Thursday, June 29, 2006

The 4th of July

By David Barton

This year marks 230 years since our Founding Fathers gave us our National Birth Certificate. We continue to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. Blessings such as these are not by chance or accidental. They are blessings of God.

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

To see the turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, and yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, we may ask how has this been achieved? What was the basis of American Independence? John Adams said “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”

Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted: “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he told Abigail: “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday – a day when we remembered God's hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it, evidenced even further in the words of John Quincy Adams, one who was deeply involved in the activities of the Revolution.

In 1837, when he was 69 years old, he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He began that address with a question: “Why is it, friends and fellow citizens, that you are here assembled? Why is it that entering on the 62nd year of our national existence you have honored [me] with an invitation to address you. . . ?”

The answer was easy: they had asked him to address them because he was old enough to remember what went on; they wanted an eye-witness to tell them of it! He next asked them: “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?”

An interesting question: why is it that in America the Fourth of July and Christmas were our two top holidays? Note his answer: “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

According to John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders simply took the precepts of Christ which came into the world through His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers, business men, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Dr. Benjamin Rush, the father of American Medicine and a signer, recorded that day in his diary. In 1781, he wrote to John Adams “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be our death warrants? The silence and gloom of the morning was interrupted, I well recollect, only for a moment by Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a big guy) who said to Mr. Gerry (small in stature) at the table: 'I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing... From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.' This speech procured a transient smile, but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted.”

These men took this pledge seriously. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania is an example of the highest level of integrity. He was chosen as the financier of the American Revolution. What an honor, except that there was no bank willing to give any loans to help fund the revolution. It was three years and the Battle of Saratoga before America got any kind of funding at all. After winning that battle, foreign nations like France, Holland, and others decided maybe we weren't such a bad risk and began loaning us money. So where did we get money for the first three years? Congress, at that time, could not have obtained a loan of one thousand dollars, yet Robert Morris effected loans upon his own credit, of tens of thousands. In 1781, George Washington conceived the expedition against Cornwallis, at Yorktown. He asked Judge Peters of Pennsylvania, “What can you do for me?” “With money, everything, without it, nothing,” he replied, at the same time turning with anxious look toward Mr. Morris. “Let me know the sum you desire,” said Mr. Morris; and before noon Washington's plan and estimates were complete. Robert Morris promised him the amount, and he raised it upon his own responsibility. It has been justly remarked, that: “If it were not demonstrable by official records, posterity would hardly be made to believe that the campaign of 1781, which resulted in the capture of Cornwallis, and virtually closed the Revolutionary War, was sustained wholly on the credit of an individual merchant.” America couldn't repay him because there was no money and yet Robert Morris never complained because he had given his word.

You see the same thing in the life of John Hart. He was a strong Christian gentleman and Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Jersey. He promised to help provide them with guidance and leadership. There were three things that were important in his life; his Savior, his family and his farm. Because of his signature on the Declaration, the British were seeking him (and the rest of the signers) to execute as traitors. John Hart fled his home after which his farm was ravaged, his timber destroyed, his cattle and stock butchered for the use of the British army. He did not dare to remain two nights in the same location. After Washington's success at the battle of Trenton, he finally returned home to find that his wife had died and his children scattered. He lost almost everything that was important to him but kept his word.

John Hancock, a very wealthy individual lived in a mansion reflecting his princely fortune – one of the largest in the Province of Massachusetts. During the time the American army besieged Boston to rid it of the British, the American officers proposed the entire destruction of the city. “By the execution of such a plan, the whole fortune of Mr. Hancock would have been sacrificed. Yet he readily acceded to the measure, declaring his willingness to surrender his all, whenever the liberties of his country should require it.” A man of his word, he demonstrated his integrity.

The 16 Congressional proclamations for prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution were not bland (i.e., the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ, the quoting of Romans 14:17, etc.) ; however, this is not unusual considering the prominent role that many ministers played in the Revolution.

One such example is John Peter Muhlenburg. In a sermon delivered to his Virginia congregation on January 21, 1776, he preached verse by verse from Ecclesiastes 3 – the passage which speaks of a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Arriving at verse 8, which declares that there is a time of war and a time of peace, Muhlenburg noted that this surely was not the time of peace; this was the time of war. Concluding with a prayer, and while standing in full view of the congregation, he removed his clerical robes to reveal that beneath them he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental army! He marched to the back of the church; ordered the drum to beat for recruits and over three hundred men joined him, becoming the Eighth Virginia Brigade. John Peter Muhlenburg finished the Revolution as a Major-General, having been at Valley Forge and having participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Stonypoint, and Yorktown.

Another minister-leader in the Revolution was the Reverend James Caldwell. His actions during one battle inspired a painting showing him standing with a stack of hymn books in his arms while engaged in the midst of a fierce battle against the British outside a battered Presbyterian church. During the battle, the Americans had developed a serious problem: they had run out of wadding for their guns, which was just as serious as having no ammunition. Reverend Caldwell recognized the perfect solution; he ran inside the church and returned with a stack of Watts Hymnals – one of the strongest doctrinal hymnals of the Christian faith (Isaac Watts authored “O God Our Help In Ages Past,” “Joy to the World,” “Jesus Shall Reign,” and several other classic hymns). Distributing the Watts Hymnals among the soldiers served two purposes: first, its pages would provide the needed wadding; second, the use of the hymnal carried a symbolic message. Reverend Caldwell took that hymn book – the source of great doctrine and spiritual truth – raised it up in the air and shouted to the Americans, “Give 'em Watts, boys!”

The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that: “If you ask an American who is his master, he'll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.”

Letters like this, and sermons like those preached by the Reverend Peter Powers titled “Jesus Christ the King,” gave rise to a sentiment that has been described as a motto of the American Revolution. Most Americans are unaware that the Revolution might have had mottoes, but many wars do (e.g., in the Texas' war for independence, it was “Remember the Alamo”; in the Union side in the Civil War, it was “In God We Trust”; in World War I, it was “Remember the Lusitania”; in World War II, it was “Remember Pearl Harbor”; etc.). A motto of the American Revolution directed against the tyrant King George III and the theologically discredited doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings (which asserted that when the king spoke, it was the voice of God speaking directly to the people) was simple and direct: “No King but King Jesus!” Another motto (first suggested by Benjamin Franklin and often repeated during the Revolution) was similar in tone: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let's not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let's not let it go out.

Copyright © 2003 WallBuilders

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Guardian of the Constitution: Officer Jack McLamb

His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His word speaks only truth.

Although this poem describes a Knight of the Old Code in the movie Dragon Heart, it also captures the heroism of a modern-day patriot I once had the privilege of meeting named Jack McLamb.

Officer McLamb is the most highly decorated police officer in the history of the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department. A U.S. Navy and Vietnam War veteran, McLamb was an instructor for the Arizona Regional Police Academy as well as a hostage negotiator for the FBI. He sustained a line-of-duty injury while apprehending a convicted drug smuggler, leading to medical retirement in 1986. Currently, he is president of The American Citizens & Lawmen Association.

Because of his commitment to obey his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, McLamb also has the distinction of being the most fired officer in the history of the Phoenix PD. He ran afoul of his superiors when he began speaking out against immoral and unlawful conduct by government officials, specifically the giving of unconstitutional orders for police officers to follow. As a result, he was fired twice, rehired twice on appeal to the Civil Service Board, and then reprimanded by that board twice (

Much like the superheroes I grew up with, Jack McLamb used his authority as a police officer to protect the weak and defenseless, fighting crime in all its forms—whether on the streets of Phoenix or in the halls of government. In an interview with The WINDS, McLamb laments that as an instructor at the Phoenix Police Academy, he was told to train young officers not to be servants and protectors of the people but to protect and serve the system. “It’s looked at as if there is no higher authority in our society than government, which is god,” McLamb says. “As a result, if your god is your government, then you are trained as a lawman to do everything to protect the system, even from the people if you have to. This is called ‘patriotism.’”

Officer McLamb put his entire career on the line to challenge this mindset. Often he felt completely alone. “It was lonely indeed to be the first to speak out and ask for fellow officers to stand up and say NO to the Officer’s Code of Silence, to unethical, unlawful and unconstitutional orders or activities on the part of our brethren and/or government,” McLamb says (Aid and Abet newsletter,

Yet during those years of severe persecution from his department and from state and federal agencies, McLamb, a devout Christian, says that God sustained him by sending people alongside him to support him, including private citizens and fellow police officers, one of whom “jumped right into the ‘fire’ with me. These few great Americans helped me take to other officers and soldiers a strange and seemingly new (but actually very old) idea, one that had long since been forgotten by many: namely, that police officers and soldiers should know, understand and live strictly by their sworn oath . . . not to the system, but to every one of the sovereign American people: to protect and defend the People and the Constitution, even, if necessary, from an out-of-bounds governmental system.”

Officer McLamb, we salute you.

To read more about Officer Jack McLamb, visit

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Villain

Ever since second grade when I was the favorite target of the schoolyard bully, I have been drawn to superheroes—the good guys who fight for truth, justice, and the American way. My torment ended (at least until the next round of beatings) as soon as I came home and tuned into reruns of “Batman,” followed by the Spiderman animated series and capped off by Superman’s exploits in Metropolis. These shows helped me forget about my physical and emotional scars as I entered a world where the good guys always prevail and the villains suffer ignominious defeat. It was a parallel universe where justice wins the day—and where my childhood nemeses would fear to tread.

As I grew older, I learned that there are adversaries more fearsome than those who had roughed me up during recess. I also discovered that my deadliest foes are the very people charged with protecting me. They are the minions of a villain far more dastardly than any of those encountered in the pages of DC Comics. He has been known to defraud businesses of millions, steal people’s homes and life savings, separate families, shut down places of worship, put innocent people behind bars, and drive his victims to suicide. He has destroyed countless lives with the stroke of a pen, committed genocide on a massive scale, and spawned war and poverty across the globe. He has no respect for the rule of law and shows no mercy to his opponents.

This super-villain has made his lair in lavish palaces, corporate headquarters, the offices of petty bureaucrats, and even police stations. Sometimes he is spotted near city highways, lying in wait for innocent tourists on their way to a vacation destination. In recent years, he has been sighted frequently at airport security terminals, where he has waylaid many a traveler—including the elderly and handicapped. Using his powers of persuasion and his cloak of secrecy, this fiend has convinced many unsuspecting victims that he is there to help them. Some say he has the ability to control minds. One day, it is feared, he will control the entire world.
His name is Big Government.

I first learned of this menace when my dad told me about his experience growing up in a faraway land where Big Government had murdered more than 6 million people. Many of them disappeared in the middle of the night, abducted by Big Government’s henchmen, known in that realm as the Nazis. In other parts of the world, his cohorts have gone by different names. Some have called themselves Communists and Fascists, but when these titles came under ill repute, they adopted more respectable ones to hide their sinister intentions.

Living in a country that was said to be free, I never dreamed that the villain would dare to darken my door. Surely the horror stories my father told me could never happen in the Land of the Free. Gradually, however, I made a sickening discovery: Big Government had come to our shores!

It happened so gradually that hardly anyone noticed. It started when the people began to forget their history and the sacrifices made by the heroes of old to drive Big Government off their land. The people had enjoyed the fruits of liberty for so long that they grew careless and complacent. They stopped reading and studying and amused themselves with vain pursuits, spending much of their time at the games (which some say were devised by the villain to distract his potential victims).

Big Government soon found a way to convince the masses to pay him money to carry out his nefarious schemes. It was conceived by one of his henchmen known as Karl Marx, who called it the graduated income tax. Even in the Land of the Free, most people work nearly half their lives to satiate Big Government’s appetite for their wealth. Many mothers, preferring to stay home with their children, have been pressed into labor to pay their husband’s share of tribute to the villain.

In time he took over the nation’s schools, where children are taught to revere him and where the heroes of old are vilified. Most shocking of all, Big Government persuaded his victims to give up their weapons—their last means of defense—in the guise of fighting crime. He called this ruse gun control, and he found it especially successful during the days of the Nazis, the Soviets, the Khmer Rouge and other Big-Government minions, who used it to wipe out 57 million men, women and children. (Jay Simkin, et al., Lethal Laws, JPFO: 1994,

Is all hope lost? Is there no one left who will fight for truth, justice, and the American way against the machinations of Big Government? Tune in to future episodes to meet the unsung heroes who have dared to defy him. Though they don’t have superpowers, they have much in common with the superheroes that captivated me during my youth. Some, like Spiderman, have been viewed with antagonism by authority figures and the media even as they try to fight evil. Many (like Superman) have given up any semblance of a normal life in their unwavering pursuit of justice. It is my hope that their stories of courage, commitment, perseverance, and sacrifice will inspire fellow patriots whose hearts have been broken by the oppression creeping across what once was known as the Land of the Free.

For those of you who have your own stories of heroism in the face of Big Government, I welcome you to share them. Some of you may have been deeply wounded in your battles, and perhaps this blog can offer you a safe haven to unload the burdens you have carried in your fight for freedom and justice.

In addition to honoring the heroes who are trying to restore justice to America’s political institutions, this blog will expose the insidious schemes Big Government has been using to subvert the American Way. Occasionally we will look at patriots of yesteryear who stood against the villain and won—or died trying.

May the adventure begin…