PATRICK HENRY TODAY: "GIVE ME SECURITY, ANYTHING BUT DEATH"
Jan. 4, 2006
Patrick Henry (1736-1799) was one of America's greatest
Founding Fathers. In fact, he was the most famous orator of the
American Revolution. He was admitted to the bar in 1760, served
as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, the Virginia
Patriotic Convention, the First Continental Congress, the Virginia
Legislature, and the Virginia Ratification Convention, and was
Virginia's first Governor.
Patrick Henry's fiery speech delivered on March 23, 1775 in St.
John's Church in Richmond, Virginia was the catalyst for the
heroic stand taken by American patriots at Lexington and Concord,
where America's fight for independence began. Perhaps no man
was more influential in sounding the clarion call for freedom than
In his famous speech, Henry shouted, "What is it that gentlemen
wish? What would they have? 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!"
Compare the spirit of Patrick Henry with the spirit of modern day
conservatives. What do we hear from them? What is their clarion
The battle-cry (or should I say, surrender-cry) of the modern day
conservative is, "Give me security, anything but death!" Yes, it
seems that to most conservatives today, life and peace are willingly
purchased with the price of chains and slavery! Just look at how
eager and willing they are to accept abridgements and usurpations
of our constitutional liberties.
All over America, conservatives, including Christian
conservatives, defend President Bush's decisions to abuse the
power of his office and ignore the rule of law by spying on
Americans without warrants and ignoring the Fourth Amendment
to the Constitution and procedures of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act (FISA). They defend him as he unabashedly calls
for greater power and promises to continue to ignore basic
liberties. Such conduct is both unconscionable and unforgivable!
That America is "at war" is no excuse for President Bush (or any
president) to violate his oath of office and trample the rights and
freedoms of the American people! And anyone who thinks
otherwise doesn't understand the first thing about America!
Since when did conservatives forget their history and heritage?
When did they decide that security was more valuable than liberty?
When did they lose their love for freedom and loyalty to our
Constitution? When? When George W. Bush became president.
Ever since Bush was elected, conservatives have been capitulating
and compromising basic American values to the point that they
have become slaves! Yes, slaves. Slaves to the Republican Party!
Slaves to George W. Bush! Slaves to security! Slaves to their own
ambitions and comforts!
America has always stood for liberty! All nations promise security,
but America has only promised freedom. A bird in a cage is secure,
but it is not free. George W. Bush wants to put America in a cage.
And, unfortunately, most conservatives seem fine with that.
Shame on us! Shame on us conservatives! We sully the memories
and stain the honor of our forebears!
Listen again to the words of America's founders. Hear again their
cries for freedom. Hear George Washington when he said, "The
thing that separates the American Christian from every other
person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet than
live on his knees."
Hear Samuel Adams when he declared, "If ye love wealth greater
than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating
contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not
your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that
feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
Listen to Benjamin Franklin when he said, "They that would give
up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither
liberty nor safety."
Hear Patrick Henry one more time, "Give me liberty, or give me
There is more to life than living! There is more to being an
American than being secure! Patrick Henry understood that.
© Chuck Baldwin
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