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This Monday, March 6, marks the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo outside of San Antonio, Texas, back in 1836. This event is so significant in my mind that I always try to devote a column that honors the heroism of these men on or around the anniversary of the occasion.
For 13 days, 189 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna’s seasoned army of over 4,000 troops. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew that they would never leave those ramparts alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. Yet they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to this generation of spoiled Americans.
It is difficult to recall that lionhearted men such as Davy Crockett (a nationally renowned frontiersman and former U.S. congressman), Will Travis (only 26 years old with two small children at home), Jim Bowie (a wealthy landowner with properties on both sides of the Rio Grande) and Almaron Dickinson (a 36-year-old blacksmith and artillery captain who was one of the very last men to die at the Alamo and whose young wife and daughter were two of only three Alamo survivors) really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed through their veins. They loved their families and enjoyed life as much as any of us do. However, there was something different about them. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort.
Freedom is an easy word to say, but it is a hard word to live up to. Freedom involves much more than financial gain or personal pleasure. Accompanying Freedom is her constant and unattractive companion, Responsibility. Neither is she an only child. Courage and Honesty are her sisters. They are inseparable: Destroy one, and all will die.
Early in the siege, Travis wrote these words to the people of Texas:
Fellow Citizens & Compatriots: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. . . . The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword. . . . I have answered the demand with a cannon shot & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. . . . VICTORY OR DEATH! P.S. The Lord is on our side.
As you read those words, remember that Travis and the others did not have the National Education Association (NEA) telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded their notions of honor and patriotism were. They didn’t have the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) telling them they were a hate group. A hostile media did not constantly castigate them as a bunch of wild-eyed extremists. As schoolchildren, they were not taught that their forefathers were nothing more than racist jerks. The TSA didn’t have them on a terrorist watch list. Neither did they have 501c3 pastors constantly filling their hearts and minds with this imbecilic “obey-the-government-no-matter-what” misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13.
The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” They believed in God and that their cause was just. They also believed that the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. It all looks pale now.
By today’s standards, the gallant men of the Alamo appear rather foolish. After all, they had no chance of winning—none. Yet the call for pragmatism and compromise never sounded. Instead, they answered the clarion call, “Victory or death!”
Try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., create a more draconian Police State than Santa Anna could have even dreamed of creating.
One thing is certain: Those courageous champions at the Alamo did not fight and die for a political party or for some “lesser of two evils” mantra. They fought and died for a cause—and that cause was liberty and independence.
Those 189 defenders of the Alamo joined the ranks of the world’s greatest freedom fighters: patriots such as the 70 Minutemen (most of whom were congregants in Pastor Jonas Clark’s Church of Lexington) who stood against 800 British troops in the pre-dawn hours of April 19, 1775, at Lexington Green and the hundreds more who joined them at the Concord Bridge a few hours later.
I’m also talking about men such as the great freedom fighter, William Wallace, and his band of 7,000 stouthearted Scots who stood against a force of 18,000 well-trained British soldiers at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on September 11, 1297—and again on July 22, 1298, when Wallace and 5,000 Scots went up against an English force of over 15,000 soldiers at the Battle of Falkirk.
And let’s not forget the single greatest example of men who chose to fight for liberty against the greatest of odds: The 300 Spartans who squared off against more than 100,000 Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in August or September of 480 B.C.
These stories—and hundreds like them—are the heritage of free men everywhere. And the willingness to stand against overwhelming odds for the cause of liberty is certainly America’s heritage.
At the same time, it is extremely important to note that the Alamo defenders (and the rest of the honorable men mentioned above) did NOT act as a mob. These men acted in accordance with the Natural Laws of God, and thus their resistance was just and righteous.
I heard a pastor recently say, “I can find no justification in the Scriptures for America’s War for Independence.” I hope many of his congregants found no justification for staying under his spiritual leadership after hearing that egregiously erroneous exposition.
The only reason a pastor could say such a thing is because he has totally ignored numerous Biblical references and is totally ignorant of Biblical Natural Law. Either that or he is a desperately deceived monarchical statist. Sadly, I would guess that a huge percentage of America’s pastors today actually share this misguided pastor’s sentiment. (Why don’t you ask YOUR pastor what HE thinks this Sunday?)
The heroes of the Alamo, as well as the heroes of America’s fight for independence, acted bravely and in good conscience under the moral laws of God and the just laws of Nature.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote,
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
John Locke (The Father of America’s Founding Fathers) said,
If a long train of abuses, prevarications and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rouze themselves, and endeavour to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for which government was at first erected.
Whosoever uses force without right, as every one does in society, who does it without law, puts himself into a state of war with those against whom he so uses it; and in that state all former ties are cancelled, all other rights cease, and every one has a right to defend himself, and to resist the aggressor.
In line with the law of conscience, for those who advance that civil society’s rules must be abandoned and armed resistance taken (thus putting society in a state of war), there is a standard of proof that must be met, so as to convince The People that the actions taken outside the rules of established law are justified. This is what our founders did when they penned a Declaration of Independence. The founders of the Republic of Texas did likewise.
Plus, it is essential that America’s clergymen immediately familiarize themselves with the Natural Laws of our Creator and quickly begin teaching these principles to their congregations. As with our Founding Fathers, most New England pastors of Colonial America were well versed when it came to the understanding of Natural Law.
As late as the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Bible scholars such as Matthew Henry, John Gill, Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, et al. frequently quoted the great Natural Law philosophers such as Hugo Grotius, John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, et al. in their Bible commentaries.
Sadly, Natural Law has not been taught in America’s churches for over one hundred years—at least to any significant degree. The vast majority of pastors are totally ignorant of Natural Law. As a result, the people of this country have lost all cognizance of the integral relationship between Natural Law and a free society.
Furthermore, our State legislators, governors, attorney generals, judges, sheriffs, etc., must not only become familiar with the Natural Law principles of liberty but also come to a comprehension and conviction of their responsibility and authority to use their office within State government to galvanize the Body Politic, “We The People,” in the defense of liberty.
The Alamo defenders, America’s Founding Fathers, William Wallace and his band of Scots and King Leonidas and his brave Spartans all acted in accordance with the Natural Law principles stated above. They did NOT engage in armed resistance as individuals or as a mob but under the Natural Law authority of man’s Creator.
I hope you remember the sacrifice of the brave men of the Alamo on Monday. I pray we never forget.
© Chuck Baldwin
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