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Taxes, A Well-Regulated Militia, The Alamo, And More – On Foundations of Freedom: What tools do taxpayers have to fight back against the progressive tax? When should “well-regulated Militias” come into play? Was slavery the main reason Texans fought for independence? Was Mexico the first nation to end slavery? Tune in to hear the answers to these questions and more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!

Air Date: 05/06/2021

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  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.

Faith and the Culture

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.”

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live, where we’re looking at the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

You can learn more at our website wallbuilderslive.com. We’re here with America’s premier historian David Barton. He’s also the founder of WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution Coach. You found us on a Thursday, which is great, because Thursday’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. It’s your chance to ask questions. It’s our chance to dive into foundational principles depending on which questions you ask, and you can send those questions in to radio@wallbuilders.com, radio@wallbuilders.com. Alright, David, Tim, you guys ready for some questions?

Tim:

Let’s do it.

The Progressive Tax

Rick:

We’re going to start with Tony. Tony’s question is about the progressive tax. “What tools do we have besides the Amendment process to fight back against the progressive tax? As taxpayers, we really don’t have any recourse on how they spend our money, because it comes directly out of our check. If we don’t comply, even though they may not be providing services, we still don’t have any recourse.”

So definitely some frustration in the question from Tony, and man, even just the idea of the government gets your money before you get your money when they take it out of your check, and then you’re just left with what’s ever left. That alone is a bad idea. But her real question is how do you fight back against this other than an Amendment that would take this away out of the Constitution? Boy, a lot of different ways we could tackle this one, guys.

David:

Yeah, there are. And let’s deal with the background on this. The constitutional amendment, 16th Amendment was enacted and that’s what permitted an income tax. Prior to the 16th Amendment, you could not have a direct tax on your income; you had to have indirect taxes, this is what the constitution set forth. So in 1913, you get that.

And by the way, there’s a funny little meme out there says “1913 Worst Year Ever”, and it’s got elected Woodrow Wilson, passed the 16th Amendment, passed the 17th Amendment, which repealed the state appointment of senators, and therefore you didn’t have senators represent the states anymore in the Senate. So you know, it’s kind of funny meme, and it’s – 

An Accurate Meme

Tim:

Now you’re saying it’s a funny meme. It seems like a very accurate meme. Maybe there is a worse year out there, but some people might think 2020, but no, I’m sticking with that one. Yeah, it’s funny to joke about now. But really, there was a lot of negative things that happened back then, not the least of which was this income tax you referring to?

David:

So the question is, how do you get rid of that? Do you have to repeal the Amendment? Point out that just because the Amendment exists doesn’t mean you have to have an income tax, that only permitted an income tax. You don’t need to repeal the constitutional Amendment, you just need to stop having an income tax. And that comes from elected representatives. So it’s not necessary. It’s going to be a whole lot harder to repeal the 16th Amendment than it is to get the right people in Congress who go some other direction.

And one of the things, Rick, you mentioned how bad the withholding tax is. And I think one of the very effective things about the withholding tax is it causes you to be numb over a period of time to how big your taxes are. If you held all your taxes out to the end of the year, and you saw how big you just paid the government, you would have people rice it up all over the United States in no way, they don’t get that from me. But they do it week by week, or every two weeks or whatever.

And so you really don’t even see it come across your check. It’s in Pay Stub. Who reads the Pay Stub to see what the taxes are? You got the FUTA taxes, the 941 taxes, that withholding tax, so you get the state taxes, you get all the taxes. Nobody pays attention to how much that actually is, and then they let their accountant or somebody figure up their stuff for the end of the year, and they look at how much the return is going to be, not how much they paid. And so this really does boil down to the people being really discontent with it to the point that they want to take action.

PPP Payments

A lot of people are discontent with it, but it’s Declaration of Independence talk even back in their day, people will complain but they’re more likely to put up with injustice than they are to stand up and say it’s wrong.  And at some point, you got to say, you know, injustice, this is not a good deal. This tax stuff is not a good deal, particularly when I see what they’re spending it on now, it’s really not a good deal. We’re not getting anything out of this. We’re going into debt faster than we can print the money.

So it really does boil down to a political solution. This does not have to have a constitutional solution. But until the American people themselves get fed up with this, and if they were really fed up with it, they wouldn’t be taking the PPP payments, and on average, it just going to be like 1200 bucks that came out of that deal for family.

But it costs the family 17,900 because less than 9% of that bill actually contained the expense of the PPP payments. So you’re paying 10, 12, 15 times more. And until people get fed up enough that they say I don’t want that money from government, I want you to stop spending it, I want my taxes to go down, until people get that kind of discontent, I don’t know that there’s a good solution for what we’re going to do with taxes.

Rick:

Yeah, I mean, you can definitely hold the congressman accountable. But man, that’s a major shift. We’ve had friends, congressman from Texas that for years worked to move to a consumption tax, worked on flat tax, tried all kinds of things. And, boy, it’s so engrained now in the culture, and I think you’re right, it puts people to sleep where they think, you know, hey, I’m getting money back.

A Well-Regulated Militia

Normally, we would go to a break here, but we got so many good questions. We’re going to just skip a break today and dive right back into the next question, if that’s okay with y’all. So this is kind of like rapid fire roundtable here.

Cory is got the next question, all the way from North Dakota. And the question is, “It seems that Biden’s first 100 days have been all at war on America. He and his administration are no longer upholding the law of the land. And while our side continues to play by the rules, communists are taking over our country, when do ‘well-regulated militias become our only course of action, and do we even have them in place?’ Could this even be a possibility in our current America? Unfortunately, as in the French Revolution, it seems the left would actually prefer bloodshed?”

Well, guys serious question, obviously, from Cory about how bad things are getting and at what point do we the people exercise the Second Amendment idea of well-regulated militia?

David:

The answer to that I think, is actually given us in history with the American war for independence. What pastors taught back then was that you don’t get to pick up arms, you don’t get to use that militia until they have fired shots at you. And so they taught the principle of defensive war. I don’t think we can look at the Second Amendment and say, okay, it’s time for us to go on the offense and stop this nonsense. I don’t think that’s an option.

A Biblical Worldview and the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment was done in a biblical worldview. And if you go to Lexington, the first battle in the Revolution, the primary reason that 18 Americans hit the ground that day was Reverend Jonas Clark what he had been teaching his church. And he taught them that look, God will not bless an offensive war, he’ll bless a defensive one. If you get fired at, if they come after you, you have the right to self-defense, but you can’t start anything.

And so Captain John Parker, who was a deacon there in the church, he was the leader of the 70 Minutemen that day, he told them real simple, he said, guys, you can’t fire unless fired upon. And so they didn’t get the first shot, the British did, 18 Americans hit the ground that morning. It has to be that kind of situation, I think, before you’re going to be constitutionally right, before you’re going to be biblically right, before you’re going to be historically right.

And as frustrated as we get with what’s going on in Biden administration, you don’t pick up guns unless you’re defending yourself and they started something first. Short of that, we’ve got all sorts of other options. I mean, we are seeing even in last election, we didn’t get what we wanted as President. Alright, but we picked up so much stuff in Congress. We picked up state legislatures. This thing get no for by longshot. We just got to keep hanging in there and not look at one election and say everything’s lost because we didn’t win that. This is a long term battle.

Remember, before you had Lexington, five years earlier, the British started shooting bullets at us in the Boston Massacre. So there were bullets already exchanged. And that doesn’t mean you instantly go to war. You do everything you possibly can to reconcile. Although even after Lexington, they sent the olive branch petition saying hey, we do not want to fight you guys. Let’s find other ways to solve this.

The Founders Gave it to Us

So I appreciate the question. It is definitely a constitutional based question because we do have that phrase well-regulated militia is there in the Second Amendment, but the context of that time says it has to be in defensive action, it can’t be an offensive action. And defensive action doesn’t mean I’m saving the country from Biden. It means they have physically come after me and open fire on me, my home, my family, my property, now I can defend myself. It doesn’t mean we’re saving the nation from progressives, it has to be something actually physical that goes on.

Rick:

Yeah, David, what you’re saying is so, so important right now because people are incredibly frustrated, and they feel like they don’t have recourse, but that is not true. The peaceable means to restore our country it’s at our fingertips. The Founders gave it to us in our founding documents, we have the tools, we’ve got to use them.

And the good news is more and more people are waking up. We’re doing those things. And I love the fact that you pointed out the timeline. I mean, years before the actual fighting started, people got involved and tried everything they could to peaceably make it happen. This is a totally different situation here.

But I will say one of my greatest gifts you’ve ever given me, David, you gave me a copy of Jonas Clarke sermon that he did a year after Lexington where he recounted, how he had taught his men that. He had taught them to only respond after they had been attacked and why it was defensive, and why it was, there was evidence that the British had fire force.

And that history is vitally important. We need to have that right mindset and we need to use those peaceable means at our fingertips.

Supreme Court Review

David:

And, Rick, something else I’d point out. A lot of times we’re seeing the bad that’s going on and we’re not understanding the progress we’re actually making. I want to share something I read recently in the Supreme Court Review. The Supreme Court Review went back and looked at the inclination of the courts since the 1950s, about 1953, I think is when Earl Warren became the Chief Justice of the court.

Man he’s got to be one of the first major activists on the Supreme Court as Chief Justice. And he’s the guy who started attacking religious liberty. I mean, frontal assault on prayer and voluntary prayer in schools and voluntary Bible reading. He just went after it.

And so you look at the Earl Warren Court, and it was followed by the Warren Burger Court, which was followed by the William Rehnquist Court, and now it is the John Roberts Court. And it’s not that the court, but they measure the courts by the Chief Justices and their tenure and how they were there.

And so something that’s really important to me, and I think it’s important to a whole lot of Americans is the First Amendment and religious freedom, religious liberty. And the Supreme Court Review went back and just looked at the last 60 years, 70 years of what’s happened with constitutional decisions related to religious liberties.

And they found that in the Earl Warren Court, I think he was Chief Justice, 15, 16, 17 years, whatever, that of all the cases that came to the corner on religious liberty, only 46% of the time, did that court go with religious liberty, even though the First Amendment explicitly guarantees that more than half the time the court said no way. Well, then you got to the Warren Burger Court and then went from 46% to 51%. And that’s an improvement, but it’s still half the time, it’s not going the right way.

Good Stuff Happening

And then you got to the Rehnquist Court, and at the Rehnquist Court, it was up to 58%. And that’s move in the right direction. President Ronald Reagan made him Chief Justice and elevated him to that post. And that’s move in the right direction. And that went to 2005. And in 2005, George W. Bush put John Roberts on the court. Under the Roberts Court from 2005 to now, 16 years, where winning 81% of religious liberty cases in the court.

Now, think about that, in just five decades, six decades, we’ve gone from 46% to 81%. It is so easy not to see the progress we’ve made. It is so easy not to notice all the things we’re winning at the court. It’s so easy not to see how many times the Supreme Court has knocked down Governor Newsom in California over the last year. And so don’t get fixated on Biden in his 95 executive orders in 100 days. I mean, that’s bad stuff.

But oh my gosh, look at the good stuff that’s happening. And don’t lose your perspective and get frustrated because we’re seeing stuff in the news that does bother us. Let’s look at all the other stuff we’re not really paying attention to that shows great progress in this culture war in America.

Rick:

Man, I couldn’t help, but think as you’re saying that, David, be strong and have a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. Don’t be dismayed out there, folks. Such a good word and so encouraging. Let’s take a quick break. We’ve got more of your questions out there, send them in radio@wallbuilders.com, is the place to email in. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realized that no other document devised 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.”

THE AMERICAN STORY

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.

And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.

Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out wallbuilders.com, The American Story.

Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday.

What Was the Real Reason for Texas Independence?

Next question comes from Heather. Well, first, she said, “Thank you all for what you do to preserve true history and restore our nation to its original values and principles. And my question is a result of a comment I heard made that said, ‘fighting at the Alamo and battle for Texas independence was so that white Americans in the Mexican territory of Texas could preserve the enslavement of black people (since Mexican laws prohibited enslavement).’”

Heather goes on to say, “I never had a Texas history class, but this was not among the main reasons I heard while visiting San Antonio, and frankly, it’s hard to believe. There’s a need for truth in this area.”

Well, great question, Heather. And, you know, Texans everywhere listening up, for sure. So guys, what was the real reason for Texas independence?

David:

Well, I’ve got to start with the fact, I’m shocked that we have an American who doesn’t know Texas history. Don’t they teach that in all states? If not, your basic first course…

Tim:

And to clarify, for those that don’t know, in Texas, you actually do take a course of Texas history that happens in elementary school. And so every kid who takes public education in Texas does get Texas history. But even if you took Texas history, the way that history is taught much these days, it’s very possible you would hear some of these nonsensical things. And certainly, if you go back, it’s a lot of interesting history and context surrounding some things with the Alamo.

Recruiting People from the States

But there were some Western Plains Indian, some native tribes who were fierce warriors, and in the midst of them being fierce warriors, they actually would have, and this is actually largely command chiefs, but they were Ka Words and there were many other Western Plains Indians and tribes around the Texas area at that time. And they would have spans of territory where they could go hundreds of miles on horseback, and in a matter of just hours, a day and a half, two days.

And so things that seemed like impossibilities for many people were possible for these native fierce warriors and what they were able to do once they really had figured out how to domesticate horses or use domesticated horses, and now they’re warring off these horses.

And in the midst of this, Mexicans, and literally, the Mexican government recognized that many of the people in the northern part of Mexico, which is Texas were being attacked, and were being brutalized by these Indians. And in the midst of this, they also recognized the Indians raids were coming further and further south, and so the Mexican government wanted to have a level of cushion for their own people.

So they began recruiting people from other states, and in this case, other nations to come and live in this unsettled territory, which again, was a Texas area, and actually was to try to protect their people. And so whoever would come and move in the settlements, they now became the targets of these natives.

Now, certainly, it’s true that many of the people moving in were from the United States of America, from kind of over on the eastern coast of the United States, and they’re migrating West, and they’re moving into Texas. This is the early 1800s we’re talking about, so that you now have explorers, and they’re coming West and things are unfolding.

“White” People Mexico

Well, this is part of how you are getting white people up, and in kind of northern Mexico or the Texas area. Now this is all just giving context for how those people even got there. They were invited to come live there by the Mexican government because the Mexican government was using them as a human shield in many regards for what was happening.

And this is also not to lose context. Many of the people, when they moved out, they recognize they were moving in a dangerous territory, they maybe didn’t know the full extent of these native tribes and their capabilities. So they didn’t maybe know everything they were moving into, but they knew it was dangerous. So I’m going to give that caveat that they weren’t moving into a friendly neighborhood, they knew that. Nonetheless, what happens with Texas…

David:

But Mexico made some great offers, we’ll give you all this free land if you’ll move in, we’ll give you all these place to settle and Mexico was giving away vast amounts of land to get these people in.

Tim:

Absolutely, giving incredible incentives for people to come move. In the midst of all of this, the white people and I’m saying white people, they weren’t just white people, but that’s part of how the description is being used today. So I’m just going to follow the description to explain the rest of the story. So as these white people, the settlers, these Americans are moving in to northern Mexico or what became Texas, they actually work with the Mexican government.

1824

They actually become very good friends with many of the Mexicans. And in the midst of this, back in 1824, Mexico wrote a Constitution and it had a Bill of Rights and the Bill of Rights actually respected many rights of the Mexican citizens, just like the American Bill of Rights very similar and recognizing many of those God-given rights now jumped forward.

Santa Ana becomes the new leader of Mexico. And as the new leader of Mexico, Santa Ana recognizes that he wants to do things that are illegal or unconstitutional according to their Bill of Rights. So Santa Ana suspends the Mexican Bill of Rights. When Santa Ana suspends the Mexican Bill of Rights, he goes and begins seizing property and seizing weapons and supplies.

As this unfolds, many of the Mexicans become very frustrated, and this leads to the actual Texas war for independence. But it wasn’t white people fighting Mexicans.

Go to the Alamo. At the Alamo, there were many, many Mexicans part of the Alamo. In fact, one of the guys who was relatively a leader in this war against Santa Ana for the Texans was actually the Mexican gentleman who wrote the Mexico Bill of Rights. All those years earlier, a dozen years earlier, he’s the guy who actually wrote that, and he recognized that Santa Ana is violating the Bill of Rights.

I’m not going for it. He stood up against it. All that to say, this notion that it was white people taking land from Mexicans and this abuse, there’s so much to the story that’s being left out in details. And certainly that accusation is very historically inaccurate.

David:

And one of the things that really reinforces that is if you look at the early pioneers of the Alamo, the battle Alamo, because this became a legendary battle really quick, went all over the United States. We have newspapers reporting the battle Alamo 1836 up in Boston, it was all over.

Davy Crockett

Tim:

Even when you have a former congressman Davy Crockett, right, coming down to Tennessee, volunteers coming down to help the Texans fight against Santa Ana, because Santa Ana is oppressing the people and taking away the rights of the people. So it becomes very famous in really all of America very quickly.

David:

And so what you say is in those paintings, the flag flying over the Alamo is a Mexican flag with the number 1824 on it. Why was it there? Because they’re saying we want to go back to the Constitution of 1824. That’s what it was about…

Tim:

And this matters because it was the year 1836, right. So they’re flying a flag with a date from a dozen years earlier. Well, what’s the significance that date? That’s when the Bill of Rights the Constitution was established, granting the rights of the people there in Mexico, and Santa Ana was rejecting all of those rights.

And the people there, the Alamo were saying, no, we’re supposed to have these rights and you’re suspending them. We want our God-given rights. That was really what they’re fighting for. And much of what happens in this Texas war for independence.

Mexico Ended Slavery First?

David:

And Texas really looked at the American war for independence as the model, the American Declaration of Independence. You had a tyrant King George III suspending our rights. We’ve got a tyrant Santa Ana who suspended our Bill of Rights. And it was the same model. The other thing that’s significant is that it was not well, the Mexicans have ended slavery and the Texans were trying to keep it going. No. No.

People often say that Mexico is one of the First Nations to end slavery? Yeah, kind of, except their law said. And by the way, you can go ahead and keep slaves for 99 more years. Well, on paper, they ended slavery.  

Tim:

Well, yeah, you can keep them as indentured servants because they’re not slaves anymore. But all of your former slaves, you can indentured servants for the next 99 years, and you know, pay them a peso, and that way, they’re indentured. But right, you’re treating them more humane, but they’re still your property for the next 99 years. So it wasn’t really freeing them in the same regard.

All this to say, there’s so much more context in the simplistic narrative that’s espoused today that is very historically inaccurate. And this is stuff that doesn’t take that much research to look and go back and find what was actually going on, who the major players were, what the conversations were. And it’s very different than the way the narrative is taught today.

Texas History

David:

And we’re going to have to find out why the other states no longer teach Texas history, that just doesn’t seem right. We’ve got to get that going again.

Tim:

Well, actually, it’s probably a good thing if states started teaching their own history and learn some of their own heroes, and instead of living in the culture, where we want to tear down every statue, even if we don’t know who the person was, what they did, or why they’re important to our city, or state, or whatever the case might be, many of them being great abolitionists, or leaders or bright ministers, missionaries, etc. We’ve just lost so much history.

And this is one thing that obviously we brag on taxes a lot. This is one thing that certainly is a good model happening in Texas, is every state I spend some time learning more about their history, and the major players involved in that.

And certainly as Texans, you have learned Texas history, you recognize, just like we say, with every moment of history that America is not perfect. And therefore we don’t have an expectation that everything that happened in American history was good or perfect or pure or innocent.

The same thing with Texas history. We recognize that all have sinned and fallen short the glory of God, that no nation, no state is ever perfect because every nation, every state has people inside them.

Don’t Just Believe What You Read on the Internet

And so Texas, history is not perfect history. But it is certainly a different narrative than much of what is taught today. And when you learn history, and you learn it in the context of the time in which people lived, it makes a very big difference. Because sometimes today people look back on some Western explorers and they see that they maybe had wars or battles with Indians and go how, dare they go in and war with these Indians? Not recognizing that look at the western plains Indians at the time of westward expansion, and many of these tribes were such fierce warriors.

Not only were they looking for people to attack in the sense of just wanting to have victory, they also if they captured someone alive, especially if it was a male, they would torture the male to death. And part of the reason was they wanted to see how strong this male was. Because the stronger the male was, then the greater their victory was, the greater their conquest was.

Because if you defeated a really strong warrior, that means you were an even better warrior than the warrior you defeated. But if you defeated somebody who wasn’t tough, then that’s not as impressive.

This is some of the context that when the only thing we know is kind of Disney’s impression of Pocahontas and they just want to paint with the colors of the wind well, that’s a very big misrepresentation of what was true historically. And again, this is not stuff that is even hard to verify historically, it’s just stuff that doesn’t get taught very much anymore. And we’ll go back big picture context, we’re not saying anybody is perfect, and we recognize nobody’s perfect, everybody needs a savior.

So we recognize there are flaws in the story. But oftentimes the flaws in the story or not the flaws that people are saying right now in the modern narrative, it’s something very different. This is why we tell people go back, study original documents, study original sources.

Taxes, A Well-Regulated Militia, The Alamo, And More – On Foundations Of Freedom

Don’t just take somebody’s word for it. Don’t just believe everything you read on the internet. Go back, do the research, look it up for yourself, and pursue what is true.

Rick:

And if you want to have some fun, go to wallbuilders.com. Wallbuilders.com, check out Chasing American Legends there. One of our episodes, we actually go to Gonzales, Texas, where the shot that started the Texas independence all began, where it all began right here in Gonzales and we go over to the Alamo and take a tour of the Alamo. So you can check all that out there at wallbuilders.com, check out Chasing American Legends. Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.

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.”