Thursday, June 23, 2011

Speaking of Freedom: Independence Day 2011

The Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Greetings Fellow Patriots,
July the 4th will soon be upon us once again. Independence Day. Cook outs, fireworks, ball games, etc, etc, etc... That's the way we celebrate, right? Most every one does and our members celebrate in these ways, too. But we strive also to remember and appreciate that America is about so much more than that. She is about liberty and justice for all.

I have for some time been planning to write about one of the things that is so special about America, the idea of American exceptionalism. This is a much maligned and misunderstood term and perhaps Independence Day is a good time for me to put in my 2 cents worth.

What American exceptionalism does and does not mean: It does not mean that Americans are somehow inherently superior people. That seems to be what those who have attached a negative connotation to the term think. But this makes no sense whatsoever given the fact that our population is made up of people from "every nation, tribe and tongue."

American exceptionalism does mean that the American Way-the system of government and society devised and instituted by the Founders-provides a framework of just law which, when adhered to, makes it possible for anyone to reach their maximum potential, i.e. to live an exceptional life.

The principles of American exceptionalism are articulated in The Declaration of Independence and codified in The Constitution. Perhaps these principles cannot be better summarized than by the words of the documents themselves found in the prologue to the Declaration and the preamble to the Constitution. I never get tired of reading them and I don't think we can do so too much. So, here they are:

The Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,...

The Signing of The United States Constitution

The Preamble to the United States Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

May we the members of MCP, in reliance on God, work to restore a right understanding and application of American exceptionalism. Then may God bless America once again. And may He bless us each and all this Independence Day.

Richard Cochran, President
Macon County Patriots
Independence Day, 2011

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Family Preparedness Course: Firearm Safety & Maintenance

Continuing our Family Preparedness courses, Macon County Patriots 
invites you to a workshop offering tools and suggestions to prepare your family
for emergency situations. 

This month's workshop:
Firearm Safety, Maintenance & Marksmanship

Saturday, June 18th
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Church of the Open Door
32310 Hwy 63 South
Macon, MO 63552
(Fellowship Hall behind the Church)
Workshop for firearm safety, maintenance & basics of marksmanship.
After lunch we'll go out to a local range for some marksmanship practice. 
Please bring your firearms & at least 50 rounds of ammo.

Lunch will be provided
You're welcome to bring a dish to pass.

Macon County Patriot workshops are non-partisan, 
always free and open to the public.
Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, 
not a sudden, spectacular program. 
Spencer W. Kimball, 1976

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Speaking of Freedom: What's Next?

Greetings Fellow Patriots,
Our next meeting will be June 18 from 10-2 at the Church of the Open Door in Macon. Our topic will be firearms safety, maintenance and basic marksmanship. We will begin in the classroom by reviewing shooting basics. We will then share a meal after which we will head out to the range for some practice. Bring a dish for the meal, your firearm(s) and at least 50 rounds of ammo.

Another thing that is "next" is the next national patriotic event. Know what that is? Independence Day? Let's not forget D-Day, June 6th. That's today!

Also before the 4th of July comes June 14th; Flag Day. This observance is held on the anniversary of the date on which congress authorized the design for our flag by the following resolution:

"Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation."

-Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress, June 14, 1777

Flag Day was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day. Since then the President proclaims the commemoration yearly, and encourages all Americans in the country to display the Stars and Stripes outside their homes and businesses. Individual states determine how they will observe the day.

Although Flag Day is not a national holiday and there is no specific way to celebrate it some use the occasion to set out flag displays, leaving them out until after Independence Day. I suspect that most if not all of us already display Old Glory most if not all the time. But, if not, maybe this Flag Day will be your time to start this good habit.

Beyond that one might suggest to a business, town, club or other group that they sponsor a flag display this year?! Whatever way we do so, whether on a small or grand scale, it's always a good thing to display the Red, White and Blue.

I'll close by giving these two definitions of "patriotism". The first is from Merriam-Webster's 2004 dictionary, the other from Noah Webster's 1828 edition. The difference in the two may sum up about as well as anything what has gone wrong with America and what it is going to take to restore her.


2004 definition: "love for or devotion to one's country."
(Nothing wrong with that, as far as it goes. But compare it to the 1828 entry.)

1828 definition: Love of one's country; the passion which aims to serve one's country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in
vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.

I hope to see many flags flying this Flag Day and many patriots at our June 18th meeting. See you then?!

Richard Cochran, President
Macon County Patriots
June 6, 2011

PS: I might have found a more impressive flag to include at the beginning of this post, but I'd have had to look long and hard to find a better one because that little boy and the flag he is waving are why we do what we do at MCP. (I'm not sure who the lad is but I think the picture was taken at the rally last year when Obama came to Macon.) RC

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