Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Patrick Henry updated April 23, 2007
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy persons who have submitted comments to this venue. However, different men often see the same subject in different lights, and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those people if I express opinions opposite to theirs. I will speak forth my sentiments freely and without reservation. This is no time for legal theories and speculations. The question before us is one of an awful future for this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery, and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility, which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense? I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward my beliefs, Nature's Creator and myself.
Friends of freedom, listen to me, it is natural for people to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we like those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things, which concern their liberty? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the American government for the last 25 years to justify those hopes in legal theory and practice with which people have expressed in a multitude of articles. Is it in that insidious smile with which our petitions for redress have been lately received and ignored? Trust it not, friends of freedom; it will prove a snare to your feet. Do not let yourselves be betrayed with civility. Actions speak louder than words. Ask yourselves how the gracious receptions of our petitions comports with those warlike preparations, which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets of Homeland Security minions, internal passports, internment camps and militarized civil police armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, friends. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which tyrants resort.
I ask you, people of America , what means this martial array, if its purpose is not to force us to submission? Can you assign any other possible motive for it? Have the American people any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of civil armies? No, friends, she has none. However, the conduct of the American government has created enemies. And this government has called we the people its own enemy. These armies of those among us who side with repressive tyranny are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent to bind and rivet upon us those chains, which the powers behind American government have been so long forging.
And what actions have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Seminars? Legal proceeding? Petition? Demonstrations? Boycotts? Strikes? Friends, we have been trying that for the last 25 years. What have we received in return? Heavy handed responses, media pillorying and incarcerations. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?
My fellow Americans, I beseech you, let us not deceive ourselves. Friends of freedom, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm, which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the whitewashed monuments of government hypocrisy, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the Administration, Congress, Courts and masked Alphabet agencies. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the seat of American government!
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation? There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those unalienable rights for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not to cravenly abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, my fellow freedom loving Americans, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Liberty is all that is left us!
Some of our more intimidated fellows say that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. Only if we attempt a fools rush headlong into their ballistics. When shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, numbered, cataloged, and when an American guard physical or electronic shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying on our stomachs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope between our interlaced fingers behind our heads, until those who have hijacked our government shall have bound us hand and foot?
My fellow freedom loving Americans, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those forces of freedom, which the God of nature has placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force, which those oligarchs of global planetationism can send against us.
Besides, my friends we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just Providence who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles with us. The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Furthermore, my friends, we have no choice. As if we were low enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from this contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard in halls of Congress, in the various state purveyors of Real I.D., in the internment camps erected in stealth, in the terminals of our airports, in the railway stations, in the subways of our great cities, on the once free highways, in the banks of every town in America from sea to shining sea! The conflict is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, let it come.
It is in vain, my fellow freedom loving Americans, to extenuate the matter. People may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the District of Columbia will bring to our ears the clash of alphabet agencies and National Guards attacking our brethren holed up in their once peaceful homes! Why stand we here idle? What is it that you 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, I will SeizeLiberty or die trying!
OATH OF THE FREEDOM FIGHTER
Upon My Sacred Honor
I Shall Fight To The Death To Remain Free
No One Shall Govern Me
I Shall Submit To No Authority
There Is No Question In This Matter
I Shall Always Refuse To Obey
I Shall Face My Enemy Squarely
When He Attacks, I Shall Counter-Attack
When He Rests, I Shall Press The Battle
And When The Time Comes
That I Face My Final Departure
I Shall Take My Enemy With Me
For He Is A Creature Without Mercy And He Deserves None
by James Stuart Kelley