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Friday, May 16, 2014

A life of appeasement is not worth living

     You've probably heard the phrase:

                    "If you don't stand for something, you will will fall for anything".

     I was listening to Ronald Reagan's famous 1960 Destiny speech in which he makes the argument against "accommodation" saying that accommodation is really appeasement and that by appeasing the enemy you eventually have to answer the "final ultimatum"... and what then.  He gave this speech at the height of the cold war with communist Russia and in the speech says that the path to true peace is not backing down, but instead standing up to our enemies and telling them "there is a price we will not pay, a point at which they must not advance".

     I started to look at this speech at a more personal level in my own life and our children's lives.  It began when I heard of Riley Stratton, a girl in a Minnesota high school, who was forced to hand over the password to her laptop and Facebook account to her principal under the threat of dismissal (there was also a police officer in attendance as well).  She was "broken" by her masters and ended up complying with their demands (while in tears).   Like that girl we are all called upon to "accommodate" the government and their demands on us and as a Christian, I can agree with that for the most part (Paul tells us "if taxes, then pay taxes, if honor , then pay honor") but that does not mean we need to appease them and their demands.

     We all just want to get through life.  I can hear the parents now telling their daughter, "just give them the password and move on.  You will be in college next year...don't make any waves".   Then their daughter will go on to college and there too she will be forced to accommodate the college and their beliefs.  She again will be told, "Just give them what they want ... you will be out of there soon and working on your own".   Then later she will be out of college and working (maybe for the government) and she will be pressured to accommodate the workplace and make unethical decisions so she can make her way up the ladder.   All the time, accommodating, retreating, backing down and losing more and more of her soul until there is nothing left.

     I find it interesting that in Reagan's speech he talks about how the Russian leader said that when the final demand is made on the USA,
"Our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will be weakened from within: spiritually, morally and economically".   
     What does that have to do with accommodation?  The answer is everything.   If you go back to my first paragraph, I say "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything".  You see, living a life of appeasement never ends well. By accommodating EVIL in our lives, the GOOD in us shrinks (never the other way around).  By appeasing we give evil a base to work from in our hearts and souls and in the end we must face the final demand:  total and unquestioning control of our lives.

     Going back to the girl in Minnesota, what would happen if she refused to hand over her PRIVATE information to the school principal (who has no legal authority to request such information in the first place).   Well, she might have been suspended for a time, maybe even have to leave that school to go to a different school.  Maybe that mark on her record would keep her from going to the ivy-league college she dreamed of and would have to live with going to a state-school instead.  Because she went to a state-school she might have to take a less prestigious job and start on a lower rung of the corporate ladder.

    But she would have maintained her soul intact.

    Jesus showed how priceless one's soul was by using hyperbole when he said, 
"What does it profit a man to gain the WHOLE world and yet lose his own soul".  
    He said this to get across to us the importance of not accommodating evil in our lives.  Reagan spoke of this as well in his speech when he said,
 "You and I do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet that it should be purchased at the price of the chains of slavery".   

     We all need to stand together and reclaim our rights as citizens and stop appeasing the government and handing over our rights.  Whether it's our right to not be searched and seized without warrant, or our right to privacy or our right to say what is on our minds and in our hearts, or our faith in God, or our right to protect ourselves and our families or even our right to a speedy trial by our peers.  We all have this constitution in common.  We may not agree with each other on other matters, but we all need to fight for each others rights to be free citizens. 

     To end, I would like to finish with Reagan's final words in his "Rendezvous with Destiny" speech. 
"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.  We will preserve for ourselves and our children this the best hope yet for mankind on earth or we will sentence them to take the final step into a thousand years of darkness"