Wednesday, November 07, 2012

In Umbra, Igitur, Pugnabimus.


At the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, a plucky army of around 7,000 Greeks, led by the Spartan Leonidas, faced off against a throng of Persians, led by Xerxes, that numbered upwards of 300,000.  After two days of fighting, Herodotus records, a mere 300 Spartan soldiers were left to defend the Pass of Thermopylae.* A Persian taunt fell upon the ears of the brave remnant: "Our arrows shall be so numerous, they will block out the sun!"  And so the Spartans responded: "Then we will fight in the shade!"  As translated into Latin years later: In umbra, igitur, pugnabimus. It is the only reply that a gallant spirit can make at a hopeless last stand where surrender is unthinkable and victory impossible.  Then we will fight in the shade

And so we conservative Americans went to bed with broken hearts last night, tossed and turned, and awoke this morning to a country we no longer recognize.  Has our land of people strong and free really become a haphazard cobbling together of various unholy alliances?  Walking vaginas whose only objects in life are to be filled with sperm and emptied of unborn babies?  Racists who only judge a candidate by the melanin in his skin and not the content of his character or the record of his leadership?  Labor groups that would rather sign their own death warrants of economic catastrophe than rethink their narrow prejudices and temporary self-interests? Is this who we are now?  A nation filled with perpetual adolescents -- forever on the cusp of adulthood, but never fully there?  Demanding rights while eschewing responsibilities?  Are these the arrows that fly over the heads of true patriots, blocking out the sun?  Then we will fight in the shade.

There is a shadow now over this land.  Was it de Tocqueville** or Tytler who wrote: "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: "From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."?  Regardless of whom to attribute this prescience, note well that the only thing that can pull humankind out of bondage is spiritual faith.  We live now in the shadow of God's back turned against our nation.  He cannot bless this unrighteous people -- though we know that He can and does bless the individuals who turn to Him and trust in Him.  But, as we are now as a nation, He cannot bless our land.  So we sink into bondage and into the twilight of our republic, the arrows that fly from wicked and deceitful hearts blocking out the sun.  Then we will fight in the shade.

We will fight because that is what we must do.  We are not a people given over to despair, as those who have no hope. While knowing deep within that this world is not our home, we fight for our homeland, because we are not ones to kneel before the false gods of a debauched culture.  We refuse to give up or give in, not because we are stubbornly clinging to an ancient past, but because we stubbornly cling to the truth of the Ancient of Days who made men to be free.  And when our backs are to the wall and our strength is almost gone and the Enemy is closing in with his arrows of doubt, derision, and despotism  flying as thick as a locust swarm, we will know at the last that victory is impossible.  But, we will also know that Victory has already been eternally claimed in Christ Jesus. And we will fight in the shade.

*700 Thespians as well; but, do they really count? Actors, after all, are not known for their fighting skills. :-)
**If you want to shudder in thrilling horror at prophecies made, ignored, and come to fruition, check out this page of quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville.  He was our Jeremiah.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sweetheart, I will consider fighting in the shade by your side if you will consider lounging in the New Zealand sun by mine.

Justine said...

I will consider New Zealand if we can live (1) in a Hobbit-style house and (2) near the toothbrush fence.

Ah, I think I need to go watch some episodes of "Flight of the Conchords." Do you like penguins?