I know that there are some folks who read my articles that take offense when I bring God into the discussion of rights and liberty, and that’s okay; we’re all entitled to our own beliefs. When I do so I am not asking that you believe as I do, I only ask that you accept that these are my beliefs and treat them with the same tolerance you expect towards your beliefs. You see, it doesn’t really matter whether you or I believe in God or not, many of the documents I quote from, and the men who wrote them, believed in a higher power; a Creator from whom all our rights and liberty come from.
So it doesn’t really matter what you or I think, what matters is what they thought when those documents were written. If you take offense at my mention of religion in my articles, then I recommend that you read no further, for this particular rant will contain biblical references and quotes pertaining to liberty, and hopefully shows how the two are irrevocably linked together.
To begin I’d like to share two quotes with you; one from the Bible and one from a letter James Madison wrote to W.T. Barry in 1822, see if you notice anything similar between the two. First, here is the passage from the Bible, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hosea 4:6)
And here is the passage from Madison’s letter to W.T. Barry, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
Do you see the similarity or must I spell it out for you? In both religion and in politics the key lies in a knowledgeable people. Is it enough to simply believe in God and not know what He expects from us as His children? Is it enough to vote without having the slightest understanding of what powers your government is authorized to exercise; what your rights are; and where those rights come from?
Now do you see the similarity? In both instances those speaking those quotes were warning of the dangers of, and punishment for … are you ready for it … IGNORANCE. Going to church every Sunday is not enough to ensure that you are living your life according to God’s will just as voting every election cycle is not enough to ensure that you are electing people to hold office who will uphold their oath to support and defend the Constitution; which by the way includes their obligation to leave your rights alone.
When the Colonists began their quest for independence they outlined both their reasons and justification for doing so in a document known as the Declaration of Independence. I don’t think people have given the Declaration of Independence the level of study that it deserves; for prior to that America was merely a holding of the British Crown, and it was only after the principles outlined by that document were obtained did America become a country of her own right. More than anything else the Declaration of Independence outlined the principles this country stood for, and upon which it would either flourish, or perish should we ever forsake them.
Today, and I know this does not apply to everyone, but generally speaking most people in this country look to someone else to educate, inform, and lead them; both in politics and in religion. We look to our pastors and priests to explain the Bible to us just as we look to our school teachers, our politicians, and the news media to explain politics and what government should be allowed to do.
In both instances we are putting our trust, our faith, our hope in others; when in truth it is our responsibility as individuals to ensure that we are being told the truth. In 1775 the great orator Patrick Henry warned of the dangers of placing our trust in the illusion of hope, “…it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
Henry was not afraid of speaking his mind, for his faith and loyalty was not to men, but to God, “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” Can we, should we, as people who call ourselves patriots, do no less? Should we bite our tongues, suppress our thoughts, for fear of offending those who may believe differently than we do?
On the flip side, what does it say about a people who reject facts, reject the truth, simply because it calls into question their own beliefs? Is not your integrity more important than the number of friends you have, or whether you are insulted and isolated among men?
This is even more relevant for those of you who call yourselves Christians; shouldn’t the love of truth and justice supersede your allegiance to an entity both created by, and populated by men; an entity which is both subject to the flaws and weaknesses inherent in all men? How can one call them self a follower of Christ if they hide from the truth, or reject it because it threatens their beliefs?
When I look back at recent presidential elections I shake my head in disbelief at the fanaticism of those who followed the candidates seeking that office. Those who supported Obama stood there at his campaign rally with looks of awe and inspiration on their faces; as if they were gazing into the eyes of their own personal messiah. Trump supporters were not as bad as the Obama supporters, but nonetheless they were just as fanatical in their support of Trump and opposition to Hillary. Yet in the Book of Psalms, Chapter 146 we read, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returnith to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”
Yet the mention of God in public today is met with scorn and ridicule, and these actions are supported and deemed constitutional by our government. We are told that our constitution was inspired by God, yet during the convention that produced it Ben Franklin suggested they begin each day’s session with a prayer for God’s guidance; a motion that was soundly rejected by those in attendance; as if they believed they were smarter than God Himself.
The same could very well be said of people today; thinking that they are smarter, or better than God Himself; that they can improve upon His plan, or disregard His commandments without fear of punishment.
If you are Christian you must also believe that God created the heavens and the Earth. This Christian tenet is found in the very first Book of the Bible, Genesis, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Yet we have scientists, genetic engineers, who think that they can improve upon God’s work by genetically modifying the plants and animals God put forth for our sustenance; we have medical science saying that laboratory formulated drugs are the only means of treating illness when nature provides all that we need if we would just utilize and understand the medicinal properties of God’s gifts to us. But government, (man), says that they know better than God, and through the FDA they limit, restrict, and downright prohibit natural cures to ensure that their buddies at the drug companies keep the profits rolling in.
Now I am not supporting any specific branch or sect of the Christian faith, but when I was younger I attended church services for the Latter Day Saints; otherwise known as Mormons. When I did I attended a meeting once where the guest speaker discussed the healing properties of naturally occurring substances.
In the Doctrine and Covenants of the LDS faith there is a chapter they call The Word of Wisdom which speaks about what they should and should not put into their bodies to ensure a healthy life. The speaker at this particular meeting told of how he, numerous times, was informed by doctors that he had a life threatening, and often untreatable illness, and that only pharmaceutical treatment could cure or ease his suffering. Yet this man’s faith was so strong that he researched what was found in the Word of Wisdom and ate according to its dictates…and every time he followed it he beat the illness doctors had told him would eventually kill him.
My wife is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2013. She opted to have her breasts removed but refused to undergo chemo or radiation therapy. She changed her diet; eating mostly fresh produce and eliminating refined products such as sugar, white rice and white flour. She also cut way back on red meat and dairy products. She ate healthy, exercised, and put her faith in God to either let her live or die. Today her oncologist still is amazed at how healthy she is; with no sign of cancer anywhere in her body.
All that we need to live a healthy life can be found in what God has provided us, but it means that we, as individuals, accept a certain amount of responsibility for our own health rather than trust doctors and drugs to do it for us.
Not only do we believe that God created the heavens and the earth, as well as all the plants and creatures, we also believe that He created man. Man precedes government, as the first men had no government; only the laws handed down by God to govern their lives. What is created by man can be undone by man, but what is created by God can only be undone by His will.
God gave us not only life, He gave us liberty; the freewill to make our own choices, while at the same time placing the responsibility of our actions squarely upon our shoulders; not upon society, but upon the individual who violated the laws of God.
Therefore, when we as men create government, we can do so either to be in accordance with God’s laws or in contradiction to them. Who’s laws would you rather obey as a Christian; those of your God or those written by man?
If God has given us liberty, as Jefferson states in the Declaration of Independence, then isn’t it your duty as a Christian to stand up for and defend that liberty against all those that might infringe upon it? Not only did Jefferson proclaim that liberty was the gift of our Creator in the Declaration of Independence, he also said so in his Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever…”
In all times there are those who are either designated, or have taken it upon themselves to be watchmen; protectors of men and their liberty. For instance, Patrick Henry was one who felt it was his duty to God to speak out against any and all infringements upon the liberty of the people; both by the British and those living in the States who sought to establish a system of government destructive of that liberty. Paul Revere was also such a man when he rode through the Colony warning of the impending attack at Lexington and Concord. Imagine what would have happened had the Colonists not heeded Revere’s warning and the British had succeeded in confiscating their arms and arresting Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
The Bible also speaks of these ‘watchmen’ and their duties. In the Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 33, we read the following about the duty of the watchman, “If when he seeith the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not the warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; hist blood shall be upon him. but he that taketh the warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Verses 3-6)
Those of us who write of allowing your government to overstep its authorized powers and infringe upon both your rights and your liberty are modern day watchmen, of sorts. If you do not heed our warnings and allow your God-given liberty to be taken from you, then you will be held accountable, not we; for we tried warning you and you did not heed our warnings.
People look to government almost as if it were their god; the only lawgiver they obey; when God has already given us all the laws we need to live in peace with one another. Some of these laws are found in the Book of Exodus; commonly known as the Ten Commandments. Some deal with how we are to worship our God and others deal with how we shall treat each other. Those that deal with how we shall treat each other are:
-Thou shalt not kill…
-Thou shalt not steal…
-Thou shalt not covet…
John Adams once wrote a treatise entitled A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787 in which he said, “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. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
See how both religious beliefs and political ones are interconnected; especially when a system of government is purportedly established to secure our Creator given rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?
If laws were written solely to protect those rights, or if laws were written which punished those who kill, those who steal, and those who covet, then the world would be a lot better place. But when laws are written which take from people their right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness, those laws run counter to what our system of government was supposedly established to secure to us; and they violate God’s laws as well.
In the Book of 2nd Corinthians Chapter 3 we read, “Now the Lord is that spirit: and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Does it not therefore make sense that where the spirit of the Lord is not, that liberty also does not exist? How can you call yourself a Christian if you support this government; regardless of which party is in control of it:
-A government that prohibits us from using God’s gifts to us for preserving our health so that Big Pharma can make billions off the poisons they sell?
-A government that invades and murders those living in other countries so that U.S. business interests can gain access to their natural resources?
-A government that permits the murder of unborn babies because pregnancy is inconvenient and the parents did not take measures to prevent it from happening?
-A government that will burn alive members of a religious sect they label as a cult or terrorists over the supposed violation of some gun control laws; which also are a violation of our right to keep and bear arms?
-A government that robs you of your privacy, your freedom of speech, your freedom to worship, your freedom to travel and freely associate, and which takes from you the fruit of your labor and gives it to those it deems is more worthy than you are?
Those are just a few of the examples of how this government, the one you support by voting and obeying its laws, violate our rights and our liberty; which are gifts to us from God. How can you say that you love God, while you allow this to happen without protesting, without resisting these violations upon your God-given rights?
Is it because you do not know what the Bible or the Constitution and Bill of Rights say? Well whose fault is that; certainly not mine. What did Hosea say, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Well there you have it; the root of all our problems in this country; and until THAT can be corrected, nothing else will.
Noah Webster once said, “But every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country; he should lisp the praise of liberty, and of those illustrious heroes and statesmen, who have wrought a revolution in her favor.”
Webster also said, “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.”
And finally, a quarter century before Lexington and Concord; before the Declaration of Independence was even a consideration, Samuel Adams spoke of the very root of all our problems today in an essay published in the Public Advertiser, “[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”
If our country is all screwed up, it’s not governments fault, it’s yours. Government works for you, and if you let it do things it shouldn’t be doing; things which restrict your rights and liberty, then that’s on you for not removing those who enact such laws, or dragging them out into the streets and publicly tarring and feathering them…or worse.
Government derives its just authority from the consent of the governed; therefore if you do not resist when government oversteps it’s just authority, you are consenting to it; cowardice is not a justification when it comes to defending your rights. If Christ had been a coward he would not have allowed Himself to be crucified for your sins; nor would His followers have preached His gospel when those in power demanded they stop.
It takes both knowledge of, and the willingness to defend your beliefs and your liberty for either to survive; and I see very little of either amongst those who profess to be patriots or Christians. You may not have to be a Christian to love and defend your liberty, but you sure as hell can’t call yourself one if you don’t defend it.
Take a good look into the mirror people, your liberty is your gift from God, and it is up to YOU to stand up for it; not me, not some group, and certainly not a government whose track record shows that they seek to reduce us to an absolute despotism…which by the way was justification enough for the patriots of 1776 to rise up and fight for their freedom.
So think about these things while you cower away in fear over this virus, and remember them when you go out and watch the fireworks display on July 4; ask yourself if you are worthy of the sacrifice they made so that you could be free. Because from my perspective, you aren’t worthy….