What a Moment
America @ the precipice
a prose poem from the article Un-American
This government thinks it defines "religious freedom," This arrogant government thinks it defines principles that have been time worn by the ages and ensconced in iconic documents by the mind, hand, and blood of heroes; documents formed in musty meeting rooms, in brilliant minds; and won in blood at Saratoga and Brandywine and Princeton in the bitter cold, . . . won by ordinary men, poor men, men with rag-wrapped feet for boots.
In all, through the decades, since dawn that April day in Middlesex County Massachusetts on the village green there at Lexington and just a little while later at the Old North Bridge over the Concord River, where "once the embattled farmers stood," since that day until now 1,209,000 have died for that definition: "religious freedom" (and the others: speech, press, to be armed, to assemble . . . ). Some are dying now, connected in service across more than 260 years.
Redefinition? How dare they, these pitifully small people. They have power now, and they're scary. And they may win. But in the larger scale of history, in scope of intellect, compared to the authors of those founding documents and the peasant farmer-soldiers staining the snow red with their wrapped and frozen feet at Trenton, after crossing the frozen Delaware . . . these are very small men an women. You may not care now. Someday you will. "Freedom," you'll miss it when you don't have it, when you have let small men take it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
What a Moment it Was
The poem, Concord Hymn, was written for the dedication of the monument honoring the battle & its heroes. This copy is from Wikipedia which in turn credits: The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1904), edited by Edward Waldo Emerson We chose the two lines from this poem for The Weekly Post banner [seen also at the left] because this historical event marked the first large scale shedding of blood for the U.S.A.
lest we forget . . .
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
[ This version from Wikiquote. ]
Above in verse form are the famous words of:
Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller
(14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) He was a
Protestant pastor and social activist.
fishers of men,
a Christian America
fishers of men
An American Epitaph
by Robert F. Jackson
When thy dear soul from earth has flown
Your corpse 'neath the churchyard soil
Besides some words upon a stone
What stories will they tell?
Of hearth and home and muddy fields
And touchdowns in the rain
And dribbling, forcing men to yield
While driving the hardwood lane
Or will they speak of a scholar's goals
Some met, perhaps some not
And labor pushed that took its toll
And times you missed your shot
But through it all, and after all
You kept your loved ones free
While you watched the darkness fall
". . . stood for Christ and Liberty."
Robert Jackson's American Art
In the broader scope of study only three things matter: Christianity, the one true faith; whatever you are doing now; and history, what you and others have already done. The latter is the source of knowledge, tradition, memories, and anything else that is usable and important in the "now," the present. It encompasses all of the other disciplines, as well, and each science, art, and literary tradition has its own history.