I have lost track of how many times I have had intense debates with people over the issue of whether a person, or a State, must submit to the authority of the federal government if they believe that the government no longer serves the purposes for which it was created. I get the distinct impression that many people believe that, once established, the federal government became sovereign over those it was established to represent, and that any attempt to rescind or revoke the delegated power given government is to be considered an act of treason.
People, even though they may despise those belonging to the ‘other’ political party, accept that division amongst them is an acceptable part of American politics. But what neither side seems to want to accept is a person who opposes the government as a whole; believing such actions to be unpatriotic – possibly even treasonous.
I just don’t understand that; is the thinking portion of their brains shut off? What exactly do they think the American Revolution was if not open rebellion against the authority of their government to enact laws that bound them in all cases whatsoever? Yes there were some living at that period of our history who also felt that the actions of those patriots was treasonous, but today we consider them to be heroes and patriots, and we honor their sacrifices every July 4 with a national holiday.
Why can’t we honor what they stood for instead of what they did? Why can’t we honor them by upholding the principles they fought for instead of showing our patriotism by other means; such as flying the flag and attending festivities where they shoot off a bunch of fireworks?
Does it require too much time and effort to learn of what they stood for? Is it too much of a risk to oppose authority rather than meekly submitting to it? Do you not realize that, by signing the Declaration of Independence, those men were placing their very lives on the line for the principles they believed in?
I truly believe that, were the leading names in the patriot movement of 1776 alive today, they would be more disgusted with most of you than I am. John Adams did say, in a letter to his wife, “Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”
Most of our Founding Fathers, those whose names you know, and those you don’t, had more knowledge regarding history, systems of government, and an understanding of our natural rights in their pinkie toes than most people today have in their entire bodies. Those men left us a treasure trove of material to study, in the form of letters, speeches, and other historical documents, and if we would just seek out that knowledge we could see that the government we have today, the one so many of you so fervently support, is far worse than the one they were fighting to free themselves from.
I’ve been digging into the history of this country for nearly 2 decades now, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is available. Yet, and I hate to boast, I am probably more informed than 90% of the people in this country; and that’s being generous with my percentage. I’ve met people along the way who have been at it far longer than I, and they make me look like a rank amateur as far as the scope of my knowledge is concerned.
Does that deter me; make me feel inferior to them? At first it did, I felt I no matter how much I studied I would never be able to amass such a vast wealth of knowledge. Now I seek to mine their knowledge to expand my own. I do not run and hide from the truths they share with me – unlike so many of my fellow countrymen. I do not spend countless hours glued to the television watching sporting events or nationwide talent shows, I spend them scouring through historical documents trying to discern the truth; for it is the quest for the ultimate truth that is my passion and obsession.
I’m not saying that you should not take time out to relax and seek some form of entertainment; but to forsake knowledge for a life of total entertainment and ignorance just baffles me; especially when those living such a life make the claim of being informed voters. If there is one thing I’ve learned it is that if you truly love your country, if you truly love liberty, then you will face whatever truths the facts present to you; be they in support of your beliefs, of if they tear them asunder. Again, to quote from John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
Today we call our elected representatives politicians or lawmakers; believing they have the authority to enact whatever laws they, or a majority of the people think will benefit them in some fashion; be it keeping them safe, or providing things for them at the expense of others. It just boggles my mind when I hear people call America the land of the free, then turn around and support laws and lawmakers which restrict freedom and abolish the liberty our ancestors fought to secure for themselves and posterity.
How many of you believe in God and have read the Bible? If you are amongst those who raised your hands, then you must recall the 10 Commandments; the laws handed down to Moses by God on tablets of stone. Have you ever thought about those 10 Commandments, or laws? I have. The first 4 refer to man’s relationship with God; thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy; thou shalt not take the Lords name in vain, etc. etc. It is the remaining 6 that I would like to spend a moment discussing.
The remaining 6 Commandments refer to man’s interaction with each other; thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not covet, etc. etc. Is it just me, or do those Commandments not sound like they were written to serve a specific purpose; defend the liberty of those to whom they applied?
I simply don’t understand how anyone, who calls themselves a Christian that is, can support a government that lies to them; steals from them, and kills those who resist its authority. Most of those who signed the Declaration of Independence and fought most fervently for independence were deeply religious men. In fact, amongst those who fought in the war for independence were a slew of clergymen from across the country who felt that their cause was just. These clergymen preached liberty from the pulpits, and then backed their words up with action on the battlefield. These clergymen were not like those who stand at the pulpit of today’s churches; who preach obedience to government. Although those pastors of old were men of God, they also knew that it was their sacred duty to stand up to tyrants.
What has happened to this country, to the people who inhabit it? Have we forsaken all that our ancestors fought for so that we can live lives of comfort and security? Our Founders realized that the defense of liberty comes at great cost; yet they were willing to pay it to ensure that they, and their posterity would enjoy it.
Today is Memorial Day; the day that we honor those who have fallen in the defense of this country. I do not mean to dishonor those who gave their all in the defense of this country, but how many have ever stopped to ask what exactly it was they were defending? Were they simply following the orders handed down to them by their Commander in Chief? Were not the British Redcoats and the German and Japanese soldiers in World War II not doing the same; simply following orders?
I’m all for defending this country and the principles it was founded upon. I am not, however, in favor of wars to expand the American empire, or so that U.S. business interests can go in and make a profit in the aftermath of that war.
How many needless lives have been lost so that the U.S. can exert its foreign policy upon other countries? How many tin pot dictators, many which we helped boost into power, have our young men and women died dethroning? How many have died in wars that did not affect us directly hear at home, but were fought because of some treaty or because they were our allies?
Forty-five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Quincy Adams gave an address commemorating that day. In his address he said, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet on her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world; she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit. . . . Her glory is not dominion, but liberty.”
I’m sorry for the length of that quote, but in all honesty I left out a portion of it because I knew that I was already taxing the limits of what you will read and be able to process. The point is that Adams was saying that liberty should be our call to the world, but that we should not force it upon others by use of military force and domination.
Yet how can we proclaim liberty to the world when we allow it to starve in our own country? How can we support freedom fighters across the globe, yet turn around and vilify those who fight for freedom within our own borders?
So, on this Memorial Day, I ask you to not only honor those who have fallen, but what it was they fell for. While I honor and respect anyone who is willing to die for their country, I do not honor those who send them off to die in some foreign land for needless reasons; while at the same time deny liberty to those they represent. If you cannot say, with 100% conviction, that you support and defend liberty at home with all your being, then how can you proclaim to honor those who have died so that others may enjoy it.
And that’s all I have to say about that…