November marked the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and the 50th of the Kennedy assassination – with those observances come some parallels we’ll explore.

Eleven score and 17 years ago, in 1776, the founding fathers of America sought to break those fetters of oppression exerted upon them by the King of England.  Their social experiment was an ingenious one; never an undertaking of such had been dreamed of before.

At the heart of it all was the premise that all men are created equal and given a right of freedom and liberty by a Creator, not an overlord.

In essence, the founding fathers sought to rid themselves of those proverbial shackles enslaving all those who lived in the colonies under the thumb of King George.

Seven score and 10 years ago, on November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave a two-minute speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to commemorate a cemetery for the thousands killed in the July battle waged there.

In his oration, President Lincoln said all men are created equal as well.  At the heart of the matter was Lincoln’s drive to hold the union together and end slavery.  He had a profound belief that no man should own another.  In the end that notion cost him his life at the hands of a Confederate sympathizer, a one John Wilkes Booth who didn’t believe in such claims.

Thousands gave their lives in that war so all men may be free – lest we forget – oddly, Barack Obama never attended the ceremonies commemorating Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.  Although it was only 63 miles away, the President claimed he couldn’t work it into his schedule.

Two score and 10 years ago, on November 22, 1963, JFK was assassinated in Dallas by a self-proclaimed Marxist, a communist called Lee Harvey Oswald who didn’t share the same beliefs as Kennedy did.

The civil rights movement was in full swing at the time of that presidential assassination and Martin Luther King Jr., the spiritual leader of the civil rights movement, was also gunned down for having like dreams as JFK.

There’s been persecution and struggle for liberty occurring throughout the history of the United States, it’s an ongoing process, yet America is like no other nation on Earth.  There are those who see the goodness flowing through the veins of its citizens, and then again there are those who view the nation as flawed and oppressive by nature.

There have been many firsts in America’s storied history.  Slaves were freed, women were given the vote, President Kennedy was the first Catholic chosen by the people, and Barack Obama was the first African American given that lofty privilege.

A quarter of a score ago, President Obama took office to authoritatively proclaim he would fundamentally transform America.  His vision of the country wasn’t that of the majority of the citizenry and he would set out to change the very fabric of society as we know it.

There are those who believe government can be an oppressor and need be unimposing.  Then on the other hand, there are those who believe government is everything and need be the dictate to all living within the borders of its reign.

There are many in America who value freedom and believe government has become fascist and socialistic in nature and deplore being enslaved by what it’s become.  On the other hand, a horde of others are convinced they’ll always be less fortunate and discriminated against.

There are those who profit from that notion of widespread discrimination.

It’s of consequence that the President doesn’t hold like views of other predecessors.

One can only ascertain that the President’s motives are foreign to most and that transparency he promised has instead manifested itself as scandal breeding even more.

Many feel he’s trying to enslave Americans by imposing torturous inflictions upon the very liberties and freedoms many so cherish.

President Obama will eventually learn that trust need be cherished, not recklessly risked for political-maneuvering sake, for it’s impossible to regain once that sheen has been tarnished.

Oswald Chambers, a noted theologian who lived around the turn of the century, said: “Make a determination to take no one seriously except God.  You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.” Those who are convinced government is their sustenance surely embolden that premise.

The rights of common man are duly instilled in the Constitution and that would explain why many who thirst for power hate that document so.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit  Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org.    

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