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Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
~~Jesus of Nazareth, John 15:13
During the time of the Civil War, when brothers fought brothers and fathers fought sons, President Lincoln
called for a national day of humiliation, fasting and prayer. Here is a part of what he said:
"We have grown in numbers,
wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which
preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness
of our hearts, that all these blessings were purchased by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken
success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and prserving grace, too proud to pray to the
God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to
pray for clemency and forgiveness.
I urge everyone who loves America to pray for our country. And do it today and
every day. I know we have some visitors from all over the world. I confess America is not perfect, no country is. But America
stands for freedom, for ourselves and others, and we have shed our blood for this freedom, here and elsewhere, time and time
again. We do this even today. And there are millions of people now having a chance for freedom, in Iraq and Afghanistan, that
previously lived under tyranny.
"For if the sword were not on guard to preserve peace, everything in the world would
be ruined because of lack of peace. Therefore, such a war is only a very brief lack of peace that prevents an everlasting
and immeasurable lack of peace, a small misfortune that prevents a great misfortune." Martin Luther, "Whether Soldiers,
Too, Can Be Saved" (1526)
One more personal thought. What would you think about applying for a job that includes duties that
say something like this. Oh, by the way, you may be shot, wounded, crippled, killed or tortured and mocked. You
may get sent away from your family, for long periods ot time, and they may suffer in your absence. It gives me a lot
of pause for thought. Yet that is exactly what each and every one of our past and present soldiers has done for me and
for you. Those that protest can do so because of the soldier. I have religous freedom because of the soldier.
These people have all voluntered to serve their country. And I thank them for their service and their sacrifice.
There are no crown-wearers in heaven that were not cross-bearers here below.
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion:
Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe,
if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human
impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years
ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander
Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw, treating
the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere -- that
sphere that towers over all Berlin -- the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols
of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed. (the sign of the cross)
As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely
spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe,
this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.
President Ronald Reagan
"As government grows, freedom recedes." - Thomas Jefferson
"The greatest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles
of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
- John Quincy Adams
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson
"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." - Thomas Jefferson
"When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny."
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those
who would not." -Thomas Jefferson
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
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