What to Do in the Face of Tyranny?
Michael CravenS. Michael Craven is the President of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders and the author of Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming Our Culturalized Christianity (Navpress, 2009). H.I.S. BridgeBuilders is an urban missionary ministry that works to bring the redemptive power of God’s kingdom to bear upon the poverty-ravaged areas of our city, restoring people, families, and communities through spiritual, educational and economic development to the glory of God. To learn more, visit: www.hisbridgebuilders.org
- 2005 Nov 13
Every American knows that on July 4, 1776 the Founding Fathers of this nation were compelled by conscience to declare, under penalty of death, the independence of these colonies from the tyranny of King George III of Great Britain. We read that with some present appreciation for their courage and the noble virtues of liberty but I fear that we have lost any sense of just how fragile liberty is and the knowledge that we must remain vigilant against the imminence of tyranny.
This past week we bore witness to an agregious act of tyranny when the U.S. Ninth Circuit Appeals Court elevated the authority of the state over and above that of parents in regards to the education of their children. The case, Fields v. Palmdale, involved a "psychological survey" given to first-, third- and fifth-graders that asked them questions about "touching my private parts too much," getting scared or upset when I think about sex" and how they feel when they "can't stop thinking about sex." Parents were asked for permission to give the survey but were not informed of its sexual content.
According to CNS News writer, Jeff Johnson "Judge Reinhardt and his colleagues, Judge Sidney R. Thomas and Senior Judge Donald Lay, ruled against the parents who argued that the consent they gave was not fairly informed. But the court's opinion went farther than just granting public schools permission to expose elementary school-age children to sexually explicit materials without their parents' knowledge or informed consent."
The ruling denied parents the right to opt their elementary school-age children out of the public school sex survey but also out of any content that the school distributes saying that, "... there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children." "We also hold," Reinhardt wrote, "that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."
Granted the U.S. Ninth Circuit court is the most overturned court in the land as a result of their numerous outrageous rulings. The Ninth Circuit court you may recall gained national attention when they ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance was somehow unconstitutional. It is likely that this recent ruling will be overturned as well, however this is only one instance of judicial tyranny that is becoming more and more prevalent among the judiciary in this nation.
Consider once again the charges against King George that sparked the American Revolution and compelled men to give their lives in the cause of liberty. The first grievance listed was that, "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." Aren't these Judges doing precisely the same thing? They refuse to assent to constitutional law which fundamentally protects the rights of individuals from the intrusion of the state in matters sacrosanct such as family - a protection that is wholesome and necessary for the public good.
Another grievance from the Declaration of Independence reads, "He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended Legislation." These Judges have combined with each other to subject us to principles and rulings foreign to our Constitution that assume the status of law apart from any democratic process. This is further reinforced in this subsequent charge against King George, "For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever." Isn't this precisely what these Judges are doing - assuming [unlawfully] legislative powers?
How long will we tolerate the tyranny of non-elected Judges who abuse their power and usurp government of and by the people? This is an outrage which two hundred and twenty-nine years ago led to war and gave birth to a nation founded upon these principles:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
It is not necessary in this case to abolish the government but it has become necessary to alter it, which in this instance means the removal of those magistrates that become "destructive of these ends" as allowed by law.
Article II, section 4 of the US Constitution reads, "The President, Vice President and all civil officers (Including Federal Judges) of the United States, shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." According to the National Legal Foundation, "the term 'high Crimes and Misdemeanors' was deliberately chosen by the framers to be elastic enough to encompass many different types of action by civil offices which damage the people of the United States."
In fact, thirteen of the federal officials impeached in our nation's history have been federal judges, and the conduct historically found to be impeachable under the high crimes and misdemeanors clause included: corruption, immorality, and tyranny. This "tyranny" has been understood as the illegitimate application of the law, specifically in rendering unconstitutional opinions, subverting the fundamental law of the land, and introducing arbitrary power.
Government in America belongs to the people and if we want to preserve this fundamental distinction them we must urge our elected representatives to forcefully employ the provisions of the Constitution when it becomes necessary to remove those who have, like King George, had a "history of repeated injuries and usurpations."
Copyright 2005, National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. All rights reserved.
S. Michael Craven is the vice president for religion & culture at the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families and leads the work and ministry of Cultural Apologetics. The Cultural Apologetics ministry works to equip the Church to assert and defend biblical morality and ethics in a manner that is rational, relevant and persuasive in order to recapture the relevance of Christianity to all of life by demonstrating its complete correspondence to reality. For more information on Cultural Apologetics, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit: www.CulturalApologetics.org
Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.
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