RestoRing AmeRicA

One County at a Time

Joel McDurmon

AMERICAN VISION PRESS
Powder Springs, Georgia

Restoring America One County at a Time
by Joel McDurmon © Copyright 2012 Joel McDurmon. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior, written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles. Published by: American Vision, Inc. 3150-A Florence Road, Suite 2 Powder Springs, GA 30127–5385 www.AmericanVision.org 1–800–628–9460 Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles. Cover design by Joseph Darnell ISBN: 978-1-936577-20-0

To

Gary and Sharon North
for all the help, and in hope for your grandchildren

Also by Joel McDurmon God versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel The Return of the Village Atheist Biblical Logic: In Theory and Practice Jesus v. Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51–20:26, Jesus’ Lawsuit Against Israel What Would Jesus Drink? A Spirit-Filled Study Zeitgeist: The Movie—Exposed: Is Jesus an Astrological Myth? Visit: www.AmericanVision.com for more

Upon the whole, we are too apt to charge those misfortunes to the want of energy in our government, which we have brought upon ourselves by dissipation and extravagance. . . . No government under heaven could have preserved a people from ruin, or kept their commerce from declining, when they were exhausting their valuable resources in paying for superfluities, and running themselves in debt to foreigners, and to each other for articles of folly and dissipation:— While this is the case, we may contend about forms of government, but no establishment will enrich a people, who wantonly spend beyond their income. —Candidus (1787) But supposing our future rulers to be wicked enough to attempt to invade the rights of conscience; I may be asked how will they be able to effect so horrible a design? I will tell you my friends—The unlimited power of taxation will give them the command of all the treasures of the continent; a standing army will be wholly at their devotion, .  .  . These powers, if they should ever fall into bad hands, may be abused to the worst of purposes. —An Old Whig (1787)

Preface
his book was conceived one day as I neared completion on God versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel. On that day, Gary North and Gary DeMar were standing in my office discussing the work. One of them noted, “Well, you’ve written the critique; next you need to write the book that gives a positive plan of what to do.” North’s constant refrain came to mind once again: “You can’t beat something with nothing.” If I had a nickel… It’s by far the most prominent question we get in emails and at conferences. After hearing about biblical worldview, biblical law, godly governments, and Christian liberty; and after hearing our critiques of liberalism, secularism, humanism, and radical end-times madness, the number one question is always: “What do we do now?” This book represents the fruit of my efforts to answer that question. Before you get into the meat of the book, let me explain its nature and structure. This will help you to make the best use of it either as an individual, a teacher or leader, or as a group. First, this is a practical project. It focuses on things that can be done and done now. In most of these areas, there are things we can do immediately to have an impact. Many people are already doing them with considerable success. In other areas, the practical steps depend on larger social changes before they can be implemented, so we plan and work in the interim to be in a position to accomplish these long-term goals when the time comes. But the more we concentrate on the things we
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must do—and which we can do now—to restore a free society, the more we will open up possibilities for more substantial change. We have to rebuild the foundations first in order to have something lasting on which to build the rest of society. Consequently, I’ve made an attempt to prioritize the topics of this course according to their practicality for the average individual now. Second, this project focuses on localism, not Nationalism or national politics, or even so much states’ rights (although states’ rights will play an important role). Patriots primarily love their homeland, their roots, not their Nation-State (that was a later perversion of patriotism). Historically, the county was the fundamental unit of government—people rarely had contact with or obligation to any government official beyond that. This should become an ideal once again, and it can. Focusing on localism—“County Rights”—we can take very practical and meaningful steps toward saving this country from all forms of tyranny. If we don’t have the vision, and the integrity, and the willingness to sacrifice to take back freedom in our homes, neighborhoods, towns, and counties in areas of life where we can now, then the dream of taking back America at large is a delusion. So, here we’ll have an emphasis on restoring America county by county—your county, one county at a time. And the overall goal is to inspire individuals and cell groups in each of America’s 3,143 counties to advance and eventually implement the vision we will discuss. Third, this project is only for people serious about freedom. There are very real sacrifices that you will have to make in your personal lifestyle, especially in the areas of personal finances, time management, self-improvement, and family education. It is simply going to take a commitment of time and money and discipline toward a better future. I will frankly, honestly, openly address the issue of sacrifices; we will talk about the stumbling blocks and psychological hurdles we’ll have to get over in order to restore America to the freedom it

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once had. As part of this, we will address how we have grown accustomed to living off government “benefits” at all levels of government, and what it will mean to live in a world where you personally refuse to accept those benefits (while they still exist right in front of your face, ripe for the taking), and eventually a world where those benefits no longer exist as a function of State coercion. If you want to escape the trap of tyranny, you will have to acquire the mentality of the wise mouse who said, “To heck with the cheese, let’s get out of this trap.” (You will encounter the the phrase “Don’t take the cheese.” several times throughout this book.) So this is for serious lovers of freedom only—those willing to change their lifestyle, to sacrifice, in order to recover individual and social integrity. Finally, this is a long-term project. I am planning and working in order to make a better life for my children, but even more importantly, for my grandchildren and their children. You will not take back America overnight no matter how you go about it, and anyone—especially a politician—who promises you that you can is lying to get your vote. But, you also will never restore America without implementing lasting changes, and this requires a multi-generational vision. Involved in this mentality is one of the sacrifices I just mentioned—that is, we are probably not going to reap all the benefits of a free society in our lifetimes. But if we don’t work toward that goal doing the things we can do now, then our future generations will have to start from scratch in an even more degraded society. So, we’ll focus on commitment to steady, slow, yet meaningful progress toward a much larger, long-term vision of a free society. This is the nature of our project: 1) practical efforts, 2) locally focused, 3) requiring personal sacrifice, 4) to accomplish a long-term vision. We can summarize these with the following ideas: 1) Get things done 2) County-by-County. 3) Don’t take the cheese. 4) Plan for your grandkids.

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These are not only aspects of a truly free society, they are all biblical Christian concepts, and we’ll discuss that some in each of the topics we cover as well. As for the structure of this book: it covers ten topics, each a major aspect of our social lives. I give a summary of these in the Introduction. I then cover each of these topics in a separate chapter, each in three major sections: First, how America was once free; Second, how that freedom was lost; and Third, steps to get freedom back. In this third section lies the key: practical steps to answer that question of what we can do. This work is much more than an action manual, however. It presents the type of iconoclastic history lessons, biblical studies, moral challenges, unpopular truths, and reformational remedies a restored Christian republic will require. This is a training series meant to be incorporated throughout your larger education and worldview. A full video version of the ten topics is available on DVD and also free online at our website (AmericanVision.org), and on our YouTube channel (americanvisiontv). I highly recommend these for home schools and general personal education. Visit out web store (AmericanVision.com) to learn more.
Powder Springs, Georgia October 2012

Joel McDurmon

Contents
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii .1 .9 41 71 111 153 183 211 245 285 349 391 395 Introduction. 2: Welfare 1: Education .

3: County Rights . 4: States’ Rights . 5: Taxation . 6: Money 7: Markets 8: Courts 9: Defense Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . .

10: The Executive . Appendix:

Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment

Introduction

I

t is hard to miss the plethora of books, websites, radio shows, and even political campaigns chiming on the tune of “Restore America” with every possible permutation of the idea: take back, comeback, turn around, hope for, uniting, and the list goes on. When generalities run low, you read about restoring America’s fill-in-the-blank: faith, freedom, prosperity, goodness, greatness, economy, markets, military, conscience, promise, justice, neighborhoods, future… you get the picture. While many grand ideas surface in nearly all of these publications, most of them with few exceptions fall short of presenting the hardest of the hard truths, and virtually none of them provide real, viable, practical steps that average Americans can actually take to restore any of the virtues mentioned, let alone our fundamental foundations of liberty. If this is ever going to change, someone must set forth the issues, ideas, history, hurdles, and blueprints of the way forward. Among that plethora of “Restoring America” resources, one book at least recognizes a large part of the real problem: the neglect of localism. The very few resources that do provide practical steps aim at national-level political solutions—a refrain we have heard, rehearsed, and sung for decades while observing no progress—only gridlock at best, and more often than not, steady decline. This one writer noticed the problem:
There’s another important step: don’t waste your energies by campaigning for a presidential candidate. Instead, focus your energy where it can count—focus on the local 1

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level. Taking America back begins by taking back your city councils, your county boards, your zoning boards, your sheriff’s departments—all the local government bodies. Then use those agencies and governing bodies to resist Washington’s power grab, to say no to federal intrusion, to fight Big Government’s mandates.1

Yet even when this author—who provides many great suggestions (e.g., home schooling)—arrives at a “twelve step action program,” he provides very little of real practical substance. (Indeed, three of that author’s twelve steps are selfpromotions for books and websites.) Another recent book presents interviews with a couple dozen leaders from the Christian right, asking what in the world went wrong between 1980 and now, during which intervening decades Christians essentially have been used by conservative politicians while making very little if any political progress. We won’t get fooled again is the catch phrase. And yet, after interviewing so many prominent Christian leaders, the authors can offer little more than generalities—“principles before process,” “issues not personalities”—beyond the simple step, “Pray.” It seems that even the boldest of Christian leaders today can rarely advance us beyond the lessons we were taught in Sunday school. Because of this, a hug gap exists between actual biblical teachings, western history, and the vague, motionless cries for faith and freedom that abound today. We hear a lot about “Christian America” these days, about how “America was founded as a Christian Nation,” and about how we need to get back to the Christian freedoms of our founding fathers. There is no doubt we need to recover Christian—indeed, biblical—freedom in this country. Unfortunately, the historical truth is not quite as clear as many would have us to believe, or indeed as we ourselves would so strongly like to believe. It simply requires greater qualification. (Accepting
1 Joseph Farah, Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom, Morality, and Justice (Nashville, TN: WND Books, 2005), 208.

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this truth is one of those psychological hurdles mentioned in the Preface.) In order to find the true Christian foundations of this country, we need to look back before those who are often mistakenly called “founders” to discover the clear biblical ideas that existed in society and government before their era—principles which were lost, neglected, marginalized, or even suppressed during the later “founding” era. Much of what we have come to associate with “Christian America” was actually the product of a late nineteenth-century progressive, imperialism which was Christian in name only and rarely if ever could cite the Bible to confirm its political and social policies. Aside from some Christian rhetoric—which was more political than biblical—there has remained a gap between Sunday school lessons and any comprehensive application of biblical ideals to society from the Pilgrim and Puritan era until today.2 That huge gap needs filling. Even if you may disagree with the lessons provided, disagree with the emphases, analyses, or the action steps called for, yet even still, an honest attempt to address the erosion of Christianity and liberty in this nation must take a long, hard look at how freedom was lost specifically, and how it can be actually regained. The suggestions offered for Restoring America One County at a Time are intended to begin to fill this need.

A Hard-Core, Ten-Step Training Course
It will not do to content ourselves with lip service to patriotism, faith, and freedom. We must have real, substantial plans and real, practical action items. These must be clear and they must be broad, addressing every area of life in which freedom must be restored. Keeping in mind the four principles outlined in the Preface above, we need practical, local, selfless, and visionary plans to restore America if we are ever to make real progress toward the type of freedom we once had. There are at
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There are exceptions to this, of course, which we will examine.

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least ten areas in which concerned American Christians can and must act, locally, practically, seriously, now: 1. Education: Education is one area in which you can still exercise almost complete control. We’re not just talking about educating yourself, we’re talking about your children too. Education in a free society can only be private, never government-run at any level. Whether you choose to employ a private school or to teach your children at home, government-operated, tax-funded schools cannot be an option if we are to have a free society. Regaining liberty here requires no change in existing laws—only one’s lifestyle. Many people could implement these changes tomorrow, if not over a few months. It’s only a test of desire—Do you really want a free society? There are economic and psychological hurdles here, and we will address those. For now, we must understand that government schools are at the heart of the problem of government-dominated society. We can change this personally now, and we should. All that is stopping us is the perceived benefit of free schooling and daily childcare. This is the cheese in the trap. Don’t take the cheese. Do we really want a free society, or do we depend on tax-funded benefits like the liberals and socialists we criticize? This is priority number one. If we are serious about freedom, we have to start with education. If we can’t accomplish change in this one area, then forget the rest. Nothing about truly restoring America will be easier or more readily obtainable than taking free control over your family’s education. There’s nothing stopping us here. 2. The Welfare State: Social Security is a problem, but it doesn’t have to be a trap. This means we need to learn about options for securing our own financial futures, privately, while we opt out of Social Security over time. The issue here is that welfare of all forms should be a privately funded and insured affair, not supported through taxation. Family and charity can replace the Welfare State. Again, we must refuse the benefit. Don’t take the cheese. Of course, this will certainly mean per-

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sonal sacrifices. Again, we will outline the personal impediments in the chapter, speak frankly about how to overcome them, and determine what the costs will be. 3. Localism: The real practical solution to big-government intrusion in our lives is not so much states’ rights, but county rights. This involves returning government and community to a more grass-roots level where it ought to be. Support your local sheriff is a good way to remember this. We will emphasize a truly local vision—confronting local waste and corruption, and focus on smaller, practical things we can impact now. In this process, we will expose the areas where the sovereignty of local communities is compromised by receiving Federal and state funds for perceived benefits. We will emphasize learning about, monitoring, and interacting with local authorities, and we will emphasize local applications of “Don’t take the cheese.” 4. State Sovereignty: This chapter includes a history of the Nationalist takeover of America which began immediately after the Constitution’s ratification. We will discuss the agenda of big banks, the military-industrial complex, and national taxation, as well as the politicians who engineered the plan and why. From this we will be in a position to recommend ways of living that minimize our personal involvement in this tyranny, and discuss the roles of nullification and interposition which are becoming more popular today. While we emphasize County Rights primarily, States’ Rights are important also as a buffer, and as part of a truly federal system of government. 5. Taxes: Taxation must be returned exclusively to the local level—in keeping with the way this country was founded and designed to be run. We’ll cover the Income Tax amendment and the drastic change in American society it represents. We will discuss the nature and scope of taxation in a truly federal society; we will see why the power to tax is the power to destroy; and we will discuss the role of taxation—if any—in a truly free local society. 6. Money (Breaking the Federal Reserve System): We will

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review the question, “What has government done with our money?” We will discuss money and currency in American history, particularly the several instances of failed paper currency. We will discuss the role of government coercion in banking and debt: counterfeiting laws, war, welfare, restrictions on states, etc., and why these laws exist. We will discuss who profited (and still does) from these arrangements, and what happened to real wealth in each case. We will discuss alternative currencies, banking, the benefits and sacrifices of freedom in money, and also how to protect your personal wealth from a devalued paper/digital currency. Gold is wealth, why is it not money? What’s the government got against gold? Find out why one American statesman once complained that debtors were chasing down their creditors and “paying them without mercy”! 7. Free Markets: The sanctity of private property, the enforcement of contracts, and the right not to engage in contracts. We will discuss the role government coercion and money manipulation has played in business and the economy: inflation, legal tender laws, the business cycle, government corporatism (essentially fascism here in America), etc. 8. Courts: We’ll see how the Constitution centralized power over the various local courts in this land, and how this was immediately exploited to favor big-government agendas. We’ll trace subsequent expansions of government based on that early precedent. The remedy to recover freedom is the decentralization of courts, local and separate jurisdictions, and even private courts (perhaps especially), all with only local law enforcement. We’ll see one check and balance against the Court in the Constitution most people don’t even know exists, and yet it’s been used to protect mainly big-government interests so far—even recently. The key to the abortion issue, family protections, and much more lies in the issue of decentralizing the judiciary. Believe it or not, there are actually practical steps you can take here as well.

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9. Defense: One of the most important areas—and perhaps that in which Christians are most deceived—is in regard to our military. We must support and demand a decentralized defense system instead of the national standing army and empire we’ve allowed, and even promoted, for over a century. We’ll take a close look at biblical rules for the military and war. Patriotism does not mean Militarism. Patriotism does not mean Empire. Being patriotic and conservative does not mean always supporting everything the military does. Antiwar is not Anti-American. We will discuss how the military was originally decentralized and strictly defense-oriented, and how it was transformed incrementally to become a powerful centralized force designed to serve the varied interests of the central government, eventually being used in prolonged international conflicts. We will show how and why this was done in American history, and who profited from it at the expense of millions of lives and trillions of dollars. We will propose practical steps that you can take now to gain the moral high ground at least, in the process of returning from offensive corporate-state militarism to true armed patriotism. 10. The Executive: We take a look at treaties, Executive Orders, and emergency powers. How do they work? What safeguards do we have against them if necessary? Why are we vulnerable to international organizations because of them? How have they already been abused? And how can we best work to protect ourselves from them? These are the ten basic topics; some of them may sound large and intimidating, and that’s because some of them are. But keep in mind, we’re going to focus on accomplishing a longterm vision by small practical changes—through personal sacrifice and local service. None of this will change overnight, but if we don’t lay the necessary foundations for freedom, it will never change (and in fact, it will get worse). So if you’re serious about freedom, please invest the time to read these lessons, watch the video versions online, and teach them to your children. Then

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pass them on to your friends, family, pastors, and while you’re at it, pass it on to your in-laws, ex’s, and enemies too. We all need Christ, faith, family, and freedom. Unless we invest the time and sweat to get these things back, we have no one to blame for society’s erosion but ourselves. And of course, all the books in the world won’t help you restore America—even if the authors decide to wake up and finally tell you how to do it. So, by all means, read this book. Then go out and get things done.

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