My son Wesley’s sixth grade class at Covenant Christian Academy is memorizing Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. He was practicing it at home the other night, getting ready for several opportunities he will have to recite it with his class, including at the annual “Civil War Ball” the school puts on each spring.
I’m always stirred when I hear the words of that incomparable speech, remembering the courage of those who gave “their last full measure of devotion” so that “government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”
That same evening Wes was rehearsing, I was preparing for a radio interview the next morning for “The Public Square” radio program, hosted by my friend Dave Zanotti at the American Policy Roundtable. The topic was the new battle raging in Gettysburg over the appalling move to put a casino near the hallowed ground of the Gettysburg battlefield.
A casino in Gettysburg. Think about it. The majority of citizens in Gettysburg don’t want it. Historians and preservationists are aghast. The story’s been picked up by the national news, which recognizes the sheer travesty that allowing this national landmark to be defiled by state-sponsored (and encouraged) greed would be. And yet, our government, which seems less and less like as Lincoln described it, could very well approve it.
Is “government of the people, by the people and for the people” perishing before our very eyes? Has the arrogance of our political leaders reached such a level that we really no longer have a say?
Sometimes it seems so. As I write this, headlines indicate that the Obama administration intends to force through grossly unpopular and unconstitutional health-care “reform” using a backdoor process that violates the public trust.
Citizens in California have twice at the ballot box said no to “same-sex marriage” and yet a court once again threatens to toss their vote in the trash like yesterday’s newspaper.
Here in Pennsylvania, lawmakers have thus far refused to allow citizens to even vote on the matter, keeping us at risk from renegade courts. Just last month, same-sex couples went to county courthouses throughout our state seeking marriage licenses. Any one of those situations could result in a court case, and like in Iowa, then force legalization of “same-sex marriage.”
Yes, it can appear discouraging. But as Lincoln said, “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us.” We cannot quit now – not when those before us have given their all to win the liberty we now enjoy.
I for one am ready for a “new birth of freedom.” I know you are, too. As a friend and supporter of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, you demonstrate your concern for families, for the sanctity of life, and for liberty with clarity and conviction.
This is an exciting time, with tremendous opportunities to make a difference for good. Get involved. Vote. Call your state legislators and tell them to support Senate Bill 707 – the marriage protection amendment. And tell them to fight the Gettysburg casino. Volunteer at a pregnancy care center. Become a foster parent. Pray. Help the poor and downtrodden. It’s what Americans do.
I do not know what the future holds. But I do know that it is our great honor to stand up for truth at a time when our commonwealth and our country need us. And I hope that when Wesley has a sixth-grader of his own, they’ll still be celebrating the liberty we have been so blessed to enjoy.