HOW TO SECEDE FROM THE UNITES STATES SUCCESSFULLY
By Dr. Patrick Johnston
November 27, 2012
The wrong diagnosis leads to the wrong remedy
A 250-pound man with powdered sugar on his OSU sweatshirt was in my office recently complaining of an infected toe. “It’s an allergy to that new BP drug,” he insisted. “My toe got red and started draining yellow as soon as you put me on it.”
A careful history and examination revealed that the patient had uncontrolled diabetes and a severe diabetic foot infection. “It’s not the BP drug,” I informed him. “It’s your donuts. If we don’t get your diabetes under control, a surgeon’s gonna have to amputate your toe or foot to save your life.”
Identifying the symptom’s easy – “my toe has an open ulcer.” Finding the cause, however, is more complex. Coincidence is not conclusive evidence. Just because the patient’s symptoms began when he started medication for his blood pressure, that doesn’t mean the med caused it. Needless to say, without discovering the true cause of his symptoms, we would never have cured it.
The greatest single threat to American liberty is… (drum roll, please)
Listen up religious conservatives: God is a greater threat to American liberty than Obama. As news spreads on the front pages of newspapers all over the country that hundreds of thousands of people have added their names to online petitions encouraging the secession of every state in the union since Obama was re-elected, and as the number of signatures grow exponentially, let’s keep the true cause of our loss of liberties at the forefront of our minds. Just because our freedoms and prosperity began dwindling dramatically when Obama took office, it does not mean that Obama is the principle cause.
Why is God a greater threat to American liberty than Obama? There are three sins that repeatedly are mentioned in the Bible as reasons God punishes and destroying nations:
the shedding of innocent blood,
2. the toleration of sodomy, and
Judgments are pronounced in Scripture not only against the nation of Israel – the “apple of God’s eye” – but also Gentile nations (Jeremiah 18:7-10). Nations that slaughter as many people as our nation has – almost 55 million since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion-on-demand – deserve tyranny. When we promote the toleration of sodomy at taxpayer expense to our nation’s public school children, in our federal and state bureaucracy policies, and in allowing tens of thousands of sodomites to march the city streets at annual gay pride parades (they march nude in Columbus, Ohio) – we deserve tyranny. Nations where the public proclamation of God’s law and Jesus’ lordship in our courthouses and schoolhouses can get you sued, expelled from your teaching position, or booted out of office – such nations deserve tyranny.
Tyranny is a beast worthy to be feared, but if you fear tyranny more than you fear God, you’ve not identified the proper cause of the threat to your liberty and you’re consuming the wrong remedy. You’re like an athlete who’s running the race in the wrong direction. You’re like a patient with a diabetic foot infection eating donuts to make his infection go away.
Romney is a donut
Why is this important? Most of the secession movements have been motivated by fear of what Obama’s going to do economically during his next four years in office: higher taxes, more business-choking regulation, more expensive environmental conservation measures, more gun control, more illegal immigration, and more welfare. These are symptoms, not causes of tyranny. It’s like putting a bandaid on a diabetic foot infection, and eating more sugar-coated donuts. It’s the wrong remedy. Even if Texas secedes, it will not abate the wrath of God they deserve for the shedding of innocent blood in Texas.
If Romney had been elected, the secession movements out there would be practically non-existent and wouldn’t make any headlines. Why? The same people signing the secession petitions today would have rested content with Mitt Romney. But was Romney a threat to child-killing in America? No – he ran pro-choice commercials to counter Obama’s charge that he’d recriminalize abortion. His healthcare plan when he was governor of Massachusetts included $50-copay-taxpayer-subsidized abortion. He forced Catholic charities to prescribe abortifacient-drugs or lose funding. Was he a threat to legalized sodomy? Not at all. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he gave the nation the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and he did so by executive order contrary to the Massachusetts state constitution. He opposed the Boy Scouts forbidding active homosexuals to serve as Scoutmasters. As a Mormon, he belongs to a polytheistic religion that teaches that Satan and Jesus are brothers. Why is fear of Obama causing such an outpouring of support for secession while fear of Romney did not? Because we think a sugar-coated donut’s going to heal our malady. Because we think Obama’s the problem, not our sin. Because we fear Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders more than we fear God’s wrath.
God will sorely “mess with Texas”
When you taste defeat at the hands of an embittered enemy, when the dollar collapses due to government mismanagement of funds, when you lose your job from increased government regulation and higher taxes, when you lose your physician due to Obamacare, when you lose your right to keep and bear arms in response to crime, when you lose your right to a trial by jury in response to terrorist attacks, don’t point your finger at Obama and the socialists entrenched in Washington, D.C. The loss of our freedom is a direct result of forsaking God. With our national sins, we have made our Creator our enemy. The fear of God is the beginning of our path back to liberty.
As Jesus said, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him” (Luke 12:4-5). This applies to nations of individuals, not just individuals: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
The people of every state have a phenomenal reason to fear God, because the U.S. Constitution and the Word of God agree, every state has the duty to protect the innocent through the administration of justice within their lawful jurisdiction, or face God’s wrath for bloodguilt (Deuteronomy 21:1-9, Numbers 35:30-34, Articles IX and X of U.S. Constitution). The U.S. Constitution puts the duty to do justice squarely in the jurisdiction of the states. States cannot blame the feds for not letting us do what God requires us to do. Our duty to do justice is God-given; it comes from Him. The Constitution doesn’t grant it, it just acknowledges it. Man cannot revoke it. States don’t need any court’s permission to do what God commands.
The people of America, like Israel of the Old Testament, has been greatly blessed by God throughout our history with prosperity and freedom. To whom much is given, however, much is required. The downside of being “given much” is the judgment that follows if you squander it. Some of the greatest judgments mentioned in Scripture are reserved for Israel. I read the book of Lamentations last night, and was horrified by the severe punishments dished out to “the apple of His eye” – the rape, the looting, the starvation and cannibalism, the slaughter at the hands of their enemy was unimaginably horrifying. God sent prophets to warn them, but the people continually rebuffed the warnings of the prophets and persecuted them, insisting that God’s blessing on them was unconditional. Israel feared the Babylonian invaders enough to pay huge financial tributes to them, but if they had only feared God more than their invaders, they would have turned to the Lord and been forgiven and restored. Instead, they turned to Egypt for help, infuriating the God who chastened them.
I read recently about the slaughter and captivity of the “apple of God’s eye” in A.D. 70. Jesus prophesied this utter destruction in Matthew 23. As many as a million Jews were crucified in the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of Judea. Trees lacked in the land for the wrath of the Roman army. One hundred thousand Jews were taken as slaves. Can you imagine? They had been given much, and much was required.
What can we Gentiles learn from this?
“Well, because of unbelief they [the Jews] were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches [Israel], take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee [the Gentiles], goodness, if thou continue in His goodness, otherwise thou also shall be cut off” (Romans 11:20-22). God’s blessings – liberty being one of the greatest of them – are conditional.
Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio – and all the other states that are petitioning the federal government for secession to protect your freedoms – take heed. You deserve tyranny. Your hope in a false remedy does not increase the chance of you keeping your posterity free, but is actually a greater threat to it.
Secession that is blessed by God is a means to a godly end
Is secession from the federal government justified? Absolutely. Just like my diabetic patient with the OSU shirt, sometimes cutting off the gangrenous limb is the lesser of two evils, if it fails to improve with lesser measures. States are justified in seceding from the Union, if for no other reason, as an act of self-preservation, to avoid the inevitable collapse and bitter judgment that the nation’s got coming to it.
At our nation’s founding and the central government’s birth, the states formed a contract with each other called the U.S. Constitution. The document limits the power of the federal government. The central government was to be the servant of the states, not its master. The Constitution did not limit the power of the states; it limits the federal government to specifically enumerated powers. All rights and duties not specifically granted to the federal government belong “to the states, or the people” (Article X). Like all contracts, the contract between the states is conditional. A couple may marry and promise eternal commitment and love, but if the husband violates the contract without repentance, the wife has a biblically justifiable reason for divorce, proving that even the most sacred contracts are conditional, even if the conditions are not specifically mentioned in the contract. The federal government has violated the contract, repeatedly, egregiously, for decades. States have no more of a duty to stay married to other states and submit to the usurpacious central government than that woman has a duty to remain married to the man who repeatedly commits adultery and abuses her children.
Secession was justified in 1973, when the U.S. government violated “the contract” as well as God’s law in legalizing abortion in all fifty states by immoral, unconstitutional judicial fiat. If secession isn’t justified to stop 25 thousand innocent babies from being butchered every year in Ohio, for example, it wouldn’t be justified for any reason. Secession was justified when the courts declared sodomy a right, when they said states couldn’t criminalize it anymore, and when they granted same-sex couples the right to marry. Secession was justified when the federal government prevented teachers and students from praying in public school, when they ordered Ten Commandment plaques to be taken off school property and courthouse property, when they began to persecute people of the Christian faith who spoke Jesus’ name in the public square.
Secession is justified for financial reasons – the federal government has corrupted the dollar through the “unjust weights and measures” of the Federal Reserve, with unconstitutional spending on foreign aid, corporate aid, bailouts, welfare, and with unconstitutional, undeclared wars. Secession is an act of self-preservation for the states.
However, for a state to secede for financial reasons without taking the appropriate action to right the wrongs for which the state is guilty before God reveals the motives to be improper, and God wouldn’t bless secession in that instance. States have “the log” in their own eye, and do not have the right to judge the federal government guilty for doing what they also are doing (Matthew 7:1-5). States should first right their own wrongs – “take the log out of their own eye” – and then, if the federal government forcefully tries to forbid states to prosecute child-killers, for example, secession would be blessed by God.
Did the Civil War settle whether states can secede?
The front page of Sunday’s Columbus Dispatch article quotes a professor at the University of Akron, John Green: “You cannot secede from the Union. That’s what the Civil War was about.” Well, that’s a silly argument. That’d be like Nazis telling Jews in France, “You cannot live. That’s what our successful invasion of France was about.” That’d be like King Saul telling David, “You cannot take on Goliath. That’s what the Philistine invasion of Israel settled.” That’d be like slave-masters telling slaves, “You cannot be free. Our kidnapping of you and your family in Africa decided that.” It’s an incredibly ignorant argument.
Morality and law aren’t decided by war. Might doesn’t make right. The Civil War didn’t decide whether secession was morally or constitutionally justified; it decided who won the war. The north decided to release Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America, rather than risk a jury declaring that he had a right to secede. If secession were never justified for any reason, then the U.S. of A. wouldn’t have a right to exist. Remember that song that people sing before sporting events, you know, the Star Spangled Banner? You know that part about “bombs bursting in air”? That was a war over whether the states had the right to secede. The secessionists won and founded the United States of America.
Successful secession vs. Unsuccessful secession
A major difference between justifiable secession and what these petitions represent is the difference between unsuccessful and successful revolts and secession movements throughout history. Successful revolts are led by lesser magistrates – political leaders who interpose themselves between the tyrants and the people they are obligated to protect. Citizen-initiated and citizen-sustained “peasant revolts,” however, always fail.
In the Bible, if God wanted to bless a conquered, captive Israel with freedom again, He would raise up a judge – a lesser magistrate – to lead the way; hence the “Book of Judges.” The judge did two things: deliver Israel from tyranny, and enforce God’s law in Israel to keep Israel free. When the American colonies seceded from Great Britain, the “lesser magistates” led the way and signed the Declaration of Independence. They interposed themselves between the tyrant, King George the Third, and the people they took an oath to protect. They patiently petitioned the higher government for redress of grievances before seceding, they appealed to God’s Word to justify the separation, and they only resorted to a violent defense as a last resort. “No King but King Jesus” was the motto of the Revolutionary War.
Where are the governors, the state reps, the sheriffs, pastors, and the mayors leading the way to liberty in America? The Bible says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Proverbs 29:2). Even a successful secession movement cannot replace the need for righteous authority to protect freedom. Ungodly leaders would bring a state that seceded under the yoke of tyranny just as surely as the federal government from which they seceded. Seceding from tyranny is not what brings freedom – it’s what you “secede to” that brings freedom.
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If you want freedom for posterity, signing a citizen-initiated secession petition will accomplish little. I have signed it – and I urge you to do the same, but it is a campaign to awaken the public to tyranny at best, and empty rhetoric at worst. Before any secession campaign would be blessed and successful, at the very least, states must ban abortion, as Personhood Ohio is presently trying to do in gathering signatures to amend the Constitution to protect every preborn child. When it comes to loving our neighbor as ourselves, and treating “the least of these” as we would want to be treated, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). We must have state leaders who will defy any tyrannical attempt to forbid them to obey God in the fulfillment of their constitutional, God-given duty to protect the innocent within their lawful jurisdiction. Secession as a means to that end would be richly blessed by God.
Jesus said it is not enough to begin a race, you must persevere to the end to receive the prize. These state and local leaders must have the courage to persevere through the desert, where their faith will be tried, until they cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land of liberty and God’s blessing. Until the states do justice for the innocent slaughtered, we deserve tyranny. Obama’s the least of our worries, because God stands against us, and we cannot secede from His government, for Jesus is King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Dr. Johnston has written a Trilogy that provides the blueprint for a successful, God-blessed secession from the moral and financial corpse the federal government has become. The first and second novel in the Trilogy, The Revolt of 2020, and The American Tyranny of 2020, may be purchased at www.TheRevoltTrilogy.com. The third, The Uncivil War of 2020, is due out this month. A novel addressing the popular false doctrine of pacifism and the need for Christians to restore justice is The Lesser Hills of Kinder County, and may be purchased on the same website.
For a more thorough study of the historical Christian doctrine of the lesser magistrates, purchase the book The Magdeburg Confession written in 1550 and translated into English by Matthew Colvin, available on amazon.com.
© 2012 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved