Archive for American South

Abortion and Slavery collision with both

Posted in Abortion, Poems, Slavery with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2010 by saynsumthn

By: Carole Novielli Published July 9, 2010

I was asked to think about what it would have been like I had lived in the 1840’s, during the time of slavery.

I gave that much thought and I would like to submit to you my story. This story is not truth – but based in truth. I wrote it with all the imagination I could muster combining my personal research of the slave era with my current life as a pro-lifer. I want you to consider what the battle to end abortion and free the unborn from the grip of death would be like if we looked at it thru the eyes of an abolitionist.

So If you will bear this lengthy tale- Here is my life growing up in the American South:

I live in Georgia, my family is not wealthy. I am a young woman. In my life, women do not have much political power, but we have learned ways to influence our men.

My best friend lives down the road. Her father owns a huge cotton farm by which he does fairly well. We recently went into town to get some goods. While my friend and I shopped and pranced around town, her father was busy gathering items for the farm. As we walked through town, it was a normal Saturday afternoon. We passed the mill store , the feed store, and Anne’s boutique. I know many of the merchants because we only have one church in our town. We attend the First Southern Gospel Church of Georgia. It is quaint and I dream of the day I will marry in that little church.

Our pastor is a simple man, humble and yet he can bellow out quite a sermon. After he preaches, he gathers at the back of the church where we all file past shaking his hand and assuring him his message has rescued us from the flames of hell. Sometimes I hear the Deacon snicker at his dramatic style, but, as they say, that is what they hired him to do.

There is one place in town that makes me uncomfortable. It is the slave auction. Once a month, slave drivers come through town – they use the local jail and local hotel to house these pathetic creatures. Then they take them to the town square and the people gather early in hopes of getting the prize worker. Today was especially disturbing. As I watched from a distance, a young boy was placed on the block. The people gathered round to examine his features. They like to look at his teeth, they say that is the best way to tell if the slave is healthy and strong. We learned this trick from trading horses, really isn’t much different between the two – both work the fields. Yet, I wonder, how these pathetic creatures feel when they are handled so.

While watching this sight, I noticed that it was my friend’s father whose bid “won the prize” – he seemed rather pleased and began the process of payment, when all of a sudden – a sassy female slave screamed and ran at the boy. She fell at his feet and hung onto his legs. They both sobbed. I thought, what does this Ni**er girl think she is doing? But, then I also thought that in some small fashion – she showed a certain bravery. The master began to pry her off and when she refused to let go – he took out his whip and beat her. I turned my head.

We were off and running, goods in hand and a satisfied feeling that we had accomplished all that we drove to town to accomplish.

That evening, I had a disturbing dream. I relived that day in town, only this time, I saw myself on the block and my mother being beaten. I woke up sweating and laid wide eyed all evening. Little did I know that this vision, of placing myself in the shoes of that little slave boy would affect my life so dramatically – but – I am getting ahead of myself.

Sunday came and we all gathered at the church. It is really our schoolhouse, but we use it on Sundays. My friend came with her family and their new slave boy. The slaves must attend church, it is required that they hear the Gospel. They are heathens you know and they need to be converted. Of course, they cannot read. They sit very quietly separate from the townspeople. We do not view them as “people” they are creatures who need to be “cared for”.

We have debates at church suppers over the correct way to treat the slave. Some get heated as they almost defend the slave, saying it is godly to show them compassion and besides, they claim, we get them to work better if we treat them well. Others insist that discipline and fear is the way to keep the slaves in line. The discussion gets heated some days – but- we always end the discussion agreeing to disagree. After all, the minister reminds us, we are all part of His body and we should not allow such division among us. There are some, though, like my father who refuses to have any slaves at all. They often dismiss him, telling him, “Look, that is your choice, if you do not believe in slavery, don’t have one – but stop preaching against what we do- it is none of your business.” My father shakes his head, often walking away in disgust. I do not think he wants to keep the peace on this matter.

I am 30 now , I have had quite the life. In fact, I never married and I was involved with a career. It is rare that a woman does not marry, but she is able to support herself these days. My friends tell me I chase men away, they say I am to radical about my beliefs and that causes men to avoid me. They may be correct because, you see, I have become what they call, an abolitionist. Year ago, my father began to listen to the abolitionist views. He read the words of William Garrison a great author in the anti-slavery movement. I joined him when we went down to the slave auctions and disrupted their activities. Many call us “agitators” and they may be correct. You see, that dream I had as a young girl came back to haunt me. The abolitionists told us to place ourselves in the actual place of the slave. They told us that God commanded two things – to love Him with all of our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. To do this – we must put our neighbor in our shoes, and see the world through his eyes. But first, we had to see the slave as a person- equal and in need of protection and freedom.

I moved, I no longer live in Georgia, I have moved to another southern state. I came out here to join full time in the abolitionist movement. My family supports me, but I miss them dearly. My father requested I get involved in my local church as soon as I arrived. I found a sweet church, with precious people. My pastor is anti-slavery as well, although, I think he sees me as a little overboard. The minister is certain to give a few sermons a year against slavery, but he is adamant that his main focus is evangelism. Most of my church tells me this – they say that they agree that the slave deserves his freedom, but we cannot make it our main focus. I am often told that we all have a different calling, and mine happens to be to the anti-slavery movement. This message conflicts me. Sometimes it is easier to speak with those who oppose me than those who agree with me. I feel that action is a sign of belief.

Occasionally, I meet pro-slavery church members. Mostly they avoid me, but on occasion I am able to speak to them. One such member told me that they had seen “radicals” with “Picket signs” protesting the local mayors election. This member was not that familiar with my personal views on that point and they continued their assault against my abolitionist friends, calling them “unkind and unloving” because they were publicly exposing the mayor’s pro-slavery positions. She began her assault by quoting from a message she heard preached that morning. That morning in sort of a joking way, the minister told the congregation that if “you plan on taking to the streets with placards please do not tell anyone you belong to this church.”

She said the pastor would agree with her position. I quickly shut her down, telling her that I would not attack my abolitionist brothers and sisters in such a way. That statement by the minister was meant as a joke – yet- for those of us who do picket, it strikes at our hearts to hear this. I realize he is unaware of how it affects us and he has never reprimanded me, but, I have to wonder if he thinks our abolitionist ways are to confrontational.

I am often caught between two worlds. The world of simple Christianity and the world of “agitating”. These worlds seem to clash and I am often conflicted at what the right thing to do is. The majority of “church goers” although “anti-slavery” are not “abolitionists” and the majority of “abolitionists” although “Christians” are not “Church goers”. There is a disconnect taking place and a frustration among the abolitionists with the established church.

In my church we often speak of the Old Testament stories , many motivate me. We place ourselves in stories like Esther or in Jericho, and we challenge each other saying, “Would you be Esther if faced with such a decision?” and “Would you hide the spies if you lived in Jericho?” We love to speak of our founding fathers and proclaim our heroic patriotism each swearing we’d die for this land – forsake our honor and our wealth- and lay it all down. We must stand for what is RIGHT, the minister proclaims, despite what the world throws our way “Do not compromise”.

The slave, he is in front of me every day. I can hear the crackle of the whip and I can see the pain in his eyes. It is sometimes more than I can bear- where do I go to hide myself from the reality of slavery? It is everywhere , even in the North – where they profit from the clothing manufacturers to the building of slave ships, where newspapers make their living on ads they sell to slave owners and insurance companies profit from insuring slave vessels. The North claims they are not at fault with slavery, but we all know – there are slaves in the North. There is no place to go which is not soaked in the sweat of the slave.

Ordained Presbyterian minister Rev. Fred. A. Ross, D.D., exposes the North’s hypocrisy in his book, “Slavery Ordained of God.”
1. The number of Northern church-members concerned, directly or indirectly, in building and fitting out ships for the African slave-trade, and the slave-trade between the States.
2. The number of Northern church-members who traffic with slave-holders, and are seeking to make money by selling them negro-clothing, handcuffs, and cowhides.
3. The number of Northern church-members who have sent orders to New Orleans, and other Southern cities, to have slaves sold, to pay debts owing them from the South. [See Uncle Tom’s Cabin.]
4. The number of Northern church-members who buy the cotton, sugar, rice, tobacco, oranges, pine-apples, figs, ginger, cocoa, melons, and a thousand other things, raised by slave-labor.
5. The number of Northern church-members who have intermarried with slave-holders, and have thus become slave-owners themselves, or enjoy the wealth made by the blood of the slave,–especially if there be any Northern ministers of the gospel in such a predicament.
6. The number of Northern church-members who are the descendants of the men who kidnapped negroes in Africa and brought them to Virginia and New England in former years.
7. The number of Northern church-members who own stock in under-ground railroads, running off fugitive slaves, and in Sabbath-breaking railroads and canals.

There is talk of war..the abolitionist are using this to awaken the people, tug at the hearts of our fellow-country man that God requires us to abandon slavery, that it will in fact, bring his wrath. We have seen many conversions. As we speak, John Newton, a former slave captain, has published his memoirs. Many slaves have been freed and educated and they are causing a stir among those still in captivity. Slave masters are uneasy with the “hope” which is building in their slaves when they see Frederick Douglas and others walking free. People are awakening and some are speaking on behalf of the slave. But this has some very angry and they commence vile attacks on my fellow abolitionists.

In his book, “God Against Slavery” (1857), Rev. George B. Cheever, D.D defends the abolitionist,

“ I reaffirm it, that the infidelity of certain abolitionists, whose names have become a byword with you, is occasioned by your conduct. You often call them ‘the troublers of Israel.’ I will answer in their behalf, out of that blessed book which your inhumanity has brought into contempt:
‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.’ [I Kings 18:17-18]”

Yet, for those fighting for the slave, there has been a cost. Frederick Douglass, writes in “A Simple Tale of American Slavery:: An Address Delivered in Sheffield, England, on September 11, 1846.

Many a night have I been wakened in Philpotts-street, Baltimore, by the passing-by, at midnight, of hundreds of slaves, carrying their chains and fetters and uttering cries and howlings, almost enough to startle the dead. They were going to the market to work in cotton or sugar, going off to be killed in the space of five or six years, in the swamps of Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. These things are everyday occurrences in the United States; and for exposing this state of things, for bringing his powerful eloquence and pouring out his soul against such a state of things my brother Garrison has been laid in prison, and what is worse, he has been persecuted and stigmatised as an infidel by the Christian people of America, because he dared openly to unmask the hypocritical pretensions of those who committed these abominations— …”

Garrison, now there is a man to emulate. He has no fear, how I love his spunk, he writes in “No Compromise with the Evil of Slavery“, 1854

I am a believer in that portion of the Declaration of American Independence in which it is set forth, as among self-evident truths, “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Hence, I am an abolitionist…. They who desire me to be dumb on the subject of slavery, unless I will open my mouth in its defense, ask me to give the lie to my professions, to degrade my manhood, and to stain my soul… I do not know how to espouse freedom and slavery together. I do not know how to worship God and Mammon at the same time… If other men choose to go upon all fours, I choose to stand erect, as God designed every man to stand. If, practically falsifying its heaven-attested principles, this nation denounces me for refusing to imitate its example, then, adhering all the more tenaciously to those principles, I will not cease to rebuke it for its guilty inconsistency. Numerically, the contest may be an unequal one, for the time being; but the author of liberty and the source of justice, the adorable God, is more than multitudinous, and he will defend the right. My crime is that I will not go with the multitude to do evil. My singularity is that when I say that freedom is of God and slavery is of the devil, I mean just what I say. My fanaticism is that I insist on the American people abolishing slavery or ceasing to prate of the rights of man…The law that makes him a chattel is to be trampled underfoot; the compact that is formed at his expense, and cemented with his blood, is null and void; the church that consents to his enslavement is horribly atheistical; the religion that receives to its communion the enslaver is the embodiment of all criminality… Friends of the slave, the question is not whether by our efforts we can abolish slavery, speedily or remotely – for duty is ours, the result is with God; but whether we will go with the multitude to do evil, sell our birthright for a mess of pottage, cease to cry aloud and spare not, and remain in Babylon when the command of God is “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Let us stand in our lot, “and having done all, to stand.” At least, a remnant shall be saved. Living or dying, defeated or victorious, be it ours to exclaim, “No compromise with slavery! Liberty for each, for all, forever! Man above all institutions! The supremacy of God over the whole earth!

Another great man to admire within the abolitionist movement is former slave, Frederick Douglass . In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.

In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman cannot be divine. Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may – I cannot. The time for such argument is past.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced. ..

There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour. Go search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.
(SOURCE: Frederick Douglass wrote in The Hypocrisy of American Slavery)

Such Passion, I am so motivated… the war has ended …

I am old now, as I look back on my life I am gripped but for the cost slavery has been in our great land. A land founded to glorify God, and based on “freedom for all.” God has a way of holding us to our statements.

The human cost of the war far exceeded what anyone had imagined in 1861. The North placed roughly 2.2 million men in uniform (180,000 of them blacks), of whom about 640,000 were killed, wounded in battle, or died of disease. Of the 360,000 Northern soldiers who died, two-thirds perished from illnesses such as dysentery, diarrhea, measles, malaria, and typhoid. Casualties in Confederate forces are more difficult to estimate, but they probably approached 450,000 out of approximately 750,000 to 850,000 Confederate soldiers. Of these, it is estimated that more than 250,000 died. The proportion of battlefield deaths to deaths by disease was probably the same as in the Northern armies. Total deaths thus exceeded 600,000, and the dead and wounded combined totaled about 1.1 million. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than in all other American wars combined from the colonial period through the later phase of the Vietnam War (1959-1975). (SOURCE: American Civil WarWarren W. Hassler, Jr.: Emeritus Professor of American History, Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Author of Commanders of the Army of the Potomac and others. Edited by: Robert Guisepi 2002)

Reflecting on the war, although not really fought over slavery, the burning issue of the slave’s personhood impacted many- even great generals.

When northern newspapers ran stories of General Robert E. Lee’s supposedly having runaways soundly flogged at the Arlington House plantation on the eve of the war it made him unhappy but there was nothing he could do, save complain to his son, Custis. “The N. Y. Tribune has attacked me for my treatment of your grandfather’s slaves, but I shall not reply. He has left me an unpleasant legacy.”

Lee’s stated views on slavery are well-known, having been set out in correspondence and post-war interviews. Reflecting the prevailing aristocratic and Christian values of his class, the following passage, written to his wife in December 1856, reveals his attitude:

There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. While my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more deeply engaged for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day.”

But, after the war, General Lee somberly stated, “So far, from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.” This he said with much earnestness.(SOURCE: Lee Family Digital Archive)

For me, I see the war as judgment on our nation by God for slavery, and I am not alone on this matter:

In “Slavery and the Civil War as viewed by the Churches of God“, 1845-1865” Don Corbin writes,

That the unparalleled sacrifice of life and treasure in the present civil war for the overthrow of the slaveholder’s rebellion and for the restoration of the national authority in all states of this Union is obviously in our opinion the result of God’s judgments upon us for our wickedness. This same reasoning is very plainly expressed in the editor of the Advocate’s statement, “Why has all this trouble come upon us? We fear that the true answer to this question is, that because of our sinfulness as a nation, God has permitted this scourge to fall upon us. Our condition as such, should induce us to confess and implore Divine mercy and interposition in our behalf, and we hope such is the feeling of the friends of peace and religion everywhere.” It is easy to see that the Church felt that the Civil War was God’s punishment upon them as a Church and nation for their grave sin of slaveholding.

And in “Sermons, Speeches, and Letters on Slavery and its war ” – The National Midnight , A sermon preached at Westfield , MA November 16,1856 on the occasion of the election of James Buchanan to the Presidency of the United States 1869 : Gilbert Haven laments,

How horrible our sin ! How more horrible will be our punishment!

What has caused this defeat! Why did not truth and right prevail? Why did we not win? Because there was no deep repentance of the real cause of their shames and crimes, and no true sympathy with their chief victims. The cause is slavery; the real victim is the slave. .. We have had no tears for the slave. His fate has not been the battle-cry of any party.

Yes, the cost of maintaining the status quo affected every person. It touched their lives, split their churches, made widows and orphans of their communities and forced the world as we know it to change forever. The cost was so great for a nation so indifferent, a nation God called to repentance, a cost that never had to be paid if not for our stubborn and apathetic response to the evils of slavery.

In 1862 Samuel and Julia Howe were invited to Washington by President Lincoln. The Howes visited a Union Army camp in Virginia across the Potomac. There, they heard the men singing the song which had been sung by both North and South, one in admiration of John Brown, one in celebration of his death: “John Brown’s body lies a’mouldering in his grave.”

A clergyman in the party, James Freeman Clarke, who knew of Julia’s published poems, urged her to write a new song for the war effort to replace “John Brown’s Body.” She described the events later:
I replied that I had often wished to do so…. n spite of the excitement of the day I went to bed and slept as usual, but awoke the next morning in the gray of the early dawn, and to my astonishment found that the wished-for lines were arranging themselves in my brain. I lay quite still until the last verse had completed itself in my thoughts, then hastily arose, saying to myself, I shall lose this if I don’t write it down immediately. I searched for an old sheet of paper and an old stub of a pen which I had had the night before, and began to scrawl the lines almost without looking, as I learned to do by often scratching down verses in the darkened room when my little children were sleeping. Having completed this, I lay down again and fell asleep, but not before feeling that something of importance had happened to me.” (SOURCE: Julia Ward Howe: Beyond the Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward and Samuel Gridley Howe An article by Jone Johnson Lewis, Women’s History Guide , posted on

Here is what Howe wrote: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1862)

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
“As ye deal with my condemners, So with you my grace shall deal;”
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded form the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

He has sounded form the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

When this nation endured the darkness of slavery, few good men and women said “NO“. They were the persecuted voices in their day – shouting against the evils of slavery to a nation whose very economy was based on the stripes of the black man. They were voiceless in Congress, the media, and even in many of the churches. Though few in numbers, they converted whom they could: one convert at a time. How could they face down an industry that enslaved millions with a handful of “radicals” freeing only a few men and women from the bondage of slavery? The great abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wrote this in “The Liberator”, an abolitionist newspaper he created because he had been censored from the regular press. January 1, 1831:

I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”

Though victory seemed grim, they fought on, unsure of the results: freedom was worth the risk and victory finally came.

Thomas J “Stonewall” Jackson is one of the most famous American Generals of all time, got his fame by fighting for the South in the American Civil War; he was very religious and thought to be a bit odd at times by his men. Jackson was heard telling his men, “My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to always be ready, no matter when it may overtake me.” With that in mind, General Jackson faced the battle with faith in God, sworn to his duty he was assured that God held his days in His able hands. “Look at Jackson standing there like a stone wall,” was the sentence that gave birth to his historic nickname.Jackson died from friendly fire on the battlefield.

As the Revolutionary War, Slavery, and the Civil War among others teach us, there have been dark times in American History before. The Bible itself is full of inspirational stories where the righteous was outnumbered and the battle looked bleak. For Example: David watched as the Israeli army backed off as Goliath mocked the Living God. Outraged that one man could cause such fear, David chose to march on trusting that His God was larger and greater than any earthly giant. David took a risk and stepped onto the battlefield alone but God showed up along side of him and the giant was silenced.

Thinking he was the only prophet of the Most High left, Elijah faced down 450 prophets of Baal , “You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. ” Elijah told Ahab, “Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18

Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.

Elijah – took a risk and GOD SHOWED UP! He put the false god’s of Baal to shame.

Esther was a young beautiful woman who was launched into the King’s chamber as Queen when he saw her beauty. But then her uncle sent word to her that the King had been tricked into signing a decree to massacre all of “her people, the Jews.” He spoke these words to her, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Esther took a risk and went into see her King. She could have died in that attempt, but she believed the words of her Uncle that she had been sent to that position “for such a time as this.” She took a risk, and God saved her people.

In a little town a young woman was greeted by an angel, “Mary – you are great among women.” Told by the angel that she would bear a son, Mary trembled because she knew the consequences to pregnancy outside of marriage. Choosing instead to believe the words of God through His messenger, Mary replied, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) Mary accepted that risk and the Lord literally showed up!

As we look out among this nation, many of us are battle torn and worn out. We are witnessing perhaps the death of America’s Freedom and Greatness. The prospect of that outcome has caused many to give-up, many to loose hope. But, we are not a people who should be motivated by what we “see” with earthly eyes. We are a people of Hope and a people who serve a Great God. Perhaps we have been spoiled by a sense of “freedom” few of us have ever been called upon to “defend”. Perhaps some of us have sat on the sidelines while others fought for us. Whatever the cause, we are where we are, and nothing happens outside of God’s vision. If America is seeing her last great days, so be it. I, for one, intend to stay in this battle to the end. I intend to fight on, not because victory has been promised. Precisely the opposite. I fight because it is right. I stand because I believe in truth and in God’s Word. I speak and defend the innocent because God commands me to. I am a patriotic American, but my last and final hope is not of this world, but of that world to come. If I can make a difference here on earth, great. But that is not my goal – it is to please and honor my King. I fight on, I take the risk, and I trust that if God is for me “Who can be against me?”

For I am convinced that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Please…do not quit, for who knows that you were born “FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.” Speak for what is right, no matter who listens. Stand for what is right, no matter the consequences. Be a light in a dark and dying world and look to our one and only hope: The Lord Jesus Christ !

As we approach the current sins of this once great nation, let us take to our knees and bless America, stand in the gap for her, and repent for this land we love so dearly. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 11Chronicle 7:14

And above all- FIGHT ON!

Duty is Ours, Results are God’s