Irony: Patrick Henry's 'Liberty or Death' Speech and ObamaCare share the same Anniversary

Today we celebrate the 239th Anniversary of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” Speech, that was delivered in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.   A speech of vision, courage and foresight that should be ringing from the lips of statesmen and patriots today.  Here are few segments that are as applicable today as they were when spoken 239 years ago.

On the topic of freedom and slavery and having open debate:

“The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.”

And yet today, debate is stifled, law-making is hidden from the public’s eyes, and the media obfuscates the truth.

On the topic of wanting to avoid issues, sweep things under the rug, and hoping it all just goes away:

“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.”

And yet today, most Americans completely adhere to the primary values of “personal peace and affluence”.  Liberty is too much trouble they say, “just keep me comfortable and don’t give me something to hard to do and quit bothering me”.

On the topic of perseverance and courage in the face of a fight that is already underway:

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it. It is now too late to retire from the contest.. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!”

And yet today, most American’s do not know that the very life of our country is at stake, how much liberty they are losing daily and how entrapped they already are.

Regrettably, 235 years later on March 23, 2010,  ObamaCare was signed into law, and the “chains that had been forged in Washington DC began to be fitted to our hands and feet”.   And most of our political leaders have withdrawn from the fight.  They now seem to simply be trying to make us comfortable in our new found shackles.

“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!”

Today, four years later, with Obama Care, Deficit Spending and Crony Capitalism continuing merrily long, most Americans are becoming comfortable with their chains.

And yet a remnant remains and we fight on.

Craig Seibert is a writer, speaker, teacher, and trainer.  As the director of www.USCivicsTraining.org , www.ChristianCivicsTraining.org and www.USContstitution225.org he trains tens of thousands of people in History, Civics, and worldview each year.   You can reach Craig and get more Patrick Henry content through these websites.

Today we celebrate the 239th Anniversary of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” Speech, that was delivered in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.   A speech of vision, courage and foresight that should be ringing from the lips of statesmen and patriots today.  Here are few segments that are as applicable today as they were when spoken 239 years ago.

On the topic of freedom and slavery and having open debate:

“The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.”

And yet today, debate is stifled, law-making is hidden from the public’s eyes, and the media obfuscates the truth.

On the topic of wanting to avoid issues, sweep things under the rug, and hoping it all just goes away:

“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.”

And yet today, most Americans completely adhere to the primary values of “personal peace and affluence”.  Liberty is too much trouble they say, “just keep me comfortable and don’t give me something to hard to do and quit bothering me”.

On the topic of perseverance and courage in the face of a fight that is already underway:

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it. It is now too late to retire from the contest.. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston!”

And yet today, most American’s do not know that the very life of our country is at stake, how much liberty they are losing daily and how entrapped they already are.

Regrettably, 235 years later on March 23, 2010,  ObamaCare was signed into law, and the “chains that had been forged in Washington DC began to be fitted to our hands and feet”.   And most of our political leaders have withdrawn from the fight.  They now seem to simply be trying to make us comfortable in our new found shackles.

“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!”

Today, four years later, with Obama Care, Deficit Spending and Crony Capitalism continuing merrily long, most Americans are becoming comfortable with their chains.

And yet a remnant remains and we fight on.

Craig Seibert is a writer, speaker, teacher, and trainer.  As the director of www.USCivicsTraining.org , www.ChristianCivicsTraining.org and www.USContstitution225.org he trains tens of thousands of people in History, Civics, and worldview each year.   You can reach Craig and get more Patrick Henry content through these websites.

RECENT VIDEOS