IN THE FIGHT FOR LIFE AND LIBERTY, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS THE ENEMY
By Dr. Patrick Johnston
March 18, 2014
The Texas Governor reports that on Feb. 24, in a private meeting with governors, Obama revealed that he does not trust the governors to make decisions in their state about education and transportation. The law, of course, puts the jurisdiction for those issues squarely in the statehouses, but for "the greater good," Obama wants control.
The increasing centralization of government in Washington is the gravest threat to the future of liberty. Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. Recall that most of the mass murders in the 20th century were perpetuated by socialist and communist governments imposing their rule on their people by force, justifying their usurpations in the name of fighting terrorism and protecting the people from emergencies, frequently legalizing their tyrannical actions in advance. But not everything that is legalized is lawful. When justice finally prevails against tyranny, nooses are hung up outside of courtrooms holding “Nuremberg trials.”
Our forefathers strongly warned againstconsolidating power in D.C. That's why they limited the federal government to specifically enumerated powers, and any power not specifically granted to the federal government in the Constitution does not belong to it, but belongs to "the states, or the people" (Articles IX and X of the Bill of Rights). Vague descriptions of government obligations are not specifically enumerated powers, and do not give the federal government unlimited power to do whatever it wants in the name of what it considers the “general welfare” of the people.
For forty years, pro-life groups have labored tirelessly and spent hundreds of millions of dollars in Washington to overturn Roe v. Wade and protect the preborn nationwide - a worthy mission. They realize that most of the great state victories in the fight for the right to life have been overturned by federal judges. Attempts at the state level to protect liberty and defend traditional marriage are constantly foiled in Washington, D.C. The people of Ohio passed laws that forced late-term abortionist Martin Haskell to shut his doors in Dayton, but a federal judge allows the abortionist to defy the law so he can keep killing babies without fear of penalty. Arizona bans the funding of Planned Parenthood, and a federal judge overturns the law. Mississippi declares that a physician has to have hospital admitting privileges before he can do abortions, and a judge suspends the law to allow child-killing to continue. Therefore, the pro-life leaders reason, we must win the Presidency in order to appoint judges that will not only let the states do right, but will make and pass laws that will preserve life and liberty for all the states.
Of course it would be nice to win the Presidency and see godly judges promoted to the bench. However, in all of the court cases that have been the greatest threat to liberty – in Roe v. Wade, in decisions that reinforced legal abortion, the decision to remove prayer from schools, to remove Ten Commandments monuments from public property, to curtail the right to keep and bear arms, to de-criminalize homosexual acts, to force taxpayers to fund abortion, to fire teachers, coaches, and judges for acknowledging God, to force states to accept same-sex marriage in defiance of the democratic consensus – in all of these cases, Republican appointees comprise the majority of the Supreme Court judges.
We cannot continue to naively believe that the federal government can be a tool for good, when the federal government has becomethe primary enemy of life and liberty. How can we let the lawless continue to define the law for us? How can we let the terrorists give us rules on fighting terrorism? How can we let those who plunder our wealth to fund abortion and the gay agenda continue to decide how much of our wealth they should take? The federal government – specifically, the judiciary – is an accomplice in the Abortion Holocaust and should rightly be on the other end of their own gavel. The Israelites should not look to the Molech-worshiping Canaanites for justice.
One of the consequences of the failed strategy of focusing our efforts in D.C. has been the continued compromise of so-called “pro-life” legislation. Pro-life leaders believe that aborting children conceived in rape and incest, and to improve the mother’s psychological and social health, is murder. They believe that preborn children are fully human and deserve the protection as full persons under the law. They believe it’s wrong to kill babies even after you have informed the mother that the child can feel pain, even after her mandatory ultrasound, even after her mandatory 24-hour waiting period, and even if the doctor has failed to document a heartbeat in the medical record. Yet they incorporate these pathetic compromises and the continued dehumanization of the preborn child into their pro-life laws. They continue to oppose statewide abortion bans and Personhood amendments. Why? Because they want to succeed in court! Better to pass a weak law, they reason, than to fail to pass a good one.
In an atheistic universe, they’d have a point. Such compromises may win the blessing of the courts, but do we simultaneously lose the blessing of God? Can God bless a law that says, in essence, “Do this, and then you can kill the baby”? How does staining our hands with the guilt of innocent blood help us stop the Abortion Holocaust? How does pleasing man at the expense of just and equitable laws help us? We act as if the Supreme Court trumps God’s law and power.Is it not God’s will that not one of these children should perish? If we ask anything according to His will, did He not say He would give it to us? If we believe that we will receive that for which we ask, did He not say He would give it to us? If God be for us, who can be against us, right? Perhaps our pro-life laws are continually overturned and our “pro-life” Presidents continue to promote abortion advocates to the bench because God is not for us. “If we do those things pleasing in His sight” – that is another condition for answered prayer, according to First John.
When pro-lifers realize that the rule of the federal government is not supreme, that Jesus is truly King of kings and Lord of lords, it will be so liberating! We do not have to compromise godly principles in order to please godless federal magistrates, because godless federal magistrates are not the most important ones to please, and if we please God, He will give us our hearts’ desire.
What advocate of life doesn’t dream of banning all abortion nationwide? It is a hurdle as profoundly significant as banning slavery in the 18th century. But how did America ban slavery in the 18th century? Ultimately, Lincoln pushed and passed the 13th Amendment, but not before several states began to resist. Personally, Lincoln wanted the slaves shipped back to Liberia in Africa. In his first inaugural address, he supported a constitutional amendment that would guarantee permanent slavery in the United States. But the people resisted federal tyranny in defiance of their president. The people resisted the 1857 Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision that declared a runaway slave was property, not a person. Wisconsin even ruled this Supreme Court decision unconstitutional! Congress’ Fugitive Slave Act, which ordered runaway slaves caught in the North to be forcibly returned to their whip-wielding slave masters – this law was resisted by the states. Half of the nation’s Underground Railroad workers came right here from Ohio! Lincoln changed because the people of God changed. They never stopped knocking on Lincoln’s door, but they took the log out of their own eye in the meantime.
Rather than continue to focus our energies on converting the monster of iniquity in D.C. to begin to do right, let us push harder at the cracks in the dam. With a firm reliance on divine law as the source of all morality and justice, people must begin to resist at the state and local level, to defy unlawful decisions coming from the executive, the congressional, and the judicial branch of the federal government. If we will ever see the end of abortion nationwide, it will be because the people got the log out of their own eye first, so they can see clearly to take the mote out of the eyes of our politicians in D.C. End abortion in your neighborhood, criminalize it in in Ohio, my fellow Ohio residents, and you earn the right to point your fingers eastward.
Law is only as good as it is enforceable, and our system of government puts enforcement in the hands of the states. Banning abortion at the federal level without enforcement only brings greater wrath upon us, for "unto whom much is given, much is required." Moreover, our founders only put three crimes under the direct jurisdiction of the federal government - treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. All other crimes are within the state's lawful jurisdiction. Murder is not a federal crime. Stop blaming D.C. for not doing what you are lawfully obligated to do in your own state.
In Deuteronomy 21, God put the duty to do justice for the shedding of innocent blood squarely in the jurisdiction of the community nearest the crime. Banning abortion and pursuing justice for the preborn at the state level is not only within the constitutional framework established by the founders, it is also biblical.
The ultimate goal of Personhood Ohio is not to get 385,000 signatures on our petition and get on the ballot. It is not to get a majority vote in the election and amend the Constitution to define life to include every unborn child. It is not to overturn Roe v. Wade. It is not to change minds and curtail abortions, to defund Planned Parenthood, to make abortion safer for women or to bankrupt the abortion industry. It is not popularity and fame for being the first state in the nation to end abortion. All these are worthy goals, but our goal is justice within our lawful jurisdiction - in Ohio's towns and cities. Anything less than justice for the preborn falls short of abating the wrath of God for the shedding of innocent blood in Ohio.
When we focus on the bull’s-eye of the right target with our hearts in the right place, we will not rest content with token defeats and we will not accept unlawful usurpations by federal tyrants. We will pray with faith and precision - that every child in our communities will be protected by love and by law. We will not justify the killing of some in order to protect others. We will love the least of God’s children as we love ourselves, and defend them as we would want to be defended. We will insist that Ohio's leaders defy tyranny to protect the children they are lawfully and constitutionally obligated to protect, upon threat of divine judgment.