By John F. Di Leo -
The feast of Pentecost is the celebration of one of the most important moments in church history. It commemorates the day when, after the Resurrection of the Lord, the Holy Spirit gave the Faithful a special ability to speak to crowds of different nationalities in their own languages.
Now, we don’t know exactly what happened that day – whether the Apostles instantly learned other languages, or their audiences instantly learned to hear them in their heads as if they had. All we know is that the leaders of the Church were suddenly, miraculously, able to reach people, and this was new. They were used to being the Lord’s followers – He did the speaking, not them – and now they were called upon to take on the role of the preacher themselves, and spread the Word.
There was to be a bit of an ongoing debate in the years to come – should we just preach the Word to the Jews, so that all Jews understand that Christ is “our” Messiah? Or should we reach out to everyone, the gentiles too? The way this particular Pentecost miracle worked out – the Apostles being heard and understood not just by Jews, but by everyone within earshot, whatever their ethnicity and religion – helped to settle that debate. The message was for everyone on earth, and the order was clearly to get to work spreading that message.
Now, this is political page, not a theological one (which is just as well, since I’m a political writer, not a theologian)… but I do believe that this day is relevant for those of us who care about the American Way as well. It makes sense, of course, because the Judeo-Christian path and the American path of our Founding Fathers are inextricably linked.
Just as Jews and Christians feel attacked in modern society – our morals and messages undermined, our education beset with impediments, calls to compromise and even capitulate coming from all sides, even from within – so too is the core message of America attacked, reviled, minimized, and cursed by a popular culture and government-educational establishment that seek to terminate every tradition of the American Way.
Our Framers designed a nation that would empower the honest and hardworking, freeing them from the boundaries of feudal rules that tied people to the soil, or the practical serfdom of starvation barring innovation or deviation from the norm. They promised a nation in which no aristocracy would ever suck up the GNP to support a wastrel court… a nation in which warmongering would never again swell a national debt under the expenses of warships and cannon and ammunition and soldiers. They envisioned, and developed, a system that would encourage and reward economic growth.
It worked for over a century. Only when the 17th amendment tampered with their system of checks and balances, and when the rise of the statists (call them fascists, progressives, democrats, whatever you like, they’re just statists) started to enable the growth of the federal government (soon to be copied by the states and counties, not to be left out)… only then did the system break down. People no longer remembered what the Founders’ plan for us had been.
Today, we have a century of failure behind us, generation after generation that have gradually lost the appreciation for what our Founding Fathers intended for us. The schools teach our children that there is a Constitution, but they don’t share the meaning behind it. They have us memorize the big names in order – Washington-Adams-Jefferson-Madison-Monroe-Adams – without teaching why they mattered, what they believed in, what they accomplished, what they had in mind for us today.
But that’s what counts. The Founding Fathers didn’t think of themselves (heck, they were wealthy, for the most part, under England’s thumb). They didn’t need a revolution to be successful. They needed a revolution to be free, and to build a foundation for their children and grandchildren to be free. They held that revolution for us. They risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, for us, today, generations and generations later, because we are the legacy for whom they worked and thought and fought so hard.
Our nation is in jeopardy today because these messages have been lost over a slow and painful century. We are told never to talk of politics or religion for fear of offending our audience in polite company, but might it not be for another reason? Might the rule perhaps be that we not talk of politics or religion because the left doesn’t want the public exposed to the truth?
Just as Pentecost tells us to spread the Good News, this nation needs a political Pentecost to share the philosophy and economics of our Founding Fathers.
There has long been a line of thought in the Republican Party – commonly known by such names as the Kasten Plan or the Karl Rove Architecture – that we can’t convince people in an election season, so we need to focus on identification of our base and getting them out to vote. While that’s certainly a part of what any campaign must do, it is simply not enough.
A party that fears the nomination of eloquent champions of a philosophy cannot hope to win by ceding the playing field of ideas. The left spreads their message of sloth, of corruption, of nanny-state governance, of nihilism and atheism, and they are largely unchallenged except for the new media of the blogosphere.
There is a REASON why capitalism works, why small government works, why checks and balances work. There is a REASON why presidents used to obey their oaths of office, why legislators and judges didn’t take bribes, a century or more ago, but no more.
There was a time when the whole country shared the same philosophy, and held its elected officials – at every level – to the same standards. We must return to those expectations, but we first need to educate our population to remember and cherish them again.
It takes conversations – not just among ourselves, but with strangers too. It takes letters to the editor – not just to conservative publications, but to the MSM as well. It takes education – not just in 8th grade, but both in and out of school, throughout our lives.
We can’t hope to win elections by doing a better job of turning out “our” people on election day. We need to tell the union members how their shop stewards have lied to them… tell the homeowners how the CRA and FHA programs have hurt them and sometimes impoverished them… tell our employees WHY we keep having to export jobs to other countries, rather than increase our hiring and production here, as we so desperately want to do.
We cannot hope to win elections when half the country doesn’t know what the country is all about. An ever growing portion of our nation – possibly more than half, in fact – simply has no idea of what our Founders had in mind for us. Our nation was not designed for a country full of people who don’t understand it, a population without ambition, happy to live off the accomplishments of others. Our nation was designed to enable every American from every walk of life to succeed to the best of his ability.
Our nation was designed so that the people of the big states and the small, the big cities and the countryside – whether brewers or farmers, manufacturers or ranchers, shopkeepers or lawyers – could succeed, in a nation of opportunity. It is that nation of opportunity that has been slowly beaten down, so that when the left claims that we are now two countries, there is truth to the statement (though they never admit that they’re the ones who did the damage – that they’re the ones who have crushed so much of our opportunity).
We must evangelize to the nation. Washington, Hamilton, Morris, Sherman… these giants, and so many more alongside them, gave us a rich story to tell, one that will empower our nation to be a prosperous and honorable City on a Hill once again.
But the book cannot remain closed. It is the duty of every adherent to share the message, to shout it from the mountaintops, until there’s nobody left whose misguided enough to vote for Democrat candidates but the candidates themselves, in this greatest nation on God’s green earth.
Copyright 2013 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and trade compliance trainer. His articles are regularly found in Illinois Review.
Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included. Follow John F. Di Leo at LinkedIn or Facebook, or follow him on Twitter at @johnfdileo.