The Frog, the Scorpion, and the lessons of Paris.
Paris is known as the City of Lights, but on Saturday night, November 14, 2015, the most famous landmark in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, went dark, as a symbol of mourning for the 129 men and women who were murdered by Islamic Fundamentalist. This was the deadliest act of violence that the people of France have suffered since World War II. The recent events in Paris are disturbing, but not at all surprising, particularly for those of us who have actually been paying attention. My heart goes out to people of France who have been stung by this senseless act of violence. Philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist, George Santayana, famously said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I wonder if the United States of America is going to remember this event and learn from it.
The way I see it, France has an “Alien” problem. Arguably the hottest topic in the 2016 Presidential Election cycle is the subject of Illegal Aliens. Notice that I said, “Illegal Aliens”, and not “Illegal Immigration”. The reason for this is simple, Immigration itself has a legal term. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “Immigration” means “The coming Into a country of foreigners for purposes of permanent residence.” An “Alien” is not a little green creature with bug eyes. An “Alien” is actually defined as “A foreigner ; one born abroad; a person resident in one country, but owing allegiance to another.” Furthermore, an “Illegal Alien” is defined as a person who is “a foreigner living in the US with no right to stay who has taken no steps to become a citizen.”
I feel like almost every day since we have lived under this particular administration, the words of Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt need to be repeated. During an address delivered before the Knights of Columbus, Carnegie Hall, New York, October 12, 1915., former President Roosevelt spoke about “Aliens”, which he called “Hyphenated Americans”. He said:
The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country. The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
The United States of America is a nation formed by studying and learning the lessons of the past. Our Founding Fathers, and the Framers of our Constitution spent countless manhours pouring over the well documented history of peoples and governments throughout time. Being the learned men that they were, no doubt they were aware of the words in Job 8:8-10 (NKJV) of the Holy Bible that said, 8 “For inquire, please, of the former age, And consider the things discovered by their fathers; 9 For we were born yesterday, and know nothing, Because our days on earth are a shadow. 10 Will they not teach you and tell you, And utter words from their heart? Which basically is saying, “Why waste time trying to re-invent the wheel when there is clear documentation that it was already discovered a long time ago?”
As I see it, the root problem with France is that, ever since their Revolution in 1789, they have grown increasingly secularized. But it’s not so much that they have been secularlized, but that they have been dechristianized. Nature abhors a vacuum, and when Christianity was unceremoniously ushered out of France, it left the door wide open for something else to move in.
The former colonies of Great Britain could never have become the United States of America without the financial and material support of France, and for that, we are eternally grateful. However, that debt has been repaid with interest. Twice in the 20th century, France was invaded by Germany, and was basically conquered with alarming speed and ease. And twice, America came to it’s aid. The first time was in World War I, when American fighting men crossed the Atlantic to save the French from almost certain defeat by the Central Powers of Germany and it’s Austro-Hungarian ally.
The second time American soldiers crossed the Atlantic Ocean to save France, it was barely a generation later, and this time it was to save them from the Axis Powers of Germany, and it’s allies, Italy and Japan, during WWII.
Now technically, there were three times in the 20th century, if you include U.S. military forces staying in Europe for over 50 years, to prevent Western Europe from being conquered by the forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). This time, maybe we Americans can help save France from being conquered once again by simply encouraging them to rethink their national motto, and most importantly, turn towards a higher power for salvation.
The ideas that the Constitutional Republic, known as the United States of America are founded and still stand upon can be called the “American Trinity”. They are “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and “E Pluribus Unum”, which is Latin for “Out of Many, One”. Interestingly enough, the current French Republic (which is their fifth Republic since the beginning of the American Republic, which still stands) has a national motto that sounds very similar. After their very violent and bloody revolution, they adopted the national motto “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” which means, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.
Here’s the rub. Time has proven that in order to have a Republic that stands, it must be founded on the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. The principles must be no respecter of persons. As we state on the Unhyphenated America page, “Cultural cohesion and connectedness are more important than having a “diversity” of skin color. Anyone can choose to be a part of this culture, because the principles aren’t ethnically exclusive.”
A nation must have a unique culture that all of it’s citizens embrace. The fact that the majority of immigrants come here (legally) wanting to embrace the “American Trinity” is what makes America great, and keep us free and prosperous. However, the price to keep that freedom is eternal vigilance. Just as Nehemiah had the workers always being prepared for their enemies to attack them, carrying their swords in one hand while working to rebuild the wall with their other hand (Nehemiah 4:15-18), so must those who proclaim Liberty always be vigilant.
But beyond just being vigilant, you must know how to recognize your enemies when they show up. In any Republic that claims to believe in Liberty, you are going to have enemies, for one simple reason. Liberty is not the natural state of man. History has shown beyond any reasonable double that tyranny is the natural state of man. So to citizens in a Republic, your enemy is anyone who doesn’t believe in Liberty, because by default, that means they believe in tyranny. If you are going to maintain your Republic, you cannot allow any “Aliens” to take up residence inside your nation, especially if they come from a culture and ideology that is fundamentally tyrannical. To do so is tantamount to allowing someone to bring a pregnant queen termite into your beautifully crafted log cabin.
If you have any clue about Islam, you recognize that it is much more of an ideology than it is a faith. It is an all encompassing belief system that commands its followers to submit to the will of their god. But more troubling than that, it commands it’s followers to spread their ideology at all costs, by force if necessary, and the fundamentalist within that ideology understand this. The problem, particularly for France, is that their motto of “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” does not line up with, and cannot stand up to the deeply held beliefs of the fundamentalist who set the tone for the entire ideology of Islam. In other words, those who believe in the principles of Islam believe more in their ideology than the French who believe in their motto of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, and in a battle of ideas, he who believes the most, wins!
There’s a classic story, a morality tale, that I believe helps to explain why France is having the problem it is having. The story is about a frog and a scorpion. Basically, a scorpion asks the frog to carry him across a stream of water, because scorpions cannot swim. The frog is skeptical, because it knows that scorpions are inherently aggressive predators who can kill with one sting. The scorpion convinces the frog that he can be trusted not to sting him while they are crossing the river, because if he does, they will both drown. The frog decides that this was completely logical, and that no one would risk their own life like that, so he decides to trust the scorpion, and carry him on his back across the river. When they are about half-way across, the frog feels this sting and blinding pain, and quickly realizes that the scorpion has stung him. With his dying breath, as they begin to sink, he asks the scorpion why he would sting him, when that means that he is about to die also. The scorpion replies, “Because I’m a scorpion, and that’s what we do.”
As I said earlier, the French have an “Alien” problem. The French have failed to recognize the ideology of Islam for what it is. They have failed to recognize that it’s “Alien” to them and their beliefs. They have foolishly decided to trust that no reasonable person would turn down the opportunity to live in a Republic based on “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”. They failed to recognize that a scorpion will sting you, because that is what a scorpion does, and Islamic Fundamentalism will try to kill non-believers for the same reason. Waging Jihad, or terrorism, is simply in their nature.
When you don’t know your enemy, and you don’t guard the walls of your nation, as Nehemiah and the children of Israel did, it is inevitable that your nation will fall. The shame is, the two previous times in the 20th century, France was conquered from without. Their enemy came crashing through their walls and overwhelmed them. It looks like France could very well be conquered again, but this time, from within. This time, it will be because they allowed a flood of people, who have no allegiance to the French Republic or its foundation principles, to take up residence within it’s borders. And not only did they take up residence, they created their own sub-culture within France, and they grew and became stronger.
The question I ask of my fellow Americans is, when are we going to heed the words of Teddy Roosevelt? When are we going to embrace the principle that “There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.”? On, Friday, November 13th, the Republic of France became our “Canary in the Coal Mine”. Will we learn this time?