Love Brought Us Our Republic; Love Can Keep It
By Kathleen Hall 11/26/19
When you read Eric Metaxas’ book, “If You Can Keep It,” even if you always have loved your country, and appreciated the many blessings it gives us, you will gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of how miraculous its coming about really is.
If you are one of the hardcore indoctrinated, I believe some will at least entertain a revision of their beliefs when learning about the uniqueness and goodness in how our Constitution was designed to allow the people to always be able to right the wrongs in our system of government through an ordered, lawful process of representation, with an active citizenry.
The misled and skeptical may think to ask themselves who really cares about “the people” who are always invoked to prove the high-minded and superior government leaders care about us. Who wants to empower individuals to reach their full potential and self-sufficiency, and who is it that wants only to control them, their thoughts and their votes? This while fighting against school choice and maintaining poverty by encouraging single-parent families, (now over 70%) in minority homes and turning a blind eye to ongoing inner-city crime and violence waiting to swallow up fatherless young males. Who fights to guard our religious freedom, the cornerstone of our Constitution, the reason people fled to this country in the beginning and still do so, and who is suppressing our freedom to live out our faith in our lives, businesses and in the public square?
Who believes in working toward a peaceful, lawful society and who stokes conflict between groups of people and will not renounce domestic terrorists – Antifa? Who promotes respect for law, demanding proper action if enforcers are guilty of abuse, and who has worked up a culture of blanket blame resulting in random killings of our critically needed law enforcement personnel? Who routinely uses the blemish of slavery to reignite suspicion and distrust between the races, and who reminds us of the huge numbers of American lives lost in the Civil War to hold the union together in order to end slavery?
Whose actions and beliefs show they care about all people and want the best for all people? Understanding the miracle our founders performed may prompt some to ask these questions and start noticing the answers in plain sight.
Metaxas explains: America was not created because of ethnic, tribal or geographaphical matters as all previous countries have been, but instead because a people had come together to believe, and therefore, embody a set of ideas. These were “newly freed people.” The founders knew and trusted that the citizens understood these things and were prepared for what they had been given the responsibility for. “But they also knew it would take effort, and that the great freedoms of the Republic they had made possible, required keeping.” George Whitfield is known to be responsible for preparing the colonies for this responsibility.
One fascinating story in this book tells of young preacher Whitfield coming from England, first arriving in 1739. He traveled our country and preached a very controversial message at the time. All men are equal and loved in God’s eyes. This did not sit well with many churchgoers, who felt superior and favored on that score. It was considered an outrage, and Whitfield was soon locked out of the churches. But he persisted, preaching outdoors and succeeded in the wide acceptance of God’s love for all, which made early Americans ready for the self-governance our Republic would offer them. “It would take three decades of his tireless preaching; the colonies would be united in a way that was unthinkable when he first arrived.”
Thus, the golden triangle of virtue, faith and freedom, each depending on each other to exist. Metaxas goes into detail to illustrate this.
Another fascinating story is about how Benjamin Franklin moved the Continental Congress of 55 men to finally come together and agree on a form of government after 100 days of contention and wide disparate demands of what was best. Franklin was not of a religious bent but witnessed the power of faith in his countrymen.
When he became so frustrated and desperate to move ahead, he ended up “imploring them to turn to God to break the impasse.” They prayed each morning, before proceeding to business. “In the end, all impasses were broken, compromises on all issues struck and solutions found.” All felt it to be “truly remarkable … willingness for each side to set aside its concerns for the good of the whole.”
George Washington wrote: “It appears to me, then, little short of a miracle. Delegates from so many different states would unite in forming a system of national government…”
James Madison wrote: “The real wonder is that so many difficulties should have been surmounted with a unanimity almost as unprecedented at it must have been unexpected. It is impossible not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand … so frequently extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.” Metaxas explains how the founders got through this window of opportunity in 1787, just in time.
The idea of God’s hand on our nation, believed by many, did not die and was “rekindled afresh by Abraham Lincoln.”
Eric Metaxas expresses his love for America and freedom in a way that is palpable.
“One way of understanding what love is and what it means to love is to say that to love something is to see it as we think God would see it — rather than as we fallen human beings are inclined to see it. To love something is to see in it the hope and promise that are in it … which by God’s grace we can see. We do not fail to see the sins and failings, but we also see the hope and promise.”
I have just skimmed the surface of all this book has to offer in the way of understanding and appreciation for what a country we have.
Comments from book endorsements include:
- “A thrilling review of America’s uniqueness.”
- “Everyone in every country, at every socioeconomic level, of every religious and secular persuasion, of every political bent, should read it … It’s a book you must read this year.”
- Compellingly written … important. Not only should every American read it — they should re-read it to their children and grandchildren.”
- “Eric Metaxas has done a great service to the country.”
In less than a year from now, we will know the outcome of our struggle to keep our Republic. I would guess there are millions of us who have strained relationships with people we love because they believe what is being spun by the America-hating coup in our country. Could the non-political message of this book be the miracle needed now, to encourage exchange, dialogue, understanding and the opening of minds?
Can we get across the preciousness of what we have and how close we are to letting it go, to return as we know it? Love is more powerful than the hate we are fighting. Let us understand what is at stake and love enough to stay free, and continue to improve the idea of America, as it was intended. What better Christmas gift is there to give to each other?