Category Archives: christianity

The Church – State Myth and the Enemy Within

Most Americans believe that the First Amendment has been successful in preventing our government from establishing an official state religion. Yet, America today has an established religion with as much or more power than the Puritan Churches exercised over the inhabitants of Massachusetts during the Colonial Period. It uses the law and taxpayer money to enforce its doctrines, promote its agenda and oppress dissidents in every nook and cranny of American society, with only a vague awareness among the American people.

To appreciate fully the danger this arrangement presents to our liberty and, in fact, to our continued existence as a free republic, we first need to understand the connections between religion, morality, law and government. These four elements of society are intertwined in the fabric of all nations like the threads of a fine tapestry. No one of them can be eliminated or even substantially changed without changing the nature of society as a whole.

Psychologist tell us that among the dominate needs of man are the cognitive needs, the need to understand and make sense of the seemingly chaotic world we live in. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? In struggling to answer these questions, we develop a personal philosophy of life that we refer to as our “worldview”.   The guiding principle behind our worldview is our religion. The religious impulse seems to be an integral part of human nature. Every society since the dawn of man has practiced a religion of one type or another, whether it is the worship of the Creator God revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures; man, the high point of that creation; lesser objects of creation; or the creation itself. If we do not accept the God of Scripture, we fashion our own god according to our own liking.

One of the important functions of religion is to provide the rules for living together harmoniously in an organized society designed to provide for the mutual security of the members of that society. These rules are based on the moral values of the dominate religious beliefs among the people, and in turn form the basis for the civil laws enacted by their government leaders. For that reason, it is futile to believe that religion and government can be isolated from each other, each operating in its own sphere without unduly influencing the other. Our Founding Fathers were well aware of this fact, but they also knew from hundreds of years of bitter experience that ecclesiastical tyranny was just as easily established and just as fatal to the happiness and tranquility of society as political tyranny.

To guard against the possibility of ecclesiastical tyranny developing on a nationwide basis, the Framers gave the national government no powers whatsoever in the Constitution to legislate in matters of religion, leaving civil laws affecting the daily lives of the people up to the states, the local communities, and to the people themselves. This prohibition against the national government’s involvement in religion was further emphasized in the First and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. This arrangement worked well for the first 350 years of our existence. (During the 169 year colonial period, civil laws governing daily life in the colonies were left up to the citizens and legislatures of individual colonies or local communities), as they were by the new government until the middle of the nineteenth century.

This division of authority between the national government, the states, and local communities no longer works because we have become a religiously divided nation with conflicting laws based on the moral systems of two competing religious. This can only end in the eventual collapse of the American society, as we know it. Jesus Christ taught this principle during his ministry on earth two thousand years ago; “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Matthew 12:24-26

The well known twentieth century philosopher, R. J. Rushdoony, explains the relationship between morality, law and religion in his popular book, “Law and Liberty”.1

“All law is enacted morality and presupposes a moral system, a moral law, and all morality presupposes a religion as its foundation. Law rests on morality, and morality on religion. Whenever and wherever you weaken the religious foundations of a country or people, you then weaken the morality also, and you take away the foundations of its law. The result is the progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society.” pg. 4

The two religions currently competing for the hearts of the American people and the control of our civil laws are Biblical Theism and Religious Humanism. Humanism is not normally recognized as a religion because it is not organized into a denominational structure as are most of the Theistic religions in America. Nevertheless, it is well organized, with its own doctrines and its own moral system. Furthermore, it has become so influential in our governments that most of the civil laws impinging on our liberties are based on the moral values of Humanism. Rushdoony goes on to explain the difference between laws based on Biblical morality and humanistic morality;

“For humanism, salvation is an act of state. It is civil government which regenerates man and society and brings man into a paradise on earth. As a result, for the humanist social action is everything. Man must work to pass the right set of laws, because his salvation depends upon it. Any who oppose the humanist in his plan of salvation by law, salvation by acts of civil government, is by definition an evil man conspiring against the good of society. The majority of men in office today are intensely moral and religious men, deeply concerned with saving men by law. From the Biblical perspective, from the Christian perspective, their program is immoral and ungodly, but these men are, from their humanistic perspective, not only men of great dedication but men of earnestly humanistic faith and morality.” pg 6

President Obama expressed his belief in the humanistic principle of “salvation by law” or “collective salvation” in a speech at the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony on May 25, 2008 where he says, “Our individual salvation depends on collective salvation”.

Modern humanism has its roots in the eighteenth century enlightenment movement or, as it is often referred to, “the Age of Reason”. Its development was further advanced by the preaching of the “social gospel” during the Second Great Awakening in the early eighteen hundreds. After the Civil War (1867), a group of ministers organized the “Free Religious Association” self-described as a “spiritual anti-slavery society”. Its purpose was to, “emancipate religion from the dogmatic traditions it had been previously bound to”.  Among the founders of the association were, David Atwood Wesson, a Unitarian minister and William J. Potter, also a Unitarian minister and the driving force behind the group. The first member of the Association was Ralph Waldo Emerson. The FRA’s core message was the perfectibility of humanity, the importance of natural rights and morality based on reason. The association met annually in convention from 1867 to about 1893. It seems to have gone out of existence sometime around 1923, but its legacy lives on in the American Humanist Association.

The American Humanist Association began in 1927 at the University of Chicago when a group of seminarians and professors organized the Humanist Fellowship and began publishing the New Humanist magazine. In 1933 a group of thirty-four of America’s leading intelligentsia, led by Raymond Bragg, Executive Secretary of the Western Unitarian Conference (WUC) and former Pastor of The Church of All Souls in Evanston, Illinois, published a document titled “The Humanist Manifesto”. A perusal of the list of signers of original document known as The Humanist Manifesto I” and its later revisions, The Humanist Manifesto II, and The Humanist Manifesto III, gives some indication of the tremendous influence the American Humanist Association has established over the American Culture.

According to the bio. of Bragg published in the Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography;

“The Manifesto proclaimed the signers’ faith in a non-theistic, non-supernatural, monistic, naturalistic, evolving universe. They affirmed the value of life in general and of humanity in particular and declared that what cannot be discovered by “intelligent inquiry,” such as science, ought not to be entertained as knowledge or belief.”

In 1939 Corliss Lamont, a leading Humanism apologist and the son of Thomas Lamont, a former Partner and Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co., published a book titled “The Philosophy of Humanism”.(2) In it he list ten principles of humanism.

“First, Humanism believes in a naturalistic metaphysics or attitude toward the universe that considers all forms of the supernatural as myth; and that regards Nature as the totality of being and as a constantly changing system of matter and energy which exists independently of any mind or consciousness.

Second, Humanism, drawing especially upon the laws and facts of science, believes that we human beings are an evolutionary product of the Nature of which we are a part; that the mind is indivisibly conjoined with the functioning of the brain; and that as an inseparable unity of body and personality we can have no conscious survival after death.

Third, Humanism, having its ultimate faith in humankind, believes that human beings possess the power or potentiality of solving their own problems, through reliance primarily upon reason and scientific method applied with courage and vision.

Fourth, Humanism, in opposition to all theories of universal determinism, fatalism, or predestination, believes that human beings, while conditioned by the past, possess genuine freedom of creative choice and action, and are, within certain objective limits, the shapers of their own destiny.

Fifth, Humanism believes in an ethics or morality that grounds all human values in this-earthly experiences and relationships and that holds as its highest goal the this-worldly happiness, freedom, and progress—economic, cultural, and ethical—of all humankind, irrespective of nation, race, or religion.

Sixth, Humanism believes that the individual attains the good life by harmoniously combining personal satisfactions and continuous self-development with significant work and other activities that contribute to the welfare of the community.

Seventh, Humanism believes in the widest possible development of art and the awareness of beauty, including the appreciation of Nature’s loveliness and splendor, so that the aesthetic experience may become a pervasive reality in the lives of all people.

Eighth, Humanism believes in a far-reaching social program that stands for the establishment throughout the world of democracy, peace, and a high standard of living on the foundations of a flourishing economic order, both national and international.

Ninth, Humanism believes in the complete social implementation of reason and scientific method; and thereby in democratic procedures, and parliamentary government, with full freedom of expression and civil liberties, throughout all areas of economic, political, and cultural life.

Tenth, Humanism, in accordance with scientific method, believes in the unending questioning of basic assumptions and convictions, including its own. Humanism is not a new dogma, but is a developing philosophy ever open to experimental testing, newly discovered facts, and more rigorous reasoning.” (Emphasis added)

It is evident that these principles of humanism form the foundation for most of the progressive laws and bureaucratic rules that have plagued our nation for the past fifty years, and threatens to undermine our culture and our political system unless the American people wake up and realize the danger. It is organized religious humanism that drives the fifth column attempting to overthrow our American values and replace them with socialist tyranny.

END NOTES:

1. R. J. Rushdoony, Law and Liberty (1984) Ross House Books; Vallecito, CA 95251

2. Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism (1997}, Eight Edition, Humanist Press, Amherst, NY 14226

Signers of Humanist Manifesto I
J.A.C. Fagginger Auer—Parkman Professor of Church History and Theology, Harvard University; Professor of Church History, Tufts College.
E. Burdette Backus—Unitarian Minister.
Harry Elmer Barnes—General Editorial Department, ScrippsHoward Newspapers.
L.M. Birkhead—The Liberal Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
Raymond B. Bragg—Secretary, Western Unitarian Conference.
Edwin Arthur Burtt—Professor of Philosophy, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University.
Ernest Caldecott—Minister, First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, California.
A.J. Carlson—Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago.
John Dewey—Columbia University.
Albert C. Dieffenbach—Formerly Editor of The Christian Register.
John H. Dietrich—Minister, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis.
Bernard Fantus—Professor of Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois.
William Floyd—Editor of The Arbitrator, New York City.
F.H. Hankins—Professor of Economics and Sociology, Smith College.
A. Eustace Haydon—Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago.
Llewellyn Jones—Literary critic and author.
Robert Morss Lovett—Editor, The New Republic; Professor of English, University of Chicago.
Harold P Marley—Minister, The Fellowship of Liberal Religion, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
R. Lester Mondale—Minister, Unitarian Church, Evanston, Illinois.
Charles Francis Potter—Leader and Founder, the First Humanist Society of New York, Inc.
John Herman Randall, Jr.—Department of Philosophy, Columbia University.
Curtis W. Reese—Dean, Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago.
Oliver L. Reiser—Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.
Roy Wood Sellars—Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan.
Clinton Lee Scott—Minister, Universalist Church, Peoria, Illinois.
Maynard Shipley—President, The Science League of America.
W. Frank Swift—Director, Boston Ethical Society.
V.T. Thayer—Educational Director, Ethical Culture Schools.
Eldred C. Vanderlaan—Leader of the Free Fellowship, Berkeley, California.
Joseph Walker—Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts.
Jacob J. Weinstein—Rabbi; Advisor to Jewish Students, Columbia University.
Frank S.C. Wicks—All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis.
David Rhys Williams—Minister, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York.
Edwin H. Wilson—Managing Editor, The New Humanist, Chicago, Illinois; Minister, Third Unitarian Church, Chicago, Illinois.

America’s Deal With The Devil…Part Two

In our previous article, we discussed how America had made a Faustian Bargain with the state concerning religion, expressed in the cliché, “Separation of Church and State”.The unspoken terms of this bargain is that the government will tolerate all religion so long as it is confined to religious activities conducted within prescribed religious settings and involving only those people amicable to the religious beliefs being expressed. In return, government agrees not to establish by law any official religious group or levy taxes for its support. This arrangement is unworkable for a number of reasons, chiefly because it makes religion dependent on retaining the good will of the government.

Contrary to popular belief, religion cannot be isolated from government. They are inseparably linked together through the culture. The best we can do is to make the institution of religion independent of the legislative and therefore coercive powers of government. That is what the Founders attempted to do with the First Amendment.

Every nation on earth throughout history, has had a predominant religion; paganism, Mohammedism, Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Protestant Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Biblical Christianity, Humanism or Secular Humanism. Invariably these religions shape the culture of their respective nations and ultimately determine the laws and policies of government. (“By their fruits shall ye know them”). This is a self-evident truth that can easily be discovered by simply observing the underlying connections between government, culture and religion in any nation on earth today or any that have existed in the past.

Prior to the mid-twentieth century Protestant Christianity was the dominant religion in America. (For the sake of brevity, I include independent Christian Churches within Protestant Christianity.) Its influence could be seen in the laws and policies of communities throughout the nation during that time; Sunday closing laws, the prohibition of liquor sales before noon on Sunday, anti-prostitution laws, anti-gambling laws, divorce laws, and anti-abortion laws, just to name a few. With the rise of socialism during the past century, Christianity has gradually lost its influence on government to be replaced with Humanism, the oldest form of religion, dating back to the Garden of Eden. The primary feature of Humanism is the elevation of man and rebellion against the laws of God. Throughout Biblically recorded history, its practice always brought about the judgment of God; Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the Flood, confusion of language and dispersion throughout the world from the Tower of Babel, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are some well-known examples.

In spite of the prohibition against an established religion in America in the Bill of Rights and the Faustian Bargain between “Church and State” already mentioned, America has made Humanism the de facto established religion of the nation. Billions of tax dollars are spent each year to further its doctrines and thousands of laws and bureaucratic rules are implemented to enforce its belief system. The Humanist doctrine of evolution is mandated to be taught in our public schools and the Christian doctrine of creation is forbidden by law. Radical environmentalism, evolution, radical feminism, multi-culturalism, open borders, world government, sodomite marriage, bi-lingual education, etc., are all Humanist doctrines promoted under the umbrella doctrines of pseudo-science and social justice.

Those among us who insist that America is a secular nation are advocating Secular Humanism, the ultimate form of Humanism, wittingly or unwittingly. Using history as our guide, we can see that secular Humanism inevitably leads to totalitarian Socialism and eventually to Communism. We only have to look at the history of the twentieth century to prove this truth. Consider the history of Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, etc. It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. When one occurs, something else always rushes in to fill the void. Government cannot exist unless it is compatible with its culture, and culture cannot exist without an underlying belief system or religion. Since the desire to worship a supreme being is inherent in human nature, when a religion loses its influence in the culture, it creates a vacuum that must be filled with another one. In America that void is being filled with Humanism.

The modern understanding of the purpose of the First Amendment and the popular interpretation of the doctrine of church and state leaves Christianity defenseless in human terms. Government can use the coercive powers of government to promote Humanism. The Church has no coercive powers. It must rely on the persuasive powers of the written and spoken word to accomplish its ends. That is why the role of Pastors and Teachers in the Churches are so important. While I do not agree with many of the doctrines preached by Charles Finney during the Second Great Awakening, his words do ring true today.

“If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”
~ Charles G. Finney

Churches must get outside their cloistered walls and bear testimony to the world at large if we are to have any effect on the creeping destruction of our nation. Although “we are in the world but not of the world” we have the responsibility of being good citizens of the world while we are here. That involves carrying out the great commission in its totality, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19, 20 (emphasis added)[Beginning first at Jerusalem]

America’s Deal With The Devil

As that great twentieth century American philosopher, Pogo Possum, observed over forty years ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”As we consider the post-Constitution, totalitarian oligarchy modern America is fast becoming, millions of Americans are awakening from their slumber and asking, “What happened?”

What happened is that we ignored the warnings sounded loud and clear by our Founding Fathers who designed our system of government and allowed a fifth column to grow in our midst like a giant malignant cancer. Consider the warnings issued by some of our first Presidents and compare them with the President now sitting in the White House with his advisers planning for the “fundamental transformation of America”.

Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, 1782-1783: “Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerates, their political character must soon follow.”

George Washington, first U.S. President, 1789-1797: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

John Adams, second U.S. President, 1797-1801: “should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Although Benjamin Franklin was not a President, no essay on our present day condition of political and cultural corruption would be complete without quoting from his last speech to the Convention: “Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” (Emphasis added)

The truth clearly recognized by the Founders quoted above is that a nation’s government is always an expression of the moral character of its people. Fredrich Hayek pointed out this truth in his popular 1944 treatise, “The Road to Serfdom”, an examination of the rise of National Socialism in Germany during the 1930s. Hayek argues that the implementation of socialism with its centrally planned economy demands a concurrently planned social order enforced by a totalitarian government. Socialism and individual liberty cannot coexist and for socialism to thrive in America requires a shift in moral values so its people are willing to sacrifice liberty for vague promises of security. Although Hayek’s book was published almost fifty years ago in England, one cannot read it without experiencing the eerie feeling that he is writing about America in 2012.

In tracing the historical roots of socialism in America, we have to start with the Second Great Awakening at the turn of the nineteenth century. It was during this time that the “social gospel” with its emphasis on changing human nature through revival meetings came into vogue. In terms of the “number of converts” the Second Great Awakening was a huge success, but its utopian ambition of bringing in the millennium kingdom through social reform created a fertile ground in which socialism could thrive. By the time the effects of the Great Awakening began to fade at the end of the nineteenth century, socialism was already well entrenched in America. Among the groups responsible for our cultural decline and the corresponding growth of socialism we have to include the Christian Churches and the Christian clergy.

During the last century the “church” made a Faustian bargain with the government, –“You leave us alone and we will leave you alone”–, expressed in the often heard slogan, “separation of church and state”, which is based on a misunderstanding of the First Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” An objective reading of the First Amendment without the preconceived assumptions fostered by the constant drumming into our consciousness, the cliché “separation of church and state” shows, not a separation between government and religion but rather, a declaration of the independence of religion from the coercive powers of government. What the Founders were attempting to accomplish with the First Amendment was to free religion from the symbiotic relationship between church and state and establish its rightful independence from the despotic powers of government that had plagued the Christian Church throughout its seventeen hundred year history.

Certainly the Founders quoted above did not consider the First Amendment in the same sense in which it is understood today. Even James Madison who is generally considered to be the Father of the Bill of Rights, but was not as fervent in his religious beliefs as some of the others, frequently called for special days of national prayer and fasting during his eight years as our fourth President. In 1813 Madison even supported and signed into law a bill to rebate the import duties on printing plates used by the Bible Society of Philadelphia to print Bibles.

“An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia. Be it enacted, &c., That the duties arising and due to the United States upon certain stereotype plates, imported during the last year into the port of Philadelphia, on board the ship Brilliant, by the Bible Society of Philadelphia, for the purpose of printing editions of the Holy Bible, be and the same are hereby remitted, on behalf of the United States, to the said society: and any bond or security given for the securing of the payment of the said duties shall be cancelled. Approved February 2, 1813.”

Our current application of the doctrines of church and state relationships is not supported by the Constitution or the Bible. The ministry of Christ, the Apostles and the early churches were conducted in large part in a public venue and often before hostile crowds; a far cry from today’s Sunday morning services in the comfortable sanctuaries of elaborate church buildings before congregations of adoring believers. When Jesus did teach in the Temple and Synagogues, His messages were often directed against the religious leaders and teachers of the day, the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. Today they would probably be directed against the Pastors and teachers of our modern evangelical Christian churches.  Unless we are willing to work to restore the Biblically moral foundations of our culture there is little chance that we can survive as a nation with our liberties intact. America is sorely in need of a spiritual revival, and that revival must start with the Christian Church and its ministers.

The Biblical Foundation of Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah
The English Puritans who came here in the 1630s knew that the Old Testament has a great deal to say about civil government. And they came to build thatshining city on a hill.

They did not come here to escape from the World, to wait for the end of the World, and to surrender it to evil.

And so – we became a shining city on a hill. The fundamental act of our Founding, the Declaration of Independence, recognizes the Creator God as the Source of Rights;1 and acknowledges that the purpose of civil government is simply to “secure” the Rights God gave us. The Constitution we subsequently ratified was based on God’s model of civil government as set forth in the Bible.

That is why our Country was so much better than what the rest of the World has been.  For the most part, we followed God’s model for civil government; other countries didn’t.

The blessing which flows from God’s model is limited civil government which is under The Law. That is why our Liberty Bell quotes Lev. 25:10 – “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”

In this paper, I will show you Six Principles which come from the Bible and how our Framers applied them. In a future paper, I will show you Six Biblical Principles Thomas Jefferson listed in the Declaration of Independence, and how those Principles are also incorporated into our Constitution.

1. The Civil Authorities are under the Law. 

The Bible: God is The Lawmaker – the kings are to apply God’s Law. 2

  • Deut. 17:18-20: The king is to write out a copy of God’s Law. He is to have it by him and read from it all his life so that he may keep, observe, and apply it.
  • 1 Kings 2:1-4:  King David on his deathbed tells Solomon he must conform to God’s ways, and observe his statutes, commandments and judgments, as written in the Law of Moses.

The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey.

Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:

“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.” [boldface added]

Our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).

Do you see?  Law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.

Tyrants, on the other hand, claim that they are the source of law.  The Roman Caesars, Stalin, Hitler, the dictator of N. Korea and Obama all claim that their  will is “law”. Consider Obama’s usurpatious executive orders and rules made by his executive agencies. This is the “Rule of Man” – when the civil authorities deny they are subject to a higher law (be it God’s Law or the Constitution), and hold that their will is “law”.

2. Civil Government has only limited and defined Powers:

The Bible: When you read through the Old Testament, you see that civil government is limited to:

  • Military matters
  • Enforcement of only a few of God’s Laws – the laws to which a penalty for violation is attached (laws against murder, theft, bearing false witness, negligence, etc.).
  • Judges are available to decide disputes between the people.

Most of God’s Laws are a matter of individual and family self-government (e.g., charity, family welfare, education, don’t drink too much, work hard).

The parallel in our Constitution is that it is one of enumerated powers only:

All other powers (except those listed at Art. I, §10) are retained by the States or the People. Self-government” means that as individuals, we govern ourselves in accordance with the laws of God [or the “Natural Law”].  It doesn’t mean that we elect representatives to manage our lives for us!

Tyrants claim the power to do whatever they want.

3. Civil Government is divided into Three Parts:

The Bible: Isaiah 33:22 says The Lord is our “judge”, “lawgiver”, and “king”!

The parallel in our Constitution is that the federal government is divided into three branches: Judicial, legislative, and executive.

No human can be trusted with all three functions, so our Constitution separates them into three branches, with each branch having checks on the powers of the other branches.

Tyrants seek to exercise all three functions. Obama is making Congress irrelevant: When they refuse to pass a law he wants, he implements it by “executive order” or “agency regulation”.  He’s making the judicial branch irrelevant by ignoring their decisions which go against his will.

 

4. The Civil Authorities promise to obey the Higher Law.

The Bible: The king promises to obey God’s Laws and to apply God’s Laws in the kingdom; and the people pledge themselves to this promise:

  • King Josiah’s covenant at 2 Kings 23:1-3:  King Josiah called all the people together and in their presence, read aloud to them the Book of the Law which had been found in the temple. Then King Josiah entered into a covenant with God that he would obey him and keep his commandments and statutes as written in the Book of the Law.  And all the People pledged themselves to this covenant.
  • Joash’s (via the priest Jehoiada) covenant at 2 Kings 11:17 and 2 Chron 23:16.
  • David’s covenant at 2 Sam 5:1-4 and 1 Chron 11:1-3.

Our Constitutional Oaths of Office:

  • Art. II, Sec. 1, last clause: The President promises to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.
  • Art. VI, last clause: All other federal and State officers and judges promise to “support” the Constitution.

5.  When the Civil Authorities violate the Higher Law, We must Rebuke them!

The Bible: The prophets rebuke the kings when they forsake God’s Law:

  • Samuel rebuked King Saul (1 Samuel 13:10-14)
  • Nathan rebuked King David (2 Samuel 12)
  • A Man of God rebuked King Jeroboam (1 Kings 13)
  • Elijah rebuked King Ahab (1 Kings 16:29 – 1 Kings 17:2; 1 Kings 18:16-20; 1 Kings 21:17-29)
  • Elijah rebuked King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:1-18)
  • Elisha rebuked Jehoram, King of Israel (2 Kings 3:1-14)
  • The prophets warned of the pending destruction of Jerusalem because of the sins of King Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-16)
  • The book of Micah.

The Black Robed Regiment of Our Revolution: Some 237 years ago, our pastors were leaders in bringing about our Revolution.  They understood that the English king and Parliament were imposing tyranny on us in violation of God’s Law.

In the Declaration of Independence, we rebuked the British Crown when we itemized our grievances and recited how we had petitioned for redress and had warned that if they didn’t stop the usurpations, we would separate from them.

But today, we don’t have enough clergy with the knowledge and the spine to rebuke the federal government. Many don’t know what the Bible says about civil government,3 and they don’t know our Founding Principles and documents. Too many of our clergy just want to escape or withdraw from the World, avoid controversy, and preserve their 501 (c) (3) tax exemption.

The Catholic Priests are speaking out about being forced to provide contraception and abortion pills as violations of their religious freedom. But they should be denouncing the HHS rules as unconstitutional exercises of undelegated powers. 

Their goal should not be to carve out an exemption for themselves from rules they don’t agree with; but to enforce The Constitution for everyone.

“Rebuke” does not consist in saying, “I don’t agree” or “It violates my beliefs.”

A proper rebuke points out the Higher Law being violated, and demands compliance with that Higher Law – not with one’s personal views. 

Because the Priests have focused on their religious beliefs, instead of on biblical/constitutional principles; the discussion in the media has been about the percentage of Catholics who use birth control – the implication being that since most Catholics use it, the Priests are out of touch.

But if the Priests would say:

  • Obamacare is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress – the medical care of the People not being one of the enumerated powers; and
  • The HHS rules are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to the Executive Branch, and as in violation of Art. I, § 1 which provides that only Congress  may make laws; 4

Then, they would make a proper Rebuke.  And the discussion would be where it should be: on the enumerated powers of Congress and the unconstitutionality of rule-making by executive agencies.

So! The purposes of Rebuke are to Warn and Teach:

  • To warn the civil authorities of their violations of the Higher Law, and
  • To educate the civil authorities and The People about the Higher Law.

The Constitution is a theological document! It is the job of our clergy – Catholic, Protestant and Jewish – to know this. And to defend God’s Word as expressed in our Constitution. God requires our clergy to take an active role in protecting the People from a civil government which violates the Higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution which is based on God’s Law.

We The People must also rebuke the federal government when they violate our Constitution. We do it by posting on line, talking to friends, family, and everyone else within our spheres of influence. Stick to Principles – avoid personal opinions. Cite the provision of our Constitution they violated; or as is usually the case, show that what they have done is not an enumerated power. When they have town hall meetings, rebuke them there. Watch this magnificent woman and see how it is done!

6.  The Peoples’ Obligation to obey the Civil Authorities is conditional upon
the Civil Authorities obeying the Higher Law.

The Bible: As shown by the Scripture at Principle 4, civil government is a covenant between God, the king, and the People.  God makes the Laws; the king promises to obey and apply those Laws; and the people pledge themselves to the Covenant.

Out of this relationship between God, the king and the people, arises the peoples’ obligation to protest lawlessness on the part of the king.  If they don’t protest, God punishes the people because of the misdeeds of their kings – the people will suffer if they go along with the unlawful acts:

  • God sent a 3 year famine because Saul put the Gibeonites to death (2 Sam 21).
  • God sent a pestilence which killed 70,000 Israelites because David took the census (1 Chron 21 & 2 Sam 24).
  • God (via Elijah) sent a famine because Ahab & his house forsook the commandments of the Lord (1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1, 18:1, 18:17-19).
  • God struck a heavy blow at Joram’s people because of Joram’s wickedness (2 Chron 21:1-14).
  • God visited 4 dooms upon Jerusalem & the Southern Kingdom because of the sins of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-17 & Jer 15:3-4).

The parallel in our Constitution is this: When Congress makes a law which is outside the scope of its enumerated powers, it is no “law” at all, but is void; and we have no obligation to comply.  Alexander Hamilton says this over and over in The Federalist Papers.  Here are a few examples:

“…If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify…” (Federalist No. 33, 5th para). [boldface added]

“…acts of … [the federal government] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers … will [not] become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such…”http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed33.htm (Federalist No. 33, 6th para). [boldface added]

“…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act …contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm … that men … may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” (Federalist No. 78, 10th para). [boldface added]

Hamilton also tells us that Congress can’t usurp powers unless the People go along with it! In Federalist No.16 (next to last para), he points out that because judges may be “embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature”, the People, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution”, must be “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.

So!  Hamilton applies the Biblical model of what WE are supposed to do when the federal government acts outside of the Constitution. We are to recognize that their acts are “void”, and We are to take whatever prudent measures are necessary to enforce the Constitution.

What can We do?

Hamilton tells you to LEARN the Constitution; demand that federal and State officials obey it; and don’t go along with them when they violate it!

READ our Declaration of Independence and Constitution until you become familiar with them.  Stick to original sources (e.g., The Federalist Papers) and beware of the ignorant know-it-alls with their crazy theories.

REBUKE officials and judges who violate the Constitution! Specify the violation.  Usually, the violation is that what they did is not an enumerated power.

ELECT State & County officials who will nullify unconstitutional acts of Congress, executive orders, & judicial opinions.  Here are Model Nullification Resolutions for State Legislatures.

TALK to your pastor, priest or rabbi – we all share the Old Testament. We must dust off our copies and read them; renounce escapism & defeat; renounce the unbiblical doctrine of socialism (listen to Fr. Andrew!); renounce the unbiblical doctrine of divine right of kings – the false doctrine that God granted autonomy to the civil authorities; declare independence from the federal government and throw off the chains of the 501 (c) (3) tax exemption!  Start being the Salt & Light we are called to be – the Watchmen on the Wall. PH.

Endnotes:

1 Here are express references to God in our Declaration of Independence:

  • …The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…
  • …endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…
  • …appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…
  • …with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence

Our Constitution at Art. VII, last clause:

  • …in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…

2 “Lex, Rex” – the Law is above the king!  Not “Rex, Lex”.

3 Romans13 must be read in pari materia with everything the Bible says about civil government! The false doctrine of “divine right of kings” is based on ignoring the numerous Old Testament provisions addressing civil government. Romans13 actually says that the civil authorities are God’s ministers and agents, and if we are “good” we have no cause to fear them; but if we do “evil” we do have cause to fear them.

So! When reading Romans 13, Titus 3:1 & 1 Peter 2:13-14, we must keep in mind that it is God who decides what is “good” and what is “evil”. God never gave civil authorities the power to define “good” and “evil”; and God never gave them autonomy. Bad theology is, and has long been, the cause of much evil.  And Pride keeps it going.

4 Article I, §1 says:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Only elected Senators (Art. I, §3, cl. 1) & popularly elected Representatives (Art. I, §2, cl. 1) may exercise legislative powers. Our Constitution doesn’t permit unelected bureaucrats to make laws. Federal judges have disgraced the Bench by permitting rule-making by executive agencies.

Separating Real Truth From Implied Fantasy

I have been a Christian for over fifty years. During that time, I have attended two Bible Colleges, listened to thousands of sermons, listened to many hours of Christian radio, and watched hundreds of Broadcast on Christian TV. I have talked to thousands of “born-again”Christians and been personally involved with many of them as family members and close friends. The one thing they all had in common was that they justified their religious beliefs based on what they thought the Bible teaches. Often times, however, I noticed that a lot of their beliefs conflicted with many of mine, which I also assumed I had derived from the teachings of Scripture. At times, this became a source of confusion and discouragement for me. I sometimes doubted if I could ever understand the teachings of the Bible.

I did not begin to understand this troubling phenomenon until the deteriorating state of affairs in America forced me into a study of American history, politics, and our Founding Documents. I soon noticed the same thing happening in the world of politics that I had experienced in the world of Christianity; Every politician, lawyer, and court, when debating issues of public policy and law, appeal to the Constitution as the authority for their opinions and decisions. Yet, when I listened to the politician or read a court decision, I often had to wonder, “Whose Constitution are you reading”? It gradually dawned on me that I was observing two entirely different methods of reasoning used to come to the “truth”. Some base their final understanding of doctrine or law on what they believe to be the implied meaning of passages in the Bible or in the Constitution, others, on the clear meaning of the words used as defined by the dictionary and the context in which they are used.

For example, in “Roe vs. Wade”, the Supreme Court found the “implied” doctrine of a “right to privacy” in the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. That decision, based on an implied meaning, not only overturned a Texas state law outlawing abortion, it opened the door to a plethora of other laws and court decisions establishing the “right to an abortion” as “the law of the land”. The laws stemming from this newfound legal wisdom protect a woman’s right to “freedom of choice” all the way up to and including, the criminalizing of certain types of protests against abortion, or attempts to persuade a woman not to go through with a planned abortion, within a specified number of feet from the entrance to an abortion clinic.

The ongoing attacks on Christianity in America is justified by the implied doctrine of “separation of Church and State” found in the religious clause of the First Amendment, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Clearly, this is not a demand for separation, but a declaration of independence on behalf of religion from the authority of the federal government. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing any law that would make any form of religion, the official, established religion of the nation. At the same time, it prohibits Congress from making any law that would interfere with the free expression of the religious beliefs of any individual, church, place of worship, state or community. Since the first sentence of Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the sole authority for making all laws for the federal government, the same prohibitions would apply to the Courts and the Executive Branch as well.

It is natural that we form our worldview based heavily on the things taught to us by our parents, teachers, professors, mentors and other respected authority figures in our educational and professional lives. They, of course, formed their views the same way we formed ours, from those who came before them. Consequently, the lawyers, judges, preachers, and theologians of today, following the same course, often approach the Constitution and the Bible looking for implied meanings that will support their own preconceived point of view, rather than accepting the clear meaning of the passages read. As generations go by it behooves us to reexamine what we believe and discard the false doctrines we have adopted from others in the past. Considering the condition of our institutions of government, our economy and our culture, now is probably a good time to begin our quest.

The reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries rejected the false doctrines of the then current religious establishment and the ecclesiastical authority of the established state church. Returning to the source document of their religion, the Bible, as their only basis of truth, they brought about the great protestant reformation to the incalculable benefit of later generations. The Founding Fathers went through the same process in forming our government between approximately 1772 and 1787. They rejected the established theories of government and the concept of monarchs and subjects, turning instead to new concepts of liberty and citizen sovereignty. In forming their own views of government, they relied heavily on the Bible and the writings of legal and political philosophers such as John Lock, Baron de Montesquieu, and Sir William Blackstone, all of whom formed their own philosophy largely on the Bible, as had the Reformers.

America today is sorely in need of both a political reformation and a spiritual revival. In fact, without both there is little chance of preserving an America with the prosperity and liberty we have enjoyed in the past. Both reformation and revival means getting back to basics. The only hope for a worthwhile political reformation is a return to the authority of the Constitution as the final rule or law for the operation of our government. Likewise, the spiritual revival of our culture requires a return to Bible principles as our primary source for the moral values John Adams, George Washington and others among our Founders believed to be necessary for the establishment and preservation of real liberty and prosperity in the nation they were forming.

Also See Comments to This Post at Illinois Conservative Beacon

Seven Keys to Liberty

1. Follow the Constitution
No nation can survive for an extended period of time without a written, objective and proven set of rules governing its national institutions. The United States Constitution is the “Supreme Law of the Land”. It is the final authority for the administration of our government. We must insist that our elected officials follow it faithfully.

2. Fulfill Your Responsibility As A Citizen
Liberty is our most fragile and valuable possession. Its preservation and nurturing is the personal responsibility of each of us. The surest way to lose it is to sit on the sidelines and expect the government, elected officials and the courts to protect it for us. Government is the antithesis of liberty unless kept in check by an ever-vigilant citizenry.

3. Defend and Promote Our American Heritage.
The dictionary defines heritage as “Something that is passed down from preceding generations; a tradition.” Our American heritage consists of a government system based on our founding documents, a culture based on Christian principles, and an economy based on nature’s economic laws of market capitalism.

4. Reject the False Promises of Utopian Socialism.
Dreamers have always sought a utopian society with universal equality in health, wealth and happiness. Human nature, however, is not compatible with such a society. The annals of History are littered with the wreckage of nations and cultures that have attempted to establish utopian ideals by government fiat. In the modern world we have the examples of Cuba, Russia, Europe, and the ongoing efforts of the Progressives (American Socialists) in our own country.

5. Respect Private Property Rights of Others and Defend Your Own.
The accumulation and possession of private property is the product of how we expend our time and effort. It is the physical manifestation of how we use the time God has given us in life. One of the primary purposes for establishing governments is to protect the property rights of its citizens. Tyranny is when government takes our property without our permission and uses it to expand or strengthen its own power. Liberty is when we are free to use it for our own enjoyment and the benefit of ourselves and our family.

6. Keep Yourself informed.
America has many enemies both foreign and domestic, working to destroy our American way of life. None are more determined than the fifth column that has infiltrated our political and cultural institutions over the past century. Our current President speaks of this destruction favorably as a “fundamental transformation”. Without the concerted actions of the American people, our enemies will succeed in their plans. Liberty can only be preserved by informed citizens. Fortunately, information and knowledge is more available today than ever before. It is the responsibility of each of us to stay informed about events on a daily basis, and to work together with other patriots in the effort to restore the principles that have served us so well in the past.

7. Support Market Capitalism
There are three competing economic systems in operation in America today, Market Capitalism, Crony Capitalism and an Americanized version of socialism. The mixture of socialism and government fostered “crony capitalism” prevalent today is at the heart of our current economic problems.  It was Market Capitalism that made America into the most powerful economy in world history. The survival of our liberty depends on our success in abolishing crony capitalism and restoring once again market capitalism.

Time to Wake Up, America

Perhaps nothing illustrates the depth of depravity and corruption to which the American political system and the American culture have sunk than the practice of deferred taxation. Our national debt today is $15,701,934,801,235. That amount equals a debt load of $50,100 per citizen and $138,300 per taxpayer. (U.S. Debt Clock)

Government does not have the means or the capacity to generate wealth. By its very nature, it can only consume wealth. The only income governments have for paying off debt or purchasing necessary goods or services for its operation is the wealth confiscated from citizens through taxation of one type or another, whether it is through overt taxation, fees, inflation, fines or other means of raising revenue.

Since all debts eventually come due and since this generation insists on living off borrowed money while refusing to pay the taxes necessary to support our leaders’ opulent life styles and prolific spending, or to defray the debt, that debt necessarily falls on future generations. This generational theft, or as Frederic Bastiat would no doubt call it if he were alive today, “generational plunder”, is both our national crime and our national sin. We are plundering the livelihood of our children, grandchildren and future generations in pursuit of the impossible utopian promises of the godless socialists that have infiltrated and now control our governments and our political parties.

Again to quote Bastiat, “…legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole –with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism…” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 15.

…With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 21.

There are no innocents in this scenario. Both political parties, progressives, conservatives and even our beloved tea parties must share in the guilt. The Democrat Party has exploited the natural greed, jealousy and envy of its constituents to win votes by promising free food, clothing, medical care, education, loans, money, etc., all at the expense of other citizens. The gullibility, of what seems to be a majority of the American people, has allowed the Democrat Party and its socialist leadership to gain control over our government. They are using that power to destroy our cultural, economic and political institutions in order to replace them with socialist institutions that they believe will ultimately afford them total control over the lives and liberty of the American people.

The Republican Party has not escaped, by any means, the influence of socialism among its leadership. They may not be as taken in by the utopian mythology of socialism as their Democrat counterparts, but they are every bit as motivated by the lust for power as are the Democrats. In some ways, the Republican Party is even more devious than the Democrat Party. Democrats publicly reveal their intentions, depending on the apathy and gullibility of the American people and the ever-increasing financial dependency of their base, to return them to power. The Republican Party campaigns on conservative values promising to return America to its founding principles. However, once in office too many of them succumb to the perks and powers of office and become more intent on protecting and supporting the Party establishment so as not to risk their own coveted position than in their promises to the voters.

As we witnessed in the last several election cycles the Republican Party sometimes even seems willing to sacrifice the Presidency in order to maintain its dwindling power in Congress as well as in State and local government bodies. In primaries, they denigrate true conservative challengers, supporting candidates they believe will be most advantageous to the Party establishment. Once they have succeeded in winning their spot on the party ticket they drop the conservative façade they exhibited while campaigning and “move to the center” in order to hopefully gain the support of progressive republicans and the coveted “independents”. Once in office their sole consideration becomes how to hold onto the power they have won, perceiving that in order to do so they must kowtow to the Party leadership and support the establishment’s agenda. Their loyalty is to the Republican Party not to republican principles.

This lust for power, present in the breast of all professional politicians was the primary theme of debates during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. For 84 hot, humid days during that Philadelphia summer from May 25 to September 17, the framers wrestled with the problem of how to organize a government that would protect the liberty and property of its citizens while preventing it from being overcome by its leaders’ desire for power. They succeeded in creating the most effective and practical plan of government ever devised, the United States Constitution. However, like all plans, it only works when it is followed. Our Constitution is incompatible with socialism. For that reason, the socialists among us have been working for over a hundred years to destroy it. They have almost accomplished their goal. Actions by the Supreme Court this summer and/or the actions of voters this fall could sound the death knell for our Constitutional Republic.

Conservatives generally recognize this truth and have fought valiantly for the past couple of years in an effort to reverse course. The problem is that not enough conservatives recognize or accept the remedies necessary to cure all our national ills. Take, for example, the tea parties. The sole focus of many tea parties is fiscal responsibility. Some add to that focus, political reform, calling for a return to the Constitution. A few even address the cultural decay so rampant in America today; this diversity in purpose results in a splintered effort that in the long run may have little effect on the outcome. Many fiscal conservatives often overlook blatant breaches of the Constitution in order to enjoy their share of the socialist pie. They like the taste of the pie, they just don’t like the price attached to it. At the same time, many fiscal conservatives and constitutional conservatives alike denigrate the values conservatives, believing those values would somehow disturb the enjoyment of their pleasures and harm the chances of realizing their political agenda.

The idea that voters “always vote their pocketbooks” when they go to the polls is perhaps the greatest fallacy of all. It is not their pocketbooks they are voting, it is the pocketbooks of future generations. As for themselves, they will never agree to the increase in taxes necessary to pay for their leaders’ prolific spending. For generations we have been returning the same professional politicians to office in election after election. Obviously this practice is not working. Our debt keeps growing, our tax bills keep going up and our standard of living continues to decline. Our social programs are bankrupt, our unemployment rate is higher than it has been in eighty years, and few can say they are better off, spiritually, financially, or physically today, than were past generations. We can attend protest meeting and march with our cleverly worded signs all we want, but the only protest that counts is that expressed at the ballot box.

To solve our problem we have to change our system. We have to change the way our government is run and the people who run it. Thankfully, the Founders gave us a way to do that at the ballot box and not on the battlefield. In November, we need to vote out as many of the professional politicians as possible, replacing them with patriots who have the courage, knowledge and understanding to bring about true reform. As we have pointed out before, the American system has three components, its political system, its economic system and it culture. It is useless to believe that we can reform any one or two parts of this system and leave the other as it is, and hope that we can secure a lasting cure for our ills.

We must have political reform that restores the rightful authority to our Constitution, replacing our corrupt and self-serving political parties with ones made up of true patriots who take their oath of office seriously and abide by it. We must have economic reform that rejects crony capitalism and replaces it with the true market capitalism that made America the most prosperous nation on earth for generations. Last, but by no means least, we must revive the American culture that made us the beacon of liberty and opportunity the world over. In short, we need a political, economic and spiritual revival if we are to survive as a free nation.

To realize this revival we must learn all over again to cherish and abide by our founding principles as set forth in our founding documents, the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I have heard mothers threaten their errant offspring with the threat, — insincerely, of course — “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” America was brought into this world by the benevolent providence of God and therefore, it can be taken out by His judgment…. Think about it.