Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | July 4, 2015

Independence Day, 2015

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Another national holiday rolls around, and Americans ponder where we have been, and where we are going.  For those who are deeply troubled by recent events, taking time to celebrate a spirit of liberty and a national declaration that remain unequaled in human history may be a welcome break.  But it can’t instill a sense of complacency.

Now is not the time for the emptiness of false cheer.  But it is a time for taking courage from the remarkable deeds and thoughts of our political ancestors.  What they did was as impossible as what we may need to do.

So please give serious consideration to two selections from LU for Independence Day.

The spirit of liberty

I suspect many will be struck to the heart by hearing again the words of Patrick Henry in his famous address to the Second Virginia Convention in March 1775.

St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.

MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.

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