Celebrating Independence Day… But Are You Free?

Celebrating Independence Day… But Are You Free?

It’s July 4th. Again. Every year this day rolls around. And as Americans we relish the privilege to celebrate the day our nation declared its independence from an oppressive master. It was a momentous day. But that first day in 1776 wasn’t the end of the struggle. Rather it was merely the beginning. 

What that declaration launched was not an easier life, but in many ways a more difficult one. Freedom does not just happen. No, freedom demands an extraordinary price. That price can even require one’s life. But even if freedom does not demand the ultimate cost, it will still require an extreme sacrifice, if it is to be kept. 

As I’ve thought about these truths, relative to our nation and our freedom, there are so many parallels to the Christian life. All of us are born into bondage, and our master from the time of our birth was an opressive, evil one. His dominion extends around the world as he has enslaved the masses since the beginning of time. The price he demands is greater than a portion of your earnings, or even your firstborn. This master demands your very soul. 

But, we have a Founding Father, who penned His own Declaration of Independence 2000+ years ago. He sealed  His Declaration with his blood. This new Master, known as the King of Kings, is a benevolent king. He is a just man. He is a loving ruler.

But as any Master, this Lord of Lords, also demands our all. He does not accept second place. He does not allow His followers to ignore His requirements. But because He was once just as us (but without sin), He understands our weaknesses and He promises to strengthen us in our time of need. He will be with us, when the evil master and his minions seek to pull us back into their dark dominion. Our King of Kings will walk with us, even in the midst of the fiery trials in our lives. 

So as we celebrate America’s Independence Day again, how many more July 4th’s will you celebrate? Could this be your last one?  Could it be mine? 

But more importantly, have you embraced the eternal Declaration of Independence that was authored when God’s Son, the Prince of Peace, hung on the cross, bore your sins and mine, defeated death, and rose again?  Jesus’ death for you and me is the only way we can have true independence from the grip Satan has on all of mankind. But we must embrace Jesus as our Lord, Master, and Savior by acknowledging our own sinfulness and need of Him. 

Embracing Jesus is the most important choice you can ever make. And if you chose Jesus this July 4th, you will eternally remember our nation’s birthday as the day you were born anew. 

“If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36

The Purpose of Liberty: Are You Fulfilling It?

The Purpose of Liberty: Are You Fulfilling It?

July 4th: a day that many Americans will spend with family and friends, enjoying food and fireworks.  It’s a day that we celebrate the founding of our nation, more than two centuries ago.  That day in 1776, was a day like no other for the men who penned their names to our founding document, the Declaration of Independence.  Their grievances were serious, real and legitimate.  And their public defiance of the King was a certain death warrant, leading them to mutually pledge their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”

Their unwavering commitment to the principle of Liberty, resulted in innumerable blessings for us today.  But have you ever considered what the purpose of Liberty really is?  Is its end simply the “pursuit of happiness?”  While this question begs a much deeper and more thorough discussion than what follows, I trust these brief thoughts will serve to challenge you and me to go deeper in meditation.  And as we do, perhaps our thoughts will call us to a higher level of accountability than what we as Americas are accustomed to acknowledging.

The First Liberty: In a Perfect World

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”  I would assert that this phrase, known to most people across the world who have been blessed with the knowledge of the Scriptures, is the greatest opening statement of any manuscript ever known to man.  In the passage following this opening truth, we find that God not only created the entire universe and all that is within it, but He also established the principles and laws that would control all things.  These laws would govern not only the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual, and even what our Founders referred to as “unalienable rights.”

So when God, on the sixth day, created man in “His own image,” He presented to that first couple a state of perfection.  In that perfect world, God offered Adam and Eve the freedom to exercise liberty, and then he defined how they would do so.  The first couple would initially exercise dominion over the world God had created — every creature, plant and the entire earth.  Secondly, Adam & Even would express their love by multiplying themselves, thus reproducing life.  And lastly, they would discharge their free will, and their understanding of liberty, by the choices they would make.

As Adam and Eve partook of liberty in those first few days of perfection, enjoying a deeply personal and intimate fellowship with God, they were free to experience all of God’s creation.  A smorgasbord of sensual pleasures surrounded them everywhere they looked.  The radiant beauty of their environment, the luscious delicacies their taste buds enjoyed, and the intellectual and emotional stimuli they were exposed to during their daily walks with God, was beyond any experience modern man can fathom.  

But there was just one, ever so small, limitation that would test their understanding of liberty. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in the center of the Garden of Eden, was off limits.  The perfection they daily enjoyed eventually came to be overshadowed by their knowledge that there was one singular item, stored away in the middle of their “heaven on earth” of which they were to steer clear.  Their “dilemma” is akin to being given the key to Whole Foods so that anything you desired to take and eat was yours, except for one box of cookies on a counter in the middle of the bakery department. 

So liberty’s purpose was clear.  And liberty’s test was even clearer.  Mankind’s destiny literally hung in the balance as Adam and Eve grappled with the concept of liberty.  Would they fulfill God’s purpose?  Would they exercise dominion over every aspect of God’s creation, including the tree in the middle of the garden?  Would they tame and control their own free will to conform to God’s singular restriction on their liberty?  Or would they chose to pursue a distorted view of liberty, one that suggested they could do anything they pleased, with no consequences?

Sadly, we know the rest of the story as Adam and Eve trampled the liberty God gave them, exercising their free will to violate the boundaries that liberty imposed.  

Liberty in an Imperfect World

Since that tragic day when Adam and Eve traded true liberty for a lesser form, man has continuously sought liberty.  But not until the founding of these United States of America has there been a nation whose very DNA was infused with liberty as ours.  Many of our nation’s greatest icons carry the theme of liberty.  The Statue of Liberty.  The Liberty Bell.  The Liberty Tree.  Sons of Liberty.

So it seems only natural that Americans love liberty and seek after it.  But do we understand what liberty is, and more importantly are we fulfilling its purpose in an imperfect world?

Thinking back to the initial purposes of liberty as revealed in the opening scene of the world, we are to have dominion over all of creation.  The world is ours.  God has granted it to us but will also hold us accountable for the way in which we subdue it.  Are we acting as the stewards that God intended in every asset, gift, and relationship that God bestows upon you and me? 

Secondly, are we reproducing and embracing life?  Life is under attack like never before.  The forces of evil are seeking to dismantle life, convincing us that children are a hassle, and in a million instances a year in American, not even worthy of life.  Our birthrates in America are not even sufficient to replace ourselves.  So do we truly value life?  Yet, liberty demands that we must.

Finally, liberty is a test, between good and evil.  In a sense, Adam and Eve had it much easier.  Their choices were sorted into two categories.  In the first column was the one item in their world of infinite good that they were told to reject:  the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  In the other column was everything else!  They were presented with only one bad option and literally millions of good choices.

Not so in our lives.  The truth is that we have literally millions of options and choices available to us at any given moment, both good and bad. And because of the free will that God granted to us when he created Adam, we have the liberty to chose either, the righteous or evil.  But sadly there is a plethora of wrong choices today.  And it seems that it’s all too easy to default to bad choices, at least I know it is in my life.  But while liberty gives me that option, liberty also demands better.  Liberty instructs that we must resist that which is not good, not only for our own good, but for our family, friends and nation.  For if we learned anything from Adam and Eve, we can understand that our choices are not made in a vacuum but rather they ripple out, resulting in either a wave of good or a flood of bad.  

So at the end of the day, the purpose of liberty is simple.  It is a test.  Will you and I pass the test?  Will we weigh every choice by God’s perfect standard, rejecting those that don’t measure up?  Or will we abuse liberty to do what we want, regardless of the impact on ourselves and others?

Only you can say.  But as we celebrate another July 4th, may we never again forget the purpose of liberty and with God’s help, exercise our liberty in a manner worthy of God’s blessings.

Bhojpur Prison, A Volleyball Match & Hope

Bhojpur Prison, A Volleyball Match & Hope

Recently I had the opportunity to spend ten days in Nepal, with several of those days hiking through the mountains below the Himalayas. As our group of five guys trekked through village after village, we found the Nepali people to be filled with curiosity and astonishment. Witnessing tall, lighter skinned guys hiking in their midst was a rarity. In fact, some of the villagers had never seen an American. But as we acknowledged them with the traditional Nepali greeting “Namaste,” the locals were quick to respond in like-kind, clasping their hands together with a quick bow, almost as if praying.

On day two, as we made our way through many villages along the steep and dusty trail, we ultimately arrived in Bhojpur, Nepal, a little town of approximately 10,000. We were led by our two guides to a local congregation of believers and their little one room church. Prior to sharing time with the believers later that night, we took a quick tour of the town. As we walked, Nepali eyes everywhere locked on us, as if we were from an alien planet. But once we offered a quick “Namaste” greeting, a smile would often spread on the lips of those gawking at us.

We made our way to one of the highest points in the town, where we found a large dirt soccer field. But as we looked beyond the field, we saw what initially appeared to be a fort. Upon closer inspection though, we detected the towering concrete walls with guard towers and barb wire running around the secure facility. We were confronted by Bhojpur Prison.

Directly adjacent to the walled compound was a large group of people who were making quite a commotion. We were drawn to the lively crowd only to find a competitive ladies volleyball game. The onlookers were cheering them on.

As I stood there watching the Nepali’s laughing, playing, and enjoying life, I couldn’t miss noticing the cold and ominous walls of Bhojpur Prison directly next to them. And as I did, my heart grew sad, as the reality of what I was really seeing sunk in.

On one side of those prison walls were men and women whose physical lives seemed hopeless. They had broken the law and were appropriately paying the penalty for their crime. Their physical freedom had been sacrificed and their future was bleak.

On the other side of those threatening walls, though, were a few hundred Nepali’s. They didn’t appear to have a care in this world. Their life, according to Nepali standards, was fine. They were laughing and playing. Their physical freedom was not threatened. Yet spiritually they were captive. Whether they were followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, or simply a-religious, spiritually they were without hope. The walls of Bhojpur Prison were like Lego blocks compared to the walls of their sins that separated them from a holy God. And their breaking of God’s law required a penalty with eternal consequences.

What hope did these teenagers and men and women engaged in an afternoon of volleyball have? Truthfully none. Or at best, very little.

The truth of the gospel has been embraced by fewer than 100 people in Bhojpur, Nepal as the believers there meet in an 800 square foot, one room church. To be clear, it was a blessing to meet brothers and sisters in Christ in this remotest part of the world, but it was also sobering to realize that Bhojpur was merely one of hundreds of towns and villages around Nepal where the light of the gospel is dim, or perhaps completely extinguished.

As the volleyball match concluded and the players were shaking hands, we turned our backs to the walls of that dark and foreboding compound, Bhojpur Prison, and set off in the direction of the church. And it struck me. That’s all that was necessary for each one of these Nepali’s to be unbound from the walls of sin that was holding them captive: turning from their sins and embracing the Gospel, the Good News that salvation can only be found in and through Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for their sins, and yours and mine as well.

But this Good News will only be known to the Nepali’s if someone shares it with them. That is their only hope.

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15

Civil Asset Forfeiture: Policing for Profit

Civil Asset Forfeiture: Policing for Profit

Imagine for a moment you are driving down the highway on your way to purchase a car in a town half-way across the state.  You are excited to pickup the slightly used, sporty convertible for your spouse as a birthday gift.  Because it’s a weekend, banks are not open, so you are carrying a substantial amount of cash to be able to pay for the car on the spot.  It’s the only way you can take the title for the car with you when you purchase it.  

All of a sudden you see blue lights in your mirror.  You had your cruise set on the speed limit of the rental car you’re driving, but even so, your pulse quickens. You know you are doing nothing illegal, but just being pulled over causes you some anxiety.

As you pull to a stop, the officer exits his car and approaches your vehicle.  He asks for your drivers license and registration.  You provide your license and the paperwork for the rental car.  (You planned to drop off the rental car in the town where you’ll pick up the convertible.)  As the officer returns to his car, you’re uncertain why you were pulled over.  Unbeknownst to you though, apparently your vehicle marks the description of an alleged drug dealers car about which the police received a tip.  But they have mistaken you for him.  

When the officer returns, he asks you if you have any large amounts of cash in your car.  Being honest, you acknowledge you do.  He then asks you to exit the car and begins to search the car.  Upon spotting the cash in the middle console of the rental car, he takes possession of the cash and all of a sudden, what was to be an exciting afternoon of driving a convertible back on a sunny, mild spring day has become your worst nightmare.  There will be no convertible in your future this day.  And the large amount of cash you were carrying has been confiscated.  Who knows whether you’ll ever get it back.   A scenario very similar to this occurred right here in Tennessee as reported in this short investigative video.

Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF), also known as “policing for profit” is an unconstitutional scheme that allows police to seize assets that they allege were involved in a crime and then keep or sell those assets.  The owners may or may not be charged with a crime themselves but their assets can be retained by the police.  The state of Tennessee has sanctioned this unconstitutional activity and some police officers (not all) are abusing this “legal” practice.  Regardless of their motivation though, it’s something that should change.   

CAF allows law enforcement agencies to confiscate private property from unsuspecting citizens on just the mere suspicion that a crime has been committed. That agency then uses the confiscated money or property to supplement their department’s budget.  An officer doesn’t need to write a ticket or arrest the subject, and the accusation doesn’t have to be specific.  All the officer needs to do is give the subject a receipt for the confiscated property to comply with state law.  If the citizen resists the confiscation of his property, the officer can then arrest him and take him to jail, for resisting a peace officer.

Simply put, the officer can make an on-the-spot personal decision that whatever a citizen has in his possession was obtained from the commission of a crime. For instance, if a young man with long hair is driving a new Lexus, the officer can confiscate the vehicle if he merely thinks the car was purchased with drug money. No proof is needed, and the victim will never be arrested or prosecuted, let alone convicted of a crime. That citizen will simply lose his property. Being innocent until proven guilty is turned upside down with CAF.

Sadly, I’m not describing Nazi Germany, but rather it’s happening today in America as reviewed in this article from Institute for Justice. (By the way, Trump’s new Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a full supporter of CAF as a tool for fighting drug trafficking.)  The problem is, there has never been a distinction made between innocent civilians and drug traffickers, and CAF makes no allowance for Due Process as guaranteed by our Constitution.

This abuse of power has been going on for quite some time. It is a flagrant violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and Tennessee is among the worst abusers of this tactic as revealed in this article “Police Officer Pockets $6,000 From People Who Had Their Cars Taken Through Forfeiture.”  Although this practice has been used for some time under the guise of fighting drug traffic, there has not been a serious effort to put an end to it.  

Until Now.  Thankfully, there is a bill in the Tennessee state legislature that seeks to address this abusive practice.  

Tennessee HB0421 and SB316 have been introduced by Representative Martin Daniel and Senator Todd Gardenhire respectively.  The bills are an effort to end this unconstitutional practice.  (The bill summary is below.) The House Bill is due to be heard in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on March 1st.  It’s well known that law enforcement will have a heavy presence at the hearing in an attempt to defeat Daniel’s bill.  It is important to offset their influence before the committee convenes.

The six video links below, each about six to nine minutes long, are the result of a multi-year investigation by Channel 5 from Nashville. Watch them and you’ll see senior Tennessee law enforcement officers, including a District Attorney, justify the unconstitutional practice of CAF.  A warning though, these videos may make your blood boil.

Below the video links is a list of the Tennessee House Civil Justice Subcommittee members, including the Chair.  If you live in Tennessee, please make a quick phone call to each member and simply ask them to Support HB0421.  And if you can also send an email, asking them to do the same, that would also be helpful.  These committee members need to hear from you and me.  (If you don’t live in Tennessee, I would encourage you to do some research to determine where your state stands on CAF.)

Without hearing from citizens, our legislators will assume that voters approve of law enforcement’s practice of unconstitutionally confiscating private property.

There is an effort to travel to Nashville March 1st to attend the Committee hearing. If you would like to go, please let me know and I’ll provide you with more info.

Nashville Channel 5 Investigative Videos:

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing for Profit (2014) – Part 1

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing for Profit (2014) – Part 2

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing for Profit (2014) – Part 3

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing for Profit (2014) – Part 4

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing for Profit (2014) – Part 5

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Policing for Profit (2014) – Part 6


HB0421 Summary: Forfeiture of Assets

As introduced, establishes a new procedure for the seizure and forfeiture of assets as the result of criminal activity; requires conviction for the underlying criminal conviction before forfeiture can occur; requires clear and convincing evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture; and provides that all forfeited or abandoned money be deposited in state general fund and all property forfeitures be sold and the proceeds go into state general fund. – Amends TCA Title 39; Title 40; Title 53 and Title 55.


Civil Justice Subcommittee

Chair- Mike Carter
Republican
Phone: (615) 741-3025
Email- [email protected]

Glen Casada
Republican
Phone: (615) 741-4389
Email- [email protected]

Andrew Farmer
Republican
Phone: (615) 741-4419
Email- [email protected]

Debra Moody
Republican
Phone: (615) 741-3774
Email- [email protected]

Bill Beck
Democrat
Phone: (615) 741-3229
Email- [email protected]

G.A. Hardaway
Democrat
Phone: (615) 741-5625
Email- [email protected]


Thanks to Steve Osborne, Chairman of the Sevier County Tea Party for his contribution to this article.  

Assembly Lines, Government Schools & the Loss of Our Republic

Assembly Lines, Government Schools & the Loss of Our Republic

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart” is a verse from Proverbs that is often repeated in Christian circles.

The fact is, most of my life I have subscribed to the hope this verse offers in raising one’s children.  Of course, I have considered the truth of this verse from the vantage point of the values that I believe to be true and worthy of living. But it dawned on me recently, as I was meditating on this passage, that this truth applies equally to those who do not share a conservative ideology or values.

So a child, trained up in values that are the antithesis of conservative, Judeo-Christian values, which I will refer to as liberal progressive values, will also generally not depart from those values when he or she moves into adulthood.

Assembly Lines

In a factory, assembly lines are used to create a product.  At the start of the assembly line, what commences as a heap of parts with little recognizable form, begins to take shape the further they travel down the conveyor belt.  Along the way, various assemblers interact with the parts as they pass through their stations. Each encounter leaves an indelible mark on the product being formed.  Ultimately, when the parts reaches the end of the assembly line, the predetermined process yields the desired result and the finished product has the marks of its assemblers, as programmed by the designer, embedded into its “DNA.” 

Progressives understand the concept of an assembly line and they’ve mastered it to perfection, beginning many decades ago, as it relates to the education system in America.

Our government-run educational institutions in America, more aptly referred to as “government schools,” is one of the greatest outward manifestations in our nation of the truth of the verse, “train up a child…”  For years now, a liberal progressive mindset that opposes traditional Judeo-Christian ethics, has dominated not only K-12 but also higher education as well.  The most obvious instance of the demarcation of this anti-biblical philosophy came when both the Bible and prayer were removed from our public schools in the early 1960’s.  

According to a study by David Barton entitled America: To Pray or Not to Pray, the removal of an absolute moral standard by which our children were educated for the first 150+ years of our nation, has led to a deterioration in a host of categories including the number of single parent households, divorce rates, violent crime, SAT scores, premarital sex, pregnancies for unwed girls, STD’s, and more.  

The statistics are a damning indictment of the liberal progressive philosophy that has permeated our educational system.  And the extensive degeneration of our culture, morals, family, respect for one another, and more, is largely attributable to the relativistic, amoral philosophy that has been ingrained into the minds and hearts of multiple generations.  As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out” and there is no doubt that the liberal progressive philosophy that removes God from the equation, can only be described as garbage, or better yet, poison.

The Loss of our Republic

Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of a proper education in the maintaining of our Republic and Liberty itself.  But their views were at odds with not only an errant 1960’s Supreme Court that banned prayer and Bible reading in government schools, but also with liberal progressives who have been intent on undermining the foundational values upon which our nation was built.  Our Founding Fathers spoke extensively about the impact religion and morals have on the individual and the ultimate survival of our Republic, but here are just three examples:

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion.  Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.  Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”  Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration of Independence)

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  John Adams (signer of Declaration of Independence and 2nd President)

“The Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government, and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”  Noah Webster (author of first Dictionary and American Speller, a book that taught children on subjects of morality and American government)

Celebrating Donald Trump

While half of America is hopeful and celebrating the election of Donald Trump, the other half is hopeless, frustrated, angry and in some instances even revolting against Trump’s Presidency.  But regardless of your view of Trump, there is a larger truth hanging in the balance.  Unless there is a change in the philosophy driving the conveyor belt that continues to churn out a secular humanist product, year after year, from our government schools, our Republic faces little hope.  Remember, the liberal progressive ideology is controlling the young fertile minds of our future voters for a minimum of twelve years.  And as our verse reminds us, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart.”

Control the children, control the future.  So unless those controlling the assembly line and the ideology training our children are changed, there is little hope for our Republic and Liberty itself.

King Trump vs We the People

King Trump vs We the People

king-trump-vs-we-the-people

On November 8, 2016 Americans across our great land went to the polls to select their choice for President, and Donald Trump prevailed.  His brazen, unorthodox, “lay it all out there” style, attracted the votes of millions of frustrated, disenchanted and angry citizens, who felt their government had abandoned them and its “long train of abuses” were becoming insufferable.  

Since his election though, Trump has continued to express himself with little self-discipline, frequently on Twitter, where some of his most controversial statements are made.  More often than not, it would appear that Trump gives no thought to what proceeds from his mouth or is typed out on Twitter, ascribing to a “tweet first, think later” strategy.

trump-tweet-flagCase in point.  Just this week Trump fired off another one of his ill-advised tweets, where he suggested anyone burning an American flag should be faced with “loss of citizenship or year in jail.”  Folks from all across the political spectrum rejected his solution for flag burners, including many in his own party.

With that tweet though, Trump either revealed his contempt for existing law and the First Amendment (the SCOTUS has ruled twice that flag burning is protected under the Constitution), he exposed his utter ignorance, or he continued his flawed “tweet first, think later” routine.  Regardless, Trump once again set off a firestorm, and accomplished nothing but to deepen the extreme opposition of those on the left, while creating disharmony for those who voted for him.  This discord was expressed this week on my Facebook page, when I shared Trump’s tweet, along with these personal comments:

So for those of you who voted for Trump, what’s your take on this tweet from the President-elect? Do you agree with his view? And if not, does it cause you any concern?

My simple post set off a barrage of over 160 comments in less than 24 hours, with a mixture of strong support and extreme disagreement by those opining.  Consider that most of those commenting had voted for Trump.

What was clear though, in the discussion on this one tweet, as well as in many other instances where Trump has pushed the envelope with his nonsensical comments, is that too many of his supporters are willing to cover for, or brush aside, remarks and behavior that should be rebutted or rejected.  It’s as if some believe they have elected King Trump, their new sovereign ruler, who can do no wrong.

Note what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had to say, when questioned about his vote affirming the First Amendment right protecting flag burning:  “If I were king, I would not allow people to go around burning the American flag.  However, we have a First Amendment which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged — and it is addressed in particular to speech critical of the government.  That was the main kind of speech that tyrants would seek to suppress.”

Our DNA

Most people, whether in America or in other less democratic nations, are attracted to strong leaders. Perhaps it’s because many individuals are followers.  Or maybe it’s because over the course of world history, civilization after civilization has been ruled by strong leaders, whether kings, monarchs, dictators, or tyrants.  Perhaps our DNA includes the predisposition for someone with great authority to rule over us, as we hope he will defeat injustice and elevate what is right.  Of course, there has never been a dearth of elite men and women over the ages who have been both willing and eager to step into the role of ruler, or king.

But, America is unique.  

Prior to our founding, world history was void of any great civilization whose ideology was based on the premise that “all men are created equal” and that its government would derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  But in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, the concept that “We the People” ruled and our government leaders were subservient to us, was injected into our nation’s DNA.  This new truth became the cornerstone of America, and differentiated us from all other peoples.

But 240 years later, our federal government, a behemoth that has no comparable in world history, has grown to a point where its tentacles have expanded into every area of our life.  Government “of the people, by the people and for the people” has become a distant and inconsequential idea.  And too many Americans have fallen for the errant idea that our President is our sovereign leader and ruler.  

So as Americans have shirked their solemn responsibility, that of being an engaged citizen, they have also distanced themselves from the significance of state and local rule.  This has led to an infection of the DNA of old, where many voters seek a sovereign national leader who can reverse all the wrongs and order all the rights.  The much condemned “pen and the phone” policy of Barack Obama by those who opposed him, is now being embraced by many of those same Americans, with their new King Trump.

But we must remember, there is no King Trump.  The truth is “We the People” are sovereign.  Donald Trump works for us.  And like any entrepreneur knows, employees are accountable to the business owner.  Our founding fathers had the wisdom to establish our unique Constitutional Republic, which places the responsibility of power in the hands of the citizens.  As such, it is both your responsibility and duty to keep your elected officials in check, including those who are strong willed, loud mouthed and twitter-addicted.

A Course of Action

Most companies have what is called a progressive disciplinary system, where an errant employee can receive verbal warnings, followed by written warnings, then suspension and ultimately termination if such employee is unwilling to reform his ways.  In our system of government a similar system exists, but we must avail ourselves of it.  

Our elected officials, in this case Donald Trump, should be treated as our employee.  He works for you and me. He reports to us.  So it’s incumbent for you and me to offer feedback to him and express our concerns openly to others.  Initially we may simply express those concerns verbally.  But if he continues in his errant ways, then we must escalate to written warnings, perhaps in the form of an email or a reply to an ill-advised tweet.  But ultimately, if Donald Trump, or any other elected official, rejects or ignores the counsel of those who employ him, then voters will have to decide whether to retain such an individual in his position.  

I pray Donald Trump will begin to act more Presidential, as he seeks to “drain the swamp” as most of his supporters are eager to see happen.  But should Trump renege on campaign promises, or continue to speak and act in a manner that is unsuited to the leader of the free world, then who knows but that four years from now, the man who made his TV fame on the hit series, The Apprentice, may end up hearing his own famous words from voters:

You’re fired.”  

I trust that will not be the case.  But we must never forget that it is not only the right of “We the People” but it is our duty.  

Mark

Proverbs 29:20 — “There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.