LEARNING THE RIGHT LESSON FROM HISTORY
�Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.� That old maxim is true. The trick is to learn the right lesson from history.
Probably one instance of learning the wrong lesson involves the War Between the States. In one recent discussion, I was challenged on my assertion that this war was about slavery. My friend started to bring up the North�s confiscatory tariffs and the South�s claim states' rights in secession. Others have pointed to the resultant destruction of state sovereignty through Amendment 14.
I acknowledge that the North was wrong on states' rights and that the war was more about economics and �unity� than slavery -- from the point of view of the participants! But, as I told my erstwhile challenger, the war had nothing to do with their point of view. The God of history was at work here. I contend that both sides were utterly blinded by God.
Lincoln said that as long as he could preserve the Union (unity), he would put up with slavery if necessary. That, not slavery, was the ultimate motive of the North. The South, rebelling against oppressive tariffs imposed by Northern business interests and threats to their sovereignty, tried a lawful and constitutional secession. But all of this is beside the point.
We, like Lincoln, have a lesson to learn from this bloody national tragedy. Lincoln, a generally good man who believed in the Bible as a general rule book, actually became a Christian at Gettysburg. From there enlightenment followed. By his second Inaugural, he had departed from the �Union� justification for the war and said, �Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled up by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn by the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still must be said, �The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.��
In this, Lincoln recognized three things. First, that the war was a judgment from God, and second, that it was the acceptance of slavery by the entire nation that brought the judgment, and third, the price was being paid by North and South alike.
Our Nation's sin in allowing kidnap-slavery from the beginning was the cause of the punishment. (Kidnapping is a death penalty offense in God�s economy, see, Exodus 21: 16.)
I also add that the continuing racial strife since the War Between the States, the dubious 14th Amendment, loss of states' rights, the �civil rights� troubles, the unconstitutional affirmative action programs, and much more are a continuing judgment on us springing from slavery. Everyone was guilty; Everyone was judged.
So what is the lesson of history here? Simply that national tolerance of great evils � especially denial to any person of God-given rights like Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of happiness � will not be tolerated by God. This is especially true in a nation so blessed by God.
When I look at the shedding of innocent blood tolerated (even by Christians, constitutionalists, and patriots) today in America � denial of Life through abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia � I exceedingly fear and quake before the Lord.
Those who see another War Between the States to �resolve� this as slavery was �resolved,� had best think again. If that most horrible of U.S. wars was the price for enslavement of millions, what will be the price of the wholesale slaughter of 45 (as of now) million?
If a secession (or any kind of return to the Nation�s First Principles) is in God's plan, it will only be after a great repentance by the guilty among us � that is, all of us.
There are a number of patriots, constitutionalists, conservatives, and others of similar mind who are right now avoiding the most important issue to the retrieval or revival of anything resembling a free and constitutional government. Life!
To put it more clearly - abortion.
It is no accident that the Founders listed the primary rights in the order in which they appear, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness � or property, after all, how could one pursue happiness without being able to have a lawful claim to his own things?
Their sequence is significant. Life, of course, is primary. It is simply no good to have the right to own property if your life can be taken with impunity. The right to be alive is prerequisite to everything else even if you are a slave and own nothing. You could never become free or own property if you didn't have life.
Liberty encompasses freedom of religion (though many religious people might argue that it is more equivalent to the right to Life), freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of movement.
Pursuit of Happiness includes the right to conduct business (outside of fraud), live where one wishes (within one's means), marry whom one may, own and keep possessions in security from government seizure, defend one's life, liberty, and property, to make contracts, and to be free from unreasonable government interference in personal affairs.
Each of these categories depends entirely upon the previous one.
This is not a new doctrine, but a very old one. But in order to �secure the blessings of Liberty� one must not get them out of order � even in one instance � or the whole business begins to unravel.
A good example is this schizophrenia imposed on our whole nation by the Roe v Wade decision. No one who is honest can deny that the court's ruling deprived the unborn of 14th Amendment �personhood.�
So, consider the ramifications. In the late 1800s, the court said that corporations have 14th Amendment personhood. Their reasoning was that any entity that could lay claim to even one constitutional right was a �person� under the Amendment. In the case of corporations, they have the right to property ownership. This reasoning has withstood every challenge since. While some may disagree with the wisdom of allowing corporations to have �personhood� � or even rights � the reasoning stands.
Now consider the unborn. The unborn have been deemed to have the right of property ownership and inheritance. Doesn't that make them as real a �person� as a corporation? Shouldn't they then have the same right to 14th Amendment due process as a corporation?
Well, no. Roe says their right to property and inheritance can be preempted by killing them on the whim of someone exercising the right to �pursuit of Happiness.�
Imagine, for example, that a man � a wealthy man � gets his wife pregnant. In his excitement, he draws up a will designating his child as heir to 3/4 of his estate, makes provision that should he die while the child is a minor, the estate will pay out a certain amount a month for the child�s upkeep, the remainder to be given to the child upon reaching majority. However, the death of the child as a minor will result in the entire estate going to the mother.
Then imagine that the man dies in a tragic auto accident a week later. The mother may then go immediately to the abortionist and subvert the child's right to property and inheritance by exercising a court-invented, level three �right of privacy� which takes from the heir his level one right to life.
With decisions like Roe, is it any wonder that we see legal tangles over whether an assault that kills a pregnant woman and her unborn child is a double murder or not?
In a desperate attempt to preserve exercise of an imaginary kind of �Pursuit of Happiness,� the Life of a human being is destroyed.
Slavery had similar consequences � the right to Property imagined by the Dred Scott.
All of this is to illustrate that, while we all want to retain � and now recover � our lost Constitutional rights, we must keep the priority of those rights in strict order lest we destroy the entire interdependent structure.
It is not possible to have a godly constitution that claims that everyone has God-given rights, and then exclude the unborn. All of us once passed through that stage of development and we were still ourselves at the time.
One would have thought that this country could have drawn its lesson from the dehumanization of Blacks and Indians for which God so harshly judged us by the War Between the States.
In our search for Liberty or Pursuit of Happiness, do not subvert Life. In our Pursuit of Happiness, do not bind up Liberty. Whether the future holds a return to our original Constitution or some rewriting of it, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness must remain inviolable if a true Republic is to be maintained.
This lesson of history must be learned.
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Paul deParrie is a 17-year veteran of anti-abortion street activism, a preacher, and a social critic. He is the author of "Dark Cures: Have Doctors Lost Their Ethics" (Huntington House) available at NewsWithViews Online Store Front. deParrie may be reached at: [email protected].
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Lincoln said that as long as he could preserve the Union (unity), he would put up with slavery if necessary. That, not slavery, was the ultimate motive of the North. The South, rebelling against oppressive tariffs imposed by Northern business interests and threats to their sovereignty, tried a lawful and constitutional secession.