A New Birth of Freedom
by Curtis Michael Faith
In two months, November 19th, 2013 we will celebrate the sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, marking 150 years since 1863. At Gettysburg, site of the decisive battle of the war, and one of its bloodiest, Lincoln presented in clear prose the destinies that hung in the balance during the U.S. Civil War.
The Gettysburg Address is one of the core texts of U.S. democracy. It goes to the very heart of what America means to Americans.
For me, these parts resonate most strongly. From the beginning:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
and the end:
“that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — 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.”
Democracy is a continuing project. If we don’t birth new freedom every once in a while, freedom itself will die. Government grows and takes it away bit by bit, “for our own protection.”
Our nation may have been conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, but it is not currently so constituted. Today, some are far more equal than others. And some have far less freedom. And this is not good for anyone.
If you too are worried about your children’s future and want to help birth freedom in the U.S. once again, I ask you to consider joining me at Gettysburg, PA this year. I’m inviting my friends to come and celebrate the anniversary, to share our stories, and to talk about concrete steps we can take to fix what’s broken and build upon what isn’t.
Please consider joining us.