History


American Sunrise

American Sunrise

By: Brian Sikma

When President Barack Obama signed the $780 billion stimulus bill into law on February 17, he made official an economic policy that takes our nation further down the wrong path.  The billions of dollars in new government spending that the stimulus contains represent the wrong kind of response to our nation’s economic troubles.  With unemployment rising, home foreclosures increasing, businesses struggling, and banks faltering, we do not need an economic “recovery” plan that calls for policies that will increase inflation, penalize those who succeed and deal with the symptoms, and not the root, of our problems.

History does not often grant the actors in its drama the luxury of writing their own account of events and their response to them.  But sometimes the challenges of the day are of such magnitude and of such a nature as to demand a clear and unmistakable response.  It is during times like these that our answer defines us more than the challenge itself, and history is left to draw but one conclusion from our actions.  Such a time is before us now.

Although the economic challenges that we face are severe, they will not define us for generations to come.  Our generation will not be judged by history based on the magnitude of the problem we were required to face.  Our generation will be judged on its response to the problem and, in turn, its embrace of liberty or its embrace of a government controlled security that requires us to sacrifice our freedom.  The response of our government to the economic slowdown has, to date, been one of greater intrusion, intervention, regulation, and management.  It has not been one that respects freedom, advances the principles of our founding, and lays the groundwork for future economic prosperity.

If we chose to continue to allow our government to pass economic stimulus bills that we cannot pay for now, and that we may never be able to pay for in the future, and if we continue to stand by as our government takes our money and the money of future generations and bails out politically powerful companies, we will have chosen to abandon a future of freedom.  I do not believe that this is what the American people will do.  I do not believe that they will choose this ignoble course.

The choice that we face between choosing freedom and choosing slavery to our government is not a choice between action and inaction.  The question before us today is whether we will accept government-backed security or whether we will chose to embrace liberty and all of the exhilarating possibilities and boundless opportunities that it presents us.  To answer in either way we must act.  We must either act by allowing government to continue on its present course of expanding at the price of our freedom; or we must act by replacing outdated regulatory structures and tax systems with new structures and new systems that reward entrepreneurialism and hard work.

Among us today are some leaders who preach a gospel of greater security and a more equal distribution of success.  They urge us to set aside the freedom we have enjoyed in the past for the sake of a security guaranteed by a government that will have control over every aspect of our life.  The uncertainty of freedom is just not worth it, we are told.  Unless we accept their prescriptions for more spending, more government mandates, and less personal responsibility, we face an economic catastrophe on a scale greater than any in our history.  This is but one voice in the debate, however.

There is another voice, or perhaps a symphony of voices, urging us to pursue a different course.  A course that diverges from the path that we are presently on and our current leaders are intent on following.  This other voice urges us not to forsake freedom for the temporary safety that is found in government mandated mediocrity.  It is the voice of our founding fathers who endured the perils of independence, suffered the dangers of war, persevered through the miseries of economic hardship and worked to overcome petty political differences to create a new nation birthed in freedom and bought in blood.  It is the voice of a generation that fought to overcome the terrible evils of slavery.  It is the voice of a generation that, not all that long ago, found itself embroiled in a world war that was a global conflict between good and evil.  It is the voice of countless millions who endured the hardships of our history because they believed in the limitless potential of a free people.  It is the voice of future generations urging us to keep faith.

Freedom has never been an easy or free thing.  Nor should it be.  It costs something to earn and keep freedom.  For the citizen-soldier that price is sometimes the ultimate sacrifice.  For the citizen-statesmen that price is sometimes short-term expediency and popularity.  For the citizen like you and me that price is the security that a big government brings.  We could have security in an instant, we could have government mandated efficiency in a heart beat, if we are willing lay aside our hopes and dreams and aspirations for the future.

Government granted security brings a certainty that is unlike the sometimes unpredictable business of individual responsibility and personal economic choice.  With government in control, we can expect all the misery to be shared equally, for there is no such thing as success in a socialist state.  With government in control, we can all expect to achieve the same bland level of subsistence, with our futures undifferentiated by our dreams and our ability to find our personal calling and fulfill our God-given destiny as individuals.

Will we chose to follow the prophets of doom and gloom who predict calamity if we do not submit to a government that is growing more socialist by the day?  Or will we answer that other voice, the voice of the past and the voice of the future, that urges us not to give up on our heritage of freedom?  We are Americans and it is our history, our tradition, and our nature to chose freedom over bondage.  We will not sacrifice freedom for the sake of a temporary and fleeting moment of security.  Yes, we will be required to endure an economic downturn, but we will not do it by remaining inactive.

Instead of choosing a future defined by government and socialist policies, we will chose a future that rewards the virtues of responsibility, integrity, work, thrift, and saving.  We will chose a future where we fulfill our purpose in life without the government telling us what we can and can’t do.  Our dreams and our visions will not be bound and limited by the anemic thinking of bureaucrats.   We will stand tall and rugged in the face of this storm for we will chose to follow the path of freedom.  We will not falter now and we will carry ourselves forward with such character and bearing that future generations of Americans will look back and say that we stayed true to our principles, we kept the faith, we endured the struggle, we strove for higher things.

Advertisements

Editor’s Note: The below post was written back in 2006, but because it is applicable today it is being republished.

By: Brian Sikma

Recently I was asked to come up with a list of patriotic quotes that relate to the coming 4th of July holiday. After reviewing different quotes I decided to take a look at some historical documents that played an important role in the early days of our nation. As I reviewed some documents I came across the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms”. This document was passed by the Second Continental Congress on July the 6th, 1775, almost a year before the Declaration of Independence. It’s purpose was to set forth the fact that the colonists were going to war to defend their unalienable rights. This call to arms was fundamentally different than the Declaration of Independence because it specifically stated that the Colonies did not want to separate from Great Britain. They were only fighting to regain their deprived rights.

As I read through this lesser known forerunner of the Declaration of Independence I was struck by the eloquence and clarity that it contained. In fact, except for the statement that the colonists were not fighting to separate from Great Britain, it reads similar to the Declaration of Independence. This document is somewhat obscure but I wanted to share with you several key quotes from it since it so clearly summarizes the views of our founding fathers on the issue of protecting our liberty.

This is from the last half of the 10th paragraph:

“We are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force. — The latter is our choice. — We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. — Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.”

and in the next paragraph:

“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves.” (Emphasis mine.)

Resolved to die freeman rather than to live slaves! Do we have that kind of commitment to our God given unalienable rights today? Today I’m afraid our nation too often talks the talk but does not walk the walk. We speak the language of freedom, both political and religious, and we speak of liberty, but how many of our fellow citizens understand that freedom is not free and that it must be maintained at a high price? We hear often of our “rights” but we do not hear often the words of our 2nd President, John Adams, who said “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion….Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

This coming July 4th, let us reflect on the great sacrifices that our Founding Fathers made for our freedoms. John Quincy Adams once said: “Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope that you will make good use of it.” It would be foolish to argue that we have always made good use of our freedoms. To often we have been silent whenever Big Government or the Supreme Court has chipped away at our liberties. But although we may have not always done the right thing in the past we can do something about today. Today, we can and we must rise to the challenge and defend our freedom. We can share the message of our Founding with our fellow citizens and we can help enlighten our people with a knowledge of the true source of our freedoms.

Only when committed citizens rise up and defend the Judeo-Christian principles of our founding will our nation be able to continue to stand like a light house, beaming the message of freedom and liberty to all those that live in a world darkened by oppression and sin. America is truly the “Last best hope for mankind” and we must not neglect our duty to defend that hope.

This 4th of July, as we think of the sacrifices of generations before us, let us also commit to reclaiming our heritage from those who wish to expunge from the historical record the fact that this nation was founded on the general precepts of Christianity and the fact that our government is founded on the “laws of nature and of nature’s God”. Neither the Government nor any man, can revoke the unalienable rights that we enjoy. Let us use them wisely.

By: Brian Sikma

President Bush stood at the podium, blinking back tears and struggling to utter the words. Finally, he gestures with his hand and a couple in late middle age moves towards the front of the room where they will receive their son’s posthumously awarded Medal of Honor. The room is filled with dignitaries and guests, some of them members of the elite Navy unit known as the SEALs.

The group would not be gathered there if it wasn’t for the heroic actions of Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Iraq in order to protect his fellow SEALs and defend his country.

The day is September 29, 2006 and the coalition forces have been battling the enemy all morning. As the afternoon came, the SEAL team guarding the western flank of the operations in Ar Ramadi shifted it’s position slightly in order to be better prepared to fend of likely enemy attacks.

MA2 Michael Monsoor was positioned with his heavy automatic weapon on an outcropping of roof that affording him and two SEAL snipers a good view of the area. As the threesome kept a vigilant watch for enemy activity, an unobserved enemy fighter hurled a hand grenade onto their position, where it bounced off of Monsoor’s chest. There were three people, one live grenade, and one escape route. The only person who could escape before the inevitable blast was Michael Monsoor.

Monsoor did not abandon his comrades.

Quickly shouting “Grenade!” he dove on top of the device. It quickly detonated, mortally wounding him. His two comrades in arms, however, stayed alive.

There was was a day when the American news media would trumpet from the housetops the courageous actions of an American warrior. There was a day when Medal of Honor recipients were a household name in their generation. Today, many of us must read stories of heroism on the back pages of our newspapers, in a brief paragraph or two skimming over the issue.

If you just read what some on the left have said about our troops, you might begin to wonder whether or not our troops are heroic. You might think the virtues of duty, honor, country, self-sacrifice and courage are about to become extinct. Then a Michael Monsoor comes along and demonstrates that great souls still live.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Reclaim Our Heritage salutes the courage and bravery of MA2 Michael Monsoor and all those brave defenders of freedom who have paid the ultimate sacrifice during this war against Islamic terrorists.

 By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

“I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction…”–John Adams writing to his wife, Abigail, on the Declaration of Independence

ihall.jpg

Today marks 231 years of glorious Independence for this great country. As we gather in groups across this land with family and friends, let us pause for a moment to consider the magnitude of the work done on that hot summer day in Philadelphia.

In 1776 a group of men, leaders in their own colonies, met in Philadelphia for what was to be the 3rd Continental Congress. This extra-legal body possessed no actual grant of power from the King or Parliament. Its legality came from the instructions of the several colonial legislatures.  Since 1774 this body had met to debate what the best course of action would be to restore the rights that were theirs as free born Englishmen. Independence was something that had been discussed in secret; but until now public discussion had been reserved for firebrands.

After much debate and after several petitions to the throne, it became evident that honorable reconciliation was impossible. The King and his ministers had made it clear: If the American Colonies were to come back to the fold, it would be as servants and not equals. Faced with this alternative and the mounting list of violations on the part of the King towards his loyal subjects, Richard Henry Lee rose in June of 1776 to call for Independence.

After nearly a month of discussion and delay, Independence was declared; a new nation formed.

The decision to separate from Great Britain was by no means unanimous in minds of the public. True, certain energetic factions such as the Sons of Liberty eagerly supported the Declaration, but nearly 1/3 of all colonists remained Tory loyalists. Another third of the population pragmatically waited on the fence, undecided about who to support in such a lopsided confrontation. Only about a third of all colonists supported the initial idea of Independence.

The odds were terribly against the Americans in 1776. George Washington had the Declaration read to his 10,000 soldiers who were then guarding New York. It was a rag tag band of 10,000 versus a well trained British fighting force of 42,000. Ten thousand men, armed in the cause of Freedom, fighting for an end greater than themselves and securing the blessings of Providence are not a group to be underestimated.

For 231 years now, our country has stood resolute and firm in a stalwart defense of freedom. We have overcome all obstacles and now, God helping us, we will stand strong against our current external threat of Islamofascist jihad and our internal threats of social liberalism and economic collectivism.

On this Independence Day, let us commit ourselves to victory and our cause to God, firm in our reliance upon His unfailing care and protection.

  • Advertisements