Sons of Liberty
29 August, 1995
"[D]ifferent men often see the same subject in different lights;… For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.… Should I keep back my opinions at such a time through fear of giving offense I should consider myself guilty of treason toward my country and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of Heaven which I revere above all earthly kings.…
"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 the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been… to justify those hopes with which [we] have been pleased to solace [ourselves]… ? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those war like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land.… Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation… what means this martial array if its purpose be not to force us to submission? [Is there] any other possible motive for it? … They are … to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the [existing government has] been long forging. And what have we to oppose them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which now coming on. We have petitioned - we have remonstrated [protested]- we have supplicated [plead]- we have prostrated ourselves before [our representatives and judges], and have implored [their] interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the [government]. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt… In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775
After a debate of possible solutions to the impending extension of control by the British, the Massachusetts House was addressed by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775. Solutions had been presented that might be consistent with Common Law Courts, Redress through legislative action, petition, boycott, demonstration, etc. The British had already imposed military control over certain areas, including Boston where "Indians" had dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor.
Today, we have hundreds of patriots in prison; thousands seeking redress via the judicial process; tens of thousands being persecuted by one of many alphabet agencies; and hundreds of thousands realizing the need to fear the awesome powers, and evils, of government.
How long must we subject ourselves to that delusion of hope -- that final bet that we will win through a process that holds so few victories that rumors of them cause celebration, yet proof of them is nearly non-existent.
Like a gambler, down to his last dollar, we continue, one more time, to spin the wheel of fate, desperately hoping that the wheel will finally stop on justice -- for justice is all that we have left to hope for.
The foundations of this once great nation were considered to be Liberty and Justice. We have traveled so far down that path to oppression and subjugation that we have lost sight of that first foundation -- LIBERTY.
The right to conduct our lives without restraint, so long as that expression caused no harm to another, whether that Liberty be of a religious or a political nature, has been trodden into non-existence -- as evidence by the fear, and the attacks that have permeated our news for the past ten years.
Are we condemned to relive that past?
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