235 years ago today…


On March 23, 1775 one of America’s great Patriots stood in St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, to address that colony’s delegates.  He was urging the others to vote in favor of Virginia entering what would become the Revolutionary War.  Historians say that Patrick Henry addressed the delegates with no notes, much less a teleprompter, his voice gradually rising as he proceeded through the speech until his crescendo with these famous words.

“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! “

Patrick Henry’s words were in response to a direct military threat from the British.  A threat that would have snuffed the life from our young country before it was born.  It must have been a terrifying time.  But was freedom and liberty in any more peril than it is today?  I wonder.  The threats today may in fact be more dangerous because they come from within.

There are those among us who favor purchasing peace with “the chains of slavery”.  They give away our right to privacy because they are afraid of terrorists.  The state won’t hear anything incriminating on their phone line because, “I’m not a terrorist.”  Perhaps, but those in office now, won’t be in office forever.  How can the surrender of your rights be abused by the next guy-or the one in charge when your children are your age?

There are those among us who favor purchasing security with “the chains of slavery”.  To them the unknown, the harshness of reality and nature itself are reason to give up their freedom.  Let the state provide for their wants and needs.  Life is too cruel for them to have to deal with on their own.  Besides, others have more than they do.

All along the power-hungry vote whores that we elect to represent us are offering us those chains of slavery, tempting us to don them like velvet robes that will comfort and protect us.  When we realize that those chains that once seemed so comforting are really a weight used to drown us in a lake of fascist or communist rule, it will be too late to cast them aside.  We will be lost.

We need Patrick Henry or at least his spirit today.

(Full text of Henry’s speech)

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About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

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