The date was March 23, 1776 and the place was St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. In attendance was a virtual who’s who of our Founding Fathers. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were in attendance, as were Edmund Randolph and Thomas Marshall; whose son John would go on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
But it was the young attorney from Hanover County who stole the show that day, for that was the day Patrick Henry arose and gave the speech that would immortalize the phrase, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Henry’s words, and his manner of delivering them, were so spellbinding that after he had finished the crowd sat in stunned silence for a few moments before reacting. It is said that Edward Carrington, who had listened to it from outside the church, had requested to be buried upon that very spot to commemorate the words he heard that day.
Although that speech is best known for the phrase, “Give me liberty or give me death” there is one passage within it that I have taken as my own personal motto, of sorts, “Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
I often wonder how many people living in America today would suffer the anguish of spirit it would cost for them to seek out and embrace the truth. In a country that has taken to calling the network news media Fake News, I find it laughable that they believe much of the history they have been taught, and I find it even more laughable that they actually believe that the government they support is the same government that was instituted back in 1789.
I am constantly ridiculed by those who support either the Democratic candidates or the Republican ones because I do not participate in electing any of them for office. They tell me that by not voting I lose my right to complain. I say that they lose their right to complain because it is due to the people they elect that we have the government we do; that if it is corrupt it is because they are electing corrupt people for the positions within it. The only people who truly have the right to complain are the ones who stand apart from this entity called government and see it for what it truly is; a monster that seeks to deprive us of the very liberty it was established to safeguard and protect.
In 1775 liberty was the topic of discussion everywhere; it was spoken of at the supper tables, in taverns, and from the pulpits of our churches. The desire to have liberty was what drove our Founders to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to obtain it. What do we see people voting for today; more benefits, more wars against pretended enemies; more jobs?
It’s funny that so many of those who risked so much to obtain liberty for themselves would then turn around and create the very engine which would destroy that liberty in years yet to come…and yes I’m talking about our constitution and the government it outlines.
What we are taught in our public schools about the history of our country and the ratification of our constitution is only a fragment of the whole story; and much of the whole story has been omitted to shine a light upon the greatness of our constitution. We are taught, figuratively speaking that is, that our constitution is the greatest thing since sliced bread; that it framed the greatest government ever produced.
I suppose it depends upon your perspective whether or not the government outlined by our constitution is great or not. I for one have found that it contains a great many flaws which has allowed for the government it established to become far worse than the one our Founders fought a war to free themselves from. Yet the people today go to the polls unerringly and vote for candidates to fill the various positions within it without regard for the primary purpose for which it was instituted…the safeguarding of their liberty.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence did he say that governments are instituted to create jobs, police the world, or provide benefits for those in need? No, he said that governments are instituted to secure our rights, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
You can consent to a system of government that serves the exact opposite purpose for which it was established; that is your prerogative. What you cannot do, without violating my rights, is force me to support it as well.
I refuse to support a government that says it is okay to violate my right to privacy simply because it makes America safe from terrorism. I refuse to support a government that takes a portion of the taxes it collects from me and gives it to others who are in need. I refuse to support a government that tells me when, where, and under what circumstances I can defend myself, my property, and my liberty.
Liberty, according to the Neal Ross Standard Dictionary, is the right to do whatever the hell you want, say whatever the hell you want to say, so long as you don’t prevent others from enjoying the same right. It doesn’t matter if you find what I say offensive; grow up and get over it. It doesn’t matter if I have a dozen guns; as long as I don’t use them to deprive you of your life or property, get over it. See where I’m going here?
Our Founders, unlike the politicians of today, were well versed in the writings of men like Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Montesquieu, Sir Francis Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, and John Locke. Had you read Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Governments you would have noticed a striking similarity between Locke’s words and those penned by Jefferson when he drafted the Declaration of Independence.
So why is it that our schools do not teach the words of those who influenced our Founding Fathers? Why aren’t we taught what liberty is, and that our country was founded by men who were willing to die to obtain and defend it? Why aren’t we taught that our government was established to secure that liberty for us, and that if it does not serve that function that it is our right to get rid of that form of government and replace it with one that will defend our liberty?
In his Second Treatise Locke speaks a great deal about the Law of Nature, how it is the source of all political power and authority in any society. For example, Locke states, “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which […] teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
No compare that to something Samuel Adams said in 1771, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First, a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”
Our Founders believed that, not only was it their right to defend their lives and their property against all who would threaten them, but it was also their right to defend their liberty against all attacks; even when those attacks came from government itself. That was the very foundation upon which the American Revolution, and the Civil War I might add, were fought.
Yet today what do we see? Today we see people flocking to the polls to vote for this candidate or that one to fix all that is wrong in this country…without truly knowing what is wrong with this country in the first place. We fall for the lies, or promises, of these people based upon our understanding of the purpose which our government is supposed to serve. But what if what you have been taught about that purpose is a lie; wouldn’t you want to know the truth?
Voting for candidates to fix what is wrong in government is like asking children to keep watch over a candy store; like asking the fox to guard the hen house. We are the true guardians of our liberty, and if we choose corrupt candidates we get the government we deserve.
Our Constitution was flawed from the moment it was presented to the States for their consideration, in that it contained no effective means of restraining the government it established to those few powers given it. In fact, when a list of proposed amendments were sent to Congress, James Madison deliberately omitted the word expressly from the 10th amendment so that it would allow for government to expand its authority into hidden, or implied, powers.
On numerous occasions Patrick Henry, that bulwark of liberty, spoke out against the threat to liberty posed by the government outlined by the constitution. For instance, on June 5, 1788 Henry stated, “The Honorable Gentleman who presides, told us, that to prevent abuses in our Government, we will assemble in Convention, recall our delegated powers, and punish our servants for abusing the trust reposed in them. Oh, Sir, we should have fine times indeed, if to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical; no longer democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?”
Two days later Henry again arose to say, “Where is the responsibility — that leading principle in the British government? In that government a punishment, certain and inevitable, is provided: But in this, there is no real actual punishment for the grossest maladministration. They may go without punishment, though they commit the most outrageous violation on our immunities. That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, by what law? They must make the law — for there is no existing law to do it. What — will they make a law to punish themselves? This, Sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”
When was the last time you heard of a politician being arrested for violating the Supreme Law of the Land? Sure, there have been instances where they were charged with other crimes; embezzlement, fraud, or some other crime, but when was the last time you heard of one of them being arrested for drafting a law that oversteps the limits the constitution imposes upon them, or one which violates any of our unalienable rights?
Never, that’s when. Even Nixon, who resigned from office, did so not because he violated the Constitution, rather he did so because he authorized activities which violated other laws; such as the burglarizing of the DNC Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. The Justice Department, as if justice has anything to do with what they enforce upon us, is part of the government and only enforces the laws that government passes; the question of whether those laws are constitutional or not never enters into consideration. The Courts, and more specifically the judges, are chosen by government, and therefore rarely question the legality of the laws that the government enacts; they only ensure that the law is upheld in their courtrooms. Then there are those who enforce the laws; cops, sheriffs, and all the others who work in the multitude of alphabet soup agencies; who only enforce the law; do they ever ask themselves whether the laws they are ENFORCING violate the Constitution or Bill of Rights?
Yet when one stands up for their rights, or tries to defend their liberty, they are denigrated and called criminals and lawbreakers. Yet isn’t our government itself a criminal enterprise in that it does not adhere to the law which was written to limit its power and authority?
And yet you support this government in its current state. I’d love to hear your justification for that…based upon your understanding of the Constitution that is.
Many of you claim to be Christian, and it is to those of you who do that I now address the following. We are taught to seek out the truth, to hate lies and deceit. In the Book of John the Bible speaks of how Satan is the father of all lies, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
Yet how is it that you choose to ignore the truth regarding the government you support simply because it is run by candidates of your choosing? Does not the truth matter to anyone anymore? I grow weary of repeating myself over and over again when those who need most to understand what I say continue to believe that if they could just elect a few more Republicans, (or Democrats), then all would be well in the land of the free again.
I hate to burst your bubble, but freedom doesn’t come from government, it comes from our Creator; and if you want it you are going to have to do a better job of defending it against the very entity which has stolen it from you; your government.
As Patrick Henry said, “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it ” Although I may not be in possession of the whole truth, I can say that I have sought it out and that I know more of it than do most in this country. The truth I have found is that government, in its current state, is the enemy to the liberty it was established to secure, and that if we don’t get up off our asses and defend what’s left of that liberty it will vanish and we will live our remaining years as slaves to an ungrateful master.
Is there a chance we may not succeed in this endeavor? Of course there is; after all, the Confederacy lost when they tried. But as the old saying goes, “Tis better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
And that, my friends, is the unbridled truth…