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By Chuck Baldwin
March 6, 2002

Today marks the fall of the Alamo in 1836. Some 186 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna's seasoned army of over 5,000 troops for 13 days. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave those ramparts alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. Yet, they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to this pragmatic generation of spoiled Americans!

It is difficult to recall that stouthearted men such as Davy Crockett, Will Travis, and Jim Bowie really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed in their veins. They loved their families and enjoyed life (Travis was only 23 years old) as much as any of us.  There was something different about them, however. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort.

"Liberty" is an easy word to say, but it is a hard word to live up to. Freedom has little to do with financial gain or personal pleasure. Freedom brings with her an unattractive companion called "Responsibility." Neither is she an only child. "Patriotism" and "Morality" are her sisters. They are inseparable. Destroy one and all will die.

Early in the siege, Travis wrote these words to the people of Texas: "Fellow Citizens & Compatriots: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. VICTORY OR DEATH! P.S. The Lord is on our side."

As you read those words, remember that Travis and the others did not have the Anti-Christian Liberties Union, the People for the un-American Way, and the National Education Association telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded their notions of honor and patriotism were. A hostile media did not constantly castigate them as a bunch of wild-eyed extremists. As school children, they were not taught that their forefathers were nothing more than racist jerks.

The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was "the land of the free and the home of the brave." They believed God was on their side and that the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. It all looks pale now.

By today's standards, the gallant men of the Alamo seem rather foolish. After all, they had no chance of winning - none! However, the call for "pragmatism" and "practicality" was never sounded. The clarion call they answered was, "VICTORY OR DEATH!"

Please try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you listen to our gutless political (and religious) leaders calling for appeasement, compromise, and tolerance. Try to recall the time in this country when ordinary men (and women) had the courage of their convictions and were willing to sacrifice their lives on the altar of freedom and principle.

I'll tell you this, those courageous champions didn't die for any political party or for some ambiguous "lesser of two evils" mantra! They fought and died for a principle! So did the men at Lexington and Concord. That is our history. On second thought, do they look foolish, or do we?

© Chuck Baldwin Live commentaries may not be reprinted or republished without permission.  All Rights Reserved.

Chuck Baldwin is Founder-Pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. In 1985 the church was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence. 

Dr. Baldwin is the host of a lively, hard-hitting syndicated radio talk show on the Genesis Communications Network called, "Chuck Baldwin Live" This is a daily, one hour long call-in show in which Dr. Baldwin addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Pastor Baldwin writes weekly articles on the internet   and newspapers.  

To learn more about his radio talk show please visit his web site at: When responding, please include your name, city and state