We Have a Vision
By Tim Wingate
"Where there is no vision, the people perish"
- Based upon, modernizing, paraphrasing and quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I have a Dream Speech.”
232 years ago when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all people, yes all people of all the races, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of every color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the American people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have come to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of liberty. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of fear mongering to the sunlit path of equal liberty, equal opportunity, equal justice for ALL Americans. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial division, the tar pits of class division, from the encumbering weight of being divided against ourselves to the solid rock of brotherhood, people hood, human hood. This is our hood! Our country! The blood, sweat and tears of the people have poured out to care for, protect, and enrich all of us not just a few who profit at the expense of the sacrifice of the many. Not the elites who divide to conquer! Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children. To make alive the promise of individuality, life, liberty, property with a government that secures those promises, not one that infringes on those rights by fear and intimidation.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This coming sweltering summer of American's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Two thousand eight is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Americans who embraced the message of liberty by Dr. Paul needed to blow off steam and will now be content, will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to political business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until American rights are recognized as unalienable, unchangeable, unlimited. The whirlwinds of this freedom revolution will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my brothers who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into the initiation of physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. If the time comes that we must protect life, liberty, property it will be with the philosophical integrity that our cause is as the founding father's cause was. That our cause also has the moral supremacy because we did all that we could do to entreat, implore, and petition for redress in the most humblest terms and that our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. If then, this government, shows its character by every act which defines Tyranny, is therefore unfit to govern a free people.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the American community must not lead us to a distrust of each other's ethnicity. For we are as Russell Means, the Chief Facilitator of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Lakotah says, “ Mitaku Oyasin! We are all related.” Those who would rule consider all of us lesser mortals to be their slaves on what they believe is their planet-ation. This is not a race issue this is a people issue. Our destinies are tied up together. Our freedoms are inextricably bound together. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking, "When will you be satisfied?"
We can never be satisfied as long as the American is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality, tazing of children, the elderly, and those merely asking a question of police.
We can never be satisfied as long as the American's basic economic mobility is stifled by inflation brought on by the elites to keep Americans down.
We can never be satisfied while they turn America into a prison ghetto where you are either an inmate or a guard.
We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by schools that don't educate and treat them with the moral vacuum of zero tolerance police statism.
We can never be satisfied as long as Americans in all of our states can not know that their votes are counted truthfully, openly and not in secret by compromised patronage workers or electronic fraud.
We can never be satisfied as long as the American government in ALL the branches refuses to answer our petitions of grievances.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of statist persecution, betrayal by fellow countrymen and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You are the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair but overcome evil with goodness.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a vision. It is a vision deeply rooted in the American vision.
We have a vision that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
We have a vision that one day the children of former slaves, the children of former slave owners, the children of former indentured servants, the children of abusive business owners, the children a great indigenous people brought nigh unto genocide, the children of those who came after the atrocities of classism, racism, and authoritarianism will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
We have a vision that one day even Washington D.C. sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, sweltering with the heat of tyranny will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
We have a vision that our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, the amount of money in their pocket, what vocation they live but by the content of their character.
We have a vision that one day in America our children and their children will be able to join hands as sisters and brothers united in liberty in this nation.
We have a vision that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go on with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. Because we ARE FREE TODAY! And if America is to be a great nation this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the waters of the states of the great Lakes!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi!
Let freedom ring from the reclaimed lands of New Orleans!
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children of every hue of humankind, theists and non-theists, will be able to join hands and sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring, Let Freedom Ring!”
So to accomplish this vision let us go on! Go on to greatness. Go on to prosperity! Go on to liberty!Before we can go on, before we can build together we must agree on the foundation. We must agree what to build this house of freedom upon. Fortunately for us we don't have to “recreate the wheel.” We don't have to “lay again” a foundation to anchor our building upon. We already have an anchoring foundation. What anchors us together in this task? Our belief in and our living of our common creed! We are to be doers and not hearers only! Not as those who see their faces in a mirror and then forget who we are. Its not the knowing of what is right to do that makes you good. It is the good of doing what you know that makes you right.
As the angel to the church of Sardis proclaimed:
“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.”
And in Psalms 11, “If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"
What can the righteous do? I'll tell you what the righteous will do!!
The righteous will strengthen what remains and is about to die!
You may ask, “What is about to die that needs to be strengthened?”
The foundations of this country!
What are the foundations of this city upon a hill that has proclaimed the way of liberty to all the nations of the earth?
It really is very simple. As David knelt down to that babbling brook and brought out five smooth stones. The founders established five stone hard principles that felled the giant of tyranny. Five truths that set out to set men free from the lie of divine right to rule by kings, queens, emperors and despots of every kindred, tribe and tongue.
In 1776, fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence declaring that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” What truths were “these truths”?
Truth 1. All people are created equal by “Nature's God.”
Truth 2. All created equal people are endowed with certain unalienable rights.
Truth 3. By the consent of the equal people with endowed certain unalienable rights, governments are formed to secure those endowed certain unalienable rights of the equal people.
Truth 4. When any form of government becomes destructive of those endowed certain unalienable rights of the equal people, it is the right of the equal people with endowed certain unalienable rights to replace that government with one that will secure those, endowed certain unalienable rights of the equal people.
Truth 5. Changes of government should not be for casual and changing reasons. However, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, shows 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.
That is it. Five foundational truths that form a rock solid foundation that the house of liberty was to be built upon. Five footings that would send the word of freedom to other lands. Five footings that would exhort, build up and comfort those in oppression. Five footings that would excite so that the good news of freedom is spread across our land. Five footings that would care for and guide us in pastures of uncertainty. Five footings that would teach the truths of liberty to us so we can teach our children how to live in and maintain freedom. Five footings that when all working together would equip us for the work of liberty. For the pulling down of the strongholds of tyranny.
Even today, with so much talk about fighting to defend freedom, who can stand up and define what that means? Who can look you in the eye and say: "This I believe, and I believe it for these reasons." The world is dying for something to believe in, a statement of principles that leaves no room for misunderstanding; a creed that everyone of good faith toward their fellow human beings can accept with clarity of mind and strength of resolve. The following creed written by G. Edward Griffin of Freedom Force International, is based upon those five “truths” of the Declaration of Independence.
THE CREED OF FREEDOM
I Believe in the INTRINSIC NATURE OF RIGHTS
I believe that only individuals have rights, not the collective group; that these rights are intrinsic to each individual, not granted by the state; for if the state has the power to grant them, it also has the power to deny them, and that is incompatible with personal liberty.
I believe that a just government derives its power solely from the governed. Therefore, the state must never presume to do anything beyond what individual citizens also have the right to do. Otherwise, the state is a power unto itself and becomes the master instead of the servant of society.
I Believe in the SUPREMACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL
I believe that one of the greatest threats to freedom is to allow any group, no matter its numeric superiority, to deny the rights of the minority; and that one of the primary functions of just government is to protect each individual from the greed and passion of the majority.
I Believe in the FREEDOM OF CHOICE
I believe that desirable social and economic objectives are better achieved by voluntary action than by coercion of law. I believe that social tranquility and brotherhood are better achieved by tolerance, persuasion, and the power of good example than by coercion of law. I believe that those in need are better served by charity, which is the giving of one's own money, than by welfare, which is the giving of other people's money through coercion of law.
I Believe in EQUALITY UNDER LAW
I believe that all citizens should be equal under law, regardless of their national origin, race, religion, gender, education, economic status, life style, or political opinion. Likewise, no class should be given preferential treatment, regardless of the merit or popularity of its cause. To favor one class over another is not equality under law.
I Believe in the PROPER ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
I believe that the proper role of government is negative, not positive; defensive, not aggressive. It is to protect, not to provide; for if the state is granted the power to provide for some, it must also be able to take from others, and once that power is granted, there are those who will seek it for their advantage. It always leads to legalized plunder and loss of freedom. If government is powerful enough to give us everything we want, it is also powerful enough to take from us everything we have. Therefore, the proper function of government is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens; nothing more. That government is best which governs least.
The Creed of Freedom is based on five principles that we know and believe are truth, justice and the American way. However, knowing is NOT doing so, how do you apply them to your everyday life? By following THE THREE COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM in everything you do. These three things contain the five foundations of freedom.
Thou shalt protect INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS and not sacrifice the rights of any individual or minority for the assumed rights of the group.
Thou shalt protect EQUALITY UNDER LAW and not endorse any law that does not apply to all citizens equally.
Thou shalt protect FREEDOM OF CHOICE and not use coercion for any purpose except to protect human life, liberty, or property.
These are the immutable footings that support the truth of individualism, and individualism is the indispensable foundation of freedom.
Remember what the angel to the church of Sardis proclaimed. “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die,”
Here is THE REST of that verse, “ for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.”
Not complete? IT IS NOT COMPLETE! The founders fell short in the completion of the vision. Tricksters, liars, thieves, murderers, hypocrites whispered in the ears of those that followed after them and tempted them away with riches borne on the backs of their fellow countrymen. While they made a show of patriotism in the sanctuaries of the house of liberty, they whitewashed their hypocrisy and ignored justice, mercy and broke faith with we the people. They kept the best wine for themselves and gave the people a watered down version of freedom. A liberty lite.
It is not complete until there is equal freedom for all in this country. Not complete until the state has been rolled back to where it is servant and not the master. Not complete until those who have hijacked this country are removed from authority. Not complete until our money, our lives, our children and their futures are NO LONGER being squandered by the elite few for their own benefit and leaving we the people holding a bag of pain, debt and sorrow.
We are the wealthiest nation on this planet because we are many made into one. The talents, abilities, inspirations, art, knowledge of many kinds of people from near and from far have come together to become one NEW person. A person of liberty. A mature person who has learned from the mistakes of the past. A mature person who knows that to deny liberty to one because of difference is the denial of liberty to all. A mature person who knows that it is liberty for all and all for liberty.
We must acknowledge our common creed. The creed that the founders proclaimed and fell short of. The creed that Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed 100 years after slavery was abolished but still was fallen short of. The creed that people have thought they died for but, in our day is suppressed and denied by those in our government who terrorize us with fear. The creed that can embolden us to love liberty. The creed that can move us to action to protect our freedoms. The creed that embraces our hopes and dreams. The creed that casts out fear with faith in the love of truth and righteousness.
The Creed of Freedom is the fleshing out, the living, the reality of the Foundations of Freedom that must be embraced before we move forward to take this nation back from the rebellious servants who have taken this vineyard of prosperity and raped it for their own pleasures.
If we stand together on this foundation and build, it matters not what shape the building is, what its decorations are, or what color it is. Whatever is built on this firm foundation of freedom will be for the good of all.
The world groans under the weight of petty tyrants and would be emperors and waits in eager expectation for the the Sons of Liberty to be manifest. The spirit of Liberty is calling out today for her sons to come forward.
The Freedom Revolution is the coming together of the lovers of liberty to celebrate our brotherhood in ways that encourage, inspire and invite others to shrug off statism, authoritarianism and collectivism. We reject the negative dystopian future that some among us say is inevitable. We know that it may be possible, but only if we give in to that fear and not fight against the night that would steal our light.
There are many opportunities or mission fields to work in. From inner city to rural. Reaching people has always been through music and the spoken word. From the times of the prophets on a hill to a brush arbor meeting, to a union hall, to revival tent, to rented storefront, to coffeehouse, to a modern stadium. Music to lift the soul and words to inspire hope and action have kindled the flame of individualism and participation for a greater good.
The time is now. Never before have WE had this opportunity with the glaring contrast between what is good and evil that has affected so many in this country. The young are ready for a message of hope and freedom. The message is that you are born free, and you are free so be free now!
It doesn't matter what project one works on. There are many areas that people are working in. Its like the body and all of its parts. Urban youth outreach, different musical genres, performance art, writing, speaking, legal studies, litigation, running for political office, rallies, concerts, TV programs, Internet videos, seminars, local video showings, discussion groups, coffeehouses etc. There are many groups already established that are on the cutting edge of pushing the beast of statism into the corner to force it to either capitulate to its masters or bare fang and claw exposing its true nature for all to see. Whether it is We The People Congress, Freedom Force International, International Society for Individual Liberty, The Freedom Fellowship, The Hip Hope Project, Freedom Revolution Tour, Save Kenneth Hall Hospital, etc., the foundational issue IS the foundation.
If we revive the foundations, embrace our common Creed of Freedom thereby strengthening that what remains, not just having a reputation of being alive to liberty but actually living liberty to the fullness of freedom and thereby passing on to our posterity the full equal blessings of liberty, then we will have completed the great deeds that were set before us in our time, in our place, for our people, for We the People!
Will you join with us today to be a son or daughter of Liberty? Will you set your feet upon the solid ground and stand? Choose you today who you will serve, Liberty and Freedom or Statist Authoritarianism?
Carpe Libertas! Seize Liberty!