I can’t think of anything more to add to this. Dr. King really just said it all. It’s worth listening to the entire sermon where the quote below was taken. Links follow.
“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.”
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid.
“You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand.
“Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety.
“And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
“You died when you refused to stand up for right.
“You died when you refused to stand up for truth.
“You died when you refused to stand up for justice.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From the sermon “But, If Not” delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on November 5, 1967.
There are two ways to approach something that could very well spell the difference between serious usurpations of liberty and… well, not. One way to approach impending loss of liberty is to get all serious and yell and scream. Result, “conspiracy freak” label.
Approach two: Humor.
I choose door number two. May I introduce my new FaceBook profile picture.
Now would be a good time to see who comments on it favorably or not.
Feel free to use this if you like… or come up with your own. Comment and link here if you want. We’ll make a gallery.
GOD BLESS THE FAMILIES OF THOSE INJURED AND KILLED IN THE STAGE COLLAPSE INDIANA STATE FAIR. AND GOD BLESS THOSE CAME TO THEIR AID.
I go back to this scene from Evan Almighty all the time.
I went back to it again, with the tragic event at the Indiana State Fair this past weekend.
We are once again confronted with the question: “If God is so great, why does He let people get hurt, killed? Shouldn’t He make life wonderful for us and protect us?”
The answer to this question is deceptively simple. (Like many of God’s concepts, simplicity causes those who believe themselves wise to be confounded.)
To answer this question, one need only look at how you, as a loving father (or parent) show love to YOUR children. Do you hover over them and protect them from every possible inconvenience that might befall them? Or do you love them so much, that you will allow them to make their own mistakes, sometimes IN SPITE OF THE FACT YOU TOLD THEM “DON’T TOUCH THAT! IT’S HOT!” not two seconds earlier?
Does your heart ache every time your children lash out and say things like, “I hate you!” — even though down deep you believe (hope) they don’t mean it? Is it possible God feels the same things when you curse him for every bad thing YOU think shouldn’t be bad?
Instead of blaming God for tragic human events, or even for man-made tragic human events, pain, suffering, war, etc., maybe we should take a moment and wonder to ourselves: “Could this be the opportunity I have been praying for? Could this be the ‘opportunity to learn patience, be courageous, love my family, take a stand, that I have been praying for?”
And if that still, small voice in your heart answers yes (or even maybe) then NOW is the time to act. Don’t worry what others think. Don’t worry what others believe.
I believe God gave HUNDREDS of people in Indianapolis an opportunity to think beyond themselves for a moment, and risk their safety, comfort, even their lives in order to save or serve another person.
Want proof? Are you amazed, proud, choked up, humbled, whenever you see those pictures of hundreds of arms reaching up to lift the tons of rigging off the stage? Do you want to cry, you’re so proud of our fellow Hoosiers? You KNOW INSTINCTIVELY that God uses opportunities like this to bless the caregivers and those in need, all at once. YOU KNOW IT! Even if you don’t believe in God… you know it.
God is answering our prayers every single day; patiently waiting for us to hear, understand His reasons and act — to see the wisdom in the way He chooses to show us how to glorify Him and serve others.
It will take three words to put His will for you into action: “I Will Stand.”
Yes… It’s just that simple.
I believe that the real revolution to re-found America will begin, not with violence, but with thousands — perhaps millions — of people taking a stand for principles, values and the Constitutional rule of law. How will they take a stand? Call me a loon, but I believe it will be LITERALLY. People standing. Everywhere. Many praying for sure, but not all. Some of them will be simply standing up to the evil that is tyranny and collectivism wherever it rears its head. There will be video, there will be sound, and there will be lots of opportunities to see angry people, mostly politicians, yelling at quiet, prayerful individuals, who have finally decided to stand up and be counted. Quietly.
This “imagery” (I’m not sure what to call it myself) came to me over a year ago, probably around January of 2009. I’ve been mulling over it ever since.Vision? Prophesy? Don’t know. But I do know… something like this is going to happen all across the country, in many, many ways and under varying conditions. Think Tienanmen Square only on the internet. Viral.
What Do Millions of Americans Taking a Stand Look/Sound Like?
No wild signs. No screaming. No chanting. Imagine thousands and thousands of average Americans, gathering for one reason — to take a stand on the principles, the ideas the bedrock foundational purpose of the original document that founded this country. Maybe they’ll start to look like Katy Abrams.:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Thousands of people — some at local school board meetings, some at the White House, some at local government meetings, some just gathering together to pray or to discuss what real freedom and liberty looks like; what it feels like — just standing up, letting people know where they stand on these foundational principles and issues, and telling their neighbors.
Here’s what’s going to happen (I believe): Tens of Thousands of people will simply decide to just stand up for the Constitution… as individuals! Groups with names and leaders? There will be several, but one unified group, like the Tea Party Movement won’t work. It will be one of many… all with the same overall goal: The Resetting of America. Signs and slogans, charismatic leaders and big names will do nothing but give the Quisling Media Complex something with which to make fun of and marginalize. But thousands or even millions of Americans that are acting independently on the local level and semi-corporately on the national level? The media and the political elites won’t know what to do?
Find out where your neighbors stand on that old piece of paper called the Constitution. Talk A LOT with people about where they stand. What are their principles and values? They all don’t have to be exactly like yours, but wouldn’t it be nice to know if your neighbor believes people who think like you should be put in jail? To me, that’s good info to know.
Go to public meetings. If public representatives begin acting like they are powerless to represent you because there are those higher up that make the rules… remind them that WE THE PEOPLE make the rules, and according to the Constitution, all powers not expressly allowed to the Federal government are given to the states and the people. END OF STORY.
STAND ON IT! Don’t take crap for answers. Stand there quietly and wait for an answer that makes sense. When the police lead you away for … for what? … disrupting a public meeting? How? — You will have taken the high (and non violent) road, and your political foes will look like fools.
What’s the plus side of getting carried out of a public meeting for standing there? Others might come out with you and you can all discuss what the Constitution means. You’ll make new friends because you’ll know that THEY also believe in the truth and power endemic in our Founding Documents.
Who Loses Here?
Progressive, Type-A, Community Organizing (of the proletariat) Control Freaks will, of course, be outraged and shocked! They will look for names to call you. There will be none. They will look for leaders to snoop on and crucify in the media. They will find none. They will take quotes (of our Founding Fathers) out of context and try to prove that all of those Americans out there, standing up for the Constitution are racists and even terrorists.
This is why a peaceful revolution must be carried out by simply standing up for what we know is right. Standing up for what we know has worked for centuries.
So what happens when this “vision” happens in real life, and thousands of people are in the streets, simply gathering, talking about the Constitution and some just praying together at various locations across the country?
That’s probably with the violence will start.
We (those who are beginning to participate on the myriad number of patriot-themed networking sites) are starting to read the occasional call for some kind of ‘revolution’ to begin. I can’t emphasize enough, that for everyone concerned about the liberties and freedoms this country has stood for over the centuries, a violent revolution MUST NOT HAPPEN. (Not that we could do anything about it if it did start, but it must not start as a result of a patriot and lover of liberty making the first move.)
The answer, I believe, is in millions of people, taking INDEPENDENT action by standing up for whatever is right, wherever they are, and being vocal (but not violent) about it. Get to know your neighbors. Find out where they stand on things. IF they don’t agree with you on some very important principles, make a note to not rely on them in an emergency or in a time of crisis… whatever that might be. The neighbors you DO agree with, start going to public meetings together, hold ad hoc public gatherings just to talk about local politics. DO THINGS AND TALK WITH THE PEOPLE WHO SHARE YOUR PRINCIPLES AND VALUES. GROW FROM THERE.
If you network with five of your neighbors, and they network with five more and so on, then when tyrannical laws DO go into effect, there will be more people predisposed to NOT COMPLY than who do. (You will also know which neighbors to avoid telling that you’re not complying with the regime.) And you’ll know this because you’ve actually networked with real, local people, not 1,000 virtual people who contributed to a FaceBook page from all over the country.
YOU can ONLY make a difference if YOU encourage people to make real life contact with like-minded individuals, and then encourage all THOSE individuals to take a stand on the singular, foundational principles and values that drive the issues of the day. Defend liberty by promising yourself, then your neighbors that you will take a stand. Convince them to take a stand with you, then do it again, and again.
This, my friends, is what a peaceful revolution will look like.
Ignoring the state, in other words, standing up for yourself and doing without government intrusion in every aspect of your life, is something that Tolstoy dealt with a long, long, time ago.
Check out Tolstoy’s Letter to Liberals where he answers the question: What then to do?
I posted this to my SkippingSchool.us site to illustrate how people might skip government schooling and reclaim their lives, but it applies to all things, including the health-care debate.
Individuals… taking individual stands on small, local issues. Finding people who agree with you, one person at a time, and discussing “what if” situations. This is what we need.
Joining groups, plotzing ideas on hardly visited sites, blogs and social networks and even writing our representatives will never work as effectively as finally getting up the nerve to venture out in the non-virtual world, meeting and getting to know five of your neighbors.
If/when something drastic happens, and the internet is shut down, and the riots begin and martial law is considered… what are you and your family going to do? Do you have a plan? Do you know your neighbors? Are they friends or foes?
If you live in the country, do you know that your neighbors hold similar beliefs and ideas to you, or are they going to turn you in because they know you have guns in the house and call yourself a patriot? (You see… this puts you on the Domestic Terrorist list and if your neighbor is a member of the new ACORN national defense corpse… they have no choice but to report you.)
And if you live in the city…. God bless you. You’re on your own not matter what I say here.
But what if you KNOW FOR A FACT that five of your neighbors are on the same page as you? What if you KNOW that you are all looking out for each other? Not just home defense… but cooperative survival. What if each of those five neighbors, knows five other neighbors? And so on.
America is coming to a point where one national disaster will tear us at the seams. So many people today are addicted to the virtual friend world and absolutely ignorant of their physical reality. The advantage will go to those who are grounded in reality, not in virtual relationships and networks.
The advantage will go to those who know who among them are friends and foes.
And NO ONE will know anything, until he or she, as an individual, takes a stand… and — hopefully — someone else will stand with them. And then another, and another….
“It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights; that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obligated to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go…In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
(“The Kentucky Resolution of 1798,” Annals of America, 4:65-66; emphasis added.)