Later in his historic speech Henry said, "Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, Sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone. It is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable. And let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come!"
Of course, Henry ended his stirring speech with the immortal 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!"
(The complete text of Patrick Henry's immortal address on March 23, 1775, is found in my giant compilation of great, historic documents called THE FREEDOM DOCUMENTS, which may be ordered exclusively at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/products.html )
Many people today (including the vast majority of my Christian brethren) are doing exactly what Patrick Henry said many were doing 234 years ago: they prefer to "shut [their] eyes against a painful truth." Just as in 1775, many today, "having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not."
Serious students of history, however, cannot mistake the similarities between the British Crown in 1775 and the federal government in Washington, D.C., today. In fact, I would argue that federal usurpations of State sovereignty, personal liberty, and constitutional government are far more egregious today than at any time during the reign of old King George III. Were America's Founding Fathers alive today, they would have waged another war for independence years ago. Compared to the violations of liberty by the federal government in 2009, the abridgements of liberty committed by the Crown in 1775 were miniscule. We should all hang our heads in shame that we have not already exerted our right and responsibility as free people to "throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for [our] future security" (Declaration of Independence, Paragraph 2). Were we as righteous as our forebears, we would have already done so.
If we were writing a Declaration of Independence today, in which we would "let Facts be submitted to a candid world," the examples of federal abuse of power would be so multitudinous it would be difficult to contain them to a single document. The question is not, "Has the current federal government become tyrannical?" The question is, "How long will the States continue to tolerate it?"
For example, within the last couple of months, the States of Montana and Tennessee have each passed their own "Firearms Freedom Act." Briefly stated, the bills provide that any firearms or ammunition that are manufactured, sold, and kept within the State are not subject to federal law or federal regulation. Clearly, Montana and Tennessee have the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution on their side.
Of course, the Constitution doesn't matter to the federal government. On July 16 of this year, BATFE Assistant Director Carson Carroll sent an "Open Letter" to all firearms dealers within the States of Tennessee and Montana, telling them in no uncertain terms, "Federal law supersedes the [Tennessee or Montana] Act, and all provisions of the Gun Control Act and the National Firearms Act, and their corresponding regulations, continue to apply."
You see folks, in the minds of the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., there is no such thing as constitutional government. There is no such thing as State autonomy. There is no such thing as balance of power. To the miscreants in Washington, D.C., there is only federal authority. To them, these States United are merely colony-subjects, who must bow to an omnipotent, ubiquitous federal power that knows no limits and no boundaries.
I hope and pray that the Tennessee and Montana governors, State legislatures, and State supreme courts will tell Mr. Carroll "where to go," and will defend their State sovereignties "to the end." And by the same token, I hope and pray that dozens more states will put teeth to their State Sovereignty resolutions and follow the examples of Montana and Tennessee.
Add to the continual usurpations of State sovereignty the fact that both the Republican and Democratic parties in Washington, D.C., have allowed our once-great free enterprise system to become a giant socialist economy, and the outlook only gets bleaker. This is why Republicans in D.C. have no moral credibility in opposing President Barack Obama's Marxist-style universal health care proposals. Under George W. Bush, the Republican Party expanded socialism in America like no administration in recent history. Now they are going to oppose the Democrat version of socialism? What a joke!
The only difference between the economic policies of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C., is Democrats want to tax-and-spend America into socialism for the benefit of the Welfare State, while Republicans want to borrow-and-spend America into socialism for the benefit of the Warfare State. Neither party wants to confine Washington, D.C., to the prescribed limits of the U.S. Constitution. And neither party in Washington, D.C., is willing to recognize the constitutional authority and autonomy of the States United.
Given the fact that both parties are hell-bent on destroying constitutional government, dismantling State sovereignty, and trampling individual liberties, it seems painfully obvious to me that a war for State independence is inevitable. Just exactly what that means is unknown at this point, but all of the elements and ingredients that existed in 1775 exist today. In fact, in view of the battle currently taking place between Nashville/Helena and Washington, D.C., the war has--for all intents and purposes--already begun. And unlike many of my Christian brethren who want to "shut [their] eyes against a painful truth," I say with Patrick Henry, "Let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come!"
This column is archived at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2009/cbarchive_20090721.html
Dr. Baldwin is the founder and pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. His sermons are LIVE every Sunday morning and people can tune in and watch the sermon at http://crossroadbaptist.net/live.html. He is a prolific writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, and news magazines. Dr. Baldwin can be heard 49 times each week, on 15 different radio stations in Northwest Florida, lower Alabama, Central Florida, and parts of Virginia, Texas, and Utah. He has written two books, and he was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party.
© Chuck Baldwin