Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Dutch Were Right! Tyrants Are Dangerous


While teaching a world history class, I was reminded again of the Dutch Declaration of Independence, a document written in 1581. In today's US political climate, where any means to an end are justified as legal no matter the violence to the US Constitution, it's good to remember that the principles on which our country was founded ring true in any age.

Here's an excerpt:
As it is apparent to all that a prince is constituted by God to be ruler of a people, to defend them from oppression and violence as the shepherd his sheep; and whereas God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges, exacting from them slavish compliance, then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view.
Of course the passage talks of a prince, but if we substitute the president of the US, we can agree with this 400 plus year old writing that allows the citizens to rebel when the president "oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges, exacting from them slavish compliance.

When President Obama rejects the plain mandates of the US Constitution, when he seeks to overthrow the right to bear arms, when he assassinates citizens without due process, or when he enforces ideas against the free exercise of religion, we are to consider him in no other view than as a tyrant.

The Dutch were right.