Where God's Truth And Patriotism Go Hand In Hand

by
Philip Bozarth

As a Christian body, our first Amendment rights are most dear. For under it, we derive every just pleasure the Lord has given us to enjoy: the worship of His majesty, advancement of His Kingdom, and the power to assert His Lordship over all things in the face of tyranny. Indeed, our First Amendment rights are the most prized to God's people as they seek to do His will. Our exercise of the right to freedom of speech allows us to nullify the fallacious reasoning used to subvert the liberties of the Bill of Fights. In fact the First Amendment is primary to the establishment of all the other nine and essential to the civil perseverance of our Constitutional rights and system of government.

Unfortunately however, the annals of history bear testimony to the fact that the government is not a sufficient guardian of our freedom of speech, freedom of worship, or our public liberty as a whole. Candidly, the heartiest portion of every era of history is society's immortalized struggle against the continual impulses of an intrusive despotism to usurp the rights of the people. Naturally, governments, even benign democratic republics as our own, are inclined to lose faith in the virtue of their citizens and deprive the populace of their God-given rights. As history is our witness, it seems that the people's eternal battle for the preservation of liberty is owed to their fatal-- indeed necessary-- attraction to civil government, whose nature, habit, and practice is to assume absolute power over the masses. Moreover, the Word of Him who governs history is explicit: that the end result of man ruling man, apart from the blessing of God, is nothing short of total despotism. In truth, the people's perpetual struggle against over-reaching government is really man's struggle against his own nature. Since his rebellion against God in the Garden, at the tower of Babel, and before Samuel, the masses have damned themselves to the terror of being ruled by the wicked nature of select ones of their own.

Further, without God's gracious intervention by the Gospel, the bodies governing mankind will, inevitably, usurp the liberties of the people, and condemn men to be nothing more than fodder for the nourishment and potency of tyrannical empires. So then, discovering the frightful reality of our rebellion to God's rule and bondage to the tyranny of our evil volitions, what use is our right to freely speak in the clear and present danger of depraved raiders of liberty? In essence, what good could our freedom of speech do for our posterity and their share of interest in liberty and justice when we are bound hand and foot in the fetters of an absolute despotism and shut up from protest by the oppression and intimidation of the irrational forces of the same? Quite evidently, we may say what we want, but in the final analysis we remain the undisputable captives of tyranny subject to the whim of its despotic agenda. Thus, to insure the liberties of the people, namely their right to worship and speak freely, there exists a line of no transversal with respect to the government's intrusion of the liberties of its citizens: this line defining that point when the citizens, having exhausted the civil expression of their just complaints against the government usurpation of the people's God-given rights, must rise up in arms against whatever culpable tyranny menaces them. Let us not be deceived: that while our freedom of worship and speech are divinely sanctioned rights, they are as good as gone without an independent, potent force to insure their unfettered expression; that "only power can limit power." Our freedom of speech and worship are the sure prey of an absolute despotism without an active citizenry equipped with the proper tools to deter their unjustified invaders. The guarantor of our citizens' access to these tools is the Second Amendment of the Constitution:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state; the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

With divine approval of their war to secede from the British despotism, the Colonists affirm in our Declaration of Independence that the "right of government" is derived "from the consent of the governed." By its own virtue, the necessary condition of this philosophy is the people and government's commitment to the agreed compact and principles of government-- and submission to it-- established in the Scriptures. When there is a breech of the spirit of these ordinances of just government, it is the right and duty of the people to alter the formidable mutations in the relationship. It is the people's duty to guard the public liberty from tyranny, and the Founders expressed that the surest check of tyranny is an active, armed citizenry, wherein both the civil magistrates and the masses understand that just government is derived from the consent of the governed. The people then, are only bound to suffer as much tyranny as they agree to bear.

It is inherently anti-American to allege that the people do not own the right to turn the tide in their civil war against absolute despotism, or government in pursuance thereof, by force of arms. Of course, our freedom of speech is most dear, but quite simply, it is not always enough to revoke the evil tyrannies of irrational despots. Consider the actions of our celebrated forefathers who separated from England. They wrote prodigiously to the king that he would honor the covenant he made earlier in the charters and, after it was clear he resolved not to keep his commitment, the Colonists declared their independence. Yet it was not as if the king accepted the separation of America with a few sorry tears; a long war ensued wherein great acts of violence were perpetrated. The point is this: after sufficient appeal to reason and honor, in order to keep off absolute despotism, the Colonists, justly, appealed to their arms. It is seen then that the right of the people, the militia, to bear arms is truly the right which protects all the others, and is indeed necessary to the security of a free state.

As free Americans, we belittle the necessity of the right to keep and bear arms. We have grown complacent with the security of our free state, and have come to regard the right of the people to keep and bear arms as more of a hindrance to that security than a necessary condition to it. We hail the First Amendment and cherish other articles of the Bill of Rights establishing our right to privacy and due process of law, but neglect the defense of our Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms. For in recent decades it has continuously been the target of tyranny's vices and all sorts of ridiculous claims that it was the cause of man's sins of greatest magnitude, but instead of absolving it from these pretended atrocities, Americans sit idle, viewing the gradual slaughter of this member of our Bill of Rights as if it was only an arcane privilege of no relevance to the security of our liberty today. Americans believe that they may allow the Second Amendment to be effectively nullified, and stillexpect to enjoy their freedom of worship and speech in the First Amendment. Our citizens are sadly mistaken in holding such an attitude. As observed by the political philosopher Charles de Montesquieu, the nurturing mother of tyranny is fear. As common sense dictates, it is most easy for a government to strike terror in the hearts of a defenseless mass than accomplish the same in an active, armed citizenry-- a militia consisting of the whole people! Of course, a people zealous for liberty and concerned with just government, each having access to their private armory as did the Colonists, are an intimidation to despotism and a sure guard against tyranny.

Each right of the Bill of Rights is a glorious liberty with which we have been blessed. No one could adequately express the spirit of the others, but they stand together as a whole; each a guarantee of freedom, together a magnificent fortress against tyranny. They cannot stand alone, hut compliment one another in the preservation of liberty, and defense of God-given rights; while our right to worship and speak freely is most dear to our hearts, the quintessential right is our right to arms. The Second Amendment establishes the steadfastness of the others; it is the vitality and enforcement of the other nine. The citizens' exercise of the right to arms is the only resolve that can overthrow absolute despotism to establish liberty and justice for all. The Second Amendment is the teeth of our Bill of Rights; without it, our Bill of Rights is a beautiful lady with no knight to defend her. To insure the other rights, the purity of the Second Amendment must be protected.


17-year old Philip Bozarth won first place in the 2002 Camp America essay contest with the above piece.


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