Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We — even we here — hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless. — President Abraham Lincoln (Annual Message to Congress —
Concluding Remarks, given on December 1, 1862; from here)

Lincoln spoke these words about two and a half months after the Battle of Antietam. The South had tried to take the war to the North, and Union forces had repulsed the invaders. Nevertheless, in a single day, almost 23,000 Americans were suddenly dead, wounded, or missing. When the path ahead promised still more dead, wounded, or missing, Lincoln called for a calm resolve to save the Union. Amazingly, the People listened. If we had been the People Lincoln spoken to, would we have listened?

We imagine the trials of our time to be difficult, and in a way they are. Although most of us have not been called upon to bleed in a bloody war, we struggle against our own apathy, the innumerable temptations we subject ourselves to, the culture of indifference we help to create, the feeling of powerlessness we cultivate as an excuse for inaction, the bafflement that arises from our lack of concern, … we struggle against the weaknesses of our own humanity and our own making.

Many of us do not even see any problems. We refuse to see. We insist our little world will continue as it is just because that is the way we have always known it.

Because we may not want to do so, we may never consider the possibility God made each of us for a purpose. In fact, just so we don’t have to think, to contemplate why we exist, we may deliberately fill each moment of our lives with busyness, with aimless bustle and hustle and with passive entertainment.

Born-again Christians have no excuse for aimless busyness or inertia. We know enough to stop and pray. We know we must take time to be still and know God (Psalm 46:10). We know enough to seek His Will. We know “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Our Lord even gave us His own example.

Mark 10:42-45 English Standard Version (ESV)

42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

But too many do not practice our Lord’s example. So we live in a time of unraveling.

Would you like proof? Then consider. Are we eager to serve others, or do we wish to be served? When we vote, do we vote to further our own interests or the interests of our neighbors?

Contemplate our leaders. Don’t we elect people whose values reflect our own? Do our leaders serve us, or do they contrive to make us serve them?

When we vote — before we cast our ballot — each of us needs to ask our self a question. Is the person I am voting for helping me to serve my country, or is he buying my vote?

Are we willing to participate as best we can in public life? Do we take seriously the words of President John F. Kennedy?

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. (from here)

No? Then when our leaders enslave us, what right will we have we to complain?


  1. As an ancient fellow, I recall the Word of God and prayer in government schools…err…public schools. Our homeroom teacher opened the day with the pledge of allegiance (in English!), a chapter from the Word of God, and prayer. Christians and non-Christians recited the prayer. I do not recall anyone complaining about it. Actually, we (students) looked forward to the Word and prayer because they were the best thing we heard to cheer our spirits and provide hope. Majority, if not all, came from rough neighborhoods or broken families, and many lacked opportunities. I recall witnessing tense students become relaxed, including myself. Just my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the fuss comes from people not thinking things through, Tom. Of course, there are always fear mongers and opportunistic pols who would rather stir up hysteria (and, they hope, get some cheap votes out of it) than take the time to discuss how important it is under the Constitution to protect religion from governmental interference and imposition. Supreme Court decisions in the early 1960s (alluded to by Keith in this comment) didn’t ban you or me from praying in the hallways or at our desks. They didn’t ban you or me (or even Keith, were he so inclined) from reading a Bible in study hall. They simply said that the government can’t shove prayer down our children’s throats. Were the government to be allowed that power, there is no clear way to ensure that the government’s choice of prayer, religion or doctrine, would conform to yours or mine. In fact, the odds are very high that both you and I would object to whatever they served up. These principles, once confirmed by the courts, were not just a victory for the Constitution, they were a victory for religion. I know you have expressed leftist, socialist, theocratic views on this and are apparently very comfortable with turning over religious instruction to government employees, but many of us would view it as a gross usurpation of government powers and a very real threat to religious liberty.


    1. Fear mongering? Would that be something like this?

      There are a lot of citizens who regard public schools as a source of economic well-being for the community and who would fear economic collapse if they became a bastion of no public education.


    2. Consider the gap between the time the Constitution was approved and that 1963 court decision. What had changed? Instead of private organizations and local communities running their own schools, state governments had stepped in and taken over. In addition, some in the Federal Government wanted to spend lots more money, and these big spenders saw religious freedom issues as a threat to their spending. Thus, for the sake of government control, we separated religious instruction from academic instruction.

      Insidious, ain’t it?


  3. The bible wasn’t outlawed in the public schools, Keith. I almost always had one (post-1963) when I was in school, and many others did too. Same with prayer. I can’t tell you how many times we prayed (mostly immaturely and for the wrong things – like divine intervention in the grading process or at athletic events – but, what the heck, we were kids).

    What you may be referring to is a series of court cases confirming that the Constitution’s protection of religion includes prohibition on government imposition of prayer. I submit that that has always been the import of the First Amendment. That it took until 1963 to get it through some people’s thick skulls is too bad, but it was a victory for the Constitution.


    1. Victory for the Constitution? You are aware of the fact that the Constitution is only an indifferent piece of paper? The Constitution is only a record of an agreement. The victory either belongs to the People or to tyrants.

      So why would you use that phrase, “victory for the Constitution”? I suspect that has something to do with the fact that this was a “victory” the People did not support. Have we not had far too many such victories here of late? But Liberal judges and politicians know our needs better than the rest of us, don’t they?

      Really, scout, if people had a problem with prayer in the public school, why could they have just listened to you? You had the solution.

      As I’ve mentioned here before, I had complete freedom of choice about where I sent my kids to school. I sent one to a very good Catholic school and the other to a public school. Both of them went to a private, non-sectarian primary school. In each case, the kids got good educations (not perfect, but adequate for their needs) and both did well at university. My freedom to choose is no different than any other citizen’s. I also could have home-schooled them, but neither my wife nor I is competent to teach certain important subjects, so we were very much satisfied with the range of choices we had.

      If there is complete freedom of choice, then where is the imposition? Why the fuss?

      Ultimately, when we talk about local control, that means the parents decide, not some judge or the POTUS. And that is the problem, is it not? When we have govenment-run schools, the parents don’t get to decide.


    2. You ducked the issue as usual, Scout. Was the United States a “socialist, statist, theocratic” nation because it provided “religious instruction” for its first 170 years or so?

      And the Supreme Court decided in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963), that school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools in the United States was unlawful.

      You use clever wording to pretend to miss the point.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

The Curmudgeon

Not afraid to offend

Opinions By Liming

Often Offensive But Rarely Wrong

Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women's Outreach

Christian Outreach Ministry to those Incarcerated, with Addictions and our Military

On the Pilgrim Road

“If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.” - Fulton Sheen

Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

We gathered life only to find...

...'Twas just the willow-wisp of time

Deo Vindice

The Great Commission, The Great Experiment, Virginia and my musings

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”


Life through the eyes of "cookie"

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom. We are the masters of our own disasters.


Supplying the Light of Love

The Recovering Legalist

Living a Life of Grace

Write Side of the Road

writing my way through motherhood

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3


Finding Clear and Simple Faith


Author Alexander Hellene - Sci-Fi - Fantasy - Culture - Art - Entertainment - Music - Fun

John Branyan

something funny is occurring

Because The Bible Wasn't Written In English

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine


Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren


"Fear Not, Only Believe." Mk. 5:36

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

College Professor


Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.


The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective




The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.


My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

%d bloggers like this: