Boots & Sabers

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0914, 29 Dec 23

Endowed by our creator

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last Saturday.

As Christmastime envelops our nation in warmth and the faint scent of peppermint, I am reminded about how much it is a part of our shared American culture. As a Christian, I celebrate Christmas as the traditional birthday of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But the secular celebration of the Christmas season, imbued with family gatherings, the exchange of gifts, a shared soundtrack, movies, parades, sweet things, and sweet people, has become a distinctly American cultural touch-point that binds together families and communities.


Every group of people — whether it be a family, business, or a nation — has a culture whether they intend to have one or not. The United States is a very large country with beautifully diverse regional and local cultures, but there are several distinctly American common cultural elements that thread through our society. Those common cultural elements are waning in the face of neglect and intentional destruction.


The American culture is derived from our founding ethos rooted in European and American Enlightenment philosophy and frontier expansionism. It is a culture that celebrates the individual as a divine creation in which natural rights are innate and inalienable. This respect and adoration for the individual underpins much of American culture.


Because individuals are the foundational element of American culture, we created a system of government based on self-governance where individuals elect our leaders. Americans are reflexively anti-authoritarian because any concentration of power is a threat to the power of the individual.


Our respect for the individual explains Americans’ instinctive support for human rights. When each and every human is respected and honored as a unique and cherished individual, it is impossible to not support and respect the natural human rights of each individual. Those rights include, but are not limited to, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Individual rights are the reason we have property and the rule of law. The right of an individual person to own the fruits of their own labor rejects the notion of collective ownership. The rule of law exists to provide a predictable and rigorous framework that protects individuals from the power of governments and other individuals who seek to deprive them of the free exercise of their natural rights and the disposition of their property.


The respect for the sovereignty of the individual and respect for individual natural rights is the very heart of liberty and our American love of liberty. What is liberty if not the love of individuals being free to conduct themselves as they wish without interference from their fellow humans? When one individual’s exercise of liberty threatens another’s, we surrender our personal violent power to the necessary evil of government to resolve the conflict through the rule of law.


It is our American love of the individual that breathes life into our culture of tolerance, multiculturalism, and respect for others. “Live and let live” has long been core to the American ethic. We have long striven for the ideal of equality and liberty where individuals of every race, creed, and religion are brothers and sisters in one family that we call “America.”


America’s historic respect for individuals is being assaulted. For over a generation, our schools have been contaminated with philosophies of collectivism, intersectionality, and neo-Marxism. These philosophies reject the sovereignty of the individual in favor of bundling people into groups of oppressors and oppressed, favored and unfavored, good and bad. In these philosophies, concepts like the rule of law, self-governance, and individual liberty are rendered obsolete and replaced with authoritarianism whereby chosen people rule by right in order to correct the perceived wrongs of history and any means are justified by the righteous ends.


If we fully lose our American culture of individualism, we will lose the philosophical support structure upon which our system of government, rule of law, and personal liberties are based. We already see it happening as collectivists are perfectly willing to erase our border, celebrate the raping and murder of Jews, arbitrarily transfer the earned wealth of millions to a few, and weaponize the judicial system to punish people who are members of the “wrong” group.


It is not too late, but it is getting close. I pray that everyone has a restful Christmas season to connect with family and friends as the beautiful individual people they are. Next year will be a pivotal year in the history of our nation.


0914, 29 December 2023


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