The Declaration Of Independence

You know, I believe it is altogether fitting, considering what sacred event is being commemorated this today, that we quote the following, dated July 4th, 1776:

“WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and [of] Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

“WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or [to] abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Power[s] in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. …”

“WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATED OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by [the] Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of [a] Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; … And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Under the hot fires of opposition, those last words were not idle words of rhetoric. As they pledged, so too they were required to give, some, even to the last full measure of devotion, their very lives.

Forgive me for a personal aside, but I have lived my life a free man, and most of that life I have been oblivious to the price that has been paid for me. Now, I pray the God of Heaven that He will open the eyes of my children, that they may hold fast to those freedoms which are slipping away. I pray that every person will make this Declaration of Independence anew, that in their own hearts they will declare their independence from every form of tyranny and oppression under the sun, for as it has once been said, when freedom is lost, only blood will buy it back.

Compiled notes and research from Glenn Rawson – July 1998

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace!

It has been estimated that less than 1% of the human family in 6000 years of history has been as free as a modern American. That freedom is a precious gift of God through the atonement of His son, Jesus Christ. Can any man truly exercise his agency if he is not spiritually and politically free? Without freedom, faith is dead. Satan can take no man’s freedom away; it has to be self-sacrificed. And when freedom is lost, that man is damned; his eternal progression is stopped.
In his wretched misery, there’s only one thing Lucifer loves – and that’s miserable company. It is a victory for him when any man is chained by sin, but it is a horrific grand sweep when he can damn an entire nation under an oppressive government.
Now my friends, we accept without question our individual need to fight daily for spiritual survival and freedom. Should it surprise us then that nations too must be as vigilant and fierce as righteous men? To surrender freedom without a fight is offensive to the Lord who died granting it.
I call you to remember these words delivered March 23rd, 1775 in old St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. (While on a film shoot in Virginia my business partner and I took a day from filming to visit this church, I stood in that church and felt the strong spirit of freedom.) Patrick Henry rose from the third pew and addressed a quavering indecisive group of men. He said, “If we wish to be free … we must fight! … An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!
“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? … Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? … millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, … are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations. … There’s no retreat, but in submission and slavery! … The war is inevitable, and let is come! I repeated it, sir, let it come.
“… Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace! The war is actually begun. … 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!”
Patrick Henry’s speech united that body, and Virginia armed herself for the revolution, the war that spent the blood of patriots in purchasing a freedom that we have enjoyed for over 200 years.
That freedom is now once more, as it has always been, under attack. Whether it is by modern secret combinations called terrorists, or corrupt men in office, their consummate evil cause is the same, the enslavement of the souls of men. If they can oppress us politically, the can damn us spiritually. Indeed, ‘the commitment of our fathers is the calling of our time,’ (President George W. Bush – National Day of Prayer address, September 14, 2001) the call to unite in covenants of righteousness under the title of liberty, the call to serve the God of this land who is Jesus Christ, the call to obey the law, whether constitutional of spiritual, for they are the same. If we answer that call, the power of God will be with us once again, and we will remain a free people.
After more than two centuries, it is time, my dear friends, to ask again, “Why stand we here idle? Is life so sweet, or peace so dear, as to be purchase at the price of chains and slavery?” – personal or political? With the thunder of Patrick Henry, may we unitedly raise our voice to the heavens, “Forbid it, Almighty God. Give us liberty or give us death.”
God Bless America, Again. Compiled by Glenn Rawson

The Cost Of Freedom? Ask the Signers!

If you would permit me, may I quote?
“…And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Those words were not rhetoric for a speech for the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Of those 56 men who signed it, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died; twelve had their homes sacked, looted, and occupied by the enemy.
For example, Thomas Nelson Jr. at the Battle of Yorktown had his home taken over by the British General Cornwallis. Nelson quietly urged General Washington to open fire on the home anyway. It was destroyed. Nelson died a pauper.
Nine of the signers died in that war, and two lost their sons to it.
Carter Braxton, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas. He died in rags.
Thomas KcKeen was forced to move his family five times in five months to hide from his enemies. While his family hid from the British in abject poverty, McKeen served in Congress without pay – oh, for men like that today!
Francis Lewis’ home and possessions were seized, and his wife imprisoned where she died a short time later.
And perhaps the most touching story of all is of the signer John Hart, who was driven from his wife’s bedside as she lay dying. Their thirteen children had to flee for their lives as well. For over a year Hart lived in caves and in the forest. After the surrender, he returned to find his wife dead, his children gone – thirteen children, and every one of them vanished! John Hart died a few weeks later of a broken heart.” (Lund, The Freedom Factor, Deseret Book, 1987, p. 101)
And there were more – more stories of sacrifice and pain than I have time to tell.
I believe, my dear friends, that if the opportunity was given to us to face each of them and ask them if the price they paid was worth it, I believe there would be a unanimous and a resounding “Yes.”
It has been said that the single most important word in the English language is “Remember.” Oh, may God grant that every citizen in America will never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom.

From the notes and research of Glenn Rawson – July 1998

Life Is Eternal – See You Again.

Dedicated in the loving and continuing memory my great, inspiring and “who could fix anything” father. Paul Howe – He and I communicated every week…when he was living in New Holstein, Wisconsin always closing our calls with “I Love You.” It was so easy to say that to him because he made it so easy to love. He was generous, giving, caring and showed concerned. My brother, Curtis Howe and his wife, LeNan Howe had just got him moved out here so we could help with his health care. I was able to be with him his last night on our front porch looking up to the mountains just a short distance from our home. He was tired and weak — and was so tired of his oxygen tanks with cords and tubes…. He let me know it was no way to live. I helped him get settled down for the night with a glass of water, a fan to help keep cool and just double checked on him a couple times. In the morning I heard him get up and was walking across the floor… then the footsteps stopped. I ran up stairs where he was lying on the floor — trying to revive him and calling 911 and getting the EMT and public safety here in 8 mins was not going to change anything – he had slipped into the next space and time. This note kind of shares his thought and mind and I think our family as well. It was shared from my great friend in England, Chris Wright. Thanks Chris.

Life Goes on and we go on - just in a different place.

Life Goes on and we go on – just in a different place.