Speakers Talk Freedom, Constitution At Patriot Rally

Indiana State Rep. Curt Nisly speaks about freedom vs. slavery at Friday’s Patriot Freedom Rally downtown Warsaw at the county courthouse. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union.

Hundreds of people gathered at a peaceful Patriot Freedom Rally Friday at the Kosciusko County courthouse.

The rally was a celebration of veterans, police officers and first responders. It also was for “people that support our Constitution, our Founding Fathers, everything that this country was founded upon,” co-organizer Kevin Kyle said.

Kyle, at the beginning of the rally, gave the background of how the rally got started, which was from a Facebook rant and it grew from there.

John B. Lowe III, associate pastor of New Life Christian Church & World Outreach, spoke about titles and how important they are.

The title patriot is a title every veteran, police officer and first responder holds, said Lowe III.

“As I was looking at the definition of a patriot, I wanted to read it to you today. It says this: A patriot is a noun. It’s a person that loves, supports and defends his or her country and its citizens and its interests with devotion. A person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of other people’s rights.”

Lowe III said the definition is missing race, political parties, occupation and faith. Patriotism supercedes all those things.

“It’s a place where we find unity,” he said. He said the country has “In God in We Trust” and Lowe III said he believes America, out of every country, was brought up to serve and worship God.

In the definition of a patriot, Lowe III said you’ll find the word love. He said our country has got to get back to a place of loving with perfection and that the Bible said love casts out all fear.

First responders do that when they walk out the door, Lowe III said.

Kosciusko County resident Shelley Zartman said her grandfather was a police officer and her cousin and brother-in-law are police officers. She asked them why they wanted to go into the profession. The most common response she got was because they wanted to help people.

Zartman said the community needs to back its police officers because they are going in when people “are running from situations.”

“They’re trying to help us and I take it personally that they’re now the bad guys,” she said. She noted there are bad officers, but it doesn’t make everyone a bad person.

Pastor John Lowe II said law enforcement officers are a rare bunch of people.

“I thank God for each and every one of them,” he said. “It doesn’t mean I always agree with everything they’re doing. But I’ll tell you this, if they weren’t doing what they’re doing, not only would we not be able to meet here today, but you wouldn’t be able to drive down the road or walk down the street or live in that house without fear of your door getting kicked in.”

Lowe II said when some police officers mess up, that doesn’t mean that all of them are bad apples.

Veteran Steve Long quoted the most well-known paragraph of the  Declaration of Independence.

“Now you notice I said all men are created equal. That meant red, yellow, black, white, purple, orange, we don’t care what color it is,” Long said. “I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but all men, wouldn’t that mean all lives matter?”

Lowe II said so many Americans haven’t taken the time to read the Constitution, which is “the greatest document ever written that guided the country into its future. We need to make sure we know what the Constitution says.”

Lowe II said he’s always challenging people in his church to read the Bible.

“Don’t call yourself a Christian and not read the Bible. Don’t call yourself an American and not read the Constitution,” he said. The Bill of Rights came from defending people from abuses the Founding Fathers saw from Great Britain.

Lowe III said there is no color on the battlefield.

Long modified what Lowe III said. There is one color on the battlefield, and “we wear all green.”

Long said he’s been all over the world and America is the “best country in the world.”

The example Long gave of why America was a great country was the Constitution.

“We’re all here using our First Amendment rights – free speech, freedom of religion, free to peacefully assemble. That’s why it was so important. That’s why it’s number one,” Long said, noting the Second Amendment was also important and was “the teeth of the Constitution.”

“I think, psychologically, we have been bombarded with so much negativity over the past few weeks, months,” District 22 State Rep. Curt Nisly said.

“Today is a great day to celebrate freedom,” Nisly said. If people look around, people are afraid and screaming for masks and events, including sporting events, are being cancelled or postponed.

“Some of you may think we’re at war,” Nisly said, but it’s not left versus right, but freedom versus slavery.

Nisly said people are bringing down statutes, destroying history and saying the collective right is more important than the individual’s right.

“As a state representative, I can tell you there is no such thing as collective rights,” he said.

Over a century ago, people saw slavery was bad and it took a lot of blood to fix it.

“Despite what is going on today, the Constitution still applies,” Nisly said. Despite the flaws of the Constitution, the purpose was to defend the rights of the individual.

“One of the reasons America was established was because people were tired of oppression, tyranny and government overreach,” said Elizabeth Oppel, of Church of God. Tens of millions of people came to this country for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“Our ability to love and adapt to the differences of other people is how we got the description ‘melting pot of the world.’ Greatness isn’t found in the ability to strip someone of their culture and then make them one, but to allow a person to keep their diversity and still belong,” Oppel said.