HOW TO RESTORE FREEDOM

BY
GARY RAY BRANSCOME


    The godly freedom of which the United States once proudly boasted is being systematically taken away. Nevertheless, it is being taken away gradually, so as not to alarm too many people at once. At the same time the false freedom of sexual license is being promoted as a way of deluding people into thinking that they have more freedom, when they actually have less. In fact, what the naïve call freedom is nothing more than bondage to the flesh and slavery to sin.

    The freedom for which our forefathers risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, was not the freedom to be immoral, but the freedom to be moral. They wanted the freedom to follow God's law, to worship God as they pleased, to train their children as they saw fit, and to do all of this without government restrictions, red tape and harassment. In short, they fought and died for the freedom of all Americans to live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty (1 Timothy 2:2).

    During the nineteenth century millions of people poured into this country seeking that kind of freedom. While the laws in Europe restricted every aspect of their lives, America offered them the freedom to be the very best that they could be. If they wanted a farm, land was availible. If they wanted a business of their own, they were free to start one. In fact, as late as 1925, an immigrant could come to this country, buy a pushcart and be in the grocery business. If he could afford a car he could paint the word "taxi" on the side and have his own taxi business. At that time, there was no government red tape to stand in his way. In fact, for most small businessmen government regulations were unnecessary, because our society followed the Ten Commandments.

    While regulations vary from place to place, if you think America is still a free country then try selling groceries from a pushcart, especially in a big city, and see how far you get before the health department throws you in jail. Try to start your own taxi business and see what red tape you have to go through. In New York City it now costs over fifty thousand dollars for a license to operate just one cab. Of course, there are many unlicensed cabs. However, in a free country do not have to break the law just to make an honest living.

    An optician once explained to me how unnecessary regulations took away certain freedoms that he once enjoyed. As a young man, he had been trained as an optometrist. However, certain men who were already in that field, disliked competition, and wanted to limit the number of people entering that field. Therefore, they asked their state representatives to pass laws that would reduce the number of people entering their profession. Of course, that is not what they actually said! What they said, was that they wanted to make sure that everyone in the field was actually qualified to do the job. Nevertheless, in order to get the law passed, everyone already in the field could be exempted from the new requirements, if they filed a certain form. The man who told me this, refused to file the form, because he felt that the new requirements were unethical, and, for that reason, was downgraded from an optometrist to an optician.  

    What that man experienced is certainly not unique to his field. In fact, one state representative told me that most of the requests for legislation that he received were aimed at stifling competition. Moreover, instead of speaking out against that sort of subversion, educators usually defend it because it means jobs for them, and even engage in it themselves, in order to reduce the number of people in the teaching profession. If you would like a book that explains why that sort of legislation undermines the economy, let me recommend "The Incredible Bread Machine," if you can still find a copy. Laws that are rooted in greed, in the end, only make life harder for all of us.

SUBVERTING THE CONSTITUTION


    The genius of the American system of government is its system of checks and balances, which divide and limit the powers of government, in order to prevent their abuse. That system assumes that human nature is basically sinful, and needs to be restrained. Moreover, because of the restrictions placed on our government, we have enjoyed freedom, and freedom-loving people from around the world have flocked to our shores. However, one by one those safeguards against tyranny are being taken away.

THE TENTH AMENDMENT


    The Tenth Amendment, which was added to the constitution to prevent a usurpation of power by the central government, says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

    However, even though that amendment provides us with a very important safeguard to our freedom, certain rulings by Chief Justice John Marshal have been used to subvert it. The rulings that I have in mind, are those that became the basis for the so-called doctrine of "implied powers." The entire oppressive bureaucracy that we now have to deal with has grown out of that doctrine. Yet Congress could remove that threat to our freedom very easily, for it has the authority to define the Constitution. In other words, congress could restore the effectiveness of the Tenth Amendment, simply by ruling that the purpose of that amendment was to limit the central government to "those powers expressly delegated to the United States by the Constitution." With that one ruling, the entire federal bureaucracy could be swept away and freedom restored. [For further information, I recommend, "The Sabotage of the Tenth Amendment," by Edward Alvertson, which was published in 1975 by the "Citizens Legal Defense Alliance."]

    Those who defend the so-called "implied powers" argue that the federal government needs the flexibility they provide. However, the federal government could enjoy flexibility without opening the door to tyranny, simply being required to ask the states for permission to use a particular implied power, especially if each grant of permission was limited to a certain number of years. [The present "welfare" system, which threatens to bankrupt our nation, is just one example of the bureaucracy that has grown out of the so-called doctrine of "implied powers."]

THE DIRECT ELECTION OF SENATORS


    Our state governments were intended to protect the people from the central government, in the same way that the colonial governments had protected the people from England. One aspect of the protection, was the provision that senators be appointed by the government of their respective state. That provision gave the state governments a voice in the central government, and some measure of control over the central government. However, that provision was done away with by the seventeenth amendment, which called for the direct election of senators.

DIRECT TAXATION


    In order to protect the people from oppressive taxation, our Constitution did not allow the central government to tax the people directly. Instead all taxes levied by the central government were to be apportioned among the various states according to their population, as established by a census (Article 1, section 2 and 8). The Sixteenth Amendment removed that constitutional safeguard against tyranny, and the high taxes you now pay are the result. Moreover, the IRS often conducts itself in a way that is clearly tyrannical, yet since the number of people who experience that tyranny are a minority, little is said. Nevertheless, history tells us that if such tyranny is ignored it will only grow worse. [We need to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment.]

UNDERMINING THE BILL OF RIGHTS


    Although those responsible for ratifying the Constitution wanted assurance that the new central government would not become tyrannical, some felt that a bill of rights was unnecessary, since the central government could not legally take upon itself powers not delegated to it by the Constitution. However, because others insisted on a more concrete assurance that power would not be usurped, the Bill of Rights was drafted. And the first words of that document ("Congress shall make no law") make it clear that its very purpose is to limit the power of the central government. Moreover, each of the specific amendments was drafted to deal with a particular way in which governmental power has been abused in the past.

    At this point, some of you may be wondering how the government has been able to turn that document against the people. And the answer lies in they way the courts have interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment. Due to their interpretation, The first Amendment (for example) is no longer seen as a restriction on government, but as a clause empowering the Federal Government to keep you from infringing on anyone else's freedom of religion. In practical terms, that means that instead of giving you the freedom to tell others about Jesus, the First Amendment is now interpreted to give the government the power to keep you from telling others about Jesus, as a way of protecting their freedom of religion. Although we have not yet reached the point where soul winning is actually forbidden, things are moving in that direction. At present, all favorable references to the Christian religion have been censored out of public school textbooks. Several towns, founded by Christian people, have been forced to remove Christian symbols from their official seal, and a number of communities have been forced to take down Christmas manger scenes. Thus, in the name of tolerance, the courts are promoting anti-Christian bigotry.

    A few centuries ago a Bible believer could be jailed for criticizing the state church. In fact, many of the people who founded this country came to America to escape such religious persecution. Nevertheless, if some people have their way, Christians could again be jailed (in this country) for criticizing another religion, or for trying to lead someone to Christ. By reversing the meaning of the Bill of Rights, our government has already usurped the power to take away our religious freedom.
    Some years ago the Honorable William Brevard Hand, Chief Judge for the United States District Court in the Southern District of Alabama, risked his career to oppose this perversion of our Constitution. In the case of Ishmael Jaffree (a Moslem) verses the State of Alabama, Judge Hand ruled that an Alabama law requiring the schools, at the beginning of each day, to study the procedure followed by the United States Congress, by reading one of the opening prayers given by either a House or Senate chaplain, was fully constitutional. Of course the anti-Christian bigots had a fit. However the sixty-six page brief prepared by Judge Hand documents the historical basis for his ruling, and explains why the Fourteenth Amendment was never intended to be used to turn the Bill of Rights against the people.
    Judge Hand's brief concludes with the words "If we who today rule, do not follow the teachings of history then surely the very weight of what we are about will bring down the house upon our head, and the public having rightly lost respect in the integrity of the institution, will ultimately bring about its change or even its demise." Those words, and the fact that Judge Hand's ruling was later overturned by a higher court, should sound a wake up call to all Americans.

USING TREATIES TO SUBVERT THE CONSTITUTION


    When the founding fathers delegated the power to make treaties to the central government, the following words were added to Article Six, in order to insure that the states would abide by those treaties:
"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."

    What has happened, is that those who would rob us of our freedom are using that clause, to give unconstitutional powers to our central government. Of course, they have placed a meaning on the word "treaty" that never entered the mind of the founders. Nevertheless, by calling various international agreements "treaties" those agreements are being given constitutional status as if they were actual additions to our constitution. One well-known example of this happened at the time of the Gulf War. When President Bush was asked what right he had to send American troops into war without congressional approval, he said that did not need congressional approval because the United Nations had authorized him to send the troops.  

    If you have been wondering where federal judges find anything in our Constitution about the rights of homosexuals, or a right to abortion, you need look no further than Article Six. Therefore, we can reverse the damage that has been done by such agreements, simply by insisting that our government repudiate any and all such "treaties." [Bill Clinton, was so eager to subvert freedom, that he signed a number of UN treaties that had been rejected by congress.]

    Far too many Americans seem to have forgotten the fact that the rights on which our freedom rests come from God. Furthermore, while God has given us the right to life, by saying "Thou shalt not kill," he has never given anyone the right to butcher babies. Likewise, He has not given anyone the right to be homosexual, or to promote homosexuality (Romans 1:32, Leviticus 20:13). Therefore, to a great extent, the erosion of our rights is rooted in a rejection of the Christian religion by many of those in high places, and that is exactly where the point of conflict lies. Those who are Christian want our laws to condemn abortion and homosexuality, while those who reject Biblical morality want our laws to condone abortion and homosexuality. Moreover, because government, by its very nature, must either allow abortion and homosexuality or forbid it, it cannot remain neutral.

SUBVERSION IN THE SUPREME COURT


    The Supreme Court was never intended to wield legislative power. On the contrary, the very purpose of its existence is simply to rule on specific cases. In addition, all such rulings are to be in accord with the Constitution, the intent of the specific law in question, and any legal precedents that apply. Nevertheless, activist judges have cast all such restrictions aside and in case after case have, in effect, rewritten our laws. They do this simply by making rulings that disregard the intent of the lawgivers, while changing the meaning of the law. They then exceed their authority by mandating compliance with their new definition of the law.

OUR UNELECTED PERMANENT GOVERNMENT


    The doctrine of implied powers (which I mentioned previously) has opened the door for the creation of regulatory agencies. These agencies, once established, create a nightmare of bureaucratic red tape and volumes of burdensome regulations. Moreover, those regulations have the force of law, even though they have never been voted on by congress, or by the people. Worse yet the men who make those laws are not accountable to the people. There is no way that we can vote them out of office. No matter who we elect to Congress, the same people continue to run those agencies. Yet, the constitution nowhere authorizes congress to create such agencies. On the contrary, Mussolini invented regulatory agencies, and Congress used the doctrine of implied powers to justify imposing his Fascist programs on America.
    In spite of efforts by the press to hide the abuse of power by these agencies, horror stories and examples of tyranny at the hands of these agencies, continue to leak out. Not too long ago, a farmer in California was sued because his tractor allegedly ran over a nest of kangaroo rats. A woman was sued for fifty thousand dollars, allegedly for discrimination, because she circulated a petition aimed at keeping shelter for the homeless from being established in her neighborhood. The list goes on and on. Such tyranny has become so common that "The Readers Digest" has a regular column entitled "That's Outrageous," which has reported many such cases.

CONCLUSION


    Since God instituted government to protect those who trust in Him, Christians need to get involved in the governmental process (Romans 13:1-6, 1 Peter 2:14). It is Satan, not God, who wants rulers to regulate the righteous, while encouraging unrighteousness (1Timothy 1:9). Therefore, even though our citizenship is in heaven, we ought to be involved in a way that will lead unbelievers to associate Christianity with freedom, and with an administration that is fair, just, and reasonable (Esther 4:13,14).