As an American who understands the founding covenant we made with God over this land, I have always been proud of our history of liberty and freedom. From the first blog post I wrote in December of 2011, to this very day, I have always been proud of what this country stood for. I recognize our faults and sins, and I grieve over our history where we have strayed from the righteous path. But I know there is a spirit that exists in this nation that believes in the fundamental rights of men and women to forge their own destiny. That spirit of Liberty and Freedom comes from God, Himself, and no matter how hard the forces of darkness try to extinguish the flame of independence that ignites this country, it must never be stamped out.
This theme has long been interwoven into my blog, and since we find ourselves in the midst of this latest threat to our republic, I decided to take a look back at some of the more powerful convictions I have had on this subject. Here's just a few examples of what I've shared through the years...
November 21, 2012, quoting Congressman Ron Paul on Liberty and Freedom: "Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties. Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power." Congressman Paul also said this, "Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified." My current thoughts: I think we can all agree that free and fair elections also depend on virtuous and moral people. Now, here we are eight years later and we seem to have fallen to new levels of degeneration.
October 24, 2013, from a report by Texas-based Liberty Institute, entitled Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility To Religion in America: Your most basic rights are being gravely threatened. This threat is
coming in the form of a tidal wave of government-driven hostility to
religious liberty in America. Such hostility is a tsunami which—if it
reaches shore—will sweep away all your other liberties.
Why? The Declaration of Independence, the birth certificate of our nation, acknowledged that all our rights—such as the right to a fair trial and to elect our own government—are “endowed” by a “Creator.” They are therefore “unalienable” and not to be violated by government.
For that reason, the Founders called “free exercise” of religion, guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution, our “First Freedom.” They regarded the right of everyday people to express open allegiance to the Creator as a safeguard against government attacks on any rights given by that Creator.
But what if open and widespread expression of religious freedom—in government, schools, work- places, the military, public places, and more—is eliminated, driven into the shadows of society? What if religion becomes an opinion only to be expressed privately in your home or quietly in your church, if at all? What if religious liberty becomes a poor, subservient tenant of an arbitrary and imperious government landlord?
If that occurs, then government can erase any of your rights as it sees fit, since government, not the “Creator” cited by the Founders, will be regarded as the ultimate definer, giver or taker of all rights. My current thoughts: The evidence of religion [or faith] has been blatantly absent in the violence and hatred we have seen exhibited this last year, therefore it's not hard to imagine that the "free exercise" of it could soon be deemed as "counter-productive to the will of the people".
October 14, 2014, from an article I wrote on our Economic Freedoms: In case it has been a while since you had an accurate history lesson about our nation, let me remind you of what the Founders meant in the Declaration of Independence; that we "are all endowed by our Creator ... with Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Those three principles are the bedrock of America's development -- no matter how they have been maligned. The meanings of "Life" and "Liberty" haven't changed much in 230+ years. But it is important that we understand what was meant by "The Pursuit of Happiness". To early Americans this phrase was known to represent the individual right of every free citizen to own property and pursue a living. That was "Happiness", and Americans knew it was ours, by the grace of God ... But perhaps more than any other principle, it was the Rule of Law that the Colonists cherished the most. And the Cato Institute's 2014 Annual Report on The Index of Economic Freedoms sheds an unflattering light on just how much we have neglected that standard. Per the report, "Protection of persons and their rightfully acquired property is a central element of economic freedom and a civil society. Indeed, it is the most important function of government. The key ingredients of a legal system consistent with economic freedom are rule of law, security of property rights, an independent and unbiased judiciary, and impartial and effective enforcement of the law." My current thoughts: In six short years we have regressed to defunding the police, abandoning the concept of law and order, and are at the mercy of biased and partisan judges. How long will private property be allowed? God help us!
April 30, 2015, in an article I wrote, titled "There is no S in Freedom": A few days ago, a friend of mine, Scott, commented that he had enjoyed reading my book,
but he disagreed with me on one point. I said, "That's alright ... I'm
open to constructive criticism. What did I say that you disagree
He told me that he couldn't help but notice that I consistently wrote about defending my "freedoms", and he just needed to inform me that, in the true sense, "Freedom" had no "s" on the end of it. He went on to explain that this nation once had a wise President who said, "Freedom is indivisible - there is no 's' on the end of it. You can erode freedom, diminish it, but you cannot divide it and choose to keep 'some freedoms' while giving up others." I'm sure it comes as no surprise to many of you, that this sage advice came from our 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that both Scott and President Reagan were correct. If we see Freedom as a collection of "rights" or "privileges", then a duplicitous or oppressive government could convince the populace that by merely altering, or even abolishing, a single aspect of our liberty, we are still left with the concept of having Freedom. It shouldn't take one long to realize that over a period of time, or generations, much damage could be done by chipping away at our freedom. What was once our stronghold of personal independence and liberties could easily be whittled down to a house of straw; easily demolished by any despot or tyrant... The once lofty ideal of freedom that this country represented, and its leaders embodied, has been replaced by a belief system that champions money and power. America once recognized that their state of freedom was bestowed by God; but His Dominion and Sovereignty have been replaced by the Supremacy and Restraint of the State. So, the question becomes, "Does Freedom still reside in America?" I fear that it is taking its last breath, and unless God chooses to intervene, "the Land of the Free" will no longer exist. My current thoughts: Sadly, and regrettably, my opinion has not changed about the obstruction of the State when it comes to our freedom. God must intervene -- but I also know that millions of Christians have been awakened in the last six years to the need for intercessory prayer and that we must step into our power and authority as representatives of God's Kingdom on earth, We are resolute about defeating the kingdom of darkness, and I have much hope on that front!
August 19, 2015, quoting from a speech given in 1944 by Judge Learned Hand, of the U.S. Court of Appeals: "We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. … We sought liberty; freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it … What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest." My current thoughts: Sadly, we are over three-quarters of a century past the date of that speech, and I'm not sure that spirit of liberty lives in the hearts of our children and grandchildren. And the "greatest" among us have no interest in hearing from the "least".
July 4, 2014, from an article I wrote reflecting on the meaning of July 4th: "What did our Founding Fathers mean when they claimed that "all men are created equal ... and endowed with certain unalienable rights?... It seems to me that Government is increasingly deciding which rights
people and groups are "endowed" with. And if they are the "giver", then
they reason that they can also take those rights away. Hence, our
property rights are no longer sacred nor protected. In fact, the
"natural" rights that our Founding Fathers so authoritatively manifested
have been redefined as government-guaranteed economic opportunity and
security.... I truly believe that the group of men who convened in July of 1776, were
Divinely-inspired. For the first time in history, the idea was born
that men could be free of the restraints that repressed them. But the
Founding Fathers understood that men were not perfectly good so they
needed to form some sort of government to secure their natural rights.
But just as important, they needed a government constrained by the
consent of the people. James Madison expressed it eloquently: "If men
were angels, no government would be necessary."
But they also new that this never-before-tried form of government would be fragile and subject to corruption. That's why, at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when asked if the Founders had crafted a Monarchy or a Republic, Benjamin Franklin replied, "A republic. If you can keep it." And my, how difficult it has been to keep it! Down through the nearly two-and-a-half centuries this country has existed, malevolent forces have battered our walls of freedom. The Republic has managed to survive threats from Communism, Socialism and Progressivism; although all have managed to erode the original vision of those inspired men.
If you can keep it .... Did they know we would let it slip away? But could they also conceive that there would be those of us who would recognize that what they accomplished was worthy of fighting for; and that their vision would still burn in the hearts of patriotic souls? I think Franklin's reply was a subtle warning ... our freedom was not, and is not, guaranteed. The Founders knew that men and governments would endeavor to increase their power and control at the expense of our individual freedom because freedom is not the natural state of the world.... But, if, as I suspect, the "Spirit of '76" still exists in our DNA, then I set my sights on the day that we can once again proclaim, as did Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago today, "It is most evident that this land is under the protection of the Almighty, and that we shall be saved not by our wisdom nor by our might, but by the Lord of Hosts Who is wonderful in counsel and Almighty in all His operations." Amen! My current thoughts: Our Republic has never been more fragile. The threats of Communism, Socialism, and Marxism have increased -- even to their presence in the body of Congress! But I know there are millions more like me; people who honor and cherish the legacy of those brave souls who stood up to the mighty Empire of Great Britain and clung to the idea that God had given them the right to possess individual freedom. I declare that the "Spirit" of 1776 is the same Spirit of God that is intervening on our behalf, these now 244 years later. I know He has not given up on this nation, and we have not lost faith in Him to answer our prayers as we storm Heaven to help us keep the Republic. I still believe this land is under the protection of the Almighty and we definitely won't be saved by our wisdom, but by God Himself! We have not lost yet!
Finally, from February 9, 2013 and January 30, 2015, from articles I wrote on my favorite Founding Father, Samuel Adams: History has always been fascinated with the part Adams played in securing our Liberty. During the 19th Century, when America still clung to her patriotic principles, and valued an individual's liberty and right to succeed, Samuel Adams was recognized as a hero of the Revolution. But the 20th Century saw the genesis of Socialism and Progressivism take root in our political consciousness, and Sam Adams gained a negative reputation. His brilliant essays were viewed as propaganda, and he was painted as an avid promoter of revolution who incited mob violence to push his political agenda.... But whichever version of Samuel Adams you choose to embrace, no one can dispute that he played one of the most important roles in the founding of this nation. He believed in a "republican" form of government, which advocated that power should be held by the people and their elected representatives, rather than a monarch or dictator. His writings also show that he believed that force against the government of a nation was only justified when the constitutional rights of the people were threatened, and were so grave that the "body of the people" recognized the danger, and only after "all peaceful means of redress had failed." Revolution was his last choice. But shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence, he delivered these words in a speech at the State House in Philadelphia:
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude [better] than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
Here are more of his quotes: Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our Liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom. It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our mind, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.
It does not take a majority to prevail; but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.
The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are
worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against
all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy
ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense
of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the
present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to
be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out
of them by the artifices of designing men. My current thoughts: Sounds like he could be writing about what we are experiencing today, doesn't it? Read his words again and ask yourself these questions: Do I have the fire in my belly that our brave Founders possessed to stand for our God-given rights? In the face of the obvious attempt to transform this nation, am I willing to trust that my liberties and freedom will remain intact? What would Sam Adams say to us today, and are we willing to follow in his footsteps?
These excerpts from my writings, and the writings of Samuel Adams, all point to our current situation. Our Liberty and Freedom should never be taken for granted. They are gifts from our Creator and precious possessions of moral and virtuous men and women. We are blessed to be Americans; a nation borne out of covenant for the Glory of God, and formed into a "civil body politic for the better ordering and preservation of the general good of the colony [nation]", which they promised with "all due submission and obedience". But we are on the verge of allowing these precious gifts to be wrested from us. So, as we approach this Veterans Day, we owe a debt of gratitude to our ancestors who fought at Concord and Lexington; Appomattox and Gettysburg; who died on the shores of Normandy and in the fields of Europe; who died in the rice paddies of VietNam; and who sacrificed their lives in the mountains of Afghanistan and the regions of Iraq. We are obligated to keep the Liberty and Freedom they fought and died for, so that it can be passed down to the next generations. And we owe it to them all to preserve the fullness of what was established at our founding; not a diluted or weakened version. Now, is the time for us to align with the Spirit of 1776 or the warning by Ben Franklin, which echoes down through the centuries will become our reality, and we will surely lose the Republic. May God forbid it!
Job 8:8-10 For inquire, please, of bygone
ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out. For we are but of
yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow. Will
they not teach you and tell you and utter words out of their