The Tea Parties are coming, the Tea Parties are coming! For a second showing, the Tea Parties are coming to a neighborhood corner near you on the Fourth of July, 2009. If the first event was missed, then participation is highly suggested. So come one, come all and bring your red, white and blue tea cups to share with others, in the ever growing frustration that has taken most Americans by storm.
Is the storm brewing as a result of our twenty first century Tea Tax or is there a greater angst, a deeper discontent than just the enormous deficit that will be handed down to our great, great-grandchildren? I suggest that as with the colonist of the 1760’s, the taxation without representation was only a part of a greater injustice that was imprisoning the patriots who gave so much for us, their great, great, great-grandchildren. Would men fight and die because the tax man, in this case Britain, was assessing “unfair taxes”? The taxation they faced was only twenty percent of those being taxed in England, so where did the cry for independence gain in fervor?
The issue that shook the world then and I believe is beginning to shake our world today is not just about the exorbitant taxes that Obama and Company is laying on the backs of millions, but the shackles brought on by an enormous government and the freedoms that are being stripped away, daily in the name of change, in the name of progress. The colonists didn’t shed their blood because they were angry that England was asking for more money, in fact after the War of Independence, colonists were taxed twenty fold more than they had been under the crown. The blood of these patriots ran on the soils of Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill and Brandywine because their freedoms were being stripped away.
What freedoms have been confiscated from the hands of private citizens today and given to the oligarchy on the hill? To sum up: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have become endangered ideals under these ruling elite. Economic freedoms under government regulation, property rights, and the freedom to succeed and fail in business are just a few areas in which the government has overstepped the limits of its Constitutional powers as seen in the frantic vote of the Stimulus Bill. There is a strong arm push for mandatory government run health care. There is the deceit in the Obama plan for educational reform that strips parental rights to choose what is best for their children under the guise of the Convention on the Rights of Children, a treaty if ratified would supersede American law and sovereignty. The First Amendment is under attack through the Fairness Doctrine which was “rooted in the media world of 1949, when lawmakers became concerned that by virtue of their near-stranglehold on nationwide TV broadcasting, the three main television networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — could misuse their broadcast licenses to set a biased public agenda” this is being revisited by Pelosi and friends and yet we see Obama-mercials for his policies without the benefit of hearing from the other side of the discussion.
Fourth Amendment rights are under attack as Obama is using the oft-disproved contention that “90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States” as the stated basis of his support for the international treaty he is promoting. The treaty is formally known as the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) treaty.
The list of liberties at risk is lengthy and could not fit into a mere blog. Perhaps our greatest liberty, the right to worship God, as guaranteed under the First Amendment, is our most tragic loss. Any honest reader of history will recognized that many of the first settlers in America came for religious freedom and the cost that so many paid for such freedom was the utmost price, their very lives or the lives of their loved ones. Individuals die for those things which have intrinsic value and the right to worship God, unimpeded by the government, is one of those invaluable rights. Today we see this First Amendment right under attack as evidenced by the H.R. 1592 that is pending committee in the U.S. House. This is a bill that would “criminalize thought or emotion or even speech,” said Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund. But I suggest that this attack began decades ago when the Supreme Court ruled in 1947 that it was unconstitutional for the government “to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.”2 in Everson v. Board of Education 330 US 31.
Tom West of the Claremont Institute wrote, “The victory of relativism has made the Founders’ understanding of religious liberty alien to us. Liberty today is taken to mean “the right to choose,” the right to do whatever one pleases.
Surprisingly, both liberals and conservatives agree on this definition. Their disagreement is over the extent to which government should impose limits on abuses of liberty. A sign of our shared view of liberty is that we often speak of balancing liberty with order, with responsibility, or with community. If we define liberty as the unlimited right of the irresponsible will, we do have to look to a source outside of liberty for some restraint on it. But if liberty is inherently responsible liberty, as the Founders thought, it does not need to be balanced by anything. It contains within itself its own balance.
For the Founders, the irresponsible, irrational will is not free. It is enslaved. James Madison said that “the tyranny of their own passions” led the Athenians to condemn Socrates to death. What Madison meant by this phrase was spelled out by the Reverend Samuel West of Massachusetts in a 1776 sermon: “The most perfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he becomes the slave of base passions and vile lusts. . . . Hence we conclude that where licentiousness begins, liberty ends.”4
The liberty and freedom that American’s once enjoyed, free from governmental legislation, came from the idea of personal, conscientious self rule that denied self in the best interest of society or in closer context the best interest of one’s neighbor. There was also the belief of God or a Deity that had defined standards of behavior that human kind should follow because it was best for the individual and society. Because many Americans have shunned the notion that there is absolute truth and therefore absolute law, and because the government operates on the same premise, they legislated on what is good for now, for the ruling class, to remain relevant to the voting population. But those who have remained steadfast in the knowledge that there is in fact absolute truth and who temper their lives through self control and self rule for the best of society, will not only make a distinct stand against the direction of this type of government, but will also perhaps lose their rights to speak out against this abuse of power by the very government they hope to rebuild.
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America, “It must never be forgotten that religion gave birth to Anglo-American society. In the United States, religion is therefore mingled with all the habits of the nation and all the feeling of patriotism, whence it derives a peculiar force….Christianity has therefore retained a strong hold on the public mind in America….Christianity itself is an established and irresistible fact.”
For this reason men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice, not because they were angry that taxes were too high, but because loss of liberty was too costly. Freedom and liberty come from God, and the Christian religion has been the tool that has shaped this country from the beginning. Calvin Coolidge stated, “If American democracy is to remain the greatest hope of humanity, it must continue abundantly in the faith of the Bible.”
So let the Tea Parties begin, but let them begin with the purpose of regaining the liberties that the Left has so easily taken from the American people. The fight is for the future, the fight must begin now, or the wars of the past, the signatures on the Declaration of Independence, the sacrifices of the Founders, the Colonists, the Military, the fathers and mothers, who for hundreds of years have given their utmost, will die in vain, as the America they founded dies on the threshold of the twenty-first century.