The ‘Let It Burn’ Mentality

If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its Ruin.

Our country is in a crisis of character, and frankly, the last thing it needs is the nihilistic Let It Burn thinking making its rounds in some political circles. The Entitlement Mentality is a crisis of character on the Left, but the Let It Burn Mentality is a crisis of character on the Right.

In December 1776 Philadelphia was in such a state of chaotic panic that it took Thomas Paine ten days to get The American Crisis printed. It was finally printed in a newspaper on December 19th, and as a pamphlet on December 23rd. He didn’t give up and say Let It Burn.

On December 18, 1776 George Washington wrote in two of his letters:

“. . .In a word my dear Sir, if every nerve is not strain’d to recruit the New Army with all possible expedition, I think the game is pretty near up”

Did he lay down and die or go back to Mount Vernon and say Let It Burn?

Cynicism and despair and contempt don’t solve a thing. They may give a false sense of ‘moral’ superiority, but that’s about it.

Surrounded by charlatans, takers and petty tyrants, we need grit and endurance. Whether the game is up for us or not, the very least we can do as is to have the courage and character to do what is right and what we can in our own circle of influence.

Last week Ebben Raves wrote Time to Let the Country Crash? Think Weimar Republic and its consequences. This is his conclusion.

“Make no mistake: encouraging an economic crash is a bad idea. A parasite may eventually kill the host, but it usually takes a while, and there is always hope for recovery. Predators, however, devour the carcass in a rapid fashion. No easier meal can be had. Do not forget that predators are foreign to the body, and there are many circling outside our borders. Even today, there is still plenty of flesh left on America — flesh worth fighting for by whoever wants it most.”

The Let It Burn mentality is Ayn Rand personified.

She wrote some books. She never built a nation. I’m amazed that so many people are willing to follow her and her unproven philosophy of destruction off a cliff and brag about going Galt for the purpose of crashing the ‘system’. If you’re a Christian this selfish, arrogant and cynical mentality should have no part in your thinking. It is abhorrent to God.

As I wrote in The American Crisis: November 2012 we are not so much in a financial crisis, but in a crisis of character and faith in God. The question to ask ourselves is not whether we have contributed to the ruin of our country’s finances, but whether we have contributed to the ruin of the American soul. Cynicism and contempt for our fellow citizens is not only one of the paths to the bankruptcy of our nation—it is also the road to totalitarianism.

The Entitlement Mentality is the grasping self-centered thinking of the Left, and the Let It Burn Mentality is the Pharisaical self-centered thinking of the Right. Neither built this country, and both contribute to its ruin.

Vain and aspiring men now possess the highest seats in government. We stand not in need of vain and selfish citizens who echo their conceit, but in need of citizens who possess humility before God and honorable character before man.

He who despises his neighbor sins,
But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
Proverbs 14:21
He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker;
He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 17:5

Work, take care of your family. Help your friends. Treat those in need with wise compassion.

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 14:24

Portrait of Samuel Adams, J. S. Copley.
Samuel Adams, Letter to James Warren, October 24, 1780 via Wikiquote.

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Embarkation of the Pilgrims

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Weir is one of eight large paintings found on the wall of the United States Capitol Rotunda.

This painting depicts the Pilgrims on the deck of the ship Speedwell on July 22, 1620, before they departed from Delfs Haven, Holland, for North America, where they sought religious freedom. They first sailed to Southampton, England, to join the Mayflower, which was also making the voyage. After leaks forced the Speedwell to make additional stops in Dartmouth and then Plymouth, its passengers boarded the Mayflower. Five months later the Pilgrims settled the Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts.

The group appears solemn and contemplative of what they are about to undertake as they pray for divine protection through their voyage; the words “God with us” appear on the sail in the upper left corner. The figures at the center of the composition are William Brewster, holding the Bible; Governor Carver, kneeling with head bowed and hat in hand; and pastor John Robinson, with extended arms, looking Heavenward. Gathered around them are the men, women, and children going on the voyage. Some are dressed in traditional puritan attire while others wear more fanciful and bright garments. The armor, helmet, and musket in the foreground represent the tools that the Pilgrims will use for protection in the new and unfamiliar land. In the background on the right are the city and people the Pilgrims leave, and on the left a rainbow represents the hope and promise of what lies ahead.

Description from Architect of the Capitol website. Click the image to enlarge.