Knowledge of what works in the field of medicine still leaves doctors, for example, with decisions relating to abortion and euthanasia. An abortionist can be an expert in the way he performs an abortion. He has honed this “skill” through scientific study of the created order (general revelation). But is it right and just to use this knowledge in the destruction of pre‑born babies? Where does one go to find out? Dr. Jack Kevorkian designed a “suicide machine” that was efficient, effective, and painless, three criteria to consider in the practice of modern medicine. But was what he did right and just? This is the real issue. Procedures that were designed as part of the healing craft are now being used to destroy life. There is no doubt that abortionists and doctors like Kavorkian are skilled practitioners of their respective crafts, but that’s not enough.
The study of the facts alone might lead some medical practitioners to conclude that since animals often abandon and kill their young, therefore homo sapiens, also an evolved species, are little different if they do the same. A more highly evolved species like man can do it more efficiently and for “high” social reasons. Such a view is not as far-fetched as it seems. Some years ago, after a debate on the issue of abortion, a discussion arose.
[M]ost of the students already recognized that the unborn child is a human life. Nevertheless, certain social reasons are considered “high enough” to justify ending that life. According to some of the women, examples of “high enough” reasons include protecting pregnant teenagers from the psychological distress of bearing a child, helping poor women who aren’t able to care adequately for a child, and preventing children from coming into the world “unwanted.” Many charged that pro‑life philosophies are not “socially acceptable” because they fail to deal realistically with these problems.
The modern‑day evolutionary hypothesis rests on a study of “nature.” A majority of scientists have made a thorough study of the cosmos and concluded that man has evolved from some type of primordial chaos. Such a conclusion has numerous ethical implications. A number of ideological, political, and economic systems are based on the doctrine of evolution. It is this independent study of the facts alone that leads them to their anti‑Christian conclusions.
The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:
Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?
R. J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in Intellectual Schizophrenia (1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education (1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be molded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.” Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 100 years ago:
[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!
For decades before the rise of Hitler, Christians were subjected to arguments like the following from pastors and theologians based on the two-kingdom theory:
- “The Gospel has absolutely nothing to do with outward existence but only with eternal life, not with external orders and institutions which could come in conflict with the secular orders but only with the heart and its relationship with God.”
- “The Gospel frees us from this world, frees us from all questions of this world, frees us inwardly, also from the questions of public life, also from the social question. Christianity has no answer to these questions.”
- Once the Christian understands the moral significance of the state, Wilhelm Hermann declared in 1913, “he will consider obedience to the government to be the highest vocation within the state. For the authority of the state on the whole, resting as it does upon authority of the government, is more important than the elimination of any shortcomings which it might have. . . . For the person who is inwardly free, it is more important [that] the state preserve its historical continuity than that he obtain justice for himself.”
While many Germans might have been opposed to Nazi policies at a personal level, they had been conditioned to believe—because they were Christians living in two kingdoms operating with two sets of standards—that they could not do anything about these rapidly implemented policies at a political level.
What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives? The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and pass laws to teach the Bible as literature. There’s the question of how the Bible will be taught. Will the Old Testament be taught as myth? Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming? There is no neutrality in education. The sooner Christians understand this, the sooner they will be able to turn this nation around.
- “Students Defend Abortion For ‘High’ Social Reasons,” The Rutherford Institute (January/February 1984), 8 [↩]
- Henry M. Morris, The Long War Against God: The History and Impact of the Creation/Evolution Conflict (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989). [↩]
- Francis Nigel Lee, Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post‑Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels, and Lenin (Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1974). [↩]
- Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J. F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi. [↩]
- R. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books,  1998), 10. [↩]
- Robert L. Dabney, Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, ed. C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications  1994), 4:548. [↩]
- Christian Ernst Luthard (1867). Quoted by Pierard from Karl H. Hertz, Two Kingdoms and One World: A Sourcebook in Christian Ethics (Minneapolis: Augusburg, 1976), 83. [↩]
- Quoted in Hertz, Two Kingdoms and One World: A Sourcebook in Christian Ethics, 87. [↩]
- Quoted in Hertz, Two Kingdoms and One World: A Sourcebook in Christian Ethics, 91. [↩]
- For a refutation of this claim, see Gary DeMar, Is Jesus Coming Soon? (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision,  2006). [↩]
Background: Earlier this year, President Obama signed a massive government takeover of health care into law. The new law, commonly referred to as Obamacare, will have major ramifications – limiting choice, increasing the deficit, raising health care costs, expanding government bureaucracy, discriminating against low-income workers, mandating insurance coverage and stunting economic growth. It is no wonder that nearly 60% of Americans are in favor of repealing Obamacare.
Status: The Administration is hard at work crafting new regulations to implement Obamacare. Some of the law’s provisions come into force this summer, while most of the major changes are delayed until 2013 and 2014. Fortunately, it is not a given that Obamacare will be fully implemented as conservatives in Congress are pushing to repeal the law.
Bring the Heat: Conservatives need to push back against the Washington special interests and arrogant liberal elitists. Make it a point to ask your Senators, Congressman or neighborhood liberal hard questions about Obamacare. Then tell them why you support a full repeal.
- Will Obamacare actually reduce the deficit? President Obama promised his government takeover of health care would not add “one dime to the deficit.” On paper, Obamacare was deficit neutral and only cost $940 billion. However, those estimates relied on questionable budget gimmicks. As it turns out, Obamacare will add to the deficit, increase taxes and, by one estimate, spend nearly $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
- Does Obamacare bend the cost curve? Despite all the promises that this “reform” would reduce health care costs, the exact opposite is true. The law will increase overall health care spending in the U.S. by $222 billion between now and 2019. Even worse, the law will cause premiums in the non-group market to increase by 10 –13 percent.
- Is Obamacare a good deal for seniors? Seniors will suffer under Obamacare. They will have fewer plans and physicians to choose from while paying higher taxes. Amazingly, Obamacare levies a multi-billion dollar tax on many of the brand name prescription drugs that seniors rely upon.
- How do doctors fare under Obamacare? No class of American professionals will be more negatively impacted by Obamacare than doctors. They will be subjected to increased regulation from a vast, powerful new health care bureaucracy while becoming increasingly dependent on an unreliable government reimbursement system. Recent polling suggests physicians are increasingly pessimistic about the future, which should concern anyone who goes to the doctor’s office.
- Is Obamacare constitutional? A mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy a good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. Such a mandate is unconstitutional. Legal challenges, spearheaded by law-abiding Attorneys General, are moving forward.
Take Action Now: In June, Congressman Steve King of Iowa filed a petition that would force the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on repealing Obamacare. We must repeal Obamacare, now! Tell your Member of Congress to sign the petition to repeal Obamacare.
Updated 07/22/2010 ET
A House ethics investigative committee today announced what amounts to a Congressional indictment of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on multiple ethics violations.
These charges will be made public next week by an adjudicatory subcommittee set up to try the charges.
The four-member panel of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has accused Rangel of wrongdoing saying he violated the rules. The panel has been conducting its investigation since September of 2008.
The new separate adjudicatory subcommittee will hold the equivalent of a trial. Four Democrats, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and four Republicans led by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) will comprise the trial subcommittee. None of the investigatory panel will serve on the new subcommittee.
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), secretary of the House Republican Conference, forced floor votes that would have removed Rangel from his powerful Ways and Means Committee chairmanship until the ethics charges were adjudicated.
Rangel was forced to step aside to avoid being forcibly removed.
“It has taken way too long, but I’m pleased that the issues involving Mr. Rangel are moving towards being resolved. The alleged violations are serious enough that the voters deserve to know the verdicts before they cast their votes, as a possible sentence could be expulsion from Congress,” Carter told HUMAN EVENTS in an email statement.
“But the fact that Speaker Pelosi has allowed this to drag on for two years is an even more egregious ethical violation on the part of this Congress,” Carter continued. “This Speaker said she would lead the most ethical Congress in history. Instead, she has presided over the most scandalous sessions of Congress in a century, with these Rangel violations just the tip of the iceberg.”
Carter said the bigger judgment on the ethics of this Congress would come in the November elections.
“The ultimate ethics committee will meet nationwide the first Tuesday in November, and I believe that verdict will be to clean out this House with a new majority,” Carter said.
From the Washington Post:
It has been eight years since the U.S. House of Representatives conducted a similar review — that of former Rep. Jim Traficant of Ohio, who was later expelled. The decision on Rangel is based on an 18-month investigation into Rangel’s conduct as a member of Congress and how he may have used his House position to influence his private business. That investigation has focused on Rangel’s amendment of his financial disclosure forms and his fundraising using official congressional letterhead for a center in his name at City College of New York.
House Republican Leader John Boehner said these charges come at a time when confidence in the Democrat-led Congress is at an all time low, with only 11% of Americans in a new Gallup survey saying they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress.
“Today’s announcement is a sad reminder of Speaker Pelosi’s most glaring broken promise: to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington. Instead of presiding over ‘the most honest, most open, and most ethical’ Congress in history, Washington Democrats have presided over a string of bailouts, job-killing government takeovers, and other backroom deals,” Boehner said.
Rangel stepped aside as Ways and Means chairman in March after admitting he failed to pay taxes on income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Other charges include the 2007 and 2008 Rangel corporate-sponsored getaways to the Caribbean and payment of below-market rent on four separate apartments in New York City.
The first meeting of the adjudicatory ethics subcommittee will be held on July 29 and is open to the public.
|Connie Hair writes daily as HUMAN EVENTS’ Congressional correspondent. She is a former speechwriter for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and a former media and coalitions advisor to the Senate Republican Conference.
You can also follow Connie Hair and Human Events on FACEBOOK.
May 27, 2010
Marie Jon, RA analyst
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it begins at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” — 1 Peter 4:17
When clergy knowingly become involved in an unscriptural heresy called Social Justice, they have sinned against God. It does not matter what denomination is tainted by this false theology, the results will be the same. The Bible says there will be a falling away from God’s truth, which many believe is taking place now:
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Worldly-minded ministers who get caught up in this “progressive” movement do so for many reasons, including power and political gain. They knowingly misrepresent the Word, and do not appropriately tend their congregations. Among other things, they’re intentionally obsessing their parishioners with Mother Earth (environmentalism).
“I am come that they might have life”
God sent His Son to save the human race from sin. He died so we could have life eternal with Him. The Lord will destroy the world someday and present to His family a new heaven and a new earth. Sin will be vanquished and never be allowed to rise again.
The scriptures beautifully portray the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, in which old things pass away. Revelation 1:7 reads: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.” And in Revelation 21:4, we catch a glimpse of God’s plan for our new future: “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” The very thought expressed in the verse is comforting and extremely powerful.
The full text says,
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21: 1-4)
Unfortunately, progressive pastors are not interested in being about their Father’s business of saving souls for Christ’s sake. They appear to have their feet firmly planted in the here and now. They are very content to let big government dole out “social justice” (and in some parts of the world, are even willing to let government provide greenhouse churches to worship in, complete with solar panels and all). Such slothful and unconsecrated frauds will eventually stand before the Great White Throne of God and answer to the Almighty for leading others astray and not teaching the everlasting gospel.
The unrepentant pastors will find that their chickens have come home to roost. They’ll reap what they have sown: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch” (Malachi 4:1).
The gospel of Karl
There are false pastors embedded within America’s churches who want to destroy the gospel of Christ and replace it with Marxism. The deceivers are not afraid of the wrath of the Lord. They do not believe in the God of the Bible. They are pandering a scheme that involves big government programs and a myriad of things that have nothing to do with the command to finish up the work and the preaching of the Good News.
God’s relationship with man is one of love. He wishes for us to obey Him freely through love. The Almighty gave mankind the gift of free will and the knowledge of how Christians should relate to each other, including the poor.
Americans are good and generous people who have always risen up to meet the needs of the poor. We also entrust our churches with our tithes and offerings. We give freely of our time and money to charitable organizations. The Bible does not mention one word about forced redistribution of wealth, or intrusive government programs for bringing about coercive “social justice.”
Charity is a desirable human tendency that comes from our relationship with our Lord. It’s an action God never forces. God “loves a cheerful giver.” However, the Obama administration has enticed some well-known denominations with “pay for play.” Become a lover of the Green Earth and your church will receive special favors.
Our government plans to bypass Congress through administrative edicts of the EPA. And if your church embraces climate change — well, let’s say good things will happen. At the peril of the entire country, progressive churches will promote Cap and Trade. Yes, Democrats want Christians and others faiths to become titillated about saving the globe.
I guess these same misguided Christians have forgotten that, in the Garden of Eden, God cursed the earth. It’s a tragic true story of human disobedience — the lack of respect and adherence to God’s Word.
While all this clever chicanery is going on, Christians are to be led by God’s Holy Spirit. We’re to live a righteous life — to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities that this fallen world promotes, nor are we to retain a corrupt mind that this world has helped to create. Rather, we are to conform ourselves to the mind and will of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). We must be a living testament of joy in all our daily activities and personal commitments.
All believers need to understand their role in the world. We are the children of light. We’re not to be led by those who try to bring us into bondage and spiritual darkness. Christians are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and know that there is something special about us. While holding on to God’s saving grace, we’re to make every effort to live Christlike before those who do not know the Lord. Otherwise, we do Him a great disservice. By our example, non-believers will see fulfillment of Christ’s admonition that “by their fruits you shall know them.”
Enjoy the beautiful things that God has laid before us. Nature is breathtaking. Worship Him — but never His creation.
Excerpts from Erik Rush
Recently, writer Erik Rush addressed the growing movement of progressive socialists among those professing Christianity. Below are excerpts from his article “The apostasy of ‘social justice Christians'”:
“Revelations concerning people who call themselves ‘social justice Christians’ have recently become a cause célèbre among conservative commentators. Initially, I was disinclined to tackle the subject, since there have been several worthwhile articles and programs addressing it as of late. However, since the phenomenon so closely resembles another upon which I have expounded with regularity, I reasoned that some elucidation thereupon would be accommodating to civic-minded Americans.
“‘Social justice Christians’ are those who profess Christianity, but who adhere to politically entrenched concepts of equality and redistribution of wealth. These ideas are ostensibly rooted in their faith, but in truth, they have been incrementally and insidiously insinuated into many American churches by Marxists, progressive politicians, and pastors whose religion has been tainted by the aforementioned parties.
“How can this be? Well, through the misrepresentation of Gospel messages in the areas of charity and egalitarianism, such Christians have been led to believe that:
- Government has a right to enforce religious doctrines (such as those of charity and egalitarianism); and
- Jesus Christ, as a threat to the existing paradigm, was the “first radical” and essentially commanded this in His teachings.
“A preposterous extrapolation, to be sure, but that’s what they espouse. And of course, government only has the right to enforce the religious doctrines of which these folks and their leaders happen to approve.
“Organizations such as the Sojourners (founded by communist ‘reverend’ Jim Wallis) and other SJC entities have been flexing their collective muscle since the election of Barack Obama as president. Most recently, a public service announcement campaign led by the Hollywood Adventist Church (don’t laugh; this is serious stuff) via New Name Pictures and entitled “I’m a Social Justice Christian” hit the Web, provoking the condemnation of those who, well, see social justice Christianity for what it is.
“Why do I bring this up now — other than because social justice groups have been flexing that muscle lately? Because the methodology in play is precisely how the left corrupted the black community — through their pastors and their churches. In the 1960s, the church was still the bulwark of the black community. Marxists subverted black pastors, then interwove their (social justice) dogma into the Gospel.
“It is the same creed that destroyed black families and the character of black Americans; now, the political left is mobilizing deluded Christians in the general population to do their malevolent bidding. President Obama’s “organizers” are capitalizing on the raw sensitivities of a largely white middle-class subgroup that has been browbeaten with charges of racism for years.
“According to SJ Christians, in addition to oppressing minorities (though it remains a mystery as to precisely how), we are destroying the planet; these issues must be addressed decisively and with all due speed — by the federal government. First, it was necessary to advance the notion that the Earth’s atmosphere was going to flash off into space imminently, hence the climate-change fear-mongering.
“In addition to the discredited (and therefore dubious) evidence supporting climate-change theory, adherents to “environmental justice” wholly ignore the fact that we have managed to engineer automobiles that are exponentially more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly than those produced in the 1970s, when the last environmental panic occurred. American industry has done likewise across the board, and environmental consciousness and our sense of stewardship of the Earth is at record levels across the political spectrum in America.” Full Article
Corruption from within
When Christians become aware that their own denominations have been infiltrated by progressives, they’ll probably not get very far contacting the church’s conference offices or hierarchy. Those in charge are most likely involved and will simply turn a deaf ear.
Most of Christendom will worsen as liberal ideas — such as same sex marriage, global warming, and evolution — continue to creep into the church.
When godly people of faith see the changes taking place, it’s time to leave and start afresh in a church where the Word is not being compromised. I’m afraid there will be very few places where a soul can find refuge, yet God will always have a people who will hear His voice.
Remember that biblically-sound Evangelicals have always presented the truth of the seven-day creation story that is found in the book of Genesis. Why? Because it is scriptural. Yet the progressives have managed to increase their numbers by touting evolution in places where it previously had never been taught, including privately-owned Christian universities and other learning institutions.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)
And as President Barack Obama proceeds to purposely destroy America, he wants to create a new paradigm that will eventually diminish Christianity, so our country can continue down the path of secularism, along with a thrashed interpretation of our Constitution.
Return to Christ
Take out your Bibles. Read them. Know who Jesus Christ is. Only then can we defend the faith by knowing the truth and holding it up against and defeating the counterfeit.
Our nation is being taken apart, inside out, by radical forces who abuse their powers. Obama and his Democrat cronies are seeking to destroy America and then rebuild it in their own image. The president has ignored the will of the people, and has forced upon every citizen an insidious socialized healthcare plan. Yet Social Justice Christians stood by his side, aware of the ugly outcome of his actions.
Resolve now to vote them out of office. Let us begin humbly but boldly, as we move ever forward. We will take back the country, a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Marie’s Choice Song: YouTube — Make Me A Servant — Maranatha Singers
Many legislatures amended their laws prohibiting slaves from carrying firearms to apply the prohibition to free blacks as well.
Published: July 18, 2010
•Editor’s note: In his concurring statement in ‘McDonald v. Chicago’ — the Supreme Court case affirming that the Second Amendment ensures an individual right to own firearms — Justice Clarence Thomas discussed the history of gun-control laws, whose purpose was to stifle the rights of minorities and to prevent African-Americans from defending themselves against the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Excerpts from Thomas’ opinion appear below.
In the contentious years leading up to the Civil War, those who sought to retain the institution of slavery found that to do so, it was necessary to eliminate more and more of the basic liberties of slaves, free blacks, and white abolitionists. Congressman Tobias Plants explained that slaveholders “could not hold [slaves] safely where dissent was permitted,” so they decided that “all dissent must be suppressed by the strong hand of power.”
The measures they used were ruthless, repressed virtually every right recognized in the Constitution, and demonstrated that preventing only discriminatory state firearms restrictions would have been a hollow assurance for liberty. Public reaction indicates that the American people understood this point. The overarching goal of pro-slavery forces was to repress the spread of abolitionist thought and the concomitant risk of a slave rebellion.
Indeed, it is difficult to overstate the extent to which fear of a slave uprising gripped slaveholders and dictated the acts of Southern legislatures. Slaves and free blacks represented a substantial percentage of the population and posed a severe threat to Southern order if they were not kept in their place. According to the 1860 Census, slaves represented one quarter or more of the population in 11 of the 15 slave States, nearly half the population in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana, and more than 50 percent of the population in Mississippi and South Carolina.
. . .
The Southern fear of slave rebellion was not unfounded. Although there were others, two particularly notable slave uprisings heavily influenced slaveholders in the South. In 1822, a group of free blacks and slaves led by Denmark Vesey planned a rebellion in which they would slay their masters and flee to Haiti. The plan was foiled, leading to the swift arrest of 130 blacks, and the execution of 37, including Vesey.
Still, slaveowners took notice — it was reportedly feared that as many as 6,600 to 9,000 slaves and free blacks were involved in the plot. A few years later, the fear of rebellion was realized. An uprising led by Nat Turner took the lives of at least 57 whites before it was suppressed.
The fear generated by these and other rebellions led Southern legislatures to take particularly vicious aim at the rights of free blacks and slaves to speak or to keep and bear arms for their defense. Teaching slaves to read (even the Bible) was a criminal offense punished severely in some States. Virginia made it a crime for a member of an “abolition” society to enter the State and argue “that the owners of slaves have no property in the same, or advocate or advise the abolition of slavery.”
Other States prohibited the circulation of literature denying a master’s right to property in his slaves and passed laws requiring postmasters to inspect the mails in search of such material. Many legislatures amended their laws prohibiting slaves from carrying firearms to apply the prohibition to free blacks as well.
Florida made it the “duty” of white citizen “patrol[s] to search negro houses or other suspected places, for firearms.” If they found any firearms, the patrols were to take the offending slave or free black “to the nearest justice of the peace,” whereupon he would be “severely punished” by “whipping on the bare back, not exceeding 39 lashes,” unless he could give a “plain and satisfactory” explanation of how he came to possess the gun.
. . .
Southern blacks were not alone in facing threats to their personal liberty and security during the antebellum era. Mob violence in many Northern cities presented dangers as well . . .
After the Civil War, Southern anxiety about an uprising among the newly freed slaves peaked. As Representative Thaddeus Stevens is reported to have said, “[W]hen it was first proposed to free the slaves, and arm the blacks, did not half the nation tremble? The prim conservatives, the snobs, and the male waiting-maids in Congress, were in hysterics.”
As the Court explains, this fear led to “systematic efforts” in the “old Confederacy” to disarm the more than 180,000 freedmen who had served in the Union Army, as well as other free blacks. Some States formally prohibited blacks from possessing firearms. Others enacted legislation prohibiting blacks from carrying firearms without a license, a restriction not imposed on whites. Additionally, “[T]hroughout the South, armed parties, often consisting of ex-Confederate soldiers serving in the state militias, forcibly took firearms from newly freed slaves.”
As the Court makes crystal clear, if the Fourteenth Amendment “had outlawed only those laws that discriminate on the basis of race or previous condition of servitude, African-Americans in the South would likely have remained vulnerable to attack by many of their worst abusers: the state militia and state peace officers.”
In the years following the Civil War, a law banning firearm possession outright “would have been nondiscriminatory only in the formal sense,” for it would have “left firearms in the hands of the militia and local peace officers.”
Evidence suggests that the public understood this at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. The publicly circulated Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction extensively detailed these abuses, and statements by citizens indicate that they looked to the Committee to provide a federal solution to this problem.
. . .
One way in which the Federal Government responded was to issue military orders countermanding Southern arms legislation . . . .The significance of these steps was not lost on those they were designed to protect. After one such order was issued, The Christian Recorder, published by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, published the following editorial:
“We have several times alluded to the fact that the Constitution of the United States, guaranties to every citizen the right to keep and bear arms . . . .All men, without the distinction of color, have the right to keep arms to defend their homes, families, or themselves.
“We are glad to learn that [the] Commissioner for this State . . . has given freedmen to understand that they have as good a right to keep fire arms as any other citizens. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, and we will be governed by that at present.”
The same month, The Loyal Georgian carried a letter to the editor asking “Have colored persons a right to own and carry fire arms? — A Colored Citizen.” The editors responded as follows:
“Almost every day, we are asked questions similar to the above. We answer certainly you have the same right to own and carry fire arms that other citizens have. You are not only free but citizens of the United States and, as such, entitled to the same privileges granted to other citizens by the Constitution of the United States . . . .”
These statements are consistent with the arguments of abolitionists during the antebellum era that slavery, and the slave States’ efforts to retain it, violated the constitutional rights of individuals — rights the abolitionists described as among the privileges and immunities of citizenship. The problem abolitionists sought to remedy was that, under Dred Scott, blacks were not entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens under the Federal Constitution and that, in many States, whatever inalienable rights state law recognized did not apply to blacks . . . .
Cruikshank’s holding that blacks could look only to state governments for protection of their right to keep and bear arms enabled private forces, often with the assistance of local governments, to subjugate the newly freed slaves and their descendants through a wave of private violence designed to drive blacks from the voting booth and force them into peonage, an effective return to slavery. Without federal enforcement of the inalienable right to keep and bear arms, these militias and mobs were tragically successful in waging a campaign of terror against the very people the Fourteenth Amendment had just made citizens.
Take, for example, the Hamburg Massacre of 1876.There, a white citizen militia sought out and murdered a troop of black militiamen for no other reason than that they had dared to conduct a celebratory Fourth of July parade through their mostly black town. The white militia commander, “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, later described this massacre with pride: “[T]he leading white men of Edgefield” had decided “to seize the first opportunity that the negroes might offer them to provoke a riot and teach the negroes a lesson by having the whites demonstrate their superiority by killing as many of them as was justifiable.”
. . .
Organized terrorism like that perpetuated by Tillman and his cohorts proliferated in the absence of federal enforcement of constitutional rights. Militias such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the White Camellia, the White Brotherhood, the Pale Faces, and the ’76 Association spread terror among blacks and white Republicans by breaking up Republican meetings, threatening political leaders, and whipping black militiamen. These groups raped, murdered, lynched, and robbed as a means of intimidating, and instilling pervasive fear in, those whom they despised.
Although Congress enacted legislation to suppress these activities, Klan tactics remained a constant presence in the lives of Southern blacks for decades. Between 1882 and 1968, there were at least 3,446 reported lynchings of blacks in the South. They were tortured and killed for a wide array of alleged crimes, without even the slightest hint of due process. Emmit Till, for example, was killed in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. The fates of other targets of mob violence were equally depraved.
The use of firearms for self-defense was often the only way black citizens could protect themselves from mob violence. As Eli Cooper, one target of such violence, is said to have explained, “[T]he Negro has been run over for fifty years, but it must stop now, and pistols and shotguns are the only weapons to stop a mob.”
Sometimes, as in Cooper’s case, self defense did not succeed. He was dragged from his home by a mob and killed as his wife looked on. But at other times, the use of firearms allowed targets of mob violence to survive. One man recalled the night during his childhood when his father stood armed at a jail until morning to ward off lynchers. The experience left him with a sense, “not of powerlessness,” but of the “possibilities of salvation” that came from standing up to intimidation
In my view, the record makes plain that the Framers of the Privileges or Immunities Clause and the ratifying-era public understood –just as the Framers of the Second Amendment did — that the right to keep and bear arms was essential to the preservation of liberty. The record makes equally plain that they deemed this right necessary to include in the minimum baseline of federal rights that the Privileges or Immunities Clause established in the wake of the War over slavery.
By Jeffrey Lord on 8.12.08 @ 12:08AM
Missing: 52 years of history.
Ignored: The other 113 years that take the Democrats from their birth in 1800 to 1965.
As Democrats prepare[d] to nominate Senator Barack Obama to be the first black president, the Democratic National Committee and its chairman Howard Dean have whitewashed the party’s horrific and lengthy record of racism. The omission is in the section of the DNC website that describes the party’s history. The missing history raises the obvious question of whether the Democrats, unable or simply unwilling to put their party on record as taking direct responsibility for one of the worst racial crimes of the ages, will be able to run a campaign free of the racial animosities it has regularly brought both to American presidential campaigns and American political and social life in general.
What else to make of the official party history as presented by the DNC on its website? It is a history so sanitized of historical reality it makes Stalin look like historian David McCullough.
The DNC website section labeled “Party History,” linked here, is in fact scrubbed clean of the not-so-little dirty secret that fueled Democrats’ political successes for over a century and a half and made American life a hell on earth for black Americans. Literally, the DNC official history, which begins with the creation of the party in 1800, gets to the creation of the DNC itself in 1848 and then…poof!…the next sentence says: “As the 19th Century came to a close, the American electorate changed more and more rapidly.” It quickly heads into a riff on poor immigrants coming to America.
In a stroke, 52 years of Democrat history vanishes. Disappeared faster than the truth in the Clinton administration. Why would this be? Allow me to sketch in a few facts from those missing 52 years. For that matter, lets add in the facts from the party history before and after those 52 years, since they aren’t mentioned by the Democrats’ National Committee either.
So what’s missing?
* There is no reference to the number of Democratic Party platforms supporting slavery. There were 6 from 1840-1860.
* There is no reference to the number of Democratic presidents who owned slaves. There were 7 from 1800-1861
* There is no reference to the number of Democratic Party platforms that either supported segregation outright or were silent on the subject. There were 20, from 1868-1948.
* There is no reference to “Jim Crow” as in “Jim Crow laws,” nor is there reference to the role Democrats played in creating them. These were the post-Civil War laws passed enthusiastically by Democrats in that pesky 52-year part of the DNC’s missing years. These laws segregated public schools, public transportation, restaurants, rest rooms and public places in general (everything from water coolers to beaches). The reason Civil Rights heroine Rosa Parks became famous is that she sat in the front of a “whites only” bus, the “whites only” designation the direct result of Democrats.
* There is no reference to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, which, according to Columbia University historian Eric Foner became “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.” Nor is there reference to University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease’s description of the Klan as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.”
* There is no reference to the fact Democrats opposed the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The Thirteenth banned slavery. The Fourteenth effectively overturned the infamous 1857 Supreme Court Dred Scott decision (made by Democrat pro-slavery Supreme Court justices) by guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves. The Fifteenth gave black Americans the right to vote.
* There is no reference to the fact Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It was passed by the Republican Congress over the veto of Democratic President Andrew Johnson. The law was designed to provide blacks with the right to own private property, sign contracts, sue and serve as witnesses in a legal proceeding.
* There is no reference to the Democrats’ opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1875. It was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses Grant. The law prohibited racial discrimination in public places and public accommodations.
* There is no reference to the Democrats’ 1904 platform, which devotes a section to “Sectional and Racial Agitation,” claiming the GOP’s protests against segregation and the denial of voting rights to blacks sought to “revive the dead and hateful race and sectional animosities in any part of our common country,” which in turn “means confusion, distraction of business, and the reopening of wounds now happily healed.”
* There is no reference to four Democrat platforms, 1908-1920, that are silent on blacks, segregation, lynching, and voting rights as racial problems in the country mount. By contrast the GOP platforms of those years specifically address “Rights of the Negro” (1908), oppose lynchings (in 1912, 1920, 1924, 1928) and, as the New Deal kicks in, speak out about the dangers of making blacks “wards of the state.”
* There is no reference to the DNC-sponsored Democrat Convention of 1924, known to history as the “Klanbake.” The 103-ballot convention was held in Madison Square Garden. Hundreds of delegates were members of the Ku Klux Klan, the Klan so powerful that a plank condemning Klan violence was defeated outright. To celebrate the Klan staged a rally with 10,000 hooded Klansmen in a field in New Jersey directly across the Hudson from the site of the Convention. Attended by hundreds of cheering Convention delegates, the rally featured burning crosses and calls for violence against African Americans and Catholics.
* There is no reference to the fact that it was Democrats who segregated the federal government of the United States, specifically at the direction of President Woodrow Wilson upon taking office in 1913. There is a reference to the fact that President Harry Truman integrated the military after World War II.
* There is reference to the fact that Democrats created the Federal Reserve Board, passed labor and child welfare laws and created Social Security with Wilson’s New Freedom and FDR’s New Deal. There is no reference these programs were created as the result of an agreement to ignore segregation and the lynching of blacks. Neither is there a reference to the thousands of local officials, state legislators, state governors, U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Senators who were elected as supporters of slavery and then segregation between 1800 and 1965. Nor is there reference to the deal with the devil that left segregation and lynching as a way of life in return for election support for three post-Civil War Democrat presidents, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.
* There is no reference that three-fourths of the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the U.S. House came from Democrats, or that 80 percent of the nay vote on the bill in the Senate came from the Democrats. Certainly there is no reference to the fact that the opposition included future Democratic Senate Leader Robert Byrd of West Virginia (a former Klan member) and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore, Sr., father of future Vice President Al Gore.
* Last, but certainly not least, there is no reference to the fact that Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor, who infamously unleashed dogs and fire hoses on civil rights protestors, was in fact — yes indeed — both a member of the Democratic National Committee and the Ku Klux Klan.
Reading the DNC’s official “Party History” of the Democrats and the race issue and civil rights is not unlike reading In Through the Looking Glass: “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'”
Here’s this line from the DNC: “With the election of Harry Truman, Democrats began the fight to bring down the final barriers of race…” Truman, of course, was elected in 1948, and to his great credit he did in fact, along with then-Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey, begin to push the Democrats towards a pro-civil rights stance. This culminated in the passage of the 1960s’ Civil Rights laws — legislation that re-did what was done by Republicans a hundred years earlier but had been undone by the Democrats’ support for segregation. But the notion that “Democrats began to bring down the final barriers of race” begs the obvious questions. What were these barriers doing there in the first place? And who exactly was responsible for creating them?
Reading the DNC version of race history in America in which they have erased their own leading role is not unlike checking in on an official German government website and seeing a description of Germany that ends around 1900, then picks up with a sentence that reads “As the mid-20th century came to a close, the German people changed more and more rapidly” followed by another sentence that begins, “With the election of Konrad Adenauer in 1949, Germans began the fight for world peace and to bring down the final barriers of anti-Semitism…” You know, why bother with those inconsequential things like World War I, World War II, Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust? We Germans had nothing really to do with any of it anyway.
AS IF TO CONFIRM the “who, me?” racial psychology behind the DNC website, Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats passed a House Resolution on July 29th sponsored by Tennessee Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen. The resolution, passed by voice vote, concludes this way:
Resolved, That the House of Representatives–(1) acknowledges that slavery is incompatible with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal;
(2) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow;
(3) apologizes to African Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow; and
(4) expresses its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future.
What word is missing here?
You got it. The word “Democrat.” Never mentioned anywhere. As with the DNC website, all these terrible things — somehow, apparently, it seems, so they keep hearing — happened. Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Cohen and their fellow House Democrats just can’t understand how. But, you know, whatever. They are sorry. Really.
Are they? Let’s take them up on this.
After all those Democrat platforms and conventions that championed slavery and segregation, what do you think the chances are they will use the occasion of Obama’s nomination to have the Democrat platform formally apologize for the active, frequently violent and decidedly official support of the Democratic Party for slavery, segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan and all the rest?
Better yet, do you think they’ll pass a resolution promising to use the funds raised from all those Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraisers to pay reparations for slavery? (Did I mention that while the DNC discusses party co-founders Jefferson and Jackson it neglects to mention that between them the two owned an estimated 360 slaves?)
Will the NAACP and other groups seeking reparations from non-government entities for their role in supporting slavery (companies like Aetna, Wachovia and Chase along with educational institutions like Brown University, etc.) finally zero in on the prime historical mover behind some of the worst chapters in American history? Will they sue the Democrats?
The Democrats are poised to nominate a black man for president of the United States. But will they apologize for slavery? Will they start paying reparations not from tax dollars but their own dollars for what they have done?
Do they have the guts to publicly admit what serious history records of their deeds? Are they capable of running a campaign without playing the race card as they have played it for the better part of two centuries? Can they even escape the race psychology that has indelibly branded them as America’s Party of Race?
Or, when it comes to their own responsibility for race relations in America, will they order up more of what, under the circumstances, is a very appropriate word for the DNC website?
Jeffrey Lord is the creator, co-founder and CEO of QubeTV, a conservative video site. A Reagan White House political director and author, he writes from Pennsylvania.
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now is the time to speak some Truth to Power.
It would have been far more truthful for the congresswoman to have admitted the fact that all those who wore sheets a long time ago lifted them to wear Democratic Party clothing. Yes, the Ku Klux Klan was established by the Democratic Party. Yes, the Ku Klux Klan murdered thousands of Republicans — African-American and white — in the years following the Civil War. Yes, the Republican Party and a Republican President, Ulysses Grant, destroyed the KKK with their Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.
It was a racist Democrat President, Woodrow Wilson, who premiered Birth of a Nation in the White House. That racist movie was based on a racist book written by one of Wilson’s racist friends from college. In 1915, the movie spawned the modern-day Klan, with its burning crosses and white sheets.
Inspired by the movie, some Georgia Democrats revived the Klan. Soon, the Ku Klux Klan again became a powerful force within the Democratic Party. The KKK so dominated the 1924 Democratic Convention that Republicans, speaking truth to power, called it the Klanbake. In the 1930s, a Democrat President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appointed a Klansman, Senator Hugo Black (D-AL), to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the 1950s, the Klansmen against whom the civil rights movement struggled were Democrats. The notorious police commissioner Bull Connor, who attacked African-Americans with dogs and clubs and fire hoses, was both a Klansman and the Democratic Party’s National Committeeman for Alabama. Starting in the 1980s, the Democratic Party elevated a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), to third-in-line for the presidency.
Speaking more Truth to Power, the GOP has been a resolute enemy of the Ku Klux Klan, terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.
To quote from Back to Basics for the Republican Party, “The more we Republicans know about the history of our party, the more the Democrats will worry about the future of theirs.” See www.grandoldpartisan.com for more information.
The purpose of the book Back to Basics for the Republican Party is to show Republicans how they would benefit tremendously from appreciating the heritage of the GOP.