Yesterday, I opened up a Reuters article that started out with this: “Things have been a bit rough of late on the streets of Charm City, as Baltimore calls itself – much to the amusement of nearly everyone who hears those words.”
I got a good laugh at that snark, but my laughter died after I continued on in the article, which purports to detail the continuing Freddie Gray debacle, explaining it with the same old liberal mantra of victimization that’s gotten Baltimore into trouble in the first place. Cops are mean, whites are bad and Republicans are somehow, someway responsible for all the world’s evil.
(Blah blah, chirp chirp, beep beep.)
Considering how that mentality is so prevalent – and so damaging – outside of Baltimore as well as in it, it seems safe to say that we’re a mess as a state, as a country and even as a world. So much so that throwing in the towel doesn’t seem like an illogical choice.
But here’s the thing. I’ve been doing research on the latter half of the Revolutionary War for the sequel to my “Maiden America.” Between that and what I already knew, I have to point out how utterly impossible that struggle was right from the beginning.
It was filled with defeats and humiliations and depression-inducing odds and confidence-shattering betrayals. The patriots faced an overwhelming lack of funding from Congress and little help from the citizenry, who were either on the Brits’ side or on their own. That latter set celebrated each American victory, but otherwise gave their new nation little to no support.
Yet against all that, they won, securing their independence from an arrogant power that sought to debase them.
Does that mean we’re assured success today, these two hundred-plus years later, battling similarly condescending authorities? Of course not. Not in the short term, the mid-term or the long term. But there’s another term to consider that makes it worthwhile anyway: the eternal term, which I was reminded of this morning through Brantley Gilbert’s “One Hell of an Amen.”
A country song all the way, the first verse is about a soldier who “died too young over there toting that gun for Uncle Sam and our freedom.” The second records someone who contracted cancer and died of it with his head held high, fighting for life the whole way long.
And in between and around those, the chorus reads:
That’s one hell of an amen
That’s the only way to go
Fighting the good fight
‘Til the good Lord calls you home