The words of Ron Paul, September 12, 2001
Yesterday, Americans were awakened to find ourselves in a war, attacked by barbarians who targeted innocent civilians. This despicable act reveals how deep-seated is the hatred that has driven this war.
Though many Americans have just become aware of how deeply we are involved in this war, it has been going on for decades. We are obviously seen by the terrorists as an enemy.
In war, there is no more reprehensible act than for combatants to slaughter innocent civilian bystanders. This is what happened yesterday.
If there is such a thing, a moral war is one that is only pursued in self-defense. Those who initiate aggression against others for the purpose of occupation or merely to invoke death and destruction are unforgivable and serve only to spread wanton killing.
In our grief, we must remember our responsibilities. The Congress’ foremost obligation in a constitutional republic is to preserve freedom and provide for national security. Yesterday our efforts to protect our homeland came up short. Our policies that led to that shortcoming must be reevaluated and changed if found to be deficient.
When we retaliate for this horror we have suffered, we must be certain that only the guilty be punished. More killing of innocent civilians will only serve to flame the fires of war and further jeopardize our security. Congress should consider its constitutional authority to grant letters of marque and reprisal to meet our responsibility.
Demanding domestic security in times of war invites carelessness in preserving civil liberties and the right of privacy. Frequently the people are only too anxious for their freedoms to be sacrificed on the altar of authoritarianism thought to be necessary to remain safe and secure. Nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willingly give up some of our cherished liberties while defending ourselves from their threat.
It is our job to wisely choose our policies and work hard to understand the root causes of the war in which we find ourselves.
We must all pray for peace and ask for God’s guidance for our President, our congressional leaders, and all America- and for the wisdom and determination required to resolve this devastating crisis. – Ron Paul, September 12, 2001
Are you living every day like it’s September 12th?
Every individual who takes these words to heart, understands them, and determines to live by them (as one who is determined to live free) is my brother or sister in Liberty.
What can we do? That’s not the proper question.
The proper question is:
What can I do?
The least I can do is remember what I was like, September 12th, 16 years ago. I need to talk to people and act like I did 16 years ago. I need to think what it means for me to personally Honor and live by the pledge our Republic’s Founders made when they took a stand for Life and Liberty:
“…with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The most I can do is to take a stand for liberty, no matter how small, whenever I can and wherever I am.
I am going to do these things. What about you?
When ALL individuals determine in their hearts to make these personal commitments, then and only then, will our families, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, and nation begin to change for the better…
From my heart … your heart … OUR hearts outward.
Benjamin Bennett – IWS
“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”
— Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772
No One saved a life, without first acknowledging (consciously or unconsciously) that they were willing to forfeit their own lives for the sake of another.
No One created a substantial fortune, without first risking, and in many cases, sacrificing all of it. And as hard as it is to fathom, most fortunes are made in the service of others; providing goods and services to those who might not be able to provide that product or service for themselves.
No One has gained true honor, without first exhibiting great humility. If you do not know what it is like to be the lowest of the low, while still humbly serving and honoring others, including those in authority over you, then you will never know the great responsibility carried by those who are worthy of true honor.
None of these virtues can be bought.
None of these values can be given.
ALL of these values must be earned by putting them into practice now… for the benefit of our posterity.
The Founders knew what was at stake when they signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: They knew they were going to sacrifice their Lives, their Fortunes, their Sacred Honor. They didn’t sacrifice everything for their own benefit. Nothing they did was for themselves….
They sacrificed everything for us… for NOW.
For now. We are their posterity.
While you’re pondering that idea, think about how we as a nation, are showing our appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who gave it all so that you and I can live free.
How are we vigilantly guarding, protecting and honoring our freedoms and liberties? Are you willing to sacrifice your life, fortune and sacred honor for future generations you will never know? What will you do? Where will you stand in your lifetime, that will give future generations pause to remember and honor… you?
The Founders sacrificed everything… for an IDEA.
Everything was on the line.
They did what they did… for Us.
Where would YOU have stood if you were them? Where do you stand now? What will the generations that come say about you, after you are dead and gone?
Will they say anything at all?
Or will they share the sentiment of Sam Adams?
If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
~ Samuel Adams
Martin Luther wasn’t trying to be a great leader or famous or even influential. He just had something to say, that needed to be said.
So he said it.
Martin Luther TOOK A STAND; not by doing something heroic, but rather because he simply had something important to say. He probably thought what he was doing was no big deal and wouldn’t amount to anything. He committed thought to action. After that… God did the rest. And history was changed.
Martin Luther was no hero. He was a regular guy, for a theologian. And like all normal guys who end up becoming entrenched in history, I like to believe that he didn’t have a clue that by thumbtacking his thesis to a wall for others to read (this was how one posted their ideas before Facebook came along) he was going to change the course of religious and Western culture forever.
The unspoken truth
Every great leader or hero never thought what they were doing was great, or heroic. (Just try to tell a veteran what a special hero he is/was.)
But all people who history eventually looks back on usually share one trait: they all took a leap of faith and did something right because it was the right thing to do; not because what they did was going to make them famous, or heroic or powerful. Humility seems to be the birthplace of those whom history remembers. History.com illustrates this phenomenon by repeating a well-worn myth about how Luther’s “95 Theses” came to be:
Legend says Martin Luther was inspired to launch the Protestant Reformation while seated comfortably on the chamber pot. That cannot be confirmed, but in 2004 archeologists discovered Luther’s lavatory, which was remarkably modern for its day, featuring a heated-floor system and a primitive drain.
Whatever the origin, it’s hard to deny that many of the great heroes and influential people throughout world history started out humbly saying, “I Will Stand…” then they did it. History takes over from there.
More on Martin Luther at History.com
When hasn’t tyranny during the the worst of times, brought out the best among men of honor?
The question is: When our country appears to be at its darkest, will you stand with patriots and be the the beacon that leads to liberty? Upon what authority will you cling, for principles that have stood the test of time?
Will you be a part of a ‘French’ revolution or an ‘American Revolution?’ Are you wise enough to know the difference?
The Heart of the Matter
IWS Journal 2014 to 2016
[Oct. 2014] Getting to the heart of the matter requires examining the matters of the heart. Too many people are afraid of what they know they will find; so they don’t go looking. They won’t even look at their own reflection in the mirror.
This is why inaction and the unwillingness to take a stand are the only actions those without foundational principles can take.
[Oct. 2016] I am weary of debating with my friends and not-so-much friends, about who America will decide gets to occupy the White House on Nov. 8.
I am more interested in who you and I will be and where we will stand on 11-9.
The “we the people” who decide the fate of our Republic in a couple of weeks are not thinking like you and me, the individual. Perhaps you have noticed.
The fate of your family, neighborhood and community will be determined by who WE are and where WE stand, on 11-9 and beyond. The principles and values that we are willing to pledge our lives, fortunes and honor to defend, are the only ideas worth debating at this point.
God bless us all as the season of testing approaches.
The founders pledged their lives, fortunes and honor for an idea… THE Idea. Not a government. Never a person.
I WILL STAND… Alone if God wills. I will rely on divine providence. Will others stand with me? God knows. Only YOU know. If you can look in the mirror and make a covenant between you and God, to defend the IDEA that is America… Then we are brothers. Compatriots.
For those who still believe that “we” need to do something and “someone” needs to organize… may your chains be light on you as you go on your way.
Change begins in the heart. Change never comes from the ‘we’ … Change begins with “I Will.” Change becomes real with “I Will Stand.”
Have a grand Independence Day!
Now that we are thinking (a little) about the ideas of independence, freedom, liberty and the founding principles that made America the greatest nation in the world, this is probably a good time to choose whether you will live like a person determined to be free… or not.
These aren’t shallow words, but what do they mean? They were written by Brigadier General Anthony Wayne in a short letter to George Washington after they won an important victory at Stony Point. Wayne was wounded by a bullet in his head. It was said he had to write this letter to Washington before he would let them take the bullet out of his head. The letter read:
Stoney Point [N.Y.]
16th July 1779 2 OClock a.m.
Are you living like a person determined to be free?
Are Americans living like a people determined to be free?
How are we going to get this feeling back? Fireworks and cookouts certainly aren’t doing the trick.
I’m convinced that the only way to return to the kind of American exceptionalism that founded this nation, is to encourage you, to look in the mirror and say… to believe… “I want to live like a person determined to be free.” Then you convince the next person, then another.
“You and I have the courage to say there is a price we will not pay. There is a point beyond which they must not advance… you and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope on earth.”
~ Ronald Reagan
History is made when one person, does a humble act, then others follow. There will never be a great leader of nations from the start. Don’t wait for others to lead. Don’t ask whether others will stand on the principles our Founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to uphold and defend.
Do look in the mirror and pledge to yourself, your family and to future generations:
“I Will Stand.”
“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
“We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
~ Samuel Adams
Sources: glennbeck.com – founders.archives.gov