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.

A Tribute to Caleb Strong

Caleb Strong is not a name familiar to most Americans today. Yet, this great man was one of America’s brightest Founding Fathers. He was a true luminary who played a huge, albeit forgotten, part in the early days of our Republic. For his birthday this January 9th, I want to pay tribute to this man by reminding people of the tremendous work he did for our nation and by sharing a few gems of wisdom from his brilliant mind.

Like many of our Founders, Caleb Strong began his professional life as a lawyer. He was a born-and-bred Massachusetts patriot who became intimately involved in political affairs as Massachusetts led the drive toward conflict with Great Britain and toward Independence. Strong came from Northampton, a town where his influential ancestor Elder John Strong once resided. I am proudly related to Caleb Strong through our common ancestor Elder John Strong – the first of the Strongs to settle in the New World. Caleb was faithful to his heritage and made a name for himself in his own day.

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In 1774, Strong was selected as a member of the Northampton Committee of Safety. Committees of safety, along with committees of correspondence, were extralegal political units that assumed governmental duties in the colonies during the immediate pre-war years and throughout the Revolution. In a real sense, then, Strong was part of the first free government of Massachusetts state.

Caleb Strong wore many hats. Not only did he belong to the Northampton Committee of Safety, but he belonged to the Massachusetts Assembly. There he was appointed – along with fellow patriot John Adams – to the committee that helped craft the Massachusetts Constitution. During this same formative period, Strong also belonged to the state house of representatives, the state senate, and took a position as a county attorney, holding it for 24 years while simultaneously filling many other public positions to be noted.

The achievement I am most proud of Caleb Strong for was his participation in the Constitutional Convention that framed the U.S. Constitution. I consider the Constitution a sacred, inspired document that bears the seal of approval of Almighty God. It is part of my religious creed every bit as much as the holy scriptures. I revere the men who crafted it under the inspiration of Heaven, which includes Caleb Strong.

Strong’s two most notable contributions to the Constitution included his support of the Connecticut Compromise and his motion to have all money bills originate in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Connecticut Compromise, in case you did not pay attention in history class, was the deal between representatives of big states and small states which ensured an equal representation in the Senate and a proportional representation in the House of Representatives. This “Great Compromise” was so important that Strong observed, “If no accommodation takes place, the Union itself must soon be dissolved” (in W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, 275). But with the efforts of men like Strong, a deal was struck that has become one of the hallmarks of our Constitution. Finally, the Origination Clause, or Revenue Clause, successfully promoted by Strong was an important feature that deepened the checks and balances built into our republican system.

Unfortunately for Strong, his signature is nowhere to be found on the Constitution because he was called home early due to sickness in his family. However, his participation in the historic Constitutional Convention should never be forgotten. And if his contribution in the cloistered Convention was not enough, then his outspoken support of the Constitution in the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention surely marks him as a fervent devotee of the document.

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Under the new form of government, the states each elected two senators. Caleb Strong, respectfully called the “first citizen” by his associates, was one of the first two senators elected in Massachusetts in 1789. He was an enthusiastic supporter of President George Washington and counted himself a lifelong Federalist.

Later, in 1800, Caleb Strong was elected as governor of his state. In all, he served eleven terms as governor, demonstrating his popularity among the People. During his tenure as governor, Strong delivered many speeches and memoranda to the public and to the state legislature. I wish to quote a few lines from a powerful speech that epitomizes the wisdom of this man. This excerpt is taken from pages 136-138 of the book Patriotism and Piety, which is a collection of Strong’s speeches from 1800-1807.

On January 17, 1806, Governor Strong spoke to the state legislature and shared some sage thoughts on government, laws, the public, how tyrants come to power, and what it takes to maintain Freedom. He foreshadowed the lying promises of modern communists – their pipedream of “hope and change” – and the attempts of traitors to hoodwink the public in order to centralize political power in their own hands. He explained that the American People must be left in peace and not hampered by a multitude of laws and bureaucratic red tape. He spoke of the folly of giving up the tried-and-true institutions and policies of our ancestors in favor of so-called “new,” or what we would call “progressive,” programs. And he spoke of the absolute necessity for virtue in a free state. I would to God that every American could internalize these principles!

Thus, to the Massachusetts state legislature, Governor Caleb Strong declared:

“The unnecessary interference of government with the private concerns of the people, will always be a source of mischiefs; their understanding is competent to the direction of their own affairs, and, when left to itself, will generally lead to measures the most beneficial, both to themselves and the publick.

“Frequent alterations of the law are likewise attended with inconvenience, as they sometimes produce effects which were not foreseen, and occasion greater evils than they were designed to remedy. They tend to weaken the government by diminishing the confidence of the people in the stability of its councils: for uniform measures alone can preserve its reputation, or procure durable advantages to the State. It is of importance to, that the laws should be understood by the citizens; but, if they are often changed, they will not be understood, nor indeed will their real tendency always be known . . . It would, therefore, be unwise to substitute new and opposite system, until experience has proved, that those which are already in use are manifestly inconvenient. . . .

“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. In many republicks, repeated variations in the modes of government have taken place, as different parties happen to predominate, until the people became weary of changes, and preferred the quiet of absolute power, to the tumults of perpetual revolution. In the minds of some men, there seems to be a restlessness which renders them dissatisfied with any uniform course of things, and makes them eager in the pursuit of novelty; they abound in projects, and are ever meditating some fanciful change in the plan of government, which their imaginations represent as useful. But men of great ambition are still more dangerous; they commonly make the fairest pretences to principle, though they are actuated only by self-interest. If the constitution or laws of their country present obstacles to the accomplishment of their wishes, they employ every artifice to alter or abolish them; and, if individuals oppose their attempts, they are equally artful and solicitous to destroy their influence, and render them odious to their fellow-citizens.

“Few men, even in a prosperous community, are fully satisfied with their condition; a great part are easily induced to believe, that there is something wrong in the government or laws, which might be rectified to their advantage; they therefore readily embrace any specious proposal to effect an alteration. The crafty and ambitious know how to avail themselves of this disposition to change, and encourage their followers to expect, that the amendments they propose will perfectly suit their case, and produce the very blessings they wish; in this way, they not only effect their immediate object, but acquire an influence which enables them afterwards to accomplish the most destructive innovations. Such persons encourage hopes, that can never be realized, and excite complaints, which the most wise and benevolent administration is unable to remove.

“Indeed, we are generally apt to ascribe too much to the efficacy of laws and government, as if they alone could secure the happiness of the people; but no laws will be sufficient to counteract the influence of manners which are corrupted by vice and voluptuousness; and it is beyond the power of any government to render the circumstances of the citizens easy and prosperous, if they want the habits of industry and frugality. – 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.”

What wisdom and foresight! My heart beats proudly to know that I am related, however distantly, to such a man as Caleb Strong. He was a true patriot and the epitome of a Son of Liberty. If Americans today internalized the principles contained in this short excerpt, our nation would experience a revival and we could save our Republic.

I give my own political witness that Caleb Strong’s words are accurate. Indeed, they are timeless. Unless we want to barter away the rest of our Freedoms, as we have done now for over a century, we must cling to the right institutions of our ancestors, never trust or follow traitors who offer false promises when in reality they merely seek power, and reform our habits and morals and manners. If we do these things, we can save our Republic. Strong knew whereof he spoke – he lived through the American Revolution. He understood what it takes to found a mighty nation. And the same principles that founded America can save her.

Along with his fellow Founding Fathers, Caleb Strong helped craft a blueprint for national success – the U.S. Constitution. We must learn it, cling to it, and defend it. We must become a virtuous People. We must develop discernment so that we might see through the lies of communists in sheep’s clothing who offer us the world in exchange for our sovereignty, our rights, and our power. We must be vigilant even when life is tumultuous. Nothing good ever happens without sacrifice. We must be willing to stand up and be counted, and to sacrifice anything we need to, in Liberty’s cause.

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I proudly stand with Caleb Strong, this wonderful Founding Father. I pray that his name will no longer be forgotten, but that it will be remembered alongside the noble names of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin, and Henry. I honor him and his legacy.

May we come to echo Caleb Strong’s wish “that we may unitedly pay our grateful and affectionate homage to the Author of all good, for His distinguishing kindness to our forefathers, and to us; in providing them a refuge from oppression, and protecting them when surrounded with innumerable dangers; in blessing them with civil liberty and the light and influence of the gospel, and disposing them to nurture their posterity in the love of learning, virtue and rational freedom” (Patriotism and Piety, 23). If we turn our hearts to the Lord and follow in the footsteps of our honorable forebears, men like Caleb Strong, our nation will once again become a refuge of law and Liberty, a haven of peace and stability, and a beacon of light to the darkened world.

Zack Strong,

January 8, 2019.

 

 

Festival of Freedom

“My 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.

The United States of America is the greatest nation on earth! With all of our numerous flaws and serious disruptions and contentions, this Republic is still, without question, the best nation in the world and the last hope for mankind. No other country has as much raw potential as the United States. And certainly no other nation has as glorious a heritage of Freedom, rule of law, and godly society as does America. We are a blessed land with a special mission to fulfill.

In order to fulfill our singular mission, however, we must recognize and be grateful for our unsurpassed blessings, embrace our unique American heritage, revive the principles and ideals enshrined in our founding documents, and press forward in faith. We must defend our faith, families, and Freedom against all attacks – both from within and from without. We must imbibe the same spirit our forefathers possessed that caused them to risk life and limb to forge a free nation. Independence Day is the perfect time to do just that.

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During an Independence Day oration in 1826, George Bancroft referred to this exceptional holiday and stated:

“The festival which we keep is the festival of freedom itself – it belongs not to us only but to man. All the nations of the earth have an interest in it, and humanity proclaims it sacred!”

Independence Day is not just another day. It is a special day; a sacred day. It was the opening of a new epoch. This holy day marks the founding of the first free nation in modern times – a nation which grew from its humble beginnings to become the greatest nation in recorded history. America is not just another nation, and her birthday is not just another day.

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In 1796, a full generation before Bancroft delivered his oration, John Lathrop gave an Independence Day address wherein he affirmed:

“Liberty descended from Heaven on the 4th of July, 1776. . . .

“The first promulgation of the Gospel of Liberty was the declaration of American independence . . . the Americans were elected by God to redeem from bondage the miserable victims of arbitrary power.”

America was the vessel which the Lord designed to carry Liberty to a safe harbor. When fifty-six men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and proclaimed their reliance upon “the protection of Divine Providence,” Freedom began to burst forth. America is the modern birthplace of Liberty and has remained its sole incubator for 242 years. Truly, Independence Day is no ordinary day.

John Quincy Adams, in an Independence Day speech delivered in 1837, rhetorically asked:

“Why is it that next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day?”

He went on to provide the answer:

“Is it not that in the chain of events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? – that it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? – that it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?”

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To our forefathers, the birth of America was not a raucous “rebellion,” but a sacrosanct religious event. It was an act of Providence. It was a fulfillment of ancient Biblical prophecy. So many profound miracles poured forth from Heaven that General George Washington, in the heat of the conflict with tyrannical Britain, wrote to a fellow general that:

“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).

Speaking in 1793, just a few years after Washington penned his letter, Elias Boudinot told an audience gathered for their Independence Day celebration the following:

“The late revolution . . . is big with events that are daily unfolding themselves and pressing in thick succession to the astonishment of a wondering world!

“It has been marked with the certain characteristic of a Divine overruling hand in that it was brought about and perfected against all human reasoning and apparently against all human hope – and that in the very moment of time when all Europe seemed ready to be plunged into commotion and distress.

“Divine Providence, throughout the government of this world, appears to have impressed many events with the undoubted evidence of His own almighty arm.”

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On April 30, 1789, newly elected President George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address. In it, he stated:

“[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.”

Through the intervention of Almighty God, the American Republic came into being. Without His divine aid, our War for Independence would have floundered, our Founding Fathers would have been hanged as traitors, the U.S. Constitution would have never come into being, and America would have been once more subjected to European tyranny. Yet, God did intervene, America did win her bid for Independence, and the Founding Fathers went on to draft the U.S. Constitution under inspiration and set America on the path to unrivaled greatness.

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Today, how many of us stop to remember and express gratitude for the Lord’s hand in our nation’s birth and progress? How many of us truly comprehend how significant Independence Day was in the course of world history? How many of us understand the great mission America has been given – the mission of preaching the Gospel of Liberty to mankind? How few of us thank our God for His bountiful blessings upon this special land!

As Americans, we are unique. The eyes of the world are, and truly have been, upon us. No other People has a history and a heritage like we do. No other nation boasts such a large group of Founding Fathers so thoroughly brilliant, honorable, and wise. No other nation has founding documents as inspired as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. No other country anywhere witnessed such conspicuous intervention by Deity in its founding. The American Republic is not just another nation, and her birthday is not just another day.

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Be proud to be an American. Be proud of your unmatched heritage of Freedom. Feel honored you were born here in the cradle of Liberty and that you have the privilege of participating in this ongoing struggle. Defend your faith, family, and Freedom against all attacks. Cherish the history of the American founding and the memory of the men who sacrificed so much for this Republic. And never take for granted this special day, this Independence Day, this festival of Freedom. Long Live Liberty!

Zack Strong

July 1, 2018.

Royal Sycophancy

This past weekend I watched in disgust as the news and social media lit up with chatter about the “royal wedding” of Prince Harry and his American bride Meghan Markle. News commentators gushed about how “beautiful” the event was. The hearts of millions of fawning young girls fluttered with excitement. And crowds around the world cheered and overflowed with emotion. What is wrong with the psyche of America when your average person gushes over a “royal wedding” in a foreign land?

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There are many things that could be said about the British Royal Family. For instance, I could discuss the rampant pedophilia and Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) that goes on among them behind closed doors. I could cite the book Dope, Inc. and reveal the Royal Family’s involvement in the world-wide opium industry. I could even stoop to talking about the Royal Family’s recent, and possibly continued, use of a “groom of the stool” (I’ll leave that to you to investigate). No, this article won’t be about the Royal Family. Rather, I want to discuss the problem of Americans fawning over the notion of royalty and why this is an omen of dark days to come.

In 1776, our forefathers rebelled against the British Crown, declaring Independence for the new American states. On July 9, 1776, the inspired words of the Declaration of Independence were read to the crowds in New York. So captivated with feelings of Liberty were they that the crowds promptly marched to Manhattan and tore down and demolished a statue of King George III. The statue was later melted down and made into musket balls which were used to shoot invading British Red Coats.

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This story depicts the true American feeling towards royalty. Real Americans will have no king over them. Real Americans love self-rule and submit only to the dictates of one King – the King of Heaven. Thomas Paine, who is often erroneously called an atheist, wrote in his classic Common Sense:

“But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain.”

Yes, the only King of America is Christ the Lord, the King of kings. Our forefathers acknowledged His right to rule. They endeavored to establish America as a free and Christian society – a shining city on a hill and beacon of hope, virtue, and Liberty to mankind.

In an Independence Day oration in 1837, John Quincy Adams similarly stated:

“A moral Ruler of the Universe – the Governor and Controller of all human power – is the only unlimited sovereign acknowledged by the Declaration of Independence.”

Only God is acknowledged as the superintending power in the United States – and this in our nation’s first official document! Perhaps both of these great men took their lead from ancient Gideon who, when asked by Israel to rule over them, replied:

“I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you” (Judges 8:23).

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Finishing his earlier thought, Paine explained:

“Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in 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.”

Let the crown of supposed “royalty” be demolished! The People – and only the People – have the right to establish their own laws and rule themselves.

Fortunately for us, our wise Founding Fathers submitted their finite will to God’s wisdom and were inspired to create and forge a Republic of unequaled Freedom, prosperity, happiness, security, influence, and opportunity. The U.S. Constitution is the embodiment of the principles of Liberty and is the most sacred relic our forefathers handed down to us. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of that document states: “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.”

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Thus, it is a canonized, official part of our government that there shall be no nobility in America. The concept of royalty was repugnant to our noble Founding Fathers. They fought against would-be kings and refuted the notion that one segment of society was destined to lord over the rest.

It should always be remembered that it was the monarchists and elitists they waged their War of Independence against. If the British Royal Family had its way, the United States would have never been born and you would be even today a subject of Britain.

You would absolutely not enjoy the rights secured under the U.S. Constitution, nor the wealth provided by the American free enterprise system, nor the protection of just laws and honorable men who cherish their God-given right to keep and bear arms. If the Royal Family had their way, you would be a slave.

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It was against elitists who fancied themselves “royalty” that our patriot forefathers fought. American blood was spilled because the British Royal Family wanted to keep us in chains. The War of 1812 was waged for the same reason and by the same forces of evil.

It was against this same clique of elitists inside the United States that Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, and others battled on the monumental issue of a national bank. Unfortunately, the Americans living in 1913 lost that battle and the Federal Reserve monstrosity exists as a parasite sucking the lifeblood out of this nation.

This same war has always been fought between the forces of Freedom and the sponsors of tyranny. Throughout history, tyranny has all too often taken the form of a monarchy, such as the British Royal Family represents. These monarchies, led by self-professed demigods and self-absorbed elitists, have done little more than oppress mankind, stifle growth, and impede the course of Freedom.

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The patriots of 1776, however, struck a blow against the British Royals and gave America a reprieve from monarchical tyranny. They provided us the opportunity of self-government and Liberty. They suffered, sacrificed, and spilled their blood so that we would be free of the suffocating influence of the British Royal Family. Yet, today Americans gush over “royalty” and follow every detail of the British monarchists’ lives. Our forefathers would be rolling in their graves if they could witness this shameful, sycophantic spectacle.

The ever colorful John Adams once wrote:

“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it” (John Adams to Abigail Adams, April 26, 1777).

Indeed, what have we done with our bounty of Freedom so graciously secured for us by our patriot forefathers?

On Independence Day, 1798, Noah Webster gave a speech in which he stated:

“[O]ur fathers were men – they were heroes and patriots – they fought – they conquered – and they bequeathed to us a rich inheritance of liberty and empire, which we have no right to surrender.”

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Yet, surrender we have. Today, some “Americans” wish we had a king. Millions grovel at the foot of the federal government petitioning for handouts and favors like any peasant of the feudal age. With my own ears, I heard a professor at Brigham Young University-Provo declare that the “divine right of kings” was not only approved by the holy scriptures, but that we should have a king in America. What’s worse, some of my fellow students in the class voiced their agreement and approval. The sickness of royal sycophancy is spreading.

Think of how polarized the United States has become. This divide is never more visible than in an election year. In almost every election, we hear the cry of “rigged” from the losing side. Two years after her defeat, Hillary Clinton is still telling interviewers that Donald Trump rigged the election and she should be the rightful ruler of America. And make no bones about it, Clinton is an elitist who sees herself as a ruler, not a servant of the People.

The crowds have developed a sycophantic allegiance to their favorite candidates, whether Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders. They act fanatical in their support of these individuals who, in their eyes, can do no wrong and represent all that is good. The opposing sides are closing ranks and digging in. Both sides are so embittered and hate-filled that they have come to blows more than once. Soon, there will be no chance of even having an open and free dialogue and only compulsion will decide things.

Judging from history, these terrible trends portend severe strife and very possibly civil war. It is altogether conceivable, for instance, that a losing candidate in a national election could reject the vote tally, assert that he was cheated in a rigged election, declare himself king, and have half the population follow him. It sounds outlandish in the 21st Century, yet it has happened in the past so many times that we would be foolish to dismiss the very real possibility.

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Yes, we live in an age of demigods and cults of personality. Rule of law means virtually nothing. The U.S. Constitution is all but forgotten. States have lost their sovereignty and the federal government is run like a dictatorship with the president wielding extreme and unlawful amounts of power. And the American heritage of opposing the British Royal Family and monarchists and tyrants of all stripes has fallen by the way side.

If the Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s “Royal Wedding” is any indication, the American People are ripening for servitude to the first person bold enough to declare himself a king. The first Caesar bold enough to march his legions across the American Rubicon might just gain himself a kingdom, and bequeath to the American People thralldom. I pray, however, that if that dark day ever comes, the characteristic American spirit will revive and we will repeat the glorious days of 1776 when King George III was toppled and Independence from tyrants was declared before the eyes of the world. Long Live Liberty! Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Zack Strong

May 22, 2018.

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The Middle Way Mirage

On March 23, 1776, the delightfully blunt John Adams wrote to Horatio Gates that “in Politicks the Middle Way is none at all.” Referring to the revolution that had commenced on the ground, though not yet on paper, Adams further wrote: “If We finally fail in this great and glorious Contest, it will be by bewildering ourselves in groping after this middle Way.” Today, it is evident that Adams’ words were prophetic. Our Republic has faltered because the American People have sought after a “middle way” and, finding none, have instead chosen the wrong, downward path of compromise and false “tolerance.”

The Bible makes it clear that there is no middle ground on moral issues. There is no neutrality in the fight for men’s souls. Simply, there is a right way and there is a wrong way. Good sits in opposition to evil. Light repels darkness. Truth stands separate from lies. God is everlastingly and irrevocably opposed to Satan.

The Apostle Paul poignantly wrote:

“[W]hat communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

Rejecting this sage advice, modern man has sought to bridge the gulf between good and evil. He has sought to make Christ and Lucifer shake hands, compromise, and come to terms. But there is no compromise on principle and truth. Every compromise on principle is a tragic defeat. We cannot afford to give up any more ground through compromises. We can no longer cooperate with wolves in sheep’s clothing. We must not allow evil to penetrate further into our midst under the name of “tolerance,” “equality,” “open-mindedness,” or “bipartisanship.”

The ground we so flippantly yield through compromise and by “reaching across the aisle” was won with the price of blood. Our patriot forefathers were animated with the spirit of Liberty. They understood their rights. They cherished their God-given Freedom. And they would have rather died on their feet fighting as freemen than live slavishly on their knees. In a word, they were real men and true patriots.

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On Independence Day 1798, Noah Webster gave an oration in which he observed:

“[O]ur fathers were men – they were heroes and patriots – they fought – they conquered – and they bequeathed to us a rich inheritance of liberty and empire, which we have no right to surrender.”

In a touching letter to his wife written in 1777, John Adams spoke to us in similar language:

“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it” (John Adams to Abigail Adams, April 26, 1777).

And, finally, in a rousing speech at the start of the War for Independence, Samuel Adams thundered:

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of our countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood, and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude, than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” (Samuel Adams, “American Independence,” speech at Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776).

Clearly, our gallant forefathers were men who understood that there is no compromise with evil, no cooperation with tyranny, and no communion with darkness. They drew a line in the sand and dared every friend of Liberty to stand on their side and to fight for a truly just cause. They understood that their posterity – you and I – would be under the same obligation that they were under at the time; namely, to preserve the blessings and privileges their forefathers secured with their blood, sweat, and tears. They also understood that if we do not exert ourselves to maintain our rights, we will one day be forced to spill our blood – as they did – to regain what we carelessly surrender.

How does the freest, most powerful, most prosperous People on earth lose their Liberty? Ultimately, they lose their Freedom, their power, and their prosperity through compromise. They lose it by playing nice, tolerating vice, and seeking the ever elusive “middle way.” This was never truer than in modern America where people become so offended by opposing viewpoints that they literally need “safe spaces” where they can retreat from reality and immerse themselves in their pipedream of “tolerance.”

To this growing segment of society, all opinions and actions – no matter how hedonistic, vile, or profane – are equal and permissible (that is, all opinions and actions with which they agree are acceptable). It is one of the great ironies that our right to freely express ourselves and to promote traditional values and religious perspectives is being chipped away and assaulted in the name of “tolerance.” Many otherwise good people are afraid to speak out or declare their principles because of the monstrosity of political correctness which stands poised to pounce on and devour them if they dare buck the system.

Our society has been hoodwinked into accepting everything vile and wrong – communism, homosexuality, feminism, paganism, etc. – under the guise of “tolerance.” We are told by conniving anti-Christians that it is unChirstian to “judge.” We are led to believe that it is the loving, Christian thing to accept anyone, anything, any idea, and any behavior without complaint. No matter how antithetical to our principles or to our nation’s wellbeing, we are told that we must openly embrace everything (that is, everything except authentic Christianity and traditional values). If we do not obediently toe the line, we are called “intolerant,” “bigoted,” “misogynistic,” “nationalistic” (as if that is wrong), “anti-Semitic,” “racist,” and other such slurs that have lost their meaning because of how frequently and erroneously they are thrown around.

The great religious leader Marion G. Romney observed in 1955: “Now there are those among us who are trying to serve the Lord without offending the devil.” Today, the number of compromisers who traverse the fictitious “middle way” has dramatically increased. In politics as in religion, the average person has compromised the traditional values that society once held sacred. Whether out of fear of being smeared and falsely labeled an “anti-Semite” a “racist” or a “homophobe,” or through ignorance, or by falling victim to the “don’t judge others” sham, modern Americans refuse to fight for their very survival. Only by repenting, exercising faith in the Redeemer Jesus Christ, and standing steadfast on matters of morality and principle can we extricate ourselves from this deep pit we have dug with our compromises.

jmWashingtonsPrayer 001

Recall the penetrating words of the Father of Our Country, the great George Washington:

“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?”

Indeed, the person who would stand by and “look with indifference” as the instruments of tyranny ravage our culture, mutilate our Constitution, and systematically destroy traditional familial and religious values, is a traitor to the Republic and an enemy to Liberty. By the same token, anyone who promotes or accepts homosexuality, transgenderism, feminism, socialism/communism, paganism/Wicca/New Age philosophy, and all other principles, programs, parties, or philosophies that undermine the Christian foundation of our Liberty, is an adversary.

Lest anyone misunderstand, let me be clear: We should not hate these people for their incorrect beliefs. We should not shun them. We should not treat them differently. We should not take up arms against them, except in self-defense and as a last resort if need be. Rather, we must love them and help them and extend the hand of friendship to them. We must educate and inform them. We must lead by example and show them a better way. We must convince them of their errors in as professional a way as possible. But we must never accept their ideas and behaviors, nor tolerate or indulge them as “normal,” “healthy,” “safe,” or “equal.” We can never win this fight by compromising our values and accepting antithetical ones just so we can all “get along.”

The Lord Jesus Christ taught:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

The Master did not show his supreme love by compromising with the Pharisees; He called them murderers and children of the Devil (John 8:44-45). He did not show His divine compassion by toning down His unbending doctrine; He instead made it clear that those who have the opportunity to believe in Him and do not will die in their sins (John 8:24). He did not embrace the money changers who polluted His temple; He quite literally cast them out and exposed their crimes and fallacies in full public view (John 2:13-16). Rather than compromise one whit, that humble Man from Nazareth taught that we can only be made free by accepting the truth (John 8:32); and the most important truth of them all is that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God, the Lord of lords, and the King of kings.

Not much has actually changed over the course of history. The forces of good and evil continue their battle for the souls of men. The Devil and his pharisaical minions battle the Lord and His stalwart band of disciples. Though Christ has already won the ultimate victory, the powers of darkness seem to always have the upper hand because “good men . . . do nothing” and would rather compromise and tolerate evil than risk becoming pariahs by trumpeting the truth and standing firm on principle.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson commented on this phenomenon when he wrote that “all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Thankfully, in 1776 a band of brothers loved Liberty, virtue, and truth more than compromise, “tolerance,” and so-called bipartisanship. With their faith in Christ sustaining them, they pledged to one another “[their] Lives, [their] Fortunes, and [their] sacred Honor.”

Summing up the collective attitude of our Founding Fathers, Patrick Henry declared:

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry1

With the determination to never compromise their Freedom or their religion, our patriot forefathers won Liberty at the price of their blood. I thank God for them and honor their names, their memory, the workmanship of their hands embodied in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, and their sacrifice!

Today, we must make the same choice: Will we compromise and acquiesce to the destruction of our Constitution, our rights, our culture, and our morals, or will we unflinchingly say “give me liberty or give me death”? Will we cower in fear of rocking the boat, or will we speak out and let ourselves be counted in the cause of Freedom? Will we timidly surrender the Liberty won by our forefathers, or will we pledge our lives, fortunes, and honor in its defense? Will we allow the anti-Christ forces of the Adversary to sweep away the last vestiges of morality, goodness, and virtue from our once Christian culture, thus proving that we are ashamed of the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16), or will we “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free”? (Galatians 5:1).

By chasing the shimmering “middle way” mirage and erroneously believing that we can compromise our principles and morals with impunity, we have set ourselves up for ultimate failure. Our religious compromises eroded the bedrock foundation that our societal, political, and economic system was built upon – just as George Washington said they would. Because the Christian foundation of our Republic is cracked and broken, the whole of society has suffered a loss of self-respect, prosperity, power, purity, and rights. We say we are “tolerant,” but all we are truly tolerating is lies, immorality, and false philosophies. These wicked behaviors are self-defeating, emasculating, and cowardly. The only real strength and self-respect is to be found in standing for truth and righteousness, and never compromising.

I end by quoting a statement from Noah Webster made during the same oration cited earlier. He stated:

“May the illustrious example of the conductors of the American revolution, be sacred to imitation, in every period of our history! . . . .

“Let us then rally round the Independence and Constitution of our country; resolved, to a man, that we will never lose by folly, disunion, or cowardice, what has been planned by wisdom, and purchased with blood.”

Yes, let us rally behind the just principles of our Constitution and the rights given us by our Creator, and stand uncompromising in defense of our Christian heritage! If we will simply serve the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ, He will hear us, forgive us, and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Zack Strong

January 6, 2018.