Whilst contemplating the angst over the strong and somewhat bellicose language accompanying the story of the Oath Keepers, I began to recall some words used in earlier times, more perilous times.
When there are two sides clearly drawn, men should not remain silent lest they offend others, as this orator once explained:
“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.”
The truth is discovered in the crucible of debate.
Below is a brief clip from this gentleman’s speech borrowed from LibriVox. If you have divined who it is by the opening words above, give yourself an A. If you glean his identity in the first couple of sentences of the speech below, give yourself a B-. If you cannot tell who it is by the ending clash of vocal cymbals, you fail miserably, and your assignment is to hie immediately to the nearest library.