DICK BAYNTON: From Bondage to Bondage

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Dick Baynton

We have seen and read the steps from bondage back to bondage by various skeptics, experts, political scientists and commentators; here’s a recent list: (1) Bondage to spiritual faith; (2) Spiritual faith to great courage; (3) Courage to Liberty; (4) Liberty to abundance; (5) Abundance to complacency; (6) Complacency to apathy; (7) Apathy to dependence; (8)  Dependency back into Bondage.

These eight steps are easy to follow. Note that our ‘local militia’ bravely met British Troops between Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts on April 19th, 1775. The Revolutionary War ended with Great Britain formally recognizing our independence on September 3rd, 1783 as stated in ‘The Treaty of Paris.’  Although ‘The Declaration of Independence was unanimously approved by Congress on July 4th, 1776, our Constitution was adopted on July 21st, 1783 in Philadelphia when New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify the document.

Reverend James Caldwell a Presbyterian minister in Elizabeth N.J. lost his life during the revolutionary war but only after gallantry in battle during the battle of Springfield, N.J. on June 23rd, 1780 when his troops ran out of wadding. He ran into a nearby Presbyterian Church and scooped up all the hymnals he could carry and shouted put the ‘Watts’ hymnals into them, boys! His wife also lost her life during the war.

Another example of ‘spiritual faith’ was when Reverend Peter Muhlenberg (1746-1807), a son of Lutheran Pastor Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg surprised his congregation in Woodstock, Virginia by removing his clerical robes that revealed the uniform of a Virginia militia officer. Retiring from the army after serving with distinction during the war, he completed his service as a ‘Brevet’ Major General in 1783.

Pastor Muhlenberg displayed both religious faith and ‘great courage’ which has been reinforced by our participation in wars of freedom such as WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Our great nation has enjoyed liberty and freedom since 1776 and where we have participated in deadly conflicts over the years we have helped millions of oppressed people find the sunshine of individual and national liberty and freedom.

Our ‘spiritual faith’ that was once overwhelming continues to recede according to a recently released Pew Research study. It shows that 65% of our adult population are Christian compared with 77% just a decade ago; and only 45% are regular church attendees compared with 52% in 2009. Has our faith shifted from religion to electronic gadget addiction, 24-hour shopping and perpetual TV or do we look to government for moral, social and political guidance?

The United States was able to meet the challenge of warfare in both European and Pacific theaters; our awesome industrial complex turned out merchant vessels, warships, aircraft, tanks and other war materiel between March 11th, 1941 (when the Lend-Lease’ bill was signed into law) and V-E Day (May 8th, 1945) and V-J Day (September 2nd, 1945). Our military boasted 16 million men and women in uniform and sadly over 405,000 gave their irrevocable gift of life.

Following WWII and Korea, abundance became the norm as factories turned out TV sets, washers and dryers, automobiles, trucks, diesel locomotives, commercial jet aircraft, homes and furniture. Because workers, retailers and corporations were flush with cash and a rising list of amenities we became complacent. We were breathing the invigorating oxygen of perceived never-ending-utopia.

Our complacency led to apathy; feelings of indifference. We assumed that individual and national freedom was perpetual, fueled by living the ‘full life.’ What we didn’t realize was that illicit drugs were becoming a commodity; thugs were forming gangs and lawlessness prevailed in many of our urban centers. Welfare and government support and dependence was on the rise. Pockets of corporate and government corruption and decadence were being exposed.

Without fanfare, our country now has more than 50% of its people who receive monthly federal benefits according to a ‘Forbes’ (magazine) study. Yet unemployment stands at 3.6% and many jobs are not being filled. This means that we have already transitioned from being a capitalist nation and are on the threshold of socialism.

Yet, all Democratic presidential candidates want to take us deeper into government dependence leading to abject economic and bureaucratic failure. As the most diverse and powerful world leader in both industry and military might, we must not relinquish leadership to an oppressive nation.

Dick Baynton