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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Patriots Speak Out At Tax Day Rally

By Bo McMullian

Prayerful and reverent, peaceful and plain, Jackson County’s “tea party” political conservatives and activists came out last Thursday, April 15, for their second annual tax day protest  on the courthouse lawn in Marianna.  About 100 concerned citizens attended.

“Don’t Tread On Me,”  said the homemade signs.  “Taxed Enough Already!”  “We’re Fed Up With Our Government--Throw Them all Out. Stand Together.”  “We’re Bringing It On Mr. Pres--How Do You Like Us Now?”

“The tea party is a grassroots movement,” said emcee Pierre Duelz.  “We have three core values:  fiscal responsibility, constitutional limited government and free market capitalism.”

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the Jackson County tea party organization, Duelz said, as he turned over the microphone to Sybil Andreasen, organizer of the local sponsoring group called “Concerned American Patriots”.  (teamarianna@yahoo.com). 

“We the people, the silent majority, need to send a clear message to Washington, D.C.,” Andreasen said.  “Defend the constitution.”  She described the snake on the Don’t Tread On Me posters, crediting Ben Franklin with the concept:  “She never attacks first.  She never wounds until notice has been given.”  Andreasen instructed listeners to mail prepared packets including copies of the sign to the President, the U.S. Representative and both U.S. senators.  “Postmark them April 19,” she said, “because that is the anniversary of the ‘shot heard round the world’ in 1775.”

“This is a rally for freedom,” said the next speaker, Elaine Thompson, Concerned Patriots organizer.  “True freedom is under attack but, be not discouraged, history will judge us not by our losses but by winning the battles.  Don’t give up!  Now is the time to act!”  Thompson pointed to a Rasmussen poll showing 24 percent of Americans in support of the tea parties and a Zogby poll showing that 34 percent say a tea party endorsement would be important in an election.

Keynote speaker Pastor Eddie Eaton of the West Pittman Baptist Church in Holmes County’s Westville, who impressed many recently in a school prayer controversy, gave a speech entitled “Why Is America Losing It’s Freedoms and Liberties?”

“Do we have any patriots here today?,” Eaton opened to shouts from the crowd.  “A revisionism is going on in our country today that goes back to the late 1800s,” he said.  “The definition of the word patriotism is even being changed.  It used to be considered the noblest of passions but now it’s defined as simply the love of one’s country.”

During the lunch hour gathering at the north courthouse lawn, drivers in cars traveling by on Lafayette Street, U.S. 90, were constantly honking their horns in support, adding to the size of the crowd.

“Our family fathers gave us warnings,” Eaton continued.  “One of their principles was shown in our form of government, not a democracy but a constitutional republic. There is a huge difference.  In a democracy, the majority rules but our founding fathers knew that too often a ‘mobacracy’  is the result of a pure Democracy, so they chose a republic in which elected representatives  govern by  rule of law.”

Eaton quoted statesman Noah Webster as saying that the source of those republican principles is the Holy Bible.  “They are Biblical principles,” he said, “and liberties and rights are the gifts of God.”

“Is it any wonder why we’re in the shape we’re in?,” Pastor Eddie asked.  “We have forgotten where we came from and we have rejected God in this nation.  We have turned our back on God in our schools, our culture and our courtrooms.”

For the remedy, Eaton recommended “no fighting, just law abiding citizenship--I know that’s disappointing to the news media.” He told his listeners to “pray, do what you’re doing today, and vote in November”.

“If we don’t stand up, who will?,” Eaton said.  “This is our country and we’re ready to take it back.  I pray you turn out in November.  It will rise and fall not on what our politicians do but on what you do.  We must decide to live for Him--until we are once again One Nation, Under God.”

The crown enthusiastically appreciated Eaton’s speech, especially Marianna resident Tony Klappas.  “I came here today because I’m concerned about my country,” he said.  “If  (Eaton) embarrassed some people today, that’s the way it goes.  We can’t depend on our politicians to save the country, we the people have to do it.”

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