The Rawles Rationale

The following is my core rationale on the nature of government, liberty, and Godly personal conduct in the 21st Century. You may have seen some of these rationale statements in my books or blog posts. I plan to expand this at a later date:


  • The degree to which you allow your rights to be trampled is inversely proportional to your knowledge of (and respect for) the Constitution.
  • Whenever someone must buy a license or pay a fee to exercise a right then it is something less than a right. It is in fact a mere privilege, subject to the whim of petty bureaucrats. Fundamental rights are not abstract tokens that are given or sold by other men. They are in fact primary liberties bestowed upon us by God, our maker. Rights are not substantially secured by asking, “Mother may I?” of any government agency. Rights are more properly demanded or boldly seized and then conspicuously exercised regularly. This secures the liberties that have legitimately belonged to us since birth. If need be, lost rights can and must be restored through proscriptive use. Do you live in a land where your rights have been marginalized into privileges?  Then it is either time to change your government, or to change your address. Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.


  • The natural tendency of all modern governments is to gradually push the citizenry, through police power, to the point of revulsion and resistance.
  • Virtually all Nation States are in essence nothing more than a band of thugs who assign to themselves the power to “tax” their citizens. This is armed robbery on a grand scale and given feigned legitimacy through the trappings of “good government” and by self-proclaimed “jurisdictions” that inevitably have the power to enforce their will by force. Taxes subsidize these parasitical thugs, who maintain their “governing” power by dispensing grants of authority and providing petty bureaus for their chosen lackeys. Modern “government” is the biggest con ever foisted upon humanity.
  • A “license” is what you buy when a government steals one of your rights and then sells it back to you.
  • The first substantial loss of Constitutional limited government came with the Civil War of the 1860s. This was our first taste of military drafts and refutation of States Rights. We lost the last vestiges in the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was then that the Federal government took on even greater powers, developed huge bureaucracies, and instituted crushing taxes. Only the exigency of “saving us” from the Great Depression made all of this possible. And ironically, it was our government’s own Trade War that created the Great Depression.


  • The government-operated “public” schools are a dismal failure. There are some good private schools around the nation. But in most locales, homeschooling is now nearly a necessity.
  • Any nation that denies the right of parents to educate their own children is no better than a Police State. And any bureaucrat who places burdensome restrictions on homeschooling parents is just in training to be a fascist thug. Thugs like these should work as gulag guards or run a Home Owner’s Association (HOA).


  • It is one of the great ironies of our modern ‘civilized’ era that in most of the places where you don’t feel the need to carry a firearm for self defense you can legally do so if you choose. But in most of the places where you do indeed justifiably feel the immediate need to carry a gun, they are banned.
  • Guns are like parachutes: if you don’t have one when you need it, then chances are that you won’t ever be in need of one again.
  • Cartridge firearms are compact vehicles for change that have shaped modern history. The righteousness of their use is entirely up to their users, since like any other tool they can be used both for good or for ill.  A firearm is just a tool with no volition. A rifle is no different than a claw hammer. With a hammer you can build a house, or you can bash in someone’s skull—the choice of uses is entirely up to the owner.  A bulldozer can be used to build roads, or to destroy houses. A rifle can be used to drill holes in paper targets, to dispatch a marauding bear, or to murder your fellow man. Again, the choice of uses is entirely up to the user.
  • The Second Amendment is about protecting your right to go deer hunting the same way that the First Amendment is about protecting your right to publish poetry.

The Nature of Money

  • The bankers rule this country. The Federal Reserve (a private banking cartel) gets little public scrutiny. Observe how few congressmen have tried to even audit the Fed, much less abolish it.
  • Scarcely one citizen in 1,000 can accurately tell you just how our debt-based money enters circulation (“money from nothing”), its multiplier effect, and who profits from the money creation system.


  • We should be careful about the company that we keep.  We can’t expect our children to attract Godly friends unless we first set a good example.
  • Just like a sovereign nation choosing allies, every citizen has the right to pick and choose who they associate with and who they do business with. The freedom of association also fully implies the freedom of disassociation. Forcing someone to privately accommodate others in a social situation or in commerce is a Tyranny of Manners that is fitting only in a totalitarian state.


  • We must recognize that in our generation there might come a day with no remaining avenue of escape. You can avoid State laws: Just move to another state.  But what of unconstitutional Federal laws? At that point we will have no choice but to rebel against tyranny. (Since the alternative would be to live as little better than bleating sheep.) When we reach that juncture I doubt that I will advocate expatriation. Most foreign lands have less freedom than we enjoy here in these United States. I don’t think that I will find some ideal “bolt hole” nation with more firearms freedom, better banking privacy, a more positive business climate, lower taxes, full religious freedom, unimpeded personal property rights, fair courts, and assured freedom of speech. If I must die, then I will do so here in America, fully armed, and facing my oppressors. I won’t die in some ditch, begging for mercy.
  • Some things are worth fighting for. I encourage my readers to avoid trouble, most importantly via relocation to safe areas where trouble is unlikely to visit. But there may come an unavoidable day when you have to make a stand to defend your own family or your neighbors. Do you value your liberty? Then be prepared to fight for it. The fight is both for yourself and for the sake of your progeny.
  • Personal liberty cannot be maintained through mere passivity. You must forcefully and regularly assert your rights. In extremis, we must defend our rights with lethal force.

Restoring The Constitution

  • The return of individual liberty and limited government can be achieved with the passage of four Constitutional Amendments: 1.) A Congressional Term Limits Amendment, 2.) A Balanced Budget Amendment, 3.) Revocation of the 17th Amendment, and 4.) An Amendment that amplifies the 10th Amendment and sharply limits Federal power.
  • Refusal to consent to an unconstitutional search or police questioning session should be a matter of honor. Be ready for a long wait, even when tired, hungry, or in a hurry. If you assert your rights, the police will probably dawdle but eventually they will give up on their planned “fishing expedition”. Never give them the satisfaction of answering any of their questions. Instead, consistently assert and re-assert your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. Be polite but assertive. Never consent to a search, even if you have absolutely nothing to hide. Never voluntarily turn over a key, provide a combination, passcode, or passphrase. Regularly remind officers of the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine. Allowing bullies to succeed only serves to further embolden them.
  • Our Second Amendment Rights are in peril. Our government has declared possession of a shotgun with 18” barrel perfectly legal. But starting in 1934 the possession of a shotgun with 17.9” barrel became a felonious crime with a penalty of up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or fines up to $250,000. That is just one illustration of the incredibly arbitrary power of unlimited government.


  • Tax-funded abortions are a national disgrace. This is the moral equivalent of the Nazis forcing German Jews to pay their own train fare for deportation to fenced ghettos and eventual extermination.
  • Property taxes in America were largely nonexistent until the advent of compulsory public schools systems. That was the excuse for taxing all private land except that owned by churches. By emulating the Prussians, we became as the Prussians. We made or children slaves to the school bell, regimentation, and universal indoctrination. And now we, their parents (and neighbors), are forced to work for wages to pay taxes on our land, or otherwise lose it to property tax default judgments. Agrarian subsistence farming and ranching is now essentially impossible because of the annual property tax burden.
  • Politicians are brokers of violence or more commonly just the threat of violence. The tax collectors are their key minions. The police are their domestic bully boys. And the military are their overseas bully boys, en masse. The great unspoken threat is: “Stop paying your taxes, and then see what happens.”
  • We are living in a borderline Police State that has the gall to still declare itself “The Land of the Free.” But in fact we are no more free than Roman galley slaves. Our shackles–just as painfully binding–are invisible. They renew our shackles every April 15th.

Our Illogical Opponents

  • A Social Justice Warrior Snowflake demanding a “safe space” or a “bubble” is inconsistent. Why? Those same people don’t see fit to allow me to walk on public streets armed.  I make it a very safe space in a 30 meter radius around me whenever I carry a Glock .45 ACP.
  • Publicly flying the Mexican flag on May 5th (Cinco De Mayo) is absurd. It has co-equal logic to Americans publicly flying the North Korean flag on February 16th. (Kim Jong-Il’s Birthday, also known as The Day of The Shining Star.) Neither display is appropriate inside the territory of our sovereign nation.
  • Don’t allow public detractors to attach labels to you. Those that end with “-phobic” are particularly inappropriate, in most cases. Taking a righteous stand against a sinful behavior is not a phobia. (By definition, a phobia is an irrational fear.) I insist that a nation should have a defined language, a distinct culture, agreed standards of conduct, and defined borders. That is not an issue of fear or a phobia. Rather, it is an issue of rectitude and resilience.


This rationale is apropos for the times we live in. Never lose hope in restoring Constitutional government, and more importantly never lose your faith in Christ. Without that, we are mere pawns in the game and simply victims of our circumstances. But with faith, we can be courageous defenders of Christian Liberty and good government. And to my mind, good government is synonymous with minimalist government. – JWR

(Note: SurvivalBlog grants permission to re-post this entire rationale article. You must re-post it in full, with proper attribution to James Wesley, Rawles and SurvivalBlog. And you must preserve the included links.)


  1. I do not agree with term limits. Term limits are a nice sounding way of extending the lame duck session from 1 month into 2 or 6 years. It is the way to guarantee that corruption runs rampant and there is no incentive to good behavior. The solution for getting people out of office is to vote them out. We already hold that power. It is why, when the founding fathers wrote the second constitution, they removed the term limits that had been in the first constitution.

  2. JWR

    It makes very little or no difference which country a person lives in,Governments behave exactly the same, follow the same agendas, ie being gender neutral etc etc, the topics of issue are the same where ever one goes,you are correct , there are no safehavens, no bolt holes anywhere on the planet and yes , I have no doubt that there will be a time soon , when standing up for God given natural birth rights given to ALL men will be taken by many even to the point of death against tyranny. I repeat ALL men have God given -cannot-be-taken-away-rights.


  3. You are an excellent writer. This is a thoughtful, well written exposition. We don’t agree on everything, but on most we do. I appreciate your willingness to take the lead in expressing these thoughts.

  4. Jesus Christ died as our Savior, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven where He rules as “Lord of lords and King of kings”. As King and Lawgiver, Christ’s government is centralized in heaven and decentralized on earth. Christ delegates His authority though three spheres of government: the family, church and civil civil magistrate. This system of government will be limited and produce a free and prosperous people.

    Satan the usurper seeks to turn upside down the created order of Christ and seeks to rule over man via a very different form of government. This rule is always via a centralized top down tyranny that only produces slavery, poverty and death.

    Culture is religion externalized and it is quite evident that the government of this land has changed from a Christian law order to a Satanic humanist socialist one.

    The only hope for this nation is to repent from our statism and return to Christ as Lord, King and Lawgiver. Christians need to seek out non state churches that preach and teach the whole counsel of scripture so they can be equipped to be builders of Christian culture. There is no neutrality in this war; we must choose if we will serve the Satanic messianic god-state or the God who created and limits the state.

    Choose carefully.

  5. Great writing. I wish my mine was as eloquent. I have learned much over the last 20 plus years about my Government.I learned that most people accept oppression so long as it’s incremental. I found that material Prepping is the easy part. You want that new Night vision scope?,2 years of food? and off grid power? all it takes it enough money… The hard part is lifestyle and location change. My wife and I are the ‘new folks’ in our little Idaho hamlet.( Coming from a city in the redoubt ) Here people largely govern and police themselves.Everybody gets around by ATV’s 4 wheelers and side by sides. (You know you have been accepted when you are told where the key to the gate of the local dump is located.) You can forget making a quick run to Home depot for building materials, it’s 100 miles round trip. and concrete!.. it’s not the cost of it, it’s the delivery!.. and those additives to keep it wet until the truck shows up. The closest Gas station is better than 10 miles away..finding a radio station means constantly fiddling with the tuner. Cell phones work. If you hold it just right, standing over there..everyone has a landline.
    but, life with like minded people is worth the change. People in these parts would Just shrug at JWR’s essay. Like pointing out the obvious. But for folks who are used to being told when, where, how and why most of their lives, it’s as if you have just been let out of jail.

  6. Great article. Term limits are absolutely necessary. Add to that the requirement the Congress must live under any rule, regulation, or law they pass, just like like the rest of us, and you have a winner!

    1. Same rules for all! This alone would be the easiest and most peaceful way to get the country going in the right direction. Not going to happen. History shows that change will only come at the cost of spilled blood.

  7. I am opposed to a balanced budget amendment mainly for the following reason: the amendment would give constitutional authority to unconstitutional laws passed by Congress. The question:”Is it constitutional?” would be replaced by the question:”Is it in the budget?” It’s very dangerous. If Congress would follow article I sec.8, outlining the enumerated powers, we wouldn’t have a budget problem.

  8. Old coot here. I don’t even recognize this country today. How did so-called Christians become so blood-thirsty and war-mongering? They have long forgotten Washington’s historic Farewell Address and his warnings against ‘foreign entanglements’. Who do they think they are to support DC’s non-stop wars of aggression? Pride has led to our fall. How did they become so uncivilized, lacking in character? No my friend, they are NOT Americans. I spent 40 years fighting for constitutional government and the Christian principles of our Founders. We lost. We must accept that reality before can move forward.

    Real hope lies in what rises from America’s ashes. We need a divorce from fake Americans and fake Christians. We should put more faith in what replaces a wicked government intent on destroying us rather than saving it. DC and our metro areas are today’s Sodom and Gomorrah. Let God deal with them. Think new borders and being with people having like values and culture.

    Take a minute and look at Estonia. It is a far cry from being a Soviet state. Imagine if that country were God-fearing and large enough to defend itself. The American Redoubt with other States and Provinces could do just that.

  9. Jim,

    Excellent rationale. It is important that we continue to reaffirm and verbally communicate these firmly entrenched truths among those around us. The media has had a powerful influence upon the peoples mindset, and though not openly apparent some so called “conservative” media outlets are in opposition to this rationale. As a side note, I hope the continued expansion of your rationale includes elements of religious liberty.

    “Times change and men often with them, but principles never! These like truths, are eternal, unchangeable and immutable!”

    Alexander H. Stevens

  10. Excellent!

    The growing divide between men and women is concerning as well. Destroy what is honorable in marriage and family. Create a hatred for the unborn, weak and feeble.

    Feminist ideology mimics the twisted ideologies of Marxism. Equality for all. Yet, great love, over time, is lost in the mindlessness of the revolution. I see this mindlessness growing in number.

  11. I haven’t read it all yet, though I very much agree with what I have read so far. I didn’t get beyond the Rights section when something I have been thinking about for a while seemed germane.

    Rights are things which can only be taken away from you by a government, never given by a government. Nor, and this is particularly important in today’s world, are they something that someone else must pay for.

    When people go around saying “everyone has a right to a college education” or “everyone has a right to health care” they are playing on our confusion on this point. Everyone has a right to SEEK an education or to educate themselves but that doesn’t require me to pay for it. Everyone has a right to seek medical care but that doesn’t require a doctor to provide his/her services for free for you, nor does it require your neighbor to buy insurance so that you can get care.

  12. Thank you for the articulate, well written list. I would like to discuss rights and freedom, if I may.
    The Constitution does not grant any rights, per say. It protects GOD GIVEN rights. Those rights are not given automatically to every man regardless of his unregenerate condition, however. These rights are granted to all those that fear Him and keep His commandments, being faithful covenant keepers with Him by grace through faith.
    This truth is clearly spelled out in the Scriptures and in the testimonies of history. Old Testament Israel did not have a top down government, like we have today, but rather a limited republic where the people were given rights and freedom according to their faithfulness to the terms of the covenant the Lord so graciously made with them. When they were obedient, God blessed them mightily, as He promised. When they were disobedient, God placed them in captivity under the boots of those He appointed for the job, as He also promised. When they finally cried out in true repentance, and that by His merciful grace alone, He delivered them out of bondage and restored their covenantal rights and freedoms. Read Deuteronomy 28 and Nehemiah 9 very closely, as it spells out the terms for civil freedom and liberty, as well as the case law (Neh. 9:1-32) by which He fulfilled His covenant in times past.
    Ever wonder why George Washington swore his first oath of office as president upon a Bible opened to Deuteronomy 28? It was because he knew our newly formed republic’s future was based upon the faithfulness of God’s people, as citizens of the various newly formed united States, to submit to and obey the Lord Jesus Christ as its Sovereign Head. The Constitution was a lesser covenant written to detail the republic’s limited government under Him. Bottom-line, the Constitution is only as good as the morality, that is, the faithfulness of God’s people to obey His commandments (1 John 5:3). When they turn their back on Him and His Word as their final transcendent standard for their lives and future, and instead embrace humanism (the first religion founded in the garden of Eden by Satan), then they soon lose their freedom and rights . . . and that by His doing Again, please read Deuteronomy 28.
    We are losing our freedoms today because of the generations of covenant breaking by Christian Americans and not because the Constitution is not being enforced. The alien hordes (alien to God, not being regenerated in Christ) that have become the head (Deu. 28: 43-44) here in America are only a symptom, though a very onerous one I might add. They are a God appointed judgment (Deu. 28: 43-44) for when His people habitually break covenant with Him, as we have here in America.
    Is there hope, therefore, for America? Yes and Amen, just as the Lord was faithful to save His people time and again when they fell into captivity under tyrants, so He will do the same when His people repent and call upon His name in faithful obedience, regardless the consequences. Separating (seceding) from the pagan nations that the Lord’s people have embraced (in a joint culture) in seeking their peace and wealth (Deu. 23:6, Ezra 9:12) back the Lord and His Word as their standard for life and culture (Neh. 10:28, 2 Cor. 6:14-18) always brings ruthless persecution. The cost is always painful great but the Lord is faithful.
    2 Chronicles 7:14 explains this process by which freedom and rights will be restored under God’s merciful Rule, which Rule, contrary to modern apostasy, is present tense and absolute, which covers both Heaven and earth with all power, authority, and dominion. Even so, come Lord Jesus and have thy way with your people that they once again may taste the exhilarating realities of biblical freedom and liberty.

  13. I really like the overall article, agree with all concepts. I would like to see a return to a Constitutional government. That means a very limited federal government with the power remaining in the states. The Constitution doesn’t give us or rights, our rights come from our creator. The Constitution puts limits on the federal government. The 2nd amendment doesn’t grant us a right to bear arms, it restricts the federal government from having anything to say about it. Those rights, and most others, are reserved to the states. For example I am in Michigan and our state Constitution protects the right to bear arms. The answer to most the disagreements we have are easily answered by returning to a limited federal government. Then if California wants to outlaw guns and you live there, you can move to Michigan or another state that doesn’t do things you disagree with. Under our current system you can’t escape the tyranny because so much power has been granted, wrongly, to the federal government.

    1. Well said. I do have a question.
      Does the right to bear arms come from the state or from the Creator? The answer from Scripture is clearly the Lord, as we are commanded to not only not murder, as in the sixth commandment “Thou shall do no murder” (as it is put in the Hebrew), but to also to stop murder in protecting innocent life. Bearing arms are necessary, therefore, in obeying God’s Word in exercising self-defense and rendering God’s justice when wielding His sword. The right to bear arms comes from the Lord so we can obey Him. Thus, He also can take it away this right, as He did several times with Israel, when they were living in habitual covenant breaking. The state is established to protect these rights, as a minister of His justice.
      We must keep this mind for as soon as we believe that this vital right comes from the state then it won’t be long before it is legislated away. We must, therefore, fear God, do right according to His Word, and hold the state to its very limited, God ordained role as a punisher of evil doers (in accordance with God’s Word)and protector of the innocent (also according to God’s Word). The state is by no means, however, a conveyor of any God ordained rights. That is His domain and pleasure, alone.

  14. Property taxes have gotten to levels that are considerably painful — especially for us retired folks. It amounts to a tax on living. The feeling it produces is that we don’t really OWN our homes and land — we rent from government.

    And the irony of seeing the 2A wantonly infringed — with that very word being a central part of the amendment itself — has caused me to lose any respect for the authorities who are doing the infringing.

  15. The last 8 years has shown the US is not under the Rule of Law.
    Our constitutional rights are limited and Big Government wants to keep them that way.
    I do not see a peaceful way to change the Deep State.
    The idea of an armed insurrection against the US is a fools errand.
    And if we are to follow Christ and I do than how do you explain Romans 13:1-2
    “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
    2. Therefore whoever resist authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”

    Note the Apostle Paul penned this during Roman Rule.
    Paul did not run away to the hills, he preached Christ Crucified.
    Can I do less, no.

    1. Skip,

      With all due respect, some points to consider in regard to your decision to follow Paul’s advice in Romans 13.

      1. Some have used the apostle Paul’s letters to justify slavery in the same way others today would take a few verses to justify compliance to a tyrannical governments wishes.

      2. Do you celebrate Independence day and honor those who felt that rebellion to tyrants was obedience to God? If so, is this consistent with the intent of Romans 13.

      3. Those who wish to preserve our Constitutional confederated republic wish only to uphold the form of government this country was established upon knowing this will bring us the most peace and prosperity. The principles they uphold are pro government according to strict constructionist intent. Those who wish to diminish and destroy the form of self governing representative government which God in his providence has allowed to exist are in fact anti-government and are the ones who should take heed to the advice laid out in Romans 13.

    2. Romans 13:1, 2: Let every soul be subject to the authorities (exousias) being above. For it is not authority if not from God, and those which are authorities are drawn up in order/accountable to God.
      Whosoever therefore resists the authority, resists that which God has ordered; and those who resist what God has ordered, shall receive to themselves damnation.

      Note that this passage does not discuss brute force (dunamis), but authority (exousia). All authority flows from the author, and the Creator is the Author of all true law. Any law that is in harmony with God’s law is authoritative. But any power that counter-works God’s law is a “lower power,” and we are to be subject to the higher powers. There is an authority that is higher than the highest, and He is higher than they.
      The problem today, is that the churches have rejected the authority of God, and put man in His place. They have no king but Caesar.

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