I would like to move to the subject of Patriotism. This is a subject that is not established in our schools any more. Most of the actions of the Founders dealing with patriotism are not discussed. Patrick Henry’s ‘Give me Liberty’ speech is no longer taught. I had to teach it to my kids because it was not discussed in schools when they attended. My last child graduated in 1996. Many schools are teaching, thanks to the National Education Association and Department of Education, that most of the worlds woes are because of the greedy capitalism of America when in fact all of the world’s disasters could have been prevented if they would follow America’s free market system.
China has the largest population of any nation in the world and was one of the poorest until it allowed the people to adopt a portion of the free market system that we have enjoyed for over 300 years. Many schools refuse to talk up America even though it is America that keeps the peace around the world. It is America that gives to national disasters before any other nation and the American people themselves usually give more that almost all other nations combined! That can only happen when there is wealth and America leads the world for personal wealth. This is nothing to be ashamed of; it is something to be proud of.
The system of government that the Founders established allows individuals to attain wealth that most of the world can’t even imagine. This has made many other nations jealous of us. The United Nations wants to tax the American people to alleviate poverty around the world. What they should be doing is demanding that governments around the world allow their people to operate in a free market system like we do.
Defending who we are and what we have accomplished should be a high priority of all Americans. But we are not given any real reason to be proud of America. I would like to discuss what it is to be a good patriot and give a few examples of the early patriots that we should use as role models. To be a good patriot you have to stand up for what your country is and for what your country stands for. Our nation has always stood for freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to associate, freedom to be whatever you want to be. Most nations do not have these freedoms. Islamic nations have none of them. In America a man or woman of any ethnic background can become whatever they want to be. Free enterprise allows any person to start up a business and grow it as big as they want. The only thing that holds them back is their own ambition. In most countries it is the government who decides who will be in business and who is the worker. They will also decide how much money you are allowed to make.
These are the freedoms our Founders fought and died for. These are the freedoms that a patriot stands up for. We have freedom of speech which allows us to say almost anything we want. We can voice displeasure in how are government is run without being arrested and thrown in jail. We can put into print anything we want as long as it is the truth and not be thrown in jail for printing it. There was a time in early America while still under the rule of Great Britain when we were not allowed to print Bibles. They all had to be brought over from Britain. Today we can print any version of the Bible we want. These are precious freedoms that most men and women are willing to die for, and many American’s have died so that we can keep our freedoms. They say if you love your freedom, thank a Veteran. I do love my freedom do I do thank a vet whenever I see one.
Our first early patriot is Samuel Adams. He is known as the ‘Father of the American Revolution’. For twenty years he was a leader in the build up to the Revolution, during the War and afterwards. He was the man behind the Boston Tea Party, signed the Declaration of Independence; he called for the first Continental Congress and served there until 1781.
He was one of the drafters of the Massachusetts Constitution and when John Hancock was Governor of Massachusetts Samuel Adams was Lieutenant Governor. He later was Governor of Massachusetts.
Samuel Adams was also the key figure in the forming of the Committees of Correspondence, which was the force behind the unity of the Colonies in the years prior to the Revolutionary War. Part of the Committees objective was to make the colonists know their rights. In 1772 his work The Rights of the Colonists were distributed throughout the colonies. A brief statement from this work is:
The right to freedom being the gift from the Almighty . . .
The right of the colonists as Christians . . . may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institution of The Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.1
America had always stood strong for the teaching of the Christian religion. Despite what our modern so-called historians try to tell us, they were very strong in their Christian faith. In a letter to Founder James Warren in 1779 Samuel Adams wrote:
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. . . . If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.2
Samuel Adams believed in the necessity for moral lives not just for the personal life but even more so in the public life. He felt that one of the best things of America was the morals practiced by the Christians of America, which was the majority of the citizens. He made many statements about the necessity for the learning of the Christian principles including:
He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a Virtuous people.’3
Here again he stresses the importance of morals, virtue and living an upright life. His main point in this statement being the necessity to make sure that those that we put into power with our vote must be men of high character, honest and worthy. He believed the Bible was the most valuable teaching tool. He followed the principles of scripture for men in authority: Exodus 18:21 “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:” He was taught at young age that this was the type of man that is to be put in authority. We have gone so far from that today with open homosexuals in public office, adulterers, men that take bribes. He knew what the Bible was talking about in this verse. The spirit of the men in office will affect the people. Remember when Bill Clinton ‘stained the blue dress’? He stated on national TV that he “never had sex with that woman”. Because of his actions and what he said a whole generation of youths believed that oral sex wasn’t ‘sex’.
These are the types of people that Adams was concerned about. Even with ancient Israel when they had a good king the nation prospered, when they had a bad king they had troubles. We see the same thing today in America. The ramifications of the current president cannot be anything to look forward to. Open homosexuality promoted, gay marriages forced on the people, abortions have accelerated in the last two years and now the American taxpayers are paying for abortions all over the world, even though the majority of Americans are against that practice. This president is not proud of the heritage of America. He has dissed America all over the world. Other than Jimmy Carter after his presidency we have never had a standing president stand on foreign soil and cut down America. America longs for a patriotic president.
Fisher Ames was a Founder and a patriot. It was Ames that worded the First Amendment as we know it today. Many believe that Thomas Jefferson was the author, but he was an Ambassador to France at the time it was written and ratified. Fisher Ames was a Congressman from Massachusetts in the first session of Congress and was involved in the writing of the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment. On August 20, 1789 his wording for the First Amendment was adopted by the House;
Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.4
A month later Fisher wrote an article for the Palladium magazine talking about the importance of early learning of Bible and of having the Bible as the main text in schools:
We have dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. . . We’ve become accustom of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons. . . . We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principle text in our schools. . . The Bible states these great moral lessons better than any other manmade book.5 (emphasis added)
A patriot will stand up for what make his country great. All throughout the history of America, Christianity has been its foundation and since America had prospered beyond anybody’s imagination on that foundation, Fisher Ames believed that that foundation should remain intact.
Abraham Baldwin was a signer of the Constitution of the United States, a member of Congress, was a U.S. Senator, lawyer and educator. He served as chaplain in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. After the War he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1783. He represented Georgia at the Constitutional Convention. He was founder and first President of the University of Georgia. He too believed that moral were of a high priority and wrote in the Charter of the College of Georgia:
When the minds of the people in general are viciously disposed and unprincipled, and their conduct disorderly, a free government will be attended with greater confusions and evils more horrid than the wild, uncultivated state of nature.
It can only be happy when the public principles and opinions are properly directed, and their manners regulated.
This is an influence beyond the reach of laws and punishments, and can be claimed only by religion and education.
It should therefore be among the first objects of those who wish well to the national prosperity to encourage and support the principles of religion and morality, and early to place the youth under the forming hand of society, that by instruction they may be molded to the love of virtue and good order.6
These men were patriots because they stood for what made America great. Even though America was still very young it has proven that its system was worth defending at all costs. Even as far away from what it began as, today it is still worth defending at all costs. It is more important that we go back to what our Founders designed. It has taken us many years to go this far from their style of government and it will take time to get back, but we can do it if we try. That is the key point, if we try.
- Samuel Adams, November 20, 1772, in his pamphlet entitled, The Rights of the Colonists, in section “The Rights of the Colonist as Christians. The Rights of the Colonists (Boston: Old South Leaflets), Vol. VII, 1772.
- Samuel Adams, February 12, 1779, in a letter to James Warren. Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed. The Writings of Samuel Adams (New York: G.P. Putnam’ Sons, 1905), Vol. 4, p. 124.
- Samuel Adams, 1750, statement William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1865)
- Fisher Ames, August 20, 1789, wording for the First Amendment to the Constitution, suggested in and adopted by the U.S. House during the First Session of the U.S. Congress. Annals of the Congress of the United States – First Congress. (Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, p. 766.
- Fisher Ames, September 20, 1789, in an article published in the Palladium D. James Kennedy, “The Great Deception” (Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Coral Ridge Ministries, 1989; 1993). P. 3.
- Abraham Baldwin, 1785, Charter of the College of Georgia. Charles C. Jones, Biographical Sketches of the Delegates from Georgia (Tustin, CA: American Biography Service), pp. 6-7.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.