"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, give me liberty or give me death!"
On March 23, 1775, with hostilities between Americans and British troops breaking out in New England, Patrick Henry stood in a packed St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia, and made a fiery argument to the Second Virginia Convention that the time had come for the colonies to gather their strength and commit themselves to action. His ringing words will remind us that freedom must be defended:
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?...The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged, their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen 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, give me liberty or give me death! (1)
While our country is not at war in the way Patrick Henry and his friends were at the time he rallied his countrymen with this speech, our country and our freedoms are in jeopardy as they were then. The words ring true --- Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Are we among the vigilant, the active, the brave?
To this end, five state Congressmen from Utah, Keith Grover, Chris Herrod, Stephen Sandstrom, Ken Sumsion, and Carl Wimmer, have formed the Patrick Henry Caucus as a means of challenging our federal government in its current massive drive to subjugate the states and enslave "we the people". Hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens the country over have held massive "Tea Party" demonstrations in protest over the past few months. Many have been writing their legislators regularly, but still feel impotent to fight the good fight -- to do something more, not from lack of desire, but from lack of knowing the means by which this threat to our Constitution and our very way of life can be successfully engaged. The Patrick Henry Caucus will use the tenth amendment to the Constitution as a means of reclaiming our state's sovereignty and limiting the power the federal government is attempting to exert over us. These modern day Patriots have issued a Call to Action.
Please visit their website, and get involved to the extent you are able. If you do not live in Utah, please bring this information to the attention of your state representative. Texas, Montana, and a few other states have already begun similar legislative action. The more states who do, the better our chances of success.
Click on this link for The Patrick Henry Caucus.
(1) Bennett, William J. and John T.E. Cribb, The American Patriot's Almanac (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008), p.92.