"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased
at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take;
but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
by:
Patrick Henry
(1736-1799) US Founding Father
Date:
1775
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Reader comments about this quote:
This is my favorite quote by Patrick Henry
 -- Devin, Kentwood     
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     -- jeff, highland in      
    Yo!
     -- Mrs. Mrs., Woogleville     
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    A sentiment hardly popular today among Americans. 'Give me security or give me credit, but please do not make me live within my means -- I don't wanna lose my stuff.' The American 'Dream.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    It would be great if only five percent of Americans actually believed this; and further, knew what individual sovereignty and liberty meant. Archer's comment is sadly far too true.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Amen!
     -- Reb Aaron, Jerusalem     
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    You found a winner! On the lines of Benjamin Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" Everyone, have a great weekend, Robert
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Truly a great statement by Mr. Henry. Again I here this same rhetoric from you gentlemen (all be it true) but I wonder what are "we" doing? Are we living the American dream (delusion) Buy, Buy, Buy consume, consume, consume (insert subliminal message) and then coming here and pointing our fingers. I ask this in sincerity as I have an aunt who has decided not to be a part of such a culture. She is a retired pediatrician who worked her whole life for free clinics and lives in a very small one room home she had custom built. No running water no electricity pays no income tax. She drives a 1985 jeta converted to burn bio fuel. However extreme it may seem she is someone I respect for walking the talk. I see a lot we can do, but are we doing? I hope to motivate myself if no one else.
     -- Sam, Alabama     
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    Sam, I don't know that an abundance or lack of material items is a full indicator of liberty or freedom. Debt and materialism do seem to be the idols that are now worshiped above all else. Your aunt sounds like a noble lady with the integrity to live her convictions. I choose to go to court, write letters, give freely of my time and money, speak out and educate where/when ever the opportunity affords. If we can just get 5% of Americans to progress their rights (through the courts, schools, letter campaigns, at city hall, etc.), we could return to a free people.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Sam, Sounds like your aunt is one noble lady. We do what we can to be self-sufficient. If we give up owning 'vehicles' there is very little pretext for police officers to shake you down -- no driver's license, no liability using state-owned vehicles (that's what happens when you 'register' your 'vehicle' -- you grant it in trust to the state and thus are required to follow the rules of using 'their' car). It is where the rubber meets the road. Buy/eat fresh food, save money, use 'cash', don't borrow, don't sign up for government benefits, GROW SOMETHING -- produce something real, and learn self-defense (on so many levels). And most importantly, have COURAGE -- isn't that what faith is all about? And as a bonus to your fellow man/woman, stick up for people who risk everything to 'live free or die' -- their deaths should not be for naught.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I don't know about 5% Mike but let us not forget 3700 in Iraq and those in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI and the Civil War. And let us not qualify those lives and benovlence to be any less that Patrick Henry's. I am also thinking of Nathan Hale who actually gave one life. Oh some will say these other folks were duped by government propaganda ecetera. As for me I give them just as much honor and respect as Mr. Henry and Hale. And Americans put their lives on the line every day as Police, Firemen, DEA Agents, etcetera out of respect for right (as they see the right) versus wrong. We still have many believers. The main purpose of vehicle registration is in order to help persons keep track of movable property. Without registration theft of movable property would be rampant. Go steal a car and try to register it and you will see what I mean. Some have stated or at least I think inferred that the Governors of the Federal Reserve are secret and unknown except for the Chairman. I have tried to get a complete list of the Governors of the 12 Districts but have not located it yet in one easy compilation. I have in a short time found much information and news items about Presidential nominees and Senate Banking Committee hearings for filling vacancies. So this is not some sort of secret cabal. Some of the names are: William J. McDonough, Gov NY Fed, Doanald L. Kohn, Roger Ferguson, Peter Fisher, Stanley Fischer, Susan Meredity Phillips, Alan S. Blinder, Lawrence Lindsay, Janet Yellen. The proof that we are NOW a free people is the fact that a free economic entity Chicago Bulls can pay a guy Michael Jordan mega bucks (plus all of the other superstar sports salaries) to play a game of amusement. It made full economic sense (cents?) because he was worth every penny. They doubled the attendance and the whole deal was a total success. No government or social planner told anyone that they could not pay a sports star that kind of money. That is pure economic freedom. We all have it. We (you) do not have to follow the herd mentality that you are criticizing. Live your life how you choose and let others do the same. There are ares of cooperation and common sense and common sacrifice required in especially a more and more populated world which can improve life for all of us and for the planet. I speak of the green issue and while embracing it together may seem like a socialist limitation of our freedoms in the short run and I believe it will create a new birth of freedom in the future. What often seems like a restriction of freedom for one person may be an increase of freedom for another: I SPEAK OF THE SMOKING ISSUE OF COURSE.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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    Bruce, my experience sounds different than yours. Firemen, as a specific segment of society are gracious, intelligent, giving and generally very good people but, are there for the social recognition, comradery, an adrenalin rush, and more reasons other than preserving liberty. Police, on the other hand, as a general rule are power mongers, adrenalin junkies, etc. looking to inflict their prejudice and armed authority on less powerful opponents. (where were they in the riots around the country or after Katrina? - enforcing compelled compliance, victumless crimes, theft of the noble laborer's fruits, etc.) The police, judges, DEA, FBI, IRS, etc. are generally less than the noble of the specie and work to enforce tyranny not liberty. It has been my experience that the standing military are individually among the most noble of the human family.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I am so sorry about your experience Mike. I assume you are unaware of policemen shot in the line of duty or firemen that die while putting out fires. I am truly saddened by your view of these people. I would think that you have never had the opportunity to deal with the public on a regular basis. I know of even strore clerks who complain about the hassles of dealing with the public so how much worse is it for someone like a cop. Your negative view of people is really sad. That same negativity comes across in your not just complaining on this site about political philosophy and government but about popular culture. While you espouse your love of freedom you come off as if you would deny freedom to pop culture to do what ever it wants to do. If there is something about pop culture such as DRINKING COWS MILK or using CREDIT CARDS that you don't want to do DON'T DO IT but don't deny it or even complain about other people doing it. I really don't think freedom or liberty is your true interest but dictating to others and to pop culture is what you are all about. I won't deny that sometimes there may be a bad cop just like there is bad everything else but to make statements like you made about cops and firemen is beyond the pale in my opinion.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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    Bruce, I know you would like to create a catch all stereo type for those that in fact love liberty but, I don't fit under that mis-directional neo-con blanket. As a very small example of that, my comments about firemen and the military above. Police do perform some lawful functions and are wrongfully killed in their line of operations. Contractors, doctors, etc. are also killed in their line of work helping the public. In your spin of what I espouse, what do you claim I am dictating to others and to pop culture? I, in fact, espouse a smaller Constitutional government with less governmental dictates, while not wishing to stick my head in the sand passing over governmental abuse and tyranny (that's not a dictate, it's an ongoing vigilance). I believe that living the God of Nature's laws brings joy and liberty while allowing others a different life style, if they so choose, is a primary principle of liberty (drinking cows milk or using credit cards is a personal choice). My rights end at your nose. A professor during my minor of police science in college (he worked as a police officer in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City) said, "I don't know what I like less, beating people or taking bribes; so I got out of the business and wanted to teach how it should be done."
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- warren, olathe      
     -- Anonymous      
    precisely the reason why this country is dying if we don't stand and do something
     -- Brandon     
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     -- Anonymous      
    I think it important to include the entire quote. The first part of the statement Patrick Henry was making is "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not for the strong alone..."
     -- Charles, Summerfield, NC     
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    Summer soldiers....sunshine patriots....comes to mind when I read these posts. You can't generalize on lifestyles or questionable "American" snaf-oos....you count on the majority of Americans doing the right thing. The more Americans who feel that they can't help or make a change demoralizes the country more. Hey, I teach high school and I see the "crapization" of America...I do not YET, want to give up. Hence....Give me liberty or give me death. I will die trying to encourage a better America. All of you who see the failing of a great nation need to quit fussing and do something to FIX it. Patrick Henry would be proud!
     -- Teach, Virginia     
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    Truly touching
     -- KT, San Jose     
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    If you really agree with with this statement of Patrick Henry you must understand why people around the world are willing to die for what they believe in, in the defense of their countries against invaders.
     -- M. S., Houston     
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    sweeeet
     -- BIll, mexico     
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    @Bruce 'Bama and Mike, Norfolk: Surprise! You're disagreement with each other is a red herring -- both the police and fire personnel are commanded by the Pentagon, thanks to laws passed by then commanders-in-chief, Ronald Reagan (that's commander-in-chief of the Pentagon), Bush, Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. As such, neither group can be stereotyped by personality characteristics or political preferences. They are all minions of the fascists who have controlled our country for quite some time. Ergo, the commander of the unit of firemen who rushed into the Twin Towers just before it "fell" though it is SOP for commanders NOT to order their subordinates into buildings about to collapse (which, of course, this fire chief would not have known since the Twin Towers were built to be IMPACT RESISTANT, but notwithstanding this fact) was taking orders, whether he knew it or not, from the Pentagon. You don't have to take my word for it (www.dontfearyourfreedom.blogspot.com). you can look it all up yourselves. You live in a military dictatorship, where none of us has any freedom (and I will be stalked and shot at and my home invaded and my property stolen and vandalized because I have no 1st amendment rights for saying as much, so -- no; I don't have FREEDOM OF SPEECH, or any other freedom your fellow soldiers thought they were dying to preserve here).
     -- Saoirse, East Coast, USA     
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    Patrick Henry is one of my all time role models of that era, he's a genius.
     -- Matthew, Reading     
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    i dont understand it
     -- someone     
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    Patrick Henry is one of my all time role models of that era, he's a genius.
     -- ???     
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    Saoirse, for those who choose to look, what you've said has a lot of accurate finger pointing. Again, according to my experience, firemen are gracious, intelligent, giving and generally very good people - all being the best that slaves to socialism can be.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    It is not the individual that is corrupt per se, it is the system itself which has become a racket which funnels money and power into the hands of our would-be rulers. Americans are subjects of arbitrary authority. Lawfully defined jurisdictions have been expanded way beyond the agreed upon authority -- and the People just trust that their government is obeying the rules set up for them. The list is too long to put here. Suffice it to say, we have been taught that personal responsibility is a burden, and that obedience to authority is better. Those that play along will advance, those that resist are branded as 'troubled' and often subject to psychiatric analysis, leaving the judgement of a therapist to arbitrarily determine the disorder of the person. Then drug them. This is the system of conditioning imposed by the system of government which now has taken on the responsibility for being responsible for all US citizens. This is a racket for totalitarianism, for which all People should ever be on their guard.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Everything, and then some, is said above, so I'll just give it 5 stars.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    Amen and Amen !! Live Free or Die well.
    Semper Fi
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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     -- MARY, MI      
     
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