“If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” ― James Madison
I don’t like to be an alarmist. And although I initially accepted all the claims that increased surveillance of citizens and increased powers of government such as in the Patriot Act were necessary to fight the war on terrorism, I am increasingly becoming concerned that such restrictions of liberty may only be pretexts on the part of Republicans and Democrats alike to chip away at our Constitution’s restraints on government to erode our liberties. Here are a couple of quotes from wise men from the past who apparently were well-versed in the lessons of history and tyranny:
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt, 18th century Prime Minister of Great Britain (1766–1768)
“Necessity, the tyrant’s plea.” John Milton, English poet.
In other words, these men are saying that those trying to establish tyranny and remove freedom from the people will use things like emergencies and threats to a nation -such as our current war on terror -as a justification to take away liberties and increase control and even slavery of a people. I am not saying the threat of radical Islamic terrorism is not real. But I am increasingly concerned that our government is using those threats as a justification to bring us increasingly into a government-controlled citizenry ala George Orwell’s book, 1984. From increased surveillance of citizens’ communications to invasion of privacy and even what amounts to sexual harassment by TSA agents at airports. Military drone crafts flying over US soil. Now the NSA is building a $2 billion dollar facility in the Utah desert of the Western USA to intercept communications of US citizens or basically spy on US citizens. And a PhD scientist has confirmed reports I’d heard that social media and other popular sites like Face book are used to mine personal data of participants by the US Government. And these few examples are just the tip of the iceberg.
One more quote which I cite often: “Men who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants.” William Penn, US Founder and founder of the Pennsylvania colony.
This quote expresses the common understanding of most of our Founding Fathers that our nation and its freedoms were gifts of God and not of government, nor of the prerogative of the government to then take them away. But likewise our freedoms were based on self-government; that is, citizens would voluntarily of their own free will submit themselves to God’s laws which would preclude the necessity or vulnerability to a dictator rising up to control the people externally. That is, there would be internal controls or self-government rather than the need for the external controls of a tyrant. And Madison, the main father of our Constitution, made clear that those internal controls would come not from government-or even an external ecclesiastical or religious system-but from “the ability of the people (emphasis added) to govern themselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
But we as a nation have bought the Lie-flavored Kool Aid pedaled by Satan and those who serve him that freedom means we can do whatever we want. In the Bible’s case study of liberty versus tyranny in the book of Judges, we see that tyranny rose when the people “did whatever was right in their own eyes” and turned away from the Living God who gave them their “land of liberty and prosperity” to serve the false gods, or idols, or their pagan neighbors.
Friends, we see the power of government and loss of freedom rising in direct proportion as our nation turns from God to moral and spiritual decadence. Probably no other nation has so plummeted from the heights on greatness to the pit of corruption as has our nation-for no other nation has understand God’s principles of national blessings and freedom and built a nation from the ground up on those principles and faith.
Yet, satan’s forces of darkness eagerly and actively work to undermine our nation as God’s people for the most part are asleep with such sedatives as workaholism or government welfare, and mindless entertainment such as sports and TV. Classical English historian Edward Gibbons noted such things brought down the once great Roman Empire.
Yet I still have great hope that God’s people will begin to arise from their slumber and hear God’s trumpet call to the battle stations on the wall. To realize that we are inducted into God’s Army to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News of the Kingdom of God on earth, and to make disciples of all nations in Jesus’ love regardless of our earthly vocation. I believe a Great Awakening and new Reformation will come. But how it comes will be up to We the People. Jackson Seyonga, a Christian brother who went through the hellish fires of Idi Amin’s brutal persecution of Christians in Uganda declared: “Revival can come one of two ways. Through passion for Jesus. Or through persecution.” Brothers and sisters, may we choose the joyous path to restoration of our nation.