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Freedom Requires Vigilance

July 11, 2016

A few days ago, we celebrated an American Birthday with family gatherings, barbeques, fireworks, and parades. The remarkable acts approved by Congress and dated on July 4th, Lincoln said, “brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Of the remarkable and untitled document (later titled the “Declaration of Independence”), Jefferson remarked that it contained no new principles, but rather a compilation of “ancient principles” successfully used by ancient Israel during the period of the Judges and “strangely” also existed among the Anglo-Saxons.

In penning the first two paragraphs, Jefferson included eight fundamental principles:
- honest government must come from self-evident truths;
- the equal station of mankind comes as an inheritance from God;
- all of us were made equal in rights and privileges before the Creator;
- the natural rights from heaven are unalienable and cannot be taken without being accountable before God;
- he listed the most important rights, the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness in any path except one that invades on the unalienable rights of another;
- governments responsibly is to protect these rights;
- government exist by the consent of the people; and finally
- the people have powers to regain control of a wayward government in particular when it begins to “violate” these rights.

The Declaration began a process of governmental change which ended in the signing of the Constitution a decade later.

From a recent editorial, “The story goes that as Franklin exited Independence Hall, a group of citizens rushed to him and one asked, “What have you given us — a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”” “If we shall keep it” reminds of the difficult task we undertook with this grand experiment.

Fortunately, we have not been left without sound advice.

John Adams spoke, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin remained us, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Of the importance of religion and morality, George Washington argued, “Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.

Thomas Jefferson also warned. “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work, and give to those who are not.” “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

Our founding fathers believed that exceptional people, working together in freedom can achieve exceptional results. Many of those in leadership in Washington D.C. these days don’t believe in exceptionalism or freedom. Their paradigm is to control people’s behavior through big and intrusive government.

Mark, John and Bill

 



 


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