July 3, 2013

The Star-Spangled Banner's Unanswered Question

The last time I was at a minor league baseball game I started thinking about the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner. The thing that struck me is that our national anthem asks an unanswered question. 

The anthem was originally a poem written by Francis Scott Key who had been captive on a British warship during the bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Through the night, he could see from the flashes of the artillery that the U.S. flag was still flying. However, he wouldn't learn until morning how the battle turned out and if the flag had been taken down in defeat. 
O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
We know how the battle turned out. We take it for granted that the flag would still be there in the morning. But Key didn't know that. He was desperate for any word that the flag was still flying because there was a significant chance that it could be gone. We need to realize the same thing.

Every time we hear the national anthem it should remind us that the flagand our freedommight not always be here. We assume it is permanent. We take it for granted. We don't cherish how valuable, rare, and fragile our freedom is. It might not exist tomorrow.

All the great empires of human history eventually fell. Even if America is protected from her external enemies, the threat remains that she will rot from within until only a star-spangled shell is left. 

Our historic liberties are being assaulted. The values of our founding fathers are being forcefully abandoned. Their work ethic is evaporating. Our heritage is being squandered. Religious liberty is being eroded as the new morality of the cultural elite is pushed on everyone else. 

There may soon come a day when the only circle of  liberty that remains is that which is horded by the liberal idealists in power. The only freedom that will be tolerated will be freedom from God's transcendent morality. The goal of the new freedom will not be freedom of conscience but freedom from conscience. 

How long will the tattered flag of true freedom still fly? How long until all is dark? Do not take for granted what we still have. Pray for sanity. Pray for revival.

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