Foundational Freedoms Trampled – With John Whitehead: Today we take a serious look at the many Constitutional infractions going on around the country. Governors are stepping over all kinds of lines and butchering First Amendment rights. Is the Constitution just a piece of wax in the hands of judges, governors, etc.? Tune in to hear what you can do to preserve your essential freedoms!
Air Date: 04/23/2020
Guest: John Whitehead
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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The Greatest Political Privilege
President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I studied the Constitution, the more I realized that no other document device by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live and we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture, always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And I’m Rick Green, a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.
Check us out at wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you can get archives of the program from the last few weeks. And you can also make a contribution at the website. Yeah, we’re going to lead off with that today, because it takes finances to get the truth out there. Just got to tell you folks, were a listener supported program and your support of this program makes a difference. It gets the truth in the hands of more Americans where they can defend our rights, they can, as John Jay said, properly assert them, we want to do that peaceably, we want to do it intentionally, but we want to be educational about it.
We want to make sure we know what our rights are and we know when the right time is to step forward and assert those rights. And obviously, at a time like this in our country where we see constitutional rights being trampled upon all over the country, then it is very, very important for us to know our rights and know how to properly defend and assert them. You can help get that information in more hands by going to wallbuilderslive.com today, make that contribution, it allows our reach to be expanded, allows us to train more pastors and young leaders and legislators and all the different things that we do, our Constitution coach program, where we have people hosting Constitution classes around the country, which you should consider doing by the way, you can do that at constitutioncoach.com.
At any way, go to wallbuilderslive.com today, make that one-time or monthly contribution, it might be $5, you might be able to do more than that, whatever your situation is, we greatly appreciate you coming on alongside us. For our Foundations of Freedom Thursday, rather than diving into the email bag of questions, we’re just today going to respond to some of the things that are happening out there.
John is going to be with us to talk about, we have had some questions on the census and all the, you know, hundreds of questions sometimes that you get instead of the one question that you should be getting. But man, that almost seems minor compared to the other constitutional infractions we see happening around the country. What a great time for us to be talking and thinking about what those constitutional liberties are and where the line should be drawn when they’re crossed.
The Constitution – a Thing of Wax?
And that is right and now’s a good time to be talking about that. I think we’re going to come out of this with a real debate over constitutional reset. Does the constitution mean anything or is it a thing of wax as Jefferson called it in the hands of Judges or Governors or Mayors etc. And by the way, on the census, I thought there’s a really good question out of the mailbag or the electronic mailbag came the question is, the census stuff that’s out there, what are we required by law to answer?
And I thought that was a great question. Because what I’ve seen on the census this time, as compared to 10 years ago, 10 years ago, man, it was the most intrusive document ever and this one’s not quite as intrusive. But there’s still a lot of information I really don’t want to give about my household, I’m not sure the government needs it. Now, I don’t want to give it. So, you know, what is the constitutional line?
But, Rick, back to your question. I was listening, even on talk radio this morning of people going through what they’re seeing is constitutional violations in their communities and real easy stuff. We’re now seeing the right of the people to petition government for redress of grievances or getting arrested to show up and petition government, that’s guaranteed First Amendment right.
Even when they’re practicing social distancing.
Even if they’re in their cars, right. So, following the CDC standards, you still have governor saying, no, round them all up, arrest them. And so, if you can’t protest in that regard, they would say well, just email us, just call us, which of course, an email and a call, they’re not responding to and that would seem to leave you if you’re in this frustrated position. Well, what else am I supposed to do? I’m going to show up and let them know, but I’m still going to be smart, I’m still going to be safe, I’m going to social distance in the midst of this, but I’m going to let my voice be heard and you get arrested for this, utterly ridiculous.
Protesting “Not Essential”
Can you believe they actually said it wasn’t quote-unquote essential, that petitioning your government for redress of grievances? So, what happens when they just shut you down forever, you can’t say, hey, wait a minute, I’d like a protest that. No. No. Your voice is not essential.
Yeah, I would love to know, of the 27 grievances listed in the Declaration that caused the founding fathers to say we’ve had enough, we’re separating from Great Britain, how many of those would be considered essential today? And pretty much none of them or even if you look at the Bill of Rights. Right? Because we’re seeing the Bill of Rights being violated. Well, the Bill of Rights was a listing of the limitations of what the federal government could never touch. And now the federal government is touching almost every one of them saying, yeah, but that doesn’t really apply here, because…
Well, I would expand it, it’s not just the federal government. I think we’re seeing less violations from federal government than we are from State governors and from Mayors and others.
That’s true. Bureaucracy in general is probably a better way to point it.
That’s right. And so, we’re saying, and by the way, we mentioned petition, but that’s only a subset of assembly. We’re also seeing assembly step down. We have the First Amendment right of religion, we’re seeing that step down. And by the way, the good news so far is all the lawsuits that’s been filed that we’ve heard of have been settled very, very quickly by Judges. Judges have come out real quickly on the side of churches.
Trump’s Administration Has Been Surprising
Yeah, and let me clarify, I’m just so used to being critical of the federal government, that they’re the problem.
It just rolls off our tongue, right?
Right. And the irony is under Trump, the federal government has not been the problem of the situation.
They’ve done a far better job.
Right. And there’s so many levels of irony. Because generally, the more local elected officials are going to do a better job, but you’re right. It’s mayors, it’s governors who have absolutely butchered people’s rights and stepped all over their God given rights, constitutional principles, constitutional amendments, whatever else. So yeah, first of all, kudos, President Trump has done a fairly good job handling a lot of this as far as respecting the Constitution. It absolutely has been much more on the local level, you see the violation of all these things you’re talking about, dad.
And David, you said that the judges have slapped him down and thank goodness for, you know, Kelly Shackleford for ADF, they both won big lawsuits on this already for stepping forward in…
Yeah. Matt Staver has as well in Florida, he’s won some good stuff. So, the guys are winning quickly on this, the Judges are moving very quickly. And it’s interesting that when you look at the five rights guaranteed in the First Amendment, four of them are under attack by the governments, by the state governors. And Tim, as you said, these are not essential rights, they’re only constitutional, therefore they’re not essential. Give me a break. So, it’s been really crazy.
Freedom of Press
But what I heard pointed out this morning on talk radio was, you know, the one thing that the governors have not touched is the freedom of press. They haven’t told the reporters, hey, you guys can’t go cover these assemblies, you can’t show up where this stuff is happening. They haven’t gone after the press. I wonder why. Because if they did, the press would be all up. Now, the press is not reporting other violation.
No, now, wait a second, the press is on their team. Right? So, they’re not shutting down their team. It’s not about violating your rights, it’s about promoting their team. Anyway, lots of questions we can get into. But that’s part of why we said we had to have somebody on to talk about some of this.
Yeah. And by the way, John, I mean, when you look at the census question, that’s probably not as imperative as first amendment rights or even…
Considering where we are now.
Considering where we are, because we’re looking at Second Amendment rights that have been violated, we’re looking at Tenth Amendment rights. I mean, the Bill of Rights is under attack in a very real way, that does not change the fact that right now we’re all under federal law about having to do something with census and people are getting their notification and you have to respond, etc. And that’s why we’re getting questions from other folks about what do I have to do, what is not required, what is essential and by the way, I’m sure that John is going to have a lot of observations as well on other rights that are being violated since he’s a law firm that does that.
Rutherford.org is the website for Rutherford Institute. John Whitehead with us when we returned, you’re listening to wall builders live.
Crash-Course on the Constitution
Hey friends, Rick Green here and I want to invite you to join us live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon for a crash course on history and the Constitution. We’re going to take you to some incredible places in American history and bring that history to life, tell you the story of America, rediscover the roots of what made America great in the first place.
And we’re going to have live conversations and questions with all the different folks that starred in ‘Chasing American Legends’. They’re going to join us throughout the series, David Barton will be there live on one of our programs, Tim Barton on another one. We’ve got Dr. Alveta Kean coming in, Brad Stein. It’s going to be a wonderful, wonderful time. You can sign up right now at patriotacademy.com. It is entirely free if you are a member of a state homeschool association anywhere in the country and if not, you need to join anyway.
Right now, everybody is schooling from home, whether it’s yourself and your whole family or maybe just you by yourself, either way, get signed. And if you’re not a member of an association, we still have ways for you to sign up. But we’d love to have you join us for this. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, it’s going to be a great time of history and government and learning what we can do to be citizens. It’ll bring history to life. It’s going to be fun and entertaining and it’s going to be live and we expect to see you there. Check it out at patriotacademy.com.
Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country and the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Good to have John Whitehead back with us. He’s got a great article over at the Rutherford Institute’s website today, it’s called Draconian, it was from last week actually, ‘Draconian Lockdown Powers: It’s a Slippery Slope from Handwashing to House Arrest’. John, always good to have you, man, thanks for what you do, appreciate your time today.
Hey, thank you, sir.
So, listen, you guys, I mean, you’ve been watching us from the beginning, I’m sure, appalled that the things that are happening and the orders from the governors, the local, I mean, it’s just all over the place and there, you can’t even keep up with all of the ridiculous measures. One of which we would have spent weeks talking about a year ago. Now, there’s just literally hundreds of violations of the Constitution. How are you kind of keeping up with all this and what are you advising folks to do?
Oh, yeah, yeah, you know, I keep up, well, people should go to our website at rutherford.org, rutherford.org and read our articles that I post and write. But what is basically being said now is the government can overrule any kind of rights. And if you pull Thomas Jefferson up from the grave, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, who said that we have inalienable rights, the word inalienable means you can’t transfer it to anybody, you always have those rights.
And what’s the government saying right now, they can suspend your rights. I mean, policemen have been going out to people in some cities when they’re just protesting in front of a building even though they’re doing social distancing and telling them they don’t have a right to be out there. Go read the First Amendment, it says you have a right to, you know, gather together peacefully and petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Law School Students Don’t Even Know
But Yeah, I would say that what I’ve seen for many, many years, now I’ve seen this coming, is in the schools today, the kids don’t learn the Constitution, they don’t read the Declaration of Independence. I talked to law students who can’t tell me what’s in the Bill of Rights. They don’t even study that at law school, they… So, we’re having a populace that’s coming into being, especially the younger generation, they don’t really know what rights are, they don’t have any, they’ve not been taught that. They believe that the government is the entity that gives you rights.
But listen, folks, go back and read it. Jefferson said, though, the creator gives us our rights and it’s the government. And I’m telling people, if you know, again, treat us responsibly, don’t treat us like idiots, the government shouldn’t be treating us like that. And some of the things I’m seeing happening across the country, like I say, if you’re keeping up with it, again, it’s on our website, it’s pretty scary.
It is. And you know, on one hand, I’ve been shocked, John at how easily people have just rolled over and said, okay, yeah, no problem. And then on the other hand, I’ve seen some people stand up that happen to know the Constitution and, you know, pastor saying, you’re not going to suspend my rights. And so there’s a hunger I think right now from at least some percentage of the population to say, okay, what does the Constitution say? And I sure thought I had these rights. So, that’s maybe a good thing that will come out of this, some interesting. I mean, do you ever think you’d see some many headlines about federalism and the proper role of government and the Constitution and what can the president do and what can get…? That part’s kind of interesting to see.
Bill of Rights Pamphlet
That part is interesting, but people need to study it, you know, and teach [crosstalk 12:52] I’m telling people right now. If you got your kids home now, boy, what a great time to them the Constitution. We have a Bill of Rights card, you know, email us or call us, we’ll be glad to send you a copy and it goes through the Bill of Rights as a pamphlet. Teach your kids at home. Let’s come out of this stronger, I’ll like to say.
Let’s come out the stronger in terms of our freedom principles. But to do that, you need to know what the freedom principles are, you know. You have a right to speak freely, you have a right to own a weapon, you know. You have a right to keep government soldiers out of your homes, that’s the Third Amendment. The Fourth Amendment, you have a right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. And those are all by the way, rights that are given to us by the Creator. Which means the government really can’t override that unless we just back up and say, okay, you can do it.
You know, even that basic concept, I mean, I remember in law school, people often would talk about the Bill of Rights, giving us those rights and in fact, you’re exactly right. God gives us the rights. The whole point of the Bill of Rights, is the government is instituted to protect those rights. So, the Bill of Rights is to say, hey, these are things government can’t touch and these are things that God gave you and our job is actually to protect them for you.
Yes. And it’s the citizens job. I tell people when you read the Constitution, it starts with three words, ‘We the people, we are the government.’ The President, the governors, the people sitting there and saying, whether they are State governors or whatever, they are our representatives.
I’m pretty sure we call them Emperors now.
Yeah, they basically act like Emperors. Many of them do. Yeah, they say we’re getting shut down. Listen, you have 80,000 SWAT team rage occurring in America now, 80% of the SWAT team rage with a crashing through doors and people are getting killed, used to be for marijuana service. That’s the kind of thing that the founding fathers warned us against. I mean, we’re seeing that happen all across the country and you know something, the mainstream media is not reporting those things. Those are the things are writing about, trying to get out there and say wake up people.
Yeah, yeah. Rutherford.org is the website where you can read it. I got to ask you John, if somebody just, friend of yours calls you right now and says okay, John, when is enough, enough and when do we do civil disobedience and what’s the peaceful way to do that, what’s the proper? What do you tell people right now?
Well, listen, civil disobedience comes with certain penalties. You might get arrested and all that, you know. If you know me over 40 years, I’ve been defending all kinds of people that have done that. We’re assessing some Amish people now that are meeting in their communities and the police are saying they can’t meet in their communities. And that’s where they live, you know, it’s getting a little muddy.
Stand Your Ground
But again, I’m telling people, listen, if you think you have a right, then stand your ground and, you know, if we can help, we’ll be glad to help. But that’s how you build rights. That’s how you maintain freedom standing for them, sitting back, you know. And, again, as I detailed my most recent books about Nazi Germany, the key people with Hitler said, all you got to do is make people afraid and you can control them. They give away their rights. And I’m telling people, let’s come out stronger, not weaker.
Amen. Yeah, I think you’re exactly right, I think we have a chance to do that and hopefully, the wakeup call helps us to do that. This almost seems trivial to go to this, at this point after all the rights that are being violated right now. But I got to ask you about the census because we’ve gotten several questions from, you know, folks on this and how much impact do they have to give when the census comes in? I actually did mine the other day online and I had to hit ‘Submit’ like three times on each page without answering all of the questions. I gave them basically my name and how many live in the house and that was it. I didn’t give my kids, all of their information. So, I’m wondering if I did it the right way and wondering what your thoughts are on that.
Yeah, I think if you believe you’re right, I mean, they’re asking questions like, does your household members stay elsewhere? What is the next member of your household name? All the Constitution requires in Article 1 is account every 10 years of people, that’s it. It doesn’t require to give over a bunch of information. And when I’m telling people, if you don’t like it, then don’t submit it and see what happens, you know. And again, they have trouble dealing with the American Community Survey, which is like a census, they’re sending all over the country asking detailed questions about people. They claim is a census, but it’s not. And we’re helping people basically. We have a letter by the way that if people contact us, we can send to the Census Bureau, telling them to back off.
Oh, wow. Yeah, yeah. And then that’s it, rutherford.org.
Okay. And of course, the counts are important, you want to get good representation in Congress. That’s what the whole count really for is to determine how do…
But what they’re doing now is they’re counting, want all this information. They work with private corporations and the government actually gives it over to some of the private corporations, you’re getting these pitches on your phone and elsewhere, that’s where it’s coming from.
So, you so give them the number in your house, that’s the one thing that the Constitution calls for when it comes to the census. And that’s so that they can apportion Congress correctly. John, you always have such great information. Again, the website, rutherford.org. This is a time to get educated on these things, great articles there to get educated on and what do you call the Bill of Rights handout that you got?
There’s a Bill of Rights pamphlet and the Bill of Rights card, which just has a little, Bill of Rights pamphlet actually has an explanation of each of the first 10th Amendments. That’s a good one.
Excellent. Excellent. All that, rutherford.org. John Whitehead, keep up the great work, we’ll get you back again soon.
Thank you, sir.
Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Hey friends, this is Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about what in the world could we be studying at home right now? You know, I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school. Or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out where you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Ritchie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You can go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com, scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out One- Room Schoolhouse at wallbuilders.com.
Power Inherent in the People
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our States and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That is their right and duty to be at all times armed, that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property and freedom of press.”
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. And again, Rutherford.org for the Rutherford Institute and John Whiteheads website. We’re back with David and Tim. And guys, on the break, I pulled up the order from, oh this is some county in Illinois, Howard County and they decided they’re going to rope off sections of stores and they ordered that you can’t sell these non-essential goods while you’re selling the essential goods that they’ve smiled upon. So, you can’t sell jewelry, furniture, home and decor toys and games, so you’re stuck at home with your kids and you’re trying to keep the peace and keep everybody from going nuts at home, but you can’t buy toys and games, you know, music magazines, craft, art, you can’t paint, you can’t buy paint. So, if you’re wanting to do a home job, you know, take care of some stuff at the house. It’s crazy. I mean, they’re literally roping off sections of stores and saying you can’t go down that aisle.
Yeah, we’ve seen also along that line, where people have said, like in Target or Walmart, you can sell groceries, but you can’t sell clothes. How are you deeming clothes to not be essential? Right? I mean, this is ludicrous. You have kids that are growing and what if they’ve outgrown all their others? I mean, it’s so dumb and the way that we are now deeming essential, this is the danger of a culture where truth is relative or subjective. Well, to me, this is what that means. Because a really good argument could be made that nobody should have lost their job over non-essential because everybody providing for themselves and their family is essential.
A Great Time to Learn at Home
Well, let me let me say that for a minute, Tim. Because Rick, you and John were talking earlier about the Declaration of Independence and that we have inalienable rights, etc. John said, this is a great time for people at home to be learning their rights, learning their liberties, learning freedom learning Constitution. One thing we can definitely send them to is a presentation we have called Exceptional, it goes to the Declaration of Independence. There are six principles for government. And if you know what those six principles are, you can judge everything going on right now by those principles. But the first three are of interest, well, actually, the first one is there is absolute moral right and wrong. But beyond that, there is a creator, the creator gives inalienable rights and government exists to protect those rights.
When you go back and look at the writings of the founding fathers, the same founding fathers who told us that we had an inalienable right to life and liberty and self-defense and religion, etc. also said there is an inalienable right to earn your own living. That is a guaranteed right and government exists to protect the right to earn your own living and right now they’re taking livings away from people. This is a real problem if you understand the purpose of government. So, part of what’s going on right now is a big debate over how much should government be allowed to do? Well, we should allow them to do what the Declaration and Constitution allows them to do, which is not take our livings away.
And I would also point out. There’s a lot of intellectual dishonest arguments when people say, yeah, wait a second, but if government is trying to protect life. And I’m saying dishonest, it’s going to be dishonest in a second with where they take the argument. Because initially, right, if the government’s primary purpose is to protect the rights of people and we would argue the first inalienable rights is the right to life and you could argue, no, government does have a job and an effort to protect life.
“If You Make Them Afraid, You Can Control Them.”
If there is a pandemic is going to kill millions of Americans, what well, that was initially some of the thoughts, some of the rumor, which I think it’s interesting. One of the things that John Whitehead pointed out was that during Hitler’s time, some of his people said, look, you make them afraid and you can control them, you can take all their rights and they won’t even mind giving them up because they’re afraid.
Something can be said about what the media has done in some of what’s been portrayed in some of this fear. The numbers simply haven’t borne out to the millions of death that was initially portrayed. And so, at some point, you have to think, okay, well, then let’s pull some of this weight off, that government shouldn’t be so intrusive. And this is where there’s this double standard of saying, now, wait a second. If we’re going to protect life, then why don’t we say you also can’t drive cars? And here’s where the crazy double standard is. Because they’re saying, no, we have to be intrusive to protect life.
Well, think of all the other things that we do that are more dangerous than this pandemic has been. Right? I mean, arguably, you see more people die every year from things that we would never let the government tell us no. You’re more likely at this point, I would think, right and there’s probably citizens out there who are doing the numbers, I haven’t done this. But we know dying in vehicles.
Putting it in Perspective
And let me interrupt just for saying, Tim, to put that in perspective. Because, as you said, there’s numbers, some people say, well, auto accident is high. Now, get rid of the fear. And we know that right now, the numbers are that in 39 of the States, there are 11 deaths per every 1 million people in the State, 11 deaths per million. That’s really low. That means in Wyoming, that would be an average of like 6 or 7 deaths. I mean, they’ve had more than that. But they have more than that from accidents and other things. So, what you’re saying is not excessive. I mean, that’s what the numbers bear out, Tim.
Well, and this is the point, right? Because where the double standard is, is people are saying, no, the government should close this down. Because if we can save one life, it’s worth it. Well, if the argument is, it’s worth it to save one life, then there’s a lot of other things that there’s freedoms, we would never give up, right? The freedom to drive a car and an effort to save one life. And it’s not because we’re not prolife, I want to save life. But this is where we have to ask a question of, how far do we let the government go in controlling and dictating narrative and taking away rights in an effort to, I would say, hypocritically save one life?
So, with all those rights, the question really was about the census. And so, what John said is exactly right. The Constitution requires a numbering of the people. If you don’t want to fill out the rest of the census, that’s fine. If it doesn’t bother, you go for it. But go to his website and they do have the letter that you can send to the Census Bureau that says, hey, here’s what’s constitutionally required. I am going to comply with the Constitution and here’s what I’m giving you. So that’s a good position to take constitutionally, if your conscience lets you go there. If you want to do the whole census, that’s up to you. But that’s a great answer from John Whitehead about what the constitution actually does require.
Foundational Freedoms Trampled – With John Whitehead
We are out of time for today, folks, but check us out at wallbuilderslive.com, you can get more programming there and also a lot of great opportunities to be a part of the solution, restoring America’s constitutional republic. If you’re curious about the constitutionality of these quarantines and actions by governors and local leaders across the country, right there at wallbuilderslive.com, there’s a video series that you can watch to very quickly get up to speed on what’s being done right, what’s being done wrong, at least according to the Constitution and according to our history. Check it out there at wallbuilderslive.com.
Lastly, be thinking about joining us we’re going to be having that crash course on history and government and it’s for people that have been homeschooling forever, people that have been thrown into this and are now schooling from home for the first time in their lives. And frankly, even if you don’t have kids at home, you could join us. It’s going to be fun. We’re going to have every afternoon, Monday through Wednesday, an opportunity to come on live, to bring history to life for you, have special guests in real time that you can ask questions. Check it all out at patriotacademy.com and sign up for that crash course.
Thanks so much for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders live.
President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And if we think they’re not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”