Give Proof Through the Night

The Star-Spangled Banner begins:

“O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming…”

There is, of course, a great deal of bad information being spread around about  the entire song, and this has become a reason for some really dumb protests.

Rather than address all the bad info, I am going to provide you some good info about a certain aspect of the battle that was occurring as this poem was being drafted up.

It was the summer of 1814, and we were at war with the British.  The Royal Navy was very powerful, and provided the British with the ability to move their forces up and down the coast, concentrating their power to hit us, thereby making us react to them.

This was good for them, bad for us.

Specifically, the British had just attacked Washington, DC, and burned the city.  Now, they were closing in on Baltimore.  A main defensive point protecting Baltimore was Fort McHenry.

The fort had been reinforced by sinking a few ships in the waters nearby.  This would help keep the Royal Navy from slipping past.  If the Royal Navy attempted to go past the fort, their ships would come under fire from the fort’s guns, and that would be costly.  The Royal Navy needed to somehow silence Fort McHenry’s guns; essentially, they had to get the garrison to surrender.

At the time, not only did the British warships have cannon, but there was also a ship armed with rockets and several armed with mortars.  They could dish out quite a bit of punishment, but Fort McHenry’s fortifications had also recently been upgraded right prior to the battle, so the fort could take it.

The British got in close, hammered the fort with rockets and mortars, then went back farther out, out of range of the fort’s cannon, and began to bombard the fort for the next 27 hours.

If the American fort surrendered, Baltimore would get burned.  But, the other option was to just sit there and take it – the British ships were too far away for the Americans to effectively fire back.

So, the Americans had to sit there and get blasted.  And, since they did not surrender, the British warships had to eventually sail off, because if they tried to just sail past the fort, the British ships would get hit by the American cannon.  And that would mean the British ships would get sunk, with great losses among the men embarked on them.

It was an example of one side winning the fight simply by not giving up.  It is not uncommon that victory goes to the side that simply refuses to quit.

I  mention this because conservative America is under attack today.  We face attack from the radical left, from radical militant Islam, and from a whole plethora of other enemies.  As we watch our culture get not just ridiculed, but destroyed, sometimes it seems like all we can do is take it.

The night seems dark, and we are under constant bombardment.  But, America is worth defending, and when daybreak’s first light allows everyone to distinguish the truth from all the evil lies, let everyone see that we still fly the same flag that we proudly flew before the attack began.

If all you feel you can do is take it, know that you are defending America honorably and well by refusing to give up.

And know also that as long as they continue their attacks on conservative America, that means that conservative America is still here, and a threat to them, just as our mere presence has been a threat to tyrants throughout history:  their bombardment means our flag still flies high.

“Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

America Needs to be Restored

The United States of America – commonly referred to simply as America – is more than a nation.

America is an idea founded upon an ideal.

This ideal is that we are all equal in the eyes of our Creator.

This does not mean that we are all equally talented or wealthy, but that, in the eyes of our Creator, we are all equally human.

This was revolutionary at the time America was founded. European-based society back then was very hierarchical. There was typically a king, and people had to get up early to have everything ready for him when he got up. Other people had to get up even earlier to get things ready for those people.   Servants helped their masters get ready to serve their masters, and so on.  And this was the case not just in Europe, but around the world!

In that world, the founders of this nation put boldly onto paper the principle that even the most humble servant was, in the eyes of God, the equal of the most powerful monarch.

Implicit in this was the logical conclusion that these words would some day apply to all humanity, men and women of all origin and ethnicity.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., understood this. He knew, as he was leading the civil rights movement, that he was cashing in on a promise made nearly two centuries earlier, and that doing so would benefit all humanity for all time to come.

And make no mistake about it: as this nation’s founders were signing that revolutionary document, they were signing a warrant for their own death should they fail to deliver on the initial installment of that promise: our Declaration of Independence was more than treasonous in the eyes of King George III; it was and still is a challenge to the entire existing world order.

Today, a person can move to Poland, learn to speak Polish, adopt the customs and ways of the people there, and even become a citizen of Poland.  But a person of Asian or African descent will never truly be Polish.  Similarly, a person from Europe or Africa can move to Vietnam, learn to speak Vietnamese and adopt the culture of the people in that nation, even becoming a citizen, but that new citizen will never truly be Vietnamese.

In sharp contrast, anyone can come to America, and, along with learning the language of this country and becoming a citizen, that person can truly become an American, simply by believing in the idea that is America, and by striving for the ideal upon which America was founded.

It is striving for this ideal, and living in the freedom which it has brought, that has made America the greatest country in the history of the world.  This is what has made America a light for the world, a beacon of hope shining in the darkness of the fear, oppression, and poverty that have plagued humanity through the ages.

We must remember this every day, and every day we must seek to restore America and renew the struggle to move toward this ideal.

Because if we don’t – if we allow the light to go out here in America – the whole world will fall into a new dark age, and it will be to Heaven alone that we will have to look for equality and freedom.