Over a century ago, the United States of America went through a divisive and bloody Civil War that separated the people of this nation bone from marrow. It split friends, families and eventually the nation itself as a line was drawn dividing the Union States of the North from the newly formed Confederacy of the Southern States.
Ostensibly, the war that followed was fought over the abolition of slavery, a devilish practice that never should have been allowed in the first place, and although it was the basic issue for the conflict – as is the case so much of the time – there were a myriad of other issues involved.
One – in my opinion – was just plain stubbornness and pride and the dogged determination that the South would not let itself be told what to do by the other half of the country, but trade, tariffs and different attitudes and beliefs about just how far a federal government could go in setting the tone and making laws to be obeyed by all the states were also involved.
The point I’m trying to make is that the feelings festered so long and ran so deep that men whose fathers had stood shoulder to shoulder in the war for independence faced off across fields of battle and killed each other.
The Civil War never should have happened, and had cooler heads prevailed on both sides, never would have. Southerners had to know that slavery was an abomination to the principles they had fought and died for in the Revolution.
No man has the right to own another man, to reap the fruits of his labor for nothing, to consider his children nothing more than commodities to be sold off or traded away on a whim, separating families and breeding human beings like livestock.
But instead of acknowledging the very obvious evil of this situation, politicians from the South, convinced that the economy of the Southern States was dependent on slavery, chose to become a separate nation and soon after over six hundred thousand Americans lost their lives in a senseless war that would set the Southern States back a half century.
Surely, had it been approached by fair, level-headed men on both sides of the issue, abolition could have been achieved without war. But the rhetoric grew ever hotter. Brash young men on both sides, who had never fired a gun in anger, viewed a war as the pinnacle of romanticism, and implacable politicians refused to give an inch.
Is this not the same attitude we see on the streets of America today?
I see young people interviewed on television who can’t even articulate the reason they are protesting. Others bent on destruction who probably espouse no cause but chaos.
I’ve seen hysterical protestors screaming about First Amendment rights which they seem to think only protect them and those who think like them and that the opposition has no First Amendment protection and should be shouted down at all costs.
The rhetoric is becoming hotter and more nonsensical, the radical element more apparent, the violence and destruction of property more common place.
The pot is boiling and it’s only a matter of time before there will be blood on the streets.
Americans have the right to civil disobedience, a right to gather and demonstrate against some policy they feel is unfair or harmful to the country at large, but they do not have the right to interrupt commerce, break windows, burn cars or do bodily harm to those who disagree with them.
People who won’t listen to reason, who ignore the law of the land and who try to stifle the opinions of others tend to forget that there is an element of violence on the other side as well, a side that, thankfully, so far has not yet come forth.
But, should these conditions continue, someday soon the violent elements of both persuasions will find themselves on the same streets, and what will ensue will not be pretty.
Learn from history, or repeat it.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.