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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An American Patriotic Seder?

I had the great misfortune of attending the Houston based King Street Patriot weekly meeting last night.  


I say 'misfortune' because instead of the normal Tea Party belligerence and self-congratulatory regimen I expected as we took back our country, I was uncomfortably thrust into my very first - and perhaps the first ever -  Patriotic Seder.


King Street, is the group started by Catherine Englebrecht, is best known for beginning the TRUE THE VOTE effort profiled here by BigGovernment.  Having been enormously successful in stopping the vote fraud avalanche in Harris County, they have of late been preparing other patriots in places like Wisconsin to ensure that "one person one vote" is enforced to overturn the mantra in places like Chicago where it is currently chanted, "how many votes do we need to win?" 


But I was totally unprepared for what happened last night.  It was something - I hope - that will be repeated once a year (preferably November 6th although the July 4th timing is apt) across our fruited plain.


Considering myself an "adopted Jew" (aka as a Christian), the Seder has been a thing of fascination for me.  As best as I can understand from my Jewish brothers and sisters, it is one part history lesson, one part celebration, and one part communal affirmation.


What KSP did was ask the question, "What would a Seder for America's journey from tyranny to freedom look like?"


When we entered we each were given a tin with a yellow ribbon, lemon, 3 cups of tea and a cup of red dye.   The program wove the fundamental attributes of FAITH, LIBERTY and UNITY together against while retelling key points of history.  


One such chronicle was that of the yellow ribbon cast nonchalantly into the tree where they rebellious patriots were to "non-spontaneously" gather.  At one heart-stopping point the audience serially proclaims, "If King George would have..." followed by a explanation of why we arrived at revolution.  Insult upon insult built as you could nearly feel the resentment and frustration that grew over the tension of Christian obligations of patience and loyalty.  After each one of these, we dipped our finger into the blood-colored dyed and let a drop fall to the yellow ribbon.


"If King George would have not forced us to buy the King's goods instead of what we needed we would have not gone to war", made me wonder how close we would be if Obamacare was NOT overturned to the same resolution.


This was truly stirring.  We often forget the incredible deliberation and patience showed by our founders.  We often overlook the sense of a religious duty to free not just ourselves from oppression - but those we love and care for.  We certainly loose sight that the Revolution was not really about taxes, but about the frustration of being emotional and spiritually taxed from a loss of self-determination. 


My seder would encompass some things not part of the experience last night but is in no way superior.  I feel that these issues are often overlooked as we remember not just our fight for independence - but the "WHY" of at all.


FAITH.  As John Adams stated, our form of government is suitable for a just and moral people. It is wholely unsuitable for any other.  Even conservatives who are uncomfortable with the religious DNA of our founder's philosophies must at least be reminded that the ONLY reason, they were able to conceive of such a wonder, was due to their deep scholarship of Christian and Judaic scripture and a thorough knowledge of history.  The acknowledgments of Franklin, Jefferson, Adams and Washington to Divine Providence were not superstitious rhetoric, but first person testimony to numerous times our people and cause were delivered from certain defeat. 


COMMON SENSE.  Few remember that as a generally God fearing group of people, America truly was torn by an admonishment to "obey governing authorities," versus God's promise of freedom for His children.  It was the Thomas Paine booklet, COMMON SENSE which gave the average citizen a scriptural truth to help them decide not only what was in their selfish best interest - but what the will of God for them might be.  (It is a fascination that Paine himself was ostracized in his death as his views of scripture became abhorrent to the mainstream of Christian thought. But this fact and under-girding principle of America is that TRUTH - no matter who it comes from - will prevail and will not be co-opted by any personality or man made device.  Nor will we as a people exalt the infallibly of any man.)


CONVICTION.  In this day of convenience and instant gratification, it seems difficult to imagine the intense "win at any cost" devotion these men and women had for an ideal that might not even benefit them in their lifetime.  BRAVEHEART reminded us that not only are we to honor the sacrifice of those who made our lives better, we really can leave nothing to our children if we are not willing to do the same.


TRUE FREEDOM.  I must admit, I WANTED 'freedom' to mean my own self-determination without any oversight when I was even a young adult.  Rebellion has been so highly exalted in our culture that we have created an entire generation or two bankrupt of any ability to gladly cooperate with authority.  Had "Freedom" meant demanding our own selfish desires to be fulfilled at any cost, the revolution would have failed quickly and completely.  Submission to authority, discipline and judgement were the REAL standards of freedom.  Although not sexy enough for even a bumper sticker, it is THESE 3 ideals that allow trust and cooperation to be shared in self-government - leading us to understand better the earlier John Adams quote.


RESPONSIBILITY. I wish I could remember the quote and author of a banner hanging at the meeting.  What I took from it was that not only is the purchase of Freedom costly - it could only be maintained with a people circumspect in doing so.  As Christian conservatives have long realized, the abandonment of culture and government for "holier" efforts allowed a complete abdication of our school curriculum, bureaucracy and entertainment to forces more than eager to tantalize us with "fun" and "rebellion" in a Pinocchio-like tragedy.  I'm always reminded of Dr. Ted Baehr's lessons of how the blasphemous expansion of immorality coincidentally took hold within a few years of both the Catholic and Protestant film offices being closed.  Indeed, salt is needed to preserve as the efforts of groups like King Street Patriots is sure to do. 



I thought it poetic that the yellow ribbons we were given turned into the King Street Patriot colors of orange from the blood-like dye dropped like tears with each lament against the tyranny of government.


Perhaps it could be added to the mix of red, white and blue we will immerse ourselves in next week.   


And perhaps others will undertake their own seder of patriotism to not only remind us of what God has done in our past, but to strengthen us for the fight and victory ahead.     





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