Thursday, May 26, 2011

Government-Freedom and Liberty

A bit has already been said about self-governance; some men could, some must never. Evidence abounds for the lawlessness and evil that would certainly over-run the land if men were allowed to live unrestrained. Domesticated animals revert back to beasts when they are outside the confines of fence and leash. Some times mankind acts no better than a beast. We must have laws and restraints to pinpoint the offenders, not the civil law abiding citizen. The balance between fair and just legislation and oppressive and unequal legislation is placed in the hands of the elected. And, the elected must always answer to the electorate.

The injustice that propelled good men and catapulted the land into war was just this issue of unfair legislation and being powerless in the selection of a voice that would represent them before the crown. The Boston Massacre, Lexington & Concord, the attack on Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill), were actions destined to take place as men would no longer sit on their hands as oppression slowly choked the life of freedom from their souls.

During this time Edmund Burke was an outstanding orator and author living under the crown. He addressed Parliament on more than one occasion. He had an insight into the heartbeat of the colonies that  gave a great illumination to the questions of why war and the motivation behind the colonialist. On March 22, 1775, in his, Second Speech on the Conciliation with America- The Thirteen Resolutions, Burke addressed Parliament, saying: Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is no way worn out or impaired; and their mode of professing it is also one main cause of this free spirit. The people are Protestants; and of that kind which is the most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is a persuasion not only favorable to Liberty, but built upon it.  All Protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our Northern Colonies is a refinement on the principle of resistance; it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the protestant religion.

Burke certainly knew the heart and soul of the colonialist. A people so in love with liberty and their blessed free land are bound by their conscience to stand and fight. The fight was not against the need for government nor laws, not against authority and enforcing law. The revolt was against the loss of voice and self-determination. A voiced and self-determined people would be able to hold each other accountable. Laws would be enacted that their voice would give assent too. The laws of the colonialist were to be based on the ethics and morals of the colonialist, not a removed and distant crown.

In 1791, Burke wrote to, The national Assembly: What is Liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without restraint. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites... Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

The foolishness of modern man is his being convinced that ethics, morals, and religious conviction no longer have a part to play in the governance of man. The Old Testament give a powerful word to the wise: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.  Our mind is not god, our education, however great or noble, is not to be worshipped. The works of our hands and the greatest feats of science fall far short of the Divine.

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