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WHENCE CAME OUR FREEDOMS?

Over the past two years, Americans have watched their First Amendment rights abrogated and perpetual attempts to eradicate their Second Amendment rights by a Neo-Socialist/Marxist regime that has found favor along our northeastern coast from Virginia to Maine and along the entire west coast. That regime has produced the energy, crime, immigration, and supply crises and, as of 7 August 2022, a tax increase during a recession. It has also directed the FBI to investigate parents who disagree with school board policies.[1] And on 8 August, we recognized that if a former President has no 4th Amendment rights neither does anyone else. But then Lyin’ Joe Biden told us that our Constitutional rights were not absolute. If these events are not enough to awaken Americans, then decision of FBI Director to have his agents observe for the display of patriotic symbols as an indicator of certainly should.


In a U.S. Senate Judicial Committee hearing on 4 August 2022, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked FBI Director Christopher Wray about a list of symbols that, according to the FBI, are indicators of “militia violent extremism.”[2] Did this list include the logos/symbols of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, the KKK, or Neo-Nazi’s? No. However, the list did include the Betsy Ross, Gadsden, and the Gonzales Battle[3] flags!


Unsurprisingly, Director Wray was unaware of this list, nor did he know the number of parents investigated for disagreeing with their school board. The enormity of these events should encourage all Americans to reflect on the origins of our Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, and remember whence came our freedoms?

Declaration of Arbroath


On 6 April 1320, a large collection of Scottish magnates sent Pope John XXII a letter declaring that Scotland would not be an English vassal and that


"For as long as a hundred of us remain alive, we will never on any conditions be subjected to the lordship of the English. For we fight not for glory nor riches nor honours, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life."[4]


This letter is better known as the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence. Historians have debated whether our Declaration is related to that of the Scots. Indeed, John Witherspoon, President of Princeton University, and James Wilson, both signers of our Declaration were well-educated Scottish immigrants and may have educated other Founding Fathers to earlier Scottish ideas of freedom. In any event, U. S. Senate Resolution 155, 20 March 1998 stated,


April 6 has a special significance for all Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath … was signed on April 6, 1320, and the American Declaration of Independence was modelled on that inspirational document.[5]


John Locke

Seventeenth-century English physician, philosopher, and educator, John Locke, published Two Treatises of Government (1689) in defense of man’s God given natural rights to life, liberty, and property.[6] Man has the right to defend himself and a right to freedom. He also has a right to private property and the means to preserve it.[7]


God Given Natural Rights vs. Tyranny


Locke’s philosophy had a tremendous impact on Enlightenment thought, particularly American colonists as they contended with an increasingly unreasonable and controlling British government after the French and Indian War. The Sugar and Currency Acts (1764), the Quartering and Stamp Acts (1765), Declaratory Act (1766), Townsend Act (1767), and Tea Act (1773) which raised revenue and increased civil and economic control over the Colonies for Britain brought protests and, by the early 1770s, an organized resistance movement in New England. The Boston Tea Party (Dec 1773) led to the Coercive (Intolerable) Acts (1774) which, among other things, eliminated the Massachusetts charter of government and closed the Port of Boston.


By early 1775, Britain had prohibited trade between the colonies and any other country. Moreover, British troops now in control of Boston were seizing and destroying arms and ammunition held in towns throughout Massachusetts. British efforts to seize the magazine in Concord culminated in the battles on Lexington Green, at Concord, and the running fight from Concord to Charlestown, 19 April 1775. These first engagements of our War for Independence were an expression of the deep frustration and anger that colonists, as British citizens, felt toward an arrogant, tyrannical king and parliament 3,000 miles away.


For 3,960[8] patriots on 19 April 1775, frustration and anger reached a threshold becoming determined defiance, a resolve that tyranny would no longer be tolerated.[9] Americans today owe a tremendous debt to their courage and resolve. The Declaration of Independence turned a rebellion into a revolution. A revolution unlike the world had ever seen or has seen since. At the conclusion of our War for Independence George Washington could have been king, an American Emperor. He did not. Thereby disproving the maxim that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Instead, Washington returned to being a farmer at Mount Vernon.


Creating a Representative Constitutional Republic


Most Americans, I believe, are ignorant of the hard-fought battle between Federalists and Anti-Federalists in the creation of our Constitution.[10] The Articles of Confederation held the colonies together during the war but were deemed inadequate as a long-term governing document. A new convention was initiated on 14 May 1787 in Philadelphia and George Washington, against his better judgment, acquiesced to be President of this Constitutional Convention. Unfortunately, it had to be postponed for lack of a quorum! It met again late that month with only seven states participating. After a number of compromises – on of which was, regrettably, not to abolish slavery – the U. S. Constitution was presented on 28 September 1787. It was ratified on by the states on 21 June 1788 and went into effect 4 March 1789.

It is quite interesting to note also that the Bill of Rights – what became the first 10 Amendments describing, guaranteeing the RIGHTS, the FREEDOMS of individual Americans – was not originally included in debates over the content of the Constitution. James Madison, a Federalist, struggled to include it with many delegates who considered such an inclusion superfluous, absolutely of no value!


God-Given Natural Rights and Freedom


We should not disparage those Constitutional creators for not recognizing the value, the necessity of a Bill of Rights. They truly believed them to be unnecessary in the Representative Constitutional Republic they were crafting.

Two-hundred thirty-four years later Americans are not so naïve. When concerned parents are labeled “domestic terrorists” by the U. S. Attorney General, when 87,000 new IRS agents are turned loose on the middle class, when a former President’s home is raided by the FBI, when the Betsy Ross flag under which our forefathers fought for independence is a symbol of “militant violent domestic extremism,” Americans recognize clearly that a totalitarian police state is nigh. The Socialist/Marxists, Progressives, Liberals, and Biden supporters which are euphemistically called the Democratic Party do not believe in God, the only rights they recognize are those granted on a conditional basis by them, and they despise the idea of freedom.


“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It has to be fought for and defended by each generation.” Ronald Reagan, Annual Convention of Kiwanis International, 6 July 1987.


PROMETHEUS

[1] Merrick Garland & School Board: AG Directs FBI to Investigate Alleged 'Violent Threats' by Parents | National Review. [2] Sen Cruz: Why is the FBI Targeting Symbols of Patriotism? - YouTube. [3] For non-Texans, the following website will educate on why the Gonzales flag made the list. The Gonzales Flag Meaning. History Behind The Battle of Gonzales Flag (ammo.com) [4] Edward J. Cowan, ‘For Freedom Alone’, The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320 (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2008), p. 148. [5] Ibid., p. 116. [6] John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Digireads Pub., 2015). [7] Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, V5, Modern Philosophy (New York; Bantam Doubleday, 1994), p. 129. [8] Lexington and Concord Battle Facts and Summary | American Battlefield Trust (battlefields.org). [9] For a superb history of the events leading up to and including the battles of Lexington and Concord see David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). [10] Suggested reading: Michael J. Klarman, The Framer’s Coup (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016); Joseph Ellis, American Creation (New York: Knopf, 2007).

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