The Revolutionary War was fought; and the colonists gained their independence from the despot, George the Third. I say George the Third because there were many Englishmen who were in sympathy with the American colonies. William Pitt, a member of Parliament, was one of them. You will remember reading in school about Pitt's reply to Walpole when they were discussing the rebellion of the American colonies. Walpole made an accusation against Pitt, accusing him of being a young man and said that Parliament should not listen to him. As I remember, Pitt arose and said: "Of the irretrievable crime of being a young man, I shall neither palliate nor deny." And then he said, "Were I an American, as I am an Englishman, I would never lay down my arms. Never! Never! Never!"
After the Revolutionary War was over and nine years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Founding Fathers met in the same Old State Hall to frame the Constitution of the United States.
The French historian, Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot, while visiting in the United States, asked James Russell Lowell, "How long will the American Republic endure?" Lowell's answer was: "As long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue dominant."
And what were those ideas? Two fundamental principles were: Freedom from Dictatorship
and Freedom of the Individual
! This goes right back to our free agency, which is as precious as life itself....
All Americans should be on guard against the scheming of those who would take from us the freedom so dearly bought. Edward F. Hutton gives us this warning:
Why do our people possess more autos, more radios, more washing machines, more of so many things, than the people of any other country? After all, we are plain, ordinary human beings. Why then do we have many more of God's blessings? One impelling reason I think lies in the simple fact that we have believed in the rights of man and have lived under a government of laws as distinguished from a government of men. We have enjoyed the safeguards of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, whose word, until recently, we believed was immutable and inalienable. The protection, the confidence, the assurance provided by the Bill of Rights opened up the faucets of human ambition and let loose an avalanche of new incentives. Men were free to inquire, to reject, to choose, to risk, to create!
Till twenty years ago, the Bill of Rights, generator of the genius of America, was taken for granted. For two decades now it has been under attack . . . by those who assert, though without proof, that they can improve upon our system of government. The plan seems to be to impose upon the people political control of the daily activities. Under Communism you lose your liberties immediately and perhaps your life. Under Socialism, you lose your liberties a little more slowly but just as surely.
Today the Bill of Rights is in jeopardy. If it could speak, I believe it would have this to say: I am your Bill of Rights. Don't take me for granted. As man brought me to life, I can be slain by men, and will be slain unless you, the plain people of America, organize to defend me.
I am freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly. I am the privacy and sanctity of your home. I am your guarantee of trial by jury, and I am the custodian who guards your property rights. I am your signed lease to spiritual, mental, and physical freedom.
My existence depends on how vigilantly you watch those who administer your government. Put every law proposed in Washington into the crucible of my ten commandments. Your question must always be: "Not what does a law give me, but what does it take away from me?"
We, the plain, humble, God-fearing people, made this republic what it is. Let us unite our voice in defense of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
-- Edward F. Hutton, Pathfinder Magazine, June 27, 1951
I love the Stars and Stripes! I love the people who make this country great, and I believe in their loyalty. In its leadership is the greatest responsibility that ever came to a nation. We pray to God to guide our president and congress. I know that they and we do not want war, but there are things that are worse than death—one is to be deprived of our liberty
President David O. McKay, Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of President David O. McKay, 1967 Deseret Book, pp. 353-357