I have always loved this picture and what it stands for. It is an image of a statue that, for now at least, still stands in Lexington, Massachusetts. It is from a different time, on a seemingly different continent. It honors the citizen farmer who may have learned both Greek and Latin as a child. The most well-read men of any age. Self-sufficient. Knowing their trade, and knowing hard work. They debated the meaning of life, of property, of freedom… of liberty.
Their philosophy was instilled in a Bible verse which they quoted simply as, “Micah 4:4.” A verse which reads, “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken.” The same force of Nature that had given them life had bestowed unto them an inherent freedom. This freedom included their labors, and the fruits of those labors. It was a freedom that was no one else’s to take without their consent.
Their Rights did not issue from a King or from a government, they issued from whoever or whatever it was that powered the Universe. And so the forceful acquisition of these Rights was repugnant, anathema to the laws of both God and Man… blasphemous.
Lexington, Massachusetts. 1775. It was learned that British Army regulars were coming to seize the Colonist’s guns. First Lexington, and then Concord. Shots were fired, and there were casualties. The British retreated back to Boston under heavy fire. In the same Good Faith present at the signing of the Magna Carta 550 years earlier with another English King, the King’s subjects made it clear, “You rule us because WE say so, not because YOU do.”
Yet the meaning of this is lost on most today, if understood at all. Something that is free, even “freedom” has no meaning when it doesn’t cost anything. Like a trinket, a birthright… a bowl of bean soup so casually bartered away.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People,” said John Adams, and it is clear today that it – our Constitution – cannot remain viable in an ethical and spiritual void… and it cannot remain viable in a place that is devoid of critical thought. In the words years ago of a close friend, “The problem with a libertarian ideology is that you actually have to be able to think.” Amen.
originally posted to spacebook 2018-12-22