This past July 4th was a somber day for us. We spent the day reflecting on the state of our country, not the least of which was the recent Supreme Court actions and the world and sacrifices our founding Fathers endured. Later in the day my wife and I decided to get off the farm and go to town for a burger. We passed a large city park that was packed full of people making merry. I wondered, “What independence are they celebrating?”
Did I miss something? Have we solved the pesky little problem of unreasonable searches and seizures in this country? Do we really enjoy freedom of speech in the country? If you think so, tell that to the former CEO and co-founder of Foxfire who was fired for making a contribution to a political cause of his liking. Fortunately, we don’t have to endure taxation without representation in this country, like our founders did. (I’ll turn the cynicism off now.) I know a lot of people, and not one of them thinks that there is any person in Washington D.C. that represents them. Then there is the matter of the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage that you so appropriately addressed in your piece titled ”A Dark Day”.
I want to make a point about that ruling that I believe has been missed. This country was founded as a Republic (not a democracy) that supported states’ rights. As the saying goes, “let Texas be Texas and Vermont be Vermont.” Due to an overreach at every level of federal government, states’ rights have been trampled on, and this ruling was the final nail in the coffin. To be consistent with the Constitution, the ruling should have been that this is not a federal matter and each state needs to work it out for themselves. That obviously isn’t what happened. What most people think happened is that the court ruled that gay marriage is now legal nationally, but I would argue that what actually happened is 9 or 5 or 1 unelected persons (take your pick) mandated gay marriage in the country. King George would be proud!
When asked “Doctor what do we have a monarchy or a republic?” Ben Franklin said, “a Republic if you can keep it.” Well, it’s official now; we didn’t keep it.
So what do we do now?
Redress our grievances?
In my opinion, there are three things we should NOT do now, and then I will list some things I think we should do now and in the near future. If it is any consolation to the reader, I am a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson, my family and I live on our homestead within the American Redoubt, and we have been hard core survivalists for a dozen or so years.
- If you think that if we just “get out the vote” and “vote the bums out” or if enough of us call and write our Congressmen that we can get this ship back on course, then you are sadly mistaken. It is decades past the point of that working. I have worked for the United States Congress recently, and I can tell you that by in large they really don’t care what you think. Yes, on some issues that are not core to their voting base, they do tally calls and letters, but they will never read your letter or consider what you have to say in a call. It’s just X number of contacts were against this and Y were in favor of it. That being said, 100 million people could call Diane Feinstein’s offices to discourage draconian gun legislation and it wouldn’t change a thing. Stating our grievances so that we are clear on them and the powers that be have been put on notice as to what they are is a good idea, but that is different. So, don’t waste your time writing, calling, or getting out the vote at the national level. You are wasting your breath.
- As Captain Rawles has stated on this blog, now is not the time to take serious steps towards secession. As he says, it will be squashed. The time may come; in my opinion, it probably will come, but now is not the time. However, we should have a plan of how to proceed, if it does come to that.
- Now is not the time to take up arms. That day may come also, but it will not be of our choosing; that destiny is being chosen for us. How will we know when that day has come? We will know it when we see it, but primarily we will NOT back down from our God-given inalienable rights. We don’t answer to man.
Then what should we do now? Many of you are frustrated, I know; I talk to you. It’s not the time to go forward, and we can’t go backwards, which is frustrating, but be patient.
- Know who you are and where we as a country came from. What do you stand for? Who do you answer to? None of us would ever sanely choose what we think is coming, but then we haven’t been given the choice. Our personal plan, until recently, has been that when the collapse occurs we are just going to keep to ourselves, fend for ourselves, and help our neighbors where we can. There are some problems with that though that each person has to work out for themselves. I am in my early 50’s, which in reality means I am about two-thirds of the way through my expected life span. I live the “treat your neighbor as yourself” doctrine and have many good works to my name. Have I changed the lives of people along the way? Maybe, hopefully. Have I changed the world that my grandchildren will inherit? No, I have not. I can keep them fed and safe through extended times of trouble, but that’s a different proposition than influencing the world they will live in. So, I for one, when the time comes, am not going to kick the can down the road to stay safe and comfortable.
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
- Network, recruit, and prepare. If you aren’t in a safe place, pray about it as the time is at hand. People will take issue with me I am sure, but to my mind there are only four places in this country that are worthy of consideration. First and foremost is the American Redoubt, which is why we relocated here from central California decades before it was named that. Second is Texas/Arizona. Third is the south– the Carolina’s, Ozarks, Appalachians, et cetera. Finally, there are sections of Northern California, such as the Red Bluff and Redding areas. I personally think the American Redoubt is superior to those other locations, but the point is if you’re not in one of those areas now, please pray about what God would have you do as you may be in jeopardy
- List your grievances so that they are clear in your head and you can articulate them to those in your center of influence. A few examples of mine would be:
- an overreach by every level of federal government,
- the trampling of states rights (that most states have gone along with so they can suck at the hind tit of the free money flow),
- the militarization of local police,
- and the insistence that we are the threat to the society,
- encouraging mass illegal immigration to get votes to stay in power that calls into question the very legitimacy of the federal government itself,
- spending money that is not theirs to spend that can now NEVER be repaid.
What’s on your list?
- I am calling on the leaders of the Christian Patriot Survivalist Prepper community, both within and without the American Redoubt, to begin meeting to create a framework for a regional provisional governance system in case our current Federal or local governments are not able to provide such leadership. If God forbid a nuclear bomb took out D.C. or an EMP attack occurred (for example) and decapitated our federal government, we need a plan of regional and multi-state governance until a legitimate federal government resumes control.
- As part of that plan, if a calamitous event occurs and our federal government cannot protect us and provide for our safety, then we need to have plans in place to do so for ourselves until they can. That may mean raising militias to provide for our safety, in which case plans need to be in place to provide for them. I am also calling on the Christian Patriot leaders to secure a food storage location not unlike our federal government used to do and what the Mormons do for their faithful in case of emergency. This should be on private property in a secure undisclosed location somewhere in the heart of the Redoubt. Surely somebody in Idaho or Montana has an available pole building or suitable barn that could be used. When a facility is procured, I will make the first donation of one ton of wheat, one ton of corn, and one ton of beans. What will you donate?
- Our friends and heroes in the active duty U.S. military need to know exactly where we stand. A few decades ago, serving in our military rarely if ever produced a conflict of which master you were serving. Today things are different, and as I hope you know, you cannot serve two masters. If the day comes that you are given illegal orders or orders that violate a citizen’s God-given inalienable rights, then you will have choices to make. I hope you choose wisely, as your eternity may depend on it. Specifically, we expect you to uphold each and every one of the ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Illegal King George-type edicts, such as the NDAA, do not justify ANY violations of the Bill of Rights. I pray for each and every one of you in our military. I see that some of you have your eyes open. I see some of you have gone dark, and some have scrubbed all social media of any personal information or indications of your uniformed service. I know some of you are concerned about what the future holds also.
- Lastly, I call on all pastors, but especially those with churches in the Redoubt, to shed your 501c3 status. No, I am not the first person to call for this; I am not even the first person on this blog to call for this, but allow me to add to the discussion. I have recently asked two pastors if their churches enjoy 501c3 status, and they both happily asserted “YES!” I guess thinking that this fact might entice me to make a larger contribution than I might otherwise so I could enjoy the tax break. I questioned them about this fact, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court rulings. The answer I got from them was essentially “our members very much benefit from the tax deductibility of their contributions”. To which I would say, I doubt it. I will explain why in a minute, but there is a bigger picture. You, too, cannot serve two masters, and your Uncle Sam Master has just thumbed his nose (I can think of a better descriptive, but this is a family-friendly blog) at your God Master. Where is your line in the sand? Which one will you serve?
Most people, including pastors, are pretty clueless about taxation. The conventional wisdom is something like this. Let’s say you have a family of four with a family income of $100,000 per year, and they tithe $10,000 in a year. They are in the 25% marginal tax bracket, so they get a $2,500 tax break for their $10,000 contribution. The church gets the $10k, and after the tax break they only had to truly spend $7500 so everyone is happy, right?
Well, first if the plan was to tithe ten percent, they didn’t do that, but more importantly, if you believe my example above is relatively accurate then for most tax payers you just failed taxation 101.
The IRS allows taxpayers to choose either the standard deduction or if they wish they can use Schedule A to itemize deductions. Schedule A allows you to write off things like medical expense, mortgage interest, some taxes, and charitable contributions are the primary ones. You only get to “write off” your charitable contributions if you file a Schedule A. For 2014 the standard deduction for a married filing jointly return was $12,400. So it only makes it worth itemizing if your deductions are greater than $12,400. Then, if you do itemize the marginal benefit is not the full amount of your Schedule A deductions; The benefit to the taxpayer is the amount they itemize that is above $12,400 because that was a given going in. So, in my hypothetical example above, if the $10,000 tithe was the only event on their tax return that could have been itemized, they would have lost money by “writing off” their contributions. Or let’s say that in addition to the $10,000 in tithing they had $5,000 in mortgage interest. So in total they could itemize $15,000 (10k tithe + 5k interest). So the actual benefit to them is then how much? Right, it’s only $2,600. ($15,000 – $12,400). That’s a far cry from them being able to “write off” the whole $10,000. This may be complicated for some, but suffice it to say that most church goers don’t enjoy huge benefits from the tax deductibility of their contributions. Then how do you quantify the growing numbers of us who will not attend and will not contribute to churches who have 501c3 status?
So again, I join the chorus that pastors should make a statement and shed their 501c3 status.
In conclusion, none of us knows what the future brings, but I would encourage all of us to start thinking in a bigger picture than we have previously. Pray that you are in the right place, doing the right things, and never forget that “if God is for you, who can be against you?”