A commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Allow me to say, right up front, that Mr. Glenn Beck does not need me to defend him.
I don’t know, for sure, what motivates Mr. Beck. I’d like to think it is love of God and country. But I don’t KNOW that.
Those of you who regularly read my blog, “INSIGHT on Freedom,” already know that I am about as “southern” as it is possible to be. My ancestors sailed into Charles Town Harbor, at what is known today as Charleston, South Carolina, in 1789 and were settled in the 98th Precinct of South Carolina. I grew up in the red clay and sand of the northern part of the state, in the piedmont, the foothills of that beautiful state.
I grew up at a time when a southern gentleman had a bible in one hand and a firearm in the other. We could pray or fight, at the drop of a hat, whatever the preference of our advisory might be.
I spent my youth reading, hunting, and getting an education. It was important that a southern man be well read, able to defend himself and his family, and have as much education as he was able to handle. (Yes, I DO believe there are those among us who are educated beyond their ability!) Not satisfied with the education I was receiving in school, I read an entire set of encyclopedias, front to back, just to broaden my knowledge, and insure that I knew a little bit about a lot of things. I cannot tell you how important that became in the field of endeavor I chose later in life.
I was taken to many “tent meetings” as a child. I observed and studied those “traveling preachers.” I listened to their delivery, their gestures, their play on emotions, and, on occasion, their sincerity. A wise person once said that when you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made – or words to that effect. I am satisfied that in those tent meetings, I saw both, real and unreal sincerity. BOTH made and impact on me.
I have seen the effect an old fashioned revival can have on a community. I have seen lives changed, for the better, in a moment of introspection keyed by something that raspy-voiced old bible thumping preacher said, or a single line of scripture that burned with the intensity of a laser deep into the heart and soul of a person weighed down by the cares and woes of a life squandered.
I have seen, first-hand, those “redeemed” people pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and begin to rebuild it, restore it, and honor it. I have seen this – and it left a life long impression on this scribe.
So – what did I learn? I learned an extremely important truth. It does not matter who the messenger is, what matters is – the message. The power is not in the messenger. The power is in the message. And if that message is truth, then, them believe me when I tell you, freedom is close behind.
Our nation is in dire straits. In my seventy years of life, I have seen America go from a God-fearing nation to a “fearing” nation. Of all those hell fire and brimstone preachers I was exposed to as a child, not a single one of them wore a bulletproof vest, as I believe Mr. Beck did last Saturday. (A faint outline of the vest was visible through Mr. Beck’s shirt. At least, that is what I took it to be.) That, alone, speaks volumes about the state of our country.
Another thing I learned as a youth was this truth: God uses people who are broken, who have failed, who have buckled under the stress of their lives, who are physically imperfect, and who are reluctant to stand out from the crowd, even for a moment, even to work great wonders.
Yes, Moses had a speech impediment. He was reluctant to go back to Egypt where he was a wanted man – wanted for murder. He asked that his brother Aaron be sent instead of him. In the end, he went -- and the rest, as they say, is history (at least bible history, anyway.) In the New Testament book of Hebrews chapter 13, verse 31, the writer says the following: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Consider that Mr. Beck may have fallen into the hands of the living God. Look at the life history of the Apostle Paul. Early in his life he took on the task of destroying the early Christian church. After his experience on the Damascus Road, he became the messenger of the gospel to all the Gentiles of the world including those of us who live today, 2000 years later.
I watched the entire telecast of the Restoring Honor Rally, last Saturday, and within ten minutes I exclaimed to my wife that I recognized it as an old-fashioned outdoor revival meeting. Because that is exactly what it was. And, I hasten to add – I don’t see that as a problem.
In the Old South, dishonoring a man could cost you your life. The man whose honor was questioned could demand satisfaction and, more often than not, the debate was settled by a duel to the death on the Field of Honor.
Honor was, and ought to be, a precious thing. The honor of a nation is a mirror image of the honor of that nation’s people. Our very own leaders have called our honor, as Americans, into question. The people are now demanding satisfaction. As was said at the Restoring Honor Rally, Now is not the time to fundamentally change America, now is the time to RESTORE America.
Look, I do not walk in lock step with Mr. Beck, or with any man or woman. Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that of all the birds perched on the power line facing north; I am the lone bird facing south. It is my nature.
I would ask only this: Consider the message from Saturday’s rally. Restoring America’s honor is restoring America. The restoration of America is vital, not just to Americans but to the nations of the world. Consider which nation will slip into the leadership position that America gives up. THAT is truly frightening.
The restoring Honor Rally, last weekend, sent chills of fear through the ranks of the leftists, progressives, liberals, and the very few real democrats left in our government. They have now seen the evidence of just how far they have distanced themselves from the American people. When half a million people journey to the nation’s seat of government to PERSONALLY register a protest, any reasonable person would have to take notice and reconsider the course they have plotted for America. But they won’t.
I submit that half a million gathered on the national mall Saturday was just the vanguard of a nationwide movement retake America from those who are determined to “fundamentally change” her from the constitutional republic The Founders meant her to be into a socialist sewer.
They must be stopped. The Mid-Term Election, on November 2nd. That is our new “D” day.
You may not care for the messenger – but, for the sake of America, for your sake, heed of the message.
J. D. Longstreet