An Appeal To Heaven
July 4th, in the year of our Lord, 2016. Two hundred and forty years after my, our, forefathers got together secretly in Philadelphia and signed a Declaration of Independence that also was effectively a death warrant. The exhibited the highest level of courage and bravery and integrity to commit such an act of treason against the government. I couldn’t thank them enough today and had I been in that room on that day, I would have boldly signed my name on that paper. I’d sign today if We the People were to do it again. After today’s reflection, I shall pray to my Lord and thank him for his hand in the events of that time and the boldness of the Patriots past and their sacrifices for freedom. I shall thank the Lord for giving me the same courage to stand for freedom and for these trials and tribulations because He wants us to draw closer to him in our suffering.
I have much time in this prison, more than out in the unyieldingly busy world, to study the Word. I’ve done a lot of exploration in the Old Testament. In there I have found some astounding stories. First, I stumbled into Nehemiah and got to chapter 4 where Nehemiah was in defiance to his opposition while rebuilding the walls and gates around Jerusalem. The opposition plotted to attack Nehemiah and the workers, and it's what Nehemiah said to the people in verse 14 – “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Then they took up arms and would hold a sword in one hand and a tool in the other, and they split up so they were workers and guards. In chapter 5, Nehemiah deals with oppression of the lenders and creditors by going to them, the nobles and rulers, rebuking them. Verse 6 says - “And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these things.” I also become angry when I hear the outcry of my people at the hands of the government, but they don’t listen to me when I rebuke them. All through the book of Nehemiah, he defied the oppressors and evil men, and cleaned out the sin and defilement out of Jerusalem. Nehemiah is my hero and example of integrity and leadership of a Godly man. I also found it interesting how remarkably similar Nehemiah 4:14 is to a verse out of the Book of Mormon. That verse is Alma 46::12 and it says – “Moroni tore his coat to make a flag. On it he wrote, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” V.13 – “Moroni put the flag on a pole and called it the Title of Liberty. Then, holding it, and dressed in his armor, he knelt to pray.” Both of these stories are inspiring to me.
Second. In David, Chapter 6, after King Darius pulled Daniel out of the lion’s den, Daniel said to the King in verse 22 [ “My God sent his angel and shut the lion’s mouth, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, o King, I have done no wrong before you.” It really stood out to me that Daniel did no harm to anyone and therefore God was on his side. Even though the leaders and, well the government wrote “laws” that prohibited a certain “activity” or “conduct”, does not mean the law is good and just. And when the King figured out that the governors, administrators, Satraps, counselors, advisers had all tricked the King, he put them to their death in the lions’ den. I wish I had a good and just earthly King looking out for me. This might be where the concept that rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God, that Benjamin Franklin said, comes from. In this case with Daniel, evil men in the government conspired to pass laws to unjustly create criminals out of innocent people to serve an evil selfish desire and agenda. You will see this same tactic with the Pharisees in Mathew 22:15, and in Luke 20:20. They sought to catch Jesus in his own words. With Daniel, they sought to catch him breaking God’s Law, with is tied another law, and with Jesus, they sought to catch him breaking the law with the tax evasion question. But Jesus knew the motives of their hearts.
Thirdly, I want to go to the story, also in the Book of Daniel, of Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-Nego. King Nebuchadnezzar made a big gold image to worship. He made a decree that once music was played, everyone would bow down and worship the image. But Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-Nego refused. In chapter 3, v. 10, “You O king, have made a decree (law) that everyone who hears the sound… of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” The three were cast into the furnace but were not harmed. They obeyed God’s law and were saved.
At the time Jesus was around there was the Law of Moses – God’s Law – and there were over 600 laws. Prior to Jesus few people of the world obeyed all the law, including the Commandments. Jesus fulfilled the Law with his sinless life and then paid the price for all sin with his death and resurrection. There was a transition from the old law covenant to a new covenant, and giving the new Commandments to “Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, and minds; and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Romans 12:10 – “Love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Law must be based on our morals that is right and wrong from a moral standpoint. When our law-makers make law that has no moral grounds, then it serves no purpose other than some evil selfish agenda. With the story of Daniel, the law makers did not like or so they created a law that specifically targeted Daniel – evil agenda – that they knew he would break. Therefore, I shall not concern myself with such immoral lawlessness. I appeal to Heaven! As long as I do no harm to my “neighbor”, I am fulfilling God’s law and that is what makes the difference in where I spend my eternity and receiving the Lord’s blessings. The leaders and representatives of this America have become exceedingly immoral. We do not just need political reform, but also a moral reform. As far as where we are today, where we are headed as an oppressed people, in the fight for freedom, laws must be broken, treason must be committed, rebellion and sedition must be carried out, because whoever the tyrant government is that is trying to rule a people, they have the laws against such acts of trying to live free. Any such power that would govern a free people by slowly taking away their freedom shall deserve a rebellion and treason. Lest we forget what John Locke said – “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property (and liberty) of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.” Let’s also not forget what Ayn Rand said in her book Atlas Shrugged – “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” Think about that for a minute. Our legislators have been doing just that.
Allegedly, I have violated laws where there is no injured party to victim. How can there be a crime if there is no victim. One of the elements of a crime is the evil intent requirement. This is where the moral issue comes in. You have to do something evil and immoral to someone or something to have committed a crime. How is making your own gun evil and immoral? In a free country where its founding documents declare that all men have liberty, there can be no law that prohibits a conduct or activity that has no victim. Under some other country that has a king or dictator, they can declare whatever they want to be illegal. That is why America is awesome, because we have freedom, or we used to. As long as I abide by God’s Law, I won’t ever hurt anybody, minus accidents, and that is all I care about.
Do no harm! I appeal to Heaven.
Memoir #2 Schuyler Barbeau
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