Mike Church line sand

  • My Theme for the evening: it seems as though no matter the transgression “conservatives” will not draw lines in the sand, we need to start “drawing lines in the sand.”
  • Why the line is important – if you are constantly giving up ground you eventually find yourself with nothing to stand on-see this years infights over who is most conservative, debt ceiling hikes, bailouts and moon bases, is that where you draw the line?
  • Do we have history of famous men like the founders drawing lines? Yes, Thomson Mason, Charles Carroll and Patrick Henry all drew the line.

Thomson Mason letter – In the Spring and Summer of 1774 momentous acts were propelling men of the revolutionary era to either draw lines in the sand or become part of the problem. After the despicable Governor Lord Dunmore dissolved the House of Burgesses in May of that year, Washington and his contemporaries including George Mason took up the cause of organizing their countrymen in and outside of VA. Their efforts ultimately led to the agreement to call the First Continental Congress which began its meetings in Sept of 1774.  While George Mason rode to Mount Vernon to meet with Washington, Jefferson & Henry and discuss what would become know as the Fairfax resolves, George’s little brother Thomson got busy writing his own patriotic tracts to rouse the spirits of his fellow Virginians. Not satisfied that his efforts the first 9 times had done the job, Thomson, who followed the tradition of the time which was to write under assumed names, decided he must go further so on 28 July, 1774, ten days after his brother George had been assigned the task of writing those Fairfax resolves, Thomson was possessed with a patriotic version of Turette’s Syndrome. Mason’s EXTRA bold proclamation sums up what has happened to us over the last 80 years when there were no such men to stop the assault on liberty:

It is objected that this measure strikes at the Navigation Acts, which we have long submitted to.

The very objection evinces the folly of trusting the decision of this dispute to posterity, who, familiarized to oppression, will never resist it, and who, by long use, will be accustomed to look upon every badge of slavery with as little horror as we do upon the Navigation Acts, which ought certainly to be considered as impositions of the strong upon the weak, and as such ought to be resisted as much as any of the other Acts we complain of ; nor will the dispute ever be ended till, by refusing submission to them, we remove so dangerous a precedent. “You must draw your swords in a just cause, and rely upon that God, who assists the righteous, to support your endeavors to preserve the liberty he gave, and the love of which he hath implanted in your hearts as essential to your nature.

And now, my friends, fellow-citizens, and countrymen, to convince you that I am in earnest in the advice I have given you, notwithstanding the personal danger I expose myself to in so doing ; notwithstanding the threats thrown out by the British aristocracy of punishing in England those who shall dare to oppose them in America ; yet because I do not wish to survive the liberty of my country one single moment ; because I am determined to risk my all in supporting that liberty, and because I think it in some measure dishonest to skulk under a borrowed name upon such an occasion as this, I am neither afraid or ashamed to avow that the letters signed ‘ A British American’ were written by the hand and flowed from the heart of,


He SIGNED IT!! The line “trusting the decision of this dispute to posterity, who, familiarized to oppression, will never resist it” sums up our current pickle and the American Sheople we must share this land with. They are CONDITIONED to accept these usurpations, it is in their DNA like addictions to instant gratification in the marketplace are. Even if that means eating chicken sushi because you have to have IT NOW. To be clear, the avg American, born after 1948 or so does not know what it is like to NOT:

  • Be assigned a SS Card
  • Use that SS card to obtain a job
  • Pay taxes for that SS without it ever being explained to you

On 23 March, 1775, Patrick Henry and 50 other men entered a meeting of the VA Convention of Delegates at St John’s Church whose steeple could be seen from nearly every other location in Richmond VA. After hours of debate over the latest petitions sent to the King. Henry arose to speak and to advocate a move be made to organize and arm a militia and to put VA in a state of defense which in that time meant, war. Henry was told by other men who rose after him including the great and noble patriot Edmund Pendleton that VA was weak and pitiful and in no way could possibly arm itself, let alone do battle with the greatest army on earth. Undeterred, Henry, looked around the church and seeing no one else up to the task, arose to speak his soul. I have taken the liberty and replaced the proper noun “British” with the improper and tyrannical noun “Federal”.

“It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the [FEDERAL] ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation?

They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the [FEDERAL] ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a [FEDERAL] guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.   Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Had Henry not been so bold and so inspired by his convictions and what he believed to be divinely inspired fate, this line in the sand may never have been drawn for there were few contemporaries of the time who had the oratory skills equal to the task. But Henry was not alone in his revolutionary passions.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton is one of those of the Founders generation who has been nearly entirely forgotten which is ironic since he was the oldest surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. Carroll was a Catholic trained classically by the Jesuit monks of France, he was also one of the wealthiest Americans at the time of the revolution and in 1832 died the wealthiest man in the United States. In the runup to  the Revolution in May 1773 Charles and other Maryland patriots held a council to decide whether to accept the Royal Governor Eden’s decree that they break up their “patriot assemblies” and support the candidates of the Royal governor’s choosing. Afterward the governor issued a proclamation decreeing that they must do so and then figuring he had the upper hand, ordered an election to make his will official. The result of the election was that the freemen of Maryland won every seat in every county including the Governor’s home of Annapolis. To celebrate their victory and in an act of rebellion we can only dream of today, those Marylanders conducted the following ritual which was recorded by The Gazette of May 20th:

“First were carried two flags with the following labels, on one Liberty, on the other No Proclamation. Between the flags walked the two representatives: a clerk and sexton preceded the coffin; on the left, the grave-digger carrying a spade on his shoulder. The Proclamation was cut out of Antilon’s first paper and deposited in the coffin, near which moved slowly on two drummers with muffled drums, and two fifers playing a dead march: after them were drawn six pieces of small cannon, followed by a great concourse of citizens and gentlemen from the country who attended this funeral. In this order they proceeded to the gallows, to which the coffin was for a time suspended, then cut down and buried under a discharge of minute guns. On the coffin was the following inscription:

The Proclamation. The child of Folly and Oppression born the 26th of November 1770 departed this life 14th of May 1773 and Buried on the same day by The Freemen of Annapolis.

‘It is wished, that all similar attempts against the rights of a free people may meet with equal abhorrence: and that the court party convinced by experience of the impotency of their interest, may never hereafter disturb the peace of the city by their vain and feeble exertions to bear down the free and independent citizens.'”

Two years later, Charles, serving as a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress saw his country at yet another crossroads, this one between outright rebellion which could lead to Independence or to further diplomacy or perhaps even surrender of the cause so that peace could be restored, regardless of the consequences to American liberty. If you don’t know the story of Charles Carroll then you wouldn’t know that his choice to draw a line in the sand was the only choice he could make. In May of that fateful year of 1776, with the talk of Independence and indecision sweeping all of North America Charles decided to write a course of action, again so bold, we can only dream of it today. Under the pen name CX, Carroll composed words exhorting his countrymen that would 2 months later find themselves echoed by Jefferson in the Declaration.

Books related to this topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. This is a revised speech delivered to the audience of the Feb 11, 2012 Liberty Fest West event at the MCM Grande’ Hotel, Odessa TX and is reprinted here with the gracious permission of The Mike Church Show

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