"The world has never had a good definition of the word 'liberty.' The American people just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty. But in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing.
"What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts — these are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty, which God has planted in our bosom. Our defence is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own door.
"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow?
"All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer that if it ever reach us, it must spring from amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be the authors and finishers.
"As a nation of free men, we must live through our times or die by suicide. Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in the schools, in the seminaries and in the colleges; let it be written in primers, in spelling books and almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls and enforced in courts of justice; and in short, let it become the political religion of the nation. And let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly at its altar. And let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of Divine Providence, trusting that in future national emergencies, He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security.
"Let us not be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the government, nor of dungeons to ourselves.
"Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Ron Moore, in his Galactica blog, quotes Abraham Lincoln. The television show Battlestar Galactica was not intended to be a commentary upon our times, but has certainly become in some aspects allegorical. Science fiction is unique in that while its settings may be the far future or of technological prowess, it always has its roots firmly in the here and now of its authorship; the new Galactica is no different. Fitting, then, that via this artificial and fictional show we are reminded of these words from our greatest President. It is incumbent upon us to reflect upon them as we ponder our nation and the course we are upon. Read!