Senator Ken Cuccinelli had a couple of particularly interesting item in the August 31th edition of the Cuccinelli Compass. So I excerpted them for you.
The first item is a request for citizen leadership in Fairfax County.
Help Save Fairfax
As Loudoun and Prince William Counties continue to escalate their efforts to protect their communities from the effects of illegal immigration, Fairfax continues to lag. Fairfax is known as what is called a “sanctuary jurisdiction” for its unwillingness to even inquire of the legal status of criminals that it takes into custody.
To really ‘advance the ball’ in Fairfax, some folks are putting together a local chapter of Help Save Virginia. Help Save Virginia is the umbrella organization in Virginia advocating taking a tougher line against illegal immigration with the Commonwealth.
While there was an introductory meeting not too long ago, the immediate need is for a few individuals that are willing to step up and help lead the organization. Those of you that might consider stepping up are probably asking, “just what do you mean by ‘step up and help lead?'” And the answer is probably whatever you want to make of it, but nothing will happen unless a few of you step up to take on this challenge. I would urge those of you in Fairfax County to consider helping. If you have any interest, please email me at Ken4Sen@Cuccinelli.com and I will put you in touch with the people that have begun to form this organization.
Nothing will happen until a few people that are willing to help organize others step up to take some responsibility for this problem in Fairfax. Will you be one of those few?
The second item is a book/movie review.
2007 is the 200th anniversary of William Wilberforce’s successful 20+ year fight to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain and its colonies. For those of you that haven’t seen it, the movie on this subject is great, and in all my free time I’ve started reading a biography by the same name as the movie: “Amazing Grace.”
For those of you wondering how I have any time, this week I’ve been traveling to and from Oxford, Mississippi to participate in oral argument on a summary judgment motion on a patent infringement case I’m working on in my ‘real job.’ I have sat for long periods in airports this week. In fact, I’m typing these very words as we descend through 20,000 feet toward Charlotte airport, where I have the privilege of waiting another hour or two before catching my 10:30 p.m. connection to Dulles. I can’t wait to get home and start sweating through door to door again! Enough about why I’m reading about Wilberforce. now a couple of observations on what I’m reading.
The quotes below are from the Introduction of “Amazing Grace” (the book, not the movie):
“There’s hardly a soul alive today who isn’t horrified and offended by the very idea of human slavery. We seethe with moral indignation at it, and we can’t fathom how anyone or any culture ever countenanced it. But in the world into which Wilberforce was born, the opposite was true. Slavery was as accepted as birth and marriage and death, was so woven into the tapestry of human history that you could barely see its threads, much less pull them out. Everywhere on the globe, for five thousand years, the idea of human civilization without slavery was unimaginable.
The idea of ending slavery was so completely out of the question at that time that Wilberforce and the abolitionists couldn’t even mention it publicly.”
Commenting on what Wilberforce achieved, the author notes the following:
“He destroyed an entire way of seeing the world, one that had held sway from the beginning of history, and he replaced it with another way of seeing the world. Included in the old way of seeing things was the idea that the evil of slavery was good. Wilberforce murdered that old way of seeing things, and so the idea that slavery was good died along with it. Even though slavery continues to exist here and there, the idea that it is good is dead. The idea that it is inextricably intertwined with human civilization, and part of the way things are supposed to be, and economically necessary and morally defensible, is gone.”
When we speak of changing hearts and minds, Wilberforce did it in the face of minds that had accepted slavery since the dawn of mankind, and he did it by changing hearts and then minds. in that order. Finally, his method of success included a heavy reliance on the role of faith in public policy at a time where the culture of the establishment was vigorously secular. Sound familiar?
The author continued. “in 1785, at age 26 and at the height of his political career [he had just played a critical role in electing the parliament that sustained William Pitt as the youngest Prime Minister in the history of the nation], something profound and dramatic happened to him. He might say that, almost against his will, God opened his eyes and showed him another world. Somehow Wilberforce saw God’s reality. He saw things that existed in God’s reality but that, in human reality, were nowhere in evidence. He saw the idea that all men are women are created equal by God, in his image, and are therefore sacred.”
Does this spur any thoughts regarding the political world of the last 40 or 50 years in your mind? It does in mine.
And in an amusing historical close to the Introduction, the author reports on the resistance to Wilberforce:
“In the thick of the battle for abolition, one of its many dedicated opponents, Lord Melbourne, was outraged that Wilberforce dared inflict his Christian values about slavery and human equality on British society. ‘Things have come to a pretty pass,’ he famously thundered, ‘when one should permit one’s religion to invade public life.’ For this lapidary inanity, the jeers and catcalls and raspberries and howling laughter of history’s judgment will echo forever – as they should.”
It is always interesting to me how much history can teach us about today. I hope this is as thought-provoking for you as it was for me.