When the first pilgrims sailed away from their English homeland, they did it to escape tyranny. They were escaping laws that made it impossible to worship God outside the Church of England. Their government was telling them they had only one choice in church attendance. So, families met in the dark, in secret, to hold worship services away from the prying eyes of the King’s men. Some were imprisoned for simply meeting together to worship and pray.
So they turned their eyes to Holland. In Holland, they could raise their children their way, meeting openly and worshipping God. They sacrificed their homeland in order to find freedom.
But the political atmosphere eventually changed in Holland, and the pilgrims (then called Separatists) found themselves again at the mercy of an unfriendly government. After 11 years in Holland, the pilgrims turned their eyes toward a new land.
As they prepared to depart, William Bradford summed it up this way:
“It was answered that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courages. It was granted that the dangers were great, but not desperate, and the difficulties were many, but not invincible…and all of them, through the help of God, by fortitude and patience, might either be borne or overcome… (But) their condition was not ordinary. Their ends were good and honorable, their calling lawful and urgent, and therefore they might expect the blessing of God in their proceeding: yea, though they should lose their lives in this action, yet they might have comfort in the same, and their endeavors would be honorable.”
So they sailed for the New World. In the new world there was no King. There was also free land for the taking, with room to spread out, raise crops and raise families. Again, they sacrificed their newly adopted homeland for freedom.
Fast forward 100 years. King George came to power in Britain and immediately decided to increase troops in America. How would he pay for it? Simple. Tax the Americans. The colonists were being taxed for something new every time they turned around. Yet they had no voice in Parliament (taxation without representation). As the situation grew worse, many colonists began to speak out against the King.
On the eve of the Revolution, Patrick Henry called his fellow countrymen to action:
“They tell me that we are weak, but shall we gather strength by irresolution? We are not weak. Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty and in such a country, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations, and will raise up friends for us. The battle is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…
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!”
The colonists were willing to sacrifice everything for freedom. Including their lives.
They resisted tyranny. They knew they “were endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; and that among these, were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Today, we are seeing the modern version of the King’s tyranny. We have an administration who wants to create endless government programs (handouts) that will enslave the population by making us dependent on government. We have an administration which seeks to control what kind of cars we drive, how much air conditioning we use, and what kind of medical treatment we should receive. And who will pay for this? You, the American taxpayer.
What would you sacrifice to oppose tyranny? A night of TV watching? Dinner out with family or friends? Attending a football game? Would you sacrifice the comfort of anonymity to speak out? Our sacrifices are such small ones compared to the generations that have gone before us.
Tea Parties across the nation have grown with each new meeting, and what is more, they have attracted the attention of many average American citizens. This, in turn, has encouraged citizens to speak out at Congressional town hall meetings. Americans are waking up and are alarmed at what is happening in Washington.
Don’t let Washington dismiss us as unimportant. WE are in charge of our government. WE elect the officials and pay their salaries. So WE have a voice.
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?