deal of time on the Hill arguing about this and that, and I have witnessed firsthand the callous disregard many in that building exercise when plotting our collective futures. It makes total sense that Jesus apparently didn’t make it through the security check on the way into the State House Rotunda. For if he had, many in that room would govern from a far different “platform”. Thankfully, there are folks like Cheryl Russell who is in her 11th year with (Prayer RI), and who escorts the Lord into the halls and labyrinth that is the RI State House twice a month to pray for and with our elected officials. (When) they stop to speak with her, she encourages them to think in terms of a holy life first, and as a foundation for any “political” calculation they may be contemplating. Cheryl feels that many of our State Representatives fear any religious overtones in their decision making process as they do not wish to be a target of the ever vindictive and selective ACLU, a political reality for our elected leaders these days. This speaks to what I have been saying about how far we have come from a State that Cheryl points out, touts the Flag of Hope aside of the U.S. Flag, and was founded by a missionary, oh and not to mention that it was the focal flash point of a cast away European culture seeking freedom from “religious” persecution.

Cheryl went on to tell me of her calling to change the hearts and minds of not only politicians, but of all people, from newlyweds to whole families. She spoke of the need for Christians and Non-Christians alike to come out of their “Prayer Closets” and reinforce the message that without God, we are simply out of the light, politically and otherwise. We talked at length about things like the Jericho Walk a couple of years back where some 200 young people walked around the State House professing their faith to all who would listen, as well as what she sees as the need for more to be personally involved in this fight.

Cheryl Russell was at a Woman’s Conference when we spoke by phone, I’m sure doing what she does best, ministering to those in need of spiritual guidance. But she concluded by telling me that the National Day of Prayer, whether it be in Washington or at the State House, is not so much a day as it is a discipline, that should be with us the year round. She feels strongly that the message of that day should be with us always, not just in our local churches, but in our homes, places of business, sporting events, schools and political gatherings. She is an amazing person and resource and I encourage you to read more about her and about upcoming (Pray Rhode Island) events planned for May 6th at http://members.cox.net/riprayer/.

I know this has been a bit long winded and my Editor will be working overtime to try and make it all fit, but there is just so much to say on this topic. I think I can sum up though with a simple thought line. On some level most of us acknowledge God, some more than others, and I’m sure some still with a greater degree of faith. Moreover, most also acknowledge the exceptionalism and worth of this great Republic Divine Providence has given us, whether we discuss it openly or not. So in the humble opinion of this author, it only makes sense that if we wish to leave our legacy, the “hope” and dreams of our faithful forbearers, then our collective message should be loud and clear, hands off “Our National Day of Prayer”.

Fred Comella

Top Cop…

DohertyI recently had the opportunity to watch a video piece on my home state newspaper website (projo.com), the Providence Journal, spotlighting a gentleman I had the pleasure of working with some years back, and it inspired this post.

The video was a mere snapshot of a man who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice and the betterment of the community at large for his entire professional career as a Rhode Island State Trooper. But while we often focus on a police officer within the context of the uniform, it is easy to overlook that which makes the person.

Col. Brendan Doherty’s is the quintessential American story of ambition, dedication and family. Guided by his Irish father’s ethical compass, but raised to be mindful and respectful to the humanity of all, (even those he would someday pursue), Doherty set a standard many a Rhode Island law officer has sought to emulate over the years. His endeavor to pursue the good in the state he loves and calls home, a state that while picturesque is often plagued by scandal and political upheaval, is admirable to say the least, and has catapulted him to the top of his profession.

As a father trying to raise a young son in Rhode Island, moreover in the United States these days, I find it harder and harder to espouse a proper role model for my boy. For this reason, it is refreshing to hear young Zach beam with excitement like only a seven-year old can, “Hey Daddy, it’s the Colonel’s Guys” whenever we pass a RI State Police Cruiser. After shaking the Colonels hand at his swearing-in ceremony, he clearly ranks right up there with (go-kart racing and Tiny Mite football adventures) for Zach. Much to the chagrin of his Mother and I, the little guy never misses an opportunity to reminisce about that day with the Colonel, as well as the Honorable Don Carcieri, Governor of Rhode Island, at every single ceremony we attend.

I know you may wonder where this fits into the grand scheme of my little political project, and to that I would only say: As we move at light speed to close out the first decade of the 21st century, it will be as important as any effort we make to take stock of the positive as well as the negative when we look to our Public Servants. This is always a good way to promote the best possible examples and legacy to the next generation. In the humble opinion of this author, Colonel Brendan Doherty represents one of those examples.

NOTE: The Author worked for Mr. Doherty outside of his capacity as the Superintendent of the RI State Police and is not a State Police Officer. The views expressed on this site are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Colonel and/or his designates, The RI State Police or any other party/entity mentioned herein.

Remaking the “American Dream”…

americandreamThe next step for liberals is to lower the bar and frame the new expectations. In full view of the CBO’s recent “Obamacare” projections, folks like Congressman Keith Ellison (D) MN, are actually out there hyping the wholly unrealistic and un-American concept of, less effort more reward. Many progressives are even going so far as to say that Americans work harder for less than other industrialized nations. Even if this were true, (and it’s not), and accepting that no economic system is without trial and consequence, Americans of all economic categories and stripes have and do enjoy a quality of life unequalled around the globe. What is truly astounding however, is that as we witness Europe’s economic failures in glaring high-definition, there are still fool’s like Ellison, who insist freebies and de-incentivizing the American worker are the way to go. The truth of the matter, is that in order for all Americans to excel in their own endeavors, the government must indeed do its part, that being promote and encourage, by way of unobtrusive but effective legislation, an economic climate which has liberty and free market competition at its core. Oh and essentially, GET OUT OF THE DAMN WAY!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4hI6koIRYk

Independence Day, 2016…

From my FB page…
 
Reading and truly understanding these words, as they were written in the time of the founders, is to be one with events which shaped a nation and a people. You see my friends, to ignore the original intent, is to cast off the extraordinarily unique character and conscience which are exclusive to this great nation. To not acknowledge and be thankful for the immense sacrifice of those who’ve given all of their tomorrows for our today’s, is to be intentionally naive’ or of a more nefarious political intent. For my part, and while I understand no nation or its people are perfect in the eyes of our creator, I have also done my homework, (and other things), which have convinced me beyond any doubt, that the United States of America was, is, and shall remain the best arrangement for mankind under God almighty…- “Patriot64”
 
Please read this and pass it along for others to read!
RossBetsy
 
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
 
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
 
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
 
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
 
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
 
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
 
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
 
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
 
Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
 
Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
 
Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
 
Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
 
Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
 
Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Truth by any other name is still truth…


 By Fred ComellaTruth by any other name is still truth

Slavery, indentured servitude, debt bondage, all scars on the soul of mankind. But they are as old as mankind too. And the sin they were born of is as indisputable and omnipresent in the 21st Century as it was in the beginning. But our interpretations of these stains on our existence have been influenced by a great many things as well as confused by a great many opportunistic historical figures over millennia. Accordingly, Jesus Christ would be the only historical figure to get it right. “Love one another as I have loved you”. Simple you say? Not so much as it turns out. Let me explain…

The more I search for an answer to the quandaries of our time, the more I keep coming back to Christ as the only hope for a lost world. Nevertheless, I remain unable and frankly unwilling to abandon the notion of this free republic and the reasoning behind its birth and continued existence. You see my Christian friends, just spending some time in your local library and/or at your computer keyboard will help you to understand, that despite the mistakes, missteps and yes, outright sin of this young country and its people, there exists no other nation on planet earth and in all of time which has done more to advance the just causes of human freedom than the United States of America. And there are reasons for that.

For starters though, let’s take a look at more recent events such as in Virginia and now other states, where hate and divisiveness have ruled the day, with protesting factions and groups like the Ku-Klux Klan, ANTI-FA and Black Lives Matter taking center stage. Now common sense and a little historical perspective tell us the KKK are an inherently evil group with nefarious intent. In some instances, they’ve usurped the name of God and used their twisted version(s) of history to portray themselves as legitimate participants in the “civil” discourse which they obviously are not, and the evidence tells us this. The real history of this sinister organization is one of deceit, mayhem and murder with no place in any civilized society.

Now ANTI-FA are of a different sort, but in some ways no less nefarious in their intent. Masquerading as an “anti-Fascist” group, the American version is organized and funded by the very villains they claim to abhor and who laude the very views they claim to despise. They don’t seem to comprehend that the same laws they seek to silence those with whom they disagree, could be used to one day silence them. (History 101 boys and girls…) They are highly militant and often coached in their approach and have been at the heart of violent protests themselves over the past few years, most notably during and immediately following Election 2016. (Oh and it’s always quite amusing to note their “signage” if you will, as many can’t even spell the Fascism they’re macing you in the face to protest).

And finally, Black Lives matter or BLM is more of a singular movement obviously requiring racial division and bigotry to exist. BLM’s organizers and supporters espouse the existence of “white privilege” and racism, yet excuse away black on black violence as if it were simply collateral damage. Many in leadership roles call for the outright killing of those sworn to protect their right to march in the street chanting that very thing. And the successes of great American’s like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson and Congresswoman Mia Love are dismissed out of hand, while the dismantling of one of the greatest Christian cultures in American history is facilitated by way of the violent anti-social rhetoric of a media culture gone wrong. But all of this is not a secret. And as I’ve said, all one has to do is their own homework to understand. But that my friends is where the train leaves the tracks.

Let’s face it, we’re all desperate to be right. And in our mission to validate our opinions, the truth is sometimes lost, (or cast aside as inconvenient). For my part, I’ve learned this is futile and that the truth will bubble up at some point. You can’t stop it, especially if it’s His truth. Yes, the Ten Commandments require adherence to God’s laws, but that’s the point. Aspiring to them and attempting to daily, is the antidote for much if not all of what’s killing our society. At some point it becomes the responsibility of those arguing for the future of our posterity to apply those truths as a means to avoid tragedies like Charlottesville. And that’s just not happening right now. There is no debate. Both sides are dug in and politicians and the press are bent on keeping it that way, some for power, some for money and ratings, and some because they actually believe their own you know what. Hence the violence we are now seeing across our country, as ideological vultures descend on the carcasses of ignorance.

In fact, the true history of our nation, good and bad is being demolished. OK yes, there were those who penned our founding documents who owned slaves. It was wrong, but it was the time. But did you know the word slave is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, and that if you read it carefully one gets the sense this was done intentionally, and that they were trusting us to remedy in our time that which they could not adequately remedy in theirs.

Did you know that George Washington freed his and his wives’ slaves, even providing pensions to some who had suffered injuries or illness and who he felt would be unable to support themselves? And what of those who signed the Declaration of Independence proclaiming God given freedom for all men, and for their efforts lost everything, in some cases their very lives.

What of men like Colonel Robert Gould Shaw who fought for the same rights and privileges for the all black 54th Massachusetts under his command, from their socks and boots to equal pay as the white soldier, and who was shot dead at Fort Wagner and buried in a common grave with black soldiers he’d charged headlong into battle with? Were the lessons he learned as a privileged Boston abolitionist’s son, flung into the reality of 1863 meaningless? He was just 25 years old.

Yes Robert E. Lee owned slaves. But he was conflicted by it and rightly pointed out that many in the North owned slaves as well. It was this economic hypocrisy which influenced his decision to decline Lincoln’s offer to command the “Army of the Potomac” and take up arms in defense of his beloved Virginia. So you see folks, our short national history is not as simple as some uneducated/unemployed, agitator/anarchist would have you believe. And there is far more at stake than simply marble figures, lofty quotes and concrete horses.

Now we can debate all of this, and we should. But how dangerous is it when we haven’t even done our own due diligence ahead of that debate? Where have we arrived when a reluctant rebel general who would ultimately became the respected president of Washington University has his likeness vandalized and even removed from the history of this country? What does it say when a statue of Abraham Lincoln is broken and spray painted, when it was Lincoln himself who would ultimately link emancipation to victory in the Civil War, (and was murdered for it)?

And in modern times, (which will be history someday), what will that history say about “We the people” when the elected Congressman and Senators of our time advocate for the removal of historical monuments to our own storied history, yet allow a statue in Seattle Washington (yes in the USA) of Vladimir Lenin, a man historians see as the architect of 20th Century human genocide. What would they say when they read that sharia law, which promotes (and practices) the subjugation and brutalization of women was held up as “Constitutionally protected”? How twisted and convoluted a light will we be viewed in when our children’s children read of the five police officers gunned down in the streets of a major metropolitan city protecting the rights of protesters to protest them? And what will they really think of us when they know we promoted abortion not as crime, but somehow as a cure? Bottom line here folks, we have a chance to learn from history! Attempting to erase it serves only the dictator.

Truth by any other name is still truth - TheMayflowerCompact1620No nation is perfect to be sure. However, if we refuse to teach our young people of the Mayflower Compact and the Bible as the first school book issued by the Congress of the United States, then how do we have a legitimate platform for even the most basic conversation about our true national history? You see, right or wrong, any debate based on revisionist history and void of truth and reason is doomed to descend into protest, and thus be marred by the participation of those seeking only to take advantage of an uneducated citizenry.

Look, everyone knows the KKK/Nazi/skinhead, whatever you want to call them, had one intention when they pulled the permit for that event. Those who stoked those flames with political gasoline of their own however, must share in the aftermath and its consequences. And selective outrage is as hypocritical as the 24 hour news sharks feeding in the bloody water of any ensuing political chaos. Moreover, can we ever reverse the dangerous consequences of actions based on emotion and not fact? And beyond original intent, there is still Christ’s original solution of love one another as I have loved you, to be sure, the closest thing we have left to the truth. Finally, there remain the tried and proven principles of Christianity at our nation’s core, that when applied as He would have it, have never and will never fail us. Together, with Christ in our hearts is the only way we begin to heal the gaping wound of hate.

For now, please pray for Heather Heyer’s family and friends, as well the two Virginia State Troopers killed in the line of duty when their department helicopter crashed policing the protest. And pray for all those injured in subsequent clashes. But also pray that God will see our difficulties for what they are, and that He will intervene, giving us wisdom, mercy and empathy, so we may defy the odds and come together as one people, living out that tenet of our Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal”. Oh, and if I might leave you with a final thought, I feel President Lincoln’s short but inspirational words at Gettysburg are so needed and appropriate at this juncture. God bless you all, and God please bless the United States of America.

Lincoln and Gettysburg Address

Lincoln and Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Remember, "truth and reason" first...