This article was first published on Exotic Wildlife, Winter issue. All rights reserved.
This article is dedicated to the late Lewis Timberlake, my beloved Sunday School teacher and motivational speaker, visiting lecturer, and management consultant for many of this nation’s largest corporations. He was friend and engaged in public speaking with Paul Harvey, who called him “America’s Apostle of Optimism.”
Our individual rights will be under attack by government agencies gone wild. The government and its agencies are out of the closet with their lies. Not that they have not lied before, but now they do it so shamelessly they do not even try to hide it. They simply ignore the public outrage.
From years past we have inherited lies in Fast-and-Furious, Benghazi, CWD, animal rights, fracking, climate change, human pollution, economy, and the plea of the one percent. Now we face more of the same plus four more years of the current administration, which has yet to show all its true colors. We can expect lies and threats to our Second Amendment bubbling out of people who exploit the tragedy of the Connecticut shooting, as well as others intimidations to our unalienable rights by zealous bureaucrats. Christian beliefs, the very foundation of this Country and what made it great, are under assault. My pastor would not be surprised that Christians will be forced to go underground in a future nearer than we think.
The first reaction I had to the prospect of another four years of socialism and the bureaucratic tyranny that will follow was to flee. Switzerland, or other countries, does not sound so bad after all. But did I come here to flee at the first challenge? Have I taken an oath to defend America, her constitution, and her laws from foreign and domestic enemies just to break it when it becomes inconvenient? Is that the purpose of my life? The answer is a resolute NO.
Here is the good news. We still have the freedom of choice. I have chosen to be optimistic. It is not that I stick my head in the sand and pretend that all is going to be just fine. Quite the opposite, I look at the challenges and the threats ahead straight in their face. But I know we have a choice.
The most important choice is not to give in to fear. Fear kills people. It kills our spirit, our passion, our intellect. Fear makes us panic. Panic is the short cut to self-destruction.
And the greatest danger to our nation is fear and we must never surrender to it. There are about 700 phobias listed in our dictionary. And the number one of them in this Country in the past 17 years, according to the University of Chicago, as reported by Lewis Timberlake who spoke once there, is fear of failure. Fear of death is number four, fear of rejection is number two.
The main causes of fear, according to Lewis, are lack of purpose, lack of power, and lack in our pride. For several years I coasted through life enjoying and complaining about what it had to offer. But I started living when I found my purpose. Like our Founders passed on to us through the generations, we are individual human beings with individual gifts and goals. This Country has been founded by regular individuals who donated their gifts to the nation, sacrificed their own selves, and had conquered fear.
In 1770 you find John Adams in a courtroom defending the very men who persecuted his fellow colonists from the charge of massacring the people of Boston. He defended them not on sympathy, but on principles because of his vision of a nation of laws and not of men, regardless of his own feelings. He knew his purpose was to serve justice. He also conquered the fear of rejection of his peers.
You find George Washington in December 1776, deserted by Congress, having so far failed in his campaign, reading to his soldiers, almost starved and frozen to death who were in the process of leaving him by the thousands because of the end of their enlistment, words of Thomas Payne “These are times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Two nights later he crossed the Delaware, eventually capturing Princeton, and reversing the course of the war. Washington knew his purpose of defending the Declaration of Independence and forming a new nation. He also did not surrender to fear of failure.
Our history is full of similar examples.
We must search inside and discover what the purpose of our life is, what are the gifts and talents we were born with, which represent our strength, and uphold high our principles and value, which constitute our pride.
Let me introduce you to two people. They are both physicians who share with us this time in history.
Meet Dr. Peter Gleason, a physician who devoted himself to care for the so called “underserved population.” He used and promoted a drug called Xyrem approved to treat a sleep disorder. The routine to undergo FDA’s approval for a drug is a nightmare and exceedingly costly. Once the drug is approved and on the market, physicians often find it cures other diseases as well. Physicians by law can prescribe the drug for other disorders and may talk and write about their findings under the First Amendment. Drug manufacturers may not.
Bureaucrats of the FDA realized that the doctor shared the benefits of Xyrem with colleagues during conferences sponsored by the drug’s manufacturer. Because of it, at the New York Long Island train station in 2006 he was surrounded by six federal agents who handcuffed him like a criminal and arrested him. When he refused to cooperate with them and turn over the manufacturing company, they indicted him, causing him to turn over all the assets, real and personal that he gained by working as a physician: his entire wealth. Dr. Gleason had to hire a public defender and the fruits of his labor and his reputation were completely destroyed. A three judge panel of the Courts of Appeal of New York reversed his indictment last December, but it came too late. Broken in spirit and finances, Dr. Gleason hanged himself in February 2011.
Now meet his codefendant, Dr. Alfred Caronia. He was indicted for the same crime as Gleason and he also refused to turn in the manufacturing company to the feds. Dr. Caronia also aggressively fought the feds with the help of two public interest organizations, one of which being the Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC), whose mission is to defend the rights of healthcare professionals and consumers to receive truthful information regarding pharmaceuticals and medical products. He was exonerated by the three-judge panel. Last December his career, life, reputation, and assets were restored.
Dr. Gleason gave up; Dr. Caronia did not. Both situations must have been the most scary and stressful, but had different outcomes. And they taught me something. They taught me that I should never give up. Success is to pass from failure to failure with enthusiasm, like Winston Churchill once said. They taught me that fear will weaken me. They taught me that focusing on my reputation and my finances can destroy me, while focusing on principles and on truth will save me. They taught me how important relationships with others are, because my victory depends also on how much others sacrifice time and money to fight with and for me. I learned how important it is to financially support organizations that represent us, like in this case CHC, who can help those of us who fall victim to activists and government.
They taught me how important my service is for others. If I hold my talents and gifts for myself, I cheat my fellow Americans. If other Americans hold their talent and gifts for themselves, they cheat me.
They taught me how important it is to courageously stand by each other to fight for what we value so dear, because at the end of the day it is not about freedom, but about courage, without which freedom cannot exist.
Sacrifice and courage are the names of the game in today’s America as they were in the America of our Founders.
Where I see individual rights stampeded upon by the government – like it is happening with CWD, animal cruelty deceptions, Second Amendment, the persecution of Dr. Gleason and Dr. Caronia – I see increasing number of pockets of people getting together and defending our rights: among others, the Exotic Wildlife Association; the American Stewards of Liberty, which defends the private property rights of landowners; The Cavalry Group, a group of lawyers that defends owners of animals; the HumanWatch/Center For Consumer Freedom, which also defends us from the HSUS’ radical agenda and protects our personal choices; the Coalition of Healthcare Communication (if you are a physician), which helped in the defense of Dr. Caronia; the Alliance Defending Freedom, another group of lawyers who defends Christians who are discriminated against and sued for their beliefs, the NRA, who fights daily for our Second Amendment, and the Hillsdale College, that educates future American leaders and defenders of the Constitution without taking a dollar from the government. Several of the above groups, including the ones formed by lawyers, defend their members and other citizens pro-bono.
Many of us do not have the skills to defend our fellow Americans, but at least we can contribute money to groups of people who do. That is a sacrifice as needed as the skills themselves. A few of the groups are on the brink of bankruptcy because people are not inclined to donate unless they need their services. The sad news is that when they do need those services, the organization might be there no longer because it has succumbed to the bills while no one cared enough to help.
Ultimately, what is the recipe to conquer fear and save our beloved Country? Here is my personal discovery and commitment. First and foremost, I rely on the Christian principles that our very Founders followed. I believe, like Pres. George W. Bush once said, that we are involved in a spiritual war between Good and Evil. We can choose on which side we want to fight on or do nothing and be overwhelmed and destroyed in the process. I have chosen God and His values and principles and, therefore, to fight for those unalienable rights with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, by pledging my life, fortune, and sacred honor to other Americans.
How am I going to do it? By faith, hope, and love. Here is how I learned to spell them under the teachings of my Sunday School teacher Lewis Timberlake:
F = Focus on who you are, why you are here, and what you want to do. Focus on the good of others and on victory, not of fear. Start your morning by reading, for fifteen -thirty minutes, a book that gives you hope, power, and strength before watching TV.
A = Attitude. Your attitude, not your aptitude, is what controls your altitude. You were born to win; you have the right to be somebody and to change the course of the events affecting you.
I = Insist that you were born to win and that you have the right to win. You have the right and responsibility to save your country. Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade. Einstein quit school at 15. Both of them became phenomenal people. Theodor Seuss Geisel’s manuscript was rejected 27 times before it was published as Dr. Seuss and sold more than 200 million copies worldwide.
T = Truth. There is only one truth, and you can and must fight deception. You were not born a loser. You were born a winner. A socialistic government can try to convince you and the American people that you are losers and you need it and depend on it, but you know better.
H = Hunger to pass your dream and way of life to the next generation; hunger that you need to satisfy.
H = hunger that inspires. I want and can solve my problems and help others to solve theirs.
O = Opportunity that excites you. With opportunity, you can transform lemons into lemonade. Opportunity presents itself when commitment meets preparation.
P = Power that inflames you. You can choose if you want to be a thermostat or a thermometer. A thermometer is happy to reflect the environment; a thermostat changes the environment.
E = Expectation. Tell me what you expect, and I will tell you what happens; be careful about what you expect because it will happen. How do you explain those who made an impact in our times if not by expectations. Expectation changes lives. Sixty-four year old Winston Churchill picked up his country when it was on its knees after the bombing of Nazi Germany and inspired its citizens and led them to victory.
L = Lean on the Cross, the Truth, and the principles you hold dear.
O = Overcome fear, doubts, obstacles.
V = Verify your goals. Make sure your heart is in the right place and your passions are directed toward what is true and just.
E = Evaluate what’s really important for God, your family, and your Country.
President Obama and his administration won his re-election by less than 5 million votes. About 122 million people voted, which means that about 100 million did not. If each and every one of us sacrificed time and educated one person on our history, Constitution, and unalienable rights, even with only a 20% success rate, we would easily turn this country around. Think about it. If all 60 million of us who voted conservative would support organizations who protect our constitutional rights by volunteering our time and talents or by donating money to those who volunteer time and talents, we would protect and save the many “Gleasons” in America. If we reached just a handful of a million people, we would change the results of the elections.
We need a renewed Declaration of Independence. Today fighting with firearms is not required. Starving to death in the snow is not required. All we need is our commitment, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, to mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor. Would you join us?
This is the year. This is the time. This is the Year of Courage.
www.austinbaptistchurch.com, Positive Connection – “Never Surrender to Fear,” January 2012, “Last Best Hope on Earth.,” November 2011
“A Doctor’s Posthumous Vindication,“ by Harvey Silverglate, The Wall Street Journal Dec. 26, 2012
The Making of America, by Skousen
The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren
I highly recommend Alliance Defending Freedom president Alan Sears’ novel “In Justice” to deeply understand the minds of today’s bureaucrats who want to take our freedom.
If you hold faith, family, and freedom dear, you might also want to visit this website: http://www.standusa.com.