(The speech that got me fired.)
I would like to speak to you today on the subject of INFORMING OURSELVES.
Thomas Jefferson warned;
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
We have enjoyed the benefits left to us by previous generations. America has had the greatest medical system, the greatest technologies, the strongest military, the greatest economy. However, as our nation has prospered we have become distracted by our luxuries, busied by our labors and lazy toward our liberties. We have allowed the enemies of freedom to worm their way into positions of power and influence.
The Heritage Foundation says it like this,
“There is widespread ignorance of American history… We face an education system that upholds mediocrity in the name of relativism; an ever-expanding and centralized government, unmoored from constitutional limits; judges openly making laws and shaping society based on pop-philosophy rather than serious jurisprudence…At the root of all these problems is a pervasive ignorance about the core principles that define America and ought to inform our politics and policy.”
Unfortunately, I would agree with them. That’s why the tea-party movement is so important and so encouraging. I am actually encouraged that the Tea-Party is not a party at all; it is We the People. We the People founded this nation and I believe – We the People will take it back!
But We the People must Inform Ourselves if we wish to take back our nation for ourselves and our children. Notice I did not say that we need to be informed, rather we need to inform OURSELVES. Truth is Power and it is up to us to search out and secure the Truth. The Bible says, “…ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” If we arm ourselves with truth and act on that truth we can be free from the bondage that ideological tyrants would desire to enslave us with.
Patrick Henry said in his famous speech from St. Johns Church in 1775.
“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.“
Patrick Henry’s experience with a heavy handed government illuminated his understanding of the future… And if American Liberty is to continue, we must inform ourselves and arm ourselves with the collective experience of those that have come before. I want to mention four things as briefly as I can on the subject of Informing Ourselves.
First, We the People must inform ourselves on our Core Principles. A principle can be defined as a standard based upon truth and experience, and which serves as a foundation upon which thought and action are built. A primary principle upon which this nation rests is Constitutionalism – which is an understanding that the operation of our government and the security of our liberty are to be guided by our founding documents, interpreted according to the framer’s intent.
The Declaration and the Constitution have been relentlessly attacked in modern times. Our own President has implied that our Constitution’s ideas are flawed. The professors in our law schools deride its relevance. Progressives would have it be as malleable as silly putty. But We the People recognize that the Declaration and Constitution have served as the bedrock of our freedom for hundreds of years. The genius with which our founding fathers laid down the principles in these precious documents, I believe, can only be attributed to the providence of God. And we have a solemn duty to ourselves and our posterity to become informed in the Core principles contained in our founding documents.
Get a copy of the Declaration and Constitution; study them. Research the history of how they came to be. Acquaint yourselves with men like John Leland and the Baptist Union of Virginia, without whom there would be no Bill of Rights. Read the wisdom of George Washington in his farewell address and be grounded by the experience of one our nation greatest heroes.
–We the People must Know our core principles- Become not only grounded in them, but become their champions. For, freedom of speech has no voice of its own, but it waits in silence for you to plead its case. The right to assemble will sit alone until you, its champions, gather in the face of despotism. Our forefathers cry out through the pages of history, but unheard until you give the written word – voice and life. When our history is lost either through revision or apathy, then our liberty is lost as well.
–We the People must Know our Core principles and stand for them without wavering…for they are our liberty.
The words of Patrick Henry still ring true 235 years later, “Why stand we here idle?,” he said, “What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Secondly, We the People must not only inform ourselves on our Core Principles, must inform ourselves about Contrary Principles. If our core principles serve to secure and maintain the liberty we wish to enjoy, then it stands to reason that there are contrary principles that threaten that same liberty, and we must be able to identify these enemies of our liberty.
Sun Tzu says in his Art of War, “Know thine enemy as thyself.” We must always remember that our enemies are not people or parties, but the freedom-destroying principles that they espouse. We must inform ourselves on the principles of progressivism, socialism, communism; and the mechanisms these philosophies use such as redistribution of wealth, centralization of power, progressive taxation, and restrictions on free speech. Once we are informed on these principles we will then recognize them. And we must oppose them regardless of the party or personality attempting to employ them.
I say again, We must not give a free pass because of personality or party affiliation. It is ironic that Teddy Roosevelt is heralded as a great hero of the Republican Party, when in fact history testifies that he was the leader of the anti-constitutional progressives in 1912. It was also under the Republican Party that the refundable tax credit was enacted, allowing progressives to engage in redistribution of wealth and enslave citizens with the tax refund.
Am I anti-Republican? No; but these enemies of our liberty entered in because we put party over principle. The president recently suggested that his program of socialized medicine was okay because Republican Mitt Romney proposed the same program. It is not wrong because of who proposed it; it’s wrong because it is based on principles that are contrary to Liberty.
You would not allow anyone to feed your child rat poison whether the giver was Satan or Santa Claus. Progressivism, however, does not come in a bottle with skull and crossbones. It shows up as something or someone who wants to “help” and it will have a cute little name like acorn. It will talk about fairness and recovery; aide and stimulus; always sounding positive, but underneath – a deadly poison. Again we must be grounded in our Core principles, but we must also be guarded against these Contrary principles which poison our freedom and destroy our future.
We the People must not only inform ourselves about Contrary Principles, but we must also inform ourselves about Candidates. We should now realize that a charismatic personality, eloquent speechmaking, and catchy slogans do not a leader make. We must identify candidates who hold true to the right principles and who will not sacrifice those principles for politics or power. Some would say you must compromise if you hope to accomplish anything. Surely, cooperation and negotiation are essential in government, but a principle by its very definition is a foundational and guiding rule, and so compromising a principle damages the very foundation.
If sound principles cause me to be opposed to a proposal, then an offer of money or jobs for my state should not change my position. Let’s inform ourselves about candidates and issues and make an informed vote.
Lastly, and I close, We the People must inform ourselves about Current Events. It’s encouraging to see the awakening going on around the country, but the cynic in me says this – “only someone who was sleeping needs an awakening.”
Thomas Jefferson said,
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
We cannot take time off. We cannot stick our head in the sand. We cannot slumber even for a moment.
The Tea-Party movement can’t simply be an awakening. Once we have reclaimed our nation from the forces that would steer us away from our Core principles, we must establish a lifestyle of vigilance. We must stay informed and stay involved.
First step – the 2010 elections; Next step – the 2012 elections; THEN we reach The Beginning…The beginning of a revitalized and reconnected CITIZEN government.
Our cry must be this
“We the People have awakened. We the People have informed ourselves; and We the People will never sleep again!!!”
Thank you and God bless you.