Renewing the American Spirit

Patriot Week begins on 9/11 and ends on 9/17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution (Constitution Day)) and renews America’s spirit by celebrating the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history. Many of current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning. We need to invigorate our appreciation and understanding of America’s spirit. This blog is dedicated to keeping the spirit of Patriot Week - and America - alive all year long.....

Monday, April 30, 2012

Religious Liberty Means Protecting Everyone's Free Exercise

"We are bound, you, I, and everyone, to make common cause, even with error itself, to maintain the common right of freedom of conscience."  Thomas Jefferson

This idea - that we must all bind together to protect the freedom of all - is something completely unnatural in human affairs.  Generally, we come to the defense (and offense for that matter) of ideas in which we believe - this is especially true in matters of religion.

Yet, we have come to see the attack on the belief system of even the smallest religious minority - no matter how bizarre or wrong we might think those beliefs to be - to be an assault on the religious freedom of all.  This is so because religious liberty protects dissenting views, or it is worth nothing.  And the majority view one day can easily become the oppressed view the next.  More importantly, we have been given free will to choose - and that free will is bequeathed to us by the Creator (or Nature and Nature's Law) - it is inherent in us as human beings.  Attempts to quash religious liberty, therefore, are attempts at destroying human nature and the subversion of our unalienable rights.

The temptation to ignore the religious liberties of others is ever present, which is why we must be ever vigilant.

For more, visit Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Knowledge & Integrity - The Keys to Liberty

"The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved. . . ." John Adams

 As Adams reflected, as a free people, our liberty depends entirely on our people to self-govern.  And to self-govern, we need to understand our Constitution and act with integrity.  Unfortunately, as our institutions have broken down, so has our ability to self-govern and protect our liberty.  Our educational system fails large swaths of our people, large portions of our finance, business, and religious systems are compromised or corrupt, and our political system is dysfunctional.  This bodes very poorly for our liberty.

We need to counter these influences by focusing again on First Things First - our Founding First Principles (the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the Social Compact, limited government, and the right to alter or abolish an oppressive government), and acting with integrity.  That is our strength and our salvation.  

Because our institutions are so ill, the people need to make this happen.  That's why grassroots efforts like Patriot Week are so important.  Join us.

For more, visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It is for us to save freedom

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address ends with this sobering message:

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from those honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Although sobering, it is also inspirational.  We are the masters of own destiny.  Not the government, not the dark forces of history, but us.  The day we forget that is the day the republic and freedom dies.

For more visit Patriot Week and Americas Survival Guide.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Lives, Our Nation

"Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives." John Adams.

This sentiment is the true essence of patriotism.  To paraphrase another President, its not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for her.  On the other hand, if we lived in Cuba or Iran, this might be a bit different, but as Americans, we believe in, and are the beneficiaries of the First Principle of the Social Compact.  The Social Compact provides that we give up some rights to the government so that it will protect our unalienable rights, and that we have the right to direct the government through the republican form of government.

This sentiment is all but lost today.  Way too many seem to think that the government exists to feed itself - the government is supposed to be a servant - of all - for the benefit of protecting our unalienable rights.  Look at the GSA scandal - those public "servants" did nothing but abuse their positions.

Time to return to our First Principles and the true purpose of government.  Our obligations to our country include the obligation to set it back on the right course.

To learn more, visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jackie Robinson - Breaking the Barrier in Baseball - 65 Years Ago

Today marks the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball.  He was a fine athlete, a strong man of character, and extremely resilient in the face of adversity.  His feat was no small accomplishment back then, and it paved the way for larger changes in our society.

Back then, baseball was THE sport.  Football was just getting started, hockey was very small, and basketball was hardly on the map.  Baseball was the national pastime, and everyone paid special attention to what was happening on the field.

To commemorate the event today, major league players all wore #42 - Robinson's retired number.

This feat helped us move one step closer to the First Principle of Equality (racial) - which is a fundamental premise of American society (often observed more in the breach than in reality) - i.e., that "all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."  That a black man could be superstar on the largest stage knocked down many psychological and other barriers.

I am proud to note that a alum from my law school - the University of Michigan - played an indispensable role in Robinson's milestone.  Branch Rickey, a 1911 graduate, signed Robinson's contract - and pushed for it tirelessly.  Hats off to both men.  

To learn more about our First Principles, visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry solidified the cause of independence before the House of Burgesses. He exclaimed:
If we wish to be free – if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending – if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have so long engaged... we must fight! It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter, Gentlemen may cry, Peace, peace – but there is no peace... Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? 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 for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

'Nuff said.  For more visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why do we have a government?

Thomas Paine expressed the American sentiment when he wrote that:

“Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, not to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured.”

This is why we have a government.  Too often we seem to forget that that entire purpose of government is to protect our unalienable rights.  The government is our servant, not the other way around.

To learn more, visit Patriot Week and America's Survival Guide.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What Price Freedom? Responsibility

"Responsibility is the price of freedom." Elbert Hubbard.

So true.  Yet so hard.  Perhaps this is why so many in human history are willing to forgo freedom - yes, they don't have liberty, but they don't have to responsible for their own lives.  Complacency and laziness are truly the enemies of our unalienable rights.

For more, visit America's Survival Guide and Patriot Week.