Life Adrift

 

Known as the “Weeping Prophet”, Jeremiah witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the magnificent Temple of Solomon. Despite his repeated warnings to the people of Judah to change their ways and return to their foundation, which had built and strengthened their Nation, the people continued in their downward spiral of moral decay. After the death of King Josiah, Jeremiah watched the quick plunge back into paganism of his fellow citizens and foresaw their doom and, despite his many emotional warnings, the nation of Judah stubbornly quickened toward the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecies at the sword of a predatory empire.

Jeremiah’s writings in the Bible hold special significance to the Christian of today. He recounts in Jeremiah 1:4-5 an assurance of his call from God, “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture encapsulates to a great degree the view of life that Christians embrace.

It is to the Christian that life is formed by the very hand of God. Our Founders used the word endowed. Life is written into the fabric of our foundational documents, of this there can be no denial.

But the protection of life is not necessarily exclusive to a Christian pursuit or endeavor. Most of the greatest civilizations established traditions to promote life among their civilization to ensure their safe and prosperous propagation. Traditions of birth and marriage were established usually in the context of that civilization’s religion. These formed the foundation on which that civilization was built.

This discussion is basic grade school social studies to many but it is important to reaffirm, in light of our nation’s perilous course, the basics of world history. What destroys a nation? What makes it live?

If we as a people do not protect and cherish life, how can we live? As each civilization grows in power, its fear for survival lessens giving way to a desire for personal gain, pleasure, and indulgence. Life holds inevitable repercussions for personal choices, which the selfish work to circumvent. Wants outweigh what is worthy as the people so stalwart to build now wallow in decadence.

Civilization to civilization, the same weakness persists. We strive to build an empire but have not the moral fortitude to maintain it. The path for national decay is well worn for all have followed it.

The decline that Jeremiah wept against for his nation was not new then and happening before our eyes now. A nation grows strong on its zeal for life and desire to survive against all odds. It succeeds and becomes a power to the world and the envy of all nations. Soon, secure in its power, the people began to flock to pleasure and decadence. The constraints of life, the responsibilities thereof, are tossed aside as obstructions in the path towards a new and better nation. We sacrifice our children like nations of old and destroy the structure which raised them and built our society.

We wonder now at our depravity like there was no herald to warn of us of this demise, forgetting those we mocked and shouted down. The sanctity of life and the tradition of marriage is more than just a Christian tradition. It is the very essence and necessity of a nation’s security and survival.

Still, we will ignore the fate in the ruins of time and mindlessly walk towards our doom. It stands to reason, if we could reason, that the value of life could build a civilization and the devaluing of life destroys a civilization. But some will wonder in the end how we got here?

It’s not that complicated. It’s as simple as common sense. When you cut free of the mooring, you simply keep drifting…

  • Andy Torbett

Double Down Double Standard (Non-Poetic Version)

 

It seems my recent poem has caused many to have an attack of the giggles. Perhaps they think its unmanly to write a poem…or…something. If so, then by all means stay away from such girlish pursuits as The Iliad , Beowulf, or even that silly little National Anthem of ours. We wouldn’t want to clutter your “open” mind. Just keep that wind tunnel of yours wide open and clear of any obstruction between both your ears and behind those vacant eyes.

Once again let me remind people, that my reason for the angst is not the picking of berries blue and red or the foraging of fiddleheads. Uh-oh, did I just rhyme again? Get over it! It’s the lack of respect for private property and ambivalence to the double standard conservatives portray.

Did you know that long before our foraging and hunting traditions here in Maine, our Founding Fathers put a high premium on private property? Yes, so much so they were willing to die for it. They challenged the most powerful Nation in the world at that time, Great Britain, for Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

Oh, I can hear giggles the more. “Idiot! Not only does he write poems but he screwed up the most famous line in American History!”(giggle snort) I am well aware the line reads Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but do you know that line was originally drafted Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

I’m sure there are different reasons why it was changed. I can imagine they realized that one is not necessarily born endowed with private property, hence, the pursuit. Still, this shows that our Founders placed private property on a very high pedestal, a thing to be protected.

Much of the anger by conservatives here in Maine against landowners who asked for this foraging bill is really seeded in the fact that most of these major landowners are of a liberal persuasion. They have bought up large tracks of land and have begun to block hunting , foraging, and recreation on their land. Yes, it makes me angry, too.

But the fact of the matter remains, they still own the land. Still, the anger remains and the desire to use or block the legislature from defending their rights because they appose our will and our want seems, ahem, poetic justice. The question remains, what of the Constitution?

According to the Constitution, private property rights trump all including the Bill of Rights. For example, when I was campaigning during the Q3 referendum if a homeowner took exception to what I was saying they could order me off their property. I had to go and exercise my 1st Amendment rights elsewhere. If a homeowner objects to my sidearm on their property and demands I remove myself, I need to remove myself and exercise my 2nd Amendment rights elsewhere. The rights of the private landowner overrule our rights to hunting, foraging, and recreating. So take your various pursuits of happiness and pursue them elsewhere.

Sadly, it seems we are willing to preach the Constitution when it works in our favor but trample it when it doesn’t. The issue is more than foraging and hunting traditions, berries and fiddleheads. The question should be asked: Is the Constitution the foundation of the Republic for all citizens or just a weapon to wield against our opponents to win elections?

Whenever I write against this double standard among so-called conservatives, the immediate retaliation is, “No! We are going to teach them a lesson!” or “Now, they can know what it feels like!” I have been a conservative all my life but this double standard on so many issues, not just this, is not conservatism. It’s something I don’t recognize. The politics of retaliation and me first, the future be dammed. It seems we are not interested in winning elections to make the Republic stronger but simply to gain the power to inflict our double standard on our opponents, payback. And faster the pendulum swings…

Double Down Double Standard

 

When fools build a caricature and call it a crown,

Blindness is bliss in the new double down.

The Republic will crumble and walls start to tumble

But no care is taken to the cause of our stumble

We secure victory and revel in bliss

No effort no pining for the standards we miss

Its power we’re craving and “new” ways we’re paving

We’re forging the fetters of our own enslaving

Its my rights alone and you come along

If you see things my way then we have song

But don’t sing my tune you’ll find out soon

Its trample and stample to your old dusty rune

We cry Constitution and say its for me

But don’t you dare cross me and say its for thee

We want what we’re getting wherever its setting

And laugh at the rights of the ones who are fretting

We say that its right because we’ve always done this

And one can’t say “No” to how we’ve always won this

Some berries are red The fiddle his head

You stop us from picking Your rights have no cred

When tables are turned and we take a stand

To keep those we wish to stay out of our land

Double your standards run up on their lanyards

Your words will come back like drunken old tankards

So we might be gladden to forage with glee

On land bought and paid for, but no not by thee

Its our own tradition Its worth the sedition

If need be we’ll trample that old Constitution

When fools build a caricature and call it a crown,

Blindness is bliss in the new double down.

The Republic will crumble and walls start to tumble

But no care is taken to the cause of our stumble