It is sadly telling that you can stage a rally promoting God, family and country, and a return to the kind of selfless honor and individual responsibility that surrounded this nation's founding, and be pilloried for it.
Yet, the national media and others whose livelihoods depend on sustaining division and anger couldn't even wait until it started Saturday to attack Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C.
We truly pity them. If they had instead been willing to open their minds and hearts, the rally would have blown them away with its themes of faith, hope, charity and personal honor and humility -- and mostly homage to what the Declaration of Independence called "the Supreme Judge of the World."
Expecting, perhaps hoping for, a rally featuring anger and hatred and politics, blind critics of the event might have been disappointed in its upbeat and universal messages of spirituality, unity and love. Clearly a man who had, himself, looked into the abyss in his own life and moved back from it, Mr. Beck talked about the amazing grace of God as only a prodigal son can. He and a succession of speakers -- including Martin Luther King's niece, the Rev. Alveda King -- urged Americans to get back to God, get back to their families, and to restore honor to their lives and to a wayward country.
For Augustan Margaret Woodard, who was "compelled" with several friends to drive to the rally, it was all about getting back to God. "That's what I took away from it. I will never forget this day as long as I live."
Having swum in a sea of hundreds of thousands of rapt Americans at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, Woodard said, "There was not an angry moment in that three hours."
Woodard was especially encouraged by the youth of many of the participants, who left as excited and united as a football crowd after a big victory.
The only way you can be against such a spirit of unity and humility and self-transcendence is if you fear it. The only way you can fear it is to not understand it.
Don't fear it. And don't believe the news media when they tell you this was about anything other than God's saving graces -- the grace that at once saves desperate individuals and despairing nations.
It's the spirit this country was founded upon and what made it great.
As Beck so movingly noted in his address, the Founders wrote profoundly in the Declaration of Independence that "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." What an incredible sentence, packed with meaning and, two centuries later, a road map for us during troubled times.
When they pledged "to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor," they did so risking everything -- knowing they were essentially declaring war on the foremost world power at the time. For us to renew and maybe even save this country, a similar pledge of "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" will take far less of a commitment. But it will take a commitment.
All Beck was saying Saturday was that the commitment must start with each individual, and that it best starts with a commitment to "the Supreme Judge of the World."
And maybe the ability to withstand attack.