Defending our Christian Heritage ....

To The Last Ditch

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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Homeschoolers And Toilets

Another attack against homeschoolers.

I am really insulted this time because one of my chores, among other things, is cleaning toilets. I also cut grass for other people (including my dad).
Well, God's in control. Cleaning toilets and cutting grass is life.

On second thought, maybe this is not such a bad thing... As my dad said, we are being recognized as following the servant model of Jesus because Christ came not to be served but to serve.

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Great Song

This is my favorite country song!



The father-son relationship is very important in God's economy. I've learned this role also applies to the relationship between boys and their older brothers.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Followup


I wanted to do a longer post on the Second Amendment decision because I don't think I did it justice yesterday.

The landmark decision by the Supreme Court yesterday was so important because it was the very first time a Second Amendment case had been ruled on by the highest court in the land. It will be a precedent for generations to come. The way Justice Scalia defined the Second Amendment was very articulate and concise.

But even if the Supreme Court had ruled against the Constitution, as Christians, we are required to obey the law of God as the Supreme Law of the land. Although a ruling by the Supreme Court is not necessary, I was very humbled to realize that this was another blessing from the Lord on us, the unworthy people of America.

It was very disgusting to read the comments of the leftists:

CNN - Paul Helmke, of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that the group disagrees with the court's interpretation of the Second Amendment but that the ruling "still allows common-sense gun control laws, restrictions to make us all safer".

Mr. Helmke, did you hear about what happened when "restrictions to make us all safer" were employed by Hitler?


Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the dissenting opinion, said:
"The self-defense interest in maintaining loaded handguns in the home to shoot intruders is not the primary interest, but at most a subsidiary interest. The Second Amendment's language, while speaking of a 'militia', says nothing of 'self-defense'."

Justice Scalia defined 'militia' as: Militia- comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. "All males" does not mean just the military. The best reason for civilians to own guns is for self defense against tyrants.....like you!

Barack Obama:
"I have always believed that the Second amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common sense, effective safety measures."

Mr. Obama, could it be that the reason our communities are "crime ravaged" is because the "common sense, effective safety measures" are not working? It seems to me that the best "common sense, effective safety measures" would be to "pack heat!

In closing, I just want to ask you guys, are we physically (and mentally and spiritually) prepared to "act in concert for the common defense"? That's one of the marks of a Christian Sheepdog.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Score: Good Guys-1, Bad Guys-0

This is awesome! What a historical landmark! Praise the Lord!

..."and sent them hame tae think again"...

Also, here's a good article by Mr. Williams.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Book Of Secrets And The Knights Of The Golden Circle


We watched the Book Of Secrets a couple of weeks ago. OK action. However, the bad guy was a graduate of VMI and a descendant of a Confederate veteran. The main character had a Gr-gr-grandfather who fought on the *right* side and possibly saved America by keeping treasure from the Knights of the Golden Circle, or KGC. Oh, and did I mention that the main character also didn't like guns?

The Knights of the Golden Circle actually did exist. Thier goal was to stash money and guns in different places, throughout America, in order to help the South rise again. Although I don't agree with the heavily ritualistic-masonic aspects of this organization, I think the trans-generational aspect is fascinating. One of the duties of a KGC member was to guard local stashes of valuables. As a particular guard got older he would pass the duty on to his son. It was a highly secretive organization and the methods of encryption they used I have found very interesting.


Bob Brewer was raised in Arkansas but his uncle died before Bob gained the instruction needed to become the next sentinel. The book Shadow of the Sentinel is his story of the Confederate gold that was to be used in the next War for Independence. It's a great book, other than the fact it does contain a couple of "bad words".

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Portrait of a Man: Sir Robert Boyd, Part 2

June 24, 1314

The day dawned cool and clear. Robert walked briskly through the woods to his commander's tent. Edward Bruce ordered him to ready his men on the Scottish left. The Scots were to be arranged in three hollow squares, to best defend against cavalry. Battle was about to be joined....

As the minutes ticked away and both sides braced themselves, a pastor walked the length of the Scottish line praying for the men. As he passed, the Scots knelt in reverence. King Edward II, commander of the English army, cried, "see, they beg for mercy!" One of his experienced generals replied, "yes, but they ask it from God, not from us...these men will conquer or die on the field".
The battle began when King Edward ordered his archers to fire a devastating volley of arrows into the ranks of the Scottish spear men. But King Robert brilliantly countered by sending his small group of cavalry against the English archers. Their sole purpose was to put the English archers out of commission... and that's what they did. This relieved the tremendous buildup of pressure on the infantry. The English commander then ordered his pride and joy into the fight- 2,000 heavy cavalry. But the flower of English chivalry broke against the Scottish line again and again, failing to pierce it. Realizing that the cavalry had been thrown in confusion, Robert Bruce ordered an all out attack and the English were driven precipitously from the field.

Robert Boyd went on to distinguish himself as one of Bruce's noblest knights, although one of the least well known. After the English sued for peace, Bruce granted Robert a large tract of land around Ayr, including Kilmarnock castle.
After Bruce's death, Boyd continued to serve in the military but his days were numbered. The English invaded Scotland again and the two armies met on Halidon Hill. Against the counsel of Boyd and more experienced commanders, the Scottish regent, Archibald Douglas, attacked the English in a bad location and was disastrously routed. Boyd was captured and would later die in an English prison but his heroic legacy as a freedom fighter left a memorable impression on his clan, who lived on the property he had won with them for the next 400 years.

Author's note: Sir Robert Boyd was one of my Gr-gr-gr-gr......gr-great grandfathers.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Portrait of a Man: Sir Robert Boyd, Part 1

June 23, 1314

The sound of stone against mettle rasped through the night air as hundreds of men sharpened their weapons for the next day's conflict. At one campfire, a solitary young man was working. Robert felt the blade grow sharp under his skillful hand as he ground the stone against his blade. "Will all our efforts be in vain?", he wondered. He knew his 6,500 comrades were wondering the same thing. "Will my descendants live in freedom to serve God?". He laid down the whetstone and gazed thoughtfully into the fire......

Robert Boyd was born some time around 1270, in Ayr, Scotland. The Boyds had lived in and around Ayr for the past 100 years. As Robert grew up, he became close friends with young William Wallace, his cousin. When Wallace escaped, after his first capture in 1296, Robert raised a band of men from his father's lands to support Wallace. From this time on, they were nearly inseparable. Boyd led his men against the English at Lanark, after the murder of Marion Wallace, as well as against the English knight, Fenwick, who had killed Wallace's father. History records that Boyd himself killed Fenwick with a "short, stabbing sword". But tragedy soon struck, as Robert's father, who had been forced to sign the "Ragman's Roll", was treacherously murdered, along with many other Scottish nobles, including two of Wallace's uncles, at the Barns of Ayr. In a rage, Wallace and Boyd, who was now the chief of Clan Boyd, attacked the town. The barns containing the English soldiers were set on fire, and all who tried to escape, were slaughtered. After the battle of Stirling Bridge, which was a glorious victory for the Scots, Scottish independence was dealt a huge setback with the defeat at Falkirk. Due to bickering among Scottish nobles, the battle was a disaster and the army was reduced to a mere mob.Soon after this resistance was completely crushed as Wallace was treacherously betrayed to the English and cruelly tortured to death for crimes he did not commit. Devastated, Robert Boyd continued to fight at the head of small guerrilla bands.
But God raised up another mighty champion for Scotland in Robert Bruce. Bruce had to flee for his life to Scotland and he brought his family with him. Boyd rallied to Bruce's banner, with what few men he had left. Most of them died bravely at Methven, in order to give Bruce time to escape. After this setback, Bruce's army was reduced to a few retainers . They roamed the Highlands, constantly on the run for their lives. Boyd was sent, along with Bruce's family and an detachment commanded by Nigel Bruce, to Kildrummy castle. This was the last castle not captured by the English. But again, Robert the Bruce was dealt a cruel setback when Kildrummy was quickly divested by the English. His wife and children were taken back to England as prisoners. Nigel was put to death, but Robert Boyd escaped and returned to Bruce, bringing the sad news.

But the tide began to turn.


Edward Bruce, Robert Bruce's second brother, was very rash and hasty. (Robert E. Lee would have said, "He has too much of the lion and not enough of the fox".) In order to keep his brother out of trouble Bruce promoted Boyd, who was a more experienced soldier, to Edward's second in command. One morning Edward and Boyd left with a detachment of fifty men, to raid the English army commanded by Aymer St. John, numbered around 1,500 men. A dense fog had settled in during the night and the men could barely see the ground around them. As the fog lifted, Bruce realized that they had blundered into the middle of the English army! Surrounded, he quickly sounded the charge. They broke the English line like glass, turned, and charged again...and again! After the third charge, the enemy broke and fled in terror.

Robert Bruce was able to gain some momentum by re-capturing most of the castles in English hands. By 1313, only Stirling castle remained. He entrusted its capture to his brother, Edward, who quickly began the siege. But Edward, not content to wait outside for the English to starve, struck a rash bargain with the commander of Stirling. He agreed to raise the siege if Stirling was relieved in one years time. If the castle was not relieved, the governor would surrender to the Scots. Robert Bruce was very angry with his brother's action. Because of this foolish negotiation, Edward had put Scottish independence in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, in England, Edward II, son of Edward I who had begun the conquest of Scotland, was finally shaken from his lethargy and began to muster an army. He slowly crossed the Scottish border and marched toward Stirling. Numbering around 20,000 men, the English army found the small Scottish army in battle positions near a little known creek called Bannockburn.

A small skirmish had been fought earlier that day, as a group of English cavalry tried to break through and relieve the castle, but this half-hearted attempt was foiled by the Scottish pike men. About this time, at another portion of the line, Robert Bruce killed Sir Henry De Bohun in a man-on-man conflict. Although this was a great boost to his men's moral, nothing had been decisive and the main battle would be fought tomorrow......

Part II coming up!


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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Impact Of The Scots-Irish On America, Part 5

In the years following reconstruction, the Scots-Irish began to regroup after the devastating losses of the war. Many of the men who had fought in the Confederate army, enlisted in the Union army and went west to fight Indians. Since that time, Southerners have made up the bulk of the American army.
The Scots-Irish began a comeback during the World Wars. On the beaches of Normandy, during WWII, one of the National Guard units from Virginia was nick-named the "Stonewall Brigade". Patton and MacArthur were both descendants of Confederate Veterans. After the Americans took Okinawa from the Japanese, a marine raised the Confederate battle flag from the top of Okinawa castle.

But the Scots-Irish were dealt a crushing blow to their warrior mindset during the middle of the 1900's with the start of the Korean War. Gen. MacArthur, of WWII fame, was dismissed from command because of his aggressive tactics against the enemy. Vietnam was Korea on a much larger scale. "The Vietnam War put the brakes on the Scots-Irish ascendancy that had begun with the outbreak of World War II. In the coming two decades, the traditional notions of military service as well as the very foundations of what it meant to be an American would take a terrific beating. The Scots-Irish, whose ethos has always been so closely identified with patriotism and respect for military service, would serve in great numbers during this war and in a historic anomaly would, in many cases, be ostracized from many academic and professional arenas as a direct result of their services.....For the Scots-Irish Jacksonians, Vietnam was a real and often brutal war, one in which a high percentage of their sons and brothers fought.... the South had by far the highest casualty rate during the war, a rate 32 percent higher than the Northeast.." (Born Fighting, pg. 307)

I don't know the percentage of American soldiers in Iraq from south of the Mason-Dixon, but you can almost bet your bottom dollar that most of the grunts kicking in doors over there are from the South. The legacy is passed down...

From the Vietnam War, we should learn the fallacy of electing politicians as our country's leaders. I firmly believe, since the purpose of government is to wield the sword and protect the innocent, that one of the biblical qualifications for an executive governmental position is that the candidate have skill in fighting, and be willing to fight for the right cause even in the face of certain defeat. Is this possible without getting into the bureaucratic mess? I don't know. But if we do not have leaders who are willing to do their duty and leave the results in God's hands, America has no hope for future blessing from the Lord.

But we should take hope! Christians should look to their ancestors for inspiration and follow the examples. You may not be Presbyterian, or Scots-Irish, or even Southern, but you have a God given duty to resist tyranny. When people become slaves, they lose the ability to "glorify God and enjoy him forever", which is why we are here.

I want to end with one of my favorite excerpts from Born Fighting.

....The rituals and demands of military service imbued both with the same identifiable traits of courage, personal honor, and loyalty that one would find in the mountain communities of Virginia or Tennessee. While never losing their own ethnic identity, they have also met the test of mine. These standards were passed down to me hard and early by my father, and I have done the same thing with my son. In both cases it was automatic...In this culture, if one is to be recognized as a leader, he must know how to fight and be willing to do so, even in the face of certain defeat....He must know how to use a weapon to defend himself, his family, and his friends. He should know how to hunt and fish and camp, and thus survive. And throughout his young life he should observe and learn from the strong men in his midst, so that he can take their lessons into adulthood and pass them on to the next generation. Perhaps, as some claim, the advance of civilization and the sophistication of our society have made many of these lessons irrelevant. But to me, the attitudes they ingrained have been the most consistent sustaining forces in my life.
(emphasis mine, pgs. 329-330)

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Impact Of The Scots-Irish On America, Part 4

As the 1800's dawned on the United States, it was clear to many that there was very little "united" about it. The industrial revolution had begun and the North quickly became the center of industrialism in America. That industrialization took hold in the North should not be surprising, considering the fact that the vast majority of Northerners were descendants of Englishmen and their English cousins had begun the revolution.
(By no means should this be interpreted as a "blanket statement". There were Southerners of English extraction just as there were Northerners of Scottish descent. The point is that the majority of Southerners were of Scots-Irish descent, and the majority of Northerners were of English descent. This had a lot to do with how the Northerners looked at government.)

The Scots-Irish were still having a noticeable impact on the government of the country. At the turn of the century, Thomas Jefferson was elected president. He was very much a supporter of limited government and states rights. In the years 1829-1837, War of 1812 hero Andrew Jackson served as president. Although he was Scots-Irish, his support of the Tariff of Abominations cost him the good opinion of Southerners. The Tariff of Abominations placed a huge tax on Southerners buying imported goods from Europe, forcing them to purchase products at the inflated Northern prices. This was the main reason Jackson's running mate, John C. Calhoun, resigned from office. John Caldwell Calhoun was a fire-eating secessionist from South Carolina.

He was a direct descendant of James Caldwell, who was a member of the "Black-Robed Regiment".

This was the state of the nation when a little known yankee lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, was nominated to run as the presidential candidate of the newly formed Republican party. (The platform of the political parties at this time were completely reversed. The Republicans were what the Democratic party is today.) One of the main points in the Republicans platform was a strong centralized government, which is a no-no to the Scots-Irish. When the election of 1860 came around, Lincoln was not even on the ballot in the Southern states. Because of a recent split in the Democratic party, Lincoln won the presidency.

The South was outraged.

Why? Because, without the popular vote, a person had been elected to office who was philosophically opposed to everything they held dear. Strong centralized government is only the tip of the iceberg, because when people become subjects of the state, they lose the right to think, act for themselves, and take responsibility for their own actions, they became slaves. The Scots-Irish instantly recognized this as yet another attack against their Presbyterian values. Therefore, they took steps to defend themselves and provide for the security of their descendants.

On December 20, 1861, a group of legislators met in the St. Andrew's Society hall, in Columbia, South Carolina, after several weeks of fasting and prayer. The St. Andrew's Society was dedicated to the preservation of Scottish history. By the end of the meeting, history had been made as South Carolina became a separate country, and seceded from the union. Soon, the Confederate States of America was formed. Though this Confederacy had many flaws, this nation was comparable to the protestant countries of Scotland and England, after the Reformation. The Confederate Constitution was drawn mainly from the Articles of Confederation, as well as the US Constitution, as a nod to Patrick Henry, who had argued in favor of keeping the Articles of Confederation as the constitution.

Many Southern leaders were of Scots-Irish extraction. Men like Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, JEB Stuart, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Patrick Cleburne. Robert E. Lee was a direct descendant of King Robert the Bruce.

And you could tell it by the way they fought.

It was definitely not a contest of equals. The North's population was around 23,000,000. The South- 9,000,000. The South was exceeded in total wealth by 3-1 and industrial output by 10-1. But the Southern-Scots-Irish did not have a problem with that, they had been fighting against these odds for the over five hundred years.

"But the South was superior to the north in the intensity of its warrior ethic".

"That warrior ethic, which would carry the outnumbered and outgunned Confederacy a very long way, came from the long tradition of service that had begun so many centuries before in Scotland and the north of Britain. The Confederate battle flag itself was drawn from the St. Andrew's Cross of Scotland, and the unbending spirit of the Southern soldier found its energies in the deeds of the past just as strongly as it looked up to the leaders of the present. These were the direct descendants of William Wallace's loyal followers of five centuries before, Winston Churchill's "hard, unyielding spear men who feared nought (sic) and, once set in position, had to be killed". (Born Fighting, by Jim Webb, pg. 220)

Well, as you know, the South was forced to surrender after four years of war. They struggled manfully, suffered 70% casualties (200,000) and killed 300,000 of their antagonists. During this time the worst atrocities ever committed against a country, except perhaps those committed against Scotland during her war for independence, were done to the South. The ensuing Reconstruction was a completion of the genocide of the Southern-Scots-Irish. During this time, it became popular to refer to Southerners as "rednecks" and "hillbillies", derogatorily. Ironically, these names were actually very appropriate. Redneck was originally a term used to identify radical Scottish Presbyterian pastors, who wore red collars. Hillbilly was the name given to supporters of King William, or "King Billy", during the Glorious Revolution.

"The winners write the history books", and that was certainly true in the case of the War for Southern Independence. Revisionist history has villainized the South, and the issues of the war, for almost a hundred years. "But what many historians miss-and what those who react so strongly to seeing Confederate battle flags on car bumpers and in the yards of descendants of Confederate veterans do not understand-is that slavery was emphatically not the reason that most individual Southerners fought so long and hard, and at such overwhelming cost. Slavery may have been the catalytic issue from a governmental perspective, and its moral dimensions may have motivated many Northerners, but other factors, some cultural and some historical, brought most of the Confederate soldiers to the battlefield. And that was particularly true among the communities in the Scots-Irish heartland that provided the bulk of the Confederate Army's manpower." (Born Fighting, pg 211)

It seemed that the Scots-Irish had vanished from the earth, and most of them had, but the Lord preserved a remnant. I am blessed and proud to say, I am part of that remnant.


I should be able to wrap this series up in Part 5!

Author's Note: If any of my readers are interested in reading more about the Scots-Irish influence on the South and particularly the Southern fighting style, I would recommend: Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South and Attack and Die, both by Grady McWhiney.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Impact Of The Scots-Irish On America, Part 3

During the birth of our country, around 400,000 Scots-Irish came to the colonies. Although they took up roots all along the Eastern coast, most settled in the Appalachian and Allegheny mountains. Here, they sheltered less warlike people, such as the Quakers, from Indian attacks. As they fought for survival, they recognized the Indian's warfare style as similar to the guerrilla-type tactics also used by their fathers against the English invaders.They would later use these to good effect against the British.

As the conflict between Britain and America began to spark, it was clear to many that the Scots-Irish were carrying on their generational struggle against tyranny. At this time, most of the colonist population spoke with a Scottish accent. One of the best-selling books was Lex Rex: or the law is king, by the Scottish pastor Samuel Rutherford. Rutherford had experienced persecution caused by the Stuart tyranny and he had written this book in order to debunk the myth that the king was above the law thus, not accountable to it.

But there was internal dissension among the colonists between the Puritans and the Scots-Irish. Although the New England Puritans were Godly people, the two cultures were constantly clashing, especially as Unitarianism swept into the North following the War for Independence. James Webb states in his book, (pg.134) "the Scots-Irish were the cultural antithesis of those who had founded New England". Around this time there was a major southward shift for the Scots-Irish as more and more began settling in North and South Carolina. Why was this? Because Virginia, and north of Virginia, had been taken over by the Anglicans.

As the War for Independence began, an unofficial military group was formed. Known as the "Black Robed Regiment", so called because of the black robes worn by the clergy, these fighting Scots-Irish pastors incited the people to rebellion against the British. They also acted as chaplains, fulfilling a role similar to the Covenanter pastors of the 1600's. They were men like John Witherspoon and James Caldwell, who led their flocks to the Lord on Sunday, and led their men to battle during the week. In many instances these black clad men could be heard fervently praying for the Lord's blessing on the soldiers, before battle, as they went about their duty.

Presbyterian zeal swept the nation. An Anglican, living in Philadelphia, said, "a Presbyterian Loyalist is a thing unheard of". In the political and governmental realm, men like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, both of Scottish descent, eloquently complemented the work of the Black-Robed regiment. One Hessian officer wrote: "Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less then a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian rebellion. Considering the cultural diversity of the colonies at this time, it is amazing that the Scots-Irish composed one-third to one-half of the colonists fighting force (Continental Army and local militia). In the end, it was the hard-bitten, keen-eyed Presbyterians, using the guerrilla tactics they knew so well, that set the tide against the British in the Southern colonies.

After the war, dissension tore at the new union of colonies. The United States became a nation on March 4, 1789, despite strong opposition from Patrick Henry, and other Scots-Irish, who argued that the Constitution guaranteed too much power to a central government. As Unitarianism swept through the North along with the effects of the French Revolution, the Scots-Irish began a major migration away from the North.

This conflict would culminate in the War for Southern Independence. Watch for Part 4!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Natalie!

Natalie Macmaster was born on this day in 1972, in Inverness County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Born into a family of musicians, she is my favorite fiddler! Although, sadly, much of her most recent recordings are to contemporary, featuring electric instruments, I highly recommend her albums entitled: My Roots Are Showing and A Compilation.

The songs featured above are: Detroit Jig, Muckin O Geordie's Byre, Boys of the Lake, and Shakin's O the Pocky, from My Roots Are Showing.

Author's note: I also highly recommend her instructional dvd entitled, A Fiddle Lesson with Natalie Macmaster. If any of my readers are interested, here is the sheet music for: Detroit Jig, Boys of the Lake, and Shakin's O the Pocky.


Watch for Impact of the Scots-Irish on America, Part 3 on monday.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Heroic Father, Grateful Son

I will diverge a wee bit from my series on the Scots-Irish today, to remember an event that occured exactly one hundred years ago today....

In 1908 the annual reunion of Confederate veterans was held in Birmingham. The whole city came out to honor the soldiers who had fought so long and heroically for freedom. Among the visitors was a scion of one of New York's most prominent families who some may have considered out of place....unless they knew his heritage.

Although Archibald Gracie IV was born in Mobile, his roots were in New York city. His father, Archibald Gracie Jr., had been born in New York, but he was a Confederate brigadier general. Killed at the battle of Petersburg, General Gracie's legacy had been passed on to his son by his wife, who purposed that her children would never forget their father. Archibald Gracie IV had been inspired at a very young age to record his father's legacy. So he sent out letters to as many of his father's old comrades as he could find. He met them at the Birmingham reunion. These veterans of Gracie's brigade came from as far away as Seattle, Washington, to meet the son of their old commander.

On June 12, 1908, the first and last offical reunion of Gracie's brigade was held at the old Thomas Jefferson hotel (now the Cabana) in downtown Birmingham. What actually occured, the stories and speeches, we can only imagine. History does tell us that Gracie learned much that day. The veterans of his father's brigade had also encouraged him to continue to remember the deeds of the past, and record them for postertity.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh, For The Swords Of Former Time

Scotland has banned swords? This is a sorry business, since the sword is an important symbol of Scotland's heritage.

So, although handguns have been banned since the Dunblane massacre, shotguns and rifles are still allowed for hunting. Since "they" are so concerned about public safety, when are they going to ban cars?

"Give me Scotland ere I die"

Oh For the Swords of Former Time.

Oh for the swords of former time!
Oh for the men who bore them,
When, arm'd for Right, they stood sublime,
And tyrants crouch'd before them:
When free yet, ere courts began
With honours to enslave him,
The best honours worn by Man
Were those which Virtue gave him.


Oh for the Kings who flourish'd then!
Oh for the pomp that crown'd them,
When hearts and hands of freeborn men
Were all the ramparts round them.
When, safe built on bosoms true,
The throne was but the centre,
Round which Love a circle drew
That Treason durst not enter.
Oh, for the Kings who flourish'd then!
Oh for the pomp that crown'd them,
When hearts and hands of freeborn men
Were all the ramparts round them.
-anon.

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Impact Of The Scots-Irish On America, Part 2

In order to understand the mindset of the Scots-Irish, it is crucial to understand the history of Protestantism, and ultimately, Presbyterianism. Presbyterian is often misunderstood term. In the purest sense of the word, it describes a type of church government, known as "ecclesiastical republicanism". Basically, it is a type of representative government. But "Presbyterian" means more than that. To me, it's a culture.

A way of life.

A history of resistance to tyrants and horrible persecution, the story of the Presbyterians is one of the most gallant, heroic, sad, and heartbreaking stories in history. Presbyterians in Scotland were called Covenanters. This name comes from the numerous Scottish covenants. The first major covenant in Scottish history is the Declaration of Arbroath, the ancestor of the Declaration of Independence, written in 1320. In this Declaration, the Scots covenant that "as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule." In 1643, the National League and Covenant was written. This document stated, "That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly, through the grace of God, endeavor, in our several places and callings, the preservation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian church), in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our common enemies." The whole nation of Scotland signed this document, some in their own blood.

So where did the Scots get the idea of covenantal government? This model is exhibited in II Kings 12:17. The Israelites, who were the first Covenanters, have just unseated the pagan, tyrannical ruler, Athaliah. The Bible says, "And Jehoida (the priest) made a covenant between the Lord, and the King and the people, that they should be the Lord's people: likewise between the King and the people".

You may be wondering, where do the Irish come in? ( I'm glad you asked)
James I, a great tyrant and pervert, in order to bring the Catholic Irish under control, created a colony in Ulster, or Northern Ireland, in the 17-18 centuries. Many Scottish Presbyterians came here to escape Anglican persecution. But King James had planned it this way.

Another characteristic of the Presbyterian Scots was an incredible willingness to fight. They not only knew how to fight, but they were also the greatest pastors in the world. They were Christian Sheepdogs in the purest sense of the word. (By no means were they perfect. As Godly Calvinists, they firmly believed in the total depravity of man, and they recognized this every day.) For many generations they had been used as a buffer zone, between the uncouth and pagan natives, and other people groups. This was the purpose they served in Ireland. The king was hoping that the Presbyterians would be a thorn in the flesh to the Irish. The Presbyterians took this opportunity to exercise the Great Commission. Although they never became a part of the pagan Irish culture, they preached the gospel to the natives and intermarried with them in some cases. By 1644, there was literally a covenanter army in Ulster, who kept the foiled royalists at bay.

When America was discovered, the Scots-Irish were called upon again to provide a buffer between the Indians and other settlers.

Watch for Part 3!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Impact Of The Scots-Irish On America, Part 1

If Jim Webb runs as Obama's running mate, I am going to have a hard time not supporting Obama. Before you faint or leave my blog, let me explain. Although it would be terrible to have Obama in the Whitehouse, I can probably put up with it if Mr. Webb is there.

Jim Webb is a senator from Virginia who, although a democrat, served in the Reagan administration. More conservative than most republicans, he is also a veteran of the Vietnam war. He believes firmly in the doctrine of States Rights.

And he's Scots-Irish.

In 2004, Mr. Webb published a book entitled, Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, which I highly recommend. (great read for you Christian Sheepdogs) It was incredible to me how huge an impact was made on the US, by the Scots-Irish of Scotland and Ulster. The problems that Great Britain experiences today are a result of these people emigrating to America.

Today, we are all thrown in a huge melting pot, labeled "Americans", in an attempt to promote toleration between people of different cultures. Could this be a deliberate scheme to rewrite history and cause people to forget their heritage? As Christians, we should never forget the ancient landmarks and our fathers who have gone before us. This is the essence of the Fifth Commandment.

So what exactly did the Scots-Irish do to make such a great impact on our nation? Stay tuned.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Airsoft?....Or The Real Thing?


It was several years ago when I first heard the phrase "airsoft". Since that time I have watched with amazement as this sport has become more and more popular. As a disclaimer of sorts, please understand that I enjoy airsoft. I have played it before and had a great time.

Airsoft first became popular in Japan in the early 1970's. It was developed to fill a void left by the local laws forbidding private citizens from owning real firearms. Could Airsoft be used for the same purpose in the US? During the founding days of our country, young men received their first gun at the age of 13 or 14. Today's 13 and 14 year olds are buying Airsoft, not realizing that there may come a time when real guns are illegal, and thus, the tools for resisting tyrants are gone. The similarities between real guns and airsoft weapons are incredible! In a recent discussion I had with a friend, I speculated that one could probably buy a real gun for the price of an airsoft gun. He replied that it wasn't the same, since one cannot shoot people with real guns.I would take issue with this statement since the main reason to own guns in the first place is for self-defense! For $200-$230, one can buy an good-quality PDW (Personal Defense Weapon).
But that being said, I recognize the usefulness of airsoft as a training tool. The same friend recently explained to me that in order to be well rounded, there were two types of warfare education needed: simulated training, and weapons training. Simulated training (i.e.- airsoft) puts one in a real combat situation and forces him to make decisions based on the circumstances. Weapons training (i.e.- live fire) teaches one how to service and fire his weapon. I completely agree with this assessment.

But as he stated, it is necessary to have both, in order to be fully trained. Although airsoft can be a useful tool, due to the current political situation, now is not a good time to be investing in toy guns.

Author's note: The "friend" referred to is Micah Ferrill. Micah is a great guy and an accomplished "airsoftist"!

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Such A Parcel Of Rouges In A Nation...

I can't really say that I'm surprised that Obama is the democratic nominee, but it is disconcerting to say the least. So this means that as we enter the new year, America could be set up to go: with a democratic president and a democratic majority in congress.

I believe that God has for-ordained what will come to pass, and all things work for his glory, so it is with excitement, and trepidation, that I look forward to the events of the future.
There is not a noticeable difference between democrats and republicans nowadays. Both parties have an agenda for expanding government control, and thus, tyranny. Thomas Jefferson once said, "No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government" (italics mine). Although guns are to be used strictly as a last resort, one of the first things tyrants will do is step up gun laws.

That's what Hitler did.

I fully expect gun restrictions to skyrocket if Obama, or McCain, is elected. So trust in God, and keep your powder dry!

Author's note: Obama was unofficially nominated on Jefferson Davis's birthday.....and all my buddies are buying....airsoft!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Portrait of a Man: Leonard Holifield

L-R: Michael, Dad, Dr. Holifield, Stephen

This past weekend, our family watched A Legend & A Legacy: The True Story of Leonard C. Holifield. About two years ago, when Judge Moore ran for governor of Alabama, my family had the privelige of helping host a political rally for the Judge near our home. I had the honor of also meeting Dr. Holifield, who was Judge Moore's bodyguard. I was impressed by his quiet presence, as well as his knowledge of all things military.

Dr. Holifield is the epitome of the "Christian sheepdog". As the founder of the Sikaron Karate Federation and the International Academy of Executive Protection Agents, he has become a Godly roll model to many young men. One of the things that especially impressed me, from the DVD, was his relationship with his father. Although he had accomplished incredible feats of strength and skill, Dr. Holifield expressed a yearning desire to be more like his dad.

This is a mark of a truly great man. The most important thing in a young man's life, beside his relationship with his Heavenly Father, is his relationship with his earthly father.

I have learned much by Dr. Holifield's example, and I highly recommend
A Legend & A Legacy: The True Story of Leonard C. Holifield.

Author's note: Dr. Holifield's standard PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) is a Glock 40 cal. I must say that he has extremely good taste!

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Of Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs...


I have often enjoyed watching sheepdogs work (especially Border collies). It is fascinating to me how the shepherd and the sheepdog communicate and how they both work together for the good of the flock....

It is also interesting to me how men tend to gravitate toward things of a martial nature. God has designed men to fight and defend. To me, that is one of the most drastic differences between men and women. Now, I firmly believe that women should be trained in the use of weapons, but the man is the designated protector and defender. God has given man dominion over the earth. This does not mean that we should go on a killing rampage, but rather to be a steward of the land (this is also key to understand the theology of the land).

Though sheepdogs are never mentioned in scripture, the metaphor of Christ as the Great Shepherd, and we as his sheep, is often used. The wicked are often referred to as wolves. So where does the sheepdog come into the picture? The sheepdog is represented by the men who are ready, willing, and able, to place themselves between the sheep and the wolves. Now, by no means should this be interpreted as adding to scripture, but I think this is a very applicable analogy. The sheepdogs are also under the authority of the Great Shepherd and they obey his voice, but they act as an umbrella of protection over the sheep. Wolves can come in many different forms. A wolf could be a punk looking for someone to beat up, or a catastrophic situation. One of my favorite examples of sheepdogs at work, is the story of the H.M.S. Troopship Birkenhead. Those men who gave their lives for the sheep ("women and children first") were sheepdogs. Although I strongly encourage that people learn to defend themselves (a.k.a.- handgun training, martial arts) and others, it is also important to be well-read, so we can "give an answer for the hope that is within us", to wolves that would seek to destroy the spiritual sheep.

This is imperitave for men! I have only recently come to understand the sheepdog principle, through an article entitled, The Christian Martialist as Sheepdog. The author of this article has much more insight into this idea, and I highly recommend reading his blog, Warskyl: A Page For Christian Martialist

So my exhortation to you is, *"
Be of good courage and let us play the man for our people and for the cities of our God and may the Lord do what seems good to Him." "Duty is ours, but the consequences are God's"- Stonewall Jackson.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

*--Bible verse from II Samuel 11:12

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