My Battle Hymn

by Alice Chao, Staff Writer

I’ve always liked the song “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and recently read the lyrics in their entirety. The lyrics of this song were written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861 and it became widely popular around the time of the Civil War, and this song serves as a powerful reminder of just how far we as Americans have fallen away from God. The mere mention of God in the public square brings out ACLU lawyers in hordes crying discrimination; although most surveys reveal that the vast majority of Americans identify with a religion, with at least 75% being some form of Christianity.

America was founded on a belief in God, and despite the variation in the founding fathers’ faiths in God, they all recognized the importance of religion. Even President Thomas Jefferson, who is highly quoted on the left for his phrase regarding the separation of church and state, wrote the The Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia which is laced with references to God and is a precursor to the First Amendment of the Constitution. Americas faith in God remained strong through our bloody Civil War, as President Abraham Lincoln’s speeches were filled with statements invoking our religious beliefs and acknowledging our creator. Religion continued to hold a prominent place in American culture and remained prevalent even during the difficult times of the Great Depression as President Franklin Roosevelt soothed the nation during his fireside chats and recognized the importance of religion freedom and Judeo-Christian morality in America, stating at the start of America’s entrance into World War II that “They know that victory for us means victory for freedom. They know that victory for us means victory for the institution of democracy-the ideal of the family, the simple principles of common decency and humanity. They know that victory for us means victory for religion.” Looking back upon the history of our nation I cannot help but wonder why religion has become so hated by so many on the left.

I want God back in the public spheres and lives. I want to live in a nation that I am not afraid to say what I believe for fear of having to face a lawsuit or imprisonment from a “hate crime” for supporting traditional moral values.

I want to live in an America that I never have seen before, never experienced, one that acknowledges that without God, America would still be under British rule (after all how else do a ragtag bunch of inexperienced militia/guerrilla fighters defeat the then most powerful nation on earth?), one that honors and acknowledges God, a nation in which God is not segregated away from the public sphere like a disease, although not a theocracy (as those tend to get out of control once Government becomes more self serving and power hungry than religious and God once again is pushed out of the picture) but a Judeo-Christian nation in which God can be honored.

Alan Keyes, has run in at least three Presidential elections mostly as a Republican), a Reagan era diplomat with solid Catholic conservative credentials, once made this comment in regards to this very subject of a secular of church and state, “The “separation of church and state” doctrine is a misinterpretation of the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibition of established religion aims at forbidding all government-sponsored coercion of religious conscience. It does not forbid all religious influence upon politics or society.” Furthermore, the term “separation of church and state” was never actually mentioned in any of our country’s founding documents, rather it was a term used in one of Thomas Jefferson’s letters reiterating his faith in the First Amendment preventing the government from meddling in religious matters. Therefore it should be argued that “separation of church and state” was not meant to become government policy to prohibit religion, but rather to protect religious people from government tyranny. So let’s stop giving in to the ACLU and the nut hordes that support them, because God is not a disease to be quarantined, and our very freedom of religion is at stake to be lost should their ideology succeed.

———————-

Battle Hymn of the Republic:
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

(Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

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3 comments

  1. Doug Indeap · ·

    In discussing issues of separation of church and state, it is critical to distinguish the “public square” from “government.” The principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square–far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. And in practice, there is plenty of religion out there in the public square; I see and hear of it daily on the street, on the radio, on the TV, on the internet, etc. The First Amendment’s “establishment” clause constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. When an individual acts in an official capacity on a government matter (e.g., a public school teacher teaching students in a classroom), he or she should conform to the First Amendment constraints on government. When an individual participates in an official event as an individual rather than as a government agent, he or she presumably has the freedom to express religious views. While figuring out whether someone is acting in an official or private capacity in any given circumstance can be complex, recognizing the distinction is critical.

    The phrase “separation of church and state” is but a metaphor to describe the underlying principle of the First Amendment and the no-religious-test clause of the Constitution. The absence of the phrase in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, only to those who may have once labored under the misimpression the words appeared there and later learned of their mistake. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to describe one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.

    The First Amendment embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Keeping god(s) out of our government is necessary to keep government out of our churches; they necessarily go hand in hand.

    Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to transform our secular government into some form of religion-government partnership should be resisted by every patriot.

  2. […] In other news, the California Review wrote a battle hymn because they thought God should play a more prominent part in life. They quoted Alan Keyes, a most respectable man, and dear friend of Tom Tancredo no doubt. https://ucsdcalrev.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/my-battle-hymn/ […]

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