Courage Boys: The Pacifist

Courage Boys features stories to inspire and leave you feeling hopeful. Making a difference is not only possible, but something we’re all capable of accomplishing. These are the stories of ordinary people making the decision to be extraordinary with bravery, resilience and principle. This is Courage Boys.

The Pacifist

Alvin York, a reformed alcoholic and troublemaker was trying to read the Bible by candlelight in his family's dirt floor log cabin when his pastor came in to visit. His pastor, also the town postmaster, carried a suspicious letter addressed to Alvin.

Unaccustomed to receiving mail, Alvin hurried to open it. Together, they read.

Besides swearing off swearing, Alvin also didn't drink, dance, attend movies, or swim. Alvin was the perfect convert, you see.

He was also the sole financial support for his widowed mother and nine siblings. The year was 1917, and Selective Service Act had just been signed into law. The letter said that Alvin, 29 years old, must apply for the draft. It was signed, Woodrow Wilson.

“You can tell them no. We don't do war either, you know,” the postmaster, now acting as pastor said

Alvin answered: “Yes, sir. Can I borrow your pencil?”

He scribbled a sentence on his card, sealed it, and sent it back with a trusted friend.

Alvin's conscientious objection, all five words, didn't work. He was drafted, and reluctantly Alvin went to war.

And in a few months, he was in France. One day Alvin, a rank-and-file solider was lost in all of Company G. They found themselves behind German lines. And so far behind German lines, in fact, that they were behind Germans themselves. They were even behind some German machine gunners who were overlooking the valley from a great vantage point. The Germans were mowing down the Allied troops who were stuck in the valley like grass.

That's when the small company of Americans began to fire on the German machine gunners from behind. The Germans stopped firing towards the front and turned on little Company G, killing most of them quickly, leaving York, the conscientious objector, in charge of seven survivors.

“Guard the prisoners,” York yelled to the men. “I'm going up.”

He ran to a new position alone. Over 30 gunners sprayed the forest to try to hit Captain York, who was now shooting an end field model HEP 1917 rifle, one round at a time.

Between German flurries, he took one German out, then two, then three.

“Come down, or I'll keep shooting,” he called to the Germans.

He picked off the fourth, a fifth, a sixth.

“Stop shooting. I'll let you live. Just drop your weapon.”

It was quiet. And he had to reload.

Seeing this, six more German soldiers jumped out of a foxhole and charged with bayonets. He grabbed his Colt .45 automatic pistol from his belt. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. All six dead.

“I said, stop,” he yelled from his cover.

Shocked, the German regiment dropped their weapons. With their hands raised, they all surrendered to York and his men. The allied troops in the valley advanced safely. News of his heroism reached home before he did.

Upon his hero's return, Captain York lectured a little and met some important people. But he quickly returned to Tennessee to start a school for backwards kids. You see, York was a pacifist, as he explained in the five honest words that he wrote in his draft application: I don't want to fight.

And so, courage, boys. Sometimes you'll have to fight. And when you do, win.

Christmas has arrived early for mainstream media. They have their first sentencing of a major player in President Trump's inner circle. Yesterday, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan. How did it come to this and how did Cohen explain himself to the judge? We start there next…

President Trump's former attorney, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, is going to jail. Well, it will probably be one of those federal prison camps with a dorm that's more like a college campus. But he's going to be locked up. A federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for financial crimes, and two months for lying to Congress. He also ordered Cohen to pay $2 million in financial penalties. The judge called Cohen's misdeeds a "veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct."

RELATED: Michael Cohen's plea deal won't lessen Trump's support. Here's why.

The judge said:

As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better. While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean.

Cohen pled guilty in August to eight criminal charges in two different cases. One brought by special counsel Robert Muller for Cohen's lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow. The second was for bank-fraud, tax, and campaign finance violations brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

President Trump said recently that Cohen has simply been lying to get a reduced sentence for crimes that have nothing to do with him. Cohen was very emotional as he apologized to the judge, saying:

It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.

The left thinks that Cohen's sentencing marks the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency. They may be ultimately disappointed in that regard. But this does intensify the long national nightmare of the Muller investigation that seems to have no end in sight.

How long until we follow in Europe's footsteps?

JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE/AFP/Getty Images

Christmas should be a time of happiness and celebration the world over. But in Europe, it is now the season of terror. The sounds at Europe's famous Christmas Markets of "Merry Christmas!" and laughter are rapidly being replaced with the sounds of "Allahu Ackbar!" and gunfire. Two years ago ISIS attacked a Christmas Market in Berlin, killing twelve and injuring another forty-eight. And tragically, the sound of automatic gunfire and the chant of "Allahu Ackbar!" was heard at another Christmas Market in Europe yesterday afternoon… this time in France.

Two people are dead and thirteen are battling for their lives right now in Strasbourg, France. The attacker walked into the city's Christmas Market shortly after 8pm, shouted "Allahu Ackbar" and began shooting indiscriminately. He then proceeded to battle the police in four separate locations while he fled the scene. As of this moment, he still hasn't been caught. The city of Strasbourg is on full lockdown, and France's terror level has been elevated.

RELATED: Paris pandemonium: Here's what happens when people feel ignored

A man of Middle Eastern descent has been identified as the suspect. He was already on a terror watchlist and had been deported from Germany recently with twenty criminal convictions. He's well known in Islamist circles and was reportedly radicalized after spending time in prison. Apparently he was too radical for the Germans… but not for France.

What is it going to take for progressive governments like France to wake up to their failed policies? Nearly 300 people have been killed in terror attacks in France over the past three years. 300 in three years! But despite that, the French government refuses to address immigration, they continue their open border policy and - more importantly - they refuse to listen to their people when they try and tell them that they're scared to death over this issue. Instead they get a lecture on Islamophobia… "that's the real problem."

Outrage has replaced baseball as our national pastime.

This is one of the reasons why the Yellow Vests are tearing the country apart. The government refuses to listen to their fears on terrorism, unchecked immigration, open borders, the failing economy, high taxes and out of control spending. Wow... do these issues sound at all familiar? How many years behind France are we? Just listen to ourselves.

Outrage has replaced baseball as our national pastime. People have lost the ability to engage in peaceful protest. Street demonstrations have turned into street brawls. Have you seen the images from places like Portland lately? European governments are losing the social contract with their people. After years of broken promises and outright lies from Washington, how long before that happens here?