People want to feel like their decisions and actions matter. Everyone wants to be validated one way or another. Problems arise when disparate individuals or groups converge to make their positions known, demanding or assuming concurrence, without dispassionate consideration of the other’s perspective or extending a mutual respect, regardless of the apparent dissimilarities.
My response, to a conversation regarding how people recognize the service of the men and women during the Vietnam War and the factual representations or misrepresentations surrounding the war, I hope will exercise prudence and a manner of tone that doesn’t massage egos, but neither would it inflame insensitivity. This interjection into the conversation is intended to address larger principles beyond that of the particulars of whose facts are the correct ones, for to do that will only mire everyone deeper into the swamps of discord and endless, vitriolic guerilla warfare toward one another characteristic of the mortal combat that should remain on the battlefield; not against our fellow American brothers and sisters.
Though not a scholar, as a student and teacher of history, and as a veteran, I believe I may speak with an educated opinion.
The author wrote:
“On this Vietnam War Veterans Day we honor those who fought and won that war and preserved our freedom.”
My reply to the post was, “What freedom?”
The prime focus is on the concept of freedom, not on the honoring of Vietnam Veterans specifically, and veterans generally. The preservation of freedom is the secondary focus.
Freedom and Liberty are frequently interchanged, but I believe they are more nuanced. In my layman’s terms, Freedom is the ability to do what you want. Liberty is the Freedom to do what is Right without persecution (or better phrased, the Right to Conscience). But not to be confusing, I will use the word freedom.
Before we can address the preservation of freedom, we must know where that freedom comes from. More brilliant people than I have eloquently expounded on the matter, but suffice it to say that freedom, specifically freedom of conscience, comes from God. Some may take umbrage with the presupposition of God being the author of our conscience (soul/will), but I leave to the individual to accept or reject the premise, and I will move on.
Our forefathers (gender inclusive) knew and accepted their lives depended upon God alone. From the earliest colonists to the establishment of the Republic, it went without question that our society would last only as long as we committed our faith to Him and his Son as the sole source of our existence, individually and as a united people. It is only by God that we can even consider defending, much more keeping, our freedom. That freedom will be lost if we turn our backs on God. Without this knowledge in the public sphere, or body politic, our labor is in vain.
So, defending our freedom becomes a losing battle when our society says it no longer welcomes God. When we look at the history of our Republic until the present, we can see our shifting from our dependence upon God to our collective rejection of Him. As a result, we see our freedoms disappear. What was our birthright became a “benefit”, “entitlement”, or a “permit” granted by government, instead of the government acknowledging the formerly indisputable, self-evident, fact that government derives its “just powers” by the consent of the people. The people no longer are needed to give their consent. It has been subverted by the power-hungry obsessed with ungodly ambitions to our own chagrin.
Our defense of freedom shrivels with each passing day, and the respect due to the veterans becomes a moot point when it devolved to patronizing platitudes by the masses who only want what government can give them to satiate their infinite appetites, and to the end of their ingratitude.
I believe in the Great Principles set before us by our forefathers, but my faith is in the Almighty and not in men. I do honor those, who, for those Great Principles, did commit themselves to serve and die. But we have sacrificed them for the sake of convenience and ease of life, and do dishonor them when we willingly relinquish our birthright for a bowl of porridge.
I submit my petition to a candid people of true spirit.