Skip to comments.A Visit from the Founders
Posted on 07/03/2005 2:00:21 PM PDT by EveningStarEdited on 07/03/2005 2:16:55 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
It was one of those nights; hot, muggy, the kind that finds you trapped between sleep and reality. I lay there, on the brink of anger, knowing that tomorrow was going to be a very long day. The parade started at 11:00; the Arts and Craft show at 1:00 PM; and I had to work in the 4th of July Committee's food booth from 3:30 to 5:30. I snuck a peek at the clock and decided to just lay there and hope for the inevitable.
Just as I felt myself sinking into blessed relief, I thought I heard voices. I looked up, and in the corner, at the computer sat two men. Part of me wanted to go on full alert; the other half was intrigued by the whisper of familiar phrases.
One was exalting the advancement in technology, flabbergasted with the speed and enormity of information available to the common man. "Why, in my time, it took a full day to set the press. And delivery took as long as the mules did to walk. This is astounding. Instant communication, not only from city to city, but around the world."
The other seemed skeptical. "Ah, yes, but how is this information being used? For the good or mankind? Or to advance the tentacles of government? Does the government control this new medium or is it available to everyone."
My curiosity piqued, I became drawn to the conversation, like a moth to candlelight. The voices were alien, but the characters seemed so familiar. They certainly had a thorough knowledge of history and their concern with present day circumstances was genuine.
Who are you? How did you get in here?
"I am Benjamin, my friend here is Thomas", replied the pudgy one with glasses. "We are here to analyze the results of our experiment and determine whether we should have been so generous in our assessment of the public. Whether they truly understand and appreciate all that we went through to establish a government "Of the People, By the People and For the People.
From what we have observed, there is a marked decline in liberty and we want to know who is at fault. Whether we should have been more explicit in writing our documents, or if the People simply lack the common sense to heed our warnings in regard to the insidious nature of government."
Well, people change. Circumstances change. I have read most of your documents, and even I do not fully understand them.
"Well that's what we are here for. We want to answer some of your questions" Ben said. "Ask away. It is critical that we dispel the doubt and uncertainty surrounding our writings. How can we help?"
What about the 2nd Amendment?
"What about it?" asked Thomas.
Did you really intend for every man to possess a firearm? Didn't you realize how deadly weapons would become with the advancement of technology? are you aware of the terrible toll these weapons have taken on society? People are killing each other over nothing.
"Of course we are aware of the new forms of weaponry "Thomas responded, "But you miss the point of the 2nd Amendment. It is not about weaponry. It is about Freedom. Why have the people relinquished so much freedom? Do they really expect government to keep them safe?"
"The only safety government can provide is confinement," added Ben. "Government cannot protect you. We assumed weapons would become more deadly. But we also knew from experience, that given the chance, government would become so intrusive and so oppressive that the obligation of safeguarding Freedom would ultimately rest upon the shoulders of the citizenry.
How can you expect government to monitor itself? Government has an insatiable appetite for power. It is the nature of the beast. And, unfortunately, power corrupts. That is one thing we were never able to eliminate, although we were specific in delegating power, we knew sooner or later someone would open the floodgates and abuse would rush to fill the vacuum caused by the failure to heed our warnings ."
Then you are not regretful for bestowing such an awesome responsibility on common folk?
"Absolutely not," Ben added. "I just wish we would have had more time to be more precise. Then the pundits and media could not misconstrue our intent.
And speaking of the media, I wish we would have been a little less charitable when it came to protecting the Freedom of the Press."
You can't be serious! Are you saying that in retrospect you would not allow the press so much freedom?
"No, I mean we would have inserted a note of caution. The media has always had a proclivity for twisting the facts. They have far too much influence over the populous, but it is a necessary evil. To curtail the press, would be a form of censorship that has no place in a nation based on Freedom.
If the people did their homework, the press would have to report the truth. As it is, people rely on second hand knowledge and biased reporting. This is extremely worrisome. The press can influence public opinion and change the direction of government. Why do people allow the fate of their nation to rest in the hands of liberal loving reporters?"
"Oh dear, Benjamin, look at the time" Thomas said. "We have another meeting in ten minutes."
But wait!! There is one more question I have; well actually I have many, but the most important has to do with the separation of church and state.
"What separation?" asked Thomas. "We never separated church and state. We took measures to ensure that all people could practice their religion unimpeded by government. Religious Freedom is tantamount to Social Freedom. When people are good, they have little need for government restraint.
I am full aware of the battle over prayer in school and the posting of the Ten Commandments. This is drivel. No one can stop a person from praying. No one can stop people from adhering to the Ten Commandments. I fear the underlying problem here lies within the hearts of the people, not the interpretation of our writing.
Religion played a vital role in all our deliberations. We accepted the presence of evil and provided the safety of the 1st Amendment as a means by which the moral fabric of society could be maintained and sustained. This notion of separating church and state is flawed. We did not separate them, we defined them. Each has its place."
"Thomas, we must go"
"Yes, we must, but before we leave, we want to ensure you that there is no problem that faces mankind, that mankind cannot find a solution for. This modern day world dwells too much on the negative and not enough on the positive. There have been wondrous advancements in medicine, science, technology and communication. Use them wisely. This new phenomenon, the Internet, will prove to be the most powerful weapon against tyranny man has ever known. Indeed, if we had had such technology, the ratification process would have been so much easier, and faster.
Guard your Freedom. Freedom is like a diamond sparkling in the sunlight. Everyone wants if for themselves, but few understand that the diamond must be washed in light in order for the brilliance to shine upon us all.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July, and take a moment to savour the sweet smell of Freedom. It is our gift to you; guard it jealously and let no man diminish its glow."
Where is the rest of it?
Sorry. It's one of those I can't do anything right days.
Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out. :)
Very nice read.
Thanks for posting.
A very Happy Independence Day to you! ;o)
Thanks for posting this. It makes a great point.
the other day on free republic, I saw a reprint of Thomas Paine's "common sense".
I found something posted something like...
"thomas paine was not really that well received by the founding fathers... you would all be surprised."
It was one of our local theocrats, a social conservative.
what we see as liberty... some folks scream 'license'.
what we see as freedom... some folks scream 'anarchy'.
what we see as God given rights... some folks scream 'sinful self indulgence.'
it goes WAY beyond gun rights.
there are folks that are continually obsessed with what others are doing, especially in private, and believe that EVERY grain of sand moved in another's life, affects them directly and that this justifies the ever expanding moral/safety nanny state.
On the other hand, there are those that want as little government as possible, as long as there is no interference in the rights of others... and reject the idea that WE are, in every detail of life, our brothers 'keeper'... (or jailer, perhaps.)
And that is the fracturing line of this nation...
I tire of ever larger and more intrusive, controlling government... in the name of safety, and the good of the children.
let us protect ourselves. let us have our guns... and get the governmental hell out of our lives and out of our way... along with all the sychophant nanny state worshippers who want government to enforce or regulate EVERY thing that exists, in one way or another.
I would rather die free, than live in subjugation to a all powerful nanny state, beating me over the head with their version of the Bible, or 'proper religious tradition.'
Government makes a pathetic substitute god.
Don't you just wish they'd all move to Europe sometimes? It's even more fun when some of these people are in your own family.
The cartoon in 13 made me laugh.
but when I thought about this weekend... gotta admit... got just a little teary.
do you think they are scratching their heads, or shaking their heads.
Interesting read...thanks for the ping! Happy 4th of July to you. :)
They're probably spinning in their graves at 1000 rpm.
I'd bet that what would disturb them most is our continued inability to think for ourselves.
"I'd bet that what would disturb them most is our continued inability to think for ourselves."
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