If you wanted to build a church in Colonial America, and you were calling in the whole township to help raise the rafters, after the mortise and tenons were cut and joined, you needed one thing to complete the work party: a barrel of rum or hard cider.
One biographer of Samuel Adams, the father of the American Revolution, concluded that the future member of the Continental Congress and Signer of the Declaration, spent at least four nights a week in various Boston taverns. This devout Christian, who dreamed of the Bay Colony as a “Christian Sparta,” knew that tavern conversation, and good drink, were necessary fuel for building revolutionary spirit.
George Washington, the military genius who used limited resources to tire and defeat a superior force, considered it his personal duty to dance with every young lady at the ball, even as threat of attack loomed all around him–and we’re pretty sure Martha whole-heartedly approved. Gentlemen attending early American dance events, didn’t leave young ladies standing around, waiting for an invitation.
So, my fellow conservatives, when was the last time you really had fun?
When was the last time you really spent an evening discussing a movie with friends? Is there a dinner party in your near future you just can’t wait to grace with your charming banter? When was the last time you mixed politics and religion and romance with fun?
Last Saturday, we repeated a ritual here on our farm called the “Crush.” We harvest all of our Cabernet Sauvignons and our Concords and we make a good old country farm wine by inviting beautiful women to take off their shoes and crush the grapes with their feet. I told Ann-Marie Murrell about our annual celebration and she was immediately game– more than game. (She seemed downright jazzed about it.) She invited her friends Dr. Gina Louden and Morgan Brittany, and our staff dressed them up in 18th century attire. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed three grown women have so much fun getting dressed in 18th century gowns. Their families came along as well, and we all had dinner, and drinks, in the tavern afterwards. It was one of those fall Saturday nights, where the smiles of friends, and the sound of the fiddle, and the breeze carrying the cider on the air all say: “God is in Heaven and He loves you.”
If we want to win America back for the values and freedoms we hold dear, we need to change the way we do things. One change in our tactics, certainly, would be that we need to have more fun. At most of the tea party events I’ve attended, there were no children, and no teenagers present. I dragged my kids to a Congressional town hall meeting, and a few leftists mocked them. Up until that point, they were bored, but you mock one of the Riley kids and you have a very angry, articulate, debater on your hands. Afterwards, we all went out to dinner, licked our wounds, shared our victories and had a great meal. It was hard work — but it was fun.
If you are still reading, and you are a conservative activist, take this advice: 1) Insist that everyone involved bring the whole family — no excuses. 2) Pick a day of the week and make your gatherings a regular part of the calendar. If your pastor won’t preach any politics on Sunday then you better start doing the real work of the church on Wednesday nights. 3) Make it fun — add music, beer, wine, games, movies, and conversation. The young activists in your town should get the feeling the best way to find the love of their life is at your party. (That’s a high standard, but is there any reason NOT to have a high standard?) 4) If anyone gets too despondent about the battles we face, pull a “Chesty Puller” on them: ‘the enemy is in front of us, behind us, on our left, and on our right. They can’t get away from us now!” (Be confident, in other words. We have the truth on our side.)
We have an obligation to be happy warriors, because no one fights for their country to go on back home and get good and depressed about the future. When the prodigal son returned, Dad threw a feast.
We should too.
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