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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Give Me Liberty

I read a lot of different blogs and websites. Most of the time I just read the headlines and maybe a few paragraphs until I get the gist of the liberty-sucking actions being taken by the government this time. It has lately lost its ability to cause outrage. E-mail campaigns, phone calls to legislators, etc are fine, do it, make them feel the heat for their actions, but don't expect a reversal, or an admission of error. They don't do that.

I saw the passage of Obamacare as the ultimate governmental betrayal on so many levels that it sticks out as the single moment when I became radicalized. Until then I was concerned, outraged, disbelieving and even thunderstruck on occasion. The audacity, the arrogance could still raise my pulse and bring the color to my face.

The difference between then and now is simply that I recognize that our Republican friends are as guilty of coercion as any other. I recognize now that it is not only the Democratic members of congress who are daily engaged in betrayal of the American system, but so-called conservatives as well. The long list of Tea Party candidates sent to congress in 2010 have done nothing to stop the abuses. Perhaps they have not taken part (though some have), still they have stood by and watched obviously un-Constitutional actions take place on their watch. But, what could they have done? Really? Aren't they just our representatives in congress with no more power than any of the other 434 members of congress?

Let me quote from someone in their position at a time much like now:

St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

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 have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

I think that about says it all.

9 comments:

  1. Patrick Henry was always right

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  2. History often repeats its self!

    China
    III

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  3. Amazing...those words apply so well today.

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  4. It is everything that Patrick Henry was on the winning side.
    It is imperative that his words of inspiration of the gospel of Liberty are more than that.
    That these timeless words continue to be timeless, that these words are on the side that wins in this battle looming.
    To the victor goes the spoils, along with history.
    Patrick Henry was branded a terrorist, until he won.

    Winning is everything.

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  5. Damn straight Give Me Liberty because I know what the alternatives are.

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  6. Hope...


    Is there no way out....

    In 200 yrs. will someone be quoting the words of TL, and having this same debate.

    Will we never be truly free?

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  7. I say now. Why leave fighting these REgressives to my daughter?
    MM

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  8. At some point MM we gave up fighting for Liberty that it just is.
    Each generation must fight theirown battle for Liberty. Our we going to fight our bloody battles declare victory, every generation has theur never forget moment, but in a few generations how many do.

    Is it their fault oor ours?

    Hmmm...,
    Josh

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