The Hill You Die On

[Photo Credit: Unsplash]

By Sheryl Collmer at Crisis Magazine:

One idiom is showing up more often lately, as people claim that the gene therapy device speciously known as The Vaccine is “the hill they will die on,” especially as mandates close in on people’s livelihoods and children’s safety.

Consider this post from @TheEX_ERnurse: “A woman bled out in front of my eyes after the vax. There was nothing I could do to save her. She haunts me. SHE is the reason I left nursing rather than getting the vax…I will not comply. This is my hill.” Or as Dr. Christopher Rake, a UCLA anesthesiologist who was escorted off his hospital campus for not taking the shot, said, “I’m willing to lose everything: job, paycheck, freedom, even my life, for this cause.” Red Voice Media headed the story “This is the hill.” Or as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, said on his radio program recently, “We might reach that point again where people just have to say, you’re going to have to take my life rather than force me to do something that I know is morally repugnant.” That’s a hill, too.

There is, and ought to be, uneasiness when governments want to force “a needle in every arm,” despite medical conditions, morals, autonomy, and common sense. Further wariness should arise from the active suppression of reports of deaths and injuries resulting from the shots and the banning of social media accounts for mentioning the same. 

Doctors who want to actually treat their patients are publicly shamed, and in some cases, threatened with license revocation. Drugs shown to work effectively in huge populations in other parts of the world are being restricted in the United States and portrayed as dangerous and mock-worthy. Now governments are targeting children, who, at least prior to the shot, never ran any sort of risk from the disease and are at risk for post-vaccine adverse events.

That’s why people are willing to die on this hill. 

Hills are such a strategic advantage in battle that an army will do nearly anything to keep them. Holding high ground, you have a superior view, and attackers have an uphill exercise to dislodge you. It’s no wonder so many pivotal battles took place on hills: Bunker Hill, Hamburger Hill, San Juan Hill. 

In the middle of the American Civil War, a decisive action at Gettysburg reached a conclusion on a hill. From the summit of the undefended Little Round Top, there was a perfect view to the west, where the enemy waited. The 20th Maine Volunteers, under the command of Joshua Chamberlain, were hastily placed on the flank of the unguarded hill, with the orders, “You are to hold this ground at all costs.” Failure to do so could have meant the defeat of the Union at Gettysburg, and forever.

When the enemy finally smashed into the Union defenders mid-afternoon at Gettysburg, the Maine boys exhausted all their ammo, even what they could recover from the dead and wounded on the ground. In a last-ditch attempt to hold the hill, they fixed bayonets for a charge downhill into heavy fire. Bayonets had last been effective weapons in the previous century, so those Maine men charged down the hill with what amounted to tent stakes. The shock of the foolhardy move scattered the Confederates and stopped the advance. 

In the end, it did not require the life of every man to hold the hill. But without the willingness to commit unconditionally, the last-hope bayonet charge would never have been made. 

When freedom fighters of 2021 declare that the vax is their hill, they are likewise committing to hold at all costs. They know that their sacrifice will determine a monumental outcome, shaping the lives of their children and grandchildren. They know their own futures may be limited.

Freedom fighters speak out at school board meetings and city councils, gather crowds for protests, mobilize the flagging legal system to uphold the Constitution—and maybe it will be enough to turn the tide. But if not, we must possess the conviction of the 20thMaine, to hold the hill at all costs, for the sake of our children and for the preservation of goodness in a world convulsed by evil. 

This is our Little Round Top, and it is mid-afternoon. Things could go either way. 

The abdication of clergy, the corruption of civil leaders, the craven surrender of medical professionals, leave us with few obvious leaders. The volunteers of an army may be willing, but it takes commanders to order bayonets and charge downhill. We need new leaders who understand that there is something worth dying for here, people who see an opportunity to defend what is most valuable in the fading American experience. 

Presently, our hill is unguarded, save for a very few courageous medicsbishops and whistleblowers willing to suffer the loss of their futures. We need more troops on the hill. As the unsavory coalition of big government, media, and tech plots ahead to restrictive vaccine passports and the resulting loss of individual privacy and autonomy, it is we who must anchor the line and hold the Union together. 

We may be small in number, but the actions of a few can have colossal results when we drive forward in apparently hopeless conditions, to the very last man. We have to mean it when we say it’s the hill we will die on. 

We are fighting for liberty, for the free will that has been given by God Himself. We are fighting for our children to inherit the goodness of what was once America. 

If we stand up to the much greater force, if we choose this hill to die on, then we must go forward at all costs. This hill will require it of us. 

See also:

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13 Responses to The Hill You Die On

  1. Sally says:

    As with most idioms, this one is silly.
    Christians should strive to use clear English, and avoid confusing idioms.


  2. joel3131 says:

    From the following definition given by the, it seems rather an apt and clear idiom in the context of the above article:

    ‘The hill you want to die on describes something so important to you that you are willing to fight to the death to accomplish it. Often, the idiom the hill you want to die on is used when describing something that will make or break one’s reputation, or result in either glory or ignominy. The phrase is often used in a question: Is this the hill you want to die on? This question may be considered a warning that taking a certain stance will probably result in defeat of one sort or another. The idiom the hill you want to die on is derived from a military term. Fighting to take the position of a hill from an enemy is nearly impossible and results in mass casualties. One must be sure that the hill is worth the cost of taking it.’

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Neo says:

    I think it a good metaphor for this battle, But also remember Colonel Chamberlain, who won the Medal of Honor that day as did Sargeant Andrew Tozier who bearing the regiments colors held an advanced position alone, went into that battle with 286 men of whom 29 were killed, 91 were wounded (and given the medical knowledge of the day, many likely died) and 5 missing or 126 casualties in that battle. Nobody says it’s going to be easy.

    Something else that Professor Chamberlain (for that is what he was before the war) taught us as Christians, at the ceremony of surrender at Appomattox he ordered the Army of the Potomac to carry arms as a salute to the surrendering Army of Northern Virginia. The salute was returned, thus starting the process of healing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sally says:

    The difficulty with using idioms is that they create confusion.
    For those with experience in human warfare and battles, this term would be understood, but for those of us with no experience in warfare ( other than spiritual warfare) this term is obscure and confusing.
    As writers, we write to a global audience, and, as we choose to avoid idioms, our words can more clearly be understood.
    Let us pray for the day when the Prince of Peace brings an end to warfare.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    With due respect to Sally, I find this idiom a very apt one; and indeed, I have *died* (idiomatically speaking) on COVID Hill, having been suspended from volunteer duties at my parish for refusing to reveal my vaccination status. In other words, I have skin in the game, idiomatically speaking.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. joel3131 says:

    The author of the article explains the discussed idiom very fully in four entire paragraphs. As a non-native English speaker I find it perfectly easy to comprehend even without personal experience of actual warfare. Having said that, I do agree with Sally that we need to pray for an end to all warfare, including the current worldwide divisive and discriminatory one of Covid vaxx passes, mandates and coercions.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Neo says:

    It’s a nice thought, but war will continue until the final one, “at a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon”.


  8. joel3131 says:

    johnhenry, I admire your tenacity and courage and I feel for you. Hopefully you can still attend Mass and receive the Sacraments. To be denied that would be the final straw and I believe that that is something practising Catholics in various dioceses and parishes are already having to face! But we must not despair. Don’t they say that the night is always darkest before the dawn?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. johnhenrycn says:

    There are some dioceses (not mine yet) in my country that have decreed the unvaccinated cannot attend Mass. What would Jesus say ? I wrote a respectful letter to my pastor declining to reveal my vaccination status (a matter of privacy between me and my doctor) to which he’s never responded. But I keep in mind that his hands are tied. Even our bishop’s hands are tied, given the threat of Covid lawsuits by vaccinated Catholics who come down with the virus. There are some vaccinated Catholics who will go see a lawyer if they come down with the virus, complaining that it was the unvaccinated Mass attendees who caused them to catch it, thus giving those *victims* grounds for legal action against the diocese for failing to have a “No vaccine – No Mass” policy. Very flimsy cases we say, but insurance companies are usually willing to pay thousands of $$$ to make them go away, those costs being passed to the Dioceses in the form of higher premiums the next year.

    Anyway, this is the hill I am willing to die on.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. joel3131 says:

    Clearly those litigious ‘vaxxed Catholics’ are unaware of the recent studies published in The Lancet on viral loads and viral transmissibility in both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
    Here’s the crucial point:

    “…fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts. Host–virus interactions early in infection may shape the entire viral trajectory.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. johnhenrycn says:

    In my case. you’re preaching to the choir. My point is that bishops are afraid of lawsuits by greedy people. In the view of some bishops, why not establish policies to which litigants and their lawyers cannot object, even if those policies cause pain and loss to faithful Catholics? Lawyers, Catholic lawyers, are cautioning bishops to follow policies which contravene the Faith, but not secular law.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi everyone. Beloved friends is what comes to mind. Because when you are persecuted for His Name’s Sake and for the sake of righteousness, you know when you are in the company of the few who support you. I haven’t commented in a while because I have been fighting this battle in Australia and like others, I have suffered. Only when you decide that Jesus will help me no matter what, that you will accept it all come what may, can you overcome the angst and worry and hurt that comes with drawing your line and losing it all. So I have my final work meeting scheduled on Wednesday coming up. Pray I am brave. In the meantime, to feed my family of 7 at home and help my daughter (out of work same reason as me), so we have started this:
    I want to be able to teach; its my gift.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. joel3131 says:


    May God bless you for your witness and courage! He will surely provide for you and your family. Our Lady and the Angels and Saints will watch over you as you embrace this cross and walk into the unknown.

    You can count on my prayers for you and your loved ones and for the success of your new venture.


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