LIBERTY LETTERS, PATRICK HENRY, 1775
In 1970, as a seventh-grade student, I remember the thrilling inspiration I felt as I studied the lives and words of the founding fathers. There was Sam Adams and the Boston Tea Party, Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and the Fair Trial, George Washington and Valley Forge, Paul Revere and his famous Midnight Ride, and most distinct in my memory, Patrick Henry’s immortal oration “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!”
At that impressionable age, I perceived little difference between Henry’s message and spirit than what I had felt when I heard the great stories of the Bible. The founders seemed to me, as prophets, dedicated to the “holy cause of liberty.” Heaven-sent men, called to inspire a generation to strip themselves of the sin of fear and allay themselves — even unto death — to duty, honor, and country. Freedom was, to them, a “celestial article,” which “Heaven” had “highly rated.”
Liberty Letters, John Adams, 1756
One of the most diabolical features of our present dumbed-down, secularized, and thoroughly corrupted educational system in the United States is its systematic stripping out of the moral and religious roots of the very Founders of the system of government we live under – and this our public schools do even as they claim to be preparing our sons and daughters to be responsible citizens.
Yet religion and morality were openly discussed, and deep-seated in the hearts of these great men.
So it was with 21 year old John Adams’, as he reflected, nearly daily, on his feelings while attending Harvard College (where he received both his Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees).
The remaining revenue on the consumption of foreign articles, is paid cheerfully by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts, being collected on our seaboards and frontiers only, and incorporated with the transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and pride of an American to ask, what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States? These contributions enable us to support the current expenses of the government…
2nd Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Self-limiting leaders restrict taxation to those who can afford it.
The previous post detailed Jefferson’s efforts to reduce the size of government and the taxes necessary to support it. Those were internal taxes, ones imposed on everyday people and things. Those everyday people could now delight in asking, “what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States?”
Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
by Steve Farrell
Sometimes secularism sounds legitimate.
One of the more thoughtful arguments used by proponents of a secular state, or of a state that mandates the removal of all religious and moral speech and symbols from public life, is Frenchmen Frederic Bastiat’s 1840 classic treatise, “The Law.”
Periodically, letters come to this writer encouraging him to read “The Law” so that his “eyes may be opened … for certainly religion and morality have no place in American law,” they claim, “and Bastiat explains why.”
The scolders are right; Bastiat’s “The Law” is a must read. But the scolders are wrong; Bastiat did not oust religion and morality from public life; he simply defended their proper use and denounced their misuse.
They Were Believers with Steve Farrell
Daniel Webster records that in 1776, while some men vacillated as to Independence, John Adams, the “Voice of the Declaration,” arose and stirred the hearts of his countrymen with these immortal words:
Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there’s a Divinity which shapes our ends. . . . Why, then, should we defer the Declaration? . . . You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this Declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists, die slaves, die, it may be, ignominiously and on the scaffold.