The Los Angeles Times reported last week that “The U.S. Capitol Police on Tuesday announced that the agency was opening regional field offices in California and Florida to investigate threats to members of Congress in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.”
Ostensibly, the reason is that “threats against members of Congress have increased in recent years. As of Tuesday, total threats so far in 2021 were double what they were at this point a year ago.”
This seizure of States’ Rights by the Federal Government is shocking to those who are unaware of what is happening in our nation; it has been expected for those who have followed the trend of Marxism/Socialism that has enveloped our nation. This amounts to a Democratic SS Force—a National Police Force.
John Kachelman, Jr. has pointed outthat “according to announcements, [Nancy] Pelosi will assign the Capitol Police to various ‘hot spots’ throughout our nation” for the “purpose of confronting those deemed ‘radical extremists.’ Informed readers know this is a term identifying those who believe in the Constitution and not the extremists residing in Washington, DC” who flagrantly abuse the “rule of law.”
According to the Marxist playbook, followed by Hitler and other socialists, this is just the beginning. The foot in the door for totalitarian control.
John Adams, the second president of the United States and signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself, in an 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson, reflected upon the entire course of American history.
The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were … the general principles of Christianity … I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that whose principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature.
America has been great because America was founded upon the bedrock principles of Christianity. Other founders could be quoted to the same effect. Those principles include the sacredness of human life, of personal liberty, and personal property.
It was precisely because of these pillars of freedom that America created a limited federal government—the Constitutional system. It is an incontrovertible fact that this system was specifically designed to allow power to flow from the bottom up; from the people to their representatives of government. Weaker at the top; stronger at the bottom. It is also a fact that every other national government is designed from the top down wherein bureaucrats control nearly every aspect of citizen’s lives.
One of the hallmarks of this bottom up Constitutional system is the local police department. Law enforcement in local areas is not to be controlled by politicians at the top.
Art Thompson, the CEO of the John Birch Society, says it best:
Actually, the United States is one of the last countries, if not the last, to have widespread local police power instead of types of national systems that exist elsewhere. No country can become totalitarian as long as the local citizens have direct responsibility for and control of local police departments. It is one of our essential checks and balances.
There are those who want to change our American system into something resembling the rest of the world. In the process, they want to remove responsibility from the citizens and the ability of the local police departments to answer to the local citizens through their city government, becoming nothing more than units in a national police force.
Through the years various conservatives have warned of the desire and move of the leftist in America to “nationalize” our police force, or at least assert “national” control over local law enforcement. By means of the liberal media police have been demonized ever since the 1960’s where they were called upon to quash communist-funded hippie rebellions. Unfortunately, those communists are now in power, represented a few years ago by Barack Obama.
Obama sought to create a national police force, utilizing FEMA corps of the DHS. Millions of rounds of ammunition were bought by the federal government.More ominous still was Obama’s 2008 statement while running for office. “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve he national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
Obama’s totalitarian scheme is now becoming reality in the Biden Administration.
In response to an article posted several years ago, one wrote me with this sour note: I am sick of this god stuff! The original piece is entitled “Where does the Constitution mention God?” The letter-writer included several alleged quotes from Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Washington that supposedly put the kibosh on the idea that the founding fathers had any recourse to God or biblical principles when crafting our nation. But, as is common with atheists or those “sickened with god stuff,” their energy would be better served to learn the real principles of our Constitution as well as the Bible.
Modernists love to chide that the founders could not have been genuine Christians in light of some of their own statements which seem to decry Christianity itself, or in their toleration and practice of slavery. But the entire issue does not turn on whether or not any or all of them were actually faithful Christians. Rather, did the framers of our nation rely upon Christian concepts in forging our nation? Personal weaknesses or mistakes of the founders only show that all men have sinned.
Another salient but frequently avoided fact is that the founding generation of Americans warned continually of the errors of the Roman Catholic Church, from which their own fathers had fled to find freedom on the shores of the New World.
Thus, many statements which Thomas Jefferson or other founders made–for example, decrying religious bondage– had more often to do with Catholicism than New Testament Christianity. That they were not precise in their delineations is not to be taken to say that they feared pure Christianity.
For example, read what Thomas Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Rush in April of 1803. Jefferson refers to himself as “a Christian” in distinction to the “corruptions of Christianity.” “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.”
Jefferson many times referred to religious doctrines that did not originate in the Bible, but in the chair of Rome.
It is also interesting that the booklet which Jefferson put together of Jesus’ teachings he himself advertised as proof that he was a “real Christian” and that those who referred to him as an “infidel” were wholly in error and motivated by doctrines which Jesus Christ Himself did not inspire. The following is from Jefferson’s letter to Charles Thomson:
“I too have made a wee little book, from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus. It is a paradigm of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen. It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel, and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what it’s Author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature.”
To modern unbelievers who find offense in Christianity, we quote the words of Christ, “go learn what this means.” That is, instead of scouring the writings of the founders to discover a godless phrase or two, let them teach you the significance of Christianity and its beneficent influence on our nation.
America was founded as a Christian Nation. This is not “Christian Nationalism” as the modern attack mischaracterizes. It refers to the fact that the principles of Christianity are those which undergirded our nation. John Adams wrote, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were … the general principles of Christianity … I will avow that I then believed, and now believe that these general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
Patrick Henry was even more forthright. “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, people of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom to worship here.”
Benjamin Morris, a second-generation American, having thoroughly surveyed the founding generation for these same ideals, summarized it this way. “Christianity is the principle and all-pervading element, the deepest and most solid foundation, of all our civil institutions. It is the religion of the people—the national religion; but we have neither an established church nor an established religion.” Some of the founders even referred to America as a “Christian Republic” because they considered our form of government to be an outgrowth of Christianity and freedom.
It would be well for modern professorships and their blind followers to actually study what the founders had in mind on this topic rather than being so jaundiced against Christianity and the Bible. Perhaps that would keep them from “being sick.”
Psalm 58 is David’s passionate prayer about corrupt judges (political leaders) who devastate and destroy the righteous by unjust public laws and regulations. The first verse reads, “Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?”The question implies a “no” answer, just as v. 2 states, “No in your hearts you devise wrongs … your hands deal out violence on the earth.”
Here, the Hebrew Bible refers to civic leaders and judges as “gods,” just as does Psalm 82:6. What about this reference to political or civic rulers as “gods?”
In Psalm 82:6, Jesus makes clear that these judges are so called because “to them the Word of God came.” That is, they were inspired of God. The explanation here, however, “lies in the conception of such power as bestowed by God, and in some sense a delegation of His attribute …” This is to say that leaders, popularly elected by a democratic process or not, are invested with such authority as to enable them to be entrusted with God’s blessings of my liberty. To oversee that my freedom is protected and guarded in the civic sphere.
This is why Thomas Jefferson referred to the official obligations of political leaders as guarding “the sacred deposit” entrusted to them. What is the “sacred deposit?” Nothing less than the “rights and liberties of their fellow citizens.” For this same reason John Adams referred to politics as a “divine science.”
Cicero was an ancient Roman writer before Christ whom our Founding Fathers loved to quote. Remarkably, Cicero was able to see this same principle clearly enough in spite of his pagan environment. Regarding the function of civic rulers Cicero observed: “For there is really no other occupation in which human virtue approaches more closely the function of the gods than that of founding new States or preserving those already in existence.”
Old Testament scholar John Goldingay summarizes this well. “When the New Testament talks about these dynamics, it sometimes refers to powers and authorities … in a way that might suggest that there is something supernatural about them.”.
In sum, elected leaders in American society are actually invested with authority by the people that empower them to operate in positions which, in some ways, make them spokesmen of God. Hence, the Bible’s reference to them as “gods.”
Does This Reference Shield Leaders from Criticism?
Some suppose that, because the New Testament commands “honor the king” (1 Pet. 2:17), that critical review of a political leader or his or her policies, is off-limits to the Christian. Nothing could be further from the truth.
David was struck with deep sorrow regarding the leadership of Israel at the time of composing this Psalm. His prayer to God (Psalm 58) recognizes the reality that the forces of government were anything but honorable. Instead, their decisions were not founded upon any law, nor supported by any principle of justice! Because of this, his language is sharp, strong and even harsh.
Not only did these leaders not “exercise authority uprightly” (v. 1), but “with their mind” they “devise acts of wrongdoing in the country.”
Where leadership of a nation lacks sound principles of honor and personal integrity, the people suffer. “ … their rulers do not rule in a way that gives priority to integrity an concern for the people.”Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
“With their hearts they devise wrongs” and with their “hands” they “deal out violence” (v. 2). There is no justice in their policies. “Their poison,” or speech proceeding from their mouths, is “like the venom from a snake; like a “cobra that has stopped its ears” (v. 4). In the ancient world there were persons that charmed, lulled into inactivity, serpents, so as to prevent them from biting.
The singer of Israel then prays (v. 6-8) that God would “smash the teeth in their mouth and break the fangs of the lions.” Not a pretty picture of the wicked character of political leaders. They are like “lions,” tearing apart their prey (the people) by their unrighteous policies. In the position of “gods,” yet acting like hungry lions (see also Isa. 5:29).
It is reflecting upon these types of Psalms that our Founding Fathers insisted that, if we wish to enjoy God’s temporal blessings on the earth, leaders need to exhibit personal virtue and morality. But this is exactly what we do not have. Instead, like David’s lament, we have an American government filled with wicked people that “devise wrongs”, “deal out violence” by their policies, “speak lies,” and spew out “venom like that of a serpent,” and shreds apart the country “like lions.”
Consider two broad facts that demonstrate this. These two facts are the unjust, immoral and unconstitutional establishment of a Welfare State, while at the same time opening the Border to allow invasion of our nation.
The initial sin is the diabolical Welfare State by which the fruits of one’s labor becomes stolen property by ruling forces so they may redistribute to the poorer. In this bribery fashion followers of the Democrat Socialist Party pretend to be assisting the poor! Non-thinkers suppose Joe Biden is actually aiding people.
The second sin is the wicked policy of Open Borders which invites the entire world to be supported by the American taxpayer via this Welfare State. These two political legacies, working in tandem, will end America as we have known it.
It is ironic that powerful people in office, such as the Joe Biden’s, are compared by inspired David to deadly poisonous snakes that refuse to listen to any reasonable voice that tries to stop them from injecting their venom into the populace.
One other note needs be made here. It is the solid link between:
Character and Conduct
This is an important feature in human composition that cannot be overlooked.
Steven J. Lawsonnotes that:
An inseparable connection exists between a person’s character and his conduct. The former is the source of the latter. Some people claim that a leader’s private life does not matter, that we should be concerned only about his public performance. But what a leader is internally will always show up externally. This is the focus of Psalm 58.
The key lesson to remember about the Psalm, however, is this. David gives a scathing indictment of unjust rulers. Their hands meted out violence and injustice. Their words were as “venom” and they spoke like “snake charmers” (58:5). But David, nor any inspired spokesman, called upon men to take matters into their own hands. Instead, leave vengeance to the Lord. Recognize and call out the evil—but let the Lord settle the accounts.
Robert Hayne of South Carolina was the first man to put forth conspicuously the doctrine of Nullification, by which is meant the right of a State to arrest the operation of a law of Congress, provided the State in convention should decide that the law was unconstitutional. The year was 1830. Hayne delivered his speech in the U.S. Senate on January 21.
At issue was the Tariff of 1828, popularly known in the South as “The Tariff of Abominations.” South Carolinians hated it, and not without cause. It strongly favored the northern states while causing the southern states to carry the lion’s share of taxes on imported goods. At the same time, the tariffforced the South to go into debt to New England.It was largely believed that “North had declared economic war on the South.”
Daniel Webster was Senator from the state of Massachusetts. He was disturbed that Hayne, in his objections to the tariff, had also asserted a states’ right to secede. Northern states looked to Webster to give reply to Hayne, which he did the following day, in what has come to be known as The Second Reply to Robert Hayne of South Carolina.
Webster is championed as providing an unanswerable argument to Nullification. It is widely believed, even today, that Webster “dismantled” the South Carolinian’s argument, “point by point.” Webster’s reply may have been over 150 years ago, but his rebuttal needs to be examined.
Before reviewing Webster, it is to be noted that the Senator from Massachusetts had earlier taken the position that what the Constitution did not specifically forbid, Congress may do. His argumentation was that the Constitution was a “sketch, an outline, not a detailed rendering.” “The true view of the subject is that if it be a fit instrument to an authorized purpose, it may be used, not being specifically prohibited.” Consider now Webster’s disputation against Robert Hayne on the floor of Congress.
Natural Rights or Constitutional Rights?
Webster’s first response was to confess that a people had a natural right to revolution, to be openly disobedient and even to throw-off the yoke of a government, such as had occurred in our founding period. “Webster granted that the people were not bound to obey unconstitutional laws, and that they might disobey them without overturning the government.”
However, Webster distinguished between a natural right and a constitutional right. A natural right he granted, but believed the doctrine of Nullification belonged in the category of a constitutional right, and since the Constitution itself did not grant the right of nullification, South Carolina could not rightly directly interfere with a federal law.
Webster’s objections are shallow and his distinction is arbitrary.
First, Webster had earlier argued that what the Constitution did not specifically forbid, Congress may do. This is now at cross-purposes to his stand against nullification. Hayne had pressed for a “constitutional right of resistance” by the states. But Webster now insists that Nullification is illegal since it is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a legal course of action. Gone therefore is his principled stand that unless a Congressional action was specifically forbidden the states or the people may do.
Second, to argue that the “people are not bound to obey unconstitutional laws” assumes that the people have a natural right to interpret the Constitution for themselves outside the “official interpretation” of the Federal Government. This is the true nature of the case, as “the people” agreed to the Constitution, ratifying it in the states, several years prior to the establishment of the Supreme Court, the supposed final arbiter of legitimate Constitutional interpretation.
As stated earlier by President John Adams: “You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.”
Third, most importantly, a states’ right to Nullify, or Disobey a law that it believed was unconstitutional need not be grounded in the text of the Constitution itself. There is a natural right before God to manage our own government. This was the ground of the Declaration of Independence. Nullification is what the Founders practiced regarding England.
It is arbitrary to place a states’ right of self-government in the category “constitutional or not” as opposed to natural rights before God—as if all of our rights must be listed in the plain text of the Constitution. To this the founders would never agree. In fact, they specifically forbade that concept in the 9th Amendment. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Simply, the instrument of the Constitution merely granted certain specified rights owned by the people to the federal government. Webster’s position against Hayne, at least in this case, assumes that the role is reversed, that the people have whatsoever the government decides.
The Constitution a Revocable Contract?
Related to the above is the basic issue is whether or not the Constitution is a contract to which both parties, states and the federal government, agree. And at the heart of this is the issue of just who is the interpreter of the Constitution?
When, during the War of 1812, New England was convinced that the federal government was not serving their interest, Webster and others characterized “the Constitution as a revocable compact” and “furnished the philosophical basis for a New England declaration of independence.”
Now, however, in 1830, when New England profited heavily from the Tariff of 1828, to the South’s detriment, Webster reversed himself. When Robert Hayne argued that the “true defenders” of the Union were “those who would confine the federal government strictly within the limits prescribed by the Constitution, who would preserve to the states and the people all powers not expressly delegated …”, Webster disagreed. If Webster is correct here, the field is wide open. America is exactly where it is today by the logic of Webster’s reasoning.
“The great question is,” per Webster, “whose prerogative is it to decide on the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of the laws?” This is the crux of the entire discussion. Webster answers that it lay with the federal government alone, in particular the federal judiciary. In response, consider:
First, Webster is in the field of philosophy, since the Constitution itself, by its language alone, does not specifically address the “interpreting” the Constitution, at least as mandating law for the entire country. It is noteworthy also that neither Jefferson nor Madison agreed with Webster at this point. The ‘Principles of ‘98’, which they authored, pointedly took issue with his assertion. And it is more than highly doubtful that any of the Founding generation would agree that the federal judiciary alone could decide laws for the entire nation.
Second, the federal constitution was founded as a contract, a compact between the States and the federal government. To ignore this is to ignore the entire fabric of the Constitution. When the Pilgrims escaped to American shores they were escaping a top-down control of the Roman Church in the Old World. Though ignored by modern America, this is the taproot of our Constitution.
Our Founders believed that their associations in religion were voluntary, which lay at the base of their political associations. This type of preaching gave rise to the words of the Mayflower Compact. “We solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic …” The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut of 1639 reads exactly the same. These were antecedents to our Federal Constitution.
These concepts gave rise to the fundamental law of our nation, The Declaration of Independence, which asserts that “the consent of the governed” is for rule to be legitimate. This principle Webster, as well as myriads of moderns, freely cast aside by the assertion that the federal government alone may decide what is constitutional. Not much consenting in that.
As noted above, Webster himself agreed with the principle of Nullification in matters of “palpable” departures and that it is true that “the people are not bound to obey unconstitutional laws.” But if this be the case then the ability to “interpret” the Constitution does not lie within the province of the federal judiciary alone. Webster did not see his inconsistency.
Third, most ominously, if Webster is correct, then once again the field is boundless for Congress to make whatever laws it desires. As long as an activist Supreme Court agrees, these legislations become law and there is absolutely no recourse, per Webster’s argument, for the citizens that must chafe beneath the burden of these laws.
No matter how wicked or onerous, whether it enact socialism or communism, infanticide by law or homosexual unions, a one-child policy as in China, the socialist redistribution of wealth, an open border or nationalized health care carried on the backs of the middle-class—citizens are legally bound to bear that yoke.
This is where the logic of Webster leads.
Webster finished by asserting that if a State has the right to nullify federal laws, then the entire Union is a “rope of sand” and we are “thrown back again … upon the old Confederation.” The people had, Webster reminded, “rejected the Confederation by ratifying the Constitution, whose central point was to prevent the states from vetoing measures enacted for the common national good.”
He added that people ought to repudiate Hayne’s principle of “Liberty first and Union afterwards.”
Let us here agree with Webster on confederation. If states have the right to nullify laws, perhaps we are indeed “thrown back” onto the ‘old confederation’ which the people “rejected by ratifying the Constitution.”
Must Webster’s principle of Union first, and Liberty afterward always be maintained? Does this ring true to the Founders’ vision? As Webster announced it, it must. But if so, we “are thrown back” onto eventual subservience and despotism. How far must we uphold “Union” to the detriment of our “Liberty?”
James Madison asserted, almost as if he was prophesying of modern America, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, …may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
We have certainly crossed to the other side of the road in America where tyranny has become commonplace. Webster would certainly have agreed, at this point, that his principle of Union first, and Liberty afterward, is no longer valid. But if not valid now, neither was it then. We should not be left to the Webster’s of the world to tell us just when we should cherish our liberties more than the Union.
Fox & Friends reported Monday that an Ohio business owner “is receiving threats for cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the looting of her cupcake store last month.” “Kelly Kandah, the owner of Colossal Cupcakes in Cleveland, which was destroyed by looters, said some of those threats include people telling her that when her store is rebuilt, ‘it’s going to happen again.’”
Ms. Kandah said that some of the “complaints” of rioters were due to the fact that her cooperation with the FBI is “upsetting people” because she would involve the police over something such as property.”
The family-owned business, which is Ms. Kandah’s investment of her own private capital, is afraid to re-open after repairs because her plea to law enforcement for protection is seen by the looters as “racist” for “not supporting ‘black lives.’”
Kelly Kandah’s story is only one example of literally hundreds and thousands of private business owners who have lost, and are in the process of losing their own private property to the forces of evil. Violence is sweeping the country in the aftermath of the George Floyd death leaving cities such as Minneapolis looking like the streets of Baghdad.
Socialism Cancels Property Rights
Much of the current hedonistic lawlessness, inclusive of the disrespect of private property, is due to the infusion of socialistic “values” in our people. The doctrine of socialism disdains the very concept of “private property.” Private property is itself considered to be evil, according to Spargo & Arner (Elements of Socialism).
Not only is private property considered to be evil, but is the very cause and root of all societal problems. “Dishonesty” is supposedly caused by “private property” (p. 23); property is that which “divides mankind into classes” (p. 206), and therefore, all property must be leveled.
A malicious view of these socialists is found in their comment regarding “Negroes” and private property. “The ‘thieving propensities’ of the Southern negro do not come from a criminal nature, but from the failure of a simple barbarous people fully to appreciate the conception of private property” (p. 71).
Since private property is seen as a development of evolutionary changes through centuries, and people are as well, Spargo & Arno are suggesting that blacks have not evolved to the point where they have appreciated the developments of civilization.
It is ironic that the current slew of Marxists and socialists in our universities have maligned Christianity with a backward view of blacks and private property—when in point of fact, it is SOCIALISM itself which teaches it.
Like Spargo & Arno of yesteryear, the current Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio, himself a Marxist, has decried the very concept of private property in a 2017 interview, as reported by USA Today (9-13-17). Private property is a roadblock to economic progress, per de Blasio.
The mobs, looters, and violence mongers stalking our city streets agree with him. Private property is for destruction. A godless worldview.
The founders of America correctly recognized that all of private property is an extension of one’s life, energy, and ingenuity (see W. Cleon Skousen, The Five-Thousand Year Leap, 171). Therefore, “to destroy or confiscate such property is, in reality, an attack on the essence of life itself.”
“The person who has worked to cultivate a farm, obtained food by hunting, carved a beautiful statue, or secured a wage by his labor, has projected his very being—the very essence of his life—into that labor.”
Property rights—or more correctly, the right to property, is in reality an extension of personal liberty. Justice George Sutherland of the U.S. Supreme Court once stated, “… the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his LIFE, the right to his LIBERTY, the right to his PROPERTY.”
He went on to note that “the three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worthy living. To give him his liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”
Property rights is an essential ingredient to liberty and freedom. John Adams saw it clearly. “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secure or liberty cannot exist.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.”
For the reasons cited above, “Life, liberty, and property” is the phrase enshrined two times in our Constitution.
What Occurs When Property Rights Are Not Respected?
W. Cleon Skousen, in The Five-Thousand Year Leap, observed that FOUR things will occur, and have occurred, where the right to property is not preserved.
One, the incentive of an industrious person to develop and improve property is destroyed. This is exactly, to the tee, what is occurring in America right now as Marxist lawless gangs loot and destroy. Kelly Kandah is “AFRAID” to re-open her business, just as she was afraid to DEFEND her business as thugs destroyed it while she hid in the back rooms while the ransacking occurred. “My family built it up, [I] listened to it get absolutely destroyed,” she said on June 2. “That whole time we were locked in there [back bathroom]… I just listened to everything getting shattered and crushed.”
Two, the industrious individual would also be deprived of the fruits of his (or her) labor. Witness again Kelly Kandah, as well as a host of other law-abiding citizens who have lost their life fortune’s while their businesses went up in smoke in recent George Floyd riots.
Three, marauding bands would be tempted to go about the country confiscating by force and violence the good things that others had frugally and painstakingly provided. Who has not seen the video clips of huge Black Lives Matter crowds plus Antifa and useful idiots robbing and pillaging businesses, homes, and grocery stores?
Four, mankind would be impelled to remain on a bare-subsistence level of hand-to-mouth survival because the accumulation of anything would invite attack. Kelly Kandah, who has laboriously accumulated something of value through the years in her Colossal Cupcakes, invites lawless attacks simply due to that fact alone. It matters not that she declares she is “absolutely for the cause” (Black Lives Matter). That cuts no figure to Marxists and violence-mongers. She has accumulated something of value.
Be sure of this. In the wake of destruction of private property also comes destruction of innocent lives. Indeed, some of this has already been occurring. And all of this from a “WOKE” crowd.
Not presuming to speak for all Christians, I do, however, wish to offer a few observations regarding the general support of Donald J. Trump by Christians and Constitutionalists. This is timely seeing that so many on the socialistic/Democratic side of the political spectrum love to harangue Trump-supporting Christians about the past personal behavior of Trump. They seem to delight in pointing out his multiple marriages, his infidelities, his foul language, or other personal indiscretions, always with a view to shaming Christians for their support.
What Shall We Say to These Things?
First, no Christian of which I am aware excuses Trump’s personal sins. But this is a far cry from an elected official such as Bill Clinton using his powerful position as the chief executive to assault women in the oval office. On a broader scale, if an angry press would devote itself to scouring all public officials with the scrutiny they have applied to Donald Trump, I doubt there would be many officials to escape unscathed. So, what does this mean? Stop participating in the election process because those whom we elect have soiled lives? I suspect that is what the left really desires.
Second, I readily confess that the ideal is as stated by John Adams. “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries the most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”
Thomas Jefferson agreed. “For promoting the public happiness, those persons whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue … should be able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens …” But where are we as a society?
It is needless to point out here that our entire culture for the past 75 years has been more reflective of Sodom and Gomorrah than the “shining city on a hill” that John Winthrop paraphrased from the words of our Savior. There is without question a deep-dyed wickedness in the populace that is corroding the nation’s soul. Finding a virtuous and godly person that will fill the position of a “natural aristocracy,” as Jefferson worded it, and willing to put themselves into the grinding mill of the political arena, is nearly an impossible task.
Third, with the above in mind, many Christians primarily have relied upon the simple principle of how best to secure our God-given liberties? Since the entire history of civilization is nothing but the story of suffering peoples at the hands of their own governments, which candidate will support the kinds of Constitutional principles that more positively reflect that? Or, more pointedly, do Donald Trump’s policies lessen the vice-grip of government, or do the Democratic policies? To ask the question is to answer it.
One must recognize that political power always, without fail, gravitates toward centralization and that this movement always erodes and destroys the liberty of people by removing the decision-making processes and transferring them to that central government. Christians therefore, have wisely resisted the growth of government. And it is only Donald J. Trump, even with his brass-knuckle less-than-genteel approach, who can drain the swamp that threatens to drown us all.
The Jews in the time of Christ did not enjoy even a modicum of the liberty that we now have as Christians in America. As a matter of fact, Israel’s sovereignty had been removed from the period of the Assyrian Empire in the Old Testament (8th century B.C.) and was never regained. The mighty Roman empire controlled Palestine during the birth of our Lord, and the Jewish people suffered beneath the local rule of one wicked Procurator after another.
So, when a Quirinius, the Legate of Syria (Luke 2:1-3), would order a census in Palestine with a view to taxation, the Jews submitted even though despising it. So also other governors of Syria such as Coponius, Marcus Ambivius, and Valerius Gratus, who followed Quirinius. Other various fiscal oppressions of a grievous sort were practiced by Romans against the Jewish people. All of these the Jews loathed, but tolerated.
This was because these governors generally respected the religious feelings of the Jews and gave wide latitude to Jewish practices and scruples. We know, for example, that they removed the image of the Emperor from the standards of Roman soldiers before marching them into Jerusalem, so as to avoid the appearance of a cultus of the Caesars (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. I, p. 242).
But all of that was far different from a Pontius Pilate who forced the hated emblem on the Jews and defied all of their most sacred feelings.
This is not unlike the political scene today. A secular society continues to dominate our culture, which Christians decry. Christians tolerate, probably too much, the unconstitutional and ungodly measures in our country. But this is completely different from a Democratic leader such as Barack Obama who publicly mocks the Bible, engineers the redefinition of marriage, rubs Christian noses in the murder of the unborn, and parades to the world that we are not a Christian nation.
Added to that is the fact that in the end, not only has President Trump boldly stood for a more biblical stance in public policy, but has sought to massively de-regulate the unconstitutional super-state in which we live. A report by the Council of Economic Advisors in June, 2019 estimates that after 5-10 years of the new de-regulatory approach of the Federal Government household incomes will have been raised by $3,100 per household per year.
Casey Mulligan, the chief economist for the CEA, explained that “The deregulatory efforts of the Trump Administration have … removed mandates from employers, especially smaller businesses, and have removed burdens that would have eliminated many small bank lenders from the marketplace. These deregulatory actions are raising real incomes by increasing competition, productivity, and wages.”
In the end, however, it is not merely economic prosperity that many Christians desire. It is to secure our God-given liberties by rolling back the unconstitutional government in which we live. Donald J. Trump seems to be the only person with enough back-bone to attempt this daunting task. I suspect that the radical left realizes this fact which explains their mindless hatred and opposition.
An interview with Bill Lockwood – a Denver Alternative Center teacher, blogger, radio host, pastor, and debater
Denver Alternative Center teacher Bill Lockwood is an unashamed patriot – and he makes his voice heard throughout the community and around the state through a weekly radio show, a blog, and 35 years in the pulpit.
So what’s he telling students these days? Communication Specialist Ann Work Goodrich talked to him to find out.
Bill, you are very well-read and outspoken about the state of our country with your blog and radio show. What issues do you press with the students?
I emphasize with the class that when our Founders wrote these documents, it was the first time in the history of the world that men sat down and actually deliberated on the kind of government under which they wanted to live. And this privilege is still ours in the sense that we can vote and participate and make a difference.
My mother had me study the Constitution when I was in high school, and I have continued to pursue that. I am able to share that with students, some of it, because, sadly, they are pretty far behind the curve. I tell them that when they get to college, they are going to hear all kinds of other stuff, and they better be ready. I don’t know if it sinks in or not.
When are you able to talk about current events with students?
In the last hour of the day during Personal Management time here at Denver, I try to get some Constitutional stuff in them. I make the point that either you manage yourself with principles of right and wrong, such as those we find in The Declaration of Independence, or someone else will manage your life for you.
Sometimes I ask, “Do you think our Constitution is made only for a moral people or for everyone?” Invariably, the answer comes back, “For everyone.” Then I introduce this quote: “Our Constitution is made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” They may say, “Who said that?” The answer is John Adams, the second president of the United States. My point is that perhaps these Founders had insight into the nature of man and governments of the world that we have neglected.
I warn them about communism on occasion. Look at its death toll! I point out that the primary principle of communism is actually atheism. I had a great professor at Harding College named JD Bales. He traveled the world speaking about the dangers of communism and socialism. He became friends with Chiang Kai-shek, the former president of the Republic of China. Mr. Bales tutored me in my early preaching years as I debated atheists, and he gave me a lot of material upon his death. He had written even for J. Edgar Hoover during the 1960s.
Through these kinds of studies, I have been able to be in touch with great thinkers who teach me so much all the time.
I am on Jesse Lee Peterson’s radio show on the last Tuesday of each month. His show is out of Los Angeles, Calif. He is always stirring it up. Jesse writes for me as well.
Matt O’Brien from Washington, D.C., has come on the radio show to talk about immigration. He represents Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform and is a brilliant lawyer. Their website is FAIRus.org.
You are a debater, too.
I have spent 35-plus years in the pulpits of the Churches of Christ and, yes, I have had the opportunity to publicly debate atheists and Muslims. I participated in a five-night public oral debate in Marshall, Texas. It is on YouTube. My opponent was a Muslim named Hamza Abdul Malik, and it’s posted as the Malik-Lockwood debate. I took a solid year to prepare for it. Those kinds of studies put me in touch with a lot of good authors – writers upon whom I still rely to help me along the way. I interview some of them, such as author Robert Spencer or American activist Pamela Geller, on my radio show.
What do you make of all the talk about socialism now?
Socialism itself has taken over much of the thinking of the nation. Interestingly, the Founders were well acquainted with this system of government, which they called “levelling.” They did their best to keep this from occurring and purposefully constructed the Constitution to provide maximum freedom by limiting the federal government’s role in private lives. We have turned this on its head in the past 100 years. And most students indeed appreciate the allowance of freedom which, as I point out, diminishes as government grows.
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In a letter to his wife Abigail in May, 1780, John Adams famously wrote:
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
To John Adams the most important element of life was family. His continual service to the nation included that he was a delegate to the Continental Congress, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, an official Minister to England on behalf of the United States, and the second President of the United States. But this service he considered a “necessary evil” in order that he might enjoy pleasures of family and that his own future generations might enjoy the same.
In our modern era where warnings against “mixing politics and religion” are memorized and repeated without any real deep thought as to why or even what this means, Adams teaches us a few things about it. His keen mind was able to probe the issues of life and distill the principles and realities involved.
In analyzing what Adams meant when he said “I must study politics that my sons may have liberty to study …”, note the following.
What is Politics?
First, what is Politics? Politics simply means the management or administration of society. The word “politics’ is from the Greek word ‘politika’ meaning the “affairs of a city.” It is “the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group” (Wikepedia). Frequently the word “politics” is used negatively, such as in “play politics.” The root idea of the word, however, refers to principles by which people are to be governed.
The question now becomes, by what set of principles shall we govern society? Shall we use biblical principles or humanistic ones? Shall we use God-inspired principles upon which to base human laws, or shall we simply drift off into allowing people to do “what every man thinks is right in his own eyes?” The only issue in our society therefore is whether or not we plan to manage ourselves according to Christian principles.
This applies to a wide variety of social levels: the workplace, the office, the team, the church, or cities and nations; there is even “international politics.” All policies that are adopted in these various groups are called “public policies” precisely because those policies effect others. Once again, these policies will either reflect Christianity or humanism (non-religion).
These facts being so, whence comes the idea that Christian people should remain free from “politics?” Is it somehow inconsistent with biblical values that Christians should not influence public policy?
Freedom Politics is Pro-Family
Returning to Adams’ quote above, note that he was interested in freedom for his family. He wanted to construct a society along Christian principles that by this framework of freedom his family in future generations might continue to enjoy liberty. Specifically, limited government would allow personal freedom to flourish while at the same time curtail dictatorships or top-down controls that destroy freedom.
A sidebar note: Many confuse Roman Catholicism with New Testament Christianity. Not only were the colonists almost 95% Protestant in their belief-systems, but were afraid of Catholicism. The reason for this is clear. Roman Catholicism is an unbiblical political system that was constructed through the centuries to mimic Old World kingdoms such as the Roman. It too, therefore, is dictatorial and stifles freedom. Its record as a tyrannical power is matched only by other forms of government absolutisms.
Adams was well-aware of all of this. This is why that during the tumultuous formation of the United States he felt that he needed to invest time in order to create a political landscape such that allowed freedom to ring—but this was in order that his children might be able to enjoy more pleasurable pursuits. The political machinery of a nation is a direct reflection of religious values and presuppositions that underlie the society. For future family freedom, Christian politics was necessary.
Politics was not just one “hobby” that Adams chose among others he might have chosen, even though that is the casual way people view politics today. Adams showed this by couching it in his word “must.” In other words, politics was his “duty.” It functioned as an obligation. Political freedom is foundational to other freedoms.
To illustrate, Adams used “war.” Those who enjoy freedom and liberty rely on the sacrifices of untold thousands who study war and become warriors. A warriors’ occupation is not like playing sports, or collecting old cars or antiques. Without a fight for freedom, there would be no games to play or antiques to collect. Someone must do this business of war if we are to have pleasures of life. If we were all running for our lives from enemy soldiers, who cares about playing games?
So also is managing people by politics. It is foundational to freedom at large. For this reason, Cicero, the ancient Roman statesman at the time of Julius Caesar, observed: “For there is really no occupation in which human virtue approaches more closely the august function of the gods than that of founding states or preserving those already in existence.”
So exactly. Christians, being correctly informed, can change the character of the political landscape. By bringing the moral standards of Christ into the civic arena, society itself is transformed. The gospel of Christ not only changes lives and hearts of men, but the course of civil government. Why should Christians not be involved in politics?
Will Brett Kavanaugh Stand for Property Rights?-“The homeowner came under greater pressure to sell.”
by Tom DeWeese
There’s lots of talk about where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stands on the Roe v Wade abortion decision and if he would vote to rescind it. There is another very controversial Supreme Court decision made just few years ago, supported by the Anthony Kennedy, the justice he seeks to replace. That is the Kelo decision that basically obliterated private property rights in America. So, where does Brett Kananaugh stand on protection of private property rights? With Kennedy or the Constitution?
In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down an opinion that shocked the nation. It was the case of Susette Kelo, et al. v City of New London, Connecticut, et al. The issue: “Does the government taking of property from one private owner to give to another private entity for economic development constitutes a permissible ‘public use’ under the Fifth Amendment?”
In 2000, the city of New London saw a chance to rake in big bucks through tax revenues for a new downtown development project that was to be anchored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The company announced a plan to build a $270 million dollar global research facility in the city. The local government jumped at the chance to transform 90 acres of an area right next to the proposed research facility. Their plans called for the creation of the Fort Trumbull development project which would provide hotels, housing and shopping areas for the expected influx of Pfizer employees. There were going to be jobs and revenues A-Go-Go in New London. Just one obstacle stood in the way of these grand plans. There were private homes in that space.
No muss – no fuss. The city fathers had a valuable tool in their favor. They would just issue an edict that they were taking the land by eminent domain. The city created a private development corporation to lead the project. First priority for the new corporation was to obtain the needed property.
In July, 1997, Susette Kelo bought a nice little pink house in a quiet fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London. Little did she imagine that warm, comfy place would soon become the center of a firestorm.
She had no intention of selling. She’d spent a considerable amount of money and time fixing up her little pink house, a home with a beautiful view of the waterfront that she could afford. She planted flowers in the yard, braided her own rugs for the floors, filled the rooms with antiques and created the home she wanted.
Less than a year later, the trouble started. A real estate broker suddenly showed up at her door representing an unknown client. Susette said she wasn’t interested in selling. The realtor’s demeanor then changed, warning that the property was going to be condemned by the city. One year later, on the day before Thanksgiving, the sheriff taped a letter to Kelo’s door, stating that her home had been condemned by the City of New London.
Then the pressure began. A notice came in the mail telling her that the city intended to take her land. An offer of compensation was made, but it was below the market price. The explanation given was that, since the government was going to take the land, it was no longer worth the old market price, therefore the lower price was “just compensation,” as called for in the Fifth Amendment. It was a “fair price,” Kelo and the homeowners were told over and over.
Some neighbors quickly gave up, took the money and moved away. With the loss of each one, the pressure mounted. Visits from government agents became routine. They knocked on the door at all hours, demanding she sell. Newspaper articles depicted her as unreasonably holding up community progress. They called her greedy. Finally, the bulldozers moved in on the properties already sold. As they crushed down the houses, the neighborhood became unlivable. It looked like a war zone.
In Susette Kelo’s neighborhood, the imposing bulldozer was sadistically parked in front of a house, waiting. The homeowner came under greater pressure to sell. More phone calls, threatening letters, visits by city officials at all hours demanding they sign the contract to sell. It just didn’t stop. Finally the intimidation began to break down the most dedicated homeowners’ resolve. In tears, they gave in and sold. Amazingly, once they sold, the homeowners were then classified as “willing sellers!”
Immediately, as each house was bulldozed, the monster machine was moved to the next house, sitting there like a huffing, puffing dragon, ready to strike.
Finally Susette’s little pink house stood nearly alone in the middle of a destruction site. Over 80 homes were gone: seven remained. As if under attack by a conquering army, she was finally surrounded, with no place to run but to the courts. Under any circumstances the actions of the New London government and its sham development corporation should have been considered criminal behavior. It used to be. If city officials were caught padding their own pockets, or those of their friends, it was considered graft. That’s why RICO laws were created.
The United States was built on the very premise of the protection of private property rights. How could a government possibly be allowed to take anyone’s home for private gain? Surely justice would finally prevail.
The city was backed in its appeal by the National League of Cities, one of the largest proponents of eminent domain use, saying the policy was critical to spurring urban renewal with development projects. However, the Supreme Court had always stood with the founders of the nation on the vital importance of private property. There was precedent after precedent to back up the optimism that they would do so again.
Finally, her case was heard by the highest court in the land. It was such an obvious case of government overreach against private property owners that no one considered there was a chance of New London winning. That’s why it was a shock to nearly everyone involved that private property rights sustained a near-death blow that day.
This time, five black robes named Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer shocked the nation by ruling that officials who had behaved like Tony Soprano were in the right and Susette Kelo had no ground to stand on, literally or figuratively.
These four men and one woman ruled that the United States Constitution is meaningless as a tool to protect individuals against the wants and desires of government. Their ruling in the Kelo case declared that Americans own nothing. After deciding that any property is subject to the whim of a government official, it was just a short trip to declaring that government could now confiscate anything we own, anything we create, anything we’ve worked for – in the name of an undefined common good.
Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, who opposed the Court’s decision, vigorously rebutted the Majority’s argument, as she wrote in dissent of the majority opinion, “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing a Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”
Justice Clarence Thomas issued his own rebuttal to the decision, specifically attacking the argument that this was a case about “public use.” He accused the Majority of replacing the Fifth Amendment’s “Public Use” clause with a very different “Public Purpose” test. Said Justice Thomas “This deferential shift in phraseology enables the Court to hold against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a public use.”
Astonishingly the members of the Supreme Court have no other job but to protect the Constitution and defend it from bad legislation. They sit in their lofty ivory tower, with their lifetime appointments, never actually having to worry about job security or the need to answer to political pressure. Yet, these five black robes obviously missed finding a single copy of the Federalist Papers, which were written by many of the Founders to explain to the American people how they envisioned the new government was to work. In addition, they apparently missed the collected writings of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington, just to mention a very few. It’s obvious because otherwise, there is simply no way they could have reached this decision.
So, in a five to four vote, the Supreme Court said that it was okay for a community to use eminent domain to take land, shut down a business, or destroy and reorganize an entire neighborhood, if it benefited the community in a positive way. Specifically, “positive” meant unquestioned government control and more tax dollars.
The Institute for Justice, the group that defended Susette Kelo before the Supreme Court, reported that it found 10,000 cases in which condemnation was used or threatened for the benefit of private developers. These cases were all within a five-year period after the Kelo decision. Today, that figure is dwarfed as there is seemingly no limit on government takings of private property.
The Kelo decision changed the rules. The precedent was set. Land can now be taken anytime at the whim of a power elite. So again, the question must be asked: if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, will he stand to protect private property rights against massive overreach by local, state, and federal governments? Will he support an effort to overturn the Kelo Decision?