"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home."
by:
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Source:
Speech, Constitutional Convention (1787-06-29), from Max Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. I[1] (1911), p. 465
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Reader comments about this quote:
It is eerie how often the founding fathers were prophetic in their warning voice to the future generations of Americans. This is what made the founders such great men: They knew history for what it WAS, not what they WANTED it to be -- and through such realization, they created a system and philosophy of government that addressed the issues of actual history in principle of maintaining freedom and liberty to those who would yet live. The applications, systems, and players of history change, but the principles are eternal. It takes a very special individual to say, like Thoreau, "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life...to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it..." -- The fact that so many men who did just this were congregated at the same time and place to found this nation is almost enough to make a person believe in a supreme being.
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Right on Logan. I believe our Founding Fathers were inspired by a Higher Power to accomplish what they did. We,who call this our homeland would be wise to call upon that Higher Power to assist us in our endeavors to reclaim these sovereign United States for our selves and Our posterity!!
     -- Me Again, Every Town,USA.     
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    I'm not a very religious man, but something so simple as a return to "God Given Rights" might be all that is required. The founders must have been divinely inspired.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Prothetic indeed, though nothing to do with divinity just good old common sense, an ingredient so lacking in today's politicians. Any calling upon a higher power to intercede in our demise will fall on deaf ears – when will we take on the responsibility ourselves – get out of our Ivory towers and the comfort of our living rooms and bring back civility and common sense to our world. When will the WO understand that they will never overcome the people (as long as we get off our backsides).
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Logan, exactly. We hold these truths to be self evident.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Some folk believe that the Founders were Christians. Some may have been but Jefferson , Franklin and Adams were Deists. Jefferson had no trinatarian belief whatsoever. Fundamentalist Bible believers would give anything if they could find any proof that our Founding Fathers were Christians, as they define it , but they will never find it so.
     -- kilpeg@austin.rr.com, austin tx     
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    Describes now quite well.
     -- G■l■k Zolt■n Leenderdt Franco Buday, Vancouver, GVRD(Paine Cnty), Coastal Lwr Mainland BC(State of Neo Sumer), U.S. of Eh!     
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    Robert makes a very good point. When it comes to 'power,' government and religion have indoctrinated us into believing that we are 'powerless' without 'God' or governors. We are constantly appealing to a 'higher power' be it by submitting to religious dogma or calling the police. We must make the shift back to ourselves. WE have the power -- we just aren't exercising it -- and we are afraid of what will happen if we resist bad rules. We are intimidated out of our power everyday when we see how powerful the military is, the churches, the police, etc. We are scared into disarming ourselves in every conceivable way. Then once we have 'submitted' our power to a central governing body to fight on our behalf, the powers remain in their grasp even when the external enemy is no more. These government departments are then re-focused to domestic issues whereby the very people who granted the power are now under surveillance and suspicion as enemies of the state. Happens all the time. Remember when we call upon 'God' to help us, our enemies are doing the same. Both have God on their side and are justified in any cruelty or tyranny -- "Oh, God, please destroy my enemies!" That is what the Islamofascists say, too...! Instead why not pray, "Dear Lord, help me to take responsibility for myself, to face my tribulations with courage, to live within my means, to be humble and kind, to have the strength to resist those laying claim to my property and labors, to curb my desires for more and more and more. Let me see that my cup runneth over and that this life is a precious gift not to go wasted as a comfortable slave with a needle in my arm. Help me to understand the Laws of Nature and to be in harmony with them instead of trying to rein them in to wield for my personal gain. Oh, Lord, help to expose those lies I hold so dear and release me from their bondage -- Let the Truth set me free!"
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer ;-) you had better be careful and quit reading The Book, you're starting to sound like a real Christian. When confronted with the concept that God is on our side President Lincoln countered in effect with we should pray and worry earnestly whether we are on God''s side. - much more in keeping with Archer's statement. AND, kilpeg@austin.rr.com, austin tx, your qualifiers do help to exonerate you a bit. Trinitarian doctrine is not biblical in nature, thus Jefferson's and others belief differences; doesn't mean he wasn't Christian, it just meant he didn't adhere to certain extra-biblical dogmas consistent with Catholics and Protestants.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Wow! Archer, well said. you forgot - 'Oh, Lord, save me from your followers.' The reason why goodness shall always prevail over evil is that goodness needs no memory - the force is stronger when the focus is pure.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Right now it is exactly the opposite. Those ranting against war are in fact tyrants and helping other tyrants to succeed against us.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Logan, sir, yes, our constitution, was inspired by God, and written by good men, Archer is right, the numbers say it, a million to one, God, helps those ,who help themselves. I think some people, think because we are Christians, we don't believe in battle, when we have to, we fight our battles, in righteousness, in so much as we can. I pray for God to steady my nerve, and give me strength for battle, in case it is needed. There is good, and there is evil, of that, I think we can all agree, and we can all see the difference between the two. Evil, and Good, that is the battle going on, in the spirit world, and the material, right now. And GOOD WILL win, it is written, in a book, that has never been wrong, not even once.
     -- kimo, USA     
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    Texas is in the midst of an epic drought, to end the drought Rick Perry holds a stadium- sized prayer meeting to pray for rain. In answer to their prayers god sets Texas ablaze.
     -- Heathen Steven, Miami, Fl     
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    In Obama, we have the worst: declining military force AND an "overgrown Executive" producing it. ( Not only overgrown but overindulgent )
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
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    Warren you need to get an education!
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Could it be at all possible to enact a universal WELL REGULATED MILITIA composed of all Americans to the extent we can SECURE OUR LIBERTY whenever/wherever it may become threatened? Imagine if we had the full arsenal of our mighty and deadly military capability under MILITIA CONTROL, meaning We People determined its application; were OUR power not controlled by a federal govt, but instead exercised on a basis where those who want could use whatever combined resources, or fraction thereof, as we see fit to arrest criminals and tyrants of humanity both here and abroad - could that be a doable proposition? Would we not have won several wars against global tyrants, and spread Liberty to nearly every corner of Earth who wanted it - and not live in fear of terrorists or traitorous/profiteering govt?

    I HAVE NO DOUBT, AMERICA WAS ENABLED AND ASSISTED IN ITS REVOLUTIONARY FOUNDING AND VICTORIOUS INDEPENDENCE, BY DIVINE INTENTION AND EMPOWERMENT ACTING ALONG WITH GIANTS OF MEN CHAMPIONING LIBERTY AGAINST SEEMINGLY INSURMOUNTABLE ODDS! And I do believe we are in the exact same situation today.
     -- Mark W., Aurora, CO     
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     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR      
    Logan, you have your answer already. Archer unity manifest itself by the washing of the water by the Word. Mike, the trinity of God present itself in the first three verses of The Book. 3 is the number of the trinity at natural law. Just like an " A " frame. Simple single. As the whole composition is presented " Day, Night, Day." Paul spent a day and a night in the deep, that we might know how to Watch in the night, till the Day come. History leads us to the bridge we/some seek. Washington spoke of the hidden hand, that is your clue, because it was not hidden to him. Obviously ! In that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Not according to our works but according to God's purpose in grace are men called. If we seek mercy, we must be merciful also.
    Semper Fi
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR     
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