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What is a Patriot?

by Gypsy Smith

It has been my experience that the average person in America today would define a patriot as someone loyal to his or her country. It sounds good on the surface, but can it really be? What is a country, but a piece of real estate? How can we pledge allegiance to dirt, trees and water? I get the feeling that most people really believe in loyalty to one's government, but governments change. Many countries, including the United States, change their form of government regularly, some quickly, some slowly over time and most all governments mandate loyalty through their laws -- so where's the patriotism?

Let's examine the word. The word "patriotism" comes from the root "patriarch" which means "father". In the Bible, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were hailed as the patriarchs of the Jewish nation. Whenever the people of Israel began worshipping idols, they were considered unpatriotic by the Prophets, even though pagan worship was legal and even mandated by some of the Kings. How could they be unpatriotic if they were being loyal to their government? The people were faithful to their King, but the government had strayed away from the heartfelt beliefs of the Patriarchs. As a result, the people were eventually punished and returned to the faith of their fathers who had established their great nation. So, it would seem apparent that by the very word, patriotism is allegiance to the resounding principles set forth by the founding fathers of a nation, not the present government, if it stands in opposition to the foundations of those principles.

Could our forefathers scribe rights to us and label them "endowed by our creator" if they really weren't? Our Patriarchs understood that it wasn't writing them down in a document that would protect these rights. They truly believed that these principles were written on the hearts of men and women. They are the most basic rights of all. For example: As much as the powerful religious leaders of the first century tried, they could not silence a carpenter from Galilee, except by killing him and even then, his words lived on. He needed no document to give him the right of freedom of speech, he just wouldn't be silenced. And on the reverse side, can someone be made to talk if he is not willing? Many soldiers throughout history have taken their secrets to the grave. So is it the fifth amendment that actually gives us that power?

Then there comes the most basic of all. Can anyone remove the instinct for self-preservation and protection of family from the human soul? Who, if attacked, does not gaze their surrounding for anything that can become a weapon that could vanquish the attacker? The founders chose their words cautiously when they wrote "The right to keep and bear ARMS". They did not simply limit the means of self protection to swords, knives or even GUNS for that matter, but any form of weaponry that can be created or obtained to accomplish the task at hand. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the human being is the greatest inventor and survivor on this planet and has and will overcome any fascist or totalitarian government that dared to enslave it by the simple removal of that right from a mere document.

No, the Patriarchs penned those rights as a warning to any tyrants and/or governments who believed that they could do what no other has ever been able to do for long -- enslave a free people. The founders believed that God had implanted these rights within all of us when he gave us a free will and a brain. I believe that the founders committed these rights to paper for the benefit of those in power, not for the rest of us who have it emblazoned in our hearts. Every totalitarian dictator believes that they can break the fighting spirit of their people and enslave them by intimidation and indoctrination, but our forefathers knew that this could only work for a time. At some point, they knew that a Patrick Henry would arise and shout out: "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!"

Unlike any leaders who have followed, our patriarchs were cynics of government. They believed government to be a necessary evil and was best when kept small and limited in power. The founders heeded the words of Benjamin Franklin when he said "absolute power corrupts absolutely" and knew that they too could fall prey to its lures if a system of checks and balances was not put in place. A group of men, who consistently warned the people and each other to stay armed and ready, for this government too may go awry. Men of great humility, they did not believe themselves to be immune to the seduction of power and knew that in time, power would corrupt the leadership of the government they had built. Thomas Jefferson wrote: "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." [Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787.]

The founders were right in their prophesies. Absolute power has corrupted a monster of a government on the verge of bursting it's chains. When a sitting president can start a war to divert the media attention away from his sexual misconduct, attempt to sell plutonium to a rogue nation via nuclear power plants, use the office of the attorney general to block every investigation into his alleged illegal acceptance of campaign money from a communist nation and thumb their nose at the United States Congress, the system of checks and balances, established by our founders, has been plundered! The power of the office of president has become too absolute as it threatens, through any means possible, to rob the most basic civil right sworn to protection by our fathers -- The right to keep and bear arms!

The second amendment is the amendment that protects all other amendments! My brother has always said that all of the other amendments should have a clause at the end that says: "If you're thinking about taking away this right, see #2." It's only that a free people be an armed people that all of the other rights are preserved. What makes the liberal believe that they will continue to enjoy the right of free speech or that their home is safe from government invasion if they don't have the means to defend that right. Our founders knew that any would-be tyrant must first take away the second amendment before they could systematically take away the rest.

If these unique men be the patriarchs of America, then is not our allegiance to their philosophies and belief in a self-governed, free people? If so, then there is a time when it is patriotic to stand in opposition of one's government if, as in Israel, it has drifted away from the principles of its patriarchs!

Those of us who continue to fight to preserve the heritage of our fathers are the true patriots, not the jack-booted thugs that kicked in the door of the Gonzales family or slaughtered the family at Ruby Ridge. Though they were blindly obeying orders handed down from their government, they were in direct disobedience to the will of the fathers, who attached as the fourth amendment: "The right of the people to secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by an oath of affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Be a patriot and defend our second amendment, or you will watch the rest of them fade away.