April 28, 2014

Dear Liberty,

     SPLASH! and not gunfire was the beginning of the American Revolution and it was, in all respects, a peaceful resistance.  After being forced to buy only British tea and then having to pay an exorbitant tax on that tea which the British did not have to pay, the colonists decided to send a strong message to the King.  Though history books often portray this event as wild and out of control, the Boston Tea Party was actually quite organized.  The colonists made sure to only discard the tea and no other goods so as to make their point loud and clear.  No one was killed.  No one was even caught.  But the protest was not really about the tea, it was about the refusal to allow the colonies to self-govern.  (see Tyrants And Tea Parties)

     What is even more amazing is the first shot of the Revolutionary War, or War of Independence, still did not come for another 16 months.  (see The Shot Heard 'Round The World)  Even with this anger, even with this dissent, the colonists still were trying hard to fight for their freedom and resolve their differences with the crown not with bloodshed, but with diplomacy, petitions, and peace.

     By the time the Declaration of Independence was actually penned, taxation without representation was only 1 of 18 abuses of the King.  Grievances of the colonists were by far more in concert with freedom to govern and rule themselves.  For years the colonists appealed again and again to have their complaints heard and addressed by the King.  He answered with more laws, more harassment and more government.  (see Acts Of Oppression)

“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.” - Declaration of Independence

     Liberty, it is interesting how we are once again going through a very similar struggle, but this time with our own government.  Even though we now have elected representatives, many feel that once they get to Washington those representatives no longer listen to the people.  More restrictions, more laws and more taxes are placed on the people while those in authority actually remove themselves from the very regulations they write.  America is once again under the stronghold of authority and that authority is refusing to listen to the people.

     Just as Americans had to decide for diplomacy or violence in the beginning, and just as Americans had to decide for peaceful resistance behind Martin Luther King, Jr., or violent protests under Malcolm X, Americans are deciding right now whether to fight with words or with swords.  (see Free At Last?)  I pray that like with the colonists and with civil rights in the 1960’s, the spirit of America that I love and know will again choose to fight peacefully and resist picking up arms for as long as they possibly can.  When you read this in the future I pray that you will find strength and comfort and respect that your parents, along with millions of other Americans, held on to our history and to our pride and fought the good fight with love, courage, and honor.

     That’s my 2 cents.