As one of the first conflicts of the Revolutionary War made its way back from Lexington and Concord, through the little town of Menotony, British troops were vandalizing the home of an American deacon in his absence. The British ordered the man’s wife and baby from the house, and proceeded to ransack it, unaware that five more children were still under the bed. One boy, age nine, peeked out for a better look and was ordered by a soldier to come out.
The boy obeyed, and followed the redcoats through the house as they ransacked it. Finally, the soldiers came to his father’s communion plates. According to the minister who wrote the account, “When they proceeded to take possession of the sacred utensils, he could restrain himself no longer, and in horror and indignation cried out, ‘Don’t you touch them ‘ere things! Daddy’ll lick you if you do!’” (Best Little Stories of the American Revolution, C. Brian Kelly, p. 65.)
Scripture admonishes God’s people generally to submit to legitimate authority, but there also comes a time when a people must say: “Don’t you touch them ‘ere things!” The spirit of that little boy was that which lit the fire of American independence from British oppression. The question is, how much of this spirt remains alive today? If a government, established for the purpose of preserving and protecting our religious and other freedoms, begins instead to infringe on them, is there still a citizenry in America with the spirit to cry: “Don’t you touch them ‘ere things?” Is the flame of liberty still burning in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”?