Even for those blessed to retain jobs, there would still be suffering. Many companies have already begun making decisions to help keep them profitable, and for many that means taking many of their full-time workers and cutting their hours to 25 per week, in order to get under the ObamaCare mandate that counts employees working 30-plus hours per week as full-time, and therefore counting against their penalty formula. I know one business owner who employed 58 people, who’s first act on Nov. 7 was to decide which 10 employees to fire (the insurance mandate/penalty kicks in at 50 employees), and whether he’d have to make more part-time in order to remain profitable. Another friend told me that their company just announced that, due to the ObamaCare law, their insurance premiums would go up nearly 25 percent at the first of the year. This is brutal for them because they are struggling just to make ends meet as it is. Ironically, they voted for Obama, a point I chose not to bring up.
It seems that all this election has done is make Americans even more polarized and angry with one another, which is sad because now is the time we need to come together. Yet our ideologies have become so antithetical to one another that one wonders how we find common ground again. Obama supporters have repeatedly told me that “Obama won … get over it!” and that this means Republicans should stop resisting Obama’s agenda and just go along. On the other hand, Republicans retained a very large majority in the House, so doesn’t Obama have an obligation to go along with them? And how does one compromise over the national debt, which can’t be even fractionally paid down by taxing the rich even more, but only by spending cuts and growing the economy, which tax increases stifle? How does one compromise on the issue of abortion, which opponents see as the taking of an innocent life? On this and so many other things, we’ve retreated to our corners but continue to scream recriminations at one another.
In October 1863, the United States was deeply embroiled in a similar conflict for the heart and character that would define this nation. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States during The War of Northern Aggression (what our Yankee friends now refer to as the Civil War, even though the South was fighting not for control over the U.S. government, but for the right to form their own government, much like the 13 colonies had done less than a century before), at that time had watched for several years as his beloved country was torn apart by war, brother killing brother, the land pillaged and burned, death and destruction everywhere to be found. Though proclamations of thanksgiving had been made by previous presidents and governors, it was Lincoln who officially established the last Thursday in November as an official holiday to be recognized by the federal government, a “holy day” in every sense of the word.
In his proclamation, Lincoln declared, “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity … order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict … Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship … the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore.
“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union …”
Today America is engaged in a battle for the heart and character of our nation as we were in 1863. Whereas then we fought to end the evil of slavery, a disgraceful practice which kept black men, women and children in shackles, working the plantations of their white masters, today we also fight slavery, albeit a self-imposed one, which makes it more tragic. Rather than shackles of iron, we’ve bound ourselves with shackles of immoral behavior, which has been the root of the destruction of all great civilizations and empires. We have killed tens of millions of our children in the womb under the euphemistic rubric of “reproductive rights” or “pro-choice,” and those that we’ve allowed to live we have shackled with a $16 trillion national debt that our children and grandchildren will be paying off. It is immoral and unjustifiable.
So this Thanksgiving week my prayers are the same as were Lincoln’s, and Washington before him; namely, that we recognize Almighty God as our Creator and the source of all blessings, that we look within our own hearts as individuals, families, and communities, and repent of our own sins and shortcomings. God has freed us from predicaments more dire than we currently suffer, but it requires humility on our parts.
And as I pray for forgiveness, I will also utter a prayer of gratitude, for my wife of 20 years who is far better than I deserve, for four sons and four daughters who give me no cause for shame and much to rejoice in, for my friends and family, for health, for a home, means to provide for my family, for my birth in this great nation, for a rising number of patriots determined to restore liberty to this land, and above all, for the bounteous blessings of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, none more so than for His atonement for my sins, through which I am freed from ultimate and eternal bondage. May the blessings of the Almighty be upon you and your family this season, and may we find peace and solace, for ourselves and our great nation, by submitting ourselves to His will.
Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.