By CHARLIE SLOVENSKY
The essence of the American experience was encapsulated in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, more aptly dubbed the Corps of Discovery. Despite incredibly hard times that brought the participants to the very precipice of doom time and time again, they never allowed themselves to run out of three provisions: hope, weapons and writing utensils.
I count it more than mere coincidence that the American Experiment has been kept supplied with these same provisions.
The hope that filled those brave explorers’ hearts in their most frightening moments was akin to the hope the Founding Fathers had, and it’s the same hope that persists in true patriots’ hearts today. Those honor-bound statesmen relied on their Creator to not only sanction but bless their declaration of independence and their resolve to embark on a revolutionary way of human government whose very roots were grounded in religious faith.
The weapons the explorers relied on for their survival were the same implements of protection that have guaranteed the survival of America throughout its history, against both foreign and domestic threats. At the onset of the Revolution, the Founding Fathers recognized the absolute criticality of this first and last line of defense. They made sure the right of every citizen to bear arms would be guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
Pen and ink have been used not only to record historical events like the Lewis and Clark Expedition, but to espouse and publish opinions. The Founding Fathers saw the necessity to the Republic of preserving this enterprise and broadening its scope to cover protest and dissent. They made sure Freedom of Speech was the first priority in the Bill of Rights.
As I seek hope for America’s future, I’m reminded of the lyrics of a 19th-century hymn: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” These words, and the meanings behind them, have proven reliable in our past, remain strong for our present situation, and offer the best hope for our future.