Saturday, January 29, 2005

Who Deserves Freedom?

Are we idealists or realists for attempting to spread freedom to people and places where it has never been known? In 1775, not so long ago by historical reckoning, there were no democracies anywhere. Then, a band of ragtag colonials, lead by a realist general, fought a Revolution, at the end of which there was one nascent fragile democracy in the entire world. Today, 230 years later, there are 117 democratic governments. In South America, the Caribbean, Asia, the Pacific, the former Soviet Union and Sub-Saharan Africa there are countries with governments elected by their citizens. Our forebears truly did fire the "shot heard round the world" and it is still reverberating.
"By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Hence once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world."~~ Emerson
We have managed to keep freedom's torch burning and to share it with others of God's children yearning to be free. However, freedom has not been allowed to flourish in the Middle East and North Africa. There is only one democratic government there, Israel, and it is in constant threat of annihilation. This area, lacking essential human rights, is the same area where terrorists are trained to attack and destroy free peoples and their works. Democracies do not spawn terrorism.

Tomorrow we have an opportunity in Iraq. By helping the Iraqis, we are helping ourselves remain free. We need to hope and pray that the elections will be a success. The Middle East and the French are fighting our efforts. Our own citizens of the left are hoping that we will fail, as they do not believe people in that part of the world can govern themselves. Or perhaps, they just hate George Bush that much. If their hopes come true, we all lose. Let us try to have the courage of our forebears. Let us fight the fight, however long it may be. That was the commitment made by the American patriots of 1776, and they bequeathed freedom to their heirs and the world. They were idealists. We are realists, as we know that democracy is possible, and that it can survive, at least for a few centuries. Who deserves freedom? All of God's children - that's who!

I am proud that twenty-six of my mother's Virginia ancestors acted the part of patriots in the first Revolution for human freedom. They were her great great great grandparents. They put their lives and fortunes at risk for freedom. Today, some Americans are still doing that.

My Patriot Ancestors

Freedom - Just Another Word?

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