Most Americans no doubt think of themselves as law-abiding, God-fearing people. However, when obedience to human law violates a man's inner conscience, the only moral alternative left him is faithfulness to his conscience. In fact, resistance to tyrannical laws forms the foundation of our heritage.
Where would America be without the exploits of the brave men at Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and Lexington Green? Our history is immersed in a river of resistance to unjust laws.
It appears, however, that many Americans today have forgotten Ben Franklin's maxim, "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." Current events suggest that they are more than willing to embrace a dictatorial police state.
Federal police abuse at Waco, Texas; Ruby Ridge, Idaho; and now at Klamath Basin, Oregon, reveal a lethargic population willing to overlook practically any injustice. To be sure, there was (and is) much resistance from local parties directly involved.
To the vast population at large, however, there is nothing but complete indifference. To them, those who resist federal abuse are simply lawbreakers (or kooks) who deserve neither sympathy nor respect. It matters not if they go to jail, lose their farms, or burn to death.
Had this generation been around back in 1775, America would still be a Crown colony today; and Washington, Henry and Revere would be regarded as ignoble traitors.
Fortunately, the generation of 1775 understood the difference between lawful authority and tyranny. The Father of the American Revolution, Sam Adams, said:
Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; second, to liberty; third, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are the evident branches of the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature. All men have a right to remain in a state of nature as long as they please; and in case of intolerable oppression, civil or religious, to leave the society they belong to, and enter into another.
It should seem obvious to everyone that, for the past 40 plus years, numerous departments and agencies of our federal government have taken upon themselves the cloak of a conqueror and have repeatedly violated "the first law of nature." Unfortunately, this generation (unlike that of 1775) does not have a Washington or Adams to oppose them. Not only that, it appears that the vast majority of Americans today welcome additional federal encroachment into their lives.
Sam Adams reportedly told some British sympathizers:
If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
I wonder what he would say to us?....lick the hand that feeds you;