Anyone who has witnessed either a community or a church tearing apart because of rumors, gossip, innuendo’s and idle talk can testify to the fact these types of troubles sometimes take on a life of their own. The general feeling is that, at some point, as situations become more aggravated, one cannot stop it. Whatever may be the initial cause and regardless of how that problem may have become settled by the initial participants, the issues continue to live. This is simply human nature.
It is for this reason that Jesus commanded, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest haply the adversary delivers you to the judge, the judge delivers you to the officer, and you are cast into prison” (Matt. 5:25). Simply put, if possible, do not allow differences to grow.
The principle is the same with the nature of government, since government is only comprised of fallible humans. The very reason our Founders insisted upon a small government is not only because all of human history demonstrates suffering of individuals at the hands of their own political leaders, but that governing systems that become too large with power gravitating to a central office are unable to be effectively controlled by individuals—in spite of the fact that it is to be “of, by, and for the people.” It is individual freedom that they were after.
Thomas Jefferson bluntly observed that he wanted government simple. “I am for government rigorously frugal and simple.” As far back as 1824, he criticized the size of our government. “I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” This was not merely personal preference. It was wisdom speaking.
Carelessly casting aside the warnings of the Founders, Americans have allowed all power to coalesce to Washington, D.C. The impediments placed in the Constitution by the Founders to forestall the growth of power are antiquated relics of dusty history. And the sociology of the situation is such that this gigantic leviathan that we have suffered to rule now takes on a life of its own. Some call it The Deep State. Others, The Establishment. Still others referred to it as The Shadow Government.
Whatever label we might put upon it, there is clearly a legion of government bureaucrats deeply buried within the halls of government. These bureaucrats are totalitarian in nature, communist in orientation, and pound out numberless rules, regulations, decrees to control the lives of once-free Americans. It is a fantasy that our elected leaders are in control.
Consider the presidency of Donald Trump and only one small sampling of the Deep State at work.
We now learn that the Justice Department, and specifically its investigative arm, the FBI, while Trump was the chief executive officer of the United States, illegally surveilled Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani during his conversations with Trump on iCloud. This occurred during the manufactured “Russiagate” scandal—pressed by Democrats and the MSM.
Not only was the entire “Russiagate” a red herring, born and bred within the inner recesses of our own government, but the Justice Department itself acted in Mao-like fashion against its own sitting president. Here is the totalitarian “permanent state” or cabal working to destroy Trump from within.
Siding with the rogue FBI is the MSM—The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC News—who have now been forced to retract incorrect stories about Rudy Guiliani. They all falsely reported that he had been briefed about the “Russian intelligence influence operation” that had supposedly targeted him. Never mind the clear evidence that was on the table involving the entire Biden syndicate in laundering money from foreign nations. Go punish Guiliani and Trump.
Now more. Within the last two weeks federal investigators carried out a search warrant at the home and office of Guiliani because of his alleged ties to Ukraine — all based upon incorrect information (see Epoch Times, 5-2-21).
Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer, openly stated that the FBI’s raid on Guiliani’s apartment violated the Constitution. “This was just a misuse of the search and seizure power. Initially, it was turned down; now it was approved, both by a judge and by the attorney general of the United States, so it wasn’t lawless action, but I believe that they acted inconsistently with both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution and that there should be remedies of it.”
Kash Patel, the lawyer from Queens, New York, who served in senior posts during Trump’s Administration, including senior advisor to the Director of National Intelligence, is also facing a “Justice Department investigation.” Patel had assisted Rep. David Nunes’s investigation of crimes and abuses committed during the FBI’s operation targeting the Trump campaign. He had helped uncover the Democratic-led hoax called “Russiagate.” This is too much for the Democratic-controlled government. Patel is facing payback–an “official” Justice Department investigation.
Apparently, Donald Trump was president “on paper only.” Americans have lost control of their government. The Swamp has always ruled, and now with the Biden Administration they are ensuring no one like Trump will ever take office again. Government “of, by, and for the people” has indeed “perished from the earth” – at least for now.
Christians and conservative Americans have lost their government. The sooner constitutionally-minded citizens awaken to this fact, the better. Individual freedom is a thing of the past, and no amount of “suing the government” is going to recapture it. Through the Biden Administration the liberal, Neo-Marxist, post-modern humanists, atheists and God-haters make up a Deep State.
If one doubts that assessment, consider the current lawsuit against the Administration by the College of the Ozarks.
According to The Federalist, the “College of the Ozarks in Hollister, Missouri, is suing the Biden administration over a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development forcing religious institutions to permit students of the opposite sex in the same bathrooms, dorm rooms and dormitories.”
Here is the White House’s “justification.” It announced in February that “it will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Religious liberty legal group Alliance Defending Freedom filed a suit on behalf of the Missouri college, asserting Biden’s decision “requires private religious colleges to place biological males into female dormitories and assign them as females’ roommates.”
In other words, the Biden Administration is in the business of forcing private institutions to open girls’ dormitories to males based upon their “perceived” sexual identity. What high-handed arrogant atrocities by rulers! Biblical teaching regarding sexuality, marriage, chastity, and social order is under direct attack. As Dr. Jerry Davis, president of the school, announced, “To threaten religious freedom is to threaten America itself.”
Davis went on to make clear that “College of the Ozarks will not allow politicians to erode the essential American right or the ideals that shaped America’s founding.”
In the above, I stated that “suing the government” is not going to fix this hedonistic communism that has taken over America. For proof, examine a source of this moral sepsis. In part, they go back to the outrageous “ruling” by the Supreme Court last summer in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia.
In that case, six justices “turned themselves into legislators, rewriting the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to fit the current narrative, ruling that there is to be no ‘discrimination’ against the LGBTQ community, regardless of rights guaranteed in the Constitution protecting religious freedom.” This ruling was a 6-3 decision, in which supposed-conservative Neil Gorsuch, writing the majority opinion, stated that Title VII protections extended to sexual orientation and gender identity. “Sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes will prove unsustainable after our decision today,” he opined.
No, what is “unsustainable” is a Supreme Court, and Socialistic/Marxist government that intrudes upon all freedom—religious and otherwise. The federal government, and particularly the judicial branch in this case, has radically overstepped its constitutional boundaries. What solace therefore, should Christians take in “suing at court” the Biden Administration? And, even if there is a win in the College of the Ozarks’ case—what security has Christian America that these God-hating totalitarian trends will not continue?
Besides the obvious fact that the bounds of propriety, common-sense, decency, and morality have been trampled by Gorsuch and the Court, what about the Constitution? Ours is a Republic—the rule of law. This eliminated from the beginning the “rule by mob”, riotous mutineers, or even black-robed propagandists who goose step to political correctness. Adherence to law has been the hallmark of American society.
To change the law, specific provisions were instituted by our founders. These begin and end with the lawmaking branch of government—the Legislative. There is absolutely no lawmaking power granted by the Constitution to the judicial branch. Instead, they are sworn to uphold the Constitution as written.
However, in the Bostock case, the Supreme Court legislatively declared that that 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbade discrimination on the basis of sex, must now include the non-scientific categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Gorsuch and crew enlarged the meaningof the 1964 law so that “sex” now includes “manipulations in the biological makeup of human beings or conduct that is clearly forbidden by the Almighty.” These six justices brazenly and boldly cast science and God behind their backs and inserted their modernistic version of what they believe we should be doing in America.
In sum, we have no rule of law. It is the whim of the Judicial Branch, among other areas of deterioration. So, again, I ask, what will be accomplished by suing in the courts the Federal Government? Justices are making it up as they go along. Christians, beware!
Earlier this week, 20-year-old Duante Wright, an African-American, was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. As has unfortunately become commonplace in America, the black community rioted and looted throughout the Minneapolis area in response. As of this writing, multiple arrests have been made as looting continues.
Open lawlessness is disturbing on many levels. Leaving aside the fact that Duante Wright was apparently accidentally shot—due to the fact that he, with outstanding warrants, was resisting arrest while struggling with the police officer—succeeding events demonstrate that we now have “mob rule” in the United States.
City manager of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Curt Bagoney, tried to reason with the mob. In an open press conference he suggested that the woman police officer, Kim Potter, who shot Duante Wright, “deserves due process.” That would be a fair hearing.
But we live in a planned chaotic-socialistic society where our political authorities have empowered and enabled minority mobs to hold law-abiding citizens hostage by unrestrained violence. Bagoney’s judicious words cannot be allowed. We must have Kim Potter’s head on a platter—and now.
Curt Bagoney lost his job, as the City Council terminated his services and salary. His firing portends the end of America.
According to the Star Tribune, a Twin Cities paper, at least one city council member voted to oust Bagoney from the job he’s held since 2006 not because he had done a bad job, or because he’d done anything wrong, but “because she feared for her property and retaliation by protestors if she had voted to keep him.” Council Member Kris Lawrence-Anderson said, “I didn’t want repercussions at a personal level.”
The situation is so hopeless that, even though police officer Kim Potter resigned her position, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who also called for “due process,” has been forced by mobsters to step down.
Thugs rule in Minnesota. The political powers-that-be at higher levels apparently want it this way. This is why City Councils, Mayors, and local Police Departments, cannot seem to stop it.
Due Process of Law, guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, simply means that the government promises legal and judicial fair play with its citizens. Normally, “due process” is divided into procedural and substantive. It is the former that is under consideration here.
Procedural “due process” refers to legal procedures are required to be followed in state proceedings. It includes opportunity for an open hearing, confrontation of cross-examination, and availability of counsel. This is why our legal system provides, at taxpayer expense, legal counsel for those who cannot afford it.
This was not an invention by our Founders. It is part of the principles laid out in the Bible. For example, one of the commands: “Thou shalt not commit murder” (Ex. 20:13) is fairly straightforward. Punishment for this crime is the death penalty (Ex. 21:12).
But what about the case of “manslaughter?” According to Deuteronomy 19:2-4 there were six cities of refuge to which a person who had committed manslaughter might flee in order to have a fair trial. If the accused was found innocent of “murder” then the option would be to remain in that city of refuge until the death of the High Priest. What is this? Due Process.
Even a trial itself, in the Mosaic Code, was governed by due process. Fairness. The procedures required more than one witness (Num. 35:30) in order to convict a person of a crime. One witness alone was insufficient (Deut. 17:6). This is procedural due process.
The extreme importance of “due process” cannot be overstated. One of the solid underpinnings of our entire nation and even western culture is fairness in dealing with the accused.
This is why the Constitution binds the government itself, and requires that it must follow what might be called “duly-elected laws” when it seeks to restrict freedoms and liberty. It is, as billofrights.org writes, “a blend of rights, customs, procedures, and legal traditions that have evolved over centuries alongside our modern understanding of the requirements of the concept of ‘justice.’”
This keystone of society is in danger of disappearing. America is on the cusp of losing this cornerstone of liberty. And if the cornerstones go, so does our liberty.
Strictly speaking, the right to “keep and bear arms” is not a “Constitutional right.” It is a right I own from God to protect my life, my family, and my property—whether individually or collectively. I have a God-given responsibility to protect myself and my family from harm. This is a law of nature and it is prior to the Constitution itself. So, it matters not what the Constitution says or does not say on the subject.
The Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment with this in mind. It is a “Thou shalt not touch” list written to the federal government. As a matter of fact, the Bill of Rights itself is a list of prohibitions, not rights. The reason this is the case is because the founders recognized the presence of Natural Law—such as self-preservation and self-government– upon which the laws of nations should be built.
The Neo-Marxist Democrat Party problem begins here. They do not, even if some of them believe in God, operate upon the premise that God gives us anything. To them, everything is a grant of the government—including the “right to keep and bear arms,” which may be repealed if they see fit. What the government gives, the government can take away.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the worst of the worse of the totalitarian gun-grabbers. Joe Biden and the Socialists who run this country want to repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. They are back-door thieves. Passage of this Act makes it easier for gun manufacturers to be held civilly liable for people who commit crimes with their products, for the law was designed to shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits in cases where guns were used in crimes.
Last February 24, Joe Biden made the following statement on the campus of The College of Charleston in South Carolina. “I’ve got news for you gun manufacturers. I’m coming for you and I’m going to take you down.”
Biden has promised to sign an executive order—something with which he is intimately familiar—to ban “assault weapons.” But, first, he does not know what an assault weapon is. Biden includes in this list AR-15’s and other semi-automatic weapons. Second, the facts of American gun violence do not point to semi-automatic weapons. But no matter. Biden will have his foot in the door.
More concerning than this, however, is the current rash of Red-Flag Laws that have been supported not only by the Biden-Harris team, but politicians of both parties.Ron Paul warns that “Police officers in 20 states and the District of Columbia already have the authority to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights based in allegations and without giving the individual due process.”
Even a “psychological evaluation could … be used to deny an individual Second Amendment rights because they may engage in ‘domestic terrorism.’” Paul added that “Among those likely to be considered as potential ‘domestic terrorists’ are opponents of US foreign policy, mass surveillance, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and, ironically—gun control.”
Consider also the rabid anti-gun stance of Biden’s hand-picked staff. VP Kamala Harris’ anti-freedom position is well-known. Xavier Becerra, Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, has advocated for more onerous gun-control measures. He is on record as saying that AR-type rifles are “not in common use for lawful purposes like self-defense.”
Dr. Vivek Murthy is Biden’s choice for U.S. Surgeon General. Murthy tweeted: “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of the NRA. Guns are a health care issue. #debatehealth.”
Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, worked for Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, the candidate who said, “Yes, we’re going to take your AR-15’s.” Pete Buttigieg has been selected by Biden to head the Department of Transportation. He has openly pushed for gun registration and banning AR-15’s as well as desiring to hold the gun industry accountable.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, has openly written that the gun violence problem in America is due to the “widespread availability” of guns in America. Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, is Biden’s nominee for energy secretary. She too has called for an “assault weapons ban.”
Deb Haaland has been confirmed as the new secretary of the Department of the Interior. Her calls for stripping Americans of the right to keep and bear arms, starting at “background checks,” “closing gun-show loopholes,” and “taking on the NRA” are public record. The bold-faced liar, Susan Rice, who heads Biden’s Domestic Policy Council, is an infamous anti-gunner.
Biden’s AG pick, Merrick Garland, has also sated he would support the The White House’s efforts to restrict gun ownership in America.
All in all, Biden’s Administration is the most anti-freedom, anti-American, pro-totalitarian government that we have seen. If Biden gets his way on gun control, America has seen the last of its freedoms.
Wisconsin has emerged as a battleground in the debate over whether to apply to Congress to call a convention to propose amendments under Article V of the Constitution, otherwise known as a constitutional convention (Con-Con). Supporters and opponents of a convention clashed at a recent Wisconsin Senate committee hearing, displaying the stark differences between the two sides.
The Con-Con Resolutions
Wisconsin is a top target of Con-Con proponents in the current legislative sessions, with four resolutions having been introduced.
Two of them — Senate Joint Resolution 8 (S.J.R. 8) and Assembly Joint Resolution 9 (A.J.R. 9) — follow the wording of Mark Meckler’s Convention of States (COS) Project application, urging Congress to call a convention to propose amendments “that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”
The hearing, held on Wednesday, March 24, in the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection, was over S.J.R. 8 and S.J.R. 12.
False Claims and Tall Tales
Following testimonies from sponsors of the resolutions, the committee heard testimony from Meckler, the president of COS. Meckler started off by spouting his tall tale that Article V of the U.S. Constitution was the Founding Fathers’ solution to federal overreach, ignoring the reality that constitutional enforcement was the Founders’ solution to usurpations.
The traveling salesman then discussed each of the three topics advocated for in his COS resolutions — term limits, fiscal restraints, and jurisdiction limitations on the federal government. According to Meckler, legislators could use the resolution text to enact a number of constitutional changes for each of the three individual topics.
While the suggestions Meckler listed — including reversing illegal Supreme Court precedents, limiting the Court to nine justices, and term limits for unelected government bureaucrats — might sound appealing to conservatives, they illustrate one of the many dangers of the COS resolution specifically, and, more broadly, any Article V convention.
The text is so vague that even if a convention did not stray from the resolution text — a prospect no one should count on — the text could be twisted to justify a slew of amendments that increase and entrench the power of the federal government. Tellingly, a September 2016 Article V convention simulation hosted by Convention of States ended up proposing amendments that did just that.
In the most revealing moment of his testimony, Meckler attempted to refute his constitutionalist critics by equating case law with the Constitution. While constitutionalists argue for enforcing the Constitution, Meckler questioned “which constitution they’re referring to.” Holding up a book listing every Supreme Court ruling, Meckler stated that case law has become the real “Constitution of the United States of America.” Thus, rather than nullifying these rulings — much of which are blatantly unconstitutional — Meckler claimed the solution is to change the text of the Constitution itself.
Shortly after Meckler, Ken Quinn, the northern regional director for U.S. Term Limits, testified. Among other statements, he claimed that “there’s no such thing as a runaway convention.” He further stated that an “Article V convention” is not synonymous with a “constitutional convention,” baselessly claiming that the latter would require unanimous consent.
These two allegations by Quinn are easily refuted by looking at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Originally convened to merely amend the Articles of Confederation, the 1787 convention led to the drafting and ratification of the current Constitution. Furthermore, while the former document required unanimous consent for making constitutional changes, the convention threw out that rule and required only nine of the 13 states to ratify the new constitution.
During his testimony, Quinn claimed that he had once supported “an organization” that opposed a Con-Con but changed his mind after researching the matter himself. He made multiple false claims about The John Birch Society, including that it argues the U.S. Constitution was illegally adopted, and that it originally supported an Article V convention.
The John Birch Society Responds
It was not long before Christian Gomez, research project manager for JBS, was called upon to give his testimony. He began by refuting the peddlers’ claims about an Article V convention and JBS. For example, he noted JBS’s 1967 response to a letter inquiring about a Con-Con in which it unequivocally rejected the idea.
Gomez also set the record straight about the lobbyists’ unfounded assertions that an “Article V convention” is different from a “constitutional convention” and urged the committee not to get distracted by mere semantics.
Not only does no a such distinction exist in Article V’s text, but contrary to Meckler’s claim that his proposal would not be a “convention of delegates,” Gomez noted New York’s 1789 application for a “Convention of Deputies” under Article V. More recent application resolutions, including in Louisiana and Connecticut, have used the term “constitutional convention.”
Additionally, Gomez pointed out that even if a distinction existed, it could easily be abandoned in the same way that the 1787 constitutional convention abandoned the Articles of Confederation’s requirement of unanimity for the ratification of constitutional changes.
Further illustrating how the term “convention of states” is merely a lobbyist-created talking point to make a Con-Con more appealing to state legislators, Gomez noted how Meckler himself had called for “single-subject constitutional conventions” in his 2012 book Tea Party Patriots and how he co-hosted the “Conference on the Constitutional Convention” with left-wing law professor Lawrence Lessig.
Having refuted the Con-Con peddlers, Gomez used his testimony to note Article V’s purpose of fixing potential defects in the Constitution, rather than to limit the federal government. He further noted that an Article V convention would be more likely to increase and entrench an expansive federal government through poorly-worded amendments, amendments that blatantly increase the size and power federal government, or a new constitution altogether. The current problems with the federal government, Gomez argued, stem from a disregard of the Constitution rather than problems with the document.
In the limited time he had to testify (more on that later), this writer emphasized Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s warning that “This is not a good century to write a constitution,” and how the Left would take advantage of any Article V convention to advance a far-left agenda in line with international norms.
Committee hearings are intended for legislators to examine arguments for and against proposed legislation prior to making a decision. However, Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) showed her cards — and bias — early. This was not surprising, considering her sponsorship of both the COS and term-limits resolutions — ironically, she is currently serving her fifth term in the legislature.
After asking Gomez his solution to federal overreach in lieu of an Article V convention — to which he aptly responded by pointing out officials’ duty under Article VI to nullify unconstitutional laws, and how it is an immediate solution as opposed to the Article V process that often lasts decades — Felzkowski began attacking his position.
The five-term legislator claimed that nullification would be ineffective at reining in federal spending such as the $1.9 trillion spending, to which Gomez noted the importance of educating citizens to vote out fiscally irresponsible members of Congress, and also the ineffectiveness of most balanced-budget amendments. In fact, states can help rein in federal spending — 80 percent of which is unconstitutional — by abolishing the Federal Reserve and by passing a State Sovereignty and Federal Tax Funds Act.
Unsatisfied, Felzkowski accused Gomez of basing his arguments on the dangers of a Con-Con on hypotheticals — despite the other side relying far more on untested hypotheticals. She ended her tirade by claiming Gomez was “only including parts of the information” — as if the other side does not do this — and that “it’s very hard to take what you’re saying seriously.” Notwithstanding the irony, it is unfortunate that a legislator used the hearing to be an advocate rather than an observer.
The Uhl Family Steals the Show
The most impressive testimonies during the hearing were delivered by the five-strong Uhl family.
The first in the family to testify were Christy and Alise. Christy, 11, stated the obvious fact that the U.S. Constitution is not the problem, meaning the solution is to punish corrupt politicians rather than change the Constitution. Alise, 12, noted that the Founding Fathers, who adhered to Christian principles, sought freedom and a limited government. Those principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution would be in danger with a constitutional convention under Article V.
Immediately after the girls’ testimonies, Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), another sponsor of the two resolutions, went on the defensive, repeating the falsehood that an “Article V convention” is somehow distinct from a “constitutional convention.” Such a response was unprompted and unnecessary, indicating the effectiveness of the girls’ testimonies.
The girls’ parents, Curtis and Dominique, also testified. Among other thoughtful points, Curtis noted that when considering the COS resolution, a representative had stated “we have to do something,” a poor attitude when the Constitution and freedom are at risk. Curtis also referred to Meckler’s lofty statement that state legislators “have the power to alter the structure of the federal government.” The former noted that only 2,445 representatives and senators from 38 states can initiate a constitutional convention that would affect over 300 million people — a frightening thought.
Dominique, in addition to pointing out several reasons why a Con-Con is a dangerous idea and referring to alternative constitutions crafted by the Deep State, called out the self-promoting lobbyist Meckler for lying about COS’s popularity. She also went into depth about realistic steps the states can take — and are presently taking — to nullify the federal government.
The nullification bills Dominique mentioned included a Texas bill to comprehensively examine the constitutionality of federal actions and, if necessary, nullify them; a Missouri bill to robustly prevent enforcement of past, present, and future gun controls; a Kentucky bill to prevent unconstitutional federal National Guard deployments; and an Oklahoma bill to nullify unconstitutional presidential executive orders. Dominique showed the committee that a wide variety of superior options exist to an Article V constitutional convention.
Another impressive testimony was given by Elayna, 15. She pointed out a significant reason why an Article V convention is particularly dangerous today: Human nature is depraved, and the character, wisdom, and morals present among the Founding Fathers — and present in early U.S. history — have significantly deteriorated in the nation today.
If a convention under Article V happened today, Elayna stated, political leaders would not trust in God as the Founders had, but they will largely be overcome with greed and seek to advance their personal agendas. As evidence, she noted how Con-Con advocates are already seeking to aggregate unrelated, centuries-old Article V applications with newer ones in an attempt to reach the 34-state threshold.
Furthermore, Elayna asked, if amendments such as congressional term limits or a Balanced Budget Amendment are so popular, why can the regular process not be used? Rather than open up the Constitution in a precarious time using an untested Article V convention, she concluded, any proposed amendments should go through the regular process.
Elayna received a barrage of questions from the committee members, particularly Senators Stroebel and Felzkowski. Their questions included why the Founding Fathers included Article V in the Constitution and what alternatives to an Article V convention should be used. Elayna answered those questions ably, impressing many of those watching.
The committee’s questioning of Elayna, along with Stroebel’s unprompted comments following her sisters’ testimonies, indicated a level of fear in response to their testimonies. They had no other reason to make those comments or question Elayna so intensely. Furthermore, they asked no questions of the girls’ parents.
The Uhl Family’s testimonies — particularly their daughters’ — were effective, powerful, and intelligent. Being a family that homeschools, their testimonies also illustrate the importance and clear advantage of giving one’s children a proper education, divorced from the left-wing indoctrination and dumbing-down present in the public-school system.
Throughout the hearing, a notable distinction between the two sides’ testimonies was their substance. Those in opposition focused solely on the subject of the hearing, namely why an Article V convention would be harmful to Americans’ God-given freedoms and how Article VI offers an immensely superior alternative.
On the other hand, most of the testimonies in favor — with the exception of a select few — were vague and did not address the topic at hand. For example, many of the individuals focused on their life stories or talked about problems in the federal government without discussing how Article V, specifically, would solve those problems.
The committee also was inconsistent in its treatment of the two sides. Immediately before this writer testified, it imposed a five-minute rule for testimonies, preventing me from delivering half of my testimony. However, multiple subsequent individuals in favor of a convention — who largely did not directly address the topic at hand — spoke longer than five minutes without interruption.
Finally, Dr. Wayne Sedlak, a pastor from West Bend, registered to testify in opposition to the resolutions with the help of a legislative assistant. However, the committee never called on him to testify. After Dr. Sedlak confronted the committee about this error, it allowed him to submit written testimony. Nonetheless, excluding him from the oral hearings deprived the committee and those watching of a powerful voice in opposition to a convention and in favor of nullification.
As of this article’s writing, S.J.R. 8 and S.J.R. 12 still await an executive session, in which the committee will decide whether to send the resolutions to the floor. Whichever way it, and the legislature, decides, could have significant ramifications for the entire country and the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.
Wisconsin residents can contact their legislators in opposition to a Con-Con by visiting The John Birch Society’s legislative alert here. Everyone can take action against Con-Con applications in their respective states by visiting JBS’s action project page here.
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.
An Open Letter to Citizens of Texas: An Answer to Rep. James Frank (District 69)
Representative James Frank(TX-District 69) recently announced that he will not support the House Bill 1359, which calls for a secession referendum in the State of Texas. His reasons are three; (1) His Love for this Country, (2) The US and Texas Constitutions—there is no specific “provision” in either of these for secession; (3) The Profound Consequences for Texas.
What follows is not an open call to secede, but a challenge to consider the principles upon which secession is grounded. To dismiss the possibility of secession as “illegal and ill-advised,” as Frank does in his letter, is what I am challenging. At the same time, I will overlook his dismissive remarks that those who wish to “leave the Republic” are some “self-described patriots.” Patriotism is not the issue; it is liberty.
While acknowledging the “profound consequences” (Frank’s #3), such as pensions, social security, status of Texans serving in the military, etc. that a separation would bring, it should be remembered that the consequences for remaining attached to the United States might be profound as well—loss of free speech; indoctrination in halls of learning; excessive taxation; a wildly out-of-control unconstitutional welfare system; a ministry of Truth (propaganda) that is already being organized at the Federal level; the crushing of Texas jobs, cancellation of 2nd Amendment; the loss of free and fair elections, and more. The only issue here is if we will allow people to weigh the profound consequences for themselves.
Pertaining to love of country (Frank’s #1), it must be stated that all of us love this country. The issue is not whether we love this country, but whether we love the gifts of God such as life and liberty more than the United States of America. The main issue I wish to address is his second objection, pertaining to the Constitution.
No Specific Provision for Secession?
Rep. Frank fails to understand the very essence, the nature of the U.S. Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist #78, explains the entire principle.
There is no position which depends upon clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority [federal government] contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm that the deputy [federal government] is greater than his principal [the people which created the deputy]; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men, acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.
Hamilton was arguing for the interposition of the Courts to protect people, but the principle is the same. That principle is that the people delegated only so much authority to the federal government; that the federal government is merely the deputy created by the principal, the people; that the master is the people and the federal government is the servant. The Federal government is the creation of the people, and it is “we the people” that give to the government its right to exist.
Why was it thus created? Not an instrument to grant rights to people, but a creation of the people to protect what God gave us; namely, life, liberty and property. Authority flows upward from the people, which is why the Constitution begins, “We the People.” Rights to life, liberty, property, and self-government preceded the creation of government.
This is the basic fundamental premise upon which all of our statecraft was built and explains why the Founders would sign a document that reads, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it …” They did not look for permission for secession from England in English statutes. This same concept is built right into our own Constitution, for the 10th Amendments provides that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The right of self-government is one of these.
The argument for secession therefore has never been that one can find its justification in a specific statute which provides for it, but is man’s appeal to Almighty God for the right of self-government, an argument based upon natural law. Ignoring this basic fact throws our entire system into wild confusion, a confusion represented by Frank’s reasoning of the “illegality” of secession on the basis that “there is no provision” in the Constitution that grants this right. The Constitution never didgrant us rights—those come from God.
Rep. Frankturns the entire nature of our Constitution on its head. Such reversal of authority is a common error, but a fatal one. American governing is such that it is the people who grant to the Federal Government its rights, not the other way around. To accept the alternative revokes Hamilton’s main point and asserts that the “deputy” is indeed greater that the “principal,” that the “servant” is greater than “the master,” for the servant does not give us a provision to withdraw!
When the Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia 1787 to draw up a new constitution, they were not creating a national system to “grant rights” — they already owned these rights from God. What was done in Philadelphia was to create a central government by granting to it certain specified powers that had previously belonged to their several states. The right of secession therefore, is based upon the presupposition of an inalienable right of free people to consent to the form of government under which we must live.
William Rawle, in one of the first commentaries on the Constitution, written in 1825 and used for many years at West Point Military Academy, stated, “The secession of a free state from the Union depends upon the will of the people of such state. The people alone, as we have already seen, hold the power to alter their constitution.” Again, “The United States were formed into a federal body, with an express reservation to each state of its freedom, sovereignty and independence.”
If Rep. Frank is correct, that secession is “illegal” and “ill-advised” then never is there an escape from a government that works to usurp the will of the people, for that is a dictum that admits of no recourse.This cuts the legs out from beneath the Founders themselves. He takes the position that he does not favor a proposed referendum vote (HB 1359), which is only to allow the people to voice their opinions in the ballot box as to whether they would favor secession. Rather than withholding a vehicle whereby the people can speak, the earnest invitation is to give the people voice. Vote HB 1359 and liberate the will of the people.
The year is 1948. The man is Lyndon Baines Johnson, an operative of ruthless power with no moral compass to guide him. The arena is the Democratic Primary for a Senate seat vacated by W. Lee (Pappy) O’Daniel. Opposing him for that seat in the U.S. Congress is Coke Stevenson, a strict conservative who boasted he had “never voted for a tax bill.” Stevenson was the product of the hills of Texas, had been a cowboy, a country lawyer, and spent time as a freighter.
The lesson that follows is pertinent to America in 2021: it is a story of stuffing ballot boxes, stealing an election, and twisting the Constitutional system completely out of shape. Did America learn?
LBJ Goes to Washington
Richard Kleberg, of King Ranch fame, had been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 16th District in south Texas in 1931. Accompanying him to Washington was his secretary, LBJ. Once there LBJ, ever the wheeler-dealer, became solidly in the New Deal socialistic camp of FDR. “The devious ways of Washington were duck-soup” to LBJ.In 1935 FDR put him over that boondoggle of a program, the National Youth Program.
In 1937, after resigning from the NYP, Johnson became a Congressman from Texas’ 10th Congressional District. LBJ was unsuccessful in a 1941 bid for a Senatorial seat that Pappy O’Daniel eventually won. Coke Stevenson became governor of Texas that same year.
However, in 1948 O’Daniel decided not to re-run for Congress, which set the stage for a Democratic Primary contest between LBJ and Coke Stevenson. Coke was popular in Texas, and the New Dealers were his enemies by principle. LBJ was a leading socialist, supported by FDR, the Washington establishment, and the Brown & Root Texas contractors whose war-time contracts had become a scandal in itself. Also in LBJ’s corner was George Parr, a multi-million-dollar criminal whose profits from illegal liquor, gambling establishments and houses of prostitution landed him in jail. He became a huge power-broker in south Texas after his incarceration.
Perhaps the saddest part of the saga is that the New Deal socialism had already begun showing its deleterious effects on the American people by means of a steady erosion of character with its sordid appeal to the most selfish traits of human nature.Ideological confusion was the order of the day, class warfare had begun in earnest and hatred was growing—the full flowering of this one can witness today.
Jim Wells County
Just west of Corpus Christi, Texas is situated Jim Wells County with its county seat being the community of Alice. With the voting in the Democratic Primary being extremely close on July 24, Johnson was behind. Stevenson’s lead began to dwindle, however, as more precincts reported. Then, Johnson votes began to “magically appear.” Yet, Stevenson maintained a lead by a mere 349 votes and election officials declared him the winner. But the “counting” was not finished.
Johnson calls George Parr, the “Duke of Duval” County, whose family machine controlled much of the politics in south Texas. Parr told Johnson “not to worry.” Jim Wells County “re-canvassed the votes” and by September 3, Jim Wells County called in a 200-vote change that gave Johnson an 87 vote-lead.
The State Democratic Executive Committee convened in Fort Worth before their official meeting time, their subcommittee having already met in Austin, and they said they accepted the votes from “Box 13”—Jim Wells County. As R. Cort Kirkwood noted, Coke “Stevenson wasn’t fooled.”
Stevenson, the man who taught himself bookkeeping by campfire light and had caught rustlers with friend and now Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, traveled personally to Jim Wells County to check the vote tallies. Hamer went with him, along with two lawyers. They went to the bank in Alice and demanded to see the records which were kept in a vault. Parr’s henchmen, armed with Winchesters, were guarding the bank. Neither Hamer nor Stevenson were intimidated.
Once inside the bank an election official allowed them to see the election records where the evidence was in plain sight that the entire election had been stolen. Looking at the poll list, they found that 200 names had been added to the list, all in the same handwriting, all in alphabetical order, all written in blue ink—which was distinct from the black ink in which the other names had been registered. They had their proof.
An LBJ crony, Judge Roy Archer in Austin, however, gave an injunction against Stevenson and Hamer and forbad the County Committee to meet. Friends in high places. The counter attack came to a standstill. Stevenson appealed to a Federal Court where Judge T. Whitfield Davidson presided.
When Davidson heard the evidence from Stevenson’s lawyers and had listened to LBJ’s attorneys, he became at one point personally enraged against the LBJ team. Not only were Stevenson’s contentions completely unchallenged, but LBJ’s lawyers, in typical liberal fashion, spent all of their time berating Stevenson on a personal level for being a “poor loser.” Judge Davidson cut them short. “There has not been one word of evidence submitted!” he thundered against the LBJ team. He put off the final decision until September 28.
LBJ’s connections to the “powers that be” seemingly knew no bounds, however. Perhaps it is simply that socialism creates its own fraternity. Be that as it may, Hugo Black, the former Ku Klux Klansmen, and ardent supporter of the New Deal, now on the bench at the Supreme Court, issued a sweeping order in behalf of Johnson and ending the hearings in Davidson’s court in Ft. Worth.
Judge Davidson, knowing that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction in this matter—it being a State primary over a party nominee–nevertheless was forced to close shop. “The US Supreme Court has altered my opinion,” quipped Davidson, “but it hasn’t changed my mind.”
Johnson goes to Washington as Senator, later as President. His Great Society finished establishing the New Deal socialism into America as a ubiquitous nightmare.
What Are We to Learn?
Lessons come hard for “we the people.” Vote stealing, stuffing ballot boxes, loss of integrity of the election process—it has been occurring for a long time, generally at the hands of socialists who intend to change America, trashing the Constitution in their wake. We are seeing the same thing today, only now it appears to have swept the entire nation, placing Joe Biden where he should not be.
More importantly, America is now encased in a socialistic cage which has all but destroyed our nation. The Welfare State in which we currently live has entrenched globalists and Marxists in positions of power while at the same time gnawing the morals and ethics of people like an aggressive cancer eating away the organs of a body. Citizens hardly know the difference between government theft and redistribution and personal charity, and frequently put the former for the latter.
Perhaps most pertinently, the alternative conservatives seek of recourse to the Court system to stop the onslaught against freedom is a placebo. Oh, there may be a few court wins here and there. But look at the big picture.
We live in an unconstitutional welfare state—with the imprimatur of the Court system. God has been exiled from classrooms and public places—thanks to activist courts. Murdering the unborn continues unabated—by “rights” invented by the Court. Homosexual marriage has been installed as a legitimate civil union—once again by the Court, overstepping the will of the people. California itself has had ballot initiatives successfully voted on by the citizens of the state—against same-sex marriages and another denying taxpayer funding to illegals—both to be cancelled by activist courts and judges.Self-rule by citizens is effectively dead. We live in a black-robed oligarchy.
Add to this now that censorship of conservatives is on steroids; we have no effective border any longer; and Marxists rule in Washington behind chained-linked fences. Will we ever see freedom again? Will the Court System save us? Hardly.
Maybe instead of “waiting for the next election,” of which the integrity is in serious question anyway, it is time to drive toward State Sovereignty by Nullifying at a State Level federal unconstitutional laws. If our state representatives and senators have not the backbone for this, then perhaps a people’s move toward secession is in order.
A new bogeyman has supposedly made an entrance in the American scene: Christian Nationalism. Multitudes of Christians – specifically white people who support the Republican Party platform–are said to be in its clutches. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), a humanist organization that attacks all things Christian, co-founded by atheist Dan Barker and whose board boasts rabid anti-Christian heavy-weights such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, summarized what the concept means in a 2007 article by Michelle Goldberg.
She explains that it is a political ideology masquerading as a faith. Christian Nationalism basically holds that America was founded as a Christian nation, that the founders never intended to separate church and state, and that church/state separation is a lie and a fraud perpetrated by secularists in the last 100 years, which has to be undone so America can reclaim its ‘former glory.’
Christian Nationalism is the charge against those who believe America was founded as a “Christian Nation.” Goldberg worries that “this movement” seeks to “Christianize all the institutions of American life, from the schools to the judiciary to the federal government, the presidency, Congress, etc.” A similar screed by FFRF (10-14-19) blasted former Attorney General William Barr with “Christian Nationalism” for referring to the values upon which our nation was founded as “Judeo-Christian” ethics.
A 2017 booklet entitled Christian Nationalism in the United States, edited by Mark T. Edwards, a professor of US History and Politics at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, likens Christian Nationalism to the belief that America is a “Christian Nation,” even when the verbiage itself is absent. The accusation includes that even in the early 19th century, “lettered men and women were ‘reinventing’ the United States as a Christian nation. Outspoken Christian nationalists like Justice Joseph Story joined [Alexis de] Tocqueville in solidifying the Pilgrims and the Puritans as the foundation of religious and political liberty present in antebellum America.”
Kevin Kruse, professor of history at Princeton University, in his book, One Nation Under God (2015), makes the identical accusation against conservatives. George S. Benson, long-time president of Harding University, is heavily criticized for having advanced the cause of “religious nationalism.” The thesis of Kruse’s book is that America was “re-branded” as a “Christian Nation” in the 20th century. The chief culprits for such a plot were the religious professors, conservative politicians, and preachers, including Harding’s National Education Program, headed by Benson.
Fred Schwarz, the Baptist preacher from Australia who began the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, who worked in the same fields as did Benson’s NEP, is also called out by Kruse for pressing “religious nationalism.” As a matter of fact, the NEP’s model of a nation which is founded upon a “Fundamental Belief in God,” is singled out by Kruse for harsh criticism as being completely erroneous (p. 71).
The Christian Nationalism charge was picked up by Christianity Today in an article by Michael Horton (What Are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing? 8-31-2018). In it he lambasts preachers and professors who are on board with President Trump’s “America First” agenda as, “courting political power and happily” allowing “themselves to be used by it.” “This always happens when the church confuses the kingdom of Christ with the kingdoms of this present age. Jesus came not to jump-start the theocracy in Israel, much less to be the founding father of any other nation.” That which is “at stake” here, according to Horton, is “whether evangelical Christians place their faith more in Caesar and his kingdom than in Christ and his reign.”
Christian Nationalism in the churches of Christ?
From here the idea has been uncritically picked up and repeated in articles by members of the churches of Christ. In a blog entitled, For King, Not Country, Brian Casey (7-8-2020) informs us that “’Christian Nationalism’ is a contradiction in terms. ‘God and country’ is a misleading amalgamation.” “Things get very confused as Christian and national identities are blended indiscriminately and ignorantly. The mixture is so toxic to the Christian life…”
He introduces the article by criticizing with heavy-hand Harding’s George Benson for the mistake of confusing the church and the country. “…he promulgated the false marriage of the Kingdom of God (and the ideal of Harding) with the political machine of the United States. The National Education Program became the center of conservative political activism.” The madness in America today could have been avoided, says Casey, if Benson “not merged” nationalistic ideals” with “Christianity.”
Benson, the tireless missionary to China and president of Harding College, according to Casey even confused evangelism for Christ with “making America safe for democracy.” This is an “ill-blended mindset,” he intones.
Now comes The Christian Chronicle with articles written by Bobby Ross, Jr. (10-30-2020; 1-13-21) which carries the same ill-informed charges of Christian Nationalism against members of the churches of Christ who happen to be conservative Trump supporters. Interviewed in the articles are a number of ministers and church workers. The recent rash of attention on the topic is supposedly because some Trump supporters rioted and broke into the Capitol building on January 6. But that wrong-doing merely highlights a much more sinister sin, per these ministers.
Jeremie Beller, congregational minister of the Wilshire church of Christ in Oklahoma City and adjunct professor at OCU, repeats the Michael Horton charge (Christianity Today) that “Christian nationalism is the intertwining of the Kingdom of God with the kingdoms of men.”
Tanya Smith Brice is the dean of the College of Professional Studies at Bowie State University in Maryland. She gravely warned that Christian Nationalism is a “form of civil religion that places one’s earthly citizenship above one’s obligation as a follower of Christ.” Those who do this “falsely” give to a “nation-state a Messianic identity.” The “nation-state” is seen as the “primary mechanism for ‘saving’ human history.”
Tanya Smith Brice, who is black, now levels the racist charge. “White evangelicals are more likely to support the oppressive class and behaviors of our current federal administration than those who don’t identify as White evangelical.” She then remarks, “Christian nationalism has become inextricably linked with White Supremacy.”
Lee Camp, professor of theology as David Lipscomb University, goes so far as to say that this Christian Nationalism is “idolatry.”
Melvin Otey, former U.S. Justice Department trial lawyer for the Obama Administration and law professor at Faulkner University, says that “People believe that being an American or being a patriot or being a part of a political party is part of their faith. It absolutely is not. That’s what keeps people divided.” He admonishes with words of the apostle Paul, that we are “citizens of heaven.” Says Otey, “we have too many people in the church who aspire to be Christian Republicans, Christian Democrats …Their alliances and their allegiances are not first and foremost to Christ.”
Divided allegiances; white supremacy; confusing the church with Americanism; mistaking missionary activity for Christ for Americanism; idolatry invented in the 20th century—a heavier list of dark sins is hard to be found.
What Shall We Say to These Things?
First, America was founded as a Christian Nation. This is no “re-invention” by later generations, for the Founding generation spoke almost with one voice on this topic. It is noteworthy that celebrated authors such as Kevin Kruse of Princeton, in his One Nation Under God, hardly takes a glance at what the founding generation of Americans actually said. He assumes that in the mid-20th century the entire concept was invented, and he moves forward from there.
When our Founding Fathers referred to this nation, as “Christian Nation,” as did John Jay, one of authors of Federalist Papers, they did not intend that this be understood in the sense that an official church had been established, or that a “Theocracy” was in place, but rather that the principles upon which our republic rests were Christian in origin. Benjamin Morris, a second-generation American, in surveying the mass of material on this topic, summarized:
“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 founders even referred to America as a “Christian Republic.” That generation demonstrated this by the fact that they adorned public buildings with biblical symbols such as Moses crossing Red Sea; or Moses holding tablets of stone carved on the building of the Supreme Court; or that the state papers of the Continental Congress that are filled with Christianity.
One of the formative laws of the United States, listed in the U.S. Code, is the Declaration of Independence. It reads more like a theological statement that a political thesis. Our republic posited that rights come from God and that the single role of government is to protect what God gave us, inclusive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Republic itself is an outgrowth of Christian principles.
Roger Sherman, from Connecticut, one of the most influential of the founders, having signed not only the Declaration of Independence, but the Articles of Confederation as well as the Constitution. He wrote to Samuel Baldwin in 1790 that “his faith in the new republic was largely because he felt it was founded on Christianity as he understood it.”
Joseph Story, a jurist who served on the Supreme Court during the founding era and wrote the first lengthy Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, commented as follows:
Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal sentiment was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.
The Supreme Court in numerous cases has referred to this as “A Christian Nation.” Most notable is the 1892 case entitled The Church of the Holy Trinity v. The United States. Here the Court packed its decision with a litany of precedents from American history to establish “this is a religious people, … this is a Christian Nation.”
The First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion …” simply forbade the establishment of an official National Denomination in the sense of a state church supported by federal taxes. Fisher Aimes, who offered the wording of the Amendment, makes clear from his original version that “religion” meant “a single Christian denomination.” This is also how Thomas Jefferson understood the Amendment in his comment upon it in which he used the phrase “separation of church and state.”
Even Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1989 expressed the same.
It was never intended by the Constitution that the government should be prohibited from recognizing religion …The Christian religion was always recognized in the administration of canon law, and so far that the law continues to be the law of the land, the fundamental principles of that religion must continue to be recognized … (County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573).
The charge therefore that our Founders desired “Christian Nationalism” because they spoke of a Christian Nation reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. The modern pretension misfires completely by suggesting that some of our brethren have been guilty of “re-inventing history” when they point to a Christian foundation of America.
Second, the blanket charge that great evangelists of modern times, such as George Benson, somehow confused the kingdom of God, or heavenly reward, with a Christian America is flagrant falsehood. I challenge any of these who make such an outlandish charge to produce one statement from Benson or James D. Bales, who also worked for the National Education Program, or any other prominent evangelist such as Baptist Fred Schwarz, who has made any statement that remotely resembles these accusations.
The truth is, our modern-day professorships completely misunderstand the concept of a Christian Nation. The reason our founders desired to have a nation established on a Christian principles was that it provided—for the first time in modern history—a zone of order established upon the fundamental concepts that God provided us our rights, including life, liberty, and property—that the government was merely an institution designed to protect those rights.
And instead of inventing charges of “Christian Nationalism” against fellow Christians, as if someone somewhere wishes to establish a theocracy where an official State Church would rule, I would like one of these ministers to take in hand to defend how a Christian can in any way subscribe to the Democratic Party platform, that enshrines as a principle the destruction of innocent human life through infanticide and abortion and champions the practice of sodomy in our land. It would be interesting to hear one of these professors defend supporting a political platform that sounds as if had been written by King Herod.
Professor Otey’s rebuke is that Christians are “citizens of heaven.” The logical conclusion to that argument in this context is that one should not be involved at all in anything that partakes of civil government. Yet, he is one who continually calls for “conversations” about “race” in the church. What does “race” have to do with being a citizen of heaven? (Gal. 3:28). Apparently there are things about which he thinks we should be concerned as citizens of the United States as well.
Politics is nothing more than the organizing of human society and its institutions upon certain principles. Why should not Christians desire biblical principles to help regulate conduct at various societal levels? The apostle Paul’s ultimate citizenship was in heaven, but that did not stop him from appealing to his Roman citizenship (Acts 22) and ultimately to Caesar (Acts 25) to prevent miscarriage of justice in civil society.
Earlier Paul had been beaten with rods—unjustly by Romans in the city of Philippi. When the magistrates of the community discovered his Roman citizenship they were fearful and invited him to leave quietly (Acts 16:22ff). The apostle would have none of it. He utilized his Roman citizenship to his own benefit. “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out.”
Did Paul do wrong to press his Roman citizenship and fair treatment in Roman society? Should we have remonstrated with him that his “citizenship is in heaven” and not to worry about such matters? Was Paul “blending his Christian and national identities,” in the words of Brian Casey? Was he “conflating” Roman citizenship with being a citizen of heaven?
There is nothing more erroneous about speaking of a Christian Nation than of a Christian Family. What is a Christian family? It is one where biblical principles are implemented. Does that mean it is a perfect family? Is this family absent of sins committed by mother, father, children? No. But the principles there taught we recognize as Christian and refer to it as a Christian family. No one objects by suggesting that the entire family has not been baptized into Christ, or that not every family member is a Christian. But we still recognize what is a Christian family. So also a Christian nation.
More importantly, shall we say that when someone uses the phrase “Christian family” that we have “conflated the concepts of heaven and the family?” Have we laid ourselves open to the charge that we have “confused the Lord’s church with the family?” The answer is obvious. Brother Benson and others who worked with the NEP merely recognized that just as a godly, Christian family is more conducive in which to rear children to love and respect God, so also the nation.
Third, perhaps the most dangerous element revealed of the above critiques of Christian Nationalism is that they are born of Cultural Marxism. Classical Marxism, revealed in The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is rooted in atheism. This atheistic creed demands that the sole factor that determines a person is his economic status. A person thinks and moves as he does because of the class into which he is born.
Society is divided between the bourgeois (land-owners, middle-class) and the proletariat (the workers, who do not have property to sell, but only their labor). Between these classes there is an inevitable class struggle. This is the dialectic. People are not considered as individuals, but as part of a class.
The Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), built on Marx’s materialistic base and developed the concept of “cultural hegemony” meaning that the dominant ideology of society reflects beliefs and interests of the ruling class. Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph.D. explains:
Cultural hegemony refers to domination or rule maintained through ideological or cultural means. It is usually achieved through social institutions, which allow those in power to strongly influence the values, norms, ideas, expectations, worldview, and behavior of the rest of society.
Cultural hegemony functions by framing the worldview of the ruling class, and the social and economic structures that embody it, as just, legitimate, and designed for the benefit of all, even though these structures may only benefit the ruling class. This kind of power is distinct from rule by force, as in a military dictatorship, because it allows the ruling class to exercise authority using the “peaceful” means of ideology and culture.
Gramsci would argue that “consent to the rule of the dominant group” in a nation is achieved by the “spread of ideologies—beliefs, assumptions, and values—through social institutions such as schools, churches, courts, …” The dominant values in America—designed solely to maintain power of this class—is white male heterosexual.
To Gramsci’s Marxism the founders were only “a group of white men” constructing a government to protect their own cultural dominance. So also today. Laws in America supposedly reflect whiteness; the proof of this is the fact that minorities comprise the majority of prison populations. The assumption is that white America—the dominant culture– is racist. Hence, Cancel Culture rages in our streets.
Tanya Brice Smith’s blanket charge of sin of White Supremacy among Trump supporters is nothing less than this cultural Marxism. An entire class of people—white males—are guilty. Period. No need for evidence or fact. It just is. White people may insist continually the opposite of these things, but to no avail.
Cultural hegemony also explains why Jim Wallis, the “spiritual advisor” to Barack Obama, lambasted America by saying that “Racism is America’s Original Sin.” Sin attaches to white people because of whiteness. Again, no proof necessary. Whites are guilty. Lamentable as it is, now there are black preachers among us who will sound more like Jim Wallis than the Apostle Paul. Some suggest white people have “racism” in their “DNA.” Again, no proof necessary before a bar of justice. Just assume and blast away. Cultural Marxism.
It is indeed a sad day in America when preachers of the gospel of Christ will be more about beating the drums against an entire culture that has provided the greatest freedom to preach since the days of Adam and Eve. And that a Christian paper would allow these types of blanket Marxist-style charges indicting a large portion of the brotherhood of Christians shows how far we have gone.