It looks like all sorts of people are joining the game of rewriting parts of the U.S. Constitution. It started with state legislators who apparently had time on their hands, and now it’s even extended to U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a joint appearance at the National Press Club and added their two bits worth of advice about changing our Constitution. Justice Scalia said he would like an amendment to make it easier to pass more amendments, which probably is music to the ears of those who are trying to pass several or even a dozen new amendments. Currently it’s considered to be a laborious process even to get a constitutional amendment introduced, much less passed and ratified.
However, Justice Scalia added a caveat to his suggestion, saying “I certainly would not want a constitutional convention. Whoa! Who knows what would come out of it?”
As Hamlet bemoaned, “Aye, there’s the rub.” Any new constitutional convention, called as allowed by Article V, would surely attract and include political activists with motives and goals diametrically different from those of Justice Scalia.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg then weighed in with the tiresome complaint of the feminists. Her first choice for a constitutional change, she said, would be the addition of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
The American people, the mainstream media, and state legislators spent ten years (1972 to 1982) considering the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. They then let it die after it failed to get the three-fourths (38) of the states that are needed to ratify a new amendment.
ERA was marketed as something that would give new rights (with the false promise of a pay raise) to American women (whom the feminists falsely claim are oppressed by the patriarchy), but that phony sales talk failed. Since the text of ERA doesn’t use the words “women” or “gender,” but instead calls for “equality of rights … on account of sex,” it is now beyond dispute that ERA’s principal effect would be to make it unconstitutional to deny a marriage license “on account of sex.”
Our biggest trouble about constitutional revisionism comes from 93-year-old Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who just emerged from retirement to try to make himself relevant again. He has just written a new book calling for six amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Stevens’ most dangerous suggestion is to gut the Second Amendment. Stevens wants to reverse the Supreme Court decision that upheld our right to keep a gun at home for self-protection.
The fundamental right of Americans to own guns was considered by our Founders to be basic to a free society, and abolishing this right has long been a major goal of the liberals who oppose the conservative values at the heart of our nation. Our right to own a gun is not only necessary for personal self-defense, but it’s fundamental to preventing a takeover by a dictatorship, as we have watched happen in so many other countries.
If Congress acquiesces in the states’ petitions to call an Article V convention, you can bet that rewriting the Second Amendment to allow gun control and to forbid private ownership of guns will be a top priority of many delegates. Would they succeed?
Justice Stevens’ plan to achieve his goal is deceptively simple; he just calls for adding five itty-bitty words: “when serving in the militia.” That sounds so innocuous, but it would wipe out individual Americans’ right to own a gun unless actually serving in the militia, and that would be a dramatic takeaway of our current Second Amendment right to own guns for personal self-defense.
Now consider the usual confusion and pandemonium at a national political convention. Consider how quickly one pre-selected and coached delegate could make the motion to adopt those five little words, and the chairman with the gavel could say, “All those in favor say aye, motion carried, the change is adopted,” and bang goes the gavel. Amid the usual convention noise, most delegates would be unaware of what was happening.
It is likely that most of those who are supporting the calling of an Article V convention have never been to a noisy, controversial national political convention. But that is the way it is. If you need proof, watch the video of how the 2012 Democratic convention chairman in Charlotte illegally gaveled through a motion concerning the elimination of God in the Democrats’ Platform.
It’s amazing how some foolish Republicans are working overtime to give the liberals the opportunity and the power to do so much damage to our great U.S. Constitution.
Voters continue to believe Democrats have more of a plan for the future than Republicans do, but most again say neither party represents the public.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. That’s up six points from 47% last October and matches the previous high found in June 2012 during the last national election cycle. Just 28% disagree, while 19% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
But a plurality (47%) believes the Democratic Party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation. That’s up slightly from the low 40s in prior surveys back to February 2010. Thirty percent (30%) think President Obama’s party does not have a plan for the future. Twenty-three percent (23%) are undecided.
By contrast, 38% think the Republican Party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation, but slightly more (40%) disagree. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure. This is generally in line with past surveys. Belief that the GOP has a plan for the future jumped to a high of 54% in June 2012 but fell back to previous levels after that.
The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on April 19-20, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Republicans control the House of Representatives, while Democrats hold the majority in the Senate. The GOP is expected to hold onto the House in this November’s elections but needs to pick up six new seats to win control of the Senate.
Interestingly, 52% of Republicans and a plurality (44%) of Democrats agree that neither major political party is the party of the American people. But 65% of voters not affiliated with either party feel that way.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats think their party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation. Fifty-six percent (56%) of GOP voters say the same of their party. Among unaffiliated voters, however, only 40% think Democrats have a plan for the future, and even fewer (32%) believe that of Republicans.
Generally speaking, the younger the voter, the more likely he or she is to believe that neither party represents the American people. Men are more skeptical than women. Blacks are less doubting than whites and other minority voters are.
Liberals believe much more strongly than moderates and conservatives that Democrats have a plan for the future. Conservative voters are more likely to believe the GOP has a plan for where it wants to take the nation.
You asked me, “What’s the difference between the Republican Party and the Constitution Party?” It’s a fair question. After all, we’re both “conservative”, right?
This is a semantics game. One must first define “conservative”. We believe in conserving the Constitution. The GOP believes in conserving power.
Here are a few things that the Constitution Party believes in which the Republicans obviously do not:
Repeal the 16th Amendment. Forget “Flat Tax” and “Fair Tax” schemes. The Income Tax is a boondoggle, a cesspool of corruption and a tool for persecuting political enemies. Let’s shut it down; allow all those employees to find productive jobs; save billions on compliance; eliminate the fear we all feel when we see a letter from IRS; etc. (Replace it with The Founders Solution to deficit spending.)
Repeal the 17th Amendment. The States created the federal government, as a servant to the States and the People. The 17th disenfranchised the States, totally destroying state sovereignty. The States cannot stand up to the Feds without a vote in Congress. The Founders would have never approved the Constitution with this provision, and we should repeal it immediately.
Balance the Budget.The Founders said that when there is a deficit, it does not roll over and accrue interest. Instead, an invoice is sent to the States, by apportionment. How they pay that bill is their problem – it’s a State’s Right issue! And if they don’t pay it, well, there will be no more federal funding for that State until they do. It’s that simple.
Phase out EVERY unconstitutional bureaucracy and agency in the Federal Government.Few Republicans will call for that, certainly not a majority of them. This will balance the budget. Period.
In other words, we call for a return to the Constitution of the United States. Republicans use those same words, but they don’t believe it, and their voting record is the proof.
You like socialism? Then you keep voting Republican, because we could not have this mess today without the endless and willing collusion between the National Socialist Party (Republicans) and the International Socialist Party (Democrats). Sure, there are differences between them, they hate each other, etc. But it’s the same hate that the Nazis and the Communists had for each other, and both were socialist, by definition.
Republicans want to continue deficit spending, continue the tax on your personal income, continue with unconstitutional powers in the national government, continue no-win wars, for one simple reason – they are addicted to power. It’s the ultimate aphrodisiac, and they are all drunk with it. The Constitution means nothing to most elected officials, and less to Republican Party Bosses.
Imagine living in Poland in 1939. You could collaborate with the Germans, or you could collaborate with the Russians. What kind of a choice was that? That is where the American people are today – in choosing “the lesser of two evils”, they choose evil. You think you would have been part of the Resistance Movement in Poland? Or would you have just tried to keep your head down and avoided rocking the boat?
It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, my friend, you were born on a battlefield, and there are no neutral positions. Either you stand up for Liberty, for the sake of your children and their children, or you are a traitor to them and to your country. (Some Poles did make that decision – some joined the Communists to fight the Nazis. Some joined the Nazis to fight the Communists. And some refused to accept those as the only two alternatives, even though they were a small, dedicated minority.
I am less concerned with winning the election in front of me than I am with how my grandchildren will perceive my efforts to restore Constitutional freedoms to them.
We are sustained by small, regular donations from folks just like you. It’s your choice.
Republican Party silent as spontaneous, independent police protest chases Eric Holder off the podium, cancels speech. What the GOP refuses to do – be the party of opposition – is causing them to become more and more out of touch with the People, and explains why they continue to lose elections at the national level. With Eric Holder now in contempt of Congress, why should he be welcomed anywhere in America, except in the halls of the Communist Party, or maybe by a warden at Leavenworth?
Though he is, by definition, the nation’s top law enforcement officer, local police are apparently growing tired of Attorney General Eric Holder’s perceived activism and obstructionism as head of the Department of Justice.
That frustration came to a head recently as Holder planned to attend a police academy graduation ceremony in Oklahoma City. Hundreds of protesters, consisting of local law enforcement, legislators, and other advocates, showed up prior to the appointed address to demand Holder face punishment for alleged crimes committed during his time at the helm of the agency.
Protest organizer Bob Dani declared “Eric Holder is in contempt of Congress right now,” explaining that his mishandling of at least two scandals – the ‘Fast and Furious’ gunrunning operation and the IRS targeting of conservative groups – is enough to prove his accusation.
Amid growing demands that he be arrested upon his arrival at the event, a DOJ spokesperson released a statement indicating Holder had cancelled the appearance.
“The attorney general had been looking forward to addressing the cadets,” Brian Fallon said, “and regrets he cannot attend in person. He extends his heartfelt congratulations to the cadets and their families.”
In the eyes of many protesters, his last-minute decision is validation of their efforts.
“Our protest has turned into a victory celebration because we frankly didn’t want him here,” said Oklahoma Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, “and we succeeded.”
Another protester, Carla Russell, explained Holder cancelled his trip “because he’s a chicken,” explaining he “doesn’t want to be recorded with people protesting against him with signs like mine.”
Her sign, by the way, declared “Holder is a Terrorist.”
As Wesselhoft explained, Holder “has used his position to advance his own political agenda, and that’s not right. He swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution and defend it for all of us – not some of us.”
BizPac Reviewpointed out the perceived irony of a man who, in 2009, described America as “essentially a nation of cowards” now cancelling an appearance ostensibly because of the unfriendly reception he would have received.
Our freedoms of speech and religion stand in great peril as evil prospers under our watch. What does this tragic condition reveal? Clearly, once again, God’s people in America have sinned a great sin.
As promised, this article will address the thorny issue concerning the current struggle over the political doctrine “Separation of Church and State.” In fact, the actor, Kevin Bacon, and his brother were so concerned about it; a few years ago they went on a musical tour to ensure the “wall” still stands strong in our generation. The fact that there is a contentious debate over this matter is somewhat perplexing since the phrase is not mentioned in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights. So, where does the current understanding of this controversial public policy stem from?
Its inauspicious origins began with a private letter sent by President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut in 1802. The letter carried no official governmental authority; it was merely a letter responding to the concerns of the Danbury Baptists. What was their deep concern? They feared the Congregationalist Church would become the new state sanctioned religion backed by the federal government. The Danbury Baptists did not want their tax dollars supporting another Christian sect at the expense of their own. After receiving the correspondence by the potentially offended party, President Jefferson graciously responded to alleviate their dread.
It was this letter that referenced the “wall of separation.” Jefferson’s citation, however, concerning the “high and impregnable wall” between church and state was a one way wall. It was a wall in which the government would have no say in the affairs of the church or establish one Christian sect as our national religion. Our Founding Fathers did not want a repeat of England and the national church, the Church of England.
His statement, mischaracterized today, never intended to keep the God of the Bible out of our government, schools, or culture. The wall was to protect the church from the intrusion of government. The following illustration can help clarify Jefferson’s opinion concerning this crucial issue.
American Family Association Graph
As the above graph demonstrates, in 1947 something happened to dramatically alter the placement of the “wall” in our nation. The Hugo Black Court took the private letter from Jefferson to set an unprecedented, precedent. They manipulated the language and divorced the phrase from Jefferson’s explanation. The court proceeded to use the axiom “Separation of Church and State” to create an entirely new and completely arbitrary interpretation of the First Amendment. The historical understanding viewed the First Amendment as not preferring one Christian denomination as our national religion. The new version, however, views the “wall of separation” as the courts responsibility to remove the knowledge of God from the public life of our nation.
In his commentary on the First Amendment’s original meaning, Joseph Story, named to the Supreme Court in 1811, clarified the proper interpretation. If anyone should know the original intent, this man would. He stated, “The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.”
On the heels of the 1947, Everson v. Board of Education decision came one disastrous Supreme Court ruling after another. Black robed judges who feared neither God nor man banned the Bible, silenced the prayers of American children, tore the Ten Commandments from the walls of our public buildings, and in effect, served God his official eviction notice (Luke 18:2). With the stroke of the pen, they demanded God get out of our schools, vacate our government, and leave our children alone. At what cost? Our schools have become veritable war zones, our government increasingly despotic, and our culture corrupt. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you remove the knowledge of God, history proves violence and perversion always replace Him.
By judicial fiat and without precedent, our nation foolishly replaced the knowledge of God with condoms in school colors, police officers, metal detectors, unprecedented violence and immorality. To this day, our nation refuses to connect the dots between our rejection of God, His principles, and our loss of freedom. Too many are still oblivious to the moral decay that is drowning our nation in a sea of blood and perversion. Most political, media, and cultural elites refuse to acknowledge the connection between our spiritual and moral state and the litany of woe upon us as a people.
The Biblical and historical lessons, however, are unavoidable. Whenever a nation purposely seeks the decline of Christianity, moral rot, anarchy, and tyranny follow. Our nation cannot escape these truths, no matter how much we seek to evade its reality.
Beyond the historical perspective, which concerns the “wall of separation,” there is also a deep and rich theological view, one the church in America must grapple with once again. It stems from Roger Sherman, Rhode Island’s champion of religious freedom. Thomas Jefferson borrowed the phrase “wall of separation” from him. Roger Sherman’s use of this phrase was a metaphor to describe the relationship and conflict between the world and God’s church. He stated that there is “a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world.”
Sherman’s “gap in the hedge or wall of separation” brings to mind Isaiah 5:1-7. The prophet of God describes God’s wall and hedge about his people. Isaiah states:
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, preached this same theme in His generation as well. He warned Israel of impending doom for rejecting His claims of being the promised Messiah. Jesus warned:
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, they will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof (Matthew 21:33-43).
These two Biblical passages provide the proper root system for the correct interpretation of the “wall of separation” doctrine America struggles with today. First, there is a legitimate “wall of separation” between church and state. In the Old Testament, Moses was Israel’s civil ruler, while Aaron was the High Priest. There was a palace established for the king and a temple for the priests to further mark God’s distinctions between the two jurisdictions.
To help clarify these differences created by God Himself, the following example should suffice. 1 Kings 12:32-13:1-6 states:
And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense and, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, this is the sign which the Lord hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him and his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king answered and said unto the man of God, entreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
In this case, the prophet of God representing the church rebuked the king representing civil authority for crossing the “wall of separation.” This particular king set up a false altar and a counterfeit priesthood to keep his people from going to Jerusalem and participating in the ordained religious activities established by God. Besides this blatant usurpation, it was not the duty of the king to burn incense or offer sacrifices. These sacred acts were reserved for the priesthood. The king was not allowed to mettle in the affairs of the church. He stretched forth his hand to touch the sacred and he drew back a nub. He crossed the line of his jurisdiction and he paid the price.
There are numerous examples in Scripture where the church confronted civil authority in their disobedience, tyranny, and idolatry. Moses confronted Pharaoh, Elijah confronted King Ahab, Nathan confronted King David, and John the Baptist confronted King Herod. There are other examples as well, but these should suffice to reveal the “wall of separation” established in the Bible. It was instituted to protect the church from the intrusion of civil government, not to protect civil government from the principles of God nor His rebuke when they err and devolve into tyranny, despotism, and oppression.
Notice as well, that God established a wall or hedge to protect his garden (the Church) from the wilderness of the world. It was this revelation from God’s Word, which sparked Roger Sherman’s quote. This truth is paramount in many ways. First, it deals with the divine reality that God has the power to transform gardens into wilderness and vice-a-versa. Psalm 107:33-35 states:
He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
These major geographical shifts are not based upon faults expanding or contracting beneath the earth’s surface, neither is it caused by global warming or any other explanation junk science proffers. What ultimately inspires God to transform the landscape of the earth is the morality of the people who live there. The land can be flowing with milk and honey in one age, but if the people become idolatrous, the land could end up scorched. The Psalmist declared, “The rebellious shall dwell in a dry land (Psalm 68:6).” On the other hand, if the people of the land repent, God could relent and change the land back to a watered garden once again.
This process is extremely important as it relates to the “wall of separation” controversy. When God’s people obey the voice of the Lord our God and keep His commandments, the high and impregnable wall remains to protect the Lord’s garden. It stands to keep the hordes of darkness at bay. It allows the church to live “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (1Timothy 2:2b).”
Interestingly enough, this passage by the Apostle Paul is in context with the church properly relating to civil government through prayers and intercession for all who are in authority.
However, if God’s people betray the covenant, disobey his voice, and violate his commandments, the Bible and history prove God will remove his hedge of protection and knock down the “wall of separation” to allow his enemies to chastise his people. The hordes of darkness that were once at bay are released to trodden underfoot the garden of the Lord. Jesus warned, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13).
Today, we would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to recognize the true condition of this “wall” as it relates to the church, civil government, and the world. Year after year, the government has intruded into the affairs of God’s people. The abortion industry and the homosexual agenda have capitalized upon this invasion. They have managed to obtain the most favored business status and new “civil rights” charade at the expense of the church in America.
Our freedoms of speech and religion stand in great peril as evil prospers under our watch. What does this tragic condition reveal? Clearly, once again, God’s people in America have sinned a great sin. As a result, God, Himself, is turning us over to wicked leaders, unjust laws, and an increasingly hostile culture that despises the church in America. Is this not the reality the church is dealing with today? Are not the hordes of darkness on the march as conquerors and conquering? Is not the wall that separated the garden of the Lord from the wilderness of the world crumbling about us? Your honest answers are important to our future.
The question then arises, if these things be so, what can the church in America do? It starts with a little word, yet profound in its affect, REPENT!!! When Nehemiah, the cup-bearer of the king heard the news of the terrible state of his nation, he wept, prayed, and fasted over the broken walls and the burned gates, which undermined his nation and made them vulnerable to attack.
Nehemiah 1:4-11 records:
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, and said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.
After we repent with prayers and fasting, our next task is to take godly action. Nehemiah called for the people, regardless of their vocation or profession, to rebuild the walls and restore the gates. He commanded them to go to the exposed areas. The call was to rebuild and fight to preserve the Lord’s work of renovation. Nehemiah 4:13, 14 states:
Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Though the battle raged from within and from without, Nehemiah and the remnant of Israel persevered and rebuilt the wall that protected God’s people once again. In the current political climate, a great debate is intensifying over our borders. Many desire to see a fence (wall) built to protect our land from illegal aliens and terrorists. As important as that may be, the true “wall of separation,” which protects the garden of the Lord from the wilderness of the world needs rebuilding first. If we can get this “wall of separation” back in its proper place, perhaps the Lord, Himself, will protect our borders and bring healing to our land.
Tomorrow, April 19, is Patriot’s Day. On this day in 1775, about 70 men stood armed on Lexington Green as over 800 British troops descended on the town in route to Concord for the purpose of seizing a cache of arms known to be stored there and arresting two outspoken proponents of American independence: John Hancock and Sam Adams. Seeing the Minutemen (as they came to be called) standing on the green with muskets in hand, British officers commanded the men to throw down their arms, which they refused to do. Almost simultaneous to the command to disarm, the British soldiers opened fire upon the colonists, killing eight men instantly. This became known as “the shot heard ’round the world,” as it was the event that ignited America’s Revolutionary War.
The British troops easily marched through Lexington but were met by hundreds of armed and determined patriots at the Concord Bridge. A fierce battle ensued, which resulted in a bruising British defeat and the retreat of the Crown’s troops to Boston. The Colonists were done talking; the brutal killings of the men at Lexington, along with the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the people and to arrest Hancock and Adams, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. From that point onward, the issue would be decided on the battlefield.
Remember that the Colonists had patiently endured the harassment and haranguing of the British Crown for decades. Resentment and righteous indignation were deeply imbedded in the souls of those beleaguered “children of the Pilgrims.” And the killings at Lexington were not the first time innocent Americans were shot down by British troops. Some five years earlier, on March 5, 1770, a squad of British soldiers had opened fire on unarmed American civilians killing seven of them. The Boston Massacre (as it came to be called) was still very fresh in the minds of the Colonists as British troops advanced upon Lexington. And with the massacre of the men of Lexington, the last line in the sand had been crossed.
In my mind, it is no coincidence that a similar line in the sand took place here in the middle of April, 2014, in the Nevada desert at a place strikingly similar in name to a famous Revolutionary War battlefield: a place called Bunkerville.
At this point, I’ll let Paul Joseph Watson report the story:
“Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on Fox News to denounce the federal government’s operation against Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, asserting that BLM agents should have been arrested for seizing his property and that the case represents a ‘line in the sand’ for Americans who have had enough of big government tyranny.
“Napolitano said the feds were forced to back down because they had suffered a public relations nightmare, pointing out that Bundy lost his case in a federal court but that the case should have been tried in a state court.
“‘The federal judiciary should not be deciding what land the federal government owns,’ said Napolitano, adding that the feds should have placed a lien against Bundy’s property to collect grazing fees and not conducted a raid backed up by armed agents to seize his private property.”
The report continued saying, “Napolitano also chastised the BLM’s ludicrous creation of a ‘First Amendment Area’ outside of which free speech was banned. Protesters completely ignored the zone and it was quickly torn down by BLM officials after being widely derided in the media.
“‘They established something utterly repellent in America, a First Amendment Zone….the square was three miles away from where these events were going–this is the federal government emasculating the First Amendment rights of the protesters,’ said the judge.
“Napolitano characterized the resistance shown by Bundy supporters as a clear example of how Americans feel, ‘enough is enough with the federal government, we’re drawing a line in the sand right here–and it drew people from all around the country who basically said “quit your heavy handed theft of property and act like you’re a normal litigant and not God almighty.”’”
No matter what you hear from the likes of Joe Scarborough and Glenn Beck (or your pastor), if the line in the sand at Lexington Green in April of 1775 was righteous, the line in the sand at Bunkerville, Nevada, in April of 2014 was equally righteous.
In fact, the grievances that the “children of the Patriots” have against the federal government today make the grievances that the “children of the Pilgrims” listed in the Declaration of Independence against the British Crown look pale by comparison. We have been tolerating abuse after abuse, encroachment after encroachment, usurpation after usurpation for decades. And one thing those patriots in Nevada were not going to allow to happen was another Waco. As the Boston Massacre burned deeply in the hearts of the American Colonists at Lexington, so, too, the Waco massacre burned deeply in the hearts of the patriots in Nevada last Saturday (April 12–one week to the day from April 19).
Hundreds of patriotic Americans (most of whom were well-armed) looked down the gun barrels of the BLM and fearlessly defied the orders to stand down and physically took back Mr. Bundy’s cattle that had been illegally confiscated by the Feds. Fortunately, BLM agents acted more wisely than did the Crown’s troops at Lexington in 1775. I shudder to think what would be happening right now if they had not.
There has not been a day in American history like last Saturday since–well–since April 19, 1775.
And make no mistake about it: this is what the Second Amendment has always been about: the ability of the citizenry to defend itself against oppressive, overreaching government. Had we no Second Amendment for the last 200-plus years, had the people’s right to keep and bear arms not been engrained in the very heart and soul of America for the last 200-plus years, Mr. Bundy’s land and cattle would be the property of the federal government, and Mr. Bundy and his family would either be in jail or six feet under right now. In fact, without the Second Amendment, the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights would have been thoroughly expunged from this country many decades ago. The only thing standing in between your right to freely do anything and the heel of the tyrant’s boot over your throat is a watchful, determined, and resolute armed citizenry–known to America’s founders as the citizen militia. That’s what British troops encountered at Lexington Green; and that’s what BLM agents encountered at Bunkerville.
Not only did hundreds of armed citizens show up in Bunkerville, so did dozens of local and State officials. There were county commissioners, assemblymen, and State legislators there from several western states, including Nevada. Had BLM agents opened fire on the people assembled in front of them, they, no doubt, would have killed several elected public servants. I don’t think the federal government really wants its agents to murder State and local officials.
And I must hasten to add that among the elected public officials on the front line of that confrontation–along with the hundreds of everyday citizens assembled there–were women. And make no mistake about it: these ladies were there of their own volition; no one asked them to be there. And practically everyone there–men and women–had some sort of camera or recording device. Again, I don’t think the federal government wants its agents on videotape slaughtering ladies and even children. Yes, I know that is exactly what they did at Waco. In fact, most of the citizens killed at Waco were elderly men, women, and children. But there were no cameras present; no cell phones; and no elected officials. The federal government was able to completely cut off the Branch Davidians from the outside world so there would be no recorded testimony as to what happened. At Bunkerville, the combined presence of hundreds of armed militia, hundreds of ladies, dozens of elected officials, and cameras galore helped convince BLM to be civil.
We have turned a page. The rules of engagement have forever changed. And I think the federal government knows it.
Does this mean it’s over? Not on your life. The militia will be on site in Nevada for the foreseeable future. And there are examples of the federal government’s overreach taking place all over America–especially in the western states. As Thomas Jefferson noted, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Indeed.
I arrived in Bunkerville early Monday morning, the 14th. I participated in the press conference conducted by the Bundy family that afternoon. I met with the militia, several elected officials, citizens of Nevada, and the Bundy family. I was even honored to be invited to speak to the militia and their families and supporters at the militia command center. I conducted a prayer service for those folks and delivered a 20-minute Bible message to them. The local ABC affiliate also sent a reporter and cameraman with us; and they filmed the entire service. Here is the video of that service:
There is absolutely no question that there are nefarious backroom deals involving Senator Harry Reid that were in play at the BLM siege against the Bundy ranch. The people of Nevada should demand the truth about these deals and after the truth is put in the sunlight, run Harry Reid out of the State on a rail. Harry Reid is symbolic of everything that is wrong in Washington, D.C.
I caution folks to not believe everything you read about the Nevada situation in the media or on the Internet. There is a lot of exaggeration and misinformation floating around. That is a major problem for those of us in the freedom movement. For example, there is no indication at this point that BLM is planning a violent assault against the ranch. As of the time that I left the ranch, BLM agents had totally withdrawn. If the federal government launched a violent assault against the Bundys, it would escalate resistance a thousand-fold. They don’t want that to happen.
But this war against property and water rights in the west is becoming increasingly onerous. We desperately need a determined and concerted effort to demand that State legislatures and local governments pass ordinances and legislation removing federal control of State lands. These lands do not belong to the federal government; they belong to the States and to the People. If you truly want to do something to help preserve our future liberties, convince your local and State legislators to pass legislation to remove control of State land from the federal government.
We also desperately need legislation disarming federal bureaucracies. Agents of the federal government are not soldiers; and the American people are not the enemy. Except for a very few and specifically enumerated crimes, the Constitution declares that law enforcement is the venue and responsibility of the States and of the People. Federal agents have proven–and continue to prove–that they are not anywhere near trustworthy enough to be given a badge and a gun. As private citizens, they deserve the right to keep and bear arms along with the rest of us. But as agents of the federal government, they have no right to usurp the law enforcement authority of State and local officials.
And speaking of State and local officials, the governor of the State of Nevada and the sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, should be absolutely ashamed of themselves! What’s more: the people of Nevada should be ashamed of them–and vote them out of office, if not impeach them before their reelection–for their refusal to assist the citizens of their State during this time of crisis. All we need is for a governor and sheriff to interpose on behalf of the citizens of their State and county and all of this federal abuse of power would come to a screeching halt. Boy, do we need some constitutional governors and sheriffs!
We also need pastors to grow some man-stuff and start taking a stand in the pulpits as did the pastors of Colonial America. As I told the people at Bunkerville, if the pastors of America were doing their jobs on Sunday, all of this would never be taking place. How long will the Christians of America tolerate these spineless preachers?
Tomorrow, the 239th anniversary of Lexington and Concord, I will be speaking at a local Patriot’s Day rally honoring the brave Minutemen of 1775; I will also be honoring the brave patriots of 2014 who fought the Battle of Bunkerville: the shot not fired heard ’round the world.
P.S. This Sunday, I will also celebrate Resurrection Day in my pulpit at Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. To watch the message online, go to:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice (remember Alice in Wonderland), “whether you can make words mean different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “who is to be master – that is all.”
Perhaps the irrational situations that Alice encounters in wonderland, after having passed “through the looking glass” can give us some insight into the illegal, unconstitutional, immoral and, indeed, irrational things that the government is doing right now in Bunkerville, Nevada.
In case you haven’t heard about it, here is the basic synopsis:
Clive Bundy is a cattle rancher whose family has lived near Bunkerville for the last 140 years. The Bundy family’s cattle have always grazed on what had always been state-owned public land. In 1993, the Federal Government discovered that Bundy’s grazing area was also home to the endangered Desert Tortoise. As a result, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) swooped in and took control of the land. In order to dissuade farmers and ranchers from using the land and threatening the tortoise population, the BLM instituted a policy where ranchers would be forced to pay a grazing fee before using the land.
For Clive Bundy, this was an unacceptable affront to his livelihood. His family has lived off this land for over a century, long before the unconstitutional creation of the BLM, and the idea that he would now have to pay a tax to protect a turtle seemed to him to be absurd and, well…irrational.
So, Bundy refused to pay the tax. He allowed his cattle to graze on the land and didn’t pay the federal government. He figured “why should I”? It’s not their land.
The land is state-owned public land, yet the federal government demands a cut because of an endangered turtle. And after twenty years of expensive court battles, the Bureau of Land Management has finally swooped in and begun confiscating Bundy’s cattle at gunpoint because they claim he must pay the $1.1 Million that he owes in back “grazing fees” for using public land!
The federal government is seizing a rancher’s cattle because he didn’t pay a $1.1 Million “grazing fee” that was, ostensibly, set up to protect a turtle!
More and more we see government militarized agencies and bureaus using any pretended legislation, regulation, and technicality to come after individual citizens with the full weight of the federal government!
Now, do you really believe that this is about a turtle?
Is it about the government’s desperate need for 1.1 Million?
Or is it about something else?
Maybe it’s just like Humpty Dumpty told us.
Maybe, at the heart of this example of out of control, thuggish, tyrannical government, it’s the question of “who is to be master – that is all.”
Did you know that we have a remarkable number of militarized, non-law enforcement agencies in government?
Agencies like the Department of Education, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the IRS, and even the Bureau of Land Management have been arming themselves to the teeth for years.
The Obama administration wouldn’t even send in one soldier to protect our ambassador in Benghazi, but it has sent in over 200 agents, including snipers, to harass and intimidate a rancher in Nevada!
Supposedly, this was to protect a turtle. Humpty Dumpty, please call your office.
Every patriot knows what President Richard M. Nixon’s worst mistake was (hint: it wasn’t his coverup of the Watergate break-in), but few are aware of his finest moment, a situation this article will remedy. Before this can be done, a little background and vocabulary must be established but please bear with me; I assure you it will be painless and well-worth the effort!
Executive Discretion is the self-evident power that every executive possesses to choose either to act, or to not act, within the bounds of his mandate and authority. If no executive had discretion, there would be little purpose for his office to even exist. Executive Discretion is how a CEO can pursue one strategy versus another, without consulting the board of directors for approval of every step. It is what allows a police officer to legally and justly give a warning to a poor college student driving a junker, instead of writing a ticket every time. It is also what legally allowed President Obama to block all justice department participation in defending DOMA in the courts. He was incorrect in his conclusion that DOMA is unconstitutional but, having so decided, he was absolutely correct about his power to choose to not act, and to block his bureaucrat underlings from acting. The vehicle used by the President to promulgate his Executive Discretion is the Executive Order, each of which is legally binding on everyone who works under him in the executive branch, provided it does not contravene any Legislative or Constitutional bounds.
Impoundment is the act of an executive deciding to not spend all or part of a sum of money that has been appropriated to him. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson, many Presidents have exercised the Impounding Power. The reinforcing acquiescence of Congress for hundreds of years firmly ensconced Impoundment as a genuine executive power of the President of the United States. And how could it be otherwise? Impoundment is built into the very lexicon of the Constitution and legislative activity. When the U.S. Congress would like to waste more money, what do they do? They pass an “Appropriations” or “Spending Authorization” bill. A bill of this sort is a temporary grant of power to the President to act (or to not act) within the bounds legislated; it is NOT a gun to his head forcing him to act. With such a bill, Congress sends an opportunity to the President giving him specific AUTHORIZATION such that it is APPROPRIATE for him to spend a certain amount for specific things. It is then the President’s prerogative to work out the details and options, one of which obviously is to spend NOTHING AT ALL.
Historically, whenever Congress protested the President’s impoundments (usually due to the complaints of the designated recipient), the parties negotiated until a political settlement was reached. Obviously, impoundment is a very effective check on wasteful spending and it worked magnificently until the current rules and procedures for impoundment were created by the unconstitutional Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.). This was ostensibly passed to reform the congressional budget process and resolve disagreements between Congress and President Nixon concerning the power of the Executive Branch to impound funds appropriated by Congress. In reality it gutted the Impoundment Power to the point of uselessness.
What happened? It began with Nixon’s finest hour. The placid history of accepting or resolving Presidential Impoundments existed for so long because spending was, to some extent, not completely out of control and, to the extent that it was out of control, nobody was willing to do much about it. Nixon, to his credit, took a Trumanesque “Buck Stops Here” approach to the overspending of Congress and impounded much greater sums than the nation had ever seen, so much so that between 1969 and 1972 he single-handedly blocked approximately 20% of controllable expenditures! Even better, Nixon used impoundments to defund policy initiatives with which he disagreed, going so far as to terminate entire programs by blocking 100% of their appropriations! Whenever challenged, Nixon vigorously asserted that, as the President of the United States, he possessed the incontestable Constitutional Power to impound any funds appropriated by Congress for any reason he saw fit. He made frequent justifications such as, “The Constitutional right of the President of the United States to impound funds, and that is not to spend money, when the spending of money would mean either increasing prices or increasing taxes for all the people – that right is absolutely clear.” The country was on the verge of a breakthrough in budget restraint, spending rollbacks, and prosperity, but not without an enemy in the ranks.
Witnessing it’s greatest strength, the power over the purse, threatened so severely, Congress did what it does best, it began legislating against it. In 1974, in direct attack against Nixon’s refusal to release appropriated funds and his claim to unrestricted Impoundment Authority, Congress passed the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act establishing rules and procedures for Presidential Impoundment. The provisions of the act intended to curtail the President’s power over the budget process, which had been steadily growing throughout the twentieth century as a remedy to the overspending and misappropriations of an ever-more unrestrained Congress. It doesn’t so much matter the particulars of the legislation, what matters is that it was a blatantly unconstitutional power-grab by the Congress from the President and, had the President not been side-tracked by scandal, he almost certainly would have fought against it and won, having the Supreme Court vacate the obviously illegal legislation. The break-in scandal can only be seen as Nixon’s biggest mistake in the sense that this distraction allowed Congress to succeed in breaking the best tool our country has ever had to restrain spending.
Or did it? As was well summarized in Marbury vs. Madison, “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Just because Congress implies it’s legislation is Constitutional does not make it so! What we need now is to bring these obscured doctrines back to the attention of the public and the various executives at all levels of government. We need champions everywhere using these powers to prevent legislatures from overspending. Do not let your mayor pass the buck and build that road just because the legislature passed a bond issue! Do not let your governor expand welfare simply because the legislature appropriated the funds! Call him and convince him that the responsibility for ALL overspending is his in the end because he has the power TO NOT ACT. Educate everyone you can about Executive Discretion and Impoundment Powers.
In case you were wondering what was Nixon’s biggest mistake, it was either acquiescing to the unconstitutional Impoundment Control Act of 1974 or taking these United States completely off the gold and silver standards. It is hard to say which mistake has cost us the most, but both mistakes combined, and having gone thus-far uncorrected, have devastated the financial health and well-being of not just the people of These United States, but the entire world. Every patriot should do everything he can to work to undo these mistakes and part of that is for every executive office holder to begin to exercise his Constitutional Impoundment Powers at every opportunity, regardless of what any unconstitutional legislation may say about it. When I am elected to office, I will promote the neglected Powers of Impoundment and Executive Discretion at every opportunity to the glory of God and security of my constituents, so help me God.
Gregg Woodcock – Constitution Party Candidate for Texas House District 112
The doctrine of federalism, the bedrock of our Constitutional republic, holds that the states and the people retain the majority of rights and powers. Federalism, and much else, is rooted in the doctrine of the lower magistrate.
I think we would all agree that we live in tumultuous times that threaten our life, liberty, and property. Most of us suspect that our future and hope stands in jeopardy. In light of these concerns, it would be prudent to address the critical nature of the Lower Magistrate Doctrine.
Before I do, however, it is important to reveal why we have come to the point that the Lower Magistrate Doctrine is necessary in these uncertain days. Our Founding Fathers knew there were two enemies to America’s experiment with liberty. First, was licentiousness amongst the people, which would inevitably lead to the second threat, tyranny in civil government. Freedom, to them, was not the ability to do whatever we wanted to do, but to the power to do as we ought. Freedom was the power to do what was right.
John Adams, our second president, stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He went on to say, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” He warned, “The avarice of men would bust through the Constitution like a whale through a net.” To him and many others of his day, self-government was the key to liberty.
George Washington in his farewell address admonished, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” If we were honest, Washington’s warnings have most certainly come to pass.
Samuel Adams, Father of the Revolutionary War and Signer of the Declaration of Independence, declared, “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”
Jedediah Morse, Patriot and Father of American Geography stated, “To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”
Benjamin Franklin stated, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Proverbs 28:2 concurs, “Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; but by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.”
Robert Winthrop, Congressman in the 1800s, nails it, “All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they may have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.”
There is a direct connection between our spiritual and moral state and the litany of woe upon us. As the French Historian, De Tocqueville, stated, “America is great because America is good, if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” The march leading our free nation to slouch towards Sodom, Socialism, and Communism has been long and arduous. Obama is the culmination of our transformation. He has created an environment where everything good, decent, and wholesome about America is mocked, despised, and rejected, while everything evil with America is celebrated with demonic glee. Obama is the personification of evil that is savaging our nation. He is tied directly to abortion and the shedding of innocent blood, the homosexual agenda, Islam, and Communism. All four present a danger to our national survival.
This lays the foundation for the Lower Magistrate Doctrine.
In essence, the teaching of this doctrine declares that when a superior civil authority, such as our federal government, makes unjust/immoral decrees, the lesser authority, such as a Governor of a state or a Sheriff on a county level, has the right to refuse all unlawful orders. If pushed by the higher authority, the Lesser Magistrate has the duty to actively resist tyranny in order to protect the life, liberty, and property of those they swore an oath to serve.
THIS DOCTRINE IN HISTORY
Historically, this doctrine was practiced before the time of Christ. It was Christian men, however, that formulized it and embedded it in their political institutions throughout Western civilization.
Before I give examples in history, it is important to note that the Lower Magistrate Doctrine is rooted in the concept of interposition. Interposition is demonstrated when someone or some group positions themselves between an oppressor and their intended victim. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is the supreme example of interposition. He humbly and courageously stood between sin, Satan, and this illegitimate world system that is in rebellion against God’s loving rule and rescued us.
In the days of the Roman Empire, Caligula sent his diplomat Petronius to set up his image in the Temple of the Jews. This was a great offense of sacrilege and idolatry foisted upon the Jews. The Jews remonstrated and beseeched Governor Petronius to defy Caligula’s orders and spare them this grave offense, to the point they prostrated themselves on the ground and offered their necks. They would rather die than to see this happen to the Lord’s Temple.
Governor Petronius was so moved by their remonstrations, he bravely stood between the Emperor’s soldiers, the unjust decree, and the troubled Jews. He took a personal risk for the sake of justice. This is demanded by all Lower Magistrates, if or when the time presents itself.
In Scripture, there are many accounts of interposition. Pharaoh and the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1 would certainly qualify. Pharaoh ordered all male babies murdered by throwing them in the Nile. The Hebrew midwives refused to comply with his wicked order and spared their lives. Would to God, Governors would fear God and follow the example of the mid-wives to intervene and spare the preborn from the wicked decree of Roe vs. Wade. They could do it if they mustered the courage to protect their most vulnerable citizens amongst them from decriminalized murder. Some of them are willing to say no to the federal beast when it comes to gun control and Obamacare. Why not say no to the federal beast when it seeks to devour innocent babies in the womb through the injustice of abortion?
In 1 Samuel 14, King Saul made a foolish decree during a fierce battle. He stated, “Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance upon my enemies.” One huge problem, his son Jonathan did not hear the command and ate honey. Saul was going to have his own son put to death. The people intervened on his behalf and declared, “Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Israel? Certainly not! As the Lord lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die.”
In the field of Runnymede in England, Christian nobles, who operated as Lower Magistrates, took King John’s tyranny to task in the year of our Lord 1215. This gave birth to the Magna Carta. This document came from a Christian culture. It played a huge role that led to the rule of constitutional law in Western civilizations. It helped to eventually correct the false notion of “the divine right of kings” doctrine. Rev. Samuel Rutherford from Scotland sealed it by his tremendous work called Lex Rex. The important principle Rutherford established was the king is not law, the law is king. We will not be ruled by the whims of men, but ruled by the law of God. The king is not above the law, he is subject to the law and he is ordained to enforce it when violated.
2 Corinthians 3:17 states, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” This is not only true internally, but eventually externally as well. Every nation where Christianity has been established and flourished, unprecedented liberty has followed in its wake. Why is this? Because Christians, whose thinking is informed by the Bible, know the true nature of God and man. Man is sinful and power corrupts. Therefore, there must be checks and balances to avoid the natural tendency towards tyranny to secure our liberties.
For the last several decades, America has forgotten these Biblical and historical realities. In our great folly, we have given God our official eviction notice, “Get out of our schools, get out of our government, and get out of the public life of our nation.” Do you think it is a coincidence that we are resorting back to tyranny where we are once again ruled by the whims of men rather than by the rule of law?
The problem is America still desires the fruits of Christianity, its protection, prosperity, and blessings, we just don’t want the root, which is Christ our Lord. Only One Nation under God can balance the tension between authority and liberty. Only One Nation under God can secure social order on one hand and maximum individual freedom on the other hand. No other faith, worldview, and religion can accomplish this in our poor-fallen world. We have forgotten these truths to our own demise.
Next stop is the Magdeburg Confession. This is where the doctrine was formulized by Christian pastors. It started when Martin Luther pounded his 95 theses on the door at the Wittenberg church in the year 1517. He was condemned in the Edict of Worms. Facing possible death as a heretic, a Lower Magistrate, Prince Frederick of Saxony, rescued him and provided sanctuary. This act helped to lead to the development of the Lower Magistrate Doctrine as detailed in the Magdeburg Confession.
After Luther died, King Charles imposed the Augsburg Interim. He used military force to try and smash the Reformation. He was seeking to coerce German Christians to readopt Roman Catholic practices. While many capitulated, one city stood in defiance. That city was Magdeburg. It was here Lower Magistrates who were initially being used to attack the city had a change of heart. They eventually turned to protect the people from religious and civil tyranny. They defended the people and upheld God’s Law, Word, and Gospel. As tensions of the siege against their city mounted, the pastors wrote a document that would become known as the Magdeburg Confession. It was there that the pastors articulated the doctrine and took their stand in fealty to Christ.
To learn more about this history, doctrine and confession, may I suggest two books. Both are written or translated by Pastor Matt Trewhella. They are called The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate and the Magdeburg Confession. These works need to spread far and wide, if our nation has any hope of recovery.
Before the American Revolution, it was this doctrine that prepared the colonies to sever ties with England to become a free and independent nation. The Continental Congress gathered in prayer and assigned Thomas Jefferson to craft our Declaration of Independence. It was then and there they looked to the Laws of nature and nature’s God as justification to form our own nation. In this document, they laid out 27 grievances where the higher authority threatened their lives, liberty, and property. They acknowledged Almighty God four times throughout the Declaration. They acknowledge Him as Lawgiver, Creator, Supreme Judge, and His divine providence as they pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. In this case, these Lower Magistrates looked to the higher Law that England was violating to justify resisting the higher magistrate in freedom’s cause.
There have been many recent examples of the Lower Magistrate Doctrine being implemented in America today. Governors and Sheriffs are simply saying “no” to federal tyranny, unjust laws, and wicked decrees. They are one of the last remaining defense mechanisms to protect our life, liberty, and property. If they fail to do their duty, it then falls to the last defensive element, “We the People.” Typically, when it gets to that point, it turns bloody. Thus, we either have a Gentle Revolution led by the Lower Magistrates or I cringe to think of what awaits our future.
This leads to my last admonishment, which is what we can do as citizens? First, I highly recommend you pass on this message to others. Second, we must remonstrate like those who have gone before us. This teaching must spread far and wide. Make sure your family, friends, churches, and Tea Party groups have the books I suggested. We must be schooled in these principles and pass them on to Lower Magistrates, such as Governors, State Legislators, Sheriff’s Departments, and local police officers. We need to encourage them to take a righteous stand against tyranny and assure them that we will stand with them in the defense of our lives, liberty, and property in Jesus’ name!
With the memory of Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, still very vivid in the collective memory of the American people comes another example of a federal government run amuck. A rancher in Nevada is watching the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seize his cattle and arrest his son for simply taking pictures of the events. BLM has also placed several federal snipers around his home with their high-powered rifles trained on his family. The last report I read said more than 200 federal agents are now surrounding the homestead complete with attack helicopters. All that seems to be missing are tanks.
Did the family do anything violent? No. Did they do anything immoral? No. Did they even do anything wrong? No. Did they do anything illegal? Well, that’s where the story gets interesting.
Cliven Bundy’s family has been grazing cattle on their ranchland since the 1880s. But in 1993, the federal government reclassified 600,000 acres of land, including the land that the Bundy cattle have been grazing on forever. The pretext used by the feds for seizing the land was to protect some “endangered” tortoise. However, the feds would allow Cliven to continue to graze his cattle on the land–if he pays the federal government for the privilege. The rancher refuses to pay.
Here is one report of the story:
“Federal snipers with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) trained guns on members of a family yesterday after they dared to stop and take video footage of cattle outside the bounds of a designated ‘First Amendment Area,’ before arresting one of the men for non-compliance.
“The cattle were being rounded up by BLM officers as part of a crackdown on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who has refused to pay ‘grazing fees’ demanded by the feds as a result of a re-classification of 600,000 acres of federal land in northeastern Clark County which Bundy claims has been in his family for generations.”
The report continues: “The feds have now started rounding up Bundy’s cattle in the name of protecting a supposedly endangered species, the desert tortoise, forbidding Bundy from interfering or even entering the vast area. The case is quickly turning into another iconic battle between big government and a besieged family.
“Fears that the confrontation may turn violent and concerns that Bundy is drawing increased support from liberty activists and the local community prompted the feds to tape off two ridiculous ‘First Amendment Areas,’ outside of which free speech in support of Bundy is banned. A sign placed inside the area reads ‘Welcome to Amerika–Wake Up’ alongside a hammer and sickle logo.
“When Bundy’s family members violated that rule yesterday in an attempt to peacefully document the cattle roundup, they were met with a barrage of loudspeaker warnings and four BLM snipers with their guns trained on the dissenters.”
The report goes on saying, “None of the family members were armed, but as soon as Dave Bundy began filming the cattle in the distance, 11 BLM vehicles each with two agents arrived and surrounded him.
“‘They also had four snipers on the hill above us all trained on us. We were doing nothing besides filming the area,’ said Ryan Bundy.
“The family were told to leave the area via loudspeaker because they had violated the crudely established ‘First Amendment Area’.
“‘They said that we had no first amendment rights except for up by the bridge where they had established an area for that,’ Bundy said.
“When Dave Bundy didn’t immediately heed the warning and return to his vehicle, a dog was set on him and he was subsequently arrested.”
See the report here:
Federal Snipers Train Guns On Family For Filming Cattle
BLM hired independent contractor-cowboys from Utah to confiscate Mr. Bundy’s cows. Nevada State troopers and local law enforcement personnel have also either assisted, or refused to interfere with, BLM’s actions. And, as one would expect, a federal court has also backed BLM’s activities. Some estimate the cost to the taxpayers for BLM’s siege will amount to more than $3 million.
But as news of the siege spreads, people all over the country are taking note. Hundreds of people have come from all around Clark County, Nevada, in support of the Bundy family. Personally, I hope tens of thousands of people show up.
Before the feds began laying claim to privately-owned ranch property back in the early 1990s, there were dozens of ranchers in the area. Mr. Bundy is the last one left. All of the others have been forced off of their land by the excessive restrictions and rules from BLM. And it looks like the feds intend to do whatever they feel is necessary to remove the Bundy family from their land, as well.
An out-of-control federal government was the primary catalyst for the “conservative revolution” in 1994 when the GOP historically took control of both houses of Congress. After egregious betrayals by then House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 1996, a conservative revival continued from 2000-2006 when G. W. Bush and the Republican Party controlled the entire federal government. Disgustingly, neither Bush nor the Republican leaders in Congress did one darn thing to undo the power grab of the federal government that took place under Bill Clinton. If anything, the GOP-led government in Washington, D.C., further expanded federal power across the board.
During those turbulent years of the 1990s, the late-great Congresswoman, Helen Chenoweth, in an interview with Michael Reagan, spoke these words:
“BLM is taking onto themselves law enforcement that is normally saved for the State, law enforcement over motor vehicles. They’ve written into the regulation without authority from Congress, the ability to stop vehicles or to search people, to search a place or a vehicle without warrant or process; to be able to seize without warrant or process any piece of evidence and to test people for potential DUI (driving under the influence). They have redefined a parachute into a mechanized piece of equipment, so if you parachute into any of their areas you can be fined $20,000 or more.
“It is amazing. Our founders, when establishing our system of government wanted to make sure that law enforcement was closest to the people. You and I have talked before about how important it is to make sure that you elect the very best local county sheriff because he should be regarded as the highest law enforcement officer in the area because he is accountable to the voters. They really worried about a national, a federal, law enforcement. To federalize our law enforcement is to create a situation that the pilgrims were trying to escape.
“We are moving quickly to that. The Bureau of land Management is taking onto themselves law enforcement authority that Congress never gave them. In the Federal Land Policy and Management Act that was passed in the early 1970’s it made it clear that Congress said that, ‘first, you must go to your local county sheriff for law enforcement activities.’”
See Reagan’s interview with Helen here:
Interview with Rep. Helen Chenoweth
Helen knew what she was talking about. The BLM controls over 60% of all of the land within her home State of Idaho. The BLM controls over 70% of all land in Utah; and in the State of Nevada, the BLM controls over 76% of all land.
Chenoweth was as much of a prophetess as she was an observer when she added, “Whatever [land] we have left. Right now in Idaho and I am sure all over the West, they are moving people and human activities off the land.”
Helen was also correct when she noted that the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), which was adopted in 1976, stipulated that BLM had to go through the county sheriff for any action that required law enforcement. Nearly four decades later, the BLM (and virtually every other federal agency) totally and thoroughly ignores this requirement.
For those of us who still labor under the conviction that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it must be observed that the only crimes assigned to the federal government in the Constitution for law enforcement purposes are Treason, Piracy, Counterfeiting, and International law violations. That’s it! All other law enforcement matters are the purview of the individual states, according to the Tenth Amendment.
Unfortunately, for most of the Twentieth Century, and especially since the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, the federal government has demanded more and more power and authority that it does not constitutionally possess. And, for the most part, the individual states have sheepishly done little to resist. All of which has led to the events that are now playing out in Clark County, Nevada.
Here are some of my questions: why are the local and State law enforcement officers in Nevada assisting the BLM with this egregious act of tyranny? Beyond that, why are they not standing up to the BLM and telling them to go to Hades? Do the lives and liberties and property of the citizens of their State mean nothing? And, another thing: who are these independent contractor-cowboys in Utah who are willing to help trample a fellow citizen’s constitutional rights? How much does 30 pieces of silver equate to today? And what about those BLM snipers? Who are these men who would willingly turn their guns against innocent, hard-working Americans for the sake of a paycheck? I guess the only reason that the members of Mr. Bundy’s family are not six-feet under already is simply because those “brave” and “patriotic” snipers were not given the order to shoot. They sure had the family members in the crosshairs of their scopes; all that was missing was the pull of the index finger. Wow! That’s comforting. I wonder how many of us are in the crosshairs of federal snipers and don’t even know it?
I hope the people of the western states will arise in support of the Bundy family in such numbers that the BLM thugs will be forced to withdraw and leave this dear family alone. If we are not careful, the feds could do to this family what they did to those poor Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, and to the Weaver family near Ruby Ridge, Idaho. This should be a wake-up call for all of us out west to let our elected officials know under no uncertain terms that we will not tolerate such conduct in our backyards.
The citizens of Connecticut are resisting their own tyrannical State as it attempts to deny them their Second Amendment rights; now it’s time for the citizens of the western states to resist the tyrannical Bureau of Land Management (and any other federal agency) that attempts to usurp the Tenth Amendment and private property rights of their fellow citizens.
I realize that there are several legislative and judicial efforts underway around the country to push back against this runaway federal government. All of this takes time. In the meantime, a family in Clark County, Nevada, is fighting RIGHT NOW for all of us. This dear man is putting everything he owns, as well as the very safety of his family, on the line. To coin a maxim from the German pastor, Martin Neimoller: “First, they came for the Randy Weaver family in Idaho, and I did not speak out; next, they came for the Branch Davidians in Texas, and I did not speak out; then, they came for the Cliven Bundy family in Nevada, and I did not speak out; then, they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.”
But, God willing, there are still millions of us left who will speak out. Will you be one of them? Here is the contact information for the Nevada BLM office (taken from its website):
BLM Nevada State Office 1340 Financial Blvd. Reno, NV 89502 Front desk: 775-861-6601 Email: [email protected]
State Director: Amy Lueders Associate State Director: Marci Todd Phone: 775-861-6590