“You did not bear the shame.
You bestowed an eternally vigilant symbol of change
by sacrificing your impassioned lives for freedom, justice and honor.”
Memorial to the German Resistance (Deutscher Widerstand) used to describe all elements of opposition and resistance to the Nazi Regime
1774, Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, ” Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual, and with a proper sense of your dependence of God, nobly defend those rights which Heaven gave, and no man out to take from us.”
1781, Thomas Jefferson: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
President Benjamin Harrison, “It is a great comfort to trust God- even if His providence is unfavorable. Prayer steadies one, when he is walking in slippery places- even if things asked for are not given.”
(Quoted from: America’s God and Country, encyclopedia of quotations: By William J. Federer)
It is clearly the duty of the American church to protest against the right of one man to hold his fellow man as a slave; and until she takes this position,m her influence for good, will be very much retarded. It is evidently the will of God that she should take this position, for He has said that it is His will, that every yoke should be broken and the oppressed be permitted to go free. We do not believe that a man can be a true follower of Christ, and wink at the great sin and crime of slaveholding. He must oppose it otherwise he must be ranked with those who sustain it. It is said in the Scriptures, that “he who is not for us is against us;” and the same principle will apply to the question of slavery. There is no neutral ground on the question. We are either for or against it; and unless we take a decidedly stand against it we are certainly for it. ~ Political Abolitionist – Dec 18, 1856 (Church and Slavery)
A look at history teaches us that great nations have been at this place before and men of God rose to the occasion to speak truth and bring light to a dark and dying nation:
William Wilberforce, “During times of trouble, the Christian is reminded at every turn that her Master’s kingdom is not of this world. When everything on earth looks black and threatening, she looks up to Heaven for her comfort; she considers herself a pilgrim and a stranger in practical ways. As a result she sticks close to the basic truths of her faith, and she examines closely her foundation, just as we all tend to do at the hour of our death…Nowadays God lifts up His hand, but we don’t notice; He multiplies our comforts, but we are not grateful; He chastises us, but we are not contrite…The question still remains: Is the sort of faith we see in our country today agreeable with the Word of God? If it’s not, then don’t you think it might be well worth sacrificing a little worldly comfort and prosperity during the short span of our existence in this life in return for a crown of eternal glory?
What should we do then? This question is of utmost importance- and the general answer is not difficult. The causes and nature of faith’s decay among our society indicate the course we need to follow. The disease that has attacked our community is a spiritual illness rather than a political one…In circumstances like these the best course of action is to boldly point out the differences between the adherents of God and Baal. The expediency of this action is confirmed by another consideration- that when people are aware that they are faced with a challenge, their spirits rise to the necessary level; they make up their minds to bear hardship and brave danger, to persevere in spite of fatigue and opposition . On the other hand, if they regard an event as being easy and ordinary, they are apt to fall asleep over their work and fail to accomplish much of anything at all. ..The question is no longer, “What can we get away with without hurting anyone?” Now we need to ask ourselves, “What restraints should we impose on our lives, given the circumstances in which we live? ” Given the condition of our nation today, we should be able to see clearly now that the spiritual person is the best patriot of all.
Nor should we only concern ourselves with our own personal conduct…but we should also encourage virtue in all our interactions with others, and at the same time express our disapproval of sin…But all this would be a fruitless effort if we do not bring back the prevalence of evangelical Christianity. We cannot hope to sustain, much less revive, our nation’s fainting morality without the support of a sincere and living faith. We cannot change morals from the outside in; we need an internal living principle that works from the inside out.
(Quoted from: Real Christianity, by William Wilberforce, from Chapter 6: The moral well-being of a nation)
Guilt of New-England was written by William Lloyd Garrison, and appeared in The Liberator on January 7, 1832
Why is it—if we are really hostile to oppression—why is it, that so few petitions go into Congress on this subject?
That it is solely by the authority of the free states slavery is tolerated in our land. It is in vain that we profess to be opposed to the continuance of slavery, while our insincerity is so manifest. We are guilty—all guilty—horribly guilty
Frederick Douglas –“Slaveholders and slave-traders never betray greater indiscretion, than when they venture to defend themselves, or their system of plunder, in any other community than a slaveholding one. Slavery has its own standards of morality, humanity, justice, and Christianity. Tried by that standard, it is a system of the greatest kindness to the slave—sanctioned by the purest morality—in perfect agreement with justice—and, of course, not inconsistent with Christianity. But, tried by any other, it is doomed to condemnation. The naked relation of master and slave is one of those monsters of darkness, to whom the light of truth is death! The wise ones among the slaveholders know this, and they studiously avoid doing anything, which, in their judgment, tends to elicit truth. They seem fully to understand, that their safety is in their silence. “ ~ Former slave, Frederick Douglas , The Liberator, February 27, 1846
Charles Finney, on slavery , (Lectures on Revivals of Religion, chapter XV, Hindrances to Revivals) “Still it may be said, that in many churches, this subject cannot be introduced without creating confusion and ill-will. This may be. It has been so upon the subject of temperance, and upon the subject of revivals too. In some churches, neither temperance nor revivals can be introduced without producing dissension. Sabbath-schools, and missionary operations, and everything of the kind have been opposed, and have produced dissensions in many churches. But is this a sufficient reason for excluding these subjects? And where churches have excluded these subjects for fear of contention, have they been blessed with revivals? Every body knows that they have not. But where churches have taken firm ground on these subjects, although individuals and sometimes numbers have opposed, still they have been blessed with revivals. Where any of these subjects are carefully and prayerfully introduced; where they are brought forward with a right spirit, and the true relative importance is attached to each one of them; if in such cases, there are those who will make disturbance and resist, let the blame fall where it ought. There are some individuals, who are themselves disposed to quarrel with this subject, who are always ready to exclaim, “Do not introduce these things into the church, they will create opposition.” And if the minister and praying people feel it their duty to bring the matter forward, they will themselves create a disturbance, and then say, “There, I told you so; now see what your introducing this subject has done; it will tear the church all to pieces.” And while they are themselves doing all they can to create division, they are charging the division upon the subject, and not upon themselves. There are some such people in many of our churches. And neither sabbath-schools, nor missions, nor revivals, nor anti-slavery, nor anything else that honors God or benefits the souls of men, will be carried in the churches, without these careful souls being offended by it…”
Frederick Douglas, writes in “A Simple Tale of American Slavery: An Address Delivered in Sheffield, England, on September 11, 1846.
” Many a night have I been wakened in Philpotts-street, Baltimore, by the passing-by, at midnight, of hundreds of slaves, carrying their chains and fetters and uttering cries and howlings, almost enough to startle the dead. They were going to the market to work in cotton or sugar, going off to be killed in the space of five or six years, in the swamps of Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. These things are everyday occurrences in the United States; and for exposing this state of things, for bringing his powerful eloquence and pouring out his soul against such a state of things my brother Garrison has been laid in prison, and what is worse, he has been persecuted and stigmatised as an infidel by the Christian people of America, because he dared openly to unmask the hypocritical pretensions of those who committed these abominations—(loud cheers). …”
William Garrison, abolitionist writes in No Compromise with the Evil of Slavery, 1854
“ I am a believer in that portion of the Declaration of American Independence in which it is set forth, as among self-evident truths, “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Hence, I am an abolitionist…. They who desire me to be dumb on the subject of slavery, unless I will open my mouth in its defense, ask me to give the lie to my professions, to degrade my manhood, and to stain my soul… I do not know how to espouse freedom and slavery together. I do not know how to worship God and Mammon at the same time… If other men choose to go upon all fours, I choose to stand erect, as God designed every man to stand. If, practically falsifying its heaven-attested principles, this nation denounces me for refusing to imitate its example, then, adhering all the more tenaciously to those principles, I will not cease to rebuke it for its guilty inconsistency. Numerically, the contest may be an unequal one, for the time being; but the author of liberty and the source of justice, the adorable God, is more than multitudinous, and he will defend the right. My crime is that I will not go with the multitude to do evil. My singularity is that when I say that freedom is of God and slavery is of the devil, I mean just what I say. My fanaticism is that I insist on the American people abolishing slavery or ceasing to prate of the rights of man…The law that makes him a chattel is to be trampled underfoot; the compact that is formed at his expense, and cemented with his blood, is null and void; the church that consents to his enslavement is horribly atheistical; the religion that receives to its communion the enslaver is the embodiment of all criminality… Friends of the slave, the question is not whether by our efforts we can abolish slavery, speedily or remotely – for duty is ours, the result is with God; but whether we will go with the multitude to do evil, sell our birthright for a mess of pottage, cease to cry aloud and spare not, and remain in Babylon when the command of God is “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Let us stand in our lot, “and having done all, to stand.” At least, a remnant shall be saved. Living or dying, defeated or victorious, be it ours to exclaim, “No compromise with slavery! Liberty for each, for all, forever! Man above all institutions! The supremacy of God over the whole earth!”
Former slave, Frederick Douglas
“It may be objected, however, that this pressing of the Negro’s right to suffrage is premature. Let us have slavery abolished, it may be said, let us have labor organized, and then, in the natural course of events, the right of suffrage will be extended to the Negro. I do not agree with this. The constitution of the human mind is such, that if it once disregards the conviction forced upon it by a revelation of truth, it requires the exercise of a higher power to produce the same conviction afterwards. The American people are now in tears. The Shenandoah has run blood–the best blood of the North. All around Richmond, the blood of New England and of the North has been shed–of your sons, your brothers and your fathers. We all feel, in the existence of this Rebellion, that judgments terrible, wide-spread, far-reaching, overwhelming, are abroad in the land; and we feel, in view of these judgments, just now, a disposition to learn righteousness. This is the hour. Our streets are in mourning, tears are falling at every fireside, and under the chastisement of this Rebellion we have almost come up to the point of conceding this great, this all-important right of suffrage. I fear that if we fail to do it now, if abolitionists fail to press it now, we may not see, for centuries to come, the same disposition that exists at this moment. [Applause.]Hence, I say, now is the time to press this right.” ~ Speech by former slave, Frederick Douglas, entitled: WHAT THE BLACK MAN WANTS, (At the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Boston, April, 1865, Douglass delivered the following speech on the subject: The Equality of all men before the law; Note that this was given within days of the close of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln.)
Frederick Douglass .
In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.
In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.
“ What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman cannot be divine. Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may – I cannot. The time for such argument is past.
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced. ..
There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour. Go search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival. “
(SOURCE: Frederick Douglass wrote in The Hypocrisy of American Slavery)
The Vindicator, July 22, 1859, p. 2, c. 2 – Abstractions- “People have been in the habit so long of settling to their own satisfaction every difficult question rising out of the slavery issue by pronouncing it an “empty abstraction,” until at length the expression has passed into a common phrase of stereotyped wisdom, lulling the South to an unnatural and dangerous repose.
“Did the good people who, on every occasion, are so eager thus to lay at rest a question which many men, great and small, have considered both substantial and vital, ever ask themselves what an abstraction is? Do they remember that they have but an abstract right to life, until it is assailed?--Do they not forget that they hold their property, of any kind, only by an abstract right until it is interfered with by some person or persons? In a word, are they not aware that they enjoy life, liberty and property only as an abstract right, until, being interfered with, it becomes a living, substantial claim? Apply this principle to the question which now agitates the political world, and the myth which mystifying compromisers have thrown around this issue is at once dispelled. We have, as we contend and the compromisers acknowledge, the same abstract right to protection for our slave property in the territories which we have to protection for our lives, liberty and property here in Virginia. As long as this fact is conceded by the world, we are content to let the thing rest as an abstraction; but when a powerful party, like the combined Black Republicans and squatter sovereignty advocates, deny that right, and threaten to follow up their denial by an open and fatal attack upon it, then that which was before an abstraction is converted into a living, substantial, all-absorbing principle, for which its advocates ought and will contend to the bitter end.”
In 1805, Thomas Jefferson lamented: “I have long since given up the expectation of any early provision for the extinguishment of slavery among us. [While] there are many virtuous men who would make any sacrifices to affect it, many equally virtuous persuade themselves either that the thing is not wrong or that it cannot be remedied.” George Washington, Thomas Jefferson & Slavery in Virginia, by David Barton / Wall Builders
In Sermons, Speeches, and Letters on Slavery and its war – The National Midnight , A sermon preached at Westfield , MA November 16,1856 on the occasion of the election of James Buchanan to the Presidency of the United States 1869 : Gilbert Haven laments,
“How horrible our sin ! How more horrible will be our punishment!
What has caused this defeat! Why did not truth and right prevail? Why did we not win? Because there was no deep repentance of the real cause of their shames and crimes, and no true sympathy with their chief victims. The cause is slavery; the real victim is the slave. .. We have had no tears for the slave. His fate has not been the battle-cry of any party.”
Listen to the words of William Lloyd Garrison’s The Death of Slavery which appeared in his antislavery publication called The Liberator on February 10, 1865:
“At last, after eighty years of wandering and darkness,—of cruelty and oppression, on a colossal scale, towards a helpless and an unoffending race—of recreancy to all the heaven-attested principles enunciated by our revolutionary sires in justification of their course; through righteous judgment and fiery retribution; through national dismemberment and civil war; through suffering, bereavement and lamentation, extending to every city, town, village and hamlet, almost every household in the land; through a whole generation of Anti-Slavery warning, expostulation and rebuke, resulting in wide-spread contrition and repentance; the nation, rising in the majesty of its moral power and political sovereignty, has decreed that liberty shall be “proclaimed throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof,” and that henceforth no such anomalous being as slaveholder or slave shall exist beneath the “stars and stripes,” within the domain of the republic. (Cheers.)” Garrison later said this about the efforts of the abolitionists : ” And the same verdict you will render in vindication of the clear-sighted, untiring, intrepid, unselfish, uncompromising Anti-Slavery phalanx, who, through years of conflict and persecution—misrepresented, misunderstood, ridiculed and anathematized from one end of the country to the other—have labored “in season and out of season” to bring about this glorious result. (Renewed applause.) You will, I venture to think and say, agree with me, that only radical abolitionism is, at this trial-hour, loyalty, justice, impartial freedom, national salvation—the Golden Rule blended with the Declaration of Independence! (Great applause.) “
Former slave, Frederick Douglas
”I do not go back to America to sit still, remain quiet, and enjoy ease and comfort. . . . I glory in the conflict, that I may hereafter exult in the victory. I know that victory is certain. I go, turning my back upon the ease, comfort, and respectability which I might maintain even here. . . Still, I will go back, for the sake of my brethren. I go to suffer with them; to toil with them; to endure insult with them; to undergo outrage with them; to lift up my voice in their behalf; to speak and write in their vindication; and struggle in their ranks for the emancipation which shall yet be achieved. ” ~ Former slave, Frederick Douglas, FAREWELL TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE, March 30, 1847
William Lloyd Garrison wrote this in The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper he created because he had been censored from the regular press. January 1, 1831:
“I am aware, that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hand of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
Thomas J “Stonewall” Jackson
“My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to always be ready, no matter when it may overtake me.”
William Lloyd Garrison
Early in Garrison’s abolition life, Samuel May, friend and mentor, expressed concern that Garrison needs to “soften his language” and style of speaking. Garrison says he will do so only “when the poor downtrodden slaves tell me I am too harsh”. “O my friend”, urged May,..”do try to moderate your indignation, and keep more cool; why you are all on fire.” Garrison looked straight at May, and said: ”Brother May, I have need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice to melt.” (Story told by Henry May, in his definitive biography, All on Fire.)
William Seward– “The Irrepressible Conflict,” 25 October 1858 Occasion: Speech given at Rochester, New York.
The Irrepressible Conflict
“When that evil day shall come, and all further effort at resistance shall be impossible, then, if there shall be no better hope for redemption than I can now foresee, I shall say with Franklin, while looking abroad over the whole earth for a new and more congenial home, “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”
You will tell me that these fears are extravagant and chimerical. I answer, they are so; but they are so only because the designs of the slaveholders must and can be defeated. But it is only the possibility of defeat that renders them so. They cannot be defeated by inactivity. There is no escape from them, compatible with non-resistance…. The democratic party, finally, has procured from a supreme judiciary, fixed in its interest, a decree that slavery exists by force of the constitution in every territory of the United States, paramount to all legislative authority, either within the territory, or residing in congress.
Such is the democratic party. It has no policy, state or federal, for finance, or trade, or manufacture, or commerce, or education, or internal improvements, or for the protection or even the security of civil or religious liberty. It is positive and uncompromising in the interest of slavery — negative, compromising, and vacillating, in regard to everything else. It boasts its love of equality, and wastes its strength, and even its life, in fortifying the only aristocracy known in the land. It professes fraternity, and, so often as slavery requires, allies itself with proscription. It magnifies itself for conquests in foreign lands, but it sends the national eagle forth always with chains, and not the olive branch, in his fangs.” (Where the text can be found: The Works of William H. Seward, edited by George Baker (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1884), vol. 4 (new edition), pp. 289-302. http://douglassarchives.org/sewa_b20.htm )
John Dickinson Signer of the Constitution, “Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among
His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign
myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through JesusChrist for the events of eternity.”
In 1791, Wilberforce concluded a speech against the slave trade thus:
“Never, never, will we desist till we have wiped away this scandal from the Christian name, released ourselves from the load of guilt, under which we at present labour, and extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country.” (William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner by William Hague p. 198)
He wrote in his book, A Practical View, published in 1797,
“Accustom yourself to look first to the dreadful consequences of failure; then fix your eye on the glorious prize which is before you; and when your strength begins to fail, and your spirits are will nigh exhausted, let the animating view rekindle your resolution, and call forth in renewed vigour the fainting energies of your soul.” (p. 276)
Revivalist Charles Finney, 1873 – “Away with this milk and water preaching of a love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it. Away with preaching a love of God that is not angry with sinners every day. Away with preaching a Christ not crucified for sin…If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is our in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world looses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact , my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.” The Decay of Conscience, by Charles Finney 1873
Gilbert Haven 1869 “We are so familiar with the word Slavery, that its real scope and character do not smite the eye with true horror. If this nation stood today, perfectly free from this iniquity, and could behold it approaching its shores, and demanding the sovereignty, we should rise up as one man against the hellish foe. …How horrible it’s sin, how horrible will be its punishment !” ~ National Sermons , Speeches, and Letters on Slavery and its war by Gilbert Haven 1869:The National Midnight, A sermon preached at Westfield, Mass., November 16,1856
William Garrison speaking again about slavery in The Liberator December 21,1855, “They sought to liberate the slave by every righteous instrumentality—nothing more. But, to their grief and amazement, they were gradually led to perceive, by the terrible revelations of the hour, that the religious forces on which they had relied were all arrayed on the side of the oppressor; that the North was as hostile to emancipation as the South; that the spirit of slavery was omnipresent, invading every sanctuary, infecting every pulpit, controlling every press, corrupting every household, and blinding every vision; that no other alternative was presented to them, except to wage war with “principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places,” and to separate themselves from every slaveholding alliance, or else to daub with untempered mortar, substitute compromise for principle, and thus betray the rights and liberties of the millions in thraldom, at a fearful cost to their own souls. ”
William Garrison – “Better to be always in a minority of one with God—branded as madman, incendiary, fanatic, heretic, infidel—frowned upon by “the powers that be,” and mobbed by the populace—or consigned ignominiously to the gallows, like him whose “soul is marching on,” though his “body lies mouldering in the grave,” or burnt to ashes at the stake like Wickliffe, or nailed to the cross like him who “gave himself for the world,”—in defence of the right, than like Herod, having the shouts of a multitude, crying, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man!” ~ Slavery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, the Liberator, December 29,1865 -one of my favorites of American history.
“In the 1940′s, totalitarian regimes tried to silence the Church. Entire sections were reserved for priests in Dachau and Auschwitz, where St. Maximilian Kolbe was injected with carbolic acid. In Yugoslavia, Bishop Mišic of Mostar was threatened for decrying the massacre of women and children. The Greek Archbishop of Athens risked his life when he solemnly cursed the German plenipotentiary. The newspapers mocked Cardinal van Roey, Primate of Belgium, for repudiating Nazi eugenics. When Cardinal Hinsley of Westminster spoke out after 120 Salesian priests were slaughtered in Poland, European journalists accused him of “bad faith.” Father George W. Rutler:
From the Lincoln Douglas Debates:
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas. 1897
DOUGLAS RESPONSE: The principles contained in the Dred Scott decision had been affirmed previously in various other decisions. What court or judge ever held that a negro was a citizen? The State courts had decided that question over and over again, and the Dred Scott decision on that point only affirmed what every court in the land knew to be the law….
“We are told that a man is not a Democrat who stands by Clay, Webster, and Cass, and the Compromise measures of 1850, and the Kansas and Nebraska bill of 1854. Whether a man be a Democrat or not on that platform, I intend to stand there as long as I have life. I intend to cling firmly to that principle which declares the right of each State and each Territory to settle the question of slavery, and every other domestic question, for themselves. I hold that if they want a Slave State, they have a right under the Constitution of the United States to make it so, and if they want a Free State, it is their right to have it..”
Let us not be merely “Bible Believing Christians” but “Bible Practicing Christians.” Let us put our “beliefs” to work+press in to understand the depths of our sin,the terror of judgment +the magnificent mercy we’ve been given through the bloody+violent sacrifice of God Himself. Obey with blind determination the words we read-as those from a loving Master who purchased our soul from death.
Martin Luther King , “The time comes when silence is betrayal- that time has come for us….men do not easily assume the task of opposing the government’s policy….Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often the vocation of agony, but, we must speak….”
Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison “We are here to enter our indignant protest against the Dred Scott decision—against the infamous Fugitive Slave Law—…Give us Disunion with liberty and a good conscience, rather than Union with slavery and moral degradation. What! shall we shake hands with those who buy, sell, torture, and horribly imbrute their fellow-creatures, and trade in human flesh! God forbid! Every man should respect himself too much to keep such company. We must break this wicked alliance with men-stealers, or all is lost…” (Dred Scott and Disunion, by Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison The Liberator, March 12, 1858)
New-England Anti-Slavery Society “Freedom of conscience, and personal liberty, without which freedom of conscience cannot exist , must be secured upon solid foundations. That accountableness to himself which the Creator has imposed upon every created being must not be controlled by any human power.” ( What is meant by immediate emancipation ‘ The Abolitionist, Volume 1, By New-England Anti-Slavery Society, Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society)
Frederick Douglass “At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced.” (Former slave and Abolitionist Frederick Douglass – July 4, 1852)
Henry David Thoreau “Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. ” ( Abolitionist Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience 1849 )
Henry David Thoreau Does this sound like the election of today? ” I hear of a convention to be held at Baltimore,(16) or elsewhere, for the selection of a candidate for the Presidency, made up chiefly of editors, and men who are politicians by profession; but I think, what is it to any independent, intelligent, and respectable man what decision they may come to? Shall we not have the advantage of his wisdom and hones…ty, nevertheless? Can we not count upon some independent votes? Are there not many individuals in the country who do not attend conventions? But no: I find that the respectable man, so called, has immediately drifted from his position, and despairs of his country, when his country has more reason to despair of him. He forthwith adopts one of the candidates thus selected as the only available one, thus proving that he is himself available for any purposes of the demagogue. His vote is of no more worth than that of any unprincipled foreigner or hireling native, who may have been bought. Oh for a man who is a man, and, as my neighbor says, has a bone in his back which you cannot pass your hand through!” ( Abolitionist Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience 1849 )
Henry David Thoreau ” I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves Abolitionists should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of …one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them. I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already. ” ( Abolitionist Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience 1849 )
Henry David Thoreau “There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing; who even postpone the question of freedom to the question of free-trade, and quietly read the prices-current a…long with the latest advices from Mexico, after dinner, and, it may be, fall asleep over them both. What is the price-current of an honest man and patriot to-day? They hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect. They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret. At most, they give only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and Godspeed, to the right, as it goes by them. There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man; but it is easier to deal with the real possessor of a thing than with the temporary guardian of it.” ( Abolitionist Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience 1849 )
Henry David Thoreau “All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my v…ote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.” (Abolitionist Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience 1849 )
Henry David Thoreau “That government is best which governs not at all…Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? — in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? …” ( Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience 1849 )
Thoreau was an abolitionist who went on to state: “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political …organization as my government which is the slave’s government also.
Henry David Thoreau All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution of ’75. If one were to tell me that this was a bad government because it taxed certain foreign commodities brought to its ports, it is most probable that I should not make an ado about it, for I can do without them. All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army…”( Henry David Thoreau; Civil Disobedience Part 1 1849 )
On March 23, 1775, the Second Virginia Convention had been relocated from the House of Burgesses to St. John’s Church in Richmond, because of increasing tension between the Colonies and the British. Patrick Henry stated:
“…They tell us, sir, that we are weak – unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
T he 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! The war is inevitable – and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? 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!”
“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature.” ~ Anti- Nazi Heroine Sophie Scholl
In 1942 Hans Scholl, a medical student at the University of Munich, his sister Sophie, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf, and Alexander Schmorell founded the “White Rose” movement, one of the few German groups that spoke out against Nazi genocidal policies… “We will not be silent,” they wrote to their fellow students. “We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!”
The church, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, must fight evil in three stages: The first was to question state injustice and call the state to responsibility; the second was to help the victims of injustice, whether they were church members or not. Ultimately, however, the church might find itself called “not only to help the victims who have fallen under the wheel, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself” in order to halt the machinery of injustice. ( United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Frederick Douglass “Slavery As It Now Exists in the United States: An Address Delivered in Bristol, England on August 25, 1846.” – “No other nation on the earth was so loud in its professions as the American people: their political professions were unbounded. They had heard of America, 3000 miles off, as the land of the free and the home of the brave; the asylum where the oppressed of all nations on the face of the globe could find refuge. Loud and long were their harangues on the 4th of July, the anniversary of their independence. Their declaration put forth that all men were born free, and were equally entitled to certain inalienable rights—to life and liberty in the pursuit of happiness; that all just governments derived their right to govern from the people—and yet, under the very eaves-droppings of their political institutions—under the very eaves-droppings of their chapels, were heard the clank of the fetters and the rattling of the chains which bound their miserable slaves together, to be driven by the lash of their driver on board the ships for New Orleans, there to be sold in the market like brutes …Yes, they were a nation of Christian professors! Their ministers of region, on each returning sabbath, greeted the presence of the Almighty with a lie on their lips. Their first salutation was, “We thank thee, O Lord, that we live in a land of civil and religious liberty.” A land of civil and religious liberty, where three millions of people were deprived by stern enactment of the right to read the word of God! …A land of civil and religious liberty, where three millions were in chains! … A land of civil and religious liberty, where the Bible Society dared not circulate a single Bible among three millions of people’ A land of civil and religious liberty, where to act on the principle of the gospel which they professed, and to do to others as they would be done by, was to incur the penalty of death! Was that a land of civil and religious liberty? And yet their ministers of religion cried amen to the prayer, and professed that America was the freest nation on the globe. Oh, yes, they did profess well.”
“What if you had been alive then [During the Nazi Holocaust] ? “that’s a question all of us have to ask. The thing that bothers me the most in the United States today is that the moral foundations of the republic are shattered. Our growing apathy disturbs me. One of the interesting things about the Nazi revolution is that Germany was in a moral vacuum [when Hitler came to power], and moral vacuums, like natural vacuums, seek to be filled. A courageous church, unafraid to speak out, is the only hope to fill that void”, he believes, citing the following statement from Albert Einstein:
“Being a lover of freedom, when the [Nazi] revolution came, I looked to the universities to defend [freedom], knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but no the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced.
“Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth.” ~ The Rev. Charles Carroll, an Episcopalian priest, and an official observer at the Nuremberg war crime trials. He spent a lifetime studying the philosophy of German and Nazi medicine.
“By the time I was born, my destiny was decided, as were the destinies of so many Jewish children. The Nazis had no use for Jew-ish children.”
“Everybody always says when we talk about tragic human events such as genocide, never again. That’s an important idea, never again. If I want to help prevent genocide from happening, I’d better understand it. What made it possible for a guy like Adolf Hitler to rise to power? If we can understand that, maybe we can use that to prevent other terrorists from rising to power.”
Hitler, she said, took advantage of the poor economy that followed the Great Depression. “Hitler told them he could make their lives much better and many people believed him. Instead of solving the crisis, he blamed the Jews. So that is another thing to remember: anytime a ruler or president starts blaming people, looking for scapegoats instead of taking responsibility, that’s a dangerous sign.”
Hitler was a terrorist who rose to power because good people said nothing, she said.
“The key word here is terrorist. Terrorists have no respect for human life,” she said. “In Germany, not all Germans were Nazis. There were many good Germans — but nobody spoke up.”
“We are told that we may not interfere with abortion. We are told that we may not “impose our morality” on those who wish to allow or participate in the taking of the life of infants before birth; yet no one calls it “imposing morality” to prohibit the taking of life after people are born. We are told as well that there exists a “right” to end the lives of unborn children; yet no one can explain how such a right can exist in stark contradiction of each person’s fundamental right to life. That right to life belongs equally to babies in the womb, babies born handicapped, and the elderly or infirm…Our Nation cannot continue down the path of abortion, so radically at odds with our history, our heritage, and our concepts of justice. This sacred legacy, and the well-being and the future of our country, demand that protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land.” ~ January 14, 1988, President Ronald Reagan.