By Doug Newman
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Posted at Daily Paul.
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God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God?
– Thomas Jefferson
This is Veterans’ Day. It is always about this time as well as Memorial Day when we often see the following poem passed around.
It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.
No it is not.
Militaries, properly employed, serve a most noble purpose: defending the borders, shores and airspace of a nation. However, they do not and cannot provide freedom. Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia had enormous military establishments and they were not free. North Korea has a higher percentage of troops per capita than any other country on earth and almost impenetrable borders. It is also the world’s worst dictatorship.
The United States currently has the mightiest military the world has ever seen. We account for roughly half the world’s military spending. We have 300 ships in our Navy as well as thousands of planes and tanks in the various branches. We have enough nuclear warheads to kill every person on the planet several times over. And we are losing our freedoms at an alarming rate. (And we were doing so long before the current president took office.)
Consider what has happened in the three decades since I enlisted.
· The debt has grown from $1 trillion to $17 trillion.
The federal budget has grown from $600 billion to $3.9 trillion.
· The prison population has grown from 300,000 to 2.2 million.
· The number of people on food stamps has grown from 1 in 50 to 1 in 7.
. The police have gone from being a minor annoyance to an occupying army.
· A national health insurance mandate has gone from being Ted Kennedy’s pipe dream to an ugly, tyrannical reality.
· Since 9/11, the majority of the American people have accepted – in the name of “safety” and “security”: warrantless searches and spying, the suspension of habeas corpus, sexual assault as a condition of travel, indefinite detention without any semblance of due process, severe restrictions on peaceful protest and surveillance drones in our skies watching our every move.
The United States has fought wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. We have engaged in acts of war against Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. We were recently on the brink of war against Syria. We have a troop presence in 130 countries. No foreign country poses any threat to our freedom.
The last time any foreign nation invaded us with the intent of conquering us was in 1812.
But what about Pearl Harbor? Pearl Harbor is 5000 miles from Washington DC. Admiral Yamamoto warned against invading the mainland as, he said, you would find a skilled marksman behind every blade of grass.
But what about 9/11? 9/11 was a suicide attack. The hijackers are dead! You cannot impose sharia law when you are dead! The proper Constitutional response was a letter of Marque and Reprisal, which is a congressionally authorized warrant to pursue the specific perpetrators, i.e. those who had a hand planning and funding the attacks.
So if the military does not provide liberty, who does?
How about God?
Our founding documents are not explicitly Christian. However, they rest on the premise that the rights we have come from a Creator and not from governments. There is a very strong biblical basis for much of what we find in these documents. Examples include:
Our religious liberties have their roots in Daniel 3 and 6, as well as Acts 4:19 and 5:29.
Our political liberties have their roots in Exodus 19:21-27 and Proverbs 27:17.
Our right to keep and bear arms can be traced to Luke 11:21, 22 as well as 22:36.
Our Bill of Rights is the Golden Rule – Matthew 7:12 – applied to political life.
Our Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination come from Luke 23:9 as well as John 18:23.
Our Sixth Amendment protections for those accused can be found in several places. (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 19:15-19; Job 31:35; Proverbs 24:28 and 25:16; Isaiah 50:8; Matthew 18:16; Acts 25:16 and 27.)
The concept of honest money tied to a specific weight of gold and silver can be found many places as well. (Genesis 23:15-16; Exodus 30:13; Leviticus 19: 35, 36 and 25:27; Numbers 3:47 and 18:16; Deuteronomy 22:19 and 25:13-16; I Kings 10:14; II Kings 5:22-23 and 6:25; Nehemiah 5:15; Proverbs 11:1, 20:10, 23; Jeremiah 32:9-10; Ezekiel 45:10-12; Amos 8:4-7; Micah 6:11.)
Let’s look at our Declaration of Independence.
The concept of “nature and nature’s God” – i.e. natural law – can be found in Romans 2:14-16. The idea that we are all created equal comes from Acts 10:34. The right to life is found in Genesis 2:7. The right to liberty comes from Leviticus 25:10, II Corinthians 3:17 and Galatians 5:1. The “pursuit of happiness” comes from Ecclesiastes 3:13.
For a much more in-depth treatment of this subject, please click here.
So where do we get this idea that militaries provide liberty? Historical ignorance perhaps?
When he was walking out of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was asked what had been accomplished. He responded that they had crafted “a republic, if you can keep it.”
It was Thomas Jefferson who said that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
We must be eternally vigilant against our government at the local, state and national level if we wish to be free. We must be eternally vigilant against even those agencies of government that we might like. And we must be eternally vigilant against even those public officials that we might like.
The responsibility is on you and me to preserve our liberty. We must know our rights. We must assert our rights against every infringement. And we must stand up for the rights of others when infringed upon, even if we don’t like these people.
We need to assert our rights whenever we encounter a police officer, an IRS agent or any other government agent. We need to know our rights and duties as jurors, and that jurors have the power to nullify bad laws. We must resist any and all enticements to give up our liberty in the name of lofty-sounding ideals. We must never vote for the “lesser of two evils”, even in the name of electability. And we must educate our friends and neighbors to do likewise.
This is where the freedom fight happens. This is where the rubber meets the road. The military cannot fight this fight for us. We need to fight this ourselves.
It is the grossest form of disrespect to the troops to send them to fight and bleed and die “for our freedom” overseas, while we give up our liberty here at home.