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Does COVID Allow For Invasion Of Privacy-With John Whitehead – The more secular we become, the bigger government becomes and the more responsible we become to the government. Our rights are in danger. What are our rights? Has COVID injured those rights? Tune in to hear more!
Air Date: 09/14/2020
Guest: John Whitehead
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. You can find out more about me in our programs at constitutioncoach.com, where you can also become a constitution coach.
I’m here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. You can find out more about David at wallbuilderslive.com. That’s our radio site. And Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You can also find out more about Tim at wallbuilderslive.com. And by the way, that is the place where you can make a contribution. You can come alongside us and help us restore America’s constitutional republic.
Right there at wallbuilderslive.com, we are a listener supported program, we’re on hundreds of stations across the country, and a ton of people listen to this program and get equipped and inspire to get out there and make a difference. You can be a part of making that happen by making that contribution at wallbuilderslive.com.
Alright David, Tim, we got John Whitehead back with us from Rutherford Institute, going to be with us in a few minutes. I got to ask you guys, so maybe I should ask him this. If David said all of a sudden, everyone come into work at WallBuilders had to have their temperature taken every morning, had to take a COVID test every day, had to tell WallBuilders where they were going to be every minute of the day like a location tracker, how long do you think we’d have WallBuilders’ employees?
Are you asking a hypothetical because I’m pretty sure it’s what we’re doing?
Is this something we shouldn’t be doing?
Right. That’s pretty much how we freedom constitution loving people, we make sure we’re incredibly restrictive and overbearing and unconstitutional in our behavior with our employees. And it’s great.
And we just assume no one’s smart enough to make decisions on their own, so we have to be the thinker for them.
Yeah. I mean, you know, really, I need to know, hey, do you have like a scratch or tickle in your throat because and then I look up or on Web MD, and I’m like, well, here’s what that means and you’re not smart enough to make decision. So I will make them for you, right? I’m from the government, I’m here to help, so you can totally trust me on this one. Yeah, that wouldn’t work very well and in reality.
And that’s in a workplace where you’re paying them to come work, so maybe they’d be willing to put up with some of that if it meant having a job. What if you were paying someone to come to their place in order to get maybe, I don’t know, an education, like maybe you’re paying ridiculous amounts of money for a college education. And they wanted to know where you were going to be every minute of the day, who you were in contact with, and wanted to give you a little a little rundown on a test every morning. That would seem a little intrusive.
You’re talking about the college in China. I mean, we’re talking Chinese college right now?
Yes, this is in Wuhan.
Yes. Yes. Absolutely.
It feels like it. It feels like I didn’t know that Arizona State move to Wuhan, but apparently or Wuhan has moved to Arizona state. But yes, colleges in America are demanding that kind of invasion of privacy of their students.
Yeah, it’s we’ve seen and we’ve talked about for the last several years how rapidly left colleges are moving, and how little regard they have for Constitution in so many areas. Now, not every professors there. We’ve got really good professors we like, that we work with, that we will support and talk about, and we’ve had him on this program. But academia in general has moved so far left. That when you look at the product that’s being turned out, it’s not surprising that they would be in this micromanaging restrictive. We want to take away your rights kind of stuff. Only we know what’s good for you and we’re going to tell you, and your life is going to be controlled by us. I mean, this what’s been going on for several years. It’s just another example of it.
Well, it’s also one of the only conclusions you can reach if there is no God. The more secular you become, if there is no God who has given right, if there is no God who’s given individual responsibility, then really, you need a big brother, you need government, you need someone to help take care of you and control you. And right, if you’re not responsible to God, well, who are you going to be responsible to? Well, it better be the government and we’re going to have to resolve these problems.
To me, it’s not that far of a stretch to see how when you remove God, that really this is what government does. Government fills the void of that responsibility and government in this case, in an academic institution, they’re reflecting and representing that same thought, ideology and behavior, which certainly we look at and see how ridiculous and far-fetched it is. But it’s not super surprising, considering that not only as you mentioned, the indoctrination we’ve been doing, but also the more secular you become, we only see this historically every time, is that the more secular you become, the bigger government becomes, and the more they infringe upon those rights, because there’s no longer a God who gave you those rights, therefore, the government can do what they want.
Alright, hey, we’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, let’s talk about what those rights are. Hey, where do we train them to? We’re always looking at a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Let’s talk about some of those constitutional rights when we return right here on WallBuilders Live.
Hey friends, if you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifices they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories. Here on WallBuilders Live, once in a while, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices, have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.
One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War Two veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live from folks that were in the Band of Brothers to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived being Indianapolis to so many other great stories you’ve heard on WallBuilders Live. You have friends and family that also served.
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This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. America is a special and unique nation. The average length for a Constitution in other countries is only 17 years. But we’ve had ours for over two centuries, and our 4% of the world’s population produces 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. And every year, we produce more inventions and technology than the other 96% of the world combined.
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville of France came to America, travelled the country, and in his famous book, “Democracy in America” reported, “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. This is the origin of the phrase ‘American exceptionalism’ and affirms that America is unique because of the distinctive ideas on which we had been based including inalienable rights, individualism, limited government and the importance of religion and morality.”
For more information about American exceptionalism, go to wallbuilders.com
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We’re talking about the invasion of privacy being required of college students across the country. The one example we have specifically from a listener emailing in and saying I’m concerned about this is Arizona State University. So guys, what why doesn’t the government or in this case, your college, your university, which is very often a government actor, why don’t they have the right to have all this information from you?
A lot of it goes back to what we have in the Third and the Fourth amendment of the Bill of Rights. Now, there’s more clauses than that. But Third and Fourth, I would say, would be the heart of what we call the Right to Privacy. And that term. Right to Privacy has been really twisted by abortion advocates, who they say because the Right to Privacy, we have abortions, that that was not the intent of the Right to Privacy.
The Right to Privacy was to put a boundary between the government as people so the government could not get in and micromanage all that people were doing. And so in the case of the British and the Americans, what had happened was, the British had open judicial writs, they call them Writs of Assistance. And anytime they saw someone that they thought was, maybe not being strong enough with the king, they would take a Writ of Assistance and they would go into that person’s house and they would go through the house, go through their belongings, go through everything they had until they found something they didn’t like. And then they would fill out that Writ of Assistance and said, okay, we found this in your house and this is actually what we were looking for when we came in, and we just filled out the writ to say, we’re coming into your house look for this, and we found it.
Well, you went all the way through my house looking for it, and then you found something you didn’t like, and then you filled out the Writ of Assistance? And so there was no protection for any kind of privacy in the home. They would come into the home, they again would look at all sorts of stuff. So what the Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects.” So grab that. Your person, your houses, where you live, your papers, what you possess and your affects, all the things that belong to you, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall be issued, but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. So you can’t have a general warrant, you got to say this is specifically what we’re after. And a Judge has given us this probable cause.
Which is also interesting that it identifies your papers, which are your writings. And in this case, our writings often are emails, our text messages, things that we know that there are different kind of big tech companies, there are different apps that are tracking, there’s different kinds of software data spying, that we know there’s data tracking, and there’s data tracing and this is not being conspiracy theorist at all. We literally know these kinds of things happen.
And this is interesting because one of the things that Fourth Amendment identifies is that, no, your papers are your private papers and no one can come and investigate or spy on them unless they have a specific warrant that identifies, no, we have seen these bad things and we need to get those to show as evidence of the bad things and a Judge certifies that warrant.
There’s a process involved. It’s just interesting, there’s a lot more protection in the Fourth Amendment, sometimes when people realize, even when we talk about something like data mining that the government does a lot of data mining, working with big tech companies, well, according to the Constitution, that would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
That’s right. And the other thing I’d point to is, when the IRS comes in audit you, what they’re doing for is they’re going to look at your books till they find you guilty of something and then they’re going to find you. I think, under the Fourth Amendment, the right thing to do is say no, IRS, you cannot audit my books. If you want to do that, go to a Judge, get a warrant and tell me which check stubs you want to see. Tell me what data checks you want to see. You’re not going to just go through my books until you find something.
Well, we want to make sure you’ve given us all the money that we think you should give us. And so really, we’re just tax collectors. We’re not really auditors. We’re just here to collect taxes.
So the Fourth Amendment gives a lot of basis of what we call the Right to Privacy. The other is in the Third Amendment. And the Third Amendment, this, again deals with your home where you live, really the place you stay. And it was because in Boston, particularly when the British got there, and in New York and elsewhere, they didn’t have barracks in America, so they said, okay, we’re moving to this town. And on Southside of Boston, Mister, you’re going to take these five soldiers and take care of them. They’re going to live in your house. You feed them. You take care of them. Ma’am, you got these four. Lady, you’ve got these three.
And so what they did was they put the government in your home and so the Third Amendment, it says specifically, “No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” And what that essentially says is, look, government can’t move into your house and set up shop. You can’t move the government in there and then suddenly, they take charge your house and they’re regulating what goes on. That’s part of the Right to Privacy.
So what’s happening with COVID and a lot of the things related to it, including the question we’ve got today, this really deals with them moving into the student’s house, if you will, where they live and saying, here’s what we want from you. We want your papers, belongings, possessions effects, we want to know everything about you. They don’t have a judicially issued warrant. They’re going on the right of privacy. They’re violating all these things that would be private records and private information and they’re now requiring this. This is crazy stuff, which is why we thought having a really good constitutional attorney like John Whitehead who litigates this kind of stuff, get him to answer that question concerning Arizona State.
John Whitehead from Rutherford Institute, our special guest today on WallBuilders Live. Stay with us, we’ll be back in a moment.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know but it gets frustrating because they don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the Quickstart Guide to the Constitution, because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizens guide to America’s Constitution, you’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic. It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now and wallbuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. John Whitehead, back with us from the Rutherford Institute. John, thanks for your time today, man.
Hey, thanks for having me on the show, sir.
Well, we got all kinds of listener questions throughout the week. And sometimes we hit some of these constitutional issues where we love to bring in experts like yourself. And this one has to do with a student on a college campus, you know, and man, these well, I mean, some of the mayors are worse than even the colleges. But this request for COVID tracking and testing and, how far can they go with this stuff at this point?
Well, first of all, that most Americans don’t know, but we have a Fourth Amendment right to have our personal privacy protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. And I would say some of the stuff that they’re asking the students is daily symptoms, check-ins, location information, so that my opinion is going much too far. And you have a right as you look back and say, no, this is my information.
The problem you’re facing in these cases, again, you’re talking to somebody who’s done… with the Constitution for over 40 years in the courts, is the courts have often backed up the so called compelling state interest of governments to protect the public against health concerns, and that’s one thing you’re going to have a problem with here and it extends to campuses.
But I would say that when you’re looking into personal matters, such as medical matters, physical conditions and stuff like that, daily check-ins with these students have to do it at colleges, it’s gotten to the point where you’ll have absolutely no privacy anymore, and location and travel history and those things. But one thing I’ve been trying to tell people for a long time here isn’t studying Google and I just recently did some interviews, looked into what Google is doing. Google’s tracking our location, wherever we go now. They’re doing geo-tracing, and they’re working with governments around the world. And they’re reporting them to the FBI, Fusion centers, NSA and the CIA.
So we’ve moved into a total surveillance system right now. And if somebody doesn’t start standing up against this stuff, and proposing better ways to do it, we’re going down a slippery path where there’ll be absolutely no privacy at all. And with the 80,000 SWAT team raids that we’re seeing annually in this country, and that’s growing, where recently, in some cities, police have been banging through doors and actually pointing rifles at children, and they’re in the wrong apartment, based on the so called location tracking, we better start fighting is some of this stuff. And any students out there would like some help with this, we’d be glad to contact your university and give them some better ways to do this, than they’re getting into asking you about everything about your life, which they have no reason to know.
And the easiest way to contact you, rutherford.org.
Rutherford.org. And of course, John, all of these things always start off with good intentions and what most people would go, well, that’s reasonable. You know, we need government to do this or that and if you don’t think about the unintended consequences and how it can be abused, and we’re not saying no government ever not, we’re just saying, hey, like you said, there’s better ways to do this and to make sure we protect the Constitution. At the same time, if we have a compelling interest, that government gets involved.
Yeah. And you want a reasonable approach, you know. What I would say to universities and this is amazing. I don’t know if you noticed this. But it was just revealed. Arizona University has been analyzing the feces of students. Did you see that one?
No. Are you kidding me?
It actually is a story by the Washington Post. It was just released, they found out, it was discovered. And they found, maybe I think two students that may have had it and they’ve now basically are going to do tests on all the students on campus. But they’re watching your poop, we’re in a lot of trouble. I mean, they’re actually watching feces and some cities are doing that now across the country. They’re diagnosing in their waste plants when we use the bathroom, what we’re taking, what we’re drinking, and even the germs.
But we do have universities that are looking at kid’s feces, we’ve got a long way. But I will say this, a more reasonable approach to these things were to provide students with a list of symptoms of COVID 19. And if they have any of those symptoms, they would be voluntarily, they could go ahead and report, maybe in the interest of help.
But forcing every student on campus to give all this information over, what’s happening to America right now is our Constitution is being thrown away. It’s being dismantled. We have a faceless population now. It reminds me of a movie that I like and I’ve always written about called “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. We become very impersonal toward one another. We don’t seem to care about anything. All the government has to say is there’s a disease out there and everybody runs in hide.
And like I say, while I walk in stores now, all I see is people I can’t tell who’s who. We moved into a faceless population. And the way we’re relating to each other is changing in this country. So we’re being mined progress, in my opinion, to become slaves. And we better wake up to start saying there’s better ways to do this, folks and get down to your local city council and change some of these things. It’s the only hope you have, because I’m not sure the federal government’s going to listen.
So what I’m saying is I hear about something like this with the university wants every bit of your information, daily check-ins and all this stuff, I mean, it’s to the point where pretty soon, they’re going to be calling you up, the government saying we need a daily check in every day, every citizen, long as you let us go.
Yeah. In fact, what this gal said, is my school is asking for daily symptom check-ins, COVID-19 test results and location information. And I’m not comfortable providing that, she’s at…
And she shouldn’t be comfortable. Again, I’d be glad to write a letter to the university say, hey, give the students a list of symptoms. If they have them, then we will encourage them. Let people grow up. Let’s the students grow up. And don’t force them to be slaves to your system because when they grow up, we want… And again, when I talk to students today, even law students, they can’t tell me what’s in the Bill of Rights anymore. They’re not teaching it in the schools and someone’s got to start shooting it back in the face of the government say, wait a second, there is a Constitution out there, folks, and we need to obey it. I’d rather obey the Constitution than I would some bureaucrat who doesn’t know the Constitution.
Amen. Amen. Well, brother, before I let you go, you mentioned at the very beginning, compelling interest, when the state has a compelling interest and COVID-19 seems to me is becoming less and less of a compelling interest. At the beginning, super scary. Everybody was afraid, it was going to be millions and millions of people dying and now we very well know who’s at risk, we very well know the cure is out there. I mean, all the information, it’s a different animal. At what point does the court say okay, you might have had a compelling interest early on, but this is no longer what we thought it was before?
But most courts aren’t. That’s what you got to deal with. But you got to go in with the facts, you got to go with good lawyers and you could have a good case. But again, there are a lot Terry’s I talked to after they don’t know what’s going on. Man, I’m encouraging the lawyers we work with out there to get up on things and they read our stuff. And they know, I do my weekly commentaries and people should go to Rutherford and sign up to get them. Because and trying to educate the public. I’m saying education precedes action. And we can get to people educated, we can get some action and start changing some of this stuff. Because, again, when’s the next pandemic coming, folks?
And who’s engineering that pandemic? Is the big question. What did the [inaudible 21:27] who wrote the Bill of Right say James Madison? “We often mistrust all those in power.” That’s the first principle of the patriot.
Rutherford.org and there’s three orange buttons right there on the right, you ought to use all three of them, folks. Donate, sign up and become a member. Help support what John’s doing out there. John, we appreciate your help today. Thanks for the time and thanks for just always coming on WallBuilders Live and helping educate us.
Hey, thank you, sir.
Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
The Founding Fathers of America made a habit of reading through the Bible once a year. There’s no better source of wisdom and it is applicable to every issue in our lives. What a great time for us as American citizens to take this time. If you’ve got extra time at home now, if you’re quarantined at home and you’re looking for something to do, what better thing could there be to do than to read through the Bible, maybe for the first time in your life?
I tried to make this a habit several years ago and I had a new tool to start doing that with and it was called the Founders’ Bible. It gave me a chance not only to read through the Bible once a year, but also to learn history while I was doing that. And what I love about the Founders’ Bible is that as I’m reading that Scripture, then all of a sudden, there’ll be an article inserted right there by that Scripture about what the Founding Fathers learned from that specific verse or chapter and how they applied it to launch our new. It’s a really fun way to learn. It’s incredibly empowering and it has answers for today. The Bible is full of all the right answers for today, in fact, it’s the only source that has all the right answers.
So, if you haven’t read through the Founders’ Bible, I challenge you and encourage you get a copy of the Founders’ Bible today, it’s available at wallbuilders.com. And we even have a digital version, so you can do this on your phone or iPad or computer. Check out the Founders’ Bible today, make it a part of your regular reading throughout the year. But right now, is a great opportunity to redo the Founders’ Bible. Check it out today at WallBuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Back with David and Tim Barton. And guys, so John, I mean, obviously, has been doing this. What do you tell me, he’s been practicing constitutional cases for 4 decades now?
Over 40 decades years. Yeah, 4 decades.
Yeah. So great expert on this and clearly saying, hey, we got to be really careful and not just let this stuff will get out of hand, so we’ve got to start drawing a line in the sand somewhere.
Well, I love the fact that he says, hey, if you get students going to college, they’re facing this, get a hold of me, let me write the colleges. And he’s got a great pedigree to be able to write them and get their attention as a constitution attorney and constitutional lawyer. So that’s a great thing. But I love the line, he said that education precedes action. And people aren’t going to stand up for this unless they are educated on what their rights are and what the government can and can’t do. And so that was a really strong statement that you have to understand and know your rights. John Jay said you have to know your rights before you can defend and assert them. And John Jay was the original Chief Justice Supreme Court, did the Federalist Papers. So that’s a key.
The other thing I think is really a good question is you got to ask when the next pandemic is coming? And I thought, that’s a great ponder question, great thought. But I would change the question to say, what is the next declared emergency coming? Because I don’t think it has to be a pandemic. I think like the governor of Washington State, you can declare a gypsy moth emergency and take over agriculture or whatever.
Was global warming, right? Global warming is coming, we have to declare a state of emergency and now we’re going to… It’s usurpation of power, where people in power want to have power to enact their own beliefs. They want a dictatorship. They don’t want a constitutional republic, where it’s we the people in charge, but this is exactly what John Whitehead pointed out is they’re using COVID as the excuse to remove constitutional rights. And guys, we’ve talked about this so often, is one of the reasons we need to study the Constitution is to make sure that, dad, as you mentioned, from John Jay, that we can perceive when those rights are being violated. We can stand up, we can assert we can defend those rights, and hopefully preserve, not only the Constitution, but those God given rights that have long defined the exceptionalism of America.
Well, folks, you can learn more at our websites. Go to wallbuilders.com, that’s where you can get a lot of great information and tools to learn about the exceptionalism of America. You can go to wallbuilderslive.com, and listen to archives of this program. So every day of the week, we’re teaching on these very things, this biblical, historical and constitutional perspective to all of these hot issues of the day. And all of those programs are available to you at wallbuilderslive.com.
That’s also the place as I said at the beginning of the program, you can make a contribution and we greatly appreciate you coming alongside us in that way if you possibly can. We are a listener supported program, so those contributions are what makes it possible. You can also visit constitutioncoach.com today to get signed up as a coach and use the Wallbuilders Constitution class, is called Constitution Alive. We teach it in Independence Hall right there in the room or the Constitution was framed and in the WallBuilders library. And you can take that course and teach it to your friends and family online through Zoom or whatever tool you want to use. You can do it in your living room, at your church. We have several thousand coaches now across the country doing this, and we encourage you to do the same.
Thanks for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.