In 1754, when Benjamin Franklin first posted his political cartoon, titled "Join or Die", it was an attempt to rally the American people, to draw them from complacency and force them to realize that only in a unified body could they possibly survive the approaching threat posed by a foreign enemy. A decade later it was raised again and renamed "Unite or Die", this time calling for rebellion against Mother England whose forces already resided on American soil.
On March 13th, Glenn Beck raised this banner once more as a call to Americans to unite against another internal threat to her freedom. The enemy at our door, and in our homes, Beck explains, is not another nation, but the loss of identity in our own. But this enemy is a smoke and shadow show, easily defeated, not by armies and armament, but by a return to some core values and principles.
Read Glenn Beck's own words:
Do you watch the direction that America is being taken in and feel powerless to stop it? Do you believe that your voice isn’t loud enough to be heard above the noise anymore? Do you read the headlines everyday and feel an empty pit in your stomach…as if you’re completely alone? If so, then you’ve fallen for the Wizard of Oz lie.
While the voices you hear in the distance may sound intimidating, as if they surround us from all sides—the reality is very different. Once you pull the curtain away you realize that there are only a few people pressing the buttons, and their voices are weak. The truth is that they don’t surround us at all. We surround them. So, how do we show America what’s really behind the curtain? Below are nine simple principles. If you believe in at least seven of them, then we have something in common. I urge you to read the instructions at the end for how to help make your voice heard.
The Nine Principles
1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
The Twelve Values:
You Are Not Alone If you agree with at least seven of those principles, then you are not alone. Please send a digital version of your picture to: email@example.com and then stay tuned to the radio and television shows over the coming weeks to see how we intend to pull back the curtain.
Latter-day Saints will recognize how closely these values coincide with President Hinckley's value-laden "Bees". All those who love of American history will recognize the nations founding principles embedded here. These are not new ideas. But new voices are reminding us to clean our house . . our inner house, and to demand nothing less from those who govern and lead.
The 9/12 concept sums up the nine priciples and the twelve values nicely, but it is also a call to remember another 9/12--the day after the events of 9/11--the day we hung our flags and ribbons, and knit together and fell on our knees to ask God to show us the way to help and to heal. Remember that 9/12? Of course we do. . .
God, family, country . . . God, family country. . . God, family country. . .
Thump, thump, thump. . . That's the beat of the American heart. Can you hear it?
Please forward this and/or the link to Beck's firstname.lastname@example.org.