That My Child May Have Peace
In December 1776, the Patriots of our infant nation were in great peril. Having declared independence from a tyrannical ruler, they now faced enemies from without and notably from within. Tories, Americans who sought peace at any price – even their own freedom, were as great an obstacle to the birth of a new Freedom, as the armies sent from Britain. In a pamphlet, The Crisis, Thomas Paine addressed the issue:
I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by the Tories: a noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or nine years old, as I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression, “Well! give me peace in my day.” Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place, and a generous parent should have said, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;” and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.
Today, our nation, as then (perhaps as always?), is filled with those who say, “Peace in my day. Prosperity in my day. Comfort in my day.” Our national indebtedness is growing by about $3 million each minute. Nearly 50% of Americans now receive some form of government aid. And the current crop of Socialists, masquerading as Democrats want to disarm all of the citizens of the nation.
Again, Thomas Paine:
There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both. Howe’s first object is, partly by threats and partly by promises, to terrify or seduce the people to deliver up their arms and receive mercy.
We can find the reasons why Thomas Paine and other patriots struggled for that new birth of Freedom. In their own words, the Declaration of Independence:
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
May all patriots say with Thomas Paine:
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.