Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19th, 1775 and True Patriotism

April 19, 1775, marks the beginning of the American War for Independence. Valiant men and women stood together in the face of tyrants seeking to confiscate their firearms. Many of the stories of the individuals joining the fray are truly endearing.

"British Marine Maj. Pitcairn ordered them,” Lay down your arms, ye rebels, and disperse!”

The militiamen began to disperse (but not disarm), when a shot was fired. Without orders fro their officers, the British troops fired into the militiamen. A few militiamen returned fire. Afterwards, 8 Americans were dead and 10 more wounded. One British soldier and one horse had been wounded. The British officers regained control of their troops and reformed ranks. They fired a victory volley and resumed their march to Concord.

At Concord, hundreds of militiamen were gathering in response to the alarm raised by Revere and the other post riders, assembled on Punkatasset Hill overlooking the town. The Rev. Wm. Emerson instructed the militia “Let us stand our ground. If we die, let us die here.”"
(From the RWVA page)

In that time dwellers in Massachusetts refused to be disarmed, today it is illegal for you to carry or have a firearm in Massachusetts without a lock on your gun. Today, most preachers would not join with Rev. Emerson but would rather start yelling something along these lines, "Romans 13! Submit! Romans 13! Turn in your guns! Romans 13!"

To give a taste of much of the intellectual mood of the times I quote from Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty!" speech, as most of the speech is unfortunately unknown apart from the last line.

"If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending -- if 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 the 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 inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but 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!"

Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right."

"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice."
-Thomas Paine

Well would we do to heed the maxims of Henry and Paine, these were men who swam upstream and that is why they are still read. These men are examples of what real patriots look like, real patriots are not flag wavers and sycophants for the current regime. In our modern context a real patriot opposes the "Patriot Act" a real lover of freedom rejects "Operation Iraqi Freedom" or any other Orwellian contortion the state invents to put a nice frosting on their cake of lies.

Today, modern "Tea Party" goers support the centralized state, the problem for them by and large is that Barak Obama doesn't have an (R) next to his name. The problem isn't statism in general but Democratic statism. Just like how those on the left suddenly are fine with torture and wars of aggression as the problem wasn't the principle of just war but that the commander in chief heading the wars of aggression and torture camps didn't have a (D) next to his name. How few true patriots there are today, God raise up more men and women of Henry's caliber.

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