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Know Jack #435 Fallen Heroes

I was sitting in a funeral home the other day when a phone rang in the office across the hall.


“Hello, Valhalla,” the woman in the office answered.


I think I’m in the right place, I thought to myself with a smile.


My unintended eavesdropping ended there as I was lost in her greeting. Being in Valhalla sounded just fine to me. I can certainly think of worse destinations. What I know of the value system that determines a person is fit for entry into Valhalla is not so different than the one I embrace. In fact, fidelity to duty, truth, loyalty, and bravery in battle are the same things about Christianity that I value.


In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis points out the weakness of the argument that human values are radically different across cultures. The truth is that we are more alike and value the same things far more than any differences people imagine. Free of a political system that seeks regulate every aspect of life, people want freedom, peace, safety, and to retain the fruit of their own labor.


Ask most people why immigrants flock to America and they will likely say it’s economic opportunity. There is certainly some truth to that, but I don’t think that is really why they come. I think they come for freedom. A free man can create his own opportunities. Give him freedom and he will make connections to community, protect himself, his family, and the weak. Secure in his freedom, he will relieve the oppressed and give to the unfortunate.


Why? Because, except for politicians and the mentally ill, people want the freedom to pursue peace, love, and kindness to those around them. Exchange the freedom to do these things for a chain tied to a taskmaster that exacts them and people will do only what they are compelled to do. At the same time, they will hate doing what is demanded of them and rebel against it.


This weekend we celebrate the sacrifice of men and women who, given freedom, chose to defend it, not only for themselves, but for all people. Welcome to Valhalla brothers and sisters.


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