The Book of Mormon Speaks of Freedom

Freedom is a topic that we all have a pressing need to study and master. The human spirit innately craves Liberty and personal accountability, yet few times in history have people been able to attain and then maintain their rights. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, which you can read about in my previous article, is a volume of inspired scripture that speaks first and foremost of the divine mission of Jesus Christ and calls upon all people to worship Him. An important secondary mission of The Book of Mormon, however, is to teach us the correct principles of Liberty, expose Satan’s Freedom-destroying schemes, and show what is required for a people to maintain their God-given rights under a free government.

Captain Moroni13

Because it helps us identify the Devil’s tyrannical tactics and teaches us true principles of self-government, The Book of Mormon is the ultimate handbook of Freedom. While there is not much by way of exposition about the principles of Liberty, we see them in action in the lives and experiences of the Nephite nation. For the first five-hundred years of their history, the Nephites lived under a system of kings. The final king, a God-fearing man named Mosiah, decided to abolish the monarchical system and encouraged the Nephite people to take upon themselves responsibilities, rights, and privileges of self-government.

While contemplating the future of his people, Mosiah made a proclamation wherein he explained the dangers posed by monarchy. The foremost problem he identified was factionalism. Those vying for the position of king could easily divide the nation and cause senseless civil war. What’s more, a wicked king would be unstoppable by any means other than bloodshed. With this context in mind, we read a few lines from Mosiah’s proclamation:

And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.

. . . let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our laws; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.

Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just. . . .

Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.

For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction! . . . .

And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.

For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareath up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;

And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.

And now behold I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.

Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law – to do y our business by the voice of the people.

And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon them. . . .

And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and inquities they shall be answered upon their own heads. . . .

. . . I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike” (Mosiah 29:10-12, 16-17, 21-27, 30, 32).

The Book of Mormon30

The Nephite kingdom being conferred on Mosiah by his father, King Benjamin

It should be noted before I proceed with my commentary that Mosiah was not merely a king, but also an inspired Christian prophet. The Holy Spirit therefore moved upon him to formulate a new government that was pleasing to the Lord and compatible with His Gospel.

Mosiah was emphatic that men could not be trusted with the power of kingship. He knew that an unstable or immoral king could cause havoc throughout the land. He was worried that a king would amend the good laws that had been handed down for generations, instituting in their place corrupt laws that would permit sin, punish righteousness, and trample individual Liberty.

Instead of monarchy, Mosiah desired that the Nephite people take upon themselves the responsibility for administering the government. He believed that the people should “do [their] business by the voice of the people.” Note that he did not advocate for pure democracy. Rather, he suggested a system of rule of law with judges selected by the people who would enforce the law. It was, thus, a representative government very similar to that set up in the United States under the Constitution. Just as Mosiah said the law had been given to the Nephites’ forefathers by God, so, too, do I witness that the U.S. Constitution was inspired by Almighty God.

In a portion of Mosiah’s declaration that I did not cited, he made it clear that judges who did not judge “according to the law” could be taken and judged by other judged and removed from their posts (Mosiah 29:28-29). He also verified that the judges were accountable “to the voice of the people” (Mosiah 29:29). The similarities to the system set forth in the U.S. Constitution are too vivid to ignore.

Just as Mosiah said not to place trust in men but instead to make men accountable to the law, the great Thomas Jefferson advised: “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution” (Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions, draft, 1798).

Thomas Paine was obviously in tune with the same patriotic spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17). In 1776, he explained:

[I]n America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the Crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.

A government of our own is our natural right” (Thomas Paine, Common Sense).

Just as the American Founding Fathers established a government based on the rule of law, individual Liberty, and accountability, so, too, did the Nephites set up a free government in ancient America. When Mosiah presented his plan to the Nephite people, they were thrilled with the prospect of governing themselves. The scripture recounts:

And now it came to pass, after king Mosiah had sent these things forth among the people they were convinced of the truth of his words.

Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.

Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given; and they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them” (Mosiah 29:37-39).

The Nephites became enamored with the idea of governing themselves and placing this huge responsibility on their own shoulders. They embraced the idea of rule of law and self-governance. The laws that Mosiah gave “were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws” (Alma 1:1). This is similar to the concept espoused by George Washington when he said:

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).

The people supported Mosiah’s plan, accepted the laws he proposed, and thus bound themselves to obey the established system of self-rule. As noted, the people were generally ecstatic to have the chance to determine their own futures. Mosiah made it plain that maintaining such a system would require great exertion. Self-government is indeed the most demanding form of government. It requires individuals to be informed, to make decisions, to be accountable, and to live in accordance with moral principles.

In 1938, Elder Albert Bowen, a modern apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke of self-government. He said:

Self-government involves self-control, self-discipline, and acceptance of the most unremitting obedience to correct principles. . . .

No other form of government requires so high a degree of individual morality” (Elder Albert E. Bowen, Improvement Era, 1938, 41).

Founding Fathers1

The Founding Fathers of the United States were emphatic in their warnings that only a virtuous people is capable of Freedom. It takes no virtue or excellence to be ruled and enslaved, but it takes a high degree of greatness, personal discipline, and exertion to be free. Because our Founding Fathers’ Freedom philosophy dovetails so nicely with the principles preached by Mosiah and other Book of Mormon figures to be cited later, I present a brief smattering of their thoughts on the connection between morality and Liberty.

My ancestor, Caleb Strong, is one of those forgotten Founding Fathers. He was an intimate associate of John Adams and helped him write the constitution for Massachusetts. He filled many positions during the War for Independence. He attended the Constitutional Convention and was the man who successfully proposed that all money bills originate in the House of Representatives. He served as the first senator from Massachusetts and, later, as governor of that state for eleven years. Mr. Strong made this observation:

Almost every nation, at some period of their existence, have enjoyed the privileges of a free State; but how few have preserved them! – they have been lost by the inconstancy of the citizens, or forfeited by their vices. . . .

. . . Government is necessary, to preserve the public peace, the persons and property of individuals; but our social happiness must chiefly depend upon other causes; upon simplicity and purity of manners; upon the education that we give our children; upon a steady adherence to the customs and institutions of our ancestors; upon the general diffusion of knowledge, and the prevalence of piety and benevolent affections among the people.

Our forms of government, are, doubtless, like all other institutions, imperfect; but they will secure the blessings of freedom to the citizens, and preserve their tranquility, as long as they are virtuous; and no constitution, that has been, or can be formed, will secure those blessings to a depraved and vicious people” (Caleb Strong, speech to the Massachusetts Legislature, January 17, 1806).

John Adams similarly believed:

The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our people in a greater measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty. They will only exchange tyrants and tyrannies” (John Adams to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776).

In a more famous quotation, John Adams, then the president, wrote:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (John Adams to the Massachusetts Militia, October 11, 1798).

John Witherspoon, the fiery Revolutionary era minister, gave us this gem:

Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue. On the other hand, when the manners of a nation are pure, when true religion and internal principles maintain their vigor, the attempts of the most powerful enemies to oppress them are commonly baffled and disappointed” (John Witherspoon, “The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Man,” May 17, 1776).

Benjamin Franklin also subscribed to this philosophy, writing:

[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters” (Benjamin Franklin to Abbes Chalut and Arnoux, April 17, 1787).

George Washington by Tim Davis

In his Farewell Address, which ought to be required reading in every part of our Republic, President George Washington took up the subject of morality and religion in a free country and proclaimed:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).

Finally, George Washington stated simply but unequivocally: “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” (George Washington to the Protestant Clergy of Philadelphia, March 3, 1797).

The Founding Fathers believed that the American People could only maintain their hard-won Freedom if they were virtuous and lived in accordance with the laws of God. Anciently, Mosiah believed the same thing and established his system of judges and laws in such a manner that required the Nephite people to be righteous in order for them to work. The Nephites consented to this state of affairs and gladly took upon themselves the burden and blessing of self-government. This history contextualizes the most iconic struggles for Liberty related in The Book of Mormon.

The first struggle came only five years after the system of judges had gone into effect. A man name Amlici, who is described as “being a very cunning man, yea, a wise man as to the wisdom of the world” sought to be king (Alma 2:1). Amlici was an anti-Christian zealot who belonged to a sect called the order of Nehors which attempted to impose itself upon the rest of society. We read in the record that Christians and all who loved their Liberty were alarmed at Amlici’s desire to become a king. They knew that “according to their law” all such matters “must be established by the voice of the people” and that “if it were possible that Amlici should gain the voice of the people, he, being a wicked man, would deprive them of their rights and privileges of the church; for it was his intent to destroy the church of God” (Alma 2:3-4).

As time went on, Amlici successfully courted a large number of people “and they began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be a king over the people” (Alma 2:2). Whether they joined him because they were not accustomed to their newfound Freedom, or because they found self-government too demanding, or whether they were also opposed to the Church of Jesus Christ and wanted the strong arm of government to suppress it, Amlici’s followers became so numerous that they forced a vote to decide whether or not their government would be abolished.

We read what happened next:

And it came to pass that the people assembled themselves together throughout all the land, every man according to his mind, whether it were for or against Amlici, in separate bodies, having much dispute and wonderful contentions one with another.

And thus they did assemble themselves together to cast in their voices concerning the matter; and they were laid before the judges.

And it came to pass that the voice of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people.

Now this did cause much joy in the hearts of those who were against him; but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor.

And it came to pass that they gathered themselves together, and did consecrate Amlici to be their king.

Now when Amlici was made king over them he commanded them that they should take up arms against their brethren; and this he did that he might subject them to him” (Alma 2:5-10).

Amlici’s rebellion fulfilled Mosiah’s earlier warnings to a T. Recall that Mosiah warned that “ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.” The Nephites were compelled to fight a sanguinary civil war all because one very wicked man sought for power over his countrymen and sought to dictate how they should live worship.

The Book of Mormon16

Amlici’s forces, being outnumbered by those who desired Freedom, were quickly defeated. However, Amlici ran to the Nephites’ rivals, the Lamanites, for assistance. The Lamanites routinely watched and waited for opportunities to subjugate the Nephites. A civil war was the perfect opportunity to strike. They joined forces with Amlici and the remainder of his men and waged war against the Nephites.

The Book of Mormon recounts that the ensuing battle was fierce but that “the Nephites being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, having prayed mightily to him that he would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, therefore the Lord did hear their cries, and did strengthen them, and the Lamanites and the Amlicites did fall before them” (Alma 2:28).

After the brief but devastating war, the Nephites went back to the work of self-government. Their peace did not last long, however, because there are always those who seek for power over others.

Eighteen years after the “reign of judges” began, we learn of a great warrior named Captain Moroni. Moroni appeared on the scene at a time when the fledgling Nephite republic was again beginning to fracture. A segment of society, led by those of high birth who thought themselves above their fellows, wanted to revert back to the rule of kings. This faction was referred to as “king-men.” The opposing faction took upon themselves the name “freemen” and was determined to maintain their system of self-government at all costs.

This war of ideas came at a precarious time. It came as the aforementioned Lamanites, were again mobilizing for war. The Lamanites were encouraged, as before, by Nephite dissenters. In particular, a group calling themselves Zoramites “began to mix with the Lamanites and to stir them up also to anger” so much so that they “began to make preparations for war” (Alma 35:10-11). The anger stemmed from a difference in religion, the Zoramites and Lamanites denying the Christian Gospel preached by Nephite prophets, but was ultimately aimed at subjugating the independent Nephites once and for all.

At age twenty-five, Captain Moroni was appointed as head of the Nephite army. Moroni, a brilliant tactician and a man inspired by Almighty God, won the initial battles against the Lamanite-Zoramite armies and the latter retreated to regroup and devise a new strategy. During this tense period of war preparations, and as Captain Moroni was occupied fortifying the land in anticipation of the coming onslaught, the seditious king-men seized their chance.

The king-men were led by a singularly devious man named Amalickiah. Amalickiah, as Amlici before him, hated the Gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted to destroy the Church of Christ. He also lusted for power and wanted to eviscerate the Nephites’ Freedom. The Book of Mormon speaks of him and his followers in this way:

And it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman [the prophet] and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren.

And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them.

Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah.

And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were desirous for power.

And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people. . . .

Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake” (Alma 46:1-5, 10).

Captain Moroni12

Amalickiah and his elitist, anti-Christian hordes rose up to challenge the Nephites. They openly sought to destroy the government, impose a monarchy over the land, and sweep away the Christians. Captain Moroni, a Christian and a fierce Freedom Fighter, would have none of it. The sacred record tells us:

And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.

And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it – In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children – and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

And he fastened on his headplate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily to his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land. . . .

And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.

And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing . . . and crying with a loud voice, saying:

Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.

And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God” (Alma 46:11-13, 18-21).

Moroni ordered that his Title of Liberty be published throughout all the land. With the stirring slogan “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children,” Captain Moroni rallied the Nephites against Amalickiah. He inspired them to stand up and be counted. He roused them to rise in defense of their Faith, Families, and Freedom.

Captain Moroni4

When Captain Moroni had rallied the people to his standard, he marched against Amalickiah to put an end to his machinations. When they saw Moroni coming, many of Amalickiah’s people became “doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken” (Alma 46:29). Amalickiah, fearing capture, took a small group of followers, including his brother Ammoron, and fled to the Lamanites. Moroni sent his men to apprehend Amalickiah because “he knew that he would stir up the Lamanites to anger against them and cause them to come to battle against them; and this he knew that Amalickiah would do that he might obtain his purposes” (Alma 46:30).

Unfortunately, Amalickiah escaped. Most of his followers, however, were captured. We read:

And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom.

And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites” (Alma 46:35-36).

The immediate threat of civil war was eliminated. However, as Moroni predicted, and in a fascinating story of trickery and treachery that I will not recount here, Amalickiah gained control over the Lamanite army, had his men murder the Lamanite king, and installed himself as monarch. His first command as king, unsurprisingly, was to launch a war of subjugation against the Nephites.

The Book of Mormon gives us this interesting passage about the interim period before the war began in earnest and about the type of man and leader Captain Moroni was:

Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God. . . .

And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians.

And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;

Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.

Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.

Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even tot he shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.

And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land. . . .

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men” (Alma 48:7, 10-15, 17).

Captain Moroni exemplified what it means to be a patriot. He was the ultimate freeman. He has an honored place in the Freedom Fighter Hall of Fame. His Herculean struggle for his people earned him eternal glory. And he was the epitome of the “Christian soldier” marching “with the cross of Jesus” (Hymn No. 246, “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

We have an analog to Captain Moroni in our own history. General George Washington was such a man of similar stature. He was also a strong and mighty individual, a man with a brilliant mind, a patriot who worked for the welfare of his country, and a deeply devout Christian. Just as Moroni bowed himself to the earth and supplicated the Lord for assistance, General Washington relied upon the Lord during the Revolution. At the outset of that struggle, he wrote:

No Man has a more perfect Reliance on the all-wise, and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary” (George Washington to William Gordon, May 13, 1776).

Captain Moroni16

The righteous portion of the Nephites were well-grounded in just principles. They knew that conquest was wrong. They knew that the Lord only supports taking the sword in self-defense and to fulfill His divine purposes. Similarly, early Americans abhorred aggressive war and only shouldered their muskets when the British monarchists came to disarm and enslave them. Thomas Jefferson observed:

If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest” (Thomas Jefferson to William Short, July 28, 1791).

The Americans’ War for Independence was a defensive action against modern-day king-men. Our People, like the Nephites, fought a war for their very survival. We had General Washington and the Nephites had Captain Moroni. And as the Nephites rent their coats as a token that they would serve God and thereby receive His protection, so, too, did modern Americans declare their “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.” When you recognize the parallels between ancient and recent history, and recognize that we are today passing through a similar period of division centering on religion and Liberty, The Book of Mormon becomes all the more relevant and useful.

We return to Captain Moroni’s story. Eventually, King Amalickiah’s Lamanite forces invaded Nephite territory. Moroni had cleverly fortified every city throughout the land (the ruins of those impressive forts can be found throughout the heartland of America) and the initial thrusts were repulsed. Amalickiah “was exceedingly wroth, and he did curse God, and also Moroni, swearing with an oath that he would drink his blood” (Alma 49:27). Amalickiah restrategized and, approximately five years later, personally led a new invasion.

This invasion happened as yet another group of Nephites attempted to break away and the society was rife with division. The Book of Mormon gives a commentary about those who caused the new contentions:

Therefore, those who were desirous that the law should be altered were angry with [the newly-elected chief judge Pahoran], and desired that he should no longer be chief judge over the land; therefore there arose a warm dispute concerning the matter. . . .

And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.

And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government.

And it came to pass that this matter of their contention was settled by the voice of the people. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came in favor of the freemen, and Pahoran retained the judgment-seat, which caused much rejoicing among the brethren of Pahoran and also many of the people of liberty, who also put the king-men to silence, that they durst not oppose but were obliged to maintain the cause of freedom.

Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kinds; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people” (Alma 51:4-8).

Captain Moroni17

This division and infighting happened at the exact time that Amalickiah attacked. So bitter were the king-men that they had been thwarted yet again by the freemen that when they knew the Lamanites had invaded “they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country” (Alma 51:13).

We read that when Captain Moroni was apprised of the king-men’s sedition, he was “exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them” (Alma 51:14). Moroni was forced to withdraw his troops from their defensive positions to deal with the king-men problem first. The record states that “he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land” requesting power “to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death” (Alma 51:15).

The Book of Mormon attests that Moroni was so concerned because such sedition “had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction” (Alma 51:16). The Captain’s petition was granted and he “commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty” (Alma 51:17).

The same king-men who refused to lift their weapons to defend their country nevertheless drew the sword to fight against their countrymen. Moroni’s disciplined men were victorious, however, and the king-men were killed, imprisoned, or “compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country” (Alma 51:20). Though he did not entirely wipe out the monarchical ideology, Moroni successfully destroyed the king-men as an organization. “[T]hey were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage” (Alma 51:21).

During the chaos, Amalickiah was able to capture a number of Nephite cities. He would have continued cutting his way through the land, but a commander named Teancum was dispatched to stop him, which he successfully did because his men were “great warriors; for every man of Teancum did exceed the Lamanites in their strength and in their skill of war” (Alma 51:31). Being repulsed after a hard day of fighting, Amalickiah camped for the night. Teancum, however, wanted to end the war as quickly as possible. He crept into the Lamanite camp, found Amalickiah as he slept, and “put a javelin to his heart,” thus ending Amalickiah’s evil reign (Alma 51:33-36).

The war did not end as Teancum had hoped, however. Amalickiah’s brother Ammoron ascended to the throne and intensified the conflagration, besieging all parts of the land. The war raged for years with both victories and setbacks for the Nephites. I leave you to read about the specific battles and strategy in the book of Alma in The Book of Mormon. I jump to the concluding episode of the war.

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Though the king-men were no longer called by that name, enough people maintained the elitist philosophy to be a major impediment to the war effort. Near the end of the war, Moroni and other commanders stopped receiving sufficient supplies of men and food. Moroni began to suspect that a faction existed within the government which sought their defeat. “Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country” (Alma 59:13). He wrote a bristling epistle that everyone should read in full. I draw a few noteworthy excerpts from its contents – lines which equally apply to those traitors who infest our own government today.

Speaking to the “the chief judge and the governor over the land, and also to all those who have been chosen by this people to govern and manage the affairs of this war,” Moroni chided:

Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless stupor, while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you? Yea, while they are murdering thousands of your brethren –

Yea, even they who have looked up to you for protection, yeah, have placed you in a situation that ye might have succored them. . . .

. . . many have fought and bled out their lives because of their great desires which they had for the welfare of this people; yea, and this they have done when they were about to perish with hunger, because of your exceedingly great neglect towards them.

. . . ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people; but behold, ye have neglected them insomuch that the blood of thousands shall come upon your heads for vengeance; yea, for known unto God were all their cries, and all their sufferings. . . .

. . . had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these king-men, who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we were contending among ourselves, if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea, had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those king-men had over us; had they been true tot he cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies. . . .

But behold, now the Lamanites are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword, yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive, causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority, yea, even those king-men.

But why should I say much concerning this matter? For we know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country. . . .

Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.

And now, except ye do repent of that which ye have done, and begin to be up and doing . . . behold it will be expedient that we content no more with the Lamanites until we have first cleansed our inward vessel, yea, even the great head of our government.

And except ye grant mine epistle, and come out and show unto me a true spirit of freedom. . . .

. . . I will come unto you, and if there be any among you that has a desire for freedom, yea, if there be even a spark of freedom remaining, behold I will stir up insurrections among you, even until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct.

Yea, behold I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is my God whom I fear; and it is according to his commandments that I do take my sword to defend the cause of my country, and it is because of your iniquity that we have suffered so much loss.

Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you. . . .

Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country” (Alma 60:1, 7-10, 16-18, 23-25, 27-29, 36).

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Captain Moroni was a man of such integrity, sincerity, and passion that he would move Heaven and earth to fulfill his covenants, defend his country, and secure his people’s Freedom. He knew that there is a price to be paid for Liberty and that everyone must pay it. He further understood that a divided nation is easily conquered, but a united one is difficult to destroy. He chided the government for its neglect and singled out those whose desire was power as traitors to their country. As patriots in all ages have done, he put his own neck on the line in denouncing tyrants and advocating Freedom. He was willing to challenge even his own government when that government was wrong. Such was the integrity of Captain Moroni.

In response to Moroni’s epistle, the chief judge Pahoran responded that he stood firmly with the freemen but that a faction had “risen up in rebellion against me, and also those of my people who are freemen” (Alma 61:3). It was this group of power-hungry autocrats who took over the capital, drove the legitimate government out, and stopped the supply of provisions to Moroni’s armies. They went so far as to appoint a king and entered into an alliance with the Lamanites. Part of Pahoran’s letter to Moroni reads:

I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment-seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people. My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free. . . .

Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God” (Alma 61:9, 14).

Upon receiving news of the insurrection and Pahoran’s continued faithfulness, Captain Moroni took a part of his army and marched to Pahoran. Together, they put down the rebellion in the capital and then turned their sights toward the Lamanite invaders. With the cancer of rebellion finally in remission and the Nephites unified under Captain Moroni’s banner, the Nephites swept the Lamanites before them. They drove the Lamanites, led by King Ammoron, to the edge of their land and prepared for a final fight.

At this juncture, Teancum again appears in the story. Recall that Teancum had previously snuck into the Lamanite camp and killed Amalickiah. As the Lamanites camped, Teancum attempted a repeat of his earlier feat. This time, however, Ammoron was able to alert his guards before dying. The Lamanite guards chased Teancum and killed him, ending the life of one of the greatest Nephite Freedom Fighters.

We are told that when Moroni and the other commanders learned of his death, “they were exceedingly sorrowful” (Alma 62:37). The Book of Mormon pays great tribute to this warrior. Teancum’s memorial is one that I have always striven for. On my tombstone, I hope it is said of me what was written and said of Teancum:

[B]ehold, he had been a man who had fought valiantly for his country, yea, a true friend to liberty” (Alma 62:37).

The day following Teancum’s tragic death, Captain Moroni’s armies drove the Lamanites out of their land, ending that phase of senseless war. Once the fortifications had been built up again, Moroni resigned his post and retired to his home, much the same way George Washington resigned his generalship after the War for Independence and took his rest at Mount Vernon.

The times of war and struggle recorded in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ give us clear examples of what Freedom is, what it takes to maintain, and what type of threats we should be on guard against. In the first place, we learn that a free government is one in which the “voice of the people” is prominent. However, unlike a pure democracy where the mob rules, a truly free government is based on the rule of law. Nephite law was originally revealed from God and accorded with the commandments. The government was not a theocracy, but the laws were just and inspired.

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Similarly, the U.S. Constitution is an inspired document that promotes the power of the People tempered by just laws. It is part of my religion that the Lord established the Constitution. In modern times, our Lord has referred to “the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77).

In a parallel to Mosiah’s wish that the Nephites practice self-government so that every the people’s sins may “be answered upon their own heads,” the Lord further stated that He established the U.S. Constitution so that every person may act “according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:78).

The Savior continued by saying that “it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:79-80).

Elsewhere, the Lord has revealed:

And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting the principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:5).

Finally, the Lord has said, regarding government, that “whatsoever is more or less” than the holy principles of the Constitution “cometh of evil” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:5-7).

The Nephite example captures these principles and shows them in action. The Nephite people lived under an inspired system of self-rule that involved just laws which protected individual Liberty. The society consented to follow these laws and maintain their collective privileges and individual rights. They understood that the individual is accountable to God for his behavior and must shoulder the responsibility of exercising his moral agency correctly.

We also see that judges, comparable to elected representatives today, were appointed not to dictate, but to enforce the law. They were strictly accountable to the voting public and could be removed from their posts if they failed to uphold the law. Even this removal process was not a knee-jerk thing, but a procedure codified in the law similar the way modern impeachments are heavily regulated and should never be based on majority ire.

As Nephite history shows, when a small group of people try to exercise their power to overrule the accepted law in order force their point of view or lifestyle on the majority, contention and warfare often result. We also see that when people become detached from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and consumed with anger toward that which is good, even the results of a popular election can’t stop their agitation. People in this situation are prone to violence – even civil war. Nothing but the firmness of freemen can stop king-men, insurrectionists, and revolutionaries from destroying the Liberty of a nation. At times, good men who love Liberty and who cherish peace must fight to maintain them and to defend their families.

The salient points to understand from the history of Nephite government, then, are these: That ordered Liberty is the ideal; that Liberty and law go hand in hand; that political power springs from the People; that government representatives are accountable to the public; that the People are accountable to God for their actions in relation to government; and that self-rule is vastly superior to monarchy.

Furthermore, in the example of the power-hungry king-men, we see that lust for control leads to bitterness, treason, contention, and bloodshed. We see that evil yet persuasive men like Amlici and Amalickiah have the power to upend society, overthrow governments, and destroy Liberty unless the People are vigilant and humble themselves before God, relying upon His deliverance. We also learn that tyrants motivated by a lust for power are inherently weaker than people motivated by their love of God, Freedom, and country.

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And in the story of Captain Moroni and the freemen, we see the qualities a free people must possess. First, we note that the greatest Freedom Fighters and patriots are those who bow the knee to the King of kings, Jesus Christ. Next, we learn that unity is key to any endeavor. A unified society can do great things, but a divided nation is bound to fail. Third, we see that a real leader, a man like Moroni, is one that is full of passion and sincerity, a person who drives on toward his goal regardless of opposition, and a selfless servant who willingly gives his time, talents, and everything he possesses to noble causes, such as the cause of Freedom.

In our day of rampant confusion where personal Liberty is on the wane and the forces of Satanic communism are on the rise, which I discuss at length in my upcoming article “The Book of Mormon Speaks of Conspiracy,” the lessons contained in the pages of The Book of Mormon are absolutely priceless. We can gain badly needed wisdom from Mosiah, courage from the freemen, and inspiration from Captain Moroni, Teancum, and Pahoran. We can be motivated by knowing that another free people who lived on this American continent went through the same struggles we’re passing through today and that they prevailed with the Lord’s help. The Book of Mormon lets us know that we are not alone in our quest for Liberty, that Freedom is worth fighting for, and that every sacrifice for our Faith, Families, and Freedom is not only worth it, but is needed and remembered.

Finally, The Book of Mormon informs those of us who inhabit the same land that the Nephites inhabited, this Promised Land of America, this shining city on a hill, the future Zion of God, that we are under special obligations. If we meet our obligations faithfully, we have special promises extended to us. An ancient prophet, speaking to you and me, told us that America is a covenant land – a special land blessed above all others. He spoke of this land as “the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.” He then explained:

And he had sworn in his wrath . . . that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.

And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written” (Ether 2:7-12).

From this passage, we learn that America is a Promised Land – a covenant land. The covenant is that those who live in America will serve Jesus Christ or they will be destroyed. If they serve the Lord, He has promised that we will “be free from bondage, and captivity, and from all other nations under heaven.” Almighty God has decreed that America shall be inhabited by a righteous, Christian people and no other.

The prophet Nephi, the namesake of the Nephite nation, saw a vision of the discovery and founding of America by a Christian people that carried the Bible with them. He saw that they would fight and win a war for their Independence. He prophesied that they would gain the land for their inheritance because they would humble themselves before their Maker. And, because of their humility, the Lord would prosper and protect them, saving them from all hostile nations. Nephi wrote:

And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.

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And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.

And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.

And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone forth out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

And I said unto him: I know not.

And he said: . . . The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord which he hath made unto the house of Israel . . . wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles” (1 Nephi 13:14-19).

The Lord has presided over the history of America from the beginning. It was He who brought the Nephites here and it was He who brought our own forefathers to this land. It was the Lord who protected and delivered the Americans out of Europe’s iron grip. His miraculous power was on display to such a high degree during the War for Independence that George Washington was compelled to write:

The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations” (George Washington to Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778).

America is the Lord’s base of operations. It is His land. He protects it. And He requires that those who are privileged to live here worship Him. When we do, His power is poured out in our behalf.

Another Nephite prophet named Jacob similarly prophesied about this special land. His prophecies deal specifically with our day. He foretold:

But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.

And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.

And I will fortify this land against all other nations.

And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.

For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words” (2 Nephi 10:10-14).

As before, we see that America is a covenant land where the people are expected to serve Jesus Christ, the rightful King of America. If they do, they will be blessed and protected against all other nations. Anyone who attempts to establish a king over this land and thereby abolish the system of Freedom and self-rule established by the Lord via the Constitution “shall perish.” We have a great need as Americans to internalize these promises and humble ourselves before the Redeemer.

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The Bible contains similar promises of a general nature. In the Old Testament, we read:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Isaiah also told the House of Israel that if they repent and become obedient to God’s laws, they will “eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19). Also, if they repent and “put away the evil” from among them, the Lord “will restore [their] judges as at first, and [their] counsellors as at the beginning” (Isaiah 1:16, 26). These promises are only made to the penitent, however, just as the promises in The Book of Mormon are extended only to the righteous.

Lastly, the Bible tells us that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17). And so it is.

The Book of Mormon is immeasurably valuable for many reasons, not least of which is that it speaks of Freedom. It shows us what Freedom is and how to maintain it. It gives us examples of correct principles in action. It shows the innate power possessed by the People and the frailty of tyrants. It inspires us to rely upon the Lord and go forward in His power to defend our Faith, Families, and Freedom. Because of its poignant examples, such as the story of Captain Moroni and the Nephite freemen, The Book of Mormon is the ultimate handbook of Freedom.

This sacred volume of scripture also is important to Americans because it speaks specifically to them. It informs them of the covenant they are under by virtue of living in this land. It tells them that they must repent and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It states rather clearly that the Lord is the King of America and that His law is our legitimate law.

Dear reader, The Book of Mormon is the word of the Lord equal to the Bible. These two divine witnesses belong together. They confirm each other. They both fervently testify of Jesus Christ. Together, they abolish false doctrines, dispel myths, and confirm the truth. And as one they prove that only a righteous and virtuous people, a people that trusts in the Lord, and people that humbles itself, is capable of the Freedom and blessing of self-government.

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Let us raise our own Title of Liberty in our own lives and wherever we have influence. Let us rise in defense of our Faith, Families, and Freedom. Let us exalt God, our Freedom, and the Constitution. Men, be men. Step forward to safeguard your wives and children, your families, and your homes. We are under unrelenting attack we need all hands on deck. Do your duty, stand firm, submit to the Lord’s laws, uphold the Constitution He established, and then trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to defend our land against tyrants.

May the Lord bless you, my fellow patriot. May all who come to the Lord in sincerity be electrified and given the power to stand firm through tribulation. May the Lord bless all those who faithfully share the thrilling stories found in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. May Almighty God prosper people like Darin Southam who are attempting to inspire freemen everywhere through the remarkable history of Captain Moroni. And may we live so that it may be one day said of us that we were true friends to Liberty. I close with my testimony, which I have from the Holy Ghost and cannot deny, that The Book of Mormon is true and that it speaks of Freedom.

Zack Strong,

February 27, 2020

To Be Prepared for War

Peace through strength is an ancient concept. It was the Roman modus operandi as Rome expanded her influence across the known world. It was also the policy pursued by our very own George Washington. In our modern world of appeasement and surrender to the forces of tyranny, maintaining peace through strength has become a uniquely American custom. It is not only the national policy followed by great American presidents, but that which is followed by American gun owners every day. Peace through strength, then, is part of the true American heritage.

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In his first annual message to Congress, President George Washington stated: “To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” In the very next breath, he continued: “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined” (George Washington, First Annual Message to Congress, January 8, 1790). When you examine the annals of history, whether you look in ancient Israel, manly Sparta, gallant Rome, or in the American Republic, you find that free people have always been armed. Indeed, arms in the hands of freemen distinguishes them from serfs and slaves.

The philosophy “peace through strength” derives from common sense and practical experience. All human experience shows that unscrupulous men, criminals, and tyrants, prey upon the defenseless and weak. Evil people are frequently cowards and their victims are usually targets of opportunity. And no one is more defenseless and presents an easier target than the unarmed and weak. This is the reason why lunatics choose to shoot people in gun-free zones rather than in locations where free men and women are armed and able to defend themselves.

The same is true of nations. An Evil Empire like the Soviet Union preys upon weak nations. They backpedal and try to negotiate (though they only make deals when it benefits them) when a nation presents a strong and united front against them. Instead of launching a risky frontal assault, they resort to subversion, infiltration, psychological warfare, terrorism, and guerrilla tactics in order to demoralize, weaken, corrupt, confuse, and undermine an opponent before they ever attempt conquest by force.

Communist Russia and Red China will never attempt to take down the United States through force of arms unless we have been sufficiently degraded on the inside first. Unfortunately, that horrific day is swift approaching as cultural Marxism (i.e. feminism, LGBT, radical environmentalism, “civil rights” movements, political correctness, etc.) rips through our vital institutions. We are becoming a weak nation because we have been too politically correct to stand up to the Reds and to call a spade a spade. We are so afraid of offending someone, hurting their feelings, or causing a stir that we suffer abuses and reductions in our personal rights and national influence rather than boldly confront the enemy.

When necessary, a free society must use its arms and strength to defend itself. This should be a last resort to preserve peace, but it must be an option. A nation that is not prepared to defend itself presents a soft target to an aggressor. The Red Chinese commonly refer to the United States as a “paper tiger” that doesn’t have the stomach for a long struggle. They think we are weak and will eventually crumble because they have yet to see us stand up and confront them in a meaningful way. Islamic terrorists (which are primarily trained and funded by Soviet Russia) hold this same philosophy. America’s enemies cannot be appeased or bought off – appeasement only emboldens them.

We learned through our experiences with Barbary pirates at the beginning of our Republic that buying peace with tribute makes our enemies insatiable and actually increases the problem. Because of a lack of naval power at the time, President Washington was forced to pay the Islamic pirates who were raiding our ships rather than face them in battle. President John Adams did the same while creating a navy that could eventually contend with overseas opponents.

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President Thomas Jefferson was the first president to use our newly minted Navy and Marines to punish the pirates and defend America’s vital international trade. After the War of 1812, President Madison sent the U.S. Navy to the Mediterranean to finish what President Jefferson had started. Our Navy devastated the pirates, ensuring peace between the United States and the Barbary States for generations. We learned from this episode that peaceful relations can only be established with hostile states by standing up to them or crushing them with overwhelming strength. Evil people and regimes only bow to power.

Because of his experience as a colonel during the French-Indian War and as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolution, President George Washington understood this principle perhaps better than anyone. It infuriated him that the United States did not have the means to deal with enemies who ruthlessly attacked peaceful trading vessels and harmed Americans and America’s interests. In a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, he raged:

“[H]ow is it possible the great maritime powers of Europe should submit to pay an annual tribute to the little piratical States of Barbary. Would to Heaven we had a navy able to reform those enimies to mankind, or crush them into nonexistence” (George Washington to Marquis de Lafayette, August 15, 1786).

Washington understood that only an armed society – both on a personal and a national level – could retain their Freedom against the multitude of adversaries and tyrants that abound in the world. He knew that freemen could only remain so if they were strong and projected their strength. Part of this was to always be ready for war so that a potential aggressor would think twice before attacking – and so that he would severely regret it if he did.

At the beginning of our War for Independence, General Washington encouraged his troops to stand firm against British tyrants. He said:

“[T]he hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty—that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men . . . every one for himself resolving to conquer, or die, and trusting to the smiles of heaven upon so just a cause, will behave with Bravery and Resolution” (George Washington, General Orders, August 23, 1776).

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The “smiles of heaven” only rain down upon those who take the pains to defend themselves and increase their own human strength. Only the vigorous and valiant are worthy of divine intervention and blessings. Only by “fighting for the blessings of Liberty,” and remaining virtuous, can Americans remain freemen. And all real freemen are soldiers – warriors for justice, truth, and Liberty.

All true freemen are armed and prepared for battle at a moment’s notice – whether against a domestic enemy or against an invader. This is precisely why Samuel Adams envisioned America as a “Christian Sparta” (Samuel Adams to John Scollay, December 30, 1780). Like the Spartans, “molon labe,” or “come and take it,” would be our war cry. It was strict adherence to this principle of preparing for war and being ready to defend the peace, coupled with faithful obedience to God’s laws, that made America great. And the same course can make America great again.

Similar to Washington and Adams, Thomas Jefferson believed that strength was a means of preventing war. He wished every American freeman to be a soldier. He stated:

“[T]he Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended themselves. the Greeks by their laws, and the Romans by the spirit of their people, took care to put into the hands of their rulers no such engine of oppression, as a standing army. their system was to make every man a soldier, & oblige him to repair to the standard of his country, whenever that was reared. this made them invincible; and the same remedy will make us so” (Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, September 10, 1814).

This remedy – namely, to arm and discipline our citizens in the art of war – would make America “invincible” to foreign threats so long as we also remain virtuous. A free nation that expects to remain free must be prepared for war. We prepare for war but pray for peace. As Thomas Paine expressed it: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it” (Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, September 12, 1777).

The phrase “peace through strength,” in its modern context, was popularized by Ronald Reagan during his 1980 campaign against socialist appeaser Jimmy Carter. For eight years, President Reagan preached peace through strength and tried to get America back to her roots. While President Reagan was only marginally successful in his gigantic task, reminding ourselves of some of his inspiring thoughts seems appropriate.

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During one of the presidential debates with then President Jimmy Carter, candidate Reagan said:

“Now, I believe, also that this meeting, this mission, this responsibility for preserving the peace, which I believe is a responsibility peculiar to our country, that we cannot shirk our responsibility as the leader of the Free World, because we’re the only one that can do it. And therefore, the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us. And to maintain that peace requires strength. America has never gotten in a war because we were too strong” (Reagan/Carter presidential debate, October 28, 1980).

In a speech to the American People regarding national security, President Reagan explained the need for strength to combat the Red menace – the exact same menace we face today at home and abroad. He rightly observed:

“We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. . . .

“. . . American strength is . . . a sheltering arm for freedom in a dangerous world. Strength is the most persuasive argument we have to convince our adversaries to negotiate seriously and to cease bullying other nations.

“. . . American power is the indispensable element of a peaceful world. . . .

“But it is not just the immense Soviet arsenal that puts us on our guard. The record of Soviet behavior – the long history of Soviet brutality toward those who are weaker – reminds us that the only guarantee of peace and freedom is our military strength and our national will. The peoples of Afghanistan and Poland, of Czechoslavakia and Cuba, and so many other captive countries – they understand this.

“Some argue that our dialogue with the Soviets means we can treat defense more casually. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was our seriousness about defense that created the climate in which serious talks could finally begin. . . .

“Our job is to provide for our security by using the strengths of our free society” (Ronald Reagan, speech, February 26, 1986).

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Think about it, who is more likely to persuade a thug to put down his gun – an unarmed negotiator with no leverage or a seasoned police officer with a raised rifle? The answer is obvious. Though the Soviets have broken literally every treaty they ever signed with the United States, they were wary of President Reagan because they knew that he would not hesitate, if necessary, to launch nuclear missiles and a full-scale war against the communists in defense of America and the West.

One of my favorite Ronald Reagan moments demonstrates President Reagan’s willingness to stand up to the communist threat. It occurred on August 11, 1984, when President Reagan told a joke. Though clearly a joke, it contained a large kernel of truth. During a microphone sound check prior to his speech, President Reagan mused: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

I can’t listen to the audio recording of this classic moment without laughing. Yet, the Soviets weren’t laughing – and not because Russians don’t have much of a sense of humor. Rather, these communists – who consider themselves in a permanent state of war with the West – understood that in Ronald Reagan they had a man who would not cower in fear, kow-tow to Moscow, or back down to Soviet advances. Evil regimes like the Soviet Union only gain momentum unless forcibly stopped in their tracks and resisted manfully by one of equal or greater strength.

President Reagan’s views were inspired by his belief that God founded this country and that we are not only exceptional, but that we have a mission to lead the world by our shining example:

“I’ve always believed that this land was set aside in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent between the oceans to be found by a people from every corner of the earth who had a special love of faith, freedom and peace. Let us reaffirm America’s destiny of goodness and goodwill” (Ronald Reagan, Thanksgiving message, 1982).

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Part of being the world leader is helping to preserve peace when it is within our sphere of influence and duty. President Reagan rightly affirmed:

“We’re not a warlike people. Quite the opposite. We always seek to live in peace. We resort to force infrequently and with great reluctance, and only after we’ve determined that it’s absolutely necessary. We are awed – and rightly so – by the forces of destruction at loose in the world in this nuclear era. But neither can we be naive or foolish. Four times in my lifetime America has gone to war, bleeding the lives of its young men into the sands of island beachheads, the fields of Europe, and the jungles and rice paddies of Asia. We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong; it is when they are weak that tyrants are tempted. . . .

“Of all the objectives we seek, first and foremost is the establishment of lasting world peace. We must always stand ready to negotiate in good faith, ready to pursue any reasonable avenue that holds forth the promise of lessening tensions and furthering the prospects of peace. But let our friends and those who may wish us ill take note: the United States has an obligation to its citizens and to the people of the world never to let those who would destroy freedom dictate the future course of life on this planet” (Ronald Reagan, Republican National Convention acceptance speech, July 17, 1980).

Is America today up to the task of being great and exceptional? Are we prepared to increase our unique national strength by fortifying our Faith, Families, and Freedom? And are we prepared to defend these fundamental institutions, and this Promised Land with her unsurpassed resources and beauty and potential, with the strength of arms and military might if necessary? Are we truly prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that the blessings of Liberty we take for granted will extend to our posterity? If today we are not prepared for war to safeguard our peace, our rights, and our homes, we are not worthy of the title American.

General George Washington’s wise words of encouragement to his fighting men should pound once more in our ears. Two days before America formally declared Independence from British tyranny, General Washington wrote to his patriot soldiers to embolden them in their fight. He reminded them what was at stake – slavery or Freedom. He explained that all eyes were fixed on them and that they would decide whether tyranny or Freedom was to reign in America. And he explained the eternal truth that freemen motivated by the just cause of Liberty and aided by the God of Heaven are more fearsome than any conquering army ever can be. General Washington declared:

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for LIBERTY on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth” (George Washington, General Orders, July 2, 1776).

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Today, the eyes of the weary world are upon America. For years we have let them down. Our example has been less than exceptional, not particularly notable, and, in recent times, not worthy of duplication. We have allowed the communist cancer to eat away at our vitals until now we stand on the brink of civil war, mobocracy, economic collapse, open persecution of Christians and constitutionalists, and full-scale societal breakdown.

Notwithstanding how far we’ve fallen through our own neglect and rejection of God’s eternal laws, we have it within our power to step forward, do our duty, and restore our Republic. There will be sacrifices to make – and some patriots will lose their lives because Freedom is never won except at the price of blood – but we must make them for our sake, the sake of our posterity, and the sake of a beleaguered world that desperately needs us to lead.

I close with the rousing words of Ronald Reagan. Each syllable is true. Every vowel applies to me and to you in our present situation. The burden for the future rests squarely on our shoulders. If we shirk our duty now when it matters most, history will hold us in contempt. Let us be real men and real Americans. Let us honor the American tradition of preserving peace through strength and in always being prepared for war in order to secure an honorable peace. Let us be freemen worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as General Washington and his patriot army. God bless us and God bless America!

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. . . .

“Alexander Hamilton said, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.” Let’s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace — and you can have it in the next second — surrender.

“Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face — that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender . . . And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don’t speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. . . .

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“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.” (Ronald Reagan, “A Time for Choosing,” October 27, 1964).

Zack Strong,

August 28, 2019.

Indispensable Men: George Washington

“[A]n impartial World will say with you that he is the Greatest Man on Earth.” – William Hooper to Robert Morris, February 1, 1777.

Numerous patriots came together to bring about and accomplish America’s War for Independence, write her Constitution, and establish our cherished Republic. Among these patriots, several stalwart figures stand out as vital to the cause. These are the indispensable men America needed and without whom our bid for Independence would have failed. This “Indispensable Men” series pays tribute to these larger-than-life heroes and the role they played in giving Liberty a proper home.

Hundreds of books, biographies, and documentaries have been produced telling the technical details and stories of George Washington’s upbringing, career, family, and home life, and the interworkings of his presidential administration and command as general. I don’t feel the need to reproduce those facts here. I simply refer you to the best book I know of on Washington’s life and achievements; namely, The Real George Washington written by Jay A. Parry, Andrew M. Allison, and W. Cleon Skousen and published by the National Center for Constitutional Studies. My aim in this series is, rather, to highlight the key ideas, crucial character traits, and most notable public achievements of the “indispensable” figures in the story of American Freedom.

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No man more deserves the first spot on the “indispensable men” list than George Washington, the great general of the Revolution and the Father of our Country. The unchallenged historical consensus is that no man was more respected and admired in our founding era than George Washington. Washington’s impressive record demonstrates the great trust his countrymen had in him and speaks to the tremendous influence he had in his day.

A brief index of George Washington’s public achievements and prominent positions looks like this:

1) Washington began his public service as a soldier. During the French and Indian War, Washington gained valuable command experience and reputation and was promoted to the rank of colonel in the Virginia militia.

2) In 1774, he was elected as a Virginia delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses. During the Second Continental Congress, the Continental Army was created and George Washington was chosen as its commander-in-chief.

3) During the War for Independence, General Washington served as the supreme leader of the Continental Army, saved the Army from defeat numerous times through his skill and decisive will power, and brought the conflagration to a successful conclusion.

4) Four years after humbly resigning his charge as commander-in-chief and retiring to his plantation in 1783, Washington helped orchestrate the Constitutional Convention to save the faltering nation. Washington was unanimously elected as the president of the Convention.

5) In 1789, Washington became the first president of our Republic and to this day is the only man to ever be unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He in fact accomplished this feat twice, speaking to the level of admiration and trust given to him by his contemporaries. The later federal capital district was also named in his honor.

Being a successful military general, a unanimously-elected head of state, the president of the Convention which produced the longest-standing national charter in history, and having a national capitol named in your honor, are things that not many other people can put on a resume. On paper, then, there is zero doubt that George Washington deserves a seat at the “indispensable men” table. But there was much more to his rave popularity than merely holding prominent positions during monumental events.

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Washington’s positions as general and president, as noteworthy as they are, did not make others respect him. Rather, Washington was appointed and elected to those positions because of the supreme respect and admiration others already had for him. And this admiration was engendered by his strong character and unique spirit. Historian Gordon Wood has written:

“Washington’s genius, Washington’s greatness, lay in his character. He was, as Chateaubriand said, a “hero of an unprecedented kind.” There had never been a great man quite like Washington . . . Washington became a great man and was acclaimed as a classical hero because of the way he conducted himself during times of temptation. It was his moral character that set him off from other men.

“Washington epitomized everything the revolutionary generation prized in its leaders. He had character and was truly a man of virtue. This virtue was not given to him by nature. He had to work for it, to cultivate it, and everyone sensed that. Washington was a self-made hero, and this impressed an eighteenth-century enlightened world that put great stock in men’s controlling both their passions and their destinies. Washington seemed to possess a self-cultivated nobility” (Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, 34-35).

Yet, it is not what modern historians have said about Washington that is so remarkable. Rather, the fact that the American People and his contemporaries in governmental affairs, and even his enemies across the sea, lavished him with praise. We now rehearse some of the acclaim this man received by those who knew him and were in a position to judge the sincerity and depth of his character.

Thomas Jefferson was intimately acquainted with Washington both before he was appointed general and throughout his time in military and government service. Jefferson wrote to future president James Monroe of Washington’s mass appeal in these words:

“Congress have risen. You will have seen by their proceedings the truth of what I always observed to you, that one man outweighs them all in influence over the people who have supported his judgment against their own and that of their representatives. Republicanism must lie on it’s oars, resign the vessel to it’s pilot, and themselves to the course he thinks best for them” (Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 12, 1796).

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Another time, Jefferson gave an in-depth evaluation of Washington’s character and many of his traits, including his sense of justice, his reasoning abilities, and his will power. I do not quote everything Jefferson said, but enough to demonstrate why Washington was so revered by his associates:

“I think I knew General Washington intimately and thoroughly; and were I called on to delineate his character it should be in terms like these.

“His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, tho’ not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. it was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whatever was best. and certainly no General ever planned his battles more judiciously . . . he was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose whatever obstacles opposed. his integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. he was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, & a great man . . . his person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish, his deportment easy, erect, and noble; the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback . . . on the whole, his character was, in it’s mass perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance. for his was the singular destiny & merit of leading the armies of his country succesfully thro’ an arduous war for the establishment of it’s independance, of conducting it’s councils thro’ the birth of a government, new in it’s forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train, and of scrupulously obeying the laws, thro’ the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example . . . I am satisfied the great body of republicans thinks of him as I do . . . and I am convinced he is more deeply seated in the love and gratitude of the republicans, than in the Pharisaical homage of the Federal monarchists. for he was no monarchist from preference of his judgment. the soundness of that gave him correct views of the rights of man, and his severe justice devoted him to them. he has often declared to me that he considered our new constitution as an experiment on the practicability of republican government, and with what dose of liberty man could be trusted for his own good: that he was determined the experiment should have a fair trial, and would lose the last drop of his blood in support of it. . . .

“These are my opinions of General Washington, which I would vouch at the judgment seat of god, having been formed on an acquaintance of 30. years . . . I felt on his death, with my countrymen, that ‘verily a great man hath fallen this day in Israel’” (Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, January 2, 1814).

High praise, indeed! And higher still coming from a man the caliber of Thomas Jefferson! As Jefferson noted, he was hardly the only person to share these elevated feelings. Most Americans at the time looked upon Washington as an exalted figure – a national savior of sorts.

Benjamin Franklin, a man whose own unique talents and achievements had few equals, had high esteem for Washington. When it came time to elect a new president under the Constitution, Franklin had only one man in mind: “General Washington is the man that all our eyes are fixed on for President, and what little influence I may have, is devoted to him” (Benjamin Franklin to M. Le Veillard, June 8, 1788).

John and Abigail Adams both had high praise for the man. John Adams noted: “He is brave, wise, generous and humane” (John Adams to William Tudor, June 20, 1775). And after meeting Washington in person, Abigail privately told John: “I was struck with General Washington, You had prepared me to entertain a favorable opinion of him, but I thought the one half was not told me. Dignity with ease, and complacency, the Gentleman and Soldier look agreeably blended in him. Modesty marks every line and feature of his face” (Abigail Adams to John Adams, July 16, 1775).

In his autobiography, John Adams likewise praised Washington as the principal man of the age. He wrote: “I thought him a perfectly honest Man, with an amiable and excellent heart, and the most important Character at that time among Us, for he was the center of our Union” (John Adams, Autobiography, 1777).

The Marquis de Lafayette, the famous Frenchman who assisted in our War for Independence, once observed:

“This great man has no enemies but those of his own country, and yet every noble and sensitive soul must love the excellent qualities of his heart . . . His honesty, his candor, his sensitivity, his virtue in the full sense of the word are above all praise” (Marquis de Lafayette to Baron von Steuben, March 12, 1778).

Another French observer wrote:

“General Washington conducts himself with his usual wisdom. It conciliates to him more and more the respect and affection of the people. After a war of eight years, during which he has scarcely ever left his army, and has never taken any repose, he has received the news of the peace with the greatest joy. It made him shed tears, and he said it was the happiest hour of his life . . . He will always be the first citizen of the United States . . . all the world is agreed touching his republican virtues, and agreed that there is no character more eminent among those who have taken part in this grand revolution” (Chevalier de La Luzerne to the Comte de Vergennes, March 29, 1783).

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Benjamin Rush, another prominent figure of the day, spoke extravagantly of Washington’s character: “His zeal, his disinterestedness, his activity, his politeness, and his manly behavior . . . have captivated the hearts of the public and his friends. He seems to be one of those illustrious heroes whom providence raises up once in three or four hundred years to save a nation from ruin . . . he has so much martial dignity in his deportment that you would distinguish him to be a general and a soldier from among ten thousand people. There is not a king in Europe that would not look like a valet de chamber by his side” (Benjamin Rush to Thomas Ruston, October 29, 1775).

At the height of the Revolution, Moses Hazen remarked to General Nathanael Greene that Washington “is the very Idol of His Country, and who I love, regard, and Esteem, as one of the best men since the Creation of Adam” (Moses Hazen to Nathanael Greene, July 24, 1780). General Greene had similar praise for his superior officer. Not long after Hazen made his statements, General Greene explained:

“It is my opinion that General Washington’s influence will do more than all the Assemblies upon the Continent. I always thought him exceeding popular, but in many places he is little less than adored; and universally admired. His influence in this Country might possibly effect something great” (Nathanael Greene, January 10, 1781).

In 1791, a newspaper, the Connecticut Courant, gushed with praise for the nation’s first chief executive:

“Many a private man might make a great President; but will there ever be a President who will make so great a man as WASHINGTON?” (Connecticut Courant, June 20, 1791, in John P. Kaminski, ed., The Founders on the Founders: Word Portraits from the American Revolutionary Era, 505).

Shortly after Washington’s death, Timothy Dwight made this observation:

“Wherever he appeared, an instinctive awe and veneration attended him on the part of all men. Every man, however great in his own opinion, or in reality, shrunk in his presence, and became conscious of an inferiority, which he never felt before. Whilst he encouraged every man, particularly every stranger, and peculiarly ever diffident man, and raised him to self possession, no sober person, however secure he might think himself of his esteem, ever presumed to draw too near him” (Timothy Dwight, “Discourse on the Character of Washington,” February 22, 1800).

John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, shared the sentiment so often expressed that Washington was the “greatest man in the world.” Days after General Washington’s resignation, Marshall stated:

“At length then the military career of the greatest Man on earth is closed. May happiness attend him wherever he goes. May he long enjoy those blessings he has secured to his Country. When I speak or think of that superior Man my full heart overflows with gratitude. Ma he ever experience from his Countrymen those attentions which such sentiments of themselves produce” (John Marshall to James Monroe, January 3, 1784).

These few lines from John Price demonstrate the awe people had for the General of their blessed Revolution: “Immortal Washington . . . has outshined and Eclipsed all Asiatic, African, and European Generals, and Commanders from the Creation of the World, to this Day” (John Price to John Jay, October 29, 1783).

Samuel Shaw, a distinguished military officer under Washington, expressed his keen feelings about his General in these words:

“Our army love our General very much, but yet they have one thing against him, which is the little care he takes of himself in action. His personal bravery, and the desire he has of animating his troops by example, make him fearless of any danger. This, while it makes him appear great, occasions us much uneasiness. But Heaven, who has hitherto been his shield, I hope will still continue to guard so valuable a life” (Samuel Shaw to Francis Show, January 7, 1777).

William Hooper once wrote of Washington’s invaluable role in maintaining and securing the Revolution:

“When it shall be consistent with policy to give the history of that man from his first introduction into our service, how often America has been rescued from ruin by the mere strength of his genius, conduct & courage encountering every obstacle that want of money, men, arms, Ammunition could throw in his way, an impartial World will say with you that he is the Greatest Man on Earth. Misfortunes are the Element in which he shines. They are the Groundwork on which his picture appears to the greatest advantage. He rises superior to them all, they serve as foils to his fortitude, and as stimulants to bring into view those great qualities which in the serenity of life his great modesty keeps concealed. I could fill the side in his praise, but anything I can say cannot equal his Merits” (William Hooper to Robert Morris, February 1, 1777).

Washington’s fame was celebrated throughout Europe as well as America – even in the midst of the War for Independence. While on assignment in France, Benjamin Franklin wrote to Washington: “I frequently hear the old Generals of this martial Country, (who study the Maps of America, and mark upon them all your Operations) speak with sincere Approbation & great Applause of your Conduct, and join in giving you the Character of one of the greatest Captains of the Age” (Benjamin Franklin to George Washington, March 5, 1780).

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King George III, the tyrant who abuses prompted the Americans into fighting for their Liberty and declaring Independence from Britain, developed an interesting opinion of Washington after the war. Rufus King recorded a conversation he had with Benjamin West who had spoken with King George III about affairs in America. King’s account reads:

“[I]n regard to General Washington, he [King George] told him [West] since his [Washington’s] resignation that in his opinion “that act closing and finishing what had gone before and viewed in connection with it, placed him in a light the most distinguished of any man living, and that he thought him the greatest character of the age”” (Rufus King, May 3, 1797, in King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, Vol. 3, 545).

It is likewise my estimation that George Washington was one of the “greatest Captains of the Age,” that he was an “illustrious hero” whom the God of Heaven raised up to save his country, and that he was the foremost of the indispensable men who established American Liberty. My own religious creed and the impressions of the Holy Spirit on my soul cause me to declare that George Washington was indeed raised up by the hand of the Lord to preside over the founding of this Republic. I am proud to live in a nation founded and shaped by George Washington.

George Washington’s guiding light, the thing that propelled him to the greatness ascribed to him by his peers, was his inner conviction about God. Though it is common today to call Washington and other Founding Fathers “Deists,” or, worse, “atheists,” the fact is that Washington was a deeply committed Christian. Washington issued the following General Orders  to his fighting men on May 2, 1788.

“The Commander in Chief directs that divine Service be performed every sunday at 11 oClock in those Brigades to which there are Chaplains—those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them—It is expected that Officers of all Ranks will by their attendence set an Example to their men.

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good Citizens and soldiers we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of Religion—To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian—The signal Instances of providential Goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labours with complete Success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of Gratitude & Piety to the Supreme Author of all Good.”

Washington not only commanded his soldiers to worship God, but he frequently mentioned his personal belief in God and encouraged his countrymen to be faithful and virtuous. Washington was particularly convinced that God had intervened on America’s behalf during the War for Independence, as were most Americans at the time. One time he affirmed:

“The man must be bad indeed who can look upon the events of the American Revolution without feeling the warmest gratitude towards the great Author of the Universe whose divine interposition was so frequently manifested in our behalf—And it is my earnest prayer that we may so conduct ourselves as to merit a continuance of those blessings with which we have hitherto been favoured” (George Washington to Samuel Langdon, September 28, 1789).

Another time, Washington observed:

“The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations” (George Washington to Thomas Nelson, August 20, 1778).

In his First Inaugural Address as president, Washington was moved to comment that Americans were “bound to acknowledge” God’s hand in their Revolution:

“[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

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To Washington, God was the real Founder of America and of her inspired Constitution. During his immortal Farewell Address, President Washington made it clear that his convictions had not changed. He spoke a truth that is as applicable today as it was in 1796:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

“It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

In harmony with his public sentiments, President Washington wrote a letter to Protestant clergy wherein he asserted: “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” (George Washington to the Protestant Clergy of Philadelphia, March 3, 1797).

For his own part, Washington never failed to acknowledge the hand of the Lord. He noted:

“No Man has a more perfect Reliance on the all-wise, and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary” (George Washington to William Gordon, May 13, 1776).

By all accounts, General Washington was supernaturally protected in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Washington, and others, ascribed his protection to God. After a particularly harrowing battle during the French and Indian War, Washington observed:

“But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me” (George Washington to John A. Washington, July 18, 1755).

The Indians involved in the same battle noted that Washington seemed to be under the protection of God and could not be killed. One Indian chief recounted the following to General Washington:

“I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is of the red-coat tribe – he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do – himself alone exposed.

“Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss – ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier than we, shielded you.

“Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you . . . there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy: Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle” (Bob Gingrich, Founding Fathers vs. History Revisionists, 29-30).

Washington did not utter idle words. As the quotations thus far demonstrate conclusively, Washington was a man who said what he meant and did what he said he would do. He wasn’t afraid to put himself in harm’s way for his beliefs or risk his life for his country. Thus, when Washington said he believed in God, he meant it and did all he could to show his devotion.

As frequently as his demanding public service allowed, George Washington attended Christian worship services. In fact, Washington donated money for the construction of Christ Church near his home. He also attended Pohick Church in which, according to numerous sources, Washington served as a vestryman for some twenty years. Washington also kept a prayer journal and had a personal copy of the Bible which he routinely read and which was donated to Christ Church after his death. It is beyond dispute that George Washington was a Christian who actively practiced his faith.

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In addition to upholding Christian values, Washington lived by a strict personal code of conduct. He wrote up this code into 110 “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” Numbers 108 and 110 are the most relevant and give us a peek into Washington’s outlook on life: “When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence.” And, finally: “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

From all credible accounts and eyewitness statements, we can conclude that Washington was a good, honest, upright man. He was a Christian with a high sense of honor and integrity. He was sometimes brutally honest. He was calculated and exercise wise judgement. He was a man of boldness and bravery. He was a supreme patriot who gave his life to the cause of Liberty.

One final aspect of Washington’s influence will be discussed. More than almost any other Founding Father, George Washington pushed for a new federal constitution to replace the failing Articles of Confederation. Viewing the proceedings of the nation he loved and had fought so mightily for from his retirement at Mount Vernon made Washington uncomfortable. He saw that the Union must collapse unless reformed.

A few quotes show Washington’s apprehensions:

“That it is necessary to revise, and amend the articles of Confederation, I entertain no doubt . . . Yet, something must be done, or the fabrick must fall. It certainly is tottering!” (George Washington to John Jay, May 18, 1786).

“No man in the United States is or can be more deeply impressed with the necessity of a reform in our present confederation than myself. No man, perhaps, has felt the bad effects of it more sensibly; for to the defects thereof, and want of powers in Congress, may justly be ascribed the prolongation of the war and consequently the expenses occasioned by it. More than half the perplexities I have experienced in the course of my command, and almost the whole of the difficulties and distress of the army, have their origin here” (George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, March 31, 1783).

“Let us look to our National character, and to things beyond the present period. No morn ever dawned more favourably than ours did; and no day was ever more clouded than the present! Wisdom, and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm. Virginia has now an opportunity to set the latter, and has enough of the former, I hope, to take the lead in promoting this great and arduous work. Without some alteration in our political creed, the superstructure we have been seven years raising at the expence of so much blood and treasure, must fall. We are fast verging to anarchy and confusion!” (George Washington to James Madison, November 5, 1786).

Suffice it to say that Washington foresaw the collapse of the fledgling American government unless the constitution was immediately overhauled. Washington urged and encouraged his fellow patriots to step forward and rescue the Republic. Eventually, a convention was called and Washington was adopted as its presiding head. After months of careful deliberation, the convention produced the U.S. Constitution, a document I consider to be literally inspired by Almighty God.

George Washington approved the document and, upon signing his name to it, remarked:

“Should the states reject this excellent constitution, the probability is that an opportunity will never again offer to cancel another in peace – the next will be drawn in blood” (Allison, Parry, Skousen, The Real George Washington, 490-491).

Shortly thereafter, during the constitutional ratification process, Washington remarked:

“No one can rejoice more than I do at every step taken by the People of this great Country to preserve the Union—establish good order & government—and to render the Nation happy at home & respected abroad. No Country upon Earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wonderously strange then, & much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means, and to stray from the road to which the finger of Providence has so manifestly pointed. I cannot believe it will ever come to pass! The great Author of all good has not conducted us so far on the Road to happiness and glory to withdraw from us, in the hour of need, his beneficent support” (George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, June 29, 1788).

When the Constitution was ratified, Washington became its greatest champion. Of this charter, he publicly declared: “[T]he Constitution is the guide which I never can abandon” (George Washington to Boston Selectmen, July 28, 1795). Another time he wrote: “The Constitution of the United States, and the laws made under it, must mark the line of my official conduct” (George Washington to Edmund Randolph, 1790).

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After a successful term in office, President Washington was overjoyed at the success America had seen directly because of the new Constitution. It was the American People’s mission, he believed, to show the world that constitutional republicanism is the soundest system of government ever devised:

“To complete the [A]merican character, it remains for the citizens of the United States, to shew to the world, that the reproach heretofore cast on Republican Governments for their want of stability, is without foundation, when that Government is the deliberate choice of an enlightened people: and I am fully persuaded, that every well-wisher to the happiness & prosperity of this Country, will evince by his conduct, that we live under a government of laws; and that while we preserve inviolate our national faith, we are desirous to live in amity with all mankind” (George Washington to the citizens of Alexandria, July 4, 1793).

The way in which America could show the world the wisdom of the Constitution was, simply enough, to follow it! Indeed, Washington strongly believed that all citizens owed strict obedience to the Constitution. He was most emphatic on this point. In his Farewell Address, which ought to be required reading for all Americans, he declared:

“This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796).

Much of our constitutional form of government, and, indeed, the U.S. Constitution itself, came about due to George Washington’s instrumentality. He used his influence to persuade his countrymen to draft a constitution which would enshrine the rule of law, protect natural rights, and limit government while empowering it to fully protect the citizens of the country. He also used his influence to urge adoption of the new Constitution. And, then, he worked hard for eight years as president to enforce and maintain that sacred document.

Yes, it was George Washington, the Father of our Country, who really popularized constitutional government in the United States. His indomitable influence and skillful leadership brought the government into being and carried it through its first eight years. He set in stone the practice of a president only serving two terms and then graciously retiring – a tradition faithfully followed until the Marxist demagogue FDR served four consecutive terms, prompting a formal change in the law. Washington was also responsible for adding the words “so help me God” to the end of his presidential oath. All eyes were on Washington in the nation’s critical moments and he guided her through the rocky waters by following the Constitution, applying his own native judgment, and following God’s laws in his personal conduct.

George Washington was, and remains, a true hero. Few heroes in fact have been as worthy of the appellation as Washington. It is, therefore, a true sign of cultural rot that many Americans are beginning to spurn and despise this incredible man. It is rare in history that a man accomplished so much good for his nation, yet, in time, became so hated. A recent and ongoing incident demonstrates this growing hostility.

In San Francisco – perhaps the epicenter of all that is wrong with America – a school recently wanted to destroy an old George Washington mural painted one of its walls. According to the school, the mural “traumatizes students” and “glorifies slavery” and “genocide.” To allegedly protect their students from the image of George Washington, the school decided to paint over the mural, but then decided to simply cover it. Heaven forbid we allow school students to learn about the Father of their Country, the Commander-in-Chief of the Revolution, and the first president of the United States!

Because of the communist cancer that has almost totally taken over public schooling, academia, Hollywood, the press, and government, our Founding Fathers are being vilified as violent “rebels,” self-serving aristocrats, bigots, racists, and religiously-motivated oppressors. Agencies within our government have even gone so far as to classify the Sons of Liberty and our Founding Fathers as “domestic terrorists,” implying that anyone who believes like they did are also “terrorists.” And now the FBI is calling “conspiracy theorists” an extremist threat.

Yes, fighting for Freedom and truth is extreme and revolutionary, especially when the government is antagonistic to Liberty. Historian Charles Beard is said to have observed: “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence” (Charles A. Beard, in M. Kenneth Creamer, The Reformation of Union State Sovereignty, 265).

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This sentiment is, unfortunately, accurate. And there was no more “dangerous citizen” in American history than George Washington. He was the “rebel” leader – the point of the patriotic spear. He was formidable to tyrants and traitors, but a true friend to Liberty. He was a patriot in every sense of the term. He was then as he ought to be now “first in the hearts of his countrymen” (Richard Henry Lee, Funeral Oration on the Death of George Washington, December 28, 1799).

Washington’s shining example will always inspire sincere American patriots. His words will always buoy his countrymen. His spirit will always ride alongside those wishing to rid their country of tyranny and to defend Freedom. God help us remember and emulate George Washington, the most indispensable of indispensable men!

Zack Strong,

August 21, 2019.

Best and Worst U.S. Presidents

To commemorate Presidents Day, I have put together a top-five list of best and worst U.S. presidents. Choosing the five best presidents is quite easy inasmuch as the pool of good presidents is rather small. Selecting only five to grace my top-five worst presidents list is much harder considering the dozens of awful candidates to choose from. As I fill out my list, I will highlight the successes and failures of these men in the interest of learning from the past.

Let’s start off with the bad news first. Though it was a difficult decision, I have narrowed down my list to the worst five presidents in our nation’s history. These men have thoroughly desecrated the Constitution, which is a sacred and inspired document. They have abused and violated their solemn oath of office, thus committing treason. They have signed egregious, unconstitutional, and immoral laws and created a multitude of horrendous departments and agencies. Each of these men presided over America during a time of war – and often wars which they deliberately caused in order to further an agenda. I consider most of these men not merely bad presidents, but evil conspirators in the international conspiracy which holds mankind by the throat and threatens the overthrow of Freedom and peace in all lands. Without further ado, I present the five worst U.S. presidents and the accomplishments which won them infamy.

Worst Presidents

5. Abraham Lincoln

4. George W. Bush

3. Barack Obama

2. Woodrow Wilson

1. FDR

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Abraham Lincoln: Some folks may be surprised to see Lincoln on my list of worst presidents. After all, didn’t Abraham Lincoln free the slaves, keep the country united, and preach unity, love, and peace? Actually, no, he did not. President Lincoln’s violations of the U.S. Constitution were colossal. Most historians sweep these violations under the rug or label them “war expediency.” They were unfortunate but “necessary” war measures, they claim. Yet, the historical reality was far different from the glowing, laudatory, worshipful one painted by Lincoln’s adoring 21st Century supporters.

It must be remembered that Abraham Lincoln started the Civil War, or, perhaps more accurately, the War of Northern Aggression. After South Carolina had seceded from the Union, she demanded that Union troops be removed from Fort Sumter. Abraham Lincoln refused to acquiesce even though South Carolina warned they would attack if the troops were not peacefully removed. If you have never read the exchange of letters between Fort Sumter’s commanding officer and South Carolina’s military leaders, you ought to. They reveal that the fort’s commanders wanted to withdraw to avoid war, but stayed on Lincoln’s orders. They also reveal that the attack was not a surprise, but that South Carolina actually told the fort’s defenders when they would attack and expressed their regret in so doing.

The tragedy of war could have been avoided if Lincoln had simply removed his troops from what consisted of a foreign territory where he had no legal jurisdiction. Using the attack on the fort as a pretext, Lincoln unilaterally and illegally called up troops to form an army. It must be remembered that a president is not always commander-in-chief. He is only commander-in-chief when the Congress declares war and calls up the military. However, Lincoln apparently knew better than the Constitution and its Framers.

During the Civil War, Lincoln violated the constitutionally-protected right of habeas corpus and illegally arrested and imprisoned in veritable concentration camps tens of thousands of Northerners who did not support his illegal war. Among those arrested were judges who issued statements saying he was acting unconstitutionally and in violation of his oath and authority as president. Lincoln’s troops were also involved in voter fraud on numerous occasions and were used to bully reluctant states into tacitly supporting the war. Lincoln pardoned war criminals and presided over the unnecessary and heinous rape and plunder of the Confederacy. Lincoln’s policies were so collectivist and tyrannical that even Karl Marx loved Lincoln and wrote him congratulatory letters and declared that he was helping the world revolution.

In his personal life, Lincoln was a very troubled man. Numerous sources explain that he frequently told dirty and inappropriate jokes. Though he was anti-slavery, he was also consistently anti-emancipation and, indeed, his Emancipation Proclamation was a propaganda war measure that did not free one single slave. Lincoln’s family was deeply troubled and he is reported as having attended séances in the White House. He was not the wonderful, humble Christian man the history books claim he was.

All of that said, it is my personal opinion that President Lincoln may have had a change of heart during the middle of the war. In 1863, there was a marked changed in his tone and rhetoric. He began suddenly talking about God and religion and how this calamity was God’s judgement upon a nation that had violated His laws. This is perfectly accurate, the Civil War was a judgement of the Almighty. Some historians have discounted Lincoln’s change in tone as mere political posturing. Whether it was or was not, we cannot say because we do not know Lincoln’s heart. I hope for his sake that he did have a change of heart.

In the end, however,Abraham Lincoln’s gross, deliberate, and frequent violations of the Constitution, his initiation of a bloody war and the invasion of a sovereign country, his persecution and imprisonment of war dissenters, and the fact that he massively centralized the government and effectively destroyed the power of the States ensured in the Tenth Amendment, earn him a place on my list of worst presidents. Do not think of Lincoln as the “great emancipator,” think of him as the “great centralizer” and the “great destroyer of the Constitution.” While he might have had a change of heart and inwardly repented of his crimes and his violations of his oath of office, his evisceration of the Constitution cannot be excused or overlooked.

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George W. Bush: Without a doubt, the younger Bush was one of the worst men to ever sit in the Oval Office. Under his watch, the United States initiated the bogus War on Terror which has cost the lives of millions of people globally, including many thousands of our countrymen. Still today, twenty-four veterans commit suicide every day as a consequence of the horrors they have witnessed and were compelled to commit because of this illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, and undeclared war. These wars have done untold damage to the country, our national spirit, and our image abroad. Apart from the cost in human life and suffering, trillions of dollars have been wasted on these aggressive wars against nations who have never harmed us and do not have the capability to do so.

If you have not yet woken up to the fact that 9/11 was a false flag terror event, please educate yourself. Whether the president was aware of the plot ahead of time is debatable. But that there were conspirators in our government, and in the intelligence services of other nations, who perpetrated this event is beyond question. At any rate, President Bush used this false flag as a pretext to not only take us to war against innocent nations, but to restrict Liberty here at home. The Patriot Act was rammed through Congress in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. This act, as well as others such as the John Warner Defense Authorization Act and the Military Commissions Act, shredded the Constitution’s guarantees of the right of habeas corpus, due process, privacy, etc. Being advised by ex-Stasi (i.e. communist secret police) agents, Bush created the Department of Homeland Security. He also commissioned the unconstitutional agency known as the TSA. Through these and other agencies, President Bush presided over a mass violation of Americans’ privacy rights.

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Additionally, President Bush signed into law the communistic No Child Left Behind bill which gave the federal government even greater control over American schools and enforced mediocrity nationwide. He signed into law a massive expansion of Medicare and other socialist welfare programs. He delivered “bailouts” to numerous corporations and thus furthered the government’s socialistic grasp on the economy. And the list of “accomplishments” goes on and on and on.

Finally, President Bush, like his father, was a member of the elitist secret society known as Skull and Bones. The evidence suggests that this group is an offshoot or sub department of the Order of Illuminati founded in Bavaria in 1776. Numerous U.S. presidents have belonged to oath-bound secret societies. These societies rule our nation and world and are increasing their power and control with each passing year. With puppets like George W. Bush in the White House, their control deepens and our Republic suffers.

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Barack Obama: President Obama’s legacy of corruption is fresh in everyone’s mind, so I won’t spend much time on it. Suffice it to say that Obama was an out-and-out communist who was mentored by the rabid communist Frank Marshall Davis, groomed by communist advisors such as the felon and terrorist Bill Ayers who belonged to the communist Weather Underground, and surrounded with conspirators like Zionist Rahm Israel Emanuel. He was groomed for the presidency by communistic elements. His rapid rise, despite his lack of credentials, experience, and funds, is incredibly telling. He kow-towed to the communist conspiracy and worked hard for eight years to further the Marxist agenda and continued subverting American culture and law.

In complete repudiation of his campaign promises, President Obama continued, and in some respects intensified, Bush’s immoral War on Terror. Obama’s drone strikes killed thousands of innocent people throughout the Middle East. Under Obama’s stewardship, the U.S. military attacked numerous countries including Libya, Yemen, and Syria. The current crisis in Syria hit its stride during Obama’s presidency.

Additionally, the economy tanked during Obama’s terms. Unemployment rates skyrocketed despite the government’s manipulation of the numbers to conceal the problem. Our debt rose dramatically and, in fact, doubled the previous debt of all past administrations combined. Inflation and taxation increased during his terms. Per communist ideology, wealth redistribution to both domestic and foreign sources went into overdrive. And, lastly, Obamacare expanded socialistic control over every aspect of Americans’ lives, while simultaneously increasing rates across the board.

President Obama’s administration was a total disaster. By the end of his terms, the country was more divided than ever, the economy had been wrecked, the federal government’s powers had been increased, spying was even more rampant than under Bush, our War on Terror had increased while our military’s high tech weaponry was simultaneously gutted, and communists became emboldened enough to show themselves publicly. For all of these reasons, and hundreds more that I do not have space to record, Obama ranks third on my list of worst presidents.

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Woodrow Wilson: President Woodrow Wilson’s administration was a landmark turning point in U.S. history – and not for the better. President Wilson presided over the fundamental restructuring of the American economic system. Wilson signed into law the Federal Reserve Act which wrenched the control of America’s currency from the government and lodged it in the hands of a private entity known as the Federal Reserve. Contrary to myth, the Federal Reserve is not federal – that is, it is not a government agency. It is a system of privately-owned banks. Some of the shareholders in these bankers are foreigners. As the Federal Reserve chairmen have openly stated, the Federal Reserve is not accountable to the U.S. government. In other words, in direct violation of the Constitution which gives Congress the control over the coining of our currency, that power has been given to an unaccountable, privately-owned group of elitists who print money on a whim and who raise and lower our rates of interest and inflation at their leisure. If America is ever to recover her status as an independent Republic, she must cut out this Federal Reserve cancer immediately.

Additionally, Woodrow Wilson fought against the Constitution when he went along with the passage of 16th and 17th Amendments. The 16th introduced the graduated income tax in direct violation of the Constitution’s plain provisions governing equal taxation, and the 17th changed the ingenious constitutional method for electing senators, thus dramatically lessening the power of the states.

In direct violation of his campaign promises, Wilson’s henchmen secretly negotiated with Britain and various international entities to bring the United States into World War I – a war in which we had no legitimate interest. Once reelected for a second term, the administration put the wheels into motion and sent our boys to die in France in a pointless struggle. The pretext used was the sinking of the Lusitania, a passenger ship illegally carrying munitions to Britain in violation of the rules of neutrality. The British deliberately steered the ship into hostile waters and sacrificed it in order to draw America into her war.

During the war, Wilson unjustly rounded up and imprisoned tens of thousands of political prisoners and assaulted the right of free speech under the Sedition and Espionage Acts. Then, after the war, Wilson was instrumental in pushing for the League of Nations – an early version of the United Nations and an attempt to create a one-world government. Fortunately, the effort failed at that time. But the damage had been done – America began to become a warlike people which engaged itself in the petty conflicts of Europe.

From subverting our entire economic system by aiding in the establishment of the Federal Reserve monstrosity, to taking us to war while pretending to be a paragon of peace, to altering the Constitution’s plain provisions regarding elections, state authority, and taxation, Wilson was a horrendous president who did more damage to the nation than almost any other man who has ever lived in it. Additionally, it is worthy of note that Wilson was a Fabian Socialist. He was America’s first openly socialistic president, though of course he used a different and misleading label. But call it what you will, Wilson promoted the Fabian Socialist cause. And students of history will know that Fabian Socialism was merely a wing of the greater communist conspiracy.

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FDR: FDR’s presidency shall live in infamy. FDR tops my list of worst presidents because he gave America four terms of straight communism at home and unbridled interventionism abroad. He fundamentally altered the American way of life perhaps more than any other president, though Woodrow Wilson’s acquiescence to the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the whims of international bankers places him in a close second place. During FDR’s terms, the government bureaucracy ballooned. Its ranks became infested with communists and Zionists. By the end of FDR’s fourth term, the United States had been converted from a relatively non-interventionist nation to a warlike, aggressive, international empire ruled by a power-hungry, communist-infiltrated regime.

Though he nurtured the image of a grandfatherly figure in a wheelchair, FDR was in actuality a conniving conman and mass murderer who was beholden to Wall Street and the international bankers. FDR loved the Soviet Union and was good friends with the communist tyrant Joseph Stalin, whom he affectionately called Uncle Joe Stalin. FDR’s regime became the first major nation to diplomatically recognize the failing Soviet Union and establish ties with it. This recognition allowed Western aid and capital to pour into the USSR, thus saving it from its severe deterioration. Stalin returned the favor by sending his spies and agents to infiltrate FDR’s government, and using the aid to build up his war machine.

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Entire books have been written about the staggering number of communists who infested FDR’s regime and served as his personal advisors and policy makers. One of the most infamous was Alger Hiss, a Soviet spy who served as an aid to FDR and later became the first secretary-general of the communist-controlled United Nations. During 1941 when the Germans were on the verge of destroying the evil empire once and for all, FDR intervened and sent billions of dollars of aid, and thousands of trucks and tanks and other badly needed supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program. Without this aid, it is possible that Germany – the most anti-communist nation on earth at the time – would have won the war in the East and eliminated the communist virus. Indeed, so evil and cruel was the Soviet Union that many Russian subjects hailed the Germans as liberators and many joined her armies to fight against their own Red Army. However, America intervened and saved the Soviet Union – the evilest and most murderous regime in world history – and tipped the balance of history in the communists’ favor.

World War II was started by the Allies. You won’t read that in mainstream history books or see it on the History Channel, but it is true. I devote a chapter in my book A Century of Red to explaining the true origin of that deadly conflagration. Hitler simply did not start the war. You have been lied to. But more relevant to our discussion is how the United States entered the war.

Prior to 1941, FDR had tried desperately to get into the war in Europe. He goaded the Germans, attacked German ships, illegally sent supplies to Britain and the USSR, etc. Yet, Germany did not take the bait. Consequently, FDR changed tactics and decided to enter the war by goading Japan into attacking us. To do this, FDR pressured Asian governments to stop selling supplies to Japan. The United States also placed embargoes on Japanese materials. Slowly, following an 8-point plan, the United States strangled the Japanese economy. Japan, in retaliation for what constituted acts of war according to international law, decided to strike the American Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor.

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As the war preparations developed, FDR kept tabs on them in almost real time. Unbeknownst to most people is the fact that the United States and Britain had broken the Japanese secret codes. Not only did we crack their diplomatic codes, but we deciphered their military codes as well. Only a handful of individuals, including FDR, had access to these reports. Consequently, when Japan’s fleet sailed to Hawaii to attack Pearl Harbor, FDR could literally track their movements across the Pacific. He knew they were going to strike but deliberately and intentionally withheld this information from his commanders at Pearl Harbor. FDR wanted war and he was prepared to sacrifice almost 3,000 American lives to do so.

As he rose in Congress the day after the attack to demand a declaration of war, FDR lied to the world when he said that Japan’s attack was a surprise. The only “infamy” of that day rested on his very own shoulders. FDR has American blood on his hands. And, through his maneuvering and duplicity in getting the United States into war, he has the blood of millions of German and Japanese civilians on his hands, too. From the firebombing of more than 60 Japanese cities to the horrific terror bombings of Germany and mainland Europe, FDR committed gross war crimes and presided over some of the worst atrocities in world history. And at Yalta, FDR surrendered Europe to the communists, thus sealing the fate of tens of millions of innocent people.

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In addition to these crimes, FDR took America off the gold standard and confiscated Americans’ gold, instituted numerous socialistic programs including the disastrous New Deal, tampered with the judicial system, and repeatedly violated the Constitution. FDR signed more executive orders than any other president. He ruled as a dictator, rounded up Japanese-Americans and threw them into concentration camps, deliberately took us into the bloodiest war in history, saved the Soviet Union from defeat, presided over the dastardly terror bombings of millions of innocent people, inaugurated the construction of the atom bomb, brought more communist and Zionist operatives into the government than any other president, bowed to his masters on Wall Street, lied through his teeth to the American People, and rode roughshod over the U.S. Constitution and international law.

FDR was, without a doubt, the worst president in our history. Save for FDR, the communist conspiracy which menaces the world may have died out or at least been severely diminished. Save for FDR, the United States would not have been involved in the Second World War. Save for FDR, America might have remained on the gold standard. Save for FDR’s socialist policies, the Great Depression would have ended far sooner. I can think of nothing FDR ever did in his 12-year reign that benefited the United States. He was a lying degenerate and war criminal whose name and legacy should live “in infamy.”

Honorable mention:

Teddy Roosevelt. As an outright socialist (or, as he called himself, a “progressive”) Roosevelt greatly shifted the government from a republican one to a socialistic one, and thus deserves an honorable mention on my worsts presidents list.

 

The list of good presidents is very short. Those who made the list are so well known that I have decided to only provide short lists of their numerous accomplishments. I urge every American to study these men and their principles and policies. They were patriots and constitutionalists. They were Christians with high moral character. They hated war, fought the international bankers, slashed governmental spending, and were apostles of Liberty who tried hard to protect individual rights and traditional values. I now present the five best American presidents.

Best Presidents

5. James Monroe

4. Andrew Jackson

3. James Madison

2. George Washington

1. Thomas Jefferson

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James Monroe: President Monroe was one of the last Founding Fathers to become president. He was a faithful Christian and an upright man. He famously established the Monroe Doctrine to protect the United States and the Americas from foreign tyranny. This wise, Heaven-inspired policy was not interventionism, as some have assumed, but a legitimate defensive posture to protect this special (and once free) land of America. Behind the scenes, Thomas Jefferson was influential in encouraging President Monroe to institute this policy.

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Andrew Jackson: The Establishment historians hate President Jackson. Such hate coming from controlled Establishment sources piqued my interest some years ago and I started investigating Jackson’s presidency. All the public knows about Jackson’s legacy is the Trail of Tears, the Indian Removal Act, and how “Old Hickory” was a cantankerous and bitter man. What we are not told is that Andrew Jackson was one of the most qualified men to ever become president. We don’t hear that he fought against the vile bankers and singlehandedly saved America from becoming a fiefdom to them. We are never told that Jackson wholeheartedly supported the Constitution and rule of law. We are not told that President Jackson was the only president to ever pay off 100% of the national debt. We are not told that the economy boomed during the Jacksonian era. And we are certainly never informed that Jackson fought corruption within the government itself. These wonderful achievements are covered up and instead we only hear that Andrew Jackson was an “Indian-killer,” a “racist,” a “tyrant,” and other such ludicrous labels.

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James Madison: Clearly one of the most brilliant men ever to hold office, James Madison ranks third on my list. Other than winning the War of 1812 against the British invaders, James Madison’s terms were fairly uneventful. For that, I thank President Madison. A president is not meant to “get in there and change things.” A president is meant to quietly preside over the executive branch, ensure that each citizen is protected in his rights, and, otherwise, to butt out of the nation’s affairs. His benign policies led America into a period of peace and prosperity known as the “Era of Good Feelings.” Beyond this, Madison was one of the most upright and moral men to hold high office in this country. He was the Father of the Constitution, the author of the Bill of Rights, understood what Liberty truly is, and spent his life protecting our God-given rights and serving his country faithfully. If we had more men like James Madison today, I would not fear for our Republic’s future.

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George Washington: The Father of our Country was one of the greatest figures in all of recorded human history. Though the Establishment history books denigrate this amazing man as a slaveholder, an aristocrat, and a self-serving politicians, this is total hokum. General George Washington was an incredibly devout Christian who fasted and prayed and enforced high moral conduct among his soldiers. Few statesmen in our history have spoken more about God and our obligation to be a moral People. In his famous Farewell Address, President Washington said:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

“It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

George Washington by Tim Davis

George Washington was a true friend to America and to human Freedom. I revere and honor his name. He was the indispensable man in the War for Independence. And he was utterly indispensable in the establishment of our inspired Constitution with its glorious protections of our God-given rights. Without George Washington, there may have been no Union. With only a few exceptions, Washington’s Administration was emphatically faithful to the Constitution and to the promotion of American Liberty.

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Thomas Jefferson: The Sage of Monticello graces my #1 spot for best U.S. president. I love Jefferson and often call myself a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist. I believe Jefferson was the most brilliant statesman who has ever lived. His writings thrill me. His depth of wisdom astounds me. While I have a couple minor disagreements with his views, I find that his views are closer to my own on political principles than any other person I have ever met or read about.

Like Washington, Jefferson was indispensable to the birth and formation of this nation. No man was as well versed in republicanism and the principles of good government as was Jefferson. This knowledge prepared him to write the Declaration of Independence, and to pronounce that our rights are God-given and that the People hold power over their government. Historians have attempted to discredit his political work by spreading the lie that he had affairs with his slaves. This has been so thoroughly disproved and debunked that I seriously question the honesty of any so-called expert who repeats it. Thomas Jefferson was, contrary to propaganda, a Christian who loved the Bible and cherished the teachings of Jesus. He was not a deist. In fact, none of the Founding Fathers were deists; they were true Christians.

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Jefferson’s presidency was, in my opinion, the best in our history. President Jefferson protected individual rights, pardoned those who had been wrongly convicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts, established good relations with the American Indians, delayed war with England, slashed the national debt in half, lived off his own money as president, made the government more accessible to the common man, and educated the People in the principles of good government. He was a statesman in every good sense of the word. I love Thomas Jefferson!

I end this section with a quote from Jefferson’s prolific and inspired pen. Writing from Europe, he exclaimed: “[M]y god! how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy” (Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 17, 1785).

Honorable mentions:

John Adams. The only reason John Adams does not make my best presidents list is because he signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Otherwise, my soul loves John Adams and his utter devotion to America and to the cause of Independence from monarchical tyranny.

John Quincy Adams: He followed in his father’s footsteps and was an honorable man of high moral conduct. He also fought the scourge of Freemasonry.

The first seven presidents of the United States were the best seven, without any question in my mind. However, beginning with the eighth president and despot Martin Van Buren, I can scarcely find a decent man who has sat in the Oval Office. It is a black mark on the American People that they have voted, decade after decade, for many generations, for scurrilous, self-serving men who have belonged to secret societies and who have worked tirelessly to subvert our God-inspired Constitution and the Freedom our Lord has bestowed upon us.

We have rejected God and He has taken away our wise judges and left us with men who mirror our own natures. If we repent of our indifference, our apathy, our ignorance, and our infidelity to the principles of the Constitution, the Lord “will restore [our] judges as at the first, and [our] counsellors as at the beginning” (Isaiah 1:26). If we do not follow this course, we will continue to have despots and immoral men to rule over us, and what is left of our precious Liberty will continue to diminish. If we do not resurrect common sense, constitutionalism, and God’s laws, our fate is sealed. I leave you to ponder the prophetic words of patriot John Adams. He warned:

“The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.—They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.”

– John Adams to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776.

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Zack Strong

February 19, 2018.