The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.

LEXINGTON & CONCORD the Revolution Begins April 19, 1775

Two hundred and forty-four years ago today, a few men, mostly farmers but all patriots who believed strongly in the right to self-government, risked everything they had, their homes, their families, their lives to take a stand against what they believed to be British tyranny. It was on the night of the 18th of April 1775 when Paul Revere and many other riders quickly spread the word British troops were on their way to confiscate the weapons and ammunition of the colonies held at Concord Massachusetts.

The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.

It was those early days when patriotic men and families rose to the call of freedom, and for 13 years they fought and died for that freedom, which so stirred in the hearts of the nation’s founders to hold in high regard the right of a free people to keep and bear arms. Second only to the right to speak freely; the founders knew, as Jefferson so plainly stated, human nature is capable of tyranny and even within such a republic as our United States, tyrants may seek the control of the people.

The only way the tyrants gain such control is for the people to give it to them. One certain way is to allow those who would control a free people to take away the right to keep and bear arms and to form a well-regulated militia. States rights check federal rights when it comes to such issues; which is why each governor is equipped with the power to control his or her state’s national guard. Someday the tyrants may come again for the cache of guns and ammunition, though this time not at an armory in Concord, Massachusetts but in the individual homes of citizens. They will seek ways to rob the patriots of their Constitutional right. Those same patriots, who, if they are truly the lovers of freedom they confess to be,will stand firm and yield not to tyranny but allow the tree of liberty to be refreshed once again.

Let it not be said I am extolling rebellion for rebellion’s sake. The men and women of 1775 colonial America agonized over the need to repress the British control. The status quo can be oh so comfortable. Never should such action be taken without imploring the God of the Universe to act to protect the people from those who would enslave them. Divine intervention has steered history since the dawn of time and will continue to do so. Free men must act, however, as their hearts call them to act; prayerfully seeking divine wisdom and guidance.

Throughout the centuries since Lexington and Concord, tyrannies the world over have come to power by first taking the ability of citizens to own personal firearms and means of self-defense. Adolph Hitler was quick to disarm the German people and every country he seized under the name of safety and security. Communist dictators from Stalin through Putin have extolled the solidarity of the state while removing from the citizens their ability to stand against the atrocities of that state.

The iconic American, John Wayne, is quoted as saying simiply; “You think the right to carry firearms should be illegal? What other kind of stupid ideas do you have?”

While a Senator, John F. Kennedy stated the case clearly. “By calling attention to “a well regulated militia” the “security” of the nation and the right of each citizen to “keep and bear arms” the founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy…the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason, I believe the 2nd Amendment will always be important.” Later, as President, J.F.K made it even more clear his undestnading of the Second Amendment.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The beauty of the Second Amendment is it won’t be needed until they try to take it.”

It is remarkable to me that Lexington and Concord, the initial battle for freedom in America giving birth to everything we stand for as Americans happened in Massachusetts. One of the strongest supporters politically for the Second Amendment, John F. Kennedy, a U.S. Navy Veteran and awarded the Purple Heart in WWII was from Massachusetts.

How can it be that as close as Vermont is to the cradle of American patriotism, during the Revolutionary War, Loyalists and Revolutionaries were at each others’ throats. One of their most stalwart and wealthy individuals, John Munro fought bravely in the Revolutionary War – on the side of the British! So disdained were his actions his wife Mary had to flee to Canada. Today, of course, Vermont is the home of Senator Bernie Sanders, the most blatant Communist since Kruchev banged his shoe on the table of the U.N. to get attention! Sanders is quoted as saying, “I belive military style weapons designed to kill human beings should not be sold or distributed in the United States.” By basic definition, that would include my Colt 45 ACP or any other 1911 handgun… hmmm. From there the slope gets even more slippery! I’ll close with this photo that references back to my comment on Germany…

Thank God for the patriots of Lexington and Concord and all those who have come after them and who are yet to come; who have given or will give their all to protect America’s freedom!

Religion of Freedom?

Recently a local newspaper carried an op-ed article titled, “In praise of our national religion” which the author maintained was the religion of freedom.

I decided to respond to the article with an op ed piece of my own. My ‘letter’ to the editor may never be seen in print anywhere but here so I wanted you to have the opportunity to read my thoughts. (The original op-ed piece can be traced to the Canton Repository, Canton Ohio July 3, 2012 by Charita Goshay. Here is my response:

3 July 2012

Dear Editor,

In response to “In praise of our national religion” by Charita Goshay in today’s Rep, I have some real difficulty with her basic foundation for her statement that “America’s only national religion is freedom.”[i] When did it become Religion of Freedom rather than Freedom of Religion?

I begin with basic definitions, the first being that ‘freedom’ is not a religion; it is a state of being. According to Wiktionary  freedom is defined as “unconstrained” “a state of free will”[ii] whereas a religion is defined by Wikipedia as “a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.”[iii] It is because America is founded on a Judeo-Christian religion (I prefer the term faith over ‘religion’, but I will go with the vernacular), that persons in America can enjoy freedom as a state of being, a state of free will, of not being ‘constrained.’ The disposition of freedom upon those in the United States as citizens or as visitors to move about freely, worship freely and to appreciate freedom comes from our belief system. Freedom is not, in and of its self, a belief system.

I am continually frustrated by those who mount up on their straw-man arguments that America is not based on the Judeo-Christian religion (faith). I challenge anyone to show me a country anywhere in this world that celebrates and enjoys freedom as we do here in the United States but does not have some foundation in the Judeo-Christian religion.

Every pundit ascribing to any philosophy seems to get their time to be heard and so, with your permission, I would like to state a few basic proofs of my point.

The following are just a few of the almost countless examples:

Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence “My only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”[iv]

Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time. They therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure… are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”[v]

Too vague, you say? We don’t know these men who helped decide our nation’s birth? Okay, let’s look further.

John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth… nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God.”[vi]

John Jay, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”[vii] (emphasis added)

John Adams, second President: “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”[viii]

Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.”[ix]

Patrick Henry while Governor of Virginia: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”[x]

We also have so many examples from the days of the colonies. The Rhode Island Charter of 1683: “We submit our person, lives and estates unto our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and to all those perfect and most absolute laws of His given us in His Holy Word.” Similar constructs were part of the Virginia (Jamestown) charter, the Connecticut and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, the fore-runners of Mr. Romney followed the Mayflower Compact: “(governing) for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”[xi]

But, of course ‘all of those are so long ago, those kinds of ideas don’t apply any more’, some might say. When President Eisenhower, in 1954, approved the addition of ‘Under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance, he said, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future.”[xii]

Most everyone can quote John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech about ‘ask not…’  but in that same speech President Kennedy said, “And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe – the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but the hand of God… let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”[xiii]

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered yearly for his social justice and the civil rights movement. Here are Dr. King’s own words, “you can’t turn me out of the ministry, because I got my guidelines and my anointment from God Almighty.”[xiv] He believed that his direction for working on the streets of America to make a difference within the political system came from his ministry which he believed to be given to him by God.

The list is almost endless and the examples are quite clear. Why are some folks, particularly, it seems in the media, so determined to decry America’s Judeo-Christian heritage? We have so much for which to be thankful. We must remember Charles Carroll’s warning echoing back to us from the small room in Independence Hall in Philadelphia from the 18th century, “they… who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”[xv] We must celebrate our Judeo-Christian heritage because it is from that heritage that we support freedom, including freedom for others to worship according to their own design. Current countries other than the U.S. that are ruled by religious, non-Christian, leaders are the antithesis to freedom, especially freedom of religion.

May America bless God this July 4th and may God bless America.

[i]Goshay, Charita “In praise of our national religion” Canton Repository 3 July 2012

[iv] Lee, Richard G. Dr., primary editor The American Patriot’s Bible – Notes and Articles, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville: 2009

[v]    Ibid.

[vi]   Ibid.

[vii]  Ibid.

[viii]  Ibid.

[ix]   Ibid.

[x]   Ibid.

[xi]   Ibid.

[xii]   Ibid.

[xiii]  Ibid.

[xv] Lee, Richard G. Dr., primary editor The American Patriot’s Bible – Notes and Articles, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville: 2009

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