After enduring the Navigation Acts, the Molasses Act of 1733, the Currency Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, the Quartering Act of 1765, the Declaratory Act of 1766, the Revenue Act of 1767, the Townsend Acts, and many other cruel and oppressive actions by King George, which ravaged individual liberty and “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” the Colonists’ desire for freedom ignited into a blazing revolution. Of course, as John Adams said, “The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”
Nevertheless, the Crown trampled the people who became increasingly intolerant of England’s whip. So, when the Tea Act of 1773 was ratified, the people had had enough. So, on December 16, 1773, seven thousand Sons of Liberty, led by Samuel Adams, converged on Boston Harbor and dumped 342 chests of tea overboard in civil protest of big government, overregulation, and taxation without representation. Then, nine days later, in Delaware, another hundred chests of tea were thrown overboard for the same cause.
These two events – the Boston Tea Party and the Delaware Tea Party – riled the Crown. Yet, “We the People” kept fighting (even having a Tea Party in Edenton, NC in 1774) and eventually became free, but at a great cost. As John Adams once wrote, “Oh, 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.”
Friends, in many ways, we have not made a good use of our freedom. Our lack of eternal vigilance over the last one hundred years has left us with a Country that is headed for a cliff. Today, the Tea Party movement is setting “brushfires of freedom in the minds of men” (Samuel Adams), educating our neighbors, friends, and family in the ideals of our founding documents, and preserving our freedoms and our “certain unalienable,” God-given rights. As a movement comprised of principled people from every political party, every race, every age, every educational background, every employment status, etc., we stand for constitutionally limited government.
America is being fundamentally transformed, and we all must work together to be informed and active in halting and reversing the decline of our Land of Liberty. Otherwise, we will wake up, someday soon, to find our Republic dead and buried. We can no longer ride the fence. The day of reckoning is upon us.
Want to get involved? Come to our next event.
“Davy Crockett was killed at the Alamo in 1836 fighting for the independence of Texas. Earlier, however, he had served nine years in Congress. During one of these years a fire broke out in Georgetown, a suburb of Washington, and many of the Congressman, including Crockett, helped fight the blaze. The next morning the Congress voted $20,000 to assist those whose homes were destroyed. Crockett voted for it. However, when he went home he found himself in deep trouble with one of his constituents named Horatio Bunce. Bunce commended him for the anxiety to help the victims of the fire but scolded him for using other people’s money as ‘charity.’ He challenged Crockett to find where the Constitution allowed Congress to spend one penny of other people’s money for charity. Crockett couldn’t think of any such provision. Bunce told him he had a right to help with his own money, but not other people’s money.
“Crockett returned to Congress and ran into a similar situation. Congress wanted to give a substantial sum to the widow of a distinguished naval officer who had just died. Crockett took the floor and said:
“‘Mr. Speaker, I have as much . . . sympathy as . . . any man in the House, but . . . Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money . . . Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will among to more than the bill asks.’
“Crockett took his seat. This bill was defeated, but even though some of the congressmen were very wealthy, not one of them came forward to take up Crockett’s offer to donate a week’s salary to the widow as a gesture of private charity.”
Taken from pages 391-392 of “The Making of America” by W. Cleon Skousen (of The National Center for Constitutional Studies), who retrieved this story from pages 138-139 of “The Life of Colonel David Crockett”, published in 1884, by Edward S. Ellis. To read Crockett’s full speech, CLICK HERE.
The White House observance of Christmas before the twentieth century was not an official event. First families decorated the house modestly with greens and privately celebrated the Yuletide with family and friends.
Christmas in Early America: the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England found no Biblical precedent for a public celebration of Christmas (recall that the goal of these groups was to simplify religious worship and to cut away all religious rituals and celebrations not specifically cited in the Bible); nothing in the Bible established any date for the birth of Christ; the holiday was instead established by Roman tradition, thus making it – in their view – one of the many “pagan” holidays that had been inculcated into the corrupt church that had persecuted them, and which they and other religious leaders wished to reform. Consequently, Christmas in New England remained a regular working day. In fact, Massachusetts passed an anti-Christmas law in 1659 declaring: “Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas . . . shall pay for each offense five shillings as a fine to the country.” The law was repealed in 1681, but the holiday still was not celebrated by religious non-conformists or dissenters (i.e., the Puritans and Pilgrims); it usually was celebrated only by a few Anglicans (later Episcopalians), Catholics, and other more formal or high-church-tradition New England families. It was not until the 1830s and 1840s that Christmas celebrations were just beginning to be accepted in New England (primarily due to the influence of large-scale Christmas celebrations in cities such as New York) – although as late as 1870 in Boston public schools, a student missing school on Christmas Day could be punished or expelled. By the 1880s, however, Christmas celebrations had finally become as accepted in New England as they were in other parts of the country.
The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people; I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him that, for such singular deliverances and blessings; they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
By the President: William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
Taken from WallBuilders.com
One hundred and fifty years ago, George Washington, the first president of the United States, issued his first Thanksgiving proclamation, at the request of the first United States Congress during the first year under a constitutional government.
He designated the last Thursday in November as the day for Thanksgiving, which happened to fall on the 26th in that year.
The preamble sets forth that “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
In the body of the proclamation, after recounting the blessings for which the people should return thanks, President Washington further states the purpose of the day, “that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;
To render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.”
In the spirit of Washington and our first national Thanksgiving, I proclaim the traditional last Thursday of the month, Nov. 30, 1939, as a legal holiday in North Carolina and a day of general Thanksgiving upon the part of all the people. It is fitting and proper that we assemble in our special places of worship on this dedicated day to renew our allegiance to the ideals of the republic, to reconsecrate ourselves to the causes of popular government, to acknowledge afresh our dependence upon God, to rekindle our faith in the everlasting spiritual values, to hearken to the high call of duty in loyal and patriotic service, to thank a Supreme Ruler for state unity and national peace, to pray for peace universal and for an end to war and bloodshed all over the good earth.
In witness whereof, I, Clyde R. Hoey, governor of North Carolina, have signed and caused the Great Seal to be affixed hereto, in our City of Raleigh, this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord, one thousand and nine hundred and thirty-nine and in the one hundred and sixty-fourth year of our American Independence.
Clyde R. Hoey, Governor
Taken from journalpatriot.com.
Saturday, November 1, 1777
The committee appointed to prepare a recommendation to the several states, to set apart a day of public thanksgiving, brought in a report; which was taken into consideration, and agreed to as follows:
Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success:
It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
And it is further recommended, that servile labor, and such recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.
Take from WallBuilder.com.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
Taken from WallBuilders.com
The Church of England under King James I, in the early part of the seventeenth century, was persecuting everyone who did not recognize its supreme civil and spiritual authority. Those who believed in freedom of worship were apprehended, imprisoned, and often executed for their beliefs. This is why 102 pilgrims, led by William Bradford, set sail for the New World on August 1, 1620; their desire to live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences drove them to what they believed was “the Promised Land.”
On their perilous journey, the Pilgrims, who were steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments and looked to the ancient Israelites for their example, established the Mayflower Compact, which was based on Biblical standards. And when the Pilgrims finally landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts in November, they found a cold and desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them; no houses to shelter them; no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had endured for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims died of starvation, sickness or exposure, but when spring finally came, the Natives taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish, and skin beavers for coats.
As a result, life improved. But in an attempt to prosper, they decided that everything they produced would go into a common store and that each person was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community and everything was distributed equally. Individual ownership was prohibited. And what was the result? Near starvation!
Bradford, the governor of the colony, saw that this form of collectivism was as destructive to the people as their first winter was. As Bradford wrote in his journal, “The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice.” In today’s vernacular, this manner of life is known as “communism,” which is “an economic and social system envisioned by the nineteenth-century German scholar Karl Marx” (American Heritage Dictionary) and is defined as “a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state” (dictionary.com). Of course, communism didn’t work for the Pilgrims.
So, as a remedy, he assigned a plot of land to each family to manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. In time, they realized that the Biblical principles of personal responsibility, merit, and free-enterprise produced personal motivation which gave incentive to the most creative and industrious people to work harder than anyone else; these self-evident truths released the fundamental principle of private property so that every family could work their own land and market their own crops.
And what was the result? Well, as Bradford wrote, “This had very good success, for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Soon, the Pilgrims found they had more than enough food. In time, they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Natives which led to profits, success, prosperity, and the eventual “Great Puritan Migration.”
As a result, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God for the Natives who saved them that first winter and for the Lord Who gave them the wisdom needed to set up a thriving colony which, as we now know, laid the initial groundwork for the creation of our great Country.
“Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it.”
America is repeating history and this is especially true in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
In 2005, during an appearance at the National Press Club, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker explained that “the United States can be likened to Rome before the fall of the empire. Its financial condition is ‘worse than advertised’…It has a ‘broken business model.’ It faces deficits in its budget, its balance of payments, its savings — and its leadership.” As David Walker has also said, “There are striking similarities between America’s current situation and that of another great power from the past: Rome… The Roman republic fell for many reasons, but three reasons are worth remembering: declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.”
Consider these two other insights…
“Rome did not fall because of external forces such as invasion by the barbarians. Rome had no sufficient inward base; the barbarians only completed the breakdown – and Rome gradually became a ruin” (How Should We Then Live! by Francis Schaeffer).
“Perhaps we should imagine the Late Roman Empire as a retired athlete whose body has declined from neglect and an unhealthy lifestyle. At times the muscles will still function well and with the memory of former skill and training. Yet, as the neglect continues, the body becomes less and less capable of resisting disease or recovering from injury. Over the years the person would grow weaker and weaker, and in the end could easily succumb to disease. Long decline was the fate of the Roman Empire. In the end, it may well have been ‘murdered’ by barbarian invaders, but these struck at a body made vulnerable by prolonged decay.” (How Rome Fell by Adrian Goldsworthy)
Regarding the collapses of the world’s major empires, British scholar C. E. M. Joad said that the declines all had several things in common: decadence, weariness, and irresponsibility. To that, British historian C. Northcote Parkinson added that collapses are usually marked by an overcentralized government, heavy taxes, and bureaucracy.
Selah (pause and think about it).
Written by Joel M. Killion
Note: The following is the complete transcript of Glenn Beck’s keynote speech at the Audit the IRS “Press Conference” in front of the U.S. Capital Building on 6/19/13. (To watch the entire speech, click here.):
Today, inside, they dedicated a new statue of another American giant, Fredrick Douglass – a man born into slavery, but who knew instinctively that he was not born a slave. No man is.
To keep a man a slave you do much the same as the cruel circus masters did to the elephant around the turn of last century. Clamp heavy chains around their legs and stake them to the ground. Then beat and terrorize them. After a while you no longer even have to stake the chain; the elephant gives up and just the mere rattle of the chain convinces the elephant there is no hope, so they give up and do whatever it is the circus requires.
Fredrick Douglas was lucky enough to live in a house where he was taught to read, write and think. He knew God did not make men masters over others. Nor did he ever intend any man to impose unrighteous dominion over another man or beast.
It is time we remind ourselves of this truth again, and begin to rise up against the intimidation before the handful of peanuts from our new political circus masters is considered a kindness and not the symbol of evil cruelty.
In the building behind me, they are now excusing storing all data, phone calls, financial transactions, geotracking on every American for our “safety,” while allowing anyone to cross our borders either on foot or in underground tunnels without any worry or consequence.
They have not suspended or fired but promoted those at the IRS who rattled the chains of control to any group that disagreed with their policies. And now, after pushing misery and death through the so-called “Arab Spring” in country after country, they are plotting a new war with Syria. This will bring death and destruction the world over. We are told that we need to pick sides and arm those who are so far down the scale of decency that even Vladimir Putin asked Americans if they knew that those we are arming have literally eaten their enemies on the battlefield.
The fact that he even needed to ask that question, and that most have never even seen the video of the commander of the rebel troops on TV engaging in this ungodly horror, is an indictment of our governmentofficials and our media.
I am surrounded today by some modern-day spiritual giants. All from different faiths, different backgrounds and many different views. But we all have one thing in common. We don’t recognize our country anymore and because we know that God is just, we tremble for our children’s future.
We wonder, are we even worth defending anymore? If so, why? Who are we? And will we even notice or care when the chain is finally snapped around our legs?
What will be written about us? The greatest generation has passed. We who are historians will watch.
Will it be said that none called for justice not one pleaded for truth? They trusted in vanity and spoke lies. They conceived mischief and brought forth iniquity.
What is it we even believe as a people anymore? Where did we get these ideas that now seem so popular?
Our forebears came to these shores not for free stuff, but for freedom. The chance to make their own way, create a different life. They came here because they knew that God made them free to make their own way in life, take the risk, do their best and take responsibility for their own lives.
They came here because they wanted to serve Him in the way they believed, not as they were told.
But how many care about our history? And, of those who do care, how many really still believe?
Some things are worth believing in. That the little guy can make it. Every single life has value and is worth living. That honor and integrity do matter. That justice will prevail – if not in this life – then the next, and that God does exist. And what we do in our lives matters.
It is the meek and the humble that inherit the earth. Have we forgotten?
We have declared ourselves masters of the earth — spread our troops all over the world, taught the world how to do banking like we do it here in America. Even though we can’t even master ourown homes, protect our neighborhoods, or simply balance a check book. How grotesque and garish we must appear to those looking in.
I, for one, still believe in the silly notion of truth, justice and the American way.
Since our founding, a good percentage of our fellow citizens closed their eyes to the civil rights of all Americans. “I’m okay. I don’t want to think of the bad things going on. I am busy. It doesn’t affect me. It can’t be that bad and even if it is, I am just one person and what can I do about it anyway?”
Nothing has changed, except the chairs at the table.
Someone has always been on the losing end of the stick of power. Blacks are the most obvious, the Chinese, the Native Americans, but lets not forget the Irish, the Catholics, the Mormons, the Jews, and now it seems all those of faith that will not conform.
For those that think men make progress collectively: I warn you, history teaches that you couldn’t be more wrong. We are redeemed one man at a time. There is no “family pass” ticket or park hopping pass to life. One ticket, one life at a time.
Man doesn’t vanquish hatred or bigotry. The target keeps moving. From the blacks to the Irish. Atheists to Christians.
But as always, there are a few leaders: Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. They know that the march toward freedom never ends; man must be ever-vigilant and pray less with his lips and more with his legs.
They never forget that truth, justice, and freedom are the wellspring from which the waters of man’s civil rights come. And so they must be upheld for all men – those you know, those you do not, and maybe more importantly — they must be upheld for those who you do know but do not like or agree with at all.
If they are lost for one, in the end they are lost for all.
In the past, these historic stands which we now call civil rights movements were done by a small but dedicated portion of our citizens which led to great shifts in our culture. But those movements always came from the same institutions… the church. And usually not the church with the popular preacher, but the one who put it on the line to tell the people the truth.
Preachers like these men, who know that we are all born free, but that freedom comes at a great price — a profound responsibility to stand against injustice, hatred and bigotry. Our pulpits have gone quiet out of arrogance, fear and apathy. Their faith is found in the wisdom of man and not in the power of God. For some, losing tithing checks or the gold Rolex watch has become more important than losing man’s freedom.
Whatever the reason, too many are no longer willing to call evil by its name. There is no vision. And when there is no vision, the people perish.
I humbly suggest to you that Martin Luther King knew the answer, and he lost more than congregants during his long march. Students are taught that his vision came from the ideas of Gandhi. Maybe a new radical 20th century progressive philospher was the one that taught MLK that “although we be free of all men, when we choose to make ourselves servants to all, we gain the more.”
Let’s get a couple of things straight. What MLK and Gandhi did was not progressive or new. It was an ancient idea. Hollywood, Woodstock, nor the hippie culture was the source of power of the 1960s freedom movement.
He was leading those who risked their lives over that bridge in Selma, not Janice Joplin, Columbia University, or a labor union. It wasn’t John Lennon that taught people about love and peaceful resistance — that job fell on the shoulders of a Jewish carpenter. And it is there that we will find the answers that will break the chains that are being forged for a new generation of slaves.
The rights that so many Americans ignorantly preach about so often are not really their rights. They belong to God and they are given to us for stewardship. They are pretty important and obvious. So obvious that we used to say they were “self-evident,” meaning that humans don’t need to be taught; you instinctively know that you have a right not to be executed without a trial, held without charge, searched without warrant or spied upon without cause.
The government is no longer the protector of those civil rights, and so we must be. When we are told that it is okay for the IRS, EPA, ATF, FBI or anyone to hassle, threaten or intimidate others because of their skin color, religion or political belief, we stop being the country that we all want to build, and start being the country the world should fear.
The long train of abuses regarding these rights are the same MLK marched against, and the very same our dusty founders warned us about losing.
Men may make progress, but man never changes. Man loves power and money. No matter the skin color, religion or income level. These symbols of our nation make men drunk with power, who then justify their lust for more by claiming they are public servants. The only difference between Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. is that at least Vegas has the decency to admit the town is full of hookers and crooks.
We must sober up and admit that too many of the Republicans and the Democrats have played us, lied to us and stolen from us, while the getaway car was driven by the media. A media that can no longer claim with a straight face the role of journalist. Journalists print the things the powerful don’t want printed. What they do is public relations. Those PR firms will not print the truth about the average American who finds himself concerned with the direction of our country today. So we must.
We are not violent. We are not racist. We are not anti-immigrant. We are not anti-government. And we will not be silent anymore.
Those who wish to use unrighteous dominion over mankind are not enemies of ours; they are enemies of God, and He will not be silent much longer either.
We will no longer accept the lies, the corruption, or the information and data gathering. It is evil. And we come here today to send a message that we will surround all of those who wish to stand and break the cycle of corruption. We will use ourselves as shields to protect those in the system, the elected officials or whistle blowers with the courage to stand.
We come here today to respectfully, but with the power of the spirit, demand to be treated as an equal member of society. I am a man, and I will be treated as such. I answer to only one king and His kingdom will come, His will be done. We have chosen sides and we choose God. America as a nation must do the same, as well.
We come today to declare our independence, to reaffirm our founding principles. We, as a nation, acknowledge a creator. We acknowledge that he gives certain natural, guaranteed rights to man. We declare that government exists primarily to protect these natural, God-given rights. He has established right and wrong. He is just and therefore, man must pay for his mistakes either now on Earth, or through God’s justice later.
There is no such thing as social justice. Only God can balance things out, and we are not God. But honest and decent men can fight for and establish equal justice.
There is no such thing as collective salvation. We, however, are going to be judged on how we treat our fellow brothers and sisters. Thus we must serve them, help them with charity toward all. “Malice toward none,” Lincoln said. God said it slightly differently – vengeance is mine.
Anyone who speaks of punishing their political enemies in on the wrong side. It is clearly evil and we have a responsibility to say so.
America: it is now your time to rise up and boldly declare those same self-evident truths that changed the world, and demand that those truths remain the basis of our laws.
My civil rights will not be trampled, and I say this not for me but for my children, and all those who yearn to breathe free. Those who make your Apple products at Foxxcon, those who languish in prisons in Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela. Those homosexuals who are stoned to death in the streets of Egypt or Iran, while our so-called civil rights leaders hold coffee klatches with third graders in the White House.
We will stand not for our job, house or income, but we will stand for those immigrants who came here the right way, and not have their dreams destroyed by increasing competition at the lowest rung of the ladder while keeping the brightest and best minds out of the visa pool allowing for little competition at the top.
We will not pervert women’s rights and twist it into a gross silent defense of abortion doctors in Philly and Houston while turning our eyes from the forgotten women who have never had the civil right to walk alone on a street without a man, or to drive a car in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, and even those who now cower in fear with their faces covered in states like Florida, Virginia, New York and Minnesota.
We will not waste another second shadow boxing the demons of the past when the fight to end actual slavery is still happening today. Call it what you will, but those who make your iPad in China – those who make your cute little Mao purses – are the very people you claim to care so much about. They are the ones yearning to breathe free. And worse, there is the oldest form of human degradation man has ever known, the sex slave trade that currently has in its coils over 2 million children. The biggest source of this evil is a wide open hole in our Arizona border.
We beg the American people to wake up and help the 8-year-old children being sold into sex slavery. The press may say, ‘How dare these men declare themselves the next Martin Luther King or civil rights leaders?’
How blind to believe the civil rights movement ever ended. The civil rights movement never ends, and it never will. It has been marching since the beginning of time. Where Martin Luther King started is where Gandhi left off, and where he started, Abe Lincoln left off, and before that Whitfield all the way back to Moses. God has not moved. We have. But it is never too late. We are not at the mercy of these events. We can alter the course of history. We can stand against the dangerous arc of this story.
But we need people who are willing to speak truth.
The last century was a century of genocide. A century where collectivist, national socialist, and communist evil rose up again and again… swallowing up the lives of millions. It happens every time man says the collective is more important than the right of the individual. That one phrase becomes in the end – every time – a license to kill anyone deemed to be standing in the way of progress.
But evil met its match. Goodness eventually prevailed. People like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lech Walesa and Mother Theresa awoke the world. They gave their lives to the pursuit of human rights. They took the side of justice against injustice; they held aloft the torch of freedom to push out the darkness of hate. These men and women lived difficult lives. They often lived shortened lives. They were often born to relative privilege, but willing to take on suffering. They did want not to martyr themselves. They would have happily lived to the end of their natural lives in comfort… but to the righteous, there is no comfort when evil has taken root.
But the cause of human rights has been taken over by organizations who share little with the individuals who led the movement. Human rights was once a cry for justice. Now it used as a threat. These organizations have become bullies and grotesque parodies of the principles they pretend to represent. They criticize free nations and spare the unfree. They denounce nations like Israel and America, who have high standards for freedom, and leave alone nations that have no freedom at all. They are nearly comical in their double-standards.
They are no more than the enforcers or the attack dogs of those who wish to keep men confined in spaces they design. Whatever moral force they once had is spent. Their time is up. And so, we dismiss them. Today we take back the phrase “human rights” and place it where it belongs, as the first half of God’s plan for humanity. The second half is responsibility.
If we want to be endowed with rights – real human rights, we have to act with responsibility. We must not be comfortable with rights. We must be comfortable with responsibility.
Who will protect your rights better? A king, president or you?
Who will protect the truth? A reporter, a labor union or you?
Who will protect and teach your children to seek truth? A textbook committee, an education bureaucrat, or you?
Did a commission of wise men stop the Holocaust? Did a committee of Congress end Jim Crow?
No. In each case, the work was done by individuals who would not abide convenient lies.
They saw injustice and they called it out. They saw their nation wage war against a single group and they said “not in my name.” They didn’t wait for the conventions of society to catch up to God’s laws. They pushed. They pressed. And they were victorious.
Each of us have been waiting for a leader to rise from among us. And none have. How many have been called and refused to serve? How many must have failed to heed the call for the Lord to make it all the way down to us?
I pray now that those who have heard the call to rise up in the tradition of peaceful resistance do so now before, as it was with Bonhoeffer, it is too late. I beg those with eyes and ears to heed the call and begin to train under the exact system used by MLK. Search his words out. You will find that your history professors and civil rights activists left out the real author of the words of Gandhi, King and Bonhoeffer.
Read them, ponder them, and risk living them. Even though they will make you a target of the NSA, having your name on their list as an enemy may in the end be the way your name is forever etched in his book of life.
Pastors, priests and rabbis: I challenge you. What have you done with your knowledge and priesthood power that those without have not done this week? If you cannot answer that with power every day, what does that say about you?
Average citizens and college students: I challenge you. Martin Luther King didn’t take a class, get a certificate and a bunch of permits. He saw injustice, studied eternal truths, exercised discipline and marched.
If you don’t find a leader, perhaps it is because you were meant to lead.
Christians: I believe in the free market. If your preacher is too afraid to preach it from the pulpit, maybe you should preach it from the street corner. Many are called. Will you answer?
Our spiritual body is out of shape and we need intensive training right now.
Get back to God, and know that some things are true and worth believing in. The good guys do win in the end. Evil does not stand unless good men never rise up. The time is now and we are the people the world is waiting for. We must never stop being the shore that others can come to for shelter and hope.
But to do so we must realign ourselves with truth and rise up and stand. This is the vision. We must preach good tidings to the meek, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to those held captive. To declare vengeance belongs to God and God alone. We must give unto those who mourn — beauty for ashes and water the trees of righteousness. We shall not perish.
I can’t help that most of us don’t like to hear the truth, but hear it we must: George Washington told us religion and morality are the only stable and lasting basis of individual life and public policy. If we are to survive, they must be part of our public policy rather than driven from it.
It is no longer enough to just be a good person. We must work to be the next Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. It is noble to strive to be the size of the bronze giant they dedicated this morning in the building behind me. Fredrick Douglas’ time was in the 1800; King’s time has passed. This is our time. This is the next long march toward civil rights and we shall overcome.
Stand without fear, lock arms and stare down the bullies that wish to enslave mankind yet again.
Honor, courage and love are what is required, and they are contagious. Spread the word and proclaim liberty throughout the land.
“Let us, today, raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”
He was eight years old, sometime in the early 1800s, when he was sent as a slave to Baltimore to live with a ship carpenter named Mr. Hugh Auld. As Frederick Douglass wrote in his Narrative, “Going to live at Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway to all my subsequent prosperity.” But what happened in Baltimore that propelled Frederick so powerfully into “all” his future success? Well, soon after Frederick arrived at the Auld home, Mrs. Auld started teaching him the ABCs, after which he learned to spell small words. But, when Mr. Auld found out about this, he became angry and forbade Mrs. Auld from ever teaching him again, “…telling her, among other things that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe to teach a slave to read.” He went on to say, in front of young Frederick, “If you give a (n-word) an inch, he will take an ell. A (n-word) should know nothing but to obey his master–to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best (n-word) in the world…if you teach that (n-word) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy.”
These words changed Frederick forever. As he later wrote, “These words sank deep into my heart…I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty–to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man. It was a grand achievement, and I prized it highly. From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom.” Frederick learned that education and slavery are incompatible. So, “Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher,” he said, “I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read.”
But how did he learn to read with so much against him at such a young age (between eight and fifteen years old)? Well, as he later wrote, “The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers. With their kindly aid, obtained at different times and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read. When I was sent of errands, I always took my book with me, and by going one part of my errand quickly, I found time to get a lesson before my return. I used also to carry bread with me, enough of which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome; for I was much better off in this regard than many of the poor white children in our neighborhood. This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge.”
Then, as Frederick stated, “I wished to learn how to write, as I might have occasion to write my own pass,” from slavery to freedom. And this is how he learned to write (and may I remind you that he did this between the age of eight and fifteen): “The idea as to how I might learn to write was suggested to me by being in Durgin and Bailey’s ship-yard, and frequently seeing the ship carpenters, after hewing, and getting a piece of timber ready for use, write on the timber the name of that part of the ship for which it was intended. When a piece of timber was intended for the larboard side, it would be marked thus–“L.” When a piece was for the starboard side, it would be marked thus–“S.” A piece for the larboard side forward, would be marked thus–“L. F.” When a piece was for starboard side forward, it would be marked thus–“S. F.” For larboard aft, it would be marked thus–“L. A.” For starboard aft, it would be marked thus–“S. A.” I soon learned the names of these letters, and for what they were intended when placed upon a piece of timber in the ship-yard. I immediately commenced copying them, and in a short time was able to make the four letters named. After that, when I met with any boy who I knew could write, I would tell him I could write as well as he. The next word would be, “I don’t believe you. Let me see you try it.” I would then make the letters which I had been so fortunate as to learn, and ask him to beat that. In this way I got a good many lessons in writing, which it is quite possible I should never have gotten in any other way. During this time, my copy-book was the board fence, brick wall, and pavement; my pen and ink was a lump of chalk. With these, I learned mainly how to write. I then commenced and continued copying the Italics in Webster’s Spelling Book, until I could make them all without looking on the book. By this time, my little Master Thomas had gone to school, and learned how to write, and had written over a number of copy-books. These had been brought home, and shown to some of our near neighbors, and then laid aside. My mistress used to go to class meeting at the Wilk Street meetinghouse every Monday afternoon, and leave me to take care of the house. When left thus, I used to spend the time in writing in the spaces left in Master Thomas’s copy-book, copying what he had written. I continued to do this until I could write a hand very similar to that of Master Thomas. Thus, after a long, tedious effort for years, I finally succeeded in learning how to write.”
Of course, true to Mr. Auld prediction, Frederick became “somewhat unmanageable” as a slave as he grew in knowledge and understanding, because, again, as he had learned, “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” He also said, “I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.” He understood this from personal experience. For example, when he was eventually transferred to a new plantation, his new master “succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!” By his own admission, Frederick was beaten into a beast by whips and rods. His zeal and desire was ripped from him. At times, the numerous whelps on his back from the physical abuse would be the size of a man’s finger. Yet, he did not quit. Instead, in a sense, he resurrected from the dead and then set his gaze anew upon his “pursuit of happiness.” And soon after that he began teaching other slaves to read and write, which set ablaze the fire of freedom in others. (At one time, he had over 40 students.)
Ultimately, his passion for learning, which had liberated his mind, drove him to flee to the north for his freedom where he connected with the anti-slavery movement and soon became a renowned orator, writer, and editor.
In conclusion, as we consider Frederick Douglass’ life, as we ponder all he endured on his trek from slavery to freedom, what can we deduce? What lessons can we learn from his example? That learning is the way to freedom, that personal success is our personal responsibility, that when we “pick ourselves up by our boot-straps” we can create our own straps, and that self-determination and self-interest are powerful forces in the human spirit. When Frederick met hellish opposition, did he call the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), or the government for help? Did he allow institutional slavery and racism to keep him down? When he was beaten with rods and whips, did he relinquish himself to pity-parties or Affirmative Action? Education was Frederick’s ticket out of slavery because it gave him vision which led to incredible freedom and prosperity. He didn’t make excuses or blame others for his troubles. He didn’t wait for favorable circumstances. He didn’t hide behind victimhood or the race card, but used His God-given ingenuity, passion, and persistence to become the self-made man of merit he was born to be.
Note: All quotes were taken from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass.
Written by Joel M. Killion