I have just been moved, inspired, humbled and even a little ashamed of my own inaction by the testimony I heard given in the congressional hearings on IRS abuses against what appear to be conservative non-profits. I have included the full video as I feel every American NEEDS to hear the testimony given by Becky Gerritson of Wetumpka, AL.
Mrs. Gerritson’s impassioned testimony to the Ways and Means committee sent goose bumps over my entire body. I have watched her give her opening statements several times and even gathered my children around the television so that they too could hear the inspiring words of this great American patriot. Mrs. Gerritson renews my hope and faith in the American people and the principles that built this greatest of nations. I‘d like to believe that Mrs. Gerritson’s statements will be heard all over America within days if not hours but as is clear in much of my writing, I have absolutely NO FAITH in our press to offer the people of America anything that they deem “unfit” for our consumption so I MUST give a summary of her opening statements and I pray that this woman’s words will inspire any and all who read or hear them.
Mrs. Gerritson explained to the committee that she and her husband became concerned with our government’s out of control spending back in September 2008 with the first 700 billion dollar bail out. Mrs. Gerritson’s concern became a call to action a few months later when in January of 2009 it was revealed that yet another 787 billion would be squandered on further bail outs, handouts to foreign nations and unproductive industries. She explained how she started hearing about others all over the nation who were just as shocked and concerned with reigning in our massive federal beast and how this concern was birthing a grass roots movement called the Tea Party, a movement dedicated to lower taxes, smaller government and placing “we the people” above our paid servants in government. Mrs. Gerritson, her husband and her daughter were moved to draw like-minded citizens in their small town together to do what they could to have their voices heard in Washington.
Mrs. Gerritson stated that she applied for 501c4 tax exempt status for the Wetumpka Tea Party in October of 2010. She stated that the group’s $850 application fee was cashed seven days later and that she was told she would be contacted within 90 days but that their group was forced to wait for 459 days before any response was received. Once they did finally hear back from the government she was asked for 90 pieces of additional information including lists of donors, donation amounts, the names of any volunteers that may possibly be running for office and which office they may be running for as well as detailed contents of any and all speeches given at their meetings. Of course, none of this information is required for 501c4 status. All requested information was to be provided under threat of the law.
In total, 635 days passed before the Wetumpka Tea Party’s application was approved just days before the 2012 presidential election. This begs the obvious question; Who among us could put the IRS off for two years without dire consequence?
Mrs. Gerritson told the committee today that she was not a serf or a vassal seeking mercy from her lords and that she is, “a born free American woman, wife, mother and American citizen and I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place”. Mrs. Gerritson was nearly moved to tears as she stated the following: “We are patriotic Americans. We peacefully assembly, we petition our government, we exercise our right to free speech and we don’t understand why the government tried to stop us”.
In wrapping up her opening, Mrs. Gerritson elicited a round of applause with these words, “Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they are our masters and they are mistaken. I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in. The America that people crossed oceans and risked their lives to become a part of and I’m terrified it is slipping away”.
The statements by the other five individuals to address the committee today were just as poignant and most definitely worth articles of their own. But I was particularly struck by Mrs. Gerritson’s statements as they embody everything that we as Americans should need to know about our government and its place in our republic.
What I’ve just witnessed is nothing short of a few of the owners of this great nation putting their elected representation on notice that they are overstepping the boundaries set on their power. Our representatives are there to uphold The Constitution and ensure the rights within are extended and defended, without hesitation to every American citizen.
In light of these hearings and all that is being disclosed, it’s interesting that the Tea Party seemed to all but vanish after the 2010 midterms. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they didn’t simply disband and go away but were being intentionally prevented from participating in an election in which the current administration feared they might support, in Obama’s words, his “enemies”. Apparently someone in Washington just couldn’t let another potential “shellacking” be left to chance.
God bless Mrs. Gerritson and her family and the millions like her across this vast land and God bless this greatest of nations. May we rediscover the principles that have served us so well for 237 years. And may this land once again become a sanctuary of freedom, liberty and self-governance.