Sunday, May 22, 2005

Banners Flapping in the Wind

I recall not long ago as my beautiful wife and I snuggled up on the couch late one night watching some movie that I had suggested a question she asked of me. I do not recall the movie, it was something medieval, there was the obligatory battle and of course in medieval battle everybody seems to bring the banner.

My wife asked me why everyone thought to bring the nice colorful flags. I would certainly not insult her; she simply does not care much for history. If given a real choice that particular night she would have been perfectly happy to watch HGTV. I can only imagine that she thought everybody brought the colorful banners as an overt way demonstrating their distinct sense of fashion and style.

If only it were so simple. If you know a little about history you know that in a feudal society there were no standing armies at the national level. Kings were forced to depend upon their vassals to show up when called to fight whatever enemy the king faced.

Banners represented the various nobles and to the enemy these banners represented value in the ransom that might be gained from capturing the owning noble. In very simple terms these banners were distinct expressions of fashion and style and an overt sign of the importance of the owner. (so my wife is right like always)

Of course the downside of warfare in the feudal age was that a king could not always be certain that his vassals would show up when called. They may stay home, they may be unprepared and show up with fewer troops than anticipated or they may have even sold out to the other side.

Since I have taken a much more active involvement in what I can only term as activism I have begun to see numerous analogies with feudalism. (stick with me here)

To be certain there is no central king calling out all the various organizations to do battle against our common enemy. In this there is a difference. But two facts are clear. 1) we do have a common enemy and 2) numerous organizations do battle with our common enemy alone in single battles.

What do I mean? Well our common enemy I describe here. To summarize what I mean by a common enemy, consider this.

Prolife organizations organize, educate and battle legislation that permits the murder of unborn children and the growing trend to murder the infirmed.

Gun rights activist organize to fight against increasing unconstitutional federal encroachments on the right of the citizens to remain armed.

Christians organize locally and nationally to fight immorality of various sorts.

Some organize to save public schools from the abyss that the public education system currently resides in. Homeschoolers refuse to fight and decide instead to save their children. Homeschoolers often face legal challenges in exercising their parental rights.

The southern movement has dozens of organizations dedicated to restoring culture or defending heritage.

Some conservative groups organize to fight for smaller, more fiscally responsible government, others like the Constitution party fight for an outright return to government under the Constitution.

And of course there are a dozen more movements and agendas I could add to the list. Within each movement there is often several groups striving for the same goals. I will not name names for fear of offending anyone but just take a look around. Mr. X starts Restore America, Mr. Y starts Americans for this, Mr. Z starts Christians Against That.

Do you get the idea? Hundreds of banners representing hundreds of organizations.

Ah but you say the agendas of these various groups are different. They were each created to fight a different fight.

Sure enough true. But.

They face the same enemy, and each time they take to the field individually they face great numbers. What would happen if all groups took to the field at one time and attacked the core of the enemy?

The real enemy is people that hold ideas that are wrong. Better stated our common enemy is wrong thinking about the nature and role of government, the foundation of our system, what powers government ought to have and ought not have and what exactly right government should look like.

We fight separately and fail to win. If we were to place government on the right path, and restore it to the proper foundation would we really have to worry about protecting our culture from government or defending the unborn or curbing governmental excesses? Would our rights as citizens to keep and bar arms be threatened? If the federal government was no longer in the public school business would we have to fight them over what sort of system communities set up?

It is all just too simple. We have a common enemy and a common fight. Why it is so difficult for us to come together for a common purpose eludes me. Maybe it is ego, everybody wants their banner. Everybody wants their own little organization fighting the good fight. If that is the case it is a sad commentary.

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