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The United States Has Become The Nation It Rebelled Against

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By Mick - Posted on 24 April 2010

This is the text of the speech I plan to give in Xenia, Ohio on April 24, 2010 at the tax rally. See details of rally here.

One week ago this morning Daniel Schorr, a political commentator for NPR, was ask to comment on the recent tax day tea parties that took place around the nation. He said and I quote:
“And what they're doing is saying we don't like what we see. But it's a little difficult to figure out what that they want to see. They want to get rid of incumbents, yes. But then the people who will be elected will soon become incumbents as well. I just can't make out the Tea Party people.”
In my speech today I would like to define what I believe the Tea Party movement to be about and offer some solutions to the problems our nation faces from our national history, the virtues and liberties of our Constitution and the word of God. I hope to speak briefly, yet completely so that even Mr. Schorr, if he were here today in Xenia, Ohio would understand.
A. The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) said of the past, “If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!”
1. I submit we have forgotten our history and become what our Revolutionary ancestors despised.
2. In the 18th century the colonists of America desired to check the influence of powerful central executives who were appointed by the Great Britain. You see in the words of The Board of Trade, set up in London to advise the king on colonial matters,
Suggested putting all of the colonies under martial law, with a “Military Head or Captain General” serving as dictator. Radical centralizing action was needed, board officials argued in 1701, because colonial privileges were harming “the king’s revenue.”
All we have to do is change the words around to realize in our current time, a radical centralization of our Federal Government has occurred to preserve the revenue of the Federal Government.
3. England of the 18th century was a place, where (as Henry Robinson wrote)
Laws were “so numerous and intricate … that it is not possible to know them all, much lesse keep them in memory, and avoyd being entangled by them.”
Again I find a fitting analogy, England of the 18th century and to the United State of America of 2010. Today we have laws so “numerous and intricate” that they are composed of thousands of pages and our elected officials in Washington do not have time to read them before voting on them.
4. As Marvin Olasky points out in his book, Fighting for liberty and virtue,
Many colonists, in short, tried to learn from English mistakes by moving consistently toward a small-government approach: they built up an authority that would provide an alternative to royal government, but they did not want that alternative to aggrandize itself. Rotation of offices and limitations on legislation and on the ability of those in office to bribe poor voters were crucial in the battle to reduce corruption
The colonists’ vision of limited government, taxation without representation was a problem, but so was representation without taxation—that is, voting by those who were at the mercy of the wealthy and thus easy to bribe. Colonial leaders quoted the English jurist Blackstone’s accepted view that if those “in so mean a situation as to be esteemed to have no will of their own” were given the vote, they would be tools of the powerful. Colonists discussed the right level of property qualification, one that would exclude the dependent while encouraging voting by all those with a “stake in society.
Yet in our society today we have large burdensome government, with career politicians who essentially hand pick their successors through the party system. These career politicians have figured out how to bribe the poor to earn their vote. Now nearly half of all Americans pay no federal income taxes and the only stake they have in society what they receive from society not what they contribute to society.
5. To quote John F. Kennedy in his 1961 inaugural speech
And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
6. Ronald Regan at his in 1981
The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.

From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
II. The virtues and liberties exposed by our constitution
A. The Preamble to the United States Constitution reads:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
I submit, inherent in these words that speak of perfect union, justice, tranquility and liberty is the thought of a nation of virtuous people.
B. Marvin Olasky points out,
Virtue—“Conformity to a standard of right”—produces liberty. But liberty, uncontrolled by virtue, quickly becomes license, and license produces a climate of licentiousness. It is that condition in which we presently find ourselves. No power on earth can free a people from this vice grip. Remaining in such a condition is the greatest threat to our liberties.
C. In her book, The Demoralization of Society, Gertrude Himmelfarb properly defines the words.
Values, she says, are external. Virtue is internal. We have values, she argues, when sufficient numbers of citizens exhibit virtue in their own lives. Government cannot give us virtue. We must fight for it against the condition that is in each of us, a condition diagnosed in scripture as “sin.” If we win the battle over vice, and virtue prevails, only then will society accept the values which shared virtue produces.
D. I will borrow from Olasky and summarize:
If we are to be liberated from this mire of our own making and find true freedom, I am convinced our emancipation will not come by external means—that is, by government, no matter which party or philosophy is in power, or by “values” imposed from the top-down. “Trickle-down” morality won’t work. We will only be truly free when we allow virtue to bubble up trough society, starting with me, spreading to my family, then community and finally our nation.
III. I believe many of us in the Tea Party, as in the generation which founded this nation, have a foundation in the word of God
A. Exodus 33:13-16 13 “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”
1. This passage speaks to a time in Ancient Israel when the leadership recognized that to be a distinguished nation among nations, the presence of God was necessary.
2. I submit many of us in this movement recognize the need for God’s presence in our lives and the lives of our leaders. Not for the purpose of creating a theocracy, but a theonomy which recognizes God as the source of human ethical behavior.
a) Federalist paper 43 speaks more eloquently on the subject than I can when it says,
…the transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed
3. As the late Greg Bahnsen points out in his book, By This Standard, many of us believe it is God’s ways or tyranny.
B. Esther 4:14 (ESV) — 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
1. Many of us in the Tea Party movement have been busy with our lives; going to work and raising our children. Now, at this time we have awakened to realize this is not the country we have told our children about. So we ask ourselves this same question, maybe we were born to act on behalf of our children and our nation at just such a time as this.
C. Jeremiah 6:16 (ESV) — 16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
1. We nation at a crossroad challenge ourselves and our neighbors to choose the ancient path which made this country great.
IV. So I answer you Mr. Schorr, we of the tea party movement desire:
A. To reclaim the ancient paths which give rest to our souls:
We strive do this through the home education of our children so they are led by history not ignorant of history and we encourage our neighbor to do the same. We do this so our generation and our posterity may Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty. We choose not to be led by the blind eyes of passion and party or the hindsight of personal experiences. We believe we have been called to such a time as this and if we do not act the house build by the Americans which preceded us will perish.
B. To once again seek virtues that bubbles up through our society. We refuse to accept community values imposed on us from above by our government.
We strive to do this through our homes and places of worship, by taking responsibility for our own education and the education of our children
Our representatives will once again no longer seek to aggrandize themselves, but humbly serve limited terms, not seeking what they can receive from our country.
C. To seek smaller government with a more limited scope
As the colonists of this land 200 years ago sought vision of limited government and understood the equal problems of taxation without representation and representation without taxation. We seek substantial tax reform which limits the size of government and requires all but the poorest of Americans to pay some portion, so they are not easily bribed to vote a particular way.
We ask the government to step out of the way of our houses of worship and our private charities, so that we the people may tend to the poor, sick and disabled. That we may once again learn to care for them and learn what it is to be virtuous. From this relearned virtue we will show to ourselves and to the world that individual Americans can govern themselves and we as a free people have the capacity to govern ourselves
Olasky, M. N. (1995). Fighting for liberty and virtue : Political and cultural wars in eighteenth-century America. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Olasky, M. N. (1995). Fighting for liberty and virtue : Political and cultural wars in eighteenth-century America (39). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Olasky, M. N. (1995). Fighting for liberty and virtue : Political and cultural wars in eighteenth-century America (39–40). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Inaugural addresses of the Presidents of the United States. 2009. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems.
Inaugural addresses of the Presidents of the United States. 2009. Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems.
The Constitution of the United States of America. 1998 (elecronic ed.). Oak Harbor WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Olasky, M. N. (1995). Fighting for liberty and virtue : Political and cultural wars in eighteenth-century America. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Olasky, M. N. (1995). Fighting for liberty and virtue : Political and cultural wars in eighteenth-century America. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Olasky, M. N. (1995). Fighting for liberty and virtue : Political and cultural wars in eighteenth-century America. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
Hamilton, A., Madison, J., & Jay, J. (1998). The Federalist papers. Oak Harbor WA: Logos Research Systems.

tom-g's picture


There is one additional source that I think would contribute greatly to your presentation.

In his little booklet "The Law", President Reagan's favorite economist, Fredrick Bastiat when speaking of cause and effect said: when the government operates unlawfully the people become immoral.

That certainly is apparent in our society today.

Mick's picture

You are right. In N.T. Wright's new book, "After You Believe" (That is the US title; in the UK I believe it has another title), early in the book he describes a discussion he had with a banker who was very close to the financial meltdown of 2008. The conversation is recorded on pages 9 and 10. After the cycle of deregulation, which gave everyone the freedom to do whatever they wanted and take all the risks they desired, a new cycle or reregulation is starting. The problem is

...any banker or mortgage broker can hire a smart accountant or lawyer to help them tick all of the boxes the government tells them to, and then go around the back of the system and do what they want.

The solution?

The system is really only healthy when the people running it are people you can trust to do the right thing, not because there are rules but because that’s the sort of people they are.”


Mickey E. Denen

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Mickey (and Virgil),

Make sure you tell us how it went!!



Mick's picture

100 to 150 people were there for various lengths of time.
Not bad for a small town and 5 days notice.

God was watching over it as well. Heavy rain started within minutes of finishing

I got some encouraging feed back as well. Some felt it was important to remind us that freedom without virtue leads to licentiousness.

Mickey E. Denen

Starlight's picture


The United States became the Nation it rebelled against as soon as they won and took charge. Ask the folks involved in the "Whiskey Rebellion" if it wasn't so.

On Gary DeMar's web site there is an interesting article that puts a whole new spin on Christians "Dominion" rule. It looks like some segments of religious Americana like the idea of reading the Kingdom Literally instead of Spiritually.


Link and excerpt below

“Bring Your Pieces to Church” Sunday

"But we should also begin to exercise our inviolable rights. Every able Christian should own a firearm, and each should seek instruction and training in how to use them. This includes handguns, shotguns, and rifles, each of which has a particular strength in self- and home-defense. Elders and pastors should teach on the topic and its history, and should help aid church members in obtaining fitting pieces and proper training in legal settings."

MiddleKnowledge's picture


The article looks like a good start to me.

I guess at Covenant Community Church here at Whitehall has "Bring Your Pieces to Church" Sunday every Sunday. Pretty normal around here... and just as it should be for men who desire to live free in God's Kingdom.


Tim Martin

Virgil's picture

That looks a lot longer than 10-15 minutes Mick...we'll have to throw you off the stage! :)

Joking aside, it looks great. We'll have fun this afternoon.

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