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11/22/2013

Four score and seven years ago, [we vowed to 'drive a wedge between gays and blacks']

by Jeremy Hooper

When one thinks of modern-day groups that might fittingly parallel the life and cause of President Abraham Lincoln, does a pro-discrimination organization that vowed to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks" jump to your mind? Well, according to the National Organization For Marriage's latest plea for cash (the ten billionth one this month, I'm pretty sure), that is, in fact, the historical connection you should be making.

Words attributed to NOM prez Brian Brown:

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 At 5.28.25 AmDear Marriage Supporter,

This week, our nation commemorated the 150th anniversary of one of the most poignant political utterances in American history: what has come to be known as "The Gettysburg Address" — the dedication speech offered by President Lincoln on the occasion of establishing a national cemetery at the famous battlefield site.

Nine months prior to that occasion, Lincoln had signed a legal enactment which shaped American history much more significantly and fundamentally than his words at Gettysburg: that is, the Emancipation Proclamation.

But with that document having been signed, throughout 1863 the "other cause" of the Civil War took on more and more prominence: namely, the task of preserving the Union. And it was with that new focus in mind that Lincoln delivered his stirring speech in November at Gettysburg. It was a speech which he imagined "the world [would] little note, nor long remember" — which just goes to show how even the best and brightest can sometimes be wrong when it comes to predicting the future!

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 At 5.28.30 AmI've been reflecting on Lincoln's words this week. It is striking how he recognized that the Civil War (still raging at the time he delivered his remarks) was a "test" for America, "testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

And from that moment of testing, Lincoln recognized a "great task remaining" for Americans — a task to which he "dedicated" the nation with "increased devotion." The task he recognized rings in the memorable and often quoted final words of the speech: "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."

"A New Birth of Freedom"
They say that too often people don't value something until it's in danger of being taken away. But the flip-side of this is the blessing of renewed appreciation for the things we hold dear when we face the task of defending them from attack.

While it is a sad and worrisome thing to witness how the definition of marriage has come under attack for over a decade now, this has also made more people reflect on the meaning of this ancient institution that we always took for granted.
...
Yes, these attacks on marriage and on the First Amendment are very sad to witness. But perhaps for us it is a continuation of the "remaining task" noted by Lincoln 150 years ago. Maybe we're part of "a new birth of freedom" as many of us learn for the first time the full value and worth of many freedoms and values that we've long taken for granted. I imagine that you, like me, can at least consider yourself blessed for the opportunity to stand and fight in defense of marriage and our religious freedoms like many noble members of generations past in "this nation, under God."
FULL: A New test of our nation [NOM]

If NOM is the vehicle through which our nation must birth freedom, then someone please get Lady Liberty some birth control, pronto

Oh, and Abe, you can stop rolling around in your grave now. NOM is all bluster and no bite. We got your back, buddy.

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