Chattanoogans and other Americans love their servitude to commercial government. There is perhaps not a better time it was to weigh this assertion than the 4th of July weekend.
We are supposed to celebrate the 4th to mark constitutional government, our separation from the commercial government of Great Britain and our heritage of independence and self-government.
By David Tulis
Most people however think little of these blessings in history and consider the 4th of July merely an occasion for vacation, barbecue and fireworks.
For those of us who love God and care about His law, today is a good occasion to mourn our continuing humiliation under commercial government and its judges. The week past is littered with state-empowering court rulings and police action that destroy life, limb and the right of property.
➤ On Monday a U.S. district court struck down Texas’ law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges to hospitals and that baby-killing clinics upgrade their facilities to become ambulatory surgical centers. The rules were an “undue burden” for Texas women, the court said. The law had reduced the number of babies slain by 15 percent.
➤ On Thursday in Florida a federal judge blocked parts of a new statute that would have prohibited funding of Planned Parenthood and raise regulatory hurdles for the operation of its baby-killing centers.
➤ On Friday a judge from the same Yankee government issued an opinion that is reported to have blocked a Mississippi law that would let government workers and business people stand on their religious convictions in deciding what sort of commerce to enjoy (or not) with homosexuals. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves issue opinions in two lawsuits, blocking the law from taking effect. The law would have protected people who believe the following: That marriage is only between a man and a woman that sexual relations should be reserved for marriage and then a person’s sex is determined at birth and cannot be altered by feelings or opinion.
➤ A sheriff in a Tennessee county is routinely searching people’s homes without a warrant. White County Sheriff Oddie Shoupe let deputies barge into the residence of Jessica Newnum, a single mom who tells a TV station she is “just trying to make a living and raise my kids. All I do is work and stay home.” She was taking a nap when deputies entered her house looking for a man who’d missed a court date. Sheriff Shoupe says he has authority under Tennessee code annotated 40-7-107. ‡ But that statute is operative only if an officer sees the fugitive enter the dwelling in a chase and does not provide for general warrantless searches for individuals apart from a warrant sworn under oath.
What can we do?
The closer people come to understanding the doctrines of the sovereignty of God and His grace, the more likely are they to find fervor in supporting and living out the legal and political concepts that flow from them (namely, constitutional government, with its respect for the market and for God-given rights).
Any man or woman who loves God also loves freedom and liberty. The gospel’s key promise is freedom from the slavery of sin. The blessings that flow from this liberation from the tyranny of sin and lawlessness affect every realm of life, including law and the politics that shape it.
The kinds of depredations we regularly see from Yankee courts and law enforcement may not be things we can’t resist directly. We may not have means or station to respond to these attacks on liberty and godliness.
But our understanding of these repeated judicial and legal abuses should be informed by a biblical doctrine that is helping shape a godly line of future action.
This argument is encouraging to local residents and elected officials starting with county clerks. The theory is inherent in the concept of federalism: It is the doctrine of the lesser magistrate. It envisions an official of a lesser capacity resisting the false claims, usurpations, dictates and misapplied authority of a greater official. It allows a lesser magistrate to tell a greater one, “You are acting outside of lawful authority. I resist your false claims upon me and the people I represent. You have no jurisdiction (law-word) here. You have no authority here. We are going to ignore your words. If what you have to say is true and lawful, enforce it yourself. I stand by my oath before God to uphold our constitution.”
Republicans and Democrats are equally pernicious in rejecting their constitutional and biblical authority. In Tennessee, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam imposes today homosexual marriage on county clerks in Tennessee. A Christian conservative county clerk in Hamilton County, Bill Knowles, imposes gay marriage on our society and our culture. Neither lesser magistrate defied the lawlessness of the greater.
These men act lawlessly because they lack courage and godly conviction and are ignorant of their real power based on lawful authority granted them by the people under the state constitution. They surrender. They cave in. They are complicit with evil edicts from remote jurisdictions. We are people living on the land. The federal government has authority among and between the states and also maritime jurisdiction. That is to say, it has authority over the sea. It has no authority on the land.
And yet because we are infested with lawyers in Chattanooga, Hamilton County and Tennessee, no official has the courage to break out of the web of deceit imposed by the courts. Don’t let blame on the lawyers go too far. A public official of courage, fearing God in his oath, will stand regardless of how many lawyers advise him to comply.
This 4th of July, given the news domestically is another miserable 4th of July.
Is there hope?
Hope for the future lies on several fronts. Let’s pray to God that he will raise up Joshuas to lead God’s people and the mixed multitude toward greater opportunities for liberty.
Matt Trewhella, the author of two books on the doctrine of the lesser magistrate, says the practice of godly interposition is needed in the state’s war against marriage and the unborn.
God’s people should demand abolition of abortion and brook no compromise. He demands an end to the pretentious horse and pony shows of pro-life groups for whom court defeats are a perverse part of their raison d’etre.
I have traced how civil authorities in Hamilton County have coalesced against their oaths of office and conspired to redefine legal marriage in favor of state control and state intervention.
Meanwhile, the Christian church seems unaffected by continuing assaults against the unborn and common law constitutionally protected rights in a rising police state in Tennessee. Christianity appears not to intersect in any way with the oppression of the state against the child, the family, the entrepreneur or the people’s liberties.
I believe many things in our current thinking will be forced into reorganization. That will happen at a faster clip when the national government will be forced into either Chapter 11 reorganization or a Chapter 7 liquidation.
This prospect may sound laughable, but the equivalent is going to have to occur, given the debt-creation numbers and the state-imposed friction in the economy. More significantly, the public confidence that undergirds the continuing daily operation of U.S. stock and credit markets will evaporate, and crisis will be upon the American populace again.
We have to look forward to the benefits of the financial disaster ahead. Washington will finally be caught by its claimants. The system is designed to crash, as Charles Hugh Smith argues, and will break apart amid public loathing and clamor. Little love is left for the United States, despite memorial day crowds and July 4 hoorahs. When the confidence evaporates and markets plunge, disgust will turn into anger, whomever is president.
I am optimistic
I don’t know anyone in Hamilton County of sufficient character to lead the sort of resistance I am describing via the doctrine of the lesser magistrate. Our good God raises up Joshuas in every age from unexpected quarters. The outrages against God and good government, perhaps, haven’t reached their highest pitch to prompt an unsettlement and the emergence of statesmen servants.
We have been enslaved by commercial positive government, and we deserve it. Our oppression may last for decades more if Washington holds on despite financial maelstroms of its making
Our hope has to be in God’s mercy, giving us liberty and the fruits of Christianity such as local economy that we don’t deserve.
Despite the bleak news of the day, I’m optimistic about the future of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. In the coming wreck there will be occasion for American goodwill and independency to assert itself. It may not be led by a Joshua, but by dozens of people working quietly in disregard of the lies and fabrications of the political establishment at its courts.
This confidence is, after all, a theme in local economy. We do it ourselves. We don’t need outside cash and procedures. We don’t need strangers and betters holding our hand. Just leave us alone, get out of our way. That’s an independence we can celebrate, God willing, or our grandchildren.
Ben Hall, “Tennessee Sheriff’s Searches Questioned,” Newschannel5, June 30, 2016, http://www.newschannel5.com/news/newschannel-5-investigates/tennessee-sheriffs-searches-questioned
‡ 40-7-107. Authority of officer to break in.
To make an arrest, either with or without a warrant, the officer may break open any outer or inner door or window of a dwelling house if, after notice of the officer’s office, authority and purpose, the officer is refused admittance.
‡‡ A remarkable reinterpretation of the founding is Tupper Saussy’s book Rulers of Evil (1999, Ospray Bookmakers) that explains the Roman Catholic origins of the U.S. federal republic, replete with its classical deities and freemasonic symbols. Mr. Saussy was a remarkable Tennessean.
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