Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Legacy of "We the People"

Last November, Fox News reported on a recent poll taken at New York State University. The headline read: “NYU students would sell their right to vote for free tuition.” According to this survey, 66% of those polled said they would trade their right to vote in the next presidential election for one year’s tuition. 20% percent of them said they’d make the swap for a new iPod touch. To finish out the results, the poll found that half of the students would give up their vote forever in exchange for a million dollars.

What has happened in America? How have we gone from fighting and dying as nation to ensure these precious rights of freedom and liberty, to believing it’s more beneficial just to sell our vote for an iPod and forget the trouble? John Dickinson, a noteworthy Founding Father of this great nation and signer of the US Constitution, provided profound insight into the very problem we now face over 200 years later. He warned: “Let us take care of our rights and we therein take care of our prosperity. Slavery is ever preceded by sleep.”

Our culture reflects the fact that many in the United States today have grown apathetic toward the foundation of this country and as a result, we are becoming enslaved through our sleep. We have neglected our duty to know the philosophy, the vision, the intent, the passion, and the principles behind our cornerstone document. Ultimately we have neglected to know “We the People” of our US Constitution.

It is only through again coming to know and embrace our Constitution as “We the People,” the Founders of this country intended, that we can awake from our slumber and be worthy of the responsibility entrusted to us. It is our duty to know these Founders and the way that they so uniquely constructed our Constitution, which provides our generation the ability to preserve the intent of our founding and the principles that led us into greatness.

The framers of our Constitution vividly recognized the imperative of its citizens being educated and informed as to the intent and principles that fashioned this country. Founding Father Daniel Webster knew that our country’s greatest enemy was not some foreign army, but rather an ignorance and apathy to our own Constitutional foundation. He said that: “I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe…our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence.”

Our second president, John Adams, also noted an important responsibility of the people to their Constitution when he said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Think with me for a moment: we just had two of the most prominent founders of this country prove that if we the people became apathetic to our government and the moral principles of natural law that sustained it, our Constitution would become essentially worthless and ineffective in American society.

How then did the founders intend to allow its citizens to be informed and educated in the continuing matters of our Constitution and government? An often overlooked segment of our Constitution, yet priceless in its importance, is Article 1 Section 5 Paragraph 3, as it establishes a strong response to that very question when it notes: “Each House [of Congress] shall keep a journal of its proceeding, and from time to time publish the same.” You see, our founders knew that the preservation of original Constitutional thought was so vital to the strength of the United States that they considered this provision necessary enough to insert into the very document itself! Government could not sustain good government alone – it needed the ability to be reviewed by the prudence of an educated people.

Another well-know founder, Thomas Jefferson, very eloquently explained that: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

How apt and timeless this advice is for the predicament America finds itself in today. Is it possible that we have in fact forgotten these warnings of those that shaped the greatness of our nation and left these principles for an easier, more commonplace path? William S. Lind of the Marie Corps Gazette points out the simple truth: “In the United States of America, our traditional, Western, Judeo-Christian culture is collapsing. It is not collapsing because it failed. On the contrary it has given us the freest and most prosperous society in human history. Rather, it is collapsing because we are abandoning it. Starting in the mid 1960’s, we have thrown away the values, morals, and standards that define traditional Western culture…” Yes, our own apathy is causing us to neglect even these basic standards of Constitutional truths.

The lack of dedication to our nation’s Constitutional principles can also be clearly witnessed in the realm of the judicial system today. Former Attorney General Meese reveals the true state of our country’s courts when he stated that “Under the old system the question was how to read the Constitution; under the new approach the question is whether to read the Constitution.”
Chief Justice Warren asserted in Trop v. Dulles in 1958 that rather than holding to history or Constitutional precedent, the court must now instead: “draw it’s meaning from the evolving standard…of a maturing society.” It is interesting to note that in Warren’s 16 year tenure, the Court put an end to long-standing cases and practices, all the while acknowledging it was doing so completely without precedent.

In 1975, in the case of Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, the Supreme Court struck down a ruling that would restrict adult movies shown at a public drive-in theater that faced a church across the street where young children were frequent. The decision was based not on the intent of Constitutional law, but the Court’s reasoning that it could not “be justified as an exercise of the city…for the protection of children.” This flew in face of the 1815 Supreme Court decision of Commonwealth v. Sharpless that followed Constitutional intent much closer. It read: “The destruction of morality renders the power of the government invalid…the corruption of the public mind, and debauching the manners of youth, in particular, by lewd and obscene pictures exhibited for view, must necessarily be attended with the most injurious consequences….No man is permitted to corrupt the morals of the people.”

Is this where the “evolving standards” of Justice Warren have left us? It seems clear that we have forgotten those words of John Adams, George Washington, and other Founders that warned against trading our Constitutional morality for the whim and precedent of popular culture.

So where do we go from here? We must recognize first and foremost that our Constitution is still one of the greatest documents ever written, superior to any other in the world today. It is not our Constitution that has failed us, but rather we have failed our Constitution. We must respond by being a people responsible with the greatness and freedom that has been entrusted to us through this document. President of Hillsdale College, Dr. Larry Arnn, powerfully and succinctly observed that “The question of what is to be done is a simple answer: it is not enough anymore to rehearse by rote the Constitution or to celebrate it in vacuous observances. Both our statesmen and our citizens must return first to it study, with depth and intensity, and then to its sustenance, with eloquence and resolve. Nothing else will do.” To some, the efforts to again become responsible to our duty of knowing and understanding our Constitution may seem trivial or unnecessary. I am convinced however, that our culture cannot afford to loose the precedent of that which is the very essence and cornerstone of our country. If we through apathy allow the greatness of our Constitution as well as the men and principles that protected it, to slip into extinction; our foundation will most assuredly crumble and all else will be lost.

Have we really become so ignorant that we would be disposed to forever give up our Constitutional right to vote for a million dollars? If everyone was willing to trade in liberty for wealth, would we not only end up as poor beggars trapped under the rule of a dictatorship; slaves as such? What price tag do we place on our Constitutional responsibility and freedom? Let us purpose to awaken from our slumber and passionately resolve to carry on the legacy of “We the People” by being a people that casts off apathy through education and as such are responsible to the original intent of our Constitutional greatness.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Let's really take the time to honor them...

We often pick them out of a crowd in their old military uniforms. We spot some of them in wheelchairs shopping at the store. We watch them pass by in a parade, some even without arms or legs. We see them larger than life as portrayed on the movie screen. We know many of their stories – but do we know them as people? As we pass them by, we get a check in our conscience: shouldn’t we stop and say thank you? Shouldn’t we find out who they really are? But most of the time, we just keep walking.

Something great has been lost in America today. Its absence has allowed seeds of ignorance, apathy, and ungratefulness to be sown in the minds of so many of my generation. What we’ve lost and forgotten is honor: Honor and respect for our country and those that made it what it is today – our veterans. As I interact with my peers every day, I see a generation that spends more time planning their barbeque on Veteran’s Day than they do honoring the 25 million men and women it celebrates. Honoring our vets requires more than fancy bumper sticker or clever slogan. It requires knowledge and effort. I must do everything within my area of influence to bring back to my generation and others in America steps of action to restore this honor and preserve their legacy.

It is vital to understand that in order to honor our veterans, we must be a generation that knows our veterans. If I do not have a relationship with these men and women as real people, with real lives, real faces, real feelings, real hardships, and real courage, then I cannot even begin to correctly honor their sacrifices.

I recently watched a film on the very powerful account of the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. There was a line in the opening scene of the movie by the doctor involved in the relentless combat on the island. He stated “[everyone] thinks he knows what war is; but that’s because he’s never been in one.” That holds a lot of truth. I may like to claim on my own that I know how to best honor our vets or can understand what they have been through and the plight they now face, but I can’t. I will never be able to figure it all out or fully comprehend it. Only as I take the time to sit down and speak with our vets, meet with them, spend time with them, and listen to them, only then can I can begin to experience the issues they face. The outgrowth of hearing those needs allows me ability to work along side our veterans to fight for their interests and thank them for who they are.

Our veterans are the one group of people in America that have for years given literally everything they have to protect our rights and freedom, and I want to be able to do all that I can to help protect their needs in return. One organization that has assisted thousands of disabled vets that I like to share with others is the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. Through a letter my family received from this organization, I was touched forever as I personally learned about what these men and women face on a daily basis. Thanks to efforts of CSAH, my family now contributes to this cause – something I hope to continue for the rest of my life.

As I’ve worked to help meet veteran’s needs, I’ve found that our veterans aren’t asking anything extravagant at all. In fact, I was recently talking to a local vet named Tom. As we were talking, I asked Tom what he thought was the greatest way for America to honor men like him. His response surprised me. He said: “America can honor our vets by honoring our country and our flag.” He said what hurts him most is when people give him a hard time for flying his full size 3x4 US Flag on the back his Harley. He said that Americans have really lost their respect for the symbols of our nation’s greatness. This encouraged me to fight harder to get legislation passed, such as the Flag Protection Amendment, that makes it illegal to desecrate our flag in any way.

Once I know vets, I can also take other practical steps to thank them through voting to keep the leaders in office that also acknowledge their needs; thank them by continuing to strengthen local VA hospitals that provide medical care; we can thank them even by working with local government to facilitate the finding of job opportunities for vets needing work as they return home.

Finally, I believe that as one spends time with veterans, they will soon realize the treasure of their legacy. Our country cannot afford to lose the importance of passing on the vision and heritage of veterans. For therein lies the cure to our disease of apathy, ignorance, and ungratefulness. As I work to build a strong relationship with the vets all around me, I am then equipped to help fight for their needs, and to articulate to my generation the reality that the plight our veterans is more than just a fascinating story, more than just a reason to sit down to a barbeque on Veterans Day. It is only through knowing our vets in real ways that we know how to demonstrate to them real honor.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A letter to Fort Wayne: AFA, Matt Kelty, and the Voters

I'm sure many of you have heard of the adventures we've been having in our mayoral race up here in Fort Wayne. Mr. Kelty, the Republican candidate for mayor, has been blessed with the endorsement of the AFA of Indiana PAC because of his solid stance on family values. In order to get the word out to the voters, AFA recently ran a radio spot on the local Christian radio station revealing Mr. Kelty's record on family issues and well as his opponent's record. The Kelty campaign had nothing to do with the production of this ad; they didn't even know it was running until Mr. Kelty himself started receiving criticism, saying that the ad was negative and intolerant. Below is the wording of the ad:

"Christians have an important decision to make when voting for the next mayor of Fort Wayne. There’s some things as people of faith we need to consider. As a City Councilman, Tom Henry repeatedly authored legislation promoting the gay rights agenda. Several homosexual groups are supporting Henry including the Human Rights Campaign, an advocate for same-sex marriage. Councilman Henry also refused to stand with pastors, churches and families concerned about the dangers of strip clubs and adult book stores.

Republican Matt Kelty supports family values. The American Family Association’s political action committee and the Indiana Family Action have endorsed Matt Kelty for mayor. Matt Kelty is consistently pro-life and has been endorsed by the Allen County Right to Life. As a father of four Matt Kelty knows the dangers our kids face in today’s sex-crazed world. You can trust Matt Kelty to defend our values and culture. On Nov. 6 vote your values; vote Matt Kelty for mayor. Paid for by the American Family Association PAC."

After reviewing this and watching it grow increasingly more controversial in the news, I felt compelled to draft a brief letter to all those concerned regarding the ad. Here is a copy of the letter:

The latest "Kelty controversy" regarding the American Family Association's (AFA) ad that's being run on the local Christian radio stations has my head spinning. Because of this ad, Matt is being personally accused of negative campaigning, "Henry bashing", and being heartlessly intolerant.

As a young person, two things confuse me here: First, how can someone blame Kelty for these ads when this was written, paid for, and run by AFA? If Matt and his campaign had no knowledge of or contribution to this spot, why take it out on Mr. Kelty? Go complain to AFA if you feel it was a poor ad.

Secondly, could someone please enlighten me as to the actual specific words in this ad that make it so negative? I asked this same question a few days back on a local blog and still not a single person has responded directly to my comment. There is nothing but facts stated in this ad regarding Tom Henry.

Let the ad run, let the facts speak for themselves, and let the voter decide.

Announcing: State Pro-Life Conference and First Annual GenJ Network Lunch

Indiana GenJ members and conservative young Hoosiers,

An excellent initiative was proposed by one of our state Network members: the idea of an Indiana GenJ lunch that would be held with the purpose of idea sharing, club reports, campaign projects, thoughts on expanding clubs and membership throughout Indiana, and simply to catch up with one another. I think our time together would be both enjoyable and profitable.

So after thinking about it a bit longer, we have decided to give the idea a go and see what happens.

In order to make your trip more worth-while, we planned the lunch on the same day as the State Pro-Life Conference in Indianapolis. I know that a least a few of us plan on driving down in the morning, attending the morning events, take a long break for the Network lunch, and then attending the rest of the conference in the afternoon. There are some excellent speakers and topics on the agenda and registration is only $25 for the day for students. If you do choose to attend the conference with us as well as the lunch, make sure you register for the event here. From what I understand, if you register online before October 15th, you receive a $10 discount! For the schedule, topics, speakers, location, and more, visit the official 2007 State Pro-Life Conference page. For those of us attending, we would meet at the conference in the morning and for those just coming out for lunch, we will meet you at the restaurant. That said, here are the actual lunch details:

WHAT: First Annual Indiana Generation Joshua Network Lunch


WHERE: TGI Fridays (501 W Washington St , 0.6 miles from the conference location)


WHEN: Saturday, November 17th at 12:00PM.


BRING: Money for lunch ($10-$15), your thoughts and ideas!


RSVP: Please just let me know if you are planning on attending by November 1. We have tried to plan the lunch far enough ahead of time so that you can mark it on the calendar now and most scheduling conflicts will be avoided.

I do understand that this may be quite a distance for many of you to travel. I feel you pain – it's over a two hour trip for me! However, I think you will really find this get together valuable for taking your work with GenJ and/or politics to a new level. I really urge you to consider taking the time out of one day to meet with like-minded active young people that share a passion for keeping America great by keeping her good. It will be well worth your time. Also, if you have any friends that may want to come along, please feel free to bring them.

If you have any question, comments, or thoughts please let me know. I look forward to hearing form you soon!

Keep fighting the good fight!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Truth and the Church: The Latest News

The truth on Truth is out: only 13% of young people age 16-36 believe in absolutes and only 22% of adults 37-55. A recent study by the Barna Group (www.barna.org) also suggests that only 9% of Christian teens are certain that absolute moral truths exist. The Christian adults? 44%.

The portion of these numbers that surprise me most are not how many average Americans aren’t so certain that truth exists, but rather how many professing Christians are so certain that it does not. Reflecting on these numbers truly made me stop and think deeper into truth in the church. At first I thought maybe it was my own fault; maybe I should not have assumed that most in the church today would hold to some standard or belief in absolute truth. Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked to realize that there are more non-religious young people that believe in truth than Christian young people. In the end however, I could only draw one conclusion: the subject of truth in the church is vitally important, and the results we are witnessing today represent a serious problem.

Standing for truth is a battle. It is something that is at times hard to hold to and something we have to fight for. It’s work. I believe the Christian life is the same way. Day to day, Christians have to choose whether they are going to fight to uphold the truths of God and His Word, or whether they are going to just settle with compromise that leads to error and put truth on hold for a while. Save the fight for later. Apparently, many leaders and their church are opting for later.

Brian McLaren, a pastor a leader in the Emergent Church, concedes that there is truth out there to find – but that it is near impossible to be clear as to what it is. Thus, this is what he recommends regarding specific doctrinal issues he faces in the church:

“Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making doctrinal pronouncements…when decisions need to be made they’ll be admittedly provisional. We’ll keep our ears attuned to scholars in biblical studies, theology, ethics, psychology, genetics, sociology and related fields. Then in five years, if we have clarity we’ll speak; if not, we’ll set another five years for ongoing reflection.”

This kind of leaves me wondering what one is supposed to do if they need answers.

Speaker, author, and pastor, Rob Bell asks a rhetorical question in his book Velvet Elvis: “It is possible to make the Bible say whatever we want, isn’t it?” Bell believes that we can in a way manipulate the truths of the Bible to mean whatever best justifies our lifestyle, and that is exactly what is so attractive to the masses today. It is much easier to simply reject truth than to have to deal with it and that is why we see so many Christians in the church walking away from it. They do not see the importance of holding to truth so they see no problem in leaving it for a more comfortable routine.

CH Spurgeon (the “boy preacher”) wrote, “Truth could not be truth in this world if it was not a warring thing, and we should at once suspect that it was not true if error were friends with it. The spotless purity of truth must always be at war with the darkness and heresy of lies.” Truths are always at work in all areas of life and aren’t something we can just set aside from time to time whenever we please. It dictates how we live our lives. However, with the outright rejection of absolute truths in many churches today, we are on the verge of facing an immense battle for the most foundational grounds of Christianity.

I have several church-going friends who have often told me that while they believe that God exists, the Bible is full of error, can’t be trusted, and that man invented morality simply as a means of achieving efficiency in society. My response back is very simple: “Why then do you still believe in a God?” They obviously have no need for God or even the church for that matter if there is no such thing as right and wrong. They wouldn’t need a savior neither would they need an authority to hold them accountable for the way they choose to live their lives. If there is no such thing as truth, what would even separate the religious person from the agnostic or the outright atheist?

As soon as we reject an absolute moral truth, the church is reduced to a Sunday smorgasbord where we can just take what we want and leave what we don’t. No one has to feel condemned at the way they choose to live their lives because it all becomes just a series of preferential choices. Truth is the very foundation of the Christian church. It is the cornerstone on which all doctrines and beliefs rest. If we treat the concept of truth as simply a “preference choice,” we have not only nullified the very purpose of the church and slapped God in the face, but we have lost the cultural battle that the church has so long engaged in against a society void of that understanding.

Jesus said, “…and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” If Christ Himself said that there is truth and that it is knowable, Christians especially should recognize truth as a vital reality. Jesus clear teaches that freedom is dependent on truth. Truth provides us with the freedom not to do what we whatever we wish, but the power to do what we ought to do. The ideology that truth simply does not matter is a devastative philosophy with far reaching consequences – both for Christians and those we are trying to communicate to. The members of the church must come to understand that if we are so easily willing to yield truth and thus give away our foundation, we will crumble at the feet of those who want to destroy us. The secular humanist and postmodernist will win at the end of the day and those in the church will have lost all power in their endeavor to share their message with the rest of the world – whatever that may be now that truth has moved out.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Brief Tribute: Thanks, Brian.

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Brian Sikma for his dedicated work as founder and director of the Indiana GenJ Network. As most all of you know, the creation of this profitable networking tool came about entirely as a result of the vision and hard work of Brian.

From building up a base, to finding solid contributors to work with, to staying on top of the issues through outstanding writing, to the creation of new aspects of this site such as the Vision Team and Legislative Assistant campaigns, Brian has been at the forefront of it all. I am so grateful for not only his ideas, but also his endurance and perseverance to see them through until the end.

Brian, I know that a “thank you” is a small reward for your diligent work, but the least I can do is let you know how much I appreciate what you have accomplished here. You are an incredibly blessed and talented individual. I only hope that I can continue to build upon that which you have already laid the foundation for. May God bless you in your future endeavors.

I greatly look forward to working with all of you over the next year as we continue to express a young conservative voice across the state in a powerful and effective manner.

Hold Fast,

Kyle Forti

Monday, August 06, 2007

Planned Parenthood Thanks Rep. Hill


By: Brian Sikma

Writing in a recent op-ed piece that was sent to newspapers across Indiana, Jen Jorczak, director of advocacy for Planned Parenthood Indiana, blasted Rep. Mike Pence (R-(IN) for his amendment (which ultimately failed) to H.R. 3043. The Pence amendment sought to redirect the $300 million that you send to Planned Parenthood every year through the Federal Title X program. It is important to note that the Pence amendment did not eliminate the Title X funding, it simply barred the nation's largest abortion provider from receiving this funding.

Although the amendment was defeated, Indiana's pro-life congressmen voted for it. All of them except Baron Hill that is. You see, Baron Hill (D-IN) has made quite a mountain out of his mole-hill stand for pro-life issues. When it came time to vote on whether or not you would continue to send Planned Parenthood $300 million-around 1/3rd of their annual budget-Hill quietly voted to continue to subsidize the slaughter of unborn children.

Although I don't think aborting little children is very polite, Planned Parenthood must have a polite bone somewhere in their body because the same article that blasted Rep. Pence also took the time to thank those Hoosier congressmen that voted in support of Planned Parenthood. According to Ms. Jorczak: "On behalf of our organization and patients, I would like to thank the members of Congress who had the courage and foresight to stand up in opposition to this mean-spirited amendment, especially Indiana's own...Baron Hill."

You can read the full article here.

It would take quite awhile to thoroughly refute the numerous false arguments put forward by Ms. Jorczak in her article. However, since I'm a conservative and-to quote Mike Pence-I'm not angry about it, let me extend my wholehearted congratulations to Rep. Hill for earning the support of the largest abortion mill operator in the country.

Folks, if Baron Hill can't be honest on an issue so basic as whether or not we're going to respect each and every life among us, how can we continue to trust he and his party with the safety and security of this great nation? Baron Hill has effectively debated with himself to the point that one is hard pressed to find him consistent on anything except for inconsistency. His voting record is perhaps the most consistent thing about him: He votes 91% of the time with Nancy Pelosi.

As we look into the future at the issues facing America, and at the choices we must face both now and in the 2008 election, let us move forward as a people who are known by what we are for, not what we are against. We are for protecting life, we are for consistency in our elected officials, and we are for American values that are distinct from San Francisco values.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hate Speech Legislation Is Not Sound Policy: An Open Letter to Congress

“Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values.” There was a day in the not too distant past when a person wouldn’t think twice after reading that statement. And why should they? It’s a simple sentence that conveys something we’ve known for thousands upon thousands of years – that marriage is the innate institution of the family.

Recently, these very words were circulated in an email through the Oakland, CA government’s open email system and employee bulletin board. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has now labeled this innocent sentence as possible hate speech and a violation of the First Amendment protections! I am writing today not to ask you to ban gay marriage, or even continue to uphold the natural definition of marriage, but to simply allow for the sentence I started with to be spoken today.

Have we come so far in the United States that we have completely lost the ability to discern the difference between “hate speech” and “free speech”? In regard to this matter, I would specifically like to mention the “hate crimes” legislation at a federal level – H.R. 1592 and S. 1105 and ask you to do everything in your power to oppose them.

I want to make it clear that I do not advocate true hate speech in any way. Those that scream threats of assassinating our leaders or President, those that want men and women with different views locked up, those that encourage violence against others, etc. should be punished as is already provided for by the laws on our books. What I do have a problem with is our federal government having the power to prosecute what may be considered to some as politically incorrect speech. While violent crimes cannot be tolerated, the free flow of opinions and facts must be upheld and encouraged in a free society. That is why I am strongly against the passage of either H.R. 1592 or S. 1105.

After all, why has there been a sudden hard push for national “hate speech” legislation? Have we ever needed such laws in the past? What has so abruptly changed in America that we now need to censor opinions and beliefs? Could it be possible that the advocates behind the introduction of these laws are pushing an agenda to shut down their opponents? I would have to believe so. As evidenced by the beginning of this letter and everything else I have read, “Hate speech” policy seems to deal less with the true threats of violence and more with the pushing of a liberal agenda.

I can express the most profane and perverse thoughts and ideas in a movie or piece of music, yet if a person has a difference of opinion on a political or social matter on talk radio or other news programs, it is immediately branded as hurtful and unfair. If the ultimate goal of these “hate speech” bills is fairness, then I suppose we should just give up the fight now and ban free speech altogether. No matter what is said, what one speaks will always be considered unfair to someone.

In order to fully advocate the preservation of foundational principles of a free society, I would again encourage you to vote against H.R. 1592 and S. 1105 and uphold a free and great America.

Kyle Forti

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence

"I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph in that day's transaction..." --John Adams writing to his wife, Abigail, on the Declaration of Independence



Today marks 231 years of glorious Independence for this great country. As we gather in groups across this land with family and friends, let us pause for a moment to consider the magnitude of the work done on that hot summer day in Philadelphia.

In 1776 a group of men, leaders in their own colonies, met in Philadelphia for what was to be the 3rd Continental Congress. This extra-legal body possessed no actual grant of power from the King or Parliament. It's legality came from the instructions of the several colonial legislatures. Since 1774 this body had met to debate what the best course of action would be to restore the rights that were theirs as free born Englishmen. Independence was something that had been discussed in secret; but until now public discussion had been reserved for firebrands.

After much debate and after several petitions to the throne, it became evident that honorable reconciliation was impossible. The King and his ministers had made it clear: If the American Colonies were to come back to the fold, it would be as servants and not equals. Faced with this alternative and the mounting list of violations on the part of the King towards his loyal subjects, Richard Henry Lee rose in June of 1776 to call for Independence.

After nearly a month of discussion and delay, Independence was declared; a new nation formed.

The decision to separate from Great Britain was by no means unanimous in minds of the public. True, certain energetic factions such as the Sons of Liberty eagerly supported the Declaration, but nearly 1/3 of all colonists remained Tory loyalists. Another third of the population pragmatically waited on the fence, undecided about who to support in such a lopsided confrontation. Only about a third of all colonists supported the initial idea of Independence.

The odds were terribly against the Americans in 1776. George Washington had the Declaration read to his 10,000 soldiers who were then guarding New York. It was a rag tag band of 10,000 versus a well trained British fighting force of 42,000. Ten thousand men, armed in the cause of Freedom, fighting for an end greater than themselves and securing the blessings of Providence are not a group to be underestimated.

For 231 years now, our country has stood resolute and firm in a stalwart defense of freedom. We have overcome all obstacles and now, God helping us, we will stand strong against our current external threat of Islamofascist jihad and our internal threats of social liberalism and economic collectivism.

On this Independence Day, let us commit ourselves to victory and our cause to God, firm in our reliance upon His unfailing care and protection.
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