On January fifteenth we celebrate the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday, but a lesser known date is that of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense, published on this same date in 1776. What these two men had in common was that they were both reformers, each fighting for Liberty which are freedoms given by God plus morality. Common Sense was written to influence the British Colonists to break from the British Monarchy. Paine argued that a government’s sole purpose was to protect life, liberty and property. These ideas were not solely his, they had been inherited by him through numerous documents in ages past; the Magna Carta, the 1100 Charters of Liberties, the 1628 Petition of Rights and John Locke’s “Treatise on Government.” Common Sense inspired the British Colonists to break free from a Monarch style of government, and 11 years later create a new form of government, a Constitutional Republic. This system of self-governance was the great experiment and was dependent on a knowledgeable and a virtuous populace, if it was to work.
The Constitutional Republic has been under attack since its inception, but at least we did not get a Democracy, for if we had, Rosa Parks would still be at the back of the bus due to majority rule. America wrongly behaving as a Democracy, (Majority rule), worked to segregate, discriminate and intimidate. The Reverend Martin Luther King left his pastoral service shortly after the Rosa Parks incident and worked to educate and remind Americans that Liberty was for all Americans.
Both these leaders sought to defend natural law, rights from God to defend his person, his liberty and his property against big government who would take them away. 700 new laws will take effect this 2018 in California alone, today as people misguidedly wield government against their fellow man, these are certainly the times that try men’s souls, and not easy for those who work to contain it to its rightful place, but the Reverend still encourages us today to stay the course. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."