On July 4th, we celebrate one of the most solemn days in American history, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was a transforming moment in the history of North America, which changed the British colonies into a self-determining nation.
It is easy today, 239 years later, amidst the celebratory parties, barbecues, and fireworks displays, to forget that American independence was not inevitable and did not happen overnight. It was a hard-won victory that required a struggle of more than 30 years and great personal sacrifice from many men and women. And on July 4, 1776, that victory still hung in the balance.
At first, the future citizens of the United States wanted only to preserve their rights and liberties as British citizens. The colonists strongly opposed the acts of trade enacted by the British Council in 1760, authorizing, among other things, search warrants on any pretext, and the Stamp Act of 1765, which levied heavy taxes on the colonists without their own parliamentary representation, seeing in these laws a violation of the rights guaranteed by British common law. When it became clear that insisting on their rights would not be enough, those opposed to tyranny took action on that sultry July day in 1776 and declared independence from Great Britain. The gravity of this act was not lost on any present at that meeting of the Second Continental Congress. The Declaration, as far as the British sovereign was concerned, was a deliberate act of treason and the signatories were all in danger of their lives. Benjamin Franklin quipped to his fellow representatives at the signing, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
The War of Independence marks a second stage, although it began 15 months before the signing of the Declaration, at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775, and ended in 1782 with the signing of the Treaty of Peace in Paris. The third and final stage reached its conclusion when Congress ratified the Constitution in 1789, bringing into being a new country and a new kind of government.
A contest of principle
But the great work of the American struggle for independence was not winning the conflict of arms. The birth of liberty was a contest of principle. At each stage, the struggle for independence was met by individuals, providentially prepared with minds and spirits trained to the issues of the times. The Declaration of Independence was the standard heroically waved in this war of ideas because it annulled the idea that men were subjects to any tyrannical powers and affirmed the natural right to be self-governed. The tie to British rule was dissolved by one common act, the signing of that document. It made Americans into members of a distinct community in relation to each other, bound by the laws of nature and the Union. It was the opening to a new era in the science of government and in the history of mankind.
From “John Quincy Adams on the American Revolution,” The Christian History of the American Revolution, Consider and Ponder
(Our late friend Pastor Garrett Lear wrote this message for us in 2015)
I have mostly pleasant memories of CHRISTmas past (I have 67 of them so far though some are in “baby fog”). It is special to me though it may be hard for some to which I am compassionate.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
The true meaning of Christmas is this: God took on the form of a human to die in our place, paying for our sins, so that humans who receive Him might be forgiven and be with Him forever.
You are free to reject that message and the One who delivered it, but what you are not free to do is to redefine or change the message into something that fits your own beliefs and choices.
As the carol says, “Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.”
The world today is a sad place, and those who love freedom sometimes feel we are shoveling against the tide. But for just a moment, at this time of year, we should pause and remember an event that occurred about 2,000 years ago in the Middle East.
The world then was a far worse place, yet a light seared through the darkness. A baby was born in a cave. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The baby came into the world so that we might have life and live it abundantly. The baby came into the world so that we would be set free from our own sins, free from the temptations of the world and free from the governments that seek to control us.
The baby was the Son of God and the Prince of Peace and the Savior of the world. This week we celebrate His birthday.
Camp Constitution wishes our friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year. I would like to share my favorite Christmas Hymn performed by Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence
Hal Shurtleff, Director
December 15th is Bill of Rights Day, the 229th anniversary of the most successful assertion of individual rights and liberties ever written. The date is as obscure as it should be celebrated. If you watched the news this morning, they were more likely highlighting National Cupcake Day. But it’s also one of the most important dates in American history, because without the Bill of Rights the fledgling United States may not have survived.
Barely a decade after 1776, shortcomings in the Articles of Confederation brought about a political crisis among the states, culminating in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The new Constitution was ratified the following year, but that was not the end of the crisis, as a number of states made ratification contingent on a Bill of Rights being swiftly added to it.
With the fate of the Republic at stake, the two dominant political forces of the time – the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists – waged a public contest of ideas. It ended with the drafting by consensus of the first ten amendments to the new Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, which sealed the deal when Virginia became the 11th state to ratify, on this day in 1791.
The history of the document since then has been a stunning success. In a testament to the power of its ideas, the visionary principles embodied in the Bill of Rights that were considered radical by most of the outside world at the time – freedom of expression and belief, the presumption of innocence, due process and equality under the law – are today lauded as universal human rights.
The expanding reach of these principles in our own country has been no less breathtaking. When the Bill of Rights was ratified its provisions only fully applied to 5% of the people living here. They didn’t apply to slaves, native Americans, women, or white men of less than a certain means or property.
But the amendments themselves do not contain a single exclusionary clause. So as our understanding of freedom grew from the experience of it, along with the wrenching tragedy of a civil war, the Bill of Rights remained a clear beacon illuminating the path forward. Today virtually all Americans expect that these rights and freedoms belong to all equally.
There have been setbacks and reversals along the way. President Roosevelt declared the first Bill of Rights Day in 1941. Two months later he issued the executive order interning all Japanese Americans, one of the darker episodes in our history. Today’s headlines remind us just how perpetually fragile the idea of a free, just, and civil society is. As President Reagan pointedly observed “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.”
The Bill of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Remarks by Pastor Garrett Lear, the Patriot Pastor at the 245th Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill yesterday, June 17, 2020
BUNKER HILL 2020
The Battle Cry No other king but King Jesus!
We are here today in the midst of a prevailing chaos to celebrate a decisive loss of life and property. The 245th Anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
WE should be here, we must be here, we want to be here. Here we stand as our ancestors did so long ago. Our stand is more ceremonial than actual. No blood and treasure will be expended today as it was then.
1200 colonial troops under the command of seasoned soldier and leader William Prescott in a stealth move occupied Bunker and Breed’s Hills.
Belligerents as they were called (some of us here today might be called that) came from CT, MA, NH, RI under command of Prescott, Putnam , Warren, Stark faced off against Howe, Gage, Pigot, Abercrombie Clinton, Graves, Pitcairn. 2400 against 3000.
The battle was tactical though somewhat a Pyrrhic victory for the British. It certainly proved that because of the American Colonial Patriot courage, Yankee ingenuity and mettle… inexperienced militia could stand up to regular troops in battle. What an important message to send to King George by special delivery post!
Our losses: 115 Killed 305 wounded 30 captured (20 POWS died) Totaling 450.
Their losses:19 officers killed 62 officers wounded 207 soldiers killed 766 soldiers wounded total 1,054. That sent the British high command an important message that all tyrants need to hear… we will not submit to lawless deeds or have our native natural God Given rights violated.
I had at least 4 ancestors here perhaps more than that, who I am attempting to verify.
At this present time in our beloved country, when skin color is being rioted over so to speak… there were some 150 African Americans and some 27 American Indians on the Patriot side. Free African Americans Barzillai Lew, Salem Poor, and Peter Salem for example.
The one of the last and longest living survivors was Ralph Farnham. He Lived long enough to tell about the battle, keeping it fresh in people’s minds as we are here to do today. We will not forget. Will we?
“Do not fire until you see the whites of their eyes”… we may not be sure who said it first, but we know that when they ran out of powder and shot, they threw rocks rather than surrender the hill!
That is Hutzpah, that is Huzzah, that is Hallelujah. Let us pray.
The Patriot Pastor’s website: http://thepatriotpastor.com/
Why I am proud to call George Washington my father
Is that enough of a shock to get you to read this exposition? O.K., my father’s name on my birth certificate is Albert. Of course, The Bible states call no one father (that is Father meaning only THE GOD of The Bible qualifies for that Highest Name and Place) let’s not go there for now. Agreed? Good. Moving on then. Much has been written about George Washington from his birth to his death. Much has been written about his family lineage, heritage, his conduct and his demeanor. All of that is exemplary.
Now, if you get your views about George Washington (or American Providential History in general) from Hollywood movies, T.V. series and that ilk… well you are a fool. Did you get your feelings hurt? It was and is not my intention to do that, I am trying to inform you with truth.
I believe our Constitutional Republic is worth saving. She is worth living for, standing up for, fighting for and dying for… this was the oath of our Founders and is mine and I suggest should be yours too. The worst traitors are the revisionists. These are the people who hate America and point out only her shortcomings. All countries have them as The Bible states all have sinned and come short of the glory of The Lord.
Many through out the life of America have believed that these States of America United was the best experiment in self-governance ever in the history of the world. George Washington was such a man that believed that. During his funeral at Christ Episcopal Church (Washington’s adopted church for the last decade of his life. )Revolutionary War hero Henry Lee III spoke: “To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens.”
Patrick Henry, the first governor of Virginia (as a state), said, “[I]f you speak of solid information and sound judgment, Washington is unquestionably the greatest man of them all.”
Thomas Jefferson remarked on Washington, “His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision.” The fact is that he was universally viewed as a hero, including by those who closely knew him. He was even viewed in a favorable light by his foreign enemies.
George Washington The World’s Apostle of Liberty had states, babies, seven mountains, eight streams, nine colleges, 33 counties named after him, numerous statues and monuments across the country including in Washington, D.C. and the Public Gardens in Boston, MA.
The first public occasion of celebrating Washington’s birthday was in New York in 1784. We continue to celebrate his birthday on February 22 each year and his Farewell Address (A link to Pastor Lear’s reading of the “Farewell Address”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB0P2ybbrxI and a link to a PDF version of the address: http://campconstitution.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/George-Washington-Farewell-Address.pdf
I will not take the time here to refute every absurd slander against him. It has been said he was uneducated. That is a bold face lie. He attained the equivalent as a university education. He was considered the best educated man of his time. In establishing the example of love of country first, he served as the commander of the Army without pay and only reimbursed for expenses. He was known as a humble, earnest Christian who studied The Scriptures to pattern his life. I am doing that in my life and encourage others to do the same.
In his morning prayer (this and many other such documents from him are in abundance in The Library of Congress):
Almighty God and most merciful father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day receive o Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to the…. Ending his prayer with… be our God & guide this day and forever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord , Amen.
George and Martha Washington are buried at their home at Mt. Vernon in Virginia. A that tomb (which I have been to) is inscribed paid for by George Washington the Gospel of John, chapter 11, verses 25 & 26:
“I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
He also issued instructions to the officers of his army to speak to the soldiers and tell them not to curse, use profane language or insult the majesty of Heaven who they needed help from!
He is quoted as saying “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness (meaning unrestrained by law or general morality; lawless; immoral, going beyond customary or proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules).
He could have been King George of America (it was suggested to him). He could have been an emperor or a tyrant (also suggested to him). He refused to stay as president for more than 2 terms (he could have stayed for the rest of his life). He refused all the trappings of power lesser men in history gladly relished. He humbly bid Farewell (fair thee well) America. He could never imagine his beloved homeland happening as it is now.
I personally, have numerous historically accurate books about George Washington and those who mention him frequently, in my Patriot Pastor library. I am a leader in an organization formed around the tenets of George Washington, The National Society Sons Of The American Revolution (NSSAR). https://www.sar.org/ Camp Constitution Director Shurtleff and son Nathaniel are also members of this honorable lineal heritage society. In the interest of brevity, I have not foot noted or cited all my sources used here. You may contact me for more information if you desire to. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now you know why I am proud to call George Washington my father. He is after all, known as the father of our country (and he gave the glory to GOD THE FATHER for it) for good reason. I am asking you to consider calling him your father too! This is my pledge and my oath… hand on my heart and The Bible…
Signed: Patriot Pastor Garrett Lear
Pastor Lear’s Bio:
Pastor Lear – Speaks Loudly & Clearly The Biblical Worldview, Speaks Liberty, and Speaks courageously Christian – ALWAYS.
Garrett Lear, a native New Englander born in 1948 is known across the nation as “The Patriot Pastor” because of his expertise and extensive knowledge of the founding of America, his deep and abiding love for the original intent of The Founding Fathers and his understanding of The New Testament Church. He has 396 years of ancestry in New England America and is a member of the National Society Sons of The American Revolution and is a member of several historical societies.
As a pastor in the great tradition of the colonial Black Robed Regiment, his ministry has an extensive archive of American Christian history. As a recipient of many patriotic awards, he has been in continuous ministry since 1974, having preached God’s Word throughout the 50 states of America, Canada and Eastern Europe. With his commanding 6’7” stature, Pastor Lear continues to stand boldly in defense of Biblical truth amidst the current cultural and spiritual malaise. With his deep love for the Lord, he teaches, instructs and counsels all to follow in the royal path of Christ. He is known to be a great encourager of victorious Christian living in all circumstances.
Pastor Lear has been a denominational leader, local pastor, evangelist, prison chaplain, prayer intercessor and local leader of many national ministries. He has been privileged to be a Bible college teacher, Gospel singer, worship leader, revival and conference speaker. He is a spiritual elder and mentor, often called upon to provide counsel and guidance to church, government and business leaders across the country. As a man’s man, Pastor Garrett has been particularly appreciated in leading men’s ministries, as “iron sharpeneth iron”.
In 1980, Pastor Lear founded the The Well of Living Water Christian Ministries based on John 4, after a lengthy time of fasting and prayer. Due to the demand for his preaching and extensive knowledge of America’s Christian History, Pastor Lear expanded his ministry into the public media. Over the years, he has been a popular radio and television guest including such national programs as The 700 Club. He has hosted his own radio broadcast “Water From The Well” and owns several Internet websites. Pastor Lear’s website http://thepatriotpastor.org/