American Journal January 19, 2013

Clinging to Freedom…

I have a shirt pocket sized New Testament with Proverbs and Psalms. It has a camouflaged cover. I picked it up from an Army Chapel some years ago. It has been with me since. It now fits neatly into a pocket in my day planner. Its edges are getting a little worn. My day planner is secured inside a binder that another Soldier gave to me more than 20 years ago. It is still with me Ricky.

When I pop open the day planner at a meeting or on my desk the little Bible, my old Soldier’s smart book, is plainly visible. I read from it every morning before beginning the day’s work. If you should see me in a waiting room of some sort, at an airport or some other place and I happen to be reading from my Kindle I may be reading my electronic Bible. It is always in the top one or two books on the Kindle menu. I try hard to begin and end each day reading from it. It does not always happen, but it is my aim. I always read something relevant to what is happening in this world. I feel guided and comforted by the words. My President calls that clinging to my Bible. I call it an island of sanity. An island of truth. A peaceful place.

Sadly, I am also and armed citizen of this great nation. I spent much of my life in the United States Army. I swore a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I also swore to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. To clarify, that means that I swore to obey orders that are legal – those that comply with the law of the land, our Constitution. So help me God.

I still hold to that oath. I never felt that I needed to be armed with personal firearms. I knew that if I was called on to defend the citizens of my country, the unit arms room would supply me with all the weaponry I needed. I whole-heartedly believe that we have arrived at a point in time where our nation is the bat of an eye away from becoming a tyrannical dictatorship. The people we elected to represent us in our free republic are themselves trampling the very thing I, and they too, swore to support and defend. Or they are standing by why the executive branch of our government does it. So, these days I feel the need to be an armed citizen. My President calls that clinging to my guns.

There is something that I want each member of the United States Congress to understand. Under the current leadership of this nation, you have become irrelevant. What have you accomplished in 4 years? All you have managed is to have Americans standing by for the Reichstag fire. While you are strategizing for the party and your piece of the power rather than defending our country others are looking for the final crisis to exploit. The tipping point. You are allowing my freedoms – those given to me by God and guaranteed by the document we all swore to support and defend – to be picked off one-by-one. When the Reichstag is ablaze, who will be standing by to swoop in and save us? You know the answer.

It is the specific freedoms written into and guaranteed us by our constitution that have kept us a free people.

Mr. President, what I am clinging to is freedom.