I know some folks who read my rants are not of the Christian faith. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Regardless of your faith, that is a fairly reasonable statement, wouldn’t you agree? If so, why is it that so many people in this country turn their backs to the truth; choosing instead to remain enslaved by the lies they have been taught? That question is even more pertinent for those who do call themselves Christians; why do you hide from the truth and shun those who speak it?
I fully realize that I’ve probably already turned off a great many people, simply because I mentioned Christianity and the Bible, and that warning sirens are going off in the heads of many others. Regardless of what your own personal beliefs may be you cannot undertake a study of American History if you do not include Christianity in your discussion as well; to do so would be akin to trying to talk about the Civil War without mentioning the subject of slavery. If you truly want to understand the history of this country you are going to have to try to put aside your own personal beliefs and see things through the eyes of those who participated in the events that shaped this country in its early years.
Like it or not Christianity played a large role in early Colonial life; so much so that laws were written in most of the Colonies which specifically mentioned the people’s obligation to obey God’s Laws. For instance, in 1682 Pennsylvania enacted An Act for Freedom of Conscience, in which they stated, “Whereas the glory of almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and end of government and, therefore, government in itself is a venerable ordinance of God.” There are many other passages from early Colonial Ordinances that I could provide, some of which mandated attendance at church services, but I’ll refrain from doing so. Just know that this country, at one time, was populated primarily by God fearing men and women who both read and could quote the Bible fluently.
Now I have heard many supposed God fearing individuals reference Romans 13 when attempting to explain why we should give our allegiance and support to government. I would venture to guess that those living in Colonial times; both among the clergy and among their congregations, were probably more familiar with what the Bible said than most people who profess to be Christian today are. So if they interpreted Romans 13 they way others interpret it today, how could they justify their disobedience to, and their separation from British rule; particularly when the King supposedly ruled by divine right?
I truly do not wish to come across as demeaning; however I believe that not only were our ancestors more pious, they were better thinkers than we are today. Those who lived during what we call the founding era were better educated and more able to think critically than those who live today; myself included. Take for instance Thomas Jefferson. In 1962 President John F. Kennedy hosted a dinner at the White House for 49 winners of the Nobel Prize. This was quite the assembly of knowledge and talent, yet Kennedy told them, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” That is quite the compliment to Jefferson, saying that he was equally as smart as 49 of the world’s leading thinkers combined.
Another Thomas from that era, Thomas Paine, gave us a possible answer as to how the Colonies justified resisting the laws imposed upon them by the King. In Paine’s book The Rights of Man he states, “Though I mean not to touch upon any sectarian principle of religion, yet it may be worth observing, that the genealogy of Christ is traced to Adam. Why then not trace the rights of man to the creation of man? I will answer the question. Because there have been upstart governments, thrusting themselves between, and presumptuously working to un-make man.
If any generation of men ever possessed the right of dictating the mode by which the world should be governed for ever, it was the first generation that existed; and if that generation did it not, no succeeding generation can show any authority for doing it, nor can set any up. The illuminating and divine principle of the equal rights of man (for it has its origin from the Maker of man) relates, not only to the living individuals, but to generations of men succeeding each other. Every generation is equal in rights to generations which preceded it, by the same rule that every individual is born equal in rights with his contemporary.”
The passage I want you to keep in mind is, “The illuminating and divine principle of the equal rights of man (for it has its origin from the Maker of man) relates, not only to the living individuals, but to generations of men succeeding each other.” That right there obliterates the belief that our rights come from a piece of parchment, or are granted to us from government. Our rights come from our Creator, which is why our Declaration of Independence is much more than a simple list of grievances against King George III; it is a universal declaration of the beliefs held by all those who signed that document.
Therefore, it is of great importance that we pay close attention to what that document says if we wish to understand government today, and how it has strayed from the original intent of those who risked their lives to gain their independence from a tyrant.
The very first passage of the Declaration of Independence is often overlooked, with people skipping right over it to the second passage. However, I would like to spend a moment addressing what others, myself included, often skip over. The first passage reads, “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Jefferson himself was not a Christian in that he did not believe in the trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Jefferson was a Unitarian; believing in a supreme higher power, but not in the way that most Christians do. Jefferson believed that Christ was a great teacher, setting down the greatest set of moral standards ever produced; but he did not believe in Christ’s divinity; which is why he wrote the Jefferson Bible; omitting all reference to Christ’s miracles and His divine nature.
Nonetheless, Jefferson admitted in that opening passage that people are governed by the laws of both nature and their God; and that it was those laws that led him to say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Now if you recall, I began this by quoting from the book of John, Chapter 8, Verse 32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I would like to return to that subject now; but before I do I would like to ask you a question. Although Jefferson was not a Christian, not per se, there were a great many of those we call Founders who were. My question is, who do you think was the most devout among those we call Founders?
I do not know how you answered that, or if you even tried, but hands down I’d have to say that Patrick Henry was the most devout of those we call Founders. Patrick Henry was fearless in his defense of his, and our, liberty. Yet it was not simply because he himself sought that liberty that he was that way; he felt it was his Christian duty to do so.
I think most people would be familiar with Henry’s famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death.” However, how many have read the entire speech those words were taken from? I’ve probably read it a hundred times, if not more; and every time I do I get the chills. You see, Henry was not afraid of speaking the truth; even when accused of treason; as he was when he protested against the King and his Stamp Tax in 1765; “If this be treason…then make the most of it.”
Yet it was his speech to the House of Burgesses in 1775 where Henry explained why he was so fearless in the defense of liberty, “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.”
Henry’s life was an exemplary series of examples of how he recognized his obligation to his God, and how he stood up for the rights and liberty of all men against tyrants and tyranny; wherever and whenever they may raise their ugly little heads. Oh to have a nation filled with men of his virtue and courage today; things would not be as bad as they are. Henry’s allegiance was to his God; and it was due to that allegiance that he was fearless in the defense of his liberty; because that liberty was the gift of God to all men. Even Jefferson acknowledged that when he wrote, “The god who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” (Source: A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1774)
That is why the Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That document recognizes that our rights come, not from governments or men, but from our Creator, and that governments exist to secure those rights, not destroy them.
Now if government was good, it would secure to all men, equally, their unalienable rights. But, if government failed to do that, it cannot, by the definition given by the Declaration of Independence, be just. This brings up two questions. First, if government is not just, it is not acting to secure your rights and liberty, then why do you support it; regardless of which political party happens to be in control at the current moment? The second question is; how did we get from a government that was just; one that did secure to all men their equal rights, to the one we have today?
The answer may surprise you, for the answer to both questions is that we have forsaken the belief that our rights come from God, and that it is our duty to defend them against all attacks; even when those attacks come from our government. This brings up another question, and one which will probably upset many; if our Constitution is so gosh darned great, how is it that it allows for a government to exist that has the power to trample upon the rights and liberty of the governed?
I want you to think about something now. How many of you believe it is your patriotic duty to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance whenever the occasion calls for it? Do you even realize what you are doing when you recite those words? I’m guessing you don’t; so I’ll try to explain it for you.
First you need to understand what the word allegiance means. Allegiance is the loyalty a subject or citizen pledges to a ruler or state. So when you say, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands…” you are pledging your loyalty, your obedience to, the government; which in my book makes you a subject, not a free man. Furthermore, you are declaring that this allegiance is superior to whatever allegiance you may feel towards your God.
Your allegiance should be to God, not any system of government established by man. If you truly believe that your Creator, i.e. God, gave you your rights and liberty as a birthright, AND, if you believe that governments are established to secure those rights, then when a government does not serve that function you are not at odds with Romans 13 where it says, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. Governments power is derived by consent of the governed for the purpose of securing to man the rights given to him by God, and when government no longer serves that purpose, man is no longer obliged to obey it; his obedience being to God, and God’s gift of liberty to all men.
Going back to March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry pleaded with his fellow Virginians, “There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!”
Now let me ask you something. Why would Henry include an appeal to arms and to God in the same sentence? The answer is quite simple if you would but think about it; it was because Henry understood that our liberty does not come from men, it comes from our God; and that it is our duty to God to defend that liberty against all attacks.
People must think I’m smart, as I’m always being asked how I would fix things in this country if I could. First of all, I don’t things can be fixed; I think we’ve sunk too far down the drain hole into tyranny to fix them. Furthermore, I don’t think most people have the mindset, or the courage, to do what needs to be done to fix this country; I truly don’t. But since I’ve been asked, I’ll try to provide an answer.
First of all I would require that every American accept complete and total responsibility for their own wants and needs, and stop asking others to subsidize and protect them. Rights come with responsibilities, and when you abuse those rights by violating the rights or liberty of others, you should be punished accordingly. On the flip side, liberty comes with the responsibility of defending it; even when it is being violated by your friends, your family, and those you vote for.
I’ve asked this before, but I’ll ask it again; where in the Constitution does it lay out the procedures we have at our disposal to safeguard and defend our liberty against intrusion by those we elect. I’ll give you a second to Google your answers…
You back? I bet you couldn’t find an answer, could you? That’s because your precious Constitution provides no means by which we can defend our liberty against tyrants; none whatsoever. That was Patrick Henry’s greatest objection to the Constitution, “That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, by what law? They must make the law — for there is no existing law to do it. What — will they make a law to punish themselves? This, Sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”
This is what happens. We elect these people, then we hope and we pray that the do a good job; that they respect and protect our rights and liberty. Then, when they do not, we vote them out of office and repeat the process by electing others to replace them; but there is never any punishment handed out to those who have violated the trust placed in them; we just keep losing more and more and more of our freedoms without any means of restraining government.
It wasn’t always this way though. Prior to the ratification of the Constitution we had a system which provided much better safeguards for our liberty. Under the Articles of Confederation the State governments were more localized, more familiar with that wants and needs of their constituents. Not only that, but in most, not all, but most of the State Constitutions there was a clause that required that those elected to office swear an oath of loyalty to the Christian God.
This was the passage from the Constitution for the State of Vermont requiring such an oath, “I ______ ______ do solemnly swear, by the ever living God, (or, I do solemnly affirm in the presence of Almighty God) that as a member of this assembly, I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to me injurious to the people; nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared in the Constitution of this State.” There were others, but for brevities sake I will not include them all. Feel free, however, to Google them is you want verification of my claim.
Under the Articles of Confederation, those serving in Congress were not representatives of the people; they were representatives of their respective State Legislators. As such, they too had taken that oath; their allegiance was not ‘to the republic’ it was to their home states; their country.
Furthermore, and here’s the kicker, Article 5 of the Articles of Confederation states, “For the most convenient management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislatures of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year.” (My emphasis)
What that means is that if the representative of any state was deemed to have done things which were, to quote Vermont’s Constitution, “injurious to the people… or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared in the Constitution of this State…” they could be recalled and brought home.
Can you recall your member to the House or Senate if they do anything that violates your rights? No, you must wait until the next election and vote them out of office; giving them time to do more injurious things; and that’s assuming the people are knowledgeable enough about their rights and liberty to do so.
Under the Articles of Confederation the loyalty of those selected to sit in Congress was to their States; and as such they had also pledged an oath of loyalty to God. Then along comes James Madison and all those other marvelous, divinely inspired delegates; and they draft up this divinely inspired document called the Constitution.
I find that rather ironic, as those who attended this convention of demigods never asked God for His inspiration during their proceedings. Yet during those, so-called, divinely inspired proceedings, Ben Franklin actually did call for prayers to be given at the beginning of each session; seeking that divine inspiration, “I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.”
Franklin’s motion was never voted upon, and the convention never did ask God for His assistance, or His inspiration, in drafting up their plan for a new system of government. In Franklin’s personal notes he would later write, “The convention, except three or four persons, thought prayer unnecessary.”
So, it would seem that these divinely inspired drafters of the Constitution weren’t so divinely inspired after all; leaving me to wonder what did inspire them. Possibly a lust for power and dominion; but whatever the case, it certainly did not seem that they had much concern for drafting up a system that would secure the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the governed, that’s for sure.
Finally, not only did these wonderful men, (and I say that with a great deal of sarcasm), not ask for divine guidance in establishing their precious system of government, they took away the requirement that anyone elected to their system pledge an oath of loyalty to God. If you don’t believe me, it’s right there in Article 6, Clause 3. Now I want you to read this very carefully; take your time if you must, but it is essential that you understand exactly what they are saying. Article 6, Clause 3 states, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under these United States.” (My emphasis)
Not only did that violate the Constitution of almost every State, it threw God out of our system of government entirely. Man’s loyalty, their obedience, their allegiance would be to a government created by men, and the laws enacted by those men. No longer would man’s allegiance be to God; it was to be to the Caesar referenced in Romans 13.
So you asked me what we can do to fix this country; well here it is, and it is found in Psalms 146, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth 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.”
If you can do that you can then begin to understand that your rights do not come from, nor are they protected by government; they come from God and it is our obligation as His children to defend them against all attacks; both foreign and domestic.
This means that if your friends and family vote for people who then turn around and pass laws that violate your rights, infringe upon your liberty, those friends and family members are not loyal to God; and it is your DUTY to resist them. The same goes for those who pass the laws that violate your rights, and those who enforce those laws; they too are to be resisted; even to the point where you may be forced to give up your life in the defense of them. For as Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” That was no idle threat; it was Henry pledging his allegiance to God; and to God’s gift of liberty to all men.
You wanted the answer; well there it is. That must happen on a massive scale, and only then can we hope for this country to return to its former glory; based upon the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. But I don’t see that happening, God is too far removed from the hearts of most these days. It is the same as Christ said in the book of Matthew, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
But the people do not want to hear this, they want easy fixes so they can go back to their TV’s and their social media. Well, as Thomas Paine said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” If you can’t do that, if comfort and security are more important to you than liberty, then Samuel Adams had words for you as well, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
But those are harsh words Neal. Well, the truth often is harsh, but as Patrick Henry said, “Mr. President, 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.”
If you want to fix what’s wrong with this country you are going to have to look inwards; look at what it is you believe, and who, or what you pledge your allegiance to. If you don’t have the courage to do that, stop asking me how we can fix this country; for it can’t be done without changing what you believe government is supposed to be doing; and being able and willing to resist its authority when it does not serve its intended purposes.
And with all the fools I see walking around with muzzles over their faces, I don’t see this country getting better anytime soon; it’s only going to get worse.