On the evening of April 18, 1775, a column of 700 British Regulars departed Boston. Their destination was Concord. Their objective; seize the rebel’s store of weapons and ammunitions, and arrest the agitators Hancock and Adams. At dawn the next morning, an advance party of 240 soldiers under the command of Major John Pitcairn arrived at Lexington, and found Captain John Parker and 75 of his Minutemen assembled on the green. Tensions mounted as Parker instructed his men, “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” Pitcairn rode to the front of his column and commanded, “Disperse ye villains, lay down your arms in the name of George the Sovereign King of England.” Adams responded, “We recognize no sovereign but God and no king but Jesus!”
It’s a wonderful story, but it most likely never happened, because Hancock and Adams weren’t at Lexington. They fled the night before, after being warned of the approaching British by Paul Revere and William Dawes. It’s possible that Captain Parker, the Reverend Jonas Clark, or one of the Minutemen said it, but unfortunately, there is no documented account of it ever occurring. It appears to be one of those urban legends that inexplicably evolves from folklore to historical fact. However, had Hancock or Adams been at Lexington, they would have responded to the “No sovereign but God” reply with a resounding “Huzzah!” That’s the eighteenth century equivalent of, “Yeah! And that goes for me too!” After all, they pretty much echoed those same sentiments 15 months later when they signed the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence does more than declare our independence from Great Britain. It establishes the philosophy and ideology of the United States. It’s a philosophy and ideology that rejects the existing social order, based on European Feudalism, and creates a new order, based upon the Christian concept of equality.
At the time of the American Revolution, Europe was a society based on the feudal concept of class. There was the nobility, those who owned the land, and the commoners, those who worked the land. The commoners were economically dependent upon the nobility, and had little or no hope of improving their economic condition, or social status. Effectively, they were indentured servants or surfs, beholden to those who held the power. However, this social construct was not unique to Europe. Similar structures existed in most cultures around the world, because it is part of the human condition. Those in power will do whatever it takes to remain in power. Establishing an aristocracy with formal titles and positions is simply a way to legitimize human corruption and selfishness.
The Founding Fathers understood this, so when they created this nation, they established a classless society; a society based upon the Christian truth that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In America, we have no sovereign. We are not dependent upon or beholden to any monarch, nobility or government. We are all free and independent souls, autonomous moral agents answerable to God, and God alone.
However, the Founding Fathers were realistic. They recognized that in order for our country to survive it needed structure; laws to regulate the affairs of men, and a central government to tend to the affairs of the nation. They also understood human nature. They knew that men were corruptible, and the possibility that those in power would abuse their authority was a real and ever-present danger. They rightly feared the power of the government. The challenge they faced was how to formulate a government that would enable the nation to thrive, and at the same time guarantee the liberty and freedoms of its citizens. The solution was a Constitution and a Bill of Rights specifically designed to regulate and limit the authority and power of the government.
This is a critically important concept. The role of government in America, the impact it should have on the lives of the people is supposed to be minimal. We’re supposed to be able to live our lives free from, and unencumbered by the intrusion of government. We’re supposed to be independent, self-sufficient and self-reliant, but the more we abdicate our responsibility to govern ourselves, the more power we give the government, the more freedom we lose.
Over the past five decades, the size and power of the federal government has grown unchecked and unchallenged. Spurred on by the secular progressive left, it is hell-bent on implementing, and expanding Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” During that period, the nation has spent 15 trillion dollars on welfare payments, housing subsidies, and food stamps, and today, we have more people on food stamps than full-time workers. The federal government has created a class of citizens who are, and will always be economically dependent upon the government. They are terminally dependent surfs, with no marketable skills, no hope, and no future. The secular progressive left has successfully replaced European Feudalism with Federal Feudalism.
Detroit, the motor city, was once one of the wealthiest and most powerful cities in America. Built by industrialist like Henry Ford, Detroit boasted plenty of jobs, and one of the highest per-capita incomes in the country. This week, after three decades of left-leaning leadership, socialist progressive policies, political corruption, and utter incompetence, the once great city filed for bankruptcy. Perhaps they should have heeded the advice of Henry Ford, “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian!”