By: Heidi St. John
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
When Thomas Paine’s American Crisis was published in December, 1776, George Washington’s troops, seemingly helpless to stop the relentless advance of the British troops, had suffered one crushing defeat after another. Desertions were high. Only 25% of the troops remained, and the enlistments of many were set to expire.
Paine’s words were a salve to the demoralized soldiers. Many returned to the ranks, citizens renewed their pledge to the cause of freedom, and Washington soon claimed two victories.
Like the weary soldiers of the revolution, we are discouraged. Each week seems to bring a fresh round of assaults against our God-given liberties. There is no question there is a leftist attempt to take over our country, and right now, they own the White House, both houses of Congress, the education system, the media, and most of the major corporations. Incredibly, their reach is spreading. Even Republicans, normally strong on 2nd Amendment rights, have started to falter in the current gun debate. It’s disheartening to think we’re losing more ground.
Inflation has only added to the frustration of every
day Americans. On top of worrying about our freedoms, many are asking difficult questions. Is there enough gas in the tank to get to work the entire week? Will there be enough to feed the family, afford visits to the dentist, or make that needed car repair? It’s hard to enter battle when the very ability to care for our families is being challenged.
But it’s often the day-to-day struggle that makes us forget the greatest power we have as citizens: The right to vote.
The 2020 presidential election had the highest voter turnout in the 21st century and was still only 66.8%. Off-year election participation is downright dismal. Last year in Washington state’s general election fewer than 40% participated and only 30% showed up for the primary. A disinterest in politics, dislike of the candidates, a feeling that their vote won’t make a difference, and distrust in the voting process all played a role in lackluster voter participation.
But as Cheryl K. Chumley reminds us, socialists don’t sleep, they don’t quit, and they don’t abandon the battlefield. While we’ve been busy working and raising our families, they’ve been busy infiltrating every institution in the country. Thomas Jefferson said, “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate,” and it shows.
A recent headline asked, “Is the United States Headed to Another Civil War—or Another Great Awakening? The choice is ours. “The ballot is stronger than the bullet,” said Abraham Lincoln, and there is reason for hope as many patriots have stepped up. Moms and dads have pushed back against school boards and unions, and are being elected to replace woke ideologues and activists. They became such a force in Virginia that they turned the state red. Many citizens signed up for training and have hit the streets, cleaning up the voter rolls. Others have become trained poll watchers and will oversee ballot handling and counting. Netflix, responding to plummeting stock values and subscriber numbers, decided it would no longer remove content based on feelings. They told employees, “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.” Even very liberal San Francisco with its 7% registered Republican voter base was able to boot its incompetent DA.
While many individuals have taken up the battle, too many of today’s pastors are a far cry from the Black Robe Regiment, those pastors who took up arms for the cause of freedom. Maybe they worry about the status of their 501c3 and incorrectly think they can’t discuss political issues. Maybe they’re trying to toe the line between the sweeping divide of the political parties. Or worse, they’ve bought into the lie that feelings override truth and biblical teachings. Whatever the reason, churches are failing their congregations when they refuse to acknowledge the country’s moral and social decline and think they can sit it out on the sidelines. We must demand better.
Chumley’s book Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise or America Will Fall calls for Christians to get involved, especially in transforming the public school system. Yet twenty-five million Christians, nearly one in four, don’t vote. Just one in three vote consistently. Imagine the power of engaged Christians and the unleashed power of prayer!
Taking the country back from the socialist grasp of the Left will not be a one and done proposition. As we celebrate July 4th each year, we look at the victory, the triumph. It’s easy to forget how many battles George Washington lost. Or how many years it took to win the war—nearly seven more after Paine’s words were written.
Political pundits tell us there will be a red wave this election year, that will give us the opportunity to begin a return to a more limited role of government that our founders envisioned. But we can’t be complacent. We can’t sit back and assume everyone else will vote so we don’t need to. Paine continued, “I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state: up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it.
I’ve traveled the country speaking on the intersection of faith and culture, about the very real threat as the acceptance of socialism has spread, and the importance of getting involved—off the bench and onto the battlefield. Now is the time, friends. The window is closing. We are at the intersection and need to make a decision. Will we sit back and let our great nation go under? Or will we write a new chapter that sees us emerging stronger, still a shining city on the hill giving hope to the rest of the world? We have two powerful tools—prayer and the vote. We must use them now.