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    “No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that is in the right and keeps on a-comin’.” Captain Bill McDonald, Texas Ranger.

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    Location: Texas

    Good guys wear white hats. And they never run out of bullets.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    For Marriage and Freedom

    I don’t really know the truth. History and antiquity are fairly vague. So, I will share with you the story I was told as a child.

    During the reign of Claudius II, a decree was issued by the emperor. No young men of military eligibility and no single soldiers could marry. Claudius felt that single soldiers were better soldiers and he had little respect for the institution of marriage. More than that, Claudius II held the philosophy that the empire existed for the purpose of bringing him prestige and wealth.

    Valentine was a Christian who thought that the emperor’s prestige and wealth existed for the purpose of giving peace, order and freedom to Romans. He married soldiers and their brides according to Christian rites in defiance of the emperor. He felt in this case, it was more important to follow God than men. Valentine rejected the notion that the emperor was deity. He saw the emperor as a servant of God not a god himself. He saw marriage as an institution established by God. Marriage was above the control of a little man in a toga with leaves on his head.

    For this Valentine was jailed and sentenced to death. His own wife had died years before. He fell in love with the jailer’s daughter who brought him food and company. Knowing his doom was certain, he wrote a letter to be given to the young lady after his execution. The signature read, “from your Valentine.”

    Valentine is a hero of old lore. I don’t know if the story is myth or fact. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 the day, the date of his execution, to honor this man. In 1969 the Roman Catholic Church dismissed it as an official holiday.

    What is more romantic than the story of a faithful idealist who died in love and for marriage and freedom? Happy Valentine’s Day, my friend. May God bless your life with love and your marriage with romance.