By Father Jonathan Filkins, St. Barnabas Anglican
The Picayune Item
By the azure seas, near the golden fields of corn and wheat, the snowy crags of the mountaintops, from the dark swamps and piney woods of Mississippi, they shall come, engaged in a centuries old battle to proclaim liberty throughout the land. Their battle is fully enjoined, as this faction and that believe they have the exclusivity of divine providence and their will shall prevail over all others. They believe they have the weapons to take the day and cause the surrender of others to their beliefs and control.
No, this is not an armed confrontation, nor a war conducted on an earthly plain. It is being fought in the hyperbole of “spin doctors,” image-makers, pundits and professional advisors. It is being fought over kitchen tables, backyard picnics and office coolers. Yet, the Battle is steeped in the reality where the choices may ultimately cause the death of themselves, or others. It is steeped in the reality where their choices may cause the success, or failure, of their country and, perhaps, the world. Theirs is the sobering choice to be made: the choice to preserve liberty and freedom, or choose the darkness of oppression and domination.
In a few days, we Americans shall be joined in the Battle of the Ballot Box, of which there is no greater importance to our future and our country. It is we Citizens who are called to this assemblage, every four years, and to which we must answer.
Our first President, George Washington, at his Farewell Address in 1796, said, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
If these words, from a founding Father of our Nation, ring succinctly true to our ears today, then it is for us to honor the sacrifices of all those who have gone before us. We do so by voting for and selecting those who are impassioned with the service of sacrifice to the highest ideals of the Nation and her peoples. Today, we are mired within the “Great Recession,” with many suffering the ills of want. We seek assurances for the end of our condition and refreshment of our resolve. It is to others, and to another, for which we seek guidance and solace.
Consider the lowly quarter dollar, that “two-bit” coin, which often jingles in our pocket, or purse. In and of itself, it is a memorial and reminder for who we are and what we stand for. Much of the current design was completed in the Great Depression of the 1930’s, another time of great distress and genuine misery. At the top of the coin, in large letters, shouts the word LIBERTY! This word encapsulates all of our freedoms, for without it there would be abhorrent subjugation. In the center, there is a profile of George Washington, reminding us of the necessity of being guided by the sage wisdom of others and the sacrifices made for our Nation.
In tiny words, are the most important reminder of the source of all of our Nations’ greatness, prosperity, and future. For this coin, as all of our monetary currency states, “In God we trust.” We, as a Nation, proclaim it is with God upon whom we must rely. It is with God, we must find the strength to persevere, as we understand our role in this great gift we call the United States of America.
Go to the polls on Tuesday. Vote your conscience, as you carry a quarter coin in your hand to provide a reminder of the great duty about to be performed. Remember the words inscribed on it, for it is, “In God we trust.”