William B. Scott has, over the past five years, become a good friend. Pilot, flight test engineer, aviation journalist, and author, he and his wife Linda have a permanent place on my profiles in courage list. They are the parents of Erik Scott, killed by three panicky, incompetent Law Vegas Metro cops on July 10, 2010. It was my work on that case that provided the good fortune of meeting them. Bill was recently tasked with delivering the Sunday sermon at a small church near their cabin in the Colorado Rockies. He was kind enough to share it with me. I trust you’ll get the message, gentle readers.
Put on the whole armor of God; pray always
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
Written by Thomas Paine in a pamphlet entitled “The American Crisis”— better known as “Common Sense” — those words became a source of great inspiration to soldiers and civilians, during the American Revolutionary War.
I submit that Paine’s words are just as pertinent today as they were in 1776.
A year ago, I stood here and said:
Millions of citizens will agree that we are, again, in the midst of an “American Crisis.” Every day, we see our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms chipped away, often in the name of newly declared “rights” or “national security.” Or by yet another regulation issued by faceless bureaucrats; or one more claim that we need to sweep aside the time-proven Constitution and CHANGE it, because today’s intellectual elites are far more intelligent and progressive than the old dead white guys, who founded this great country.
I hope and pray that America will survive this crisis, as it did in 1776, 1863 and 1944.
Not much has changed over the past year. If anything, Freedom has LOST ground, because elected officials and bureaucrats continue to erode the protections, rights and privileges thousands of men and women fought and died to secure. Although some are well-meaning, the political and well-connected nobility—particularly insulated academicians—are living in a bubble of naive unreality. And they’re perilously close to making a couple of massive miscalculations that, I fear, could trigger a Second American Revolution:
*Eliminating God from the public square, and…
*Confiscating privately owned firearms.
Throughout American history, God and guns have been intertwined—for the better. Together, they have given us the freedoms that literally made this nation the most envied and prosperous on Earth. And yet, we now hear calls for eliminating both God and guns from America. Those who campaign to purge the word “God” from our currency, our pledge of allegiance, our courtrooms and our schools are the same naive souls who firmly believe that banishing guns will guarantee peace and safety. They’re wrong on both points.
America’s founding fathers and millions of soldiers, sailors and Marines were acutely aware that evil must be destroyed, because evil and liberty can not coexist. And eliminating evil has always come down to courage and firepower, backed by the power and grace of God.
A good friend and colleague is a retired Air Force command pilot, who sat alert in B-52 and B-1B bombers, ready to deliver nuclear weapons on Soviet targets. Tony’s a highly intelligent and capable warrior. He earned a PhD., once headed all of U.S. Forest Service Aviation, founded a very successful company, has written seven books, and just might be one of the smartest people in America today. On Tony’s office wall, facing his desk, is a giant painting of George Washington kneeling in the snow, praying. A smaller painting of a B-1B bomber flying at low altitude is on another wall. Tony said that picture of Washington is a daily reminder that, without God, even the best warriors and their powerful weapons are doomed to failure. But together, God and “guns” have ensured America’s freedom for more than two centuries, and will continue to do so—IF we don’t screw up that balance.
Other great generals understood this confluence of God and guns, as well. Here are excerpts from a prayer General George S. Patton uttered at a Catholic chapel in Luxembourg:
“…My army is neither trained nor equipped for winter warfare. And as You know, this weather is more suitable for Eskimos than for southern cavalrymen.
“But now, sir, I can’t help but feel that I have offended You in some way. That suddenly You have lost all sympathy for our cause. That You are throwing in with von Rundstedt and his paper-hanging god [Hitler]. You know without me telling You that our situation is desperate. Sure, I can tell my staff that everything is going according to plan, but there’s no use telling You that my 101st Airborne is holding out against tremendous odds in Bastogne, and that this continual storm is making it impossible to supply them, even from the air. I’ve sent Hugh Gaffey, one of my ablest generals, with his 4th Armored Division, north toward that all-important road center to relieve the encircled garrison and he’s finding Your weather more difficult than he is the Krauts.
“…Damn it, Sir, I can’t fight a shadow. Without Your cooperation from a weather standpoint, I am deprived of accurate disposition of the German armies, and how in the hell can I be intelligent in my attack?
“…Faith and patience be damned! You have just got to make up Your mind whose side You are on. You must come to my assistance, so that I may dispatch the entire German Army as a birthday present to your Prince of Peace.
“…Give me four days so that my planes can fly, so that my fighter bombers can bomb and strafe, so that my reconnaissance may pick out targets for my magnificent artillery. Give me four days of sunshine to dry this blasted mud, so that my tanks roll, so that ammunition and rations may be taken to my hungry, ill-equipped infantry. I need these four days to send von Rundstedt and his godless army to their Valhalla. I am sick of this unnecessary butchering of American youth, and in exchange for four days of fighting weather, I will deliver You enough Krauts to keep Your bookkeepers months behind in their work. — Amen.”
Washington’s prayers were answered at Valley Forge and the Delaware River, and Patton’s in the Ardennes. God provided the conditions necessary for victory, but the bitter fighting was done by courageous men with guns. Together, these heroic leaders and their brave, well-armed soldiers defeated oppression and evil.
Today, Washington, Patton and millions of other men and women, who fought and sacrificed to preserve America’s freedoms, would be outraged by what their country is enduring. They would be stunned to find that militarized police officers killed 1,104 fellow citizens last year—three per day, every day of the year—and routinely get away with murder. They would be infuriated to hear that America’s debt stands at more than 18 TRILLION dollars; that half of the nation’s people rely on government assistance, and that the IRS routinely targets certain taxpayers, because their Christian-based political beliefs aren’t approved by certain government officials.
Would Washington and Patton tolerate the daily assaults we see on the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and on God Himself? What would these heroes say (or do) to self-annointed elitists, who are willing to dismiss all three as irrelevant in this more “enlightened” age?
If the great Americans of our past were standing here this morning, I guarantee they would send this sharp, unmistakable warning to contemporary aristocrats: “Don’t underestimate the faith, will and simmering fury of Patriots. If you fools try to ban God and disarm Americans, a hundred million modern “Minutemen” will rise up, and they will cleanse Washington of all who would destroy what has been bought in blood.”
Washington, Patton and a million other ghost warriors would then smile and say: “America, celebrate this Independence Day weekend with food, friends, fun and fireworks. Take time to be Grateful, too. Thank God for the freedoms and liberties you enjoy today…but be prepared to defend them, for they are at risk.
“And keep your powder dry.”