Happy Fourth of July! This will be my last post until after the holiday. For the Fourth, I want you to consider what we are celebrating. Is the government we currently have following the spirit that we celebrate on that day? Think about some of the laws and the Supreme Court decisions that have come about in the last 5 years -- or even the last 15 years. I have included below some quotations from our founding fathers -- the men who led the fight against tyranny so that our liberties might be protected. Meditate on what they have said. Ask yourself if today's America, and if today's major political parties measure up to the spirit of these great American Revolutionaries.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
--Benjamin Franklin, 1759
"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
--William Pitt, 1783
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
"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."
--The Free Citizens of the United States of America, 1776
"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
"We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic Government."
--James Jackson, First Congress, 1st Annals of Congress, 489
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
--James Madison, Federal No. 45, January 26, 1788
"It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot be separated."
--James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention, December 2, 1829
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free."
--John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787
"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression."
"I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive."
"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society."
"Wherever the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Government the real power lies in the majority of the community..."
"No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him."
"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
"Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual"
--Thomas Jefferson _____________________________________________