This November 19 marked the 150 year anniversary of Abraham Lincoln giving his now famous address at the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and to commemorate this event, numerous public officials offered their own “appropriate remarks”. One of these persons was, of course, none other than President Obama who recorded the speech for documentary filmmaker Ken Burn’s website. The problem is that the president subtracted his own two cents worth to Lincoln’s speech; the words “under God” were not uttered when President Obama recited the Gettysburg Address.
Now, there are five accepted, hand-written drafts of the Gettysburg Address, each named after the person who received them: The Bliss copy; the Nicolay copy; the Hay copy; the Everett copy; and the Bancroft copy. The Bliss, Everett and Bancroft copy all read, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The Nicolay and the Hay copy omit the words “under God” and it was the Nicolay copy of the Address which Obama recited for Mr. Burn, even though his website listed the Bliss copy as the preferred one for his project. Some people will unquestionably defend Obama’s choice to read the Nicolay copy—even though it is the Bliss copy which people are most familiar—saying that it was either the Nicolay or the Hay copy of the speech which are thought to have been read by Lincoln on November 19, 1863. While this very well may be, that still does not expunge the question as to WHY the current president omitted the words, “under God” since Lincoln himself used those words when he first delivered the speech, regardless of which copy of the speech he used. As historian William E. Barton wrote:
Every stenographic report, good, bad and indifferent, says ‘that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom’. There was no common source from which all the reports could have obtained those words but from Lincoln’s own lips at the time of the delivery.
So what’s the big deal?
It’s a big deal because the belief in God—specifically the CHRISTIAN belief in God—is the best and only firm guarantee of real equality (as opposed to the radical egalitarianism which the Left masquerades as “equality”) and thus, freedom. As John Adams wrote in the margins of his copy of Mary Wollstonecraft’s, French Revolution:
If [the] empire of superstition and hypocrisy should be overthrown, happy indeed will it be for the world; but if all religion and all morality should be overthrown with it, what advantage will be gained? The doctrine of human equality is founded entirely in the Christian doctrine that we are all children of the same Father, all accountable to Him for our conduct to one another, all equally bound to respect each other’s self-love.
This truth, as stated by Adams, is just common sense. As Dinesh D’souza said at a speech given at Hillsdale College in September, 2008:
When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal”, he called the proposition “self-evident”. But he did not mean that it is immediately evident…At first glance, there is admittedly something absurd about the claim of human equality, when all around us we see dramatic examples of inequality. People are unequal in height, in weight, in strength, in stamina, in intelligence…and in about every other quality. But of course Jefferson knew this. He was asserting human equality of a special kind. Human beings, he was saying, are moral equals, each of whom possess certain equal rights. They differ in many respects, but each of their lives has a moral worth no greater and no less than that of any other. According to this doctrine, the rights of a Philadelphia street sweeper are the same as those of Jefferson himself.
To have equal, individual, moral worth and thus certain equal rights, it’s necessary that a Supreme Being be in the equation since it is only through a Supreme Being that such moral worth can come. If moral standards, through which moral worth is obtained, were subject to human whim, people would not have the same individual, moral worth, since what one person decreed to be moral could be declared immoral by another person, and probably would be. Equal, individual, moral worth and thus inalienable rights would be non-existent.
Exiling God leads to GOVERNMENT becoming the distributor of equality and rights (something has to take God’s place, after all, since nature abhors a vacuum). This inevitably leads to the Godless country becoming Animal Farm where all are equal but some are more equal than others, with government deciding who is the more equal, of course. This trend was seen clearly in the French Revolution( the one that replaced God with the “goddess of Reason”); after Louis XVI was executed, the Committee of Public Safety took command of the executive helm and under the leadership of such deists as Robespierre and atheists such as Jean-Marie Collot d’Herbois and Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, the Committee pushed through such pieces of legislation as the Law of Suspects, under which ANYONE could be arrested and sent to the Revolutionary Tribunal. A sour expression could be enough to have one arrested as an “enemy of liberty”; ex-nobles, their families and people who had been denied a “certificate of civism” (issued by watch committees in Paris to “trustworthy citizens” and without which it was impossible to leave Paris openly and extremely dangerous to move about at all) were all automatically subject to accusation.
By getting rid of God in his rendition of the Gettysburg Address, Obama has implicitly declared that there is NO equality or inalienable rights except what the government decrees for certain groups of people. Take, for example, the “nuclearization” of the Senate by Harry Reid. As many others have pointed out, when the Republican Senate majority threatened to employ the nuclear option in 2005, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden and even a freshman senator from Illinois named Barack Obama all argued against the “nuclear option”: Joe Biden said on the floor of the Senate that he prayed to God that the Democrats would never initiate such a power grab when they were the Senate majority again; Barack Obama said that getting rid of the filibuster “certainly is not what the patriots who founded this democracy had in mind.” Senator Obama also said, “…this rule change will be no fairer to a Republican minority than it is to a Democrat minority. I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness…” After Reid invoked the “nuclear option” such sentiment went out the window: Obama said that USING the filibuster was “not what our Founders envisioned” and the New York Times said that the “nuclear option” was actually a “return to democracy”. In the case of judicial nominees, the minority party, which consists of 45 senators which people voted for and placed in office, have no say and no power. A vast swathe of the American population now has no say in the judges which will be placed over them but since is perfectly legitimate since the government decided that the Democrat Senate majority was more equal than the Republican minority and their constituents.
Another recent example is the case of Elaine Huguenin, the photographer in New Mexico who politely refused to photograph a lesbian “couple’s” “marriage” because it violated her religious beliefs. There were plenty of other photographers and the lesbian “couple” found one—but they still sued Elaine and her husband, Jonathan. In a chilling ruling, the New Mexico high court said that the Huguenins are “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives” because “it is the price of citizenship” and they were forced to pay the “couple” $7,000 in “damages”. Elaine didn’t insult the “couple”, she did not take their money and run; she simply was running her business according to her religious beliefs, which she has the freedom to do via the First Amendment which states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The “right” of a lesbian “couple” to have a photographer (which, again, they still got), though, trumped Elaine’s right of religious freedom because the liberal court deemed the “couple” more equal than Elaine.
Or there is the IRS. This summer we learned that the IRS had been obstructing and oppressing conservative groups and individuals. Sue Martinek, for example, of the Coalition for Life of Iowa was told by a Ms. Richards of the IRS that the Coalition’s request for tax-exempt status would be granted only if the board members signed an agreement stating that they would not picket Planned Parenthood, which erases the First Amendment’s right of peaceable assembly. Mark Drabik, after retiring in 2009 from a 23 year military career, became involved in conservative, political activity. The IRS audited him, questioning church donations and family deductions which Drabik legally took off for caring for his 19 year old autistic son. Drabik and claimed both donations and deductions prior to this without any question. More recently, cancer patient Bill Elliot appeared on Fox and angrily spoke of his health insurance being cancelled because of Obamacare and what he was going to do about it. He is now being audited. Insurance agent, C. Steven Tucker offered his help to Mr. Elliot. Tucker is now being audited. And of course, Dr. Ben Carson, the prominent neurosurgeon who spoke out against Obamacare at the National Prayer Breakfast this past February, has revealed that he has been audited by the IRS for the first time in his life. Coincidence?
People naively believe that if God is exiled from society, everything will remain the same but as Nietzsche said, get rid of Christianity and all the accidentals which Christianity brought—such as equality—will go too. Obama and his ilk have made a promise of sorts: America no longer needs God because government will still protect our equality and freedoms, even while making their chosen groups more equal than the rest of us. The question now is: What will we do about it? Any plan should start with two little but indispensable words—under God.