My ancestors came from Europe. They came for opportunity and the right
to worship freely - the great American experiment. People from
all races, religions, and ideologies flocked to the New World looking
for something better, something that no other country had to offer - freedom.
Not the license to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, but the opportunity to work hard with self dicipline and without the restraints of government or others. This made it possible for people to devise, create, innovate and explore and build an economy unequalled in all of history. They are still coming to America in droves.
I grew up on the west coast and never thought much about my ancestors. In researching my family, I came to realize that my maternal ancestors were born, lived and died in the South - THE South; Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and go back a hundred years before this country was founded. They were on the wrong side of the War. The losing side of the War. It disturbed me at first. But I have come to learn that they fought valiantly in the War Between the States, and served with honor and distinction till the end of that war. They believed, strongly, in States Rights - the right to govern themselves. The Constitution mandated that they were sovereign states.
Great good came out of the War Between the States - the union remained intact, the abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of the black race, but the Republic was wounded in the process. The war empowered the federal government to become bigger and stronger while the states were diminished and weakened and remain so, today.
The Constitution , today, only exists in rhetoric and symbol, as we have become a Socialist Democracy - from each according to his means, to each according to his need. Congress no longer measures a bill by the laws set forth in the Constitution. They do whatever they please, Constitution be damned. The Constitution was formed, as it was, to strictly limit the powers of government, because our forefathers knew that governments were capable of taking the wealth from the people to gain power. Our government today takes and takes in the name of helping others but what it really is, is a Washington power game and in the long run the very people they claim to be helping are destroyed because incentive is destroyed. It is not the place of government to be charitable. Government officials might encourage individuals and corporations to benevolence and charity but it should not BE a charity. In helping those in need, there is only value when it requires something of both the giver and the receiver. Government, that extorts the labor if it's citizens by confiscating their earnings, is a government that is, in fact, a slaver. We did away with one sort of slavery and allowed the creation of another. The U.S. federal government has become the "Massa" of the people taking away their need to rely on themselves and denying them self respect. As more and more people become reliant on the government for their needs, the power of the government grows and will use that power to extort more and more of the earnings of the governed at the point of a gun, if necessary. Don't believe me? You'll see the sheriff if your taxes aren't paid. (I am not saying that we shouldn't pay some taxes. I'm saying that government shouldn't need or take more than ten percent of the earnings from it's citizens. If it does, it's too big, too wieldy, and involved in too many things it should not be involved in.
If you take a hundred dollar bill from anothers wallet, it is thievery. If you get several people to agree to take it from another's wallet, it is still thievery. When people go to the ballot box and vote to take money out of the pockets of their neighbors for their "charitable projects", they are, in fact, guilty of theft, as well. There is no difference other than the fact that the citizens allow one form of theft but not the other. Morally and ethically there is no difference. Money is the measure of a man's labor and to deny him the value of his labor, is immoral and unethical no matter how much or how little he/she is paid for that work. It should be up to each individual, as a matter of conscience, to share what he or she has with those in need, not for government to confiscate it, by force of law, and give it to those it has decided are the most deserving. Surely the US government has become the church of liberalism for liberals. They worship at it's altar of money, power and "freebies". And what of sacrifice for the good of all? Sacrifice to truly be sacrifice must be voluntary. Sacrifice at the point of a gun is not sacrifice. It's totalitarianism!!!
I feel a great sadness that the values of freedom, that my ancestors fought for, have been undermined by fascist, socialist, liberal and progressive elites so pervasive in our society, today. Those, who espouse the idealism of Carl Marx, despise our country , Constitution, and the ideas it was founded on. They have contempt for it. People, such as these, are so misguided in their "charity" to those who have little. To give and give to people who put out nothing is criminal and immoral. It demeans people and denies them their ability to rely on themselves. They, in turn, tend to lose their self respect and become burdens to society rather than participants of it. Human nature being what it, creates resentment towards people who do nothing but take. Of course liberal thinking holds no quarter for human nature. They think human nature is changeable, so they keep throwing money at the same programs that have never worked. (We should all know the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.) Intellectual elites who look to government as a savior to the people are those who do not trust in a God, but want to BE GOD. I could go on for hours, but I will temperance myself with restraint and leave it at that, as my anger is rising.
As I research the names of people in my tree, I have developed a solemn respect and feel a closeness to each of them, as I take note of the dates and times they lived: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Trail of Tears, the War Between the States, the Great Depression, World War I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. They lived through hard times but they knew what true freedom was all about.
I am forever grateful
that they lived, suffered and died for a dream of something better.
May their dream live on and flourish in the hearts of men and women who understand what
real freedom is and may they rest in peace......and never be forgotten.
Rhio R. Gillis
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