Land of the Free
Sam Burnham, Curator
“Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
That’s the rarely uttered fourth and final verse of the national anthem. It’s a fitting finale to a song of triumph, courage, and commitment to liberty and independence. It’s a declaration by men and women who fear nothing and a stark warning to the forces of tyranny. This entire song is a treatise on behalf of people who will not be ruled, a people who are committed to self-government, a people who recognize only the authority of almighty God to be above their own.
Is this the philosophy of Americans today? Think about it. We love to talk about freedom and our “Land of the Free” but how free are we? Consider a few examples:
Seatbelts save lives but you do not have the legal option of choosing to wear one or not. You are literally the only person at risk if you don’t wear your seatbelt in your car. And you apparently can’t be trusted with that decision.
it is against the law for you to plant a seed in your back yard, grow the plant, and smoke the leaves of it on your own back porch. The government has determined you can’t be trusted with the decision of the personal use of cannabis.
If you own an acre of land your local government will send you a bill for it and if you don’t pay that bill they will take your land from you and sell it themselves. You have to pay the government rent to own your own property.
As bad as these are, it gets worse. Fear drives us to surrender liberties. Gun control, invasive search techniques at the airport, strict regulation of alcohol and tobacco, even the new calls for vaping regulations after six people died. Six. Out of 350 million. The government is determined to protect us from ourselves.
I recently chatted with our friends at Southern Tab cigars about making a 100% Georgia cigar with the tobacco Blake Pearson is raising in Meriwether County. Would you believe that would constitute a new blend that would have to be approved by the FDA? Planted in Georgia, grown in Georgia, harvested in Georgia, cured in Georgia, rolled in Georgia, sold in Georgia, smoked in Georgia has to receive prior approval, which is very expensive to get, from Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. isn’t in Georgia. Why is it even involved?
And we’re so scared of everything that we invite this regulation. We have people blocking traffic and screaming for this regulation. Our ancestors must cringe at the sound of American voices hollering “PLEASE TAKE MY RIGHTS!”
I’ll leave you with this thought. The American Revolution Settlement and Museum at Yorktown commemorates America’s War for Independence, particularly the Siege of Yorktown and ultimate surrender by British forces. It’s the place American Independence was secured once and for all.
Firearms are prohibited in the building.
A museum dedicated to the use of firearms being utilized in order to preserve the right to keep and bear firearms prohibits the bearing of firearms on the premises. That is the most fitting metaphor I could imagine for the state of liberty in America today. Security first, and liberty when permitted.
Land of the Free. Home of the Brave.
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Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire