Patrick Henry Freedom

Our Founders took freedom very seriously - so seriously they were even willing to risk death for it. And risk it they did - many of them literally lost their lives, if not their fortunes, in pushing back against the tyranny of King George. We take those freedoms for granted and don't realize the blood they bled, the tears they shed, and the risks they took to hand down to us a free country.

When you hear those of us sounding an alarm about the freedoms we are (supposedly temporarily) losing because of the current COVID-19 scare, there's a reason. It's not that we don't value life. It's that we value life so much we don't want it chained up by tyranny. The freedoms we lose now may never be regained without another bloody war.

Just a quick reminder from history: Here is part of Patrick Henry's great speech in 1775 as the War for Independence was beginning and Virginia was debating her role in it. He points out that we don't need to worry about being vulnerable because we can ask for God's help. We must act now - if we continually put off our resistance, we will wind up chained and unable resist any more.

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"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. The 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!"

Comments   

0 #1 W.H. Lamb 2020-04-07 13:43
An excellent article, Heather. Sadly, for too many of today's Americans, "chains" seem to be preferred over freedom.

W. H. Lamb

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