Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." [Mathew 16:24 (NIV)]
As Churchill wrote, "A man's life must be nailed to a cross of either Thought or Action." [Winston Churchill in "My Early Life", as quoted in Larry P. Arn. Churchill's Trial. Kindle ed. 2015. Location 1090.]
The image of being nailed to a cross is one of being fixed in one form or another. Choosing thought, you must think. Choosing action, you must act. What does this mean to a Christian?
If you are to be nailed to a piece of wood for a thought, it out be a Good Thought; if for an action, it ought be a Good Action. There is no sense in being nailed up for a mediocre thought or a half-hearted action.
There also seems to be a connection here to Coollidge's comments on the finality of the principles of the Declaration. The finality of "...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with curtain inalienable rights..." nails that thought up for all time, and it is a thought worth getting nailed to a piece of wood for.
We may be called to suffer for our faith, but we are not called to do so to no purpose. When choosing to take a stand, we ought always reach to the highest narrative; the highest narrative in any story is always love.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. [John 15:13 (NIV)]