Allen West Old School Patriot Thomas More

Character and Conscience, for All Seasons

In Culture, Faith, News by Allen West1 Comment

Allen West Old School Patriot Up From Slavery

Yes, I am back in the good ol’ US of A. In a way, it’s great to be back home in Dallas, and in some ways it’s not. The week on Cayman Brac, well, you cannot find such peace and tranquility here. Imagine being in a place where you don’t hear cars, or horns honking, only the wind and the surf as it comes ashore. Imagine a place where everyone smiles, and has such cheer in their hearts.

Trust me, there is no place like home, and America has some of the most spectacular vistas and scenery around, but the five days on Cayman Brac were unforgettable.

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As I headed back home, and got settled back into the regular routine, I tuned in, and came to realize just how ideologically divided we are as a nation. There are disparaging, and demeaning, condemnations of entire groups of people as Nazis and such. We have failed comediennes, and porn stars, taking posting pictures of inappropriate gestures towards the president of the United States. We have media outlets pushing false narrative,s and photos just for their agenda.

Yet, through all of this, I was searching my email, social media feeds, and historical sources looking, looking for something that could bring us all back into alignment . . . and there it was.

As you may not know, my early education, 1st-9th grades, was at private Catholic Schools, Our Lady of Lourdes and Marist, in Atlanta. However, I wanted to finish up with the kids in my neighborhood, so I finished 10th-12th grade, and graduated from, Henry Grady High School. However, I still feel very comfortable going to Catholic Mass — Angela and Aubrey are Catholic, while Austen prefers a non-denomination Christian service. So, when I read this little tidbit yesterday, it brought this into perspective for me, and hence I share it with you.

Yesterday, June 22nd, was the feast day for a great man in history. He was a man of courage, competence, commitment, conviction, and character. He was a man of impeccable conscience. He was Saint Thomas More. Perhaps you know his story. If not, you should sit down as a family, and watch the 1967 film, “A Man for All Seasons.” It won six Academy Awards, mind you: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adaptation, Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design.  It is not too often that a family can sit, and enjoy a movie these days that can teach us all about character and conscience — without and guns or sex involved.

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If you do not know the story, here’s a quick summary:

Thomas More was an esteemed writer, lawyer, statesman, and held a post in England second only to the King himself. Unfortunately, that King was Henry VIII. And, yes, we all know about ol’ King Henry, the fella who made himself head of the Church of England, in order to be able to secure a divorce. Thomas More was a friend to the King, and counselor, but refused to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church. See, Thomas More understood the real meaning behind the separation of church and state. For More, his highest calling were not in the earthly titles he attained, but was that of a Christian. His faith was not that of a fair-weather status, where he bent with the whims of the times, or dictates of a monarch.

It was this stand that resulted in Thomas More being tried for treason, convicted, and beheaded on July 6, 1535. In his final words, Thomas More stated, “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

Herein lies our lesson to be learned: we need men and women of that level of conviction today in America. We do not need those who will bow to the whims and rantings of so-called popular, or public opinion. We need those who are grounded and articulate in their foundations and fundamental beliefs. In 1929 famous author G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death…but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years’ time.”

We need men and women of conviction today in America. We do not need those who will bow to the whims and rantings of so-called popular, or public opinion. Click To Tweet

America needs men and women who are not afraid of speaking the truth, even if it costs them their lives. We need statesmen like Saint Thomas More, and not politicians who will manipulate and pervert the “law” for their own agendas and desires. Thomas More said, “If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us saintly. But since we see that avarice, anger, pride, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice, and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.”

We should seek not to live in the now, for popularity sake, but to do that which shall echo into eternity, a memorable legacy. Here is the parallel to what is happening in America today. Just as the King of England, Henry VIII sought to create a religion, making himself head of it, so does the progressive, socialist, secular, humanist left seek to establish their version of “religion” and institute it by way of government, making all else subservient. Consider what just happened with Jack Phillips, and Masterpiece Cakeshop, going before the government to defend his conscience, his faith beliefs, when confronted by the newfound government religion of same-sex marriage. What shall come next, persecution if one does not accept man-made climate change? We are witnessing an incredible internal fight in America over protecting our national sovereignty, our borders, because the left deems anything in opposition to what they embrace — open borders, sanctuaries, as heresy.

The days are upon us in America where we shall seek out, and need, our modern-day versions of Thomas More — man or woman. Just as with More’s death sentence by one who was once his friend, so shall we lose those who once claimed to be our friends, if we make the principled stand.

Then you must ask yourself, were they really friends indeed, or just happy acquaintances who refused to accept your beliefs and convictions? As it says in the Bible, what good is it for a man — or woman — to gain the world, and yet lose their soul?

Back as a little fella, I enjoyed the movie, but now, as a seasoned and learned man, I understand the title, “A Man for All Seasons.” It means that regardless of winter, spring, summer, or fall — whatever season of life — you stand with courage of your convictions, rooted in a conscience of character that is unflappable. You are a mighty oak. America is still looking for that person. God gave us a chance, but the dark clouds loom ever so near.

God bless Saint Thomas More, and the example he has provided for us in all seasons, and over these many years.

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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.

In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.

He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. His forthcoming book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, is due fall 2018 from Brown Books Publishing Group.