Declare Your Courage
Central pillars of our liberal democracies are eroding. We are losing free speech and bodily autonomy. Group-think and cancel culture are rising while the electronic surveillance state controls much of life. As if these weren’t enough, those in positions of authority seem committed to undermining ready access to food, travel and human contact. Most believe we’re powerless. Why?
Many who fled oppressive regimes for the once appealing democratic West can answer: We forget history. We falsely believe we can defeat authoritarianism while maintaining creature comforts, illusions of safety and our societal status. We believe ‘going along’ will bridge an inconvenient season of crazed policy, when in reality we cling to twigs of reputation, ease and illusory security while facing a tsunami of totalitarian control that risks the destruction of our freedom.
There is only one way to arrest this trend. Men and women must courageously and publicly take unrelenting positions against it. We must refuse to assent to the lies dismantling our societies, tearing away our freedoms, and removing our power as free beings.
We are not powerless when standing together, aligning ourselves on the common, fortified ground of integrity, truth, courage and self-sacrifice.
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, in a 1974 article Live Not by Lies, penned these words in a call to corporate courage: “We need not be the first to set out on this path, Ours is but to join! The more of us set out together, the thicker our ranks, the easier and shorter will this path be for us all! If we become thousands—they will not cope, they will be unable to touch us. If we will grow to tens of thousands—we will not recognize our country!”
I declare all that follows, calling out as a lie the societal claim that change is impossible. It begins with me:
I will wholeheartedly pursue truth and will not speak, sign, or write anything that is not, as far as I know, the truth;
I will in spite of the cost, speak out against lies;
I will stand alone if need be, knowing that freedom is “the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” (Pericles)
I will not repeat nor support radically progressive, ideological mantras. I will walk out of state, corporate or privately enforced indoctrinations on the same;
I will not acquiesce to the state’s violation of my God-given freedoms of speech, worship, conscience and bodily autonomy;
I will persevere in the face of threats to livelihood, status or reputation, in spite of the pain or my own self-doubt;
I will support with my words, actions and finances, others convicted of this need for a relentless commitment to truth, freedom and conscience.
All this I undertake, knowing I may suffer loss of the fragile constructs of social status, comfort and ‘safety’. I am willing to do so, in exchange for the far superior and lasting bedrock of truth upon which our futures and freedom (and that of our children) must be grounded.