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A Candle in the Darkness, a Call to Enlist Against Tyranny

A Candle in the Darkness, a Call to Enlist Against Tyranny

Staying upbeat these days sometimes requires the strength of a Samson, the mind-set of a Millennialist, the heart of a Pollyanna, and a bottle of New Amsterdam Vodka.

I lacked all of these weapons one recent evening. I’ve taken a leave of absence from alcohol, and the other attributes were as remote from me as the Himalayas. My personal life was in good order, but the bankrupt economy of our nation and the ongoing moral collapse in our public square had driven me into a deep funk.

The online pictures I had viewed that day of some screeching women carrying baby dolls and wearing clothing doused with fake blood in support of abortion rights plus the news that an economic tsunami is headed our way would have wiped the smile from the face of any optimist.

My trip to the grocery store that afternoon further depressed me, revealing as it did that the rotisserie chicken I bought a year ago for $5.99 now sports a price tag of $7.99.

On arriving home, I unloaded canned goods, rice, and pasta from the trunk of my car, foodstuffs bought to fight inflation and a possible food shortage. I then scanned part of a scholarly work published a decade ago, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. Given our present madness regarding LGBT, pride month, and the inability of many people to define the word woman, What Is Marriage? seemed as antiquated as spats and bobbed hair.

All my life I’ve loved my country, even when we’ve quarreled, but on this particular evening America seemed driven into a dark corner, goaded and maddened by radical crazies, and undermined by the very leaders elected to serve and honor her.

In this spirit of gloom, I sat at my dining room table, littered with papers and hillocks of books. There I brooded a bit, dispatching a few emails before going to the porch to watch the sunset. When darkness fell, I returned to the table and my misery, shuffling through to-do lists and bills, glancing now and again at headlines and commentary on my laptop. I felt worn and exhausted, more by my thoughts than by physical fatigue. I wanted to go to bed but hitting the sheets that early would have meant waking at 3 a.m. and staring at the ceiling until dawn.

And then, from one of the piles on the table, I picked up a used book I’d found a few days earlier on the giveaway shelf at my library. Ten Brave Men: Makers of the American Way, by Sonia Daugherty, is an out-of-print collection of mini-biographies told in story form for teenagers, and I thought the older grandkids might enjoy reading it when they visited.

This much-handled hardcover has a frayed and loose binding, its spine marked by a Dewey Decimal number written handwritten in white ink. Opening the book, I found that some kid had drawn a diagram of a football play on the first blank page, which brought a smile. I next discovered that Sonia Daugherty’s stories were illustrated by her husband, James Daugherty, a famous artist of that time. The title page listed the historic figures featured in the book, heroes like William Bradford, Roger Williams, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. It also bore a stamp: “Rahway High School Library.” The next page revealed that Ten Brave Men was published in 1951, the year I was born.

And then the lone words on the opposite page hit me in the face like a bucket of cold water.

I dedicate this book


all those who have the courage

to enlist against tyranny over

the minds of men

That dedication shamed me. What kind of knucklehead was I? Did I not know that despair was only one footstep away from defeat? Was I like one of those summer soldiers and sunshine patriots in Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis, who “shrink from the service of their country?”

In that same pamphlet, published in the dark days of 1776 when the cause of American liberty hung in the balance, Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Today in America we also live in trying times, only our enemies are not British and Hessian troops commanded by a faraway king, but are instead many in our own government and their cohorts who seek the destruction of our Constitution, our laws, and our culture.

Did Sonia Daugherty’s call to oppose tyranny revive my spirits? Not altogether, but I knew that with some sleep and with the morning my mood would pass, as moods often do, and that, God willing, I would be ready, in whatever small way I can, to defend our rights and liberties with hope in my heart.

In the foreword to Ten Brave Men, Daugherty wrote, “All great causes are born of necessity. When a wrong becomes too much to endure, it is a sign that the time for progress has come.”

May this be the time when the unhappy American people begin that progress.

Image Credit: RawPixel

Jeff Minick
Jeff Minick

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  • Avatar
    July 14, 2022, 1:10 am

    A very senior NCO used to say, often, "Pace yourself." No mean feat to do that. Facing these problems of ours, you are not alone. Keep doing what you are doing…so well.

    All the Best,

  • Avatar
    Douglas Deckner
    July 14, 2022, 3:28 am

    How do you fight your own countrymen when they seem to control the government and the DOJ? How do you fight a government who considers parents as terrorists if they demand better teaching? I don’t know.

    • Avatar
      Tionico@Douglas Deckner
      July 14, 2022, 6:15 am

      First know that they only SEEM to control the government. Second, know that if YOU do not stand strong on what is right and good, they WILL control the government, and YOU.
      Their tendons of power are short and very weak. Do not let their bluster fool you. Learn the history of our founding era, a tiny portion of which Jeff shared above. The more you know and understand what our Framers endired, and overcame, the better you will be equipped o stand strong today. Unless we DO stand strong, the thieves will win out over us. Don’t let that happen.

    • Avatar
      Sebastian@Douglas Deckner
      July 18, 2022, 11:44 pm

      Assassinations, apparently? It worked in our fight for freedom from the oppression of the tyrant King George. Now we have a different sort of tyrant, but still enabled by flesh-and-blood foot soldiers doing his tyrannical bidding.

      Many of them tend to think their mantle of "authority" is some sort of magic bulletproof cloak. I pray they will soon get a lesson in reality.

  • Avatar
    July 14, 2022, 3:17 pm

    I know several people who took on the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade from the time of the wrongheaded decision was made. Their prospects for success seemed nil, but year in a year out they prayed, they educated, they marched and they voted. And thanks be to God they succeeded. The troubles we are experiencing are humongous but I see stirring in the land. Parents challenging troublesome school boards, Americans revolting against an insane trans movement, liberals’ in San Francisco throwing out their Soros DA, etc. You have to be in the game to win it. Recruit family and friends to fight alongside of you and millions of Americans. Last night I came across this important video message from the journalist who exposed Critical Race Theory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvLxX8BkHN0

  • Avatar
    A Candle In The Darkness | peckford42
    July 17, 2022, 3:20 am

    […] July 17, 2022 / brianpeckford A Candle in the Darkness, a Call to Enlist Against Tyranny […]

  • Avatar
    Margaret Tabak
    July 17, 2022, 8:45 am

    This article and the current occurrences in places like the Netherlands and other countries have reinforced my belief that we will triumph over the evil that is attempting to control not only our countries, but the entire human race. Young, old and all ages in between must stand strong and work together.

    Thank you for an excellent article. It is much too easy to give in to despair.


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