Sunday, November 2, 2008

52 Blessings—Political Power

I always wondered where I would stand on a battlefield. I sadly determined I would not be on the front line, but back at the kitchen preparing kool-aid and cookies for the brave. I’m certain I would encourage them to fight fearlessly with the promise I’d be right behind them. I was woefully sharing this with Calvin one evening and he slowly nodded, “Yes. I can see you." Then he mimicked me with both hands over his ears, his eyes scrunched closed, shaking his head back and forth saying, "Oh no. Oh no. I can tell. There’s going to be a fight.”

I wish to be a calmer, but I dream to be a patriot. Can I be both?

Polly Cooper was a calmer. In the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, George Washington’s troops lay sick and starving. Chief Skenandoah relieved the suffering of the soldiers by giving them corn. Polly, a woman from the Oneida tribe, stayed behind with the Chief’s gift to nurse the soldiers and prepare nutritional and medicinal food. She wouldn’t take money for payment; put she did accept a black shawl in token of Washington’s gratitude. I want to be like her, what she did was significant.

Margaret Corbin was a patriot. Wives of the soldiers routinely cooked meals, laundered clothes, and nursed wounds, but they also watched the men do their drills and learned them also. Margaret fought in the Revolutionary War next to her husband, John. In November 1776 they were stationed in New York fighting British troops. John was assisting a gunner until the gunner was killed, then he took charge of the canon and Margaret became his assistant. Later, John was killed too, so Margaret continued loading and firing the cannon. Can you imagine fighting in the aftermath of seeing your husband killed? Can you imagine manning the spot where two men were killed before you? Margaret was wounded by grapeshot—it tore her shoulder, mangled her chest, and cut her jaw. She was carried to the rear of the company where she received medical treatment, but she never regained the use of her arm. Today, near the place of the battle, a bronze plaque honors "the first American woman to take a soldier's part in the War for Liberty". I want to be like her, what she did was strong.

Can a peacemaker by birth become a patriot by life? Is it doable to be a Polly and a Margaret? Perchance I found the answer in the quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

I do feel more comfortable baking cookies to blowing cannons, but this Tuesday I can fight on the election battlefield, wield a pen, and cast votes for candidates that will uphold the Constitution, defend moral values and protect America. Yes. That’s what I can do. Where is the drum roll?

Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

M. Russell Ballard said, “It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is the right thing to do. Always.”

I feel more courageous and valiant just thinking of it—maybe my backbone is straighter than I thought. I can do my patriot duty and vote. I wish I could vote on Proposition 8 in California. I wish I could vote to protect marriage and the family. A marriage between a man and woman is the only kind of marriage God has sanctioned today and children deserve to be raised in a home with a father and mother—the same way they were created. I know that some say that government should stay out of matters of morality, but all of our laws are based on morality. Stealing, cheating, lying, killing, disrespecting property—all are immoral actions, but we have laws which govern against them. Hence, they are moral laws and a republic and democracy only work for a moral people. I wish we didn’t need governed as far as a family is concerned, but I also wish we didn’t need governed as far as thievery or murder is concerned either. Society, however, dictates a need for governance because anarchy is no option. Since the family is the basic unity of society, if it fails society fails. We think nothing of protecting our soil and investments from foreign invaders, yet to allow society to destroy from within our most valuable asset, the family, by refusing to protect it makes no sense. I wish my vote could be counted in that decision, instead I will hope and pray the people in California protect the family.

Yes. That is what I will do, I will vote and encourage others to and I’ll mail a box of cookies to a soldier while I’m at it. I’m grateful we have a choice in our laws and leaders.


deidra said...

Great post and well said.

shelly said...

I think this is one of my favorite blog entries. Thanks Jane.

Susan said...

I love this post Jane, and I will yield my pen also on Tuesday. Protect the family.

Kim Sue said...

great post Jane...I am also a cookie & juice kinda girl, but I will cast my vote on Tuesday and hopefully I can encourage others to do the same!

Becky said...


I am proud to vote "YES" on Prop. 102 here in Arizona (similar to California's voting).

...I have the soul of a patriot trying to learn how to be a peacemaker :) There are times when both are important...what an inspiration you are Jane!

hennchix said...

Superb post!! Thanks

Overwhelmed! said...

Beautiful post! I voted early this week.

So, I’m stopping by to let you know that I’m hosting the Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange again this year, on 7 November. I hope you can join me and if you’re willing to help me spread the news, I’m offering a giveaway as well!

Julie said...

You always inspire me. I think you can count your boy's choice of vocation as one of your contributions to patriotism. You raised them to know what is important. Send them the cookies!

Lucy said...

I'm glad you wrote about this, and of course did it in an effective and persuasive manner. Great stories about former patriots.

I feel a pit in my stomach about the election. It makes me sad that after all this time, I am no closer to feeling "right" about anything. I will vote, however, because I appreciate the blessing and responsibility that it is.

Cali said...

That was beautiful. That was eloquent. That was moving and persuasive. You have a way with words. Thank you for taking the time to create it. I, more than most, know the labor of writing a post on a regular basis... let alone a masterpiece of a post. Thank you.