Monday, March 24, 2014

Come Monday...Medals of Dishonor

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

Proceed with caution if you are looking for something to feel good about.  However, if you can take it to heart, much good could come out of what I have been given to say here.

Can you tell me if it is worse to be for slavery or to be fundamentally against certain people?  Would you tell me if you could?

Far too many Americans will not answer that question, nor even give the matter some serious thought.  For it would help lead them to conclude that the only thing really won in the waging of the [American Civil War] was the preservation of the Union.

Was that not brought back into focus in a presentation of 24 [Medals of Honor] by President Obama [last week]?  For those medals were awarded (21 posthumously) to veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, who had been denied the great honor, with it merely being on account of their race for most (if not all) of them.

Yes, this is coming from someone, who was raised to believe that the American Civil War was primarily fought over state’s rights and economics—not the abolishment of the institution of slavery in this country.  Be assured that this did not come from my parents, but living in [Barry County, Missouri] for most of my childhood did leave quite an impression upon me.  For the heart of the Confederacy has never really stopped beating in the area.

Economics?  Despite it being largely overshadowed by the issue over slavery, the real reason for why so many southern states wanted to leave the Union was due to many of the more industrialized northern states voting in Congress to impose high tariffs upon agricultural products from the south (mostly cotton) to force them to sell their goods at a substantially lower price to northern businessmen than what European buyers were willing to pay while charging top-dollar for the products manufactured in their factories.

No, I am not trying to justify the drastic decision to leave the Union.  For the southern states should have stayed put and fought it out (not physically) on the floor of Congress, but I am wanting to point out that history is generally written by the victors, who would much rather be remembered for fighting against slavery than fighting for highly-profitable textiles.

Speaking of highly-profitable textiles, along with other factory-produced items, it has been mystery to me that the northern industrialists did not take advantage of having an enslaved work-force produce their goods.  After all, not having to pay wages to most of their workers would surely insure the preservation of some very high profit margins—would it not?

The matter is no longer a mystery to me.  For our Heavenly Father has personally revealed that the prevailing thought back then was that people of color (especially black people) were generally incapable of running (or even just being around) machinery, which made them basically worthless as factory workers.

Alas, even if you cannot accept that the Lord God Almighty would personally reveal anything to me, how can it be denied that far too many citizens in states north of the [Mason-Dixon Line] during the 1800s were fundamentally against black people?  After all, were they not generally kept from prospering and often driven from areas they wanted to settle in?

Moreover, how can it be denied that far too many American citizens in general are still fundamentally against anyone not like themselves?  For how was it possible for those 24 heroes to be denied receiving our highest military honor for so long if it was not mostly on account of them being unacceptable to [white-supremacists]?

No, our Heavenly Father did not assure me that much good would come from enough being willing to humble themselves before Him and repent of their prejudices.  For He has set this nation on a course to help bring the Antichrist to power and make living life in this world appear to be better than it ever has been for the first three and a half years of his reign.  On the other hand, this does not mean that we (as individuals) would do well to just go with the current flow and not do what we can to right as many wrongs as we are given an opportunity to in the meantime.

He did, however, quip that I must really like being largely ignored when not being despised.  For as if it is not enough that most of what I have had to say about spiritual matters is unacceptable (in one way or another) to almost everyone in the Christian community the world over, here I am publishing a rather unpatriotic piece in the eyes of far too many Americans!

If you don’t get the joke, I have been very forthcoming about everything I have to say actually coming from our Heavenly Father to begin with.  Okay, I am often allowed to mess up the message by adding my two cents worth, which is something I am eager to do far too often.

In all seriousness, I have been given a very rugged road to travel, but I do not expect to receive any medals of honor, come Judgment Day.  For my primary motivation has been a great fear of failing to do what I am called to do, which is utterly ridiculous.  For there really isn’t anything good about me, apart from the presence of our Heavenly Father in and around me.  Therefore, any good that I might do would be strictly by His hand—certainly not the result of my own efforts.

In all fairness, at least my attitude is consistent with the attitudes of most warriors when engaging an enemy on a field of battle.  In fact, very few have went to war with visions of personal glory dancing in their heads and lived to tell about it later on.

Back during Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the summer of 1977, I was privileged to meet two recipients of the Army Medal of Honor, with both of them being quick to declare that they did not feel like a hero.  The one from the Vietnam War declined to give any details, but the one from the Korean War said that the only thing on his mind was pure terror over the likelihood of everyone in his unit being slaughtered by the thousands of North Korean and Chinese soldiers overrunning their position when he jumped behind a .50-caliber machine gun and pulled back on both triggers.  If I remember right, a fairly great many in his unit survived the attack while over 300 of the enemy lay dead less than 100 feet in front of him.  He also added that he does not remember a thing from just after he pulled back on those triggers until being cared for by a nurse in a [MASH unit], located several miles away.

Is this to say that he did not really deserve to receive the Medal of Honor?  NO!  For aside from helping to save many lives in his unit, it took an enormous amount of courage to admit to being afraid—especially during a time when men were expected to face great danger without any reservations.

By the way, does it bother you that our highest military honor is a medal in the shape of an upside down [pentagram]?  It does me.

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  1. Me too. Excellent piece. Oddly enough, I have a son-in-law and a nephew that have both received medals and they never speak a word or bring it about. Of course neither one would wear their uniform except in direct line of their company. My son-in-law came here for dinner (straight from his drill practice) he slipped downstairs to change before sitting down to dinner and two of my younger boy grandchildren said, Wow, Uncle Dillon's an army man. Wow, he was one from before they were born. Quiet, silent and proud but hard at when fulfilling their commitment. I too am so proud of them, and all our other men and women too!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Karen!!! Thank you also for not wanting to think that this is meant to disparage our military personnel. For the absolute truth of the matter truly is that their willingness to serve is of our Heavenly Father, and this includes enduring the hardships, which most bear with great humility.

  3. Our true heroes don't like the fanfare; and they don't often talk about what they've done...not with those who aren't close to them - if even then.

    Perhaps there is a special reason the medal is hung/shaped that way.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Lee!!! Yes, I am quite sure that there is a special reason why it is shaped that way, and this is what troubles me. Nonetheless, it is still part of our Heavenly Father's plan, and all will be as it should be in the end.


Since the Blogger spam filter has been found sorely lacking lately, I will start moderating comments. Be assured that I am only interested in deleting spam. So, if you feel a need to take me to task over something—even anonymously, go ahead and let 'er rip, and I will publish it as soon as I can.