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The Nation in Arms
Commentary on
Constitutional Homeland Security
by Edwin Vieira

F. Earle Fox

For articles by Vieira, and for contact information,
go to http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin.htm
and to http://www.gunowners.org:80/opevtb.htm

Edwin Vieira has been the subject of several references on the Road to Emmaus.  A Constitutional scholar, he appears to be a careful, accurate, and honest writer.  He is performing a task which is very badly needed in America if we are to keep our freedom, namely working to revive the militia of the various states, which, he rightly claims, so far as the use of arms is concerned, is the most effective wall of defense against tyranny. 

I am not sure where Vieira stands on the spiritual issues, but they are prior to and the necessary foundation for military and police defense of freedom.  Without God, we have no hope of winning the struggle to maintain freedom.  Our practical, de facto choice is between:  "Jesus is Lord" vs. "Civil government is lord".  But, we must not continue to neglect the arms and Second Amendment issues.  They can help sustain freedom -- if they are submitted to the law and grace of God. 

The Second Amendment is in place, not to guarantee the right to hunt or shoot targets, but to give the people the capacity to put down a government which transgresses its rightful place as servant of the people under God, by force if necessary.  The standing army has almost entirely replaced the militia in the mind of the people, but, in a government contest with the people, the loyalty of a standing army is almost always going to be to the government, not the people.  We have only one Michael New, who stood against the sell-out of our military by the President to the UN.  There should have been thousands.  There should have been a multitude of objections among the military themselves who were ordered to remove arms from the New Orleans citizens after the Katrina storm.  Few things are more dangerous to freedom than a standing army. 

We have had a standing army since probably the very beginning of the Republic.  But perhaps beginning as early as the 1850's, civil government has taken it upon itself to subvert the Constitution which it swore to uphold and protect.   That is chiefly the fault of the citizens who have allowed themselves to be seduced into apathy, self-centeredness, and a consumerist attitude, in which government becomes our god, the one which supplies stability of being and of moral direction.  It has become an idol, and must be brought back down to being a servant, of God -- as decided by the people. 

For that to happen, those who worship God must regain their intellectual, moral, and spiritual integrity.  But in the midst of those more gentle forms of redress, there is the matter of responding potentially with coercive force.

The primary officers of state in a democratic republic under God are not the elected officers, but the voting people, those who are to be served by the government God has given us.  The tendency of almost every government in history, however, has been to collect all the power of coercion, of education, and of the media to itself.  Those three mean virtually total control of the people.  There are times when the process of this centralized control has gone beyond the place where it can be reversed by persuasion and the normal means of legislation (as with the American Revolution).  At such times, it will require the people to resist with force -- we may need a second revolution. 

The only nation of which I am aware which keeps a militia something like our Constitution mandates is Switzerland (see article on how the tiny Swiss nation managed homeland security surrounded by vastly larger Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy).   Virtually every able-bodied male is required to keep a military weapon in his home, ready for use.  Such an armed citizenry is not likely to be undone by a centralized government, or a foreign invader. 

Of Vieira's series, Constitutional "Homeland Security", only volume 1, The Nation in Arms, is now (so far as I know) in print.  The series is his effort to inspire the return of America to the Constitutional understanding and practice of our means of defense against enemies of freedom within our midst. 

Vieira is not advocating a "vigilante" form of militia, acting independently of civil government, he is advocating the revival of the militia directed by our Constitution.  In such a plan, states, counties, and towns must provide buffer communities between the individual and the central government.  The founding fathers had no plan for the central government taking over local governments. 

If the central government owns all the guns, then the people will never be able to defend themselves against that central government.  Only if the primary officers of state themselves have weapons at their disposal through local governments will they be able to maintain their freedom against a tyrannical encroachment by the central government.  It is silly to imagine that a government which has all the weapons will long be "nice" enough to continue granting the people their God-given freedoms.  Such a government considers itself a god, and is not amenable to being obedient to the real deity. 

Vieira's plan thus requires the principle of subsidiarity, that all government must take place at the lowest and most local level possible.  And that in turn requires that state, county, and town governments be aware of their place in maintaining the freedoms of their citizens, not allowing the federal government to erode their independent militia authority as granted under the Constitution. 

Only as citizens are living members of their local communities, including the protection of those communities against illegal intrusion from above, can freedom be maintained. 

Vieira writes in the conclusion to Volume 1, The Nation in Arms:

.... As now being implemented, the General [Federal] Government's scheme for "homeland security" is destined to fail, either by shortchanging this country on protection, or by producing a National police state, or (more likely) both.

Revitalization of the Militia could provide everything that true "homeland security" demands.  Indeed, for reasons far beyond the supposed needs of the ostensible "war on terrorism", revitalization of the Militia should have occurred many yesterdays ago.  Now, America cannot wait for too many tomorrows, because her options are rapidly running out.  So, this job needs to be started immediately, if not sooner -- and finished quickly, whatever the effort and whatever the cost.  ....   (P. 169) 

There is something good and right about men and guns, yes, even in the Biblical tradition.  Maybe especially, maybe only there.  But a Godly man becomes more of a man when he is able to defend his family and country against invaders, foreign and domestic.  Just as there are those called to a monastic life, or to the life of the Amish, there are those called to pacifism.  That is a valid Christian witness to the fact that we can survive without weapons if we must.  But there is also a place for coercive force in the economy of God.  Civil government is essentially and rightly about coercive force -- some things are rightly to be enforced.  So weapons of coercion cannot be abandoned in principle by Christians.  When Jesus says, "Depart from me, I never knew you...," He is pulling the final trigger, no appeal. 

For articles by Vieira, and for contact information,
go to http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin.htm
and to http://www.gunowners.org:80/opevtb.htm

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