Today is March 23, 2009. On this date in 1775 Patrick Henry said his famous words: "Give me liberty or give me death."
I'm not much of a historian so when I read that tidbit, I wondered about the circumstances surrounding the situation. I wondered if Patrick was a pacifist simply saying I'd rather die or be dead than not have liberty. I doubted that was the case. However, as I read the heading of the news item in Wikipedia, I note that his speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses was a call to military action against the British Empire. So I guess he wasn't much of a pacifist.
I guess I have a similar sentiment as far as not wanting to live without liberty but without the violent strain. I would just as soon have my liberty without killing anyone. I suppose I would be willing to die if somebody wanted to kill me over it, but I don't think I want to kill anybody to have it. It seems to me it should be evident to them how important liberty is to each and every individual, no matter their circumstances.
I know, I know, that is pie-in-the-sky some will say. But if you're truthfully a believer in the hereafter and in the culture I was raised in we are taught that we already existed in some form forever and will continue to exist in some form or other into eternity, what does it matter if you die.
However, it seems to me that our society's greatest punishments and sanctions are against those who commit murder. And that makes sense to me, since I see this life as a proving ground. So I don't want to kill.
Of course, the warlords and governers of the world justify their killing in war as a necessity and don't expect to be called murderers for doing it. But that seems duplicitous to me.
I retired from public service to concentrate more time and effort on writing and other interests. I have two beautiful grandchildren and four grown children. I am married and have been for 37 years to my sweetheart.