Sunday, July 3, 2016

It Depends on What the Meaning of "Independence" Is

"There they now stood, side by side...with arms in their hands, silent & fearless, willing to shed their blood for their rights...John Parker, the strongest and best wrestler in Lexington, had promised never to run from the British troops; and he kept his vow. A wound brought him on his knees. Having discharged his gun, he was preparing to load it again, when he was stabbed by a bayonet, and lay on the post which he took at the morning's drumbeat..."--George Bancroft, historian & founder of the Naval Academy, describes the Battle on Lexington Green, where 70-some Minute Men--ordinary citizens, really--faced 700 British Regulars
on Apr. 19, 1775.

The citizens had been warned by Richard Dawes and Paul Revere. They were joined by Dr. Samuel Prescott, who had been visiting his girlfriend in Lexington. When Revere & Dawes were suddenly surrounded and detained, Dr. Prescott and his mount jumped a stone wall and escaped. When church bells pealed across the countryside, the British fled, freeing Revere & Dawes.
Jayme Metzgar of the Federalist has written a marvelous essay on Independence Day.

It touches on an aspect I've been thinking about; our oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Obama has forbidden investigators to consider Sharia Law advocacy as a red-flag in terror investigations, purging it from existing documents, discouraging future the use of the word, and going so far as to translate it into English to 'dissappear' it when it must be used.

But even if you accept Obama's idiotic yet malevolent premise, aspects of Sharia involving coercion and subjugation of non-adherents are antithetical to the Constitution and the oath all officials take to defend it. It is not a matter of indifference if you have sworn to support and defend the Constitution--and meant it.

An excerpt:

"Today, 240 years after that fateful, sweltering day in Philadelphia, it’s hard to imagine modern Americans making a similar decision to risk everything for the sake of liberty. These days safety is our god, and we’ll gladly sacrifice freedom on its altar.

Take the recent debate over gun control, for example. Despite the fact that America’s gun homicide rate has dropped by nearly 50 percent over the past decade, many are so shaken by incidents like the Orlando terrorist attack that they’re clamoring to toss the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments on the scrap heap of history. Of course, the prospect of a mass shooting is frightening for anyone to contemplate. But it’s a statistically remote danger compared to the all-encompassing threat of a government empowered to strip its citizens of rights without due process of law. The armed commoners standing on Lexington Green in 1775, defying a military superpower to come confiscate their weapons, understood this. ...
Frankly, far too many of us think nothing of sending someone else’s son, husband, sister, or mother to “defend freedom overseas” while remaining unwilling to take a single risk ourselves, no matter how small, in order to defend freedom here at home. Saying “thank you” to our military on holidays rings a bit hollow when we treat the liberty for which they fight with contempt in our daily lives.

That brings us back to what we’re missing about Independence Day. July 4 should be a celebration of the ideals that formed this nation, and a reminder that all Americans—not just the military—have a role to play in defending them. When we downplay the role of ordinary civilians in safeguarding freedom, we also downplay their responsibility.

Our fighting men and women take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” But it isn’t only up to them. It can’t be. Today, the direst threats to the Constitution of the United States don’t come violently from outside our borders, but peaceably from within. In a representative government, we the people are chiefly responsible to support and defend the Constitution—in the way we vote, the policies for which we advocate, and the way we live in our communities.

Benjamin Franklin once famously said that the Constitutional Convention had created “a republic, if you can keep it.” At the time, he was speaking not to a professional soldier, but to an ordinary American woman. The charge to “keep” the republic belongs to us all. It will require bravery not just from the small segment who are in the armed forces, but from every single one of us." ..............

You'll want to read it all.

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