Every athlete and soldier knows that training – rigorous, sweaty and constant – is the key to victory in their respective fields of strife. In order to build up their muscles and stamina for the contest they must push their bodies to the breaking point. And how do they know when said point has been reached?
The throbbing, grinding, exhausting pain of leaden limbs that will scarcely move is the sign of the bodies’ limit being discovered. When resting from their exertions their bodies will naturally seek to build themselves back up and past the limits they previously met. In this manner, after each successive round of exercise and relaxation their bodies will gradually become not only stronger but gain stamina as well. From this cycle of workout, rest and recuperation has come the well-known phrase, “No pain, no gain.”
This same principle operates throughout the world in every field of human endeavor. Many if not most, of the answers detailed in this book will, as an inevitable side-effect, cause and involve no small amount of pain; whether it be personal, emotional, mental, familial, financial, marital, social, cultural, religious, legal or political, or any combination thereof. In some cases the pain will be small, inconsequential and soon vanquished; in others it will be acute, overwhelming and years in length. This pain will impact not only those who exalt evil but also the righteous, as well as innocents caught in the ‘crossfire’. I would be a liar and fraud if I pretended otherwise.
The idea of intentionally taking steps known beforehand to cause pain to the innocent immediately creates a problem for Christians. We have long been trained, taught and admonished to be compassionate, soothing, reasonable, comforting, caring, tender and merciful in all our affairs. Enduring pain or subjecting ourselves to pain in service of a higher goal is rightly considered praiseworthy but inflicting that same pain on another is seen as evil of the vilest sort. In fact, ‘do unto others as you would have others do unto you’ is a defining characteristic of the Christian heart, given to us by no less than Jesus Himself. While such noble traits are indeed admirable and desirable during times of peace, prosperity and brotherly affection; during a time of war they can, if not carefully attended, become a veritable recipe for disaster. This is especially true if we think with our heart instead of our head, our emotions instead of our intellect.
Wars do come; it’s inevitable. As Solomon warned us in Ecclesiastes 3:1,
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
And in Ecclesiastes 3:8,
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace.
During a time of war causing pain to others is justifiable according to the ‘Just War Theory’ of Saint Thomas Aquinas. At this late date I will not waste your time or mine re-arguing the Just War Theory; I will simply accept it as a given and proceed from there. My task instead is to convince you we are in a time of war because only then will it be justifiable to intentionally cause pain to our enemies, and unfortunately, our allies as well.
Follow the logic.
When one party attacks a second party, while defending its attacks in the language and justifications of war, a state of war then exists between the two parties whether the second party wishes it or not, even in the absence of a formal Declaration of War.
The attacks by al-Qaeda on 9/11 are a perfect example of this definition. Although al-Qaeda was not, and still is not, an internationally recognized country, Osama bin Laden warned America through a series of videos and increasingly violent attacks that they considered themselves to be at war with us whether we wished it or not. It culminated on September 11, 2001 with the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the attempted but failed attack on the Capital, which attack was thwarted by the passenger-heroes aboard United Airlines Flight 93, at the cost of their own lives. These attacks were universally recognized as acts of war not crimes, both domestically and internationally.
In response, on September 18, 2001, Congress passed a Joint Resolution, signed into law as Public Law 107-40 and cited as ‘Authorization for Use of Military Force’, which law is still on the books and says in part:
The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons.
This law, despite its expansive nature, is not a formal Declaration of War as authorized by the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8. From George Washington to today, such Declarations have been issued 11 different times against foreign nations in 5 different wars. All other military conflicts have been conducted under ‘authorizations’ of one kind or another, but in no wise has anyone ever suggested that battle under an ‘authorization’ is any less a war than one conducted under the auspices of a formal Declaration. The main differences are two: firstly, a declared war has specific goals and/or end-dates that would signal the cessation of hostilities, and secondly, in domestic law a Declaration automatically triggers certain standby statutory authorities conferring special powers on the President for the duration of the War and for the conduct of the War. ‘Authorizations’ contain no automatic triggers and may – or may not – have a specified goal or end-date. Public Law 107-40 has no specified goal or end-date that would declare hostilities at an end. It is therefore open-ended and can only be repealed or stopped by a subsequent Act of Congress, signed into law by the President. Until then the ‘authorization’ continues in force.
Using this law as a backdrop, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released an internal white paper ‘authorizing’ and justifying killing U.S. citizens in drone attacks. It specifically refutes any application of our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, broadens the scope of operations to include the entire globe and admits no oversight by Congress or the courts. Furthermore the accusations of terrorist activity (left conveniently undefined) leveled against the ‘accused’ are brought in secret with no opportunity to contest them or even know about them. The first indication the ‘accused’ or more accurately the ‘target’ has is when a bomb blows them to pieces or a bullet tears through their head. Lucky Luciano’s Murder, Inc., couldn’t be more ruthless or cold-blooded.
This so-called ‘authorization’ is not merely a theory. It has been exercised in practice. On September 30, 2011, the U.S. government killed U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with U.S. citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later on October 14, 2011, killed Awlaki's 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen. Now, Awlaki is admittedly an evil person but so is Charlie Manson. Both are responsible for horrific acts of violence against innocent people. Both are U.S. citizens. The difference is; Manson was captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison under due process of law. Awlaki was simply assassinated.
One act of violence, 9/11, defended by the language and justification of war, created a state of war between the two parties, al-Qaeda and America. Therefore, one act of violence, assassinating a citizen, defended by the language and justification of war, has created a state of war between the two parties, the government and the citizenry. Furthermore we have not one, but two such acts of violence being defended by the language and justification of war – Awlaki’s son was also assassinated. Additionally, what government has done once to a bad person they will attempt a second time to a less-bad person, then again to a less-than-less-bad person and so on and so on and so on until they feel free to assassinate anyone.
The ACLU, representing Awlaki’s family, brought suit against the government in federal court but Judge Rosemary M. Collyer dismissed it and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal, effectively ending all legal efforts to overturn the government’s actions.
If you’re still not convinced we’re at war, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, sections 1021 and 1022, allows the government to use the military to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens, without trial or Writ of Habeas Corpus, on suspicion alone. No evidence is required, no criminal charges need be brought and the accused has no right to an attorney, a phone call or anything. In other words, they can simply ‘disappear’. A lawsuit was filed in federal court, which then found for the plaintiffs, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed that decision, ruling in the government’s favor. On April 28, 2014 the Supreme Court refused without comment to hear an appeal of the case, again, effectively ending all legal efforts to overturn the government’s actions.
These two documents, the DOJ White Paper and NDAA, along with the government’s actions against U.S. citizens constitute proof a state of war, instigated by the government, exists between the government and the citizenry, whether we wish it or not. It takes two to make peace but only one to make war. The government has made its position crystal clear.
Having concluded the government is at war with us, we are entitled by Natural Law to resist by any means necessary. The DOJ White Paper refers in several instances to the right of self-defense. Such national right to self-defense against a foreign aggressor is beyond question, but does not apply to the government of the U.S.A. defending itself against the citizens of the U.S.A. Contrary-wise, the Declaration of Independence firmly asserts, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” If the Declaration is worth the paper it’s written on then it logically follows the government has no inherent right to defend itself from the citizenry. The servant cannot defend against the Master, only submit.
Peace is a condition of non-hostilities and amiable harmony among people. Regrettably, such a condition is the exception rather than the rule throughout most of history. Instead, multiple wars have been fought on every continent in every century. Historians agree it is extremely rare for so much as a single decade to pass when there is not a violent conflict being waged somewhere on the globe.
Violence short of war, in the form of persecutions, tyrannies, oppressions and open brutality have filled in the gaps between wars as well as serving as the precursor and excuses for yet more wars. The pain and suffering attendant on these miserable conditions has been more or less constant for over six thousand years since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. The Church in America has unfortunately forgotten this sad state of affairs and become, as the saying goes, “Fat, dumb and happy.”
In its fat, dumb and happy state The Church in America has lost the iron will to strive and fight against any odds for The Gospel, the dignity of Man and our pre-existing, God-given rights. As a result of the Church’s degeneracy, America has descended into moral debauchery and slothful dependence on government handouts. The government has assumed dictatorial powers it was never intended to possess, burdened the citizenry with evil and oppressive laws and decrees, trampled our freedoms, usurped for itself the power of life-and-death health decisions for the whole populace, all but banished religion from the public square (except for that pagan religion of the Muslims), heaped up unsustainable debts that will enslave our children, created a police-state of surveillance never before seen, crippled our economy, ripped children from the womb, forced a new, never before seen definition of marriage on a reluctant people and virtually made it a crime to criticize any of these actions. The boundaries of the permissible tighten every day while the tentacles of government regulations have crept into every facet of our lives until we spend roughly as much time complying with their incessant demands as we do simply living our lives. The DOJ White Paper and NDAA are simply the final ‘nail in the coffin’ as it were.
A splinter, extracted within the minute of its penetration of your skin, will cause very little pain. But that same splinter, left to fester for days, burrowing its way ever deeper, will cause great agony and clenching of teeth when attempting to remove it. In the same way the tentacles of government regulations, the tide of government money (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Unemployment, Food Stamps, Disability, etc., etc., etc.) and subsidies, have burrowed their way into the heart of the citizenry, even Christians who should know better, until any attempt to remove them is guaranteed to be painful in the extreme.
But…and this is the part most wish to ignore…eventually the entire edifice will collapse of its own tottering weight. Every economist, every expert have all said the same thing; a catastrophic collapse is inevitable. The only uncertainty is the timing (I will pause for a moment to play the prophet and inform my readers it will happen at the worst possible time.) When it does collapse all those tentacles, regulations and government monies will be torn out by the roots, everywhere and all at once. The ensuing chaos and suffering will be indescribable short of Dante’s Inferno.
As is always the case in such disasters, the public will then clamor for a ‘strongman’ to fix the problems, and for the price of a crust of bread, will gladly usher into power the first open dictator in our nation’s history. The result will be not a renewal of wealth and hope but a grinding, never-ending poverty for all the masses for decades to come. The attendant pain will be that of the Nazi imagery of an iron boot stomping on a human face – forever.
In contrast, the answers contained herein (in the book and articles online) will deliver a short, sharp, trumpet-blast of pain followed by a dull ache of some few years, giving way to healing and new growth; no pain, no gain, remember. It will be acute for some, less sharp for others. But – and this is the point to remember – it will soon be over while the inevitable pain caused by doing nothing will endure for decades encompassing virtually every soul in the nation.
Short, intense pain now that is quickly over vs. long, grinding pain later that never ends.
This is the choice you face, for the slow-moving war instigated by the government is now upon us. This choice is not imposed by me, although I have the unfortunate duty of informing you of it, but is imposed by the dereliction of The Church in refusing to stand up to encroaching, abusive government, by declining to engage in the culture wars, by meekly submitting instead of righteously thundering at evil. If your choice in the above is the later then we have come to a parting of the ways and you need read no further; if the former, then we have much to discuss and I leave you with these words from 1st Peter 2:20,
…if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.