Apologies if you’ve come here hoping for a Rumination, Gentle Reader. I know, it’s Palm Sunday and you probably expected something especially sonorous, or at least sententious. However, yesterday’s events in Clark County, Nevada were too exciting for me to allow them to pass without comment.
The Bureau of Land Management, a wholly unConstitutional federal executive branch bureaucracy, attempted to squeeze Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, out of his livelihood and, by extension, his home. The BLM brought armed and armored thugs in plenty, expecting to intimidate the elderly rancher out of his stand. The federal myrmidons’ tactics included arbitrary assaults, confiscation of private property, and the unbelievably arrogant assertion that First Amendment protections of freedom of expression only apply where they say it applies. Their fist tightened for several days, until it appeared that the Bundys would be crushed within it.
Bundy declined to be squeezed out, though it appeared that the whole might of the federal government would be brought to bear on him.
The news of this assault on a peaceable private citizen swiftly traveled nationwide. Outrage swelled in response. The esteemed Dana Loesch endeavored to discover why the BLM is so determined to have the Bundys out, and turned up some extraordinary connections:
A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher. They want his land. The tortoise wasn’t of concern when Harry Reid worked BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore. Whittemore was convicted of illegal campaign contributions to Senator Reid. Reid’s former senior adviser is now the head of BLM. Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests. BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area. If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor.
That news spread like a prairie fire, as well.
It appeared that a tipping point had finally been reached. Over two days, a thousand Americans, many of them armed and ready to shoot it out with the BLM, arrived to defend the Bundys. Miraculously, Clark County law enforcement also showed up in the Bundys’ support. For a brief time a violent confrontation seemed inevitable.
But the BLM backed down.
The feds didn’t have much choice. The found themselves on the wrong side of public opinion, and exposed as in collusion with a corruptocrat, and outgunned by freedom-loving American patriots willing to stake their blood on the outcome. So the BLM struck its tent, returned the Bundys’ confiscated cattle, and withdrew, leaving the rancher free to go about the business his family had pursued there for more than a century.
There hasn’t been a more thrilling episode in America in at least a century.
A week from today, Christians worldwide will celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth: the miracle by which Christ’s divine authority to proclaim the New Covenant, displacing the old Levitical one, was confirmed beyond all dispute. The coming week commemorates the prequels to that event, which include the Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist, and the Passion and Crucifixion. Even for those of us who’ve celebrated Holy Week many times, it remains a supremely enlightening experience – and the Resurrection itself the most exalting event of all time.
But in our joy this Holy Week, let us not omit to celebrate another resurrection of a more mundane character: the revival of the American spirit of defiance in the face of arbitrary authority. True, the noonday sun did not darken. There was no earthquake. The veil of the Temple was not rent asunder. No graves were opened, and no saints returned to life praising God. Neither was it the entire nation that banded together to defend the Bundys. Yet more than a thousand patriots, some from as far away as Connecticut and New York, took their muskets down from the mantel and went to Nevada to defend the rights of a beleaguered rancher and his family business. In doing so, they proved to the world that the spirit of freedom is alive at the very least...and possibly healthier than any Washington tyrant-aspirant would care to accept.
Demonstrations of defiant liberty must happen many more times, in defense of still other oppressed Americans and private American institutions, before the political elite and its enforcers get the message. If blood should be spilled, let us pray that it will reinforce, rather than weaken, the resolve of freedom’s defenders. Given the events of the past three days, the prospects are promising.
Perhaps I will live to see the nation reborn in freedom after all. Please God, let it be so.
And may He bless and keep you all!