|Language of Liberty|
Friday, June 24, 2016
“America: Still Worth Fighting For” Part 2
By KrisAnne Hall, Guest Columnist
The key to victory, the key to the courage that brings victory is not simply fighting the fight, but KNOWING we fight a righteous battle for the One who gave us Liberty.
Our founders were in a position to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor because they were firmly rooted in ALL the assurances of Liberty. Our founders knew that Liberty is a gift from God and those that stand for God’s gifts will be victorious through God’s promises. They firmly believed that living in tyranny was worse than dying for Liberty.
Did these brave men and women live without fear? Hardly so! They knew that bravery was not the absence of fear, but doing what you must in the face of fear.
Mercy Otis Warren articulated this dilemma so well: “I have my fears. Yet, notwithstanding the complicated difficulties that rise before us, there is no receding; May nothing ever check that glorious spirit of freedom which inspires the patriot in the cabinet and the hero in the field, with courage to maintain their righteous cause, and to endeavor to transmit the claim to posterity, even if they must seal the rich conveyance to their children with their own blood.”
They knew that the battle for Liberty, as Mercy called it, was a righteous cause. Knowing the source of her courage is the key to understanding her resolve. Mercy wrote a letter to her friend Mrs. Macauley in 1774 and from this letter we can know the source of her strength. She said they were “ready to sacrifice their devoted lives to preserve inviolate, and to convey to their children the inherent rights of men, conferred on all by the God of nature.”
As Thomas Paine so eloquently put it, “THESE are the times that try men’s souls.” But Paine’s full statement gives a richness that is lost with the initial quote alone. Payne continues to tell us who will last in this battle and WHY they will last. “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing (sic) its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
If we want to have the resolve that Mercy Otis-Warren spoke of, the confidence that Patrick Henry displayed, we must KNOW what Thomas Jefferson knew so we will not become the sunshine patriots Thomas Paine condemns. We must know Liberty is a gift from God. We must know this Gift, although coming at a high price, is worth fighting for because God is with us. If God be with us, who can be against us?
As an exceptional union built upon exceptional principles, we cannot deny that we are built with a foundational understanding of an exceptional God. Thomas Jefferson reminds us that, “We are not in a world ungoverned by the laws and the power of a Superior Agent. Our efforts are in His hand, and directed by it; and He will give them their effect in His own time.”
Because of our historical understanding that America was built on the principles of freedom and morality, America has always been the haven of rest when tyrants oppress their own. She is the vineyard of innovation and opportunity. We are a people that open their arms to the tired, to the poor, to the oppressed, to the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. No other people can claim this legacy; no other people have this birthright. This is the shining city upon a hill, and we cannot hide our light under a bush.
The focus of our education should not be on the flaws of the men who gave us our Constitution, but on the exceptional principles that they gave us. We have an exceptional union in which “all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.” It is a land birthed in the principle that the power of government is to be held BY the people; it is not a government which holds power OVER the people. It is a country that believes the principle that all are free to worship according to the dictates of their conscience, and all are equally free, “Jews, Turks, pagans, AND Christians.” We have prospered under the principle that ideas and hard work open the door to prosperity regardless of bloodline, skin color or social status. Our nation has remained free based on the principle that liberties remain secure by maintaining the right to defend self, property and Liberty.
In the profound words of Daniel Webster, “Is our Constitution worth preserving? Guard it as you would guard the seat of your life, guard it not only against the open blows of violence, but also against that spirit of change…Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in six thousand years, cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once destroyed, would have a void to be filled, perhaps for centuries, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism.”~ An Anniversary Address by Daniel Webster July 4th 1806
Let us maintain a true focus on what is important. In this day it is so popular to denigrate America for every little flaw. Why not take back a bit of American Exceptionalism? Why not embrace what makes us different from every other place on the globe? America is exceptional because we are built on exceptional principles. Principles of Liberty, freedom, morality, and equality as derived from our Creator. And these principles are STILL WORTH FIGHTING FOR!
KrisAnne Hall is an attorney and former prosecutor. She hosts weekly radio and TV programs and teaches an average of 265 classes in over 22 States each year on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. KrisAnne is a disabled Army veteran, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. Learn more at krisannehall.com.
The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and do not reflect the views of CSG. They may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org