September 11, 2001, plus 16
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
Sam Adams on Natural Law
“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
Choose your rendezvous with destiny
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.
The fort & Garrison with Colo. Johnston are ours—Our1 Officers & men behaved like men who are determined to be free.2 Yours Most Sincerely
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
When Taking a Stand Hurts Others
Michael Farris, Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of HSLDA recently posted a sentiment to his Facebook page, that no doubt rings true for millions of Americans:
I hope to move on to other issues soon but the future of our country is at stake and I am compelled in my spirit to speak out about the presidential race.
I have staked out a position for nearly 40 years with two key ideas. Character matters. Constitutional principles matter.
If people like me support Donald Trump then we forfeit the right to ever again claim to speak for these ideas.
Supporting Trump means that being a Republican is more important than a Christian worldview on character and a constitutional worldview on government.
If I forfeit my convictions then I am no longer the person I have claimed to be.
A presidential election is very important. But it is not sufficiently important to forfeit our ability to speak the truth about character and conviction.
Here I stand. I can do no other.
I don’t need to tell you the kind of heated blow-back taking this kind of stand creates. You’ve no doubt seen it across social media.
The bile, doom-and-gloom, apocalyptic rhetoric can be boiled down to some basics:
- A vote for anyone other than Trump, means Hillary in the White House.
- If you don’t cave to your idiot religious convictions and vote for Trump, then Hillary will get in and THEN your religious liberties will be TOTALLY gone. (Can you feel the irony there?)
- If you don’t cave on your convictions… then ALL OF AMERICA will be hurt. (Translation: “Life will suck for me, so get off your religious high horse and do what I tell you to do. *sniff* I’m scared.”)
- Etc., etc., etc.
Taking a principled stand is tough.
Why yes… yes it is! Forgoing expedience and taking a stand for something because it’s right, sometimes can get you hurt. Allowing a culture to destroy itself by not going along with the culture that’s destroying itself, ultimately hurts the culture. Then they blame their problems on the principled ones… so they hurt them. It’s history. It always happens. Get used to it.
In case you haven’t noticed, our culture has already started circling the toilet bowl. As we all swirl into the vortex together, people without conviction (let alone an oar to help paddle out of this mess) will be honestly perplexed! Why would someone take a stand on an issue that could not only get themselves hurt, but the rest of America too?
“We’re all in the crapper together… without a paddle! What are you doing with a paddle? Don’t you see that the rest of us have democratically voted to not use paddles? Quit paddling! You’ll get us all hurt!”
Let’s face it, the “hurting others” thing is why Trump supporters are most worried. See, Trump supporters are more worried about themselves than those who might be making the hardest principled stand of their lives.
“Sure Trump is a dirt bag. Everyone knows that. BUT if you don’t vote for Trump then America will go to hell–and take me with it.”
Well maybe you should have thought about that during the primaries, and voted for the person who had at LEAST a little more integrity and class than the Orange Man. I assure you… they were (and still are) out there.
Look around you Trumpers. Democratic Socialists, Liberals and Progressives are voting for Socialism and Vice, Treason and Tyranny. The Republican GOP, RINOs and (establishment) Progressives are voting for a Strongman King. And the Constitutionalists? They vote for anyone who will admit they have a clue what the Constitution stands for. And you say THEY are ruining the country? Surely… you jest.
All of America is marching away from something we used to call a Republic, and heading directly towards something they’ve heard, called ‘democracy’. The only people standing in their way, are those principled patriots. If they would only cave on those stupid principles, then we’d all be saved.
Frankly, if history holds any clues to our future, then no matter who ends up in the White House, those of us who stood our ground will be the first to feel the pain. Both the Trumpers and the Socialists will see to that.
Stand by your convictions, ladies and gentlemen. They’re all you’ve got that has any meaning in this world. Make the things on which you stand, worth your Life, your Fortune, and Your Sacred Honor. Our Founding Fathers did, and we still remember them today. History’s dust bin is full of those who chose expedience over principles.
BbBennett – IWS
But If Not…You, Then Who?
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.
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.
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.
You can listen to the audio on YouTube, here: http://youtu.be/pOjpaIO2seY
Or you can find the MP3 recording here.
Quoting Truth to Power
“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.)
Quoting Thomas Jefferson
“Let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”