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In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies."
I would argue that we, like our patriot forebears, have also endured "patient sufferance." For at least a half-century, we have patiently endured the erosion and abridgment of our freedoms and liberties. We have watched the federal government become an overbearing and meddlesome Nanny State that pokes its nose and sticks its fingers in virtually everything we do. We cannot drive a car, buy a gun, or even flush a toilet without Big Brother's permission. We are taxed, regulated, and snooped-on from the time we are born to the day we die. And then after we are dead, we are taxed again.
In the same way that Jefferson and Company patiently suffered up until that shot was fired that was heard around the world, we who love freedom today are likewise patiently suffering "a long train of abuses and usurpations." In fact, I would even dare say that these States United have become a boiling caldron of justifiable frustration and even anger.
Accordingly, it is incumbent upon us to very seriously and thoughtfully examine those principles that we absolutely will never cede or surrender. We have already surrendered much of the freedom that was bequeathed to us by our forefathers. We are now to the point that we must define those principles that form our "line in the sand" and that we will not surrender under any circumstance. Either that, or we must admit to ourselves that there is nothing--no principle, no freedom, no matter how sacred--that we will not surrender to Big Government.
Here, then, are those principles that, to me, must never be surrendered. To surrender these liberties to Big Government would mean to commit idolatry. It would be sacrilege. It would reduce us to slavery. It would destroy our humanity. To surrender these freedoms would mean "absolute Despotism" and would provide moral justification to the proposition that such tyranny be "thrown off."
*The Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Men without guns are not free men; they are slaves. Men without guns are not citizens; they are subjects. Men without guns have lost the right of self-defense. They have lost the power to defend their families and protect their properties. Men without guns are reduced to the animal kingdom, becoming prey to the Machiavellians among them who would kill them for sport or for their own personal pursuits. As King Jesus plainly ordered, "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36) This we will do--at all costs.
*The Right to Own Private Property
Like the right of self-defense, the private ownership of property is a God-given right that is rooted in the Sacred Text. As God told Moses, "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it." (Deut. 19:14)
In fact, the history of Western Civilization is replete with the examples of free men who were determined (even at the cost of their very lives) to defend the right to own property. Without private property rights, men are reduced to serfs and servants. Like chattel, they feed themselves by another's leave. This we will not do.
*The Right to Train and Educate Our Children
Education has never been the responsibility of the State. From time immemorial, education has been the right and responsibility of the family. This, too, has its foundation in the Sacred Volume. "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. 6:4)
Therefore, the absolute right of homeshooling or private/parochial/Christian schooling must never be surrendered. Homeschooling, especially, is fundamental to freedom. It is not a coincidence that throughout history, most totalitarian governments forbade parents homeschooling their children. Any government--federal, State, or local--that forbids, or even restricts, the right of parents to homeschool their children has taken upon itself the uniform of a tyrant.
*The Freedom of Speech and Worship
Speech and worship are matters of the heart and conscience (Luke 6:45; John 4:24). Only tyrants seek authority over matters of the heart. But, of course, that is what tyrants do: they seek to control men's thoughts and beliefs.
Hence, the alternative media is essential to liberty: the Internet, short wave radio, as well as independent magazines and periodicals. It is almost superfluous to say that there is no such thing as a free and independent press among the mainstream news media today. In fact, the major media more resembles a propaganda machine than it does a free press.
The same can be said for most of the mainstream churches in America today. They more resemble havens for politically correct, Big-Government ideology than they do bastions of Bible truth. Therefore, home-churches and non-establishment churches are increasingly requisite to a free people.
*The Right to Determine One's Own Healthcare
The marriage of Big Government and Big Medicine has created a healthcare monster. Already, the dispensing of medical treatment is micromanaged by Big Brother in a way that has resulted in skyrocketing costs and inferior care (and in some cases, even death). President Obama's universal health care initiatives that are sure to come (in one form or another) will only exacerbate an already untenable situation.
Free men and women absolutely have the right to refuse vaccinations for themselves and their children. Forced vaccinations (of any kind) are an assault against the very foundation of freedom. Free men have the right to choose their own physicians, their own hospitals, their own insurance programs, etc. They also have the right to refuse any and all of the above.
God is Creator. He is also Healer (Exodus 15:26). Therefore, how men choose to seek God's healing is a private matter between them and God. Alternative medicine is a right. Already, our military personnel are used as human guinea pigs to test a variety of drugs and chemicals. Public schools also require forced vaccinations. And now the push is on to force the general population to take the Swine Flu vaccine. At the current pace, it won't be long until all alternative medicines and treatments will be illegal and the federal government will be America's doctor. This is not acceptable.
*The Right to Life
2000 years of Western Civilization have perpetually reconfirmed that life is a gift of God. Both Biblical and American history repeatedly honor God as the Source and Sustainer of man's existence. Therefore, evils such as abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia must be vehemently resisted. It is bad enough that any government (especially one such as ours) would legalize abortion, but the concept of FORCED abortion, infanticide, or euthanasia could only be regarded as a despotic attack on life and liberty of the gravest proportion. In fact, under Natural Law, such an attack would remove said government from the protection of Heaven and would place it in a state of war.
*The Right to Live as a Free and Independent People
God separated the Nations (Genesis 11). Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we Americans maintain our independence and national sovereignty. We simply cannot (and will not) allow ourselves to become part of any hemispheric or global union.
There they are: seven freedom-principles that are not negotiable. As Jefferson said, we are "disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable." But cross these lines and free men must do what free men must do: "throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
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© Chuck Baldwin