We have a new RedState feature launching, I call it the Overnight Mail … for obvious reasons (look at the time!), and it will either be a newsletter, a periodic featured article, or both. This is this week’s. Please clap.
When it isn’t quite tomorrow, and no longer today, it’s time for the Overnight Mail, a periodic newsletter from the desk of Caleb Howe.
That’s A Lovely Church
Today was Tuesday, July 25. It was on this date in 1966 that The Supremes released “You Can’t Hurry Love”, now fittingly a timeless classic. Would that we could hurry love in these harried times, said the pretentious writer. Also on this date, in 326 AD, Constantine I was elevated to the rank of Augustus, Western Emperor of Rome, upon the death of his father. Thereafter much emperor shifting took place, along with plots including a man named Severus, which you kids should be thrilled to hear, but eventually, it was Constantine the Great who became first among Caesars and Augusti. “The greatest Augustus” as the Roman Senate named him.
Obviously Constantine is one of the most significant figures in history, with many esoteric and physical credits to his name and legacy. I myself have seen his basilicas in both Trier and Istanbul (was Constantinople). But he is just as important for what he did not do.
Thanks, But No Thanks
Although he made no martyrs of pagans, and did not prevent by law or force their beliefs during his reign, he did make changes to the way of things in the name of the new faith, Christianity. When Constantine marched into Rome, there to be decreed “title of the first name”, he did not, as was tradition, go to Capitoline Hill and make a pagan sacrifice to Jupiter. Many years later, July 25 of 326, he likewise publicly refused to take part in pagan sacrifice on the marking of his anniversary as Emperor and Consul of Rome.
Books could be written about the many religious reforms and changes made by this first Christian emperor, and his phasing out of paganism (indeed books have been written), but I focus on these dates as they are tied to today’s. Just like the story itself.
Among all the political news this week, the one story I can’t get off my mind is that of Charlie Gard. The words of his heartbroken family should weigh heavily on all who heard or read them, and all who haven’t done so should immediately. I keep thinking over the same part.
“Tragically having had Charlie’s medical notes reviewed by independent experts, we now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal healthy little boy.”
The sad, clinical horror of losing this child’s chance at life, and the loss of his family’s freedom to pursue every option to save him, is inconceivable. But it is not unimaginable. How easy it is to see what happened. How simple to see it happening here. The right was mocked and called inflammatory when Sarah Palin mentioned a future of death panels, but that is the future that is all too easy to see. (And let’s leave aside for a moment the hypocrisy in the left’s outrage over death panel commentary but total embrace of apocalyptic rhetoric in the wake of the GOP offering an alternative to Obamacare.) The truth is undeniable. When the human being becomes a responsibility of the state, the state chooses how to fulfill that responsibility.
When death becomes a cost-benefit analysis for a corporation, Americans and American cinema treat it as the greatest of tragedies. But when faced with the real prospect of a cold government doing just that – indeed not just a prospect but a literal example that same infotainment crowd can only find their anger for Republicans and their zeal for the fight to keep Obamacare. No outrage is left over for the dangers of cold government death panels.
Rejecting the Crowd
Constantine rejected pagan sacrifice. He was many things, good and bad, as most humans are and especially those in power. History holds no hidden virtue lost to time. But he rejected the blood of lambs at the altar and Christians in the coliseum. In our world, an infant has been sacrificed. Will more be sacrificed at the altar of Government before the left gets their fill?
This emperor once wrote in a letter about his rejection of the “abominable blood and hateful odors” of pagan sacrifice. The hateful odor of bureaucrats deciding the fate of an infant against the wishes of his parents lingers now over Great Britain and the United States. Thoughts of the abominable spilling of blood should sober us all against the heady dream of free care.
We are constantly reminded of the loss and pain that come to those who have no access to health care. If we are honest people, we are also constantly reminded of the sorrow and tragedy that follow authoritarian control of our lives. Is there a solution out there that will keep the most Americans the most free, the healthiest, and the least burdened by those blessings? Maybe there is. Maybe the stumbling GOP hasn’t found it. Maybe the overwrought Democrats don’t know of it. But we should know what not to do.
We should not let what happened to Charlie Gard happen here.
And that’s the mail…
That’s the Overnight Mail for today. If you missed the last one, that’s because we only sent it out to a few people. This one is for real. Tell a friend! And stay tuned. In conclusion, here’s a sample of what I’m reading tonight.
Don’t Resign, Jeff Sessions
THE FASCINATING READ OF THE NIGHT:
Managing Editor, RedState