Wow. What a week in American history. I posted some of my thoughts to social media this last week and quickly found out I was way outside the mainstream. But, I think the ground is shifting and most people don't even realize how far they have moved from the founding fathers in their thoughts about freedom, self-government and violence.
You can find my 5 thoughts below that sum up some of my thoughts about the violence in DC this week following the Trump Rally.
1. I refuse to say the violence was wrong.
I'll start with the hardest one first. I tuned into social media on Wednesday night wondering how the world would react. I wasn't amazed to find that people were shocked. What I was amazed about was the number of "Christians" who came out to say that the actions were wrong. The reason I was shocked is how slow they are to call out perceived sin anywhere else. Most of these same people have refused to say that the government shutting down the church is wrong. Many of them refuse to post anything about America's attack on the family unit being wrong. Maybe once a year some of them will say that killing an unborn child is wrong. All of them have refused to say that fear of death is wrong. None of them mention the idol worship of the church or other forms of entertainment as wrong. Very few are willing to come out and talk about how wrong their porn addiction is. You get the point. There are a whole lot of logs in the eyes of Christians today.
So, when I tuned in, I was amazed to see all of a sudden the church had grown a backbone. And, I was saddened to see that they were calling out fellow Christians as "wrong." Is violence wrong? Usually. But, I think there is a solid case to say that violence is not always wrong. To begin to understand this, we need a crash course in American history, government, and theology.
America is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. This means that the authority in America is the people. I used to say that the authority was the Consitution, but even that stops short of a full understanding of American history. The Constitution says little about the people. The only reason the bill of rights were added as amendments is because the Federalists needed to ratify the Constitution. While they thought it was ridiculous to even address the people, who were obviously in possession of all their rights from God without a document, they needed the Anti-Federalists to ratify this new governing document. The Anti-Federalists weren't so keen on giving all this apparent power to a central government without making sure that the God-given rights of the people were absolutely protected. They named a few of them and then they put in the 9th amendment to confirm that any right they didn't list also belonged to the people. In short, there was nobody in the original founders who thought that the Constitution had anything to do with the people. The Consitution has a specific role of narrowly defining a centralized government.
That is the history piece. If you understand the history piece, you can understand that the Constitution, according to the preamble, was written by we the people to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our children. If you understand by whom and why the Constitution was written, then you will understand that it is up to the people to make sure the public servants stick to that agreement to which they've sworn. So far, in each of those areas, they are failing. And, if the government is failing to accomplish the things we've agreed to, then we need to change it.
This is where the theology piece is so important. Countries are created by God in a time and place for a specific purpose: to help people feel their way towards God and perhaps find Him (Acts 17). Just governments exist as a terror to bad and to encourage good (Romans 13). Unjust governments are also allowed by God, for the first purpose. Unjust governments cause people to turn to God, eventually, and they become just governments again. If the people are the government in America, then there needs to be a struggle for justice for us to recognize if we are living with a just or unjust government. If we have evil in America, it is because we, the government, were not a terror to them as God insists a just government should be.
2. I'm not convinced there is another way.
This is where my well-meaning counterparts reply, "I agree, our government is failing us, but there are proper channels to accomplish the end without violence." I am unconvinced. It is not that I don't have faith in the American people, it is that I don't have faith this argument works against the powers our public servants have already assumed. Paired with corporate interests, lobbying, and an out of control media, these servants have reached an untouchable status. Add to that the latest actions of all of them combined and we can't even have our voice heard amongst our peers as we have been relegated to communicate online through channels which they control through intense algorithms and fact-checking.
The ways that we hold these servants accountable is with our voice, at the ballot box, running for public office, and finally, physical violence. If you believe you have a voice, you must understand that you can have all the support in the world with fellow citizens, but if it doesn't ultimately impact a decision maker in this republic, it is a worthless voice. It is just another in a sea of people scrambling to have their cause heard. Which ultimately means that you must have people who will listen to you. How do you get those people in office? You vote them in. Or, as I did just a few months ago, you run for office yourself.
Every bit of our process to hold our Republic together requires representation. If the people can not trust that they are being represented by the servants they have chosen, then what is left? Your voice is gone, your vote is gone, and with it, the option to run for office and stand a chance. This leaves physical violence.
3. The 'thin blue line' is not untouchable
This one may lose me some dear friends, but please hear me out. I was a State Trooper for almost 7 years. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect this government from enemies, foreign and domestic. I was not just a peace keeper. I was law enforcement. So, I say the next piece with some experience in the matter.
Police officers are such an endearing part of our way of life that they are like children to us. What I mean, is if someone wants to anger the general population, they just need to harm a child...or a police officer. So how could I possibly say they are not untouchable.
The police officer is a necessary and important line between good and evil. This is what the thin blue line stands for. There is but a thin line of people standing between you and absolute evil on any given day. This office is to be revered and respected. But, it serves a purpose: Law enforcement.
Police officers are how the law is applied, generally, in America. When the thin blue line turns its back on the bad and fights against the good, the immediately blend into the bad they are protecting. "It is just a job. They have orders." some might say. Perhaps, but each has an obligation to the citizen in front of them to the Constitution they swore to uphold.
Most people immediately side with the police, because they fall into that children category. But, just like Hitler used the children to accomplish his means, the ruling elite in this country attempting to overthrow our government (the people), will find and use well-intentioned officers as their scape-goats in this line to accomplish their acts of evil. If officers don't turn towards this evil, they will blend in.
4. Politicians, not the people, are to blame
If you are going to agree on any point, this is probably the one. You know why? "Politicans" are an easy target. Most of the time they represent people whom we don't personally know that are 'oppressing' us and 'not representing' us. I've referenced them already several times in this light. Do you personally call or talk with your representative on a regular basis? Most people don't.
But, that doesn't abdicate the politican of their duty. They are to represent the people. The people are, after all, the government. If the people aren't represented in the decisions being made, then it is, in fact, the representatives who are our 'authorities' and 'rulers.' But, they would have to overthrow our current government to get to that status.
For months, conservative representatives have pretended they are privy to information the general population is not. Many congressmen and women (sorry for the gender reference Nancy Pelosi) have engaged in pushing these theories, claiming they had proof that they were beyond theories.
Sidebar: I've seen the proof that exists. There is legitimate proof of voting irregularities. The counting being stopped and then spikes in votes in the early morning hours in every swing state is improbable. The second digit Benford's Law analysis in some precincts is beyond suspect. The mass mailing of ballots to voters by several states is abhorant. The executive and judicial actions overriding legislative rules for voting are serious federal and state constitutional violations. But, for most Americans, you are going to need more than the symptoms of irregularities to convince a state legislature to overturn an election, an unprecedented action. You are going to need the smoking gun. For most court systems, you can't retroactively challenge laws that have been in place for months or years to disenfranchise millions of legitimate voters to weed out the thousands that are illegal because you don't like the results. I know I am probably not making friends with this analysis either, but it is important to acknowledge where we are.
Absent the smoking gun of a serious conspiracy spanning dozens of counties, states, and even countries, the cases fizzle. I've heard tell of the smoking gun. You may have heard about a seizure of a server in Frankfurt, Germany where the votes were switched. I've heard about the Italian hacker, who, sitting in the American Embasy in Rome, supervized by data scientists from MI6, switched the votes as they were beamed in from a secret military sattelite and sent back to America. These are the things of which movies are made.
If you've got those servers, if you have server logs intercepted by the NSA, if you have the bills of lading for pre-filled ballots coming from different parts of the country to infiltrate Georgia elections, SHOW THEM. When Trump was calling everyone to DC on January 6th, I'll admit, I wondered if he had the smoking gun. I wondered if his renowned team of attorneys had come through for him in the nick of time in a dramatic fashion to sway the representatives to challenge the states' results. Apparently he didn't.
I blame the politicians; not just the conservative ones, either. Our representatives were too busy playing politics while this maddening, disorienting rush of information was bombarding the American people. Conservative representatives held meetings as though they planned to do something with the information and thousands of sworn affidavits coming in from around the country. The Socialists (Democrats) stifled any attempt at legitimate investigations. They spent all year talking about these types of violent uprisings all over America as, "protests," paving the way for a new type of protest in America where you aren't proving a point if you aren't breaking or burning something.
Visible presence is key in deterring those in a movement who want to do violence. Which do you think is more appopriate? The visible officer in the middle of the highway or the cop hiding behind the trees? What our representatives did to the rest of the American people this week was hide behind the trees to play 'gotcha' with agitated citizens. Aware that a million people were going to gather outside, our representatives put together a skirmish line of around 1300 officers (around 2600 feet of perimeter) with a 3 foot high movable fence. Compare this to the earlier Black Lives Matter movement where thousands of national guard were posted around the city with helicopters and drones swirling overhead and it feels like a setup. The capitol police chief shared his concerns about a visible presence and Congressional leaders and others denied his requests.
In the end, these 'representatives' cowered under their seats as an angry American public chanted in the hallways outside their chambers. I'm sure they were really scared, but what they plan to pin on the American people for their own dereliction of duty is abhorrant and the true treason. They will not be rebuffed, they will be emboldened as they feed the corrupt press headlines declaring anyone who would speak out against them, traitors and terrorists. Headlines which many are reading and repeating so they appear righteous.
5. God expects more than trust. He requires action.
One of the things I think Christians wrestle with the most is how their faith interacts with their country. Most of them use phrases like, "Well, this world isn't my home," "My God is the King of kings," and "God sets up kings and tears down kings." There is nothing wrong with the truth of any of these statements. The problem is that each one of these is often used to remove from the Christian any responsibility to act. When confronted with simple questions like, "Do you go to work," "Do you buy groceries," "Do you have a budget," etc., most will scoff and say, "Yes, of course, God gave us a brain for a reason and he wants us to be in the world, but not of it."
I have yet to reconcile how a Christian can have that belief about something as basic as a faith living in action in other areas of their life, yet completely ignore Christ's command to "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God things that are God's." (Matthew 22). They ignore the mandates of God that people in authority should do justice, rescue the oppressed, and fight the oppressors. They do theological gymnastics to convince themselves that Paul's writings in Romans 13 to tightly controlled subjects living in Rome is somehow their permission to completely disengage from our country. They ignore, or are ignorant of, the realities I paint in my first point that they are a piece of this country. They are the government. And, what does the rest of the government require from them as a leader? It requires that they give, not just through taxes, their voice and their vote, but maybe even their life to defend the godly, self-controlled, justice-oriented ideals on which this nation was founded.
I learned this week that a majority of Christians are content to "pray' and "trust God" and take no further action in this country. Unless, of course, you consider as action the public humiliation of other Christians who are taking real action. This is where I get confused about this conversation. I'm not sure how a Christian who thinks they need to do nothing but pray and trust God feel the need to take action by calling actions of other Christians "wrong," "evil," "abhorant," etc. If you trust God, why open your mouth for anything? Oh, because you recognize that action is necessary to stop an apparent evil.
The problem is, to judge the protestor's evil in this obvious gray area of self-governance is to declare themselves more worthy judges of the circumstances in our country than others who are actually willing to sacrifice life, limb, and livelihoods to take action they think is necessary.
So this is the issue on which it all hinges: Who is right? The people who perceive an evil and are risking life and limb to stop it, or the people who perceive an evil and are furiously pounding away on their keyboards to stop the first group?
Let's look at the danger of what happens if one or the other is wrong:
If the people do nothing who have been led to believe that their Republic is gone, they are guilty of a great sin: standing by while the government authorities instituted by God are overthrown by tyrants who wish to forever control them. This is in direct disobedience to their government which requires them to defend and implement self-rule through representatives. If they are wrong, they will simply be dealt with according to the requirements of law. If Thomas Jefferson had his way he would, "set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them."
The people who sit at home speaking from a foundation of the comforts provided by previous rebellions have little to gain by scolding. Sure, they may pick up a few more 'likes' or 'follows' along the way, but in what other area of our society and Christianity do we judge people so openly? The fact that EVERYONE rushed to condemn these actions should set off warning bells as to what end they are helping achieve. With whom do they find themselves aligned? The main stream media and the leaders of China, Iran, and Russia. This company alone should be very revealing. If the people who have been furiously scolding this first group are wrong, the heart of the people to express their spirit of resistance may forever be removed. They are branded "terrorists" not just by the tyrants who may wish to control them, but by their fellow friends, neighbors, and Christ-followers. This is a lasting damage well beyond the prison sentence they will receive. It will remain as an imprint in the minds of every American to what happened to the people who would have been patriots had they not been "wrong."
When we end up with a population that must be 100% right before taking action, we will end up with a nation subjugated to the fact checkers. It is better to "set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." These are patriots. The time will come where you also feel you can't risk waiting to see if you are right. Let them act, it is what helps hold Republics together.