Stronghold Demolition 101
Stronghold Demolition 101
"Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall..." (Lev. 26:8)
One of many Biblical doctrines R. J. Rushdoony taught me years ago was how God blesses personal, familial, ecclesiastical, and national obedience to His law. Since childhood I never believed I was saved by such obedience, but always knew it was my joyful duty to obey the triune God.
Raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, I remember some of the best lessons of my youth being the study of the Ten Commandments in Luther's Small Catechism. It resonated with such clarity concerning the holiness of God, pointing inward to my sin in such a convicting manner, that I came fully to know and profess my dependence on the completed work of Christ alone.
But Putting Enemies to Flight?
As a redeemed Christian, I learned that Rushdoony was right, and have seen the blessings of applying God's law in my marriage, in the lives of our eleven children, and in the lives of other Christians. Yet for years I wondered if I'd ever get to see the extraordinary promise of the Leviticus text come to life in those I knew personally, whether acquaintances or faithful leaders of my community. Yes, we read of the heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11) and hear of great accounts over church history. But sending entrenched enemies who enjoy numerical superiority over us to flight, in our current culture?
As one commentary explains, "Numbers are of no consequence when the Lord intervenes. Israel (God's people), with His help, puts to flight vast numbers of his adversaries, while a numerous but disobedient Israel would be defeated by a few, even fleeing when no one pursued (v. 17)."1 I imagine most Chalcedon readers readily perceive that the modern American church today is in a continuing state of either fearful flight or giddy escapism!
The church's idolatrous, widespread disavowal of God's law causes many to flee wicked men, men who appear powerful in our eyes but not in God's eyes, who sees them as fleeting vapors. Even when there are many of us and few of them, the church flees. It is our idolatry (Lev. 26:1) and unwillingness to obey God (26:3) that deprive us of true peace with God in the land (v. 6). I believe the "peace" of so many antinomian Christians is contrived and emotive, prompting many to turn Romans 13 on its head to justify our failure to resist wicked teachings, powers, and rulers. Yet Isaiah 1:17 tells us, "Learn to do good. Seek justice. Rebuke the oppressor. Defend the fatherless. Plead for the widow." In today's world, Samuel Rutherford's Lex Rex should be required reading for every Reformed elder.
"They are Angry With You. They are Afraid Of You!"
God's Word is true and every man a liar- a Biblical principle that applies to Leviticus 26:8 as well as the example of Gideon's valiant three hundred in Judges 7. In His providence, God has been kind enough to let me see this come to pass in my life.
It was a cold day in December, 2007. I was in the WOC radio station, Davenport, Iowa, working as the state field director for Texas Congressman Ron Paul's first Republican presidential bid in the Iowa caucuses. My phone rang; it was a reporter from the WCCO TV station in Minneapolis, MN. She said a quickly assembled conference was convening that day to discuss the "crisis in funding for the public schools of the Twin Cities metro area." (Yes, funding is always a "crisis" in their world.) Though I never confirmed her statement, she told me the conference was being attended by three leading DFL (Democrat, Farm, Labor) legislators from the Minnesota House Ways and Means committee, three leading DFL members of the House Education Finance committee, the Minnesota Secretary of Education, and the superintendents of nearly every government school in the Twin Cities' metro area. When I inquired as to why she was calling me for a comment, she replied, "Well, they spent the first hour and a half of their conference this morning talking about you. They are angry with you and they are afraid of you!"
"Me?" I exclaimed.
Why Do Some Of The Most Powerful People in Minnesota Fear Me?
Who am I and what do I do that they "fear" me so much? I am a Christian (Calvinist) political consultant (what some would call a "community organizer") who helps local taxpayers defeat city, county, and especially government school district bond issues and levies (among other projects) at the local ballot box.
I have worked in nine states so far (upper Midwest states, Texas, and South Carolina) and have been fairly busy during the last decade in Minnesota. Prior to the state's December 2007 education conference, I took on a local ballot committee client that was working to defeat a $250 million operational levy (spending money over the next ten years) scheduled by the Robbinsdale, MN, ISD school board funded by new property taxes (if approved by the voters).
My clients reported that the Robbinsdale school district was home to some of the most aggressively leftist political activists in the state. A few months before election day, Thomas Dooher, physical education teacher at Robbinsdale, took office as President of Education Minnesota, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers state dual-affiliate. I doubt most Faith for All of Life readers need an introduction to these national teachers unions. Education Minnesota is a powerful public employee union in Minnesota, representing 70,000 public employees in the state. Furthermore, Keith Ellison, America's first Muslim Congressman, represents portions of the Minneapolis metro area, including the Robbinsdale suburb. To top it all off, I was told some of the more "Marxist" members of the Minnesota legislature represent the Robbinsdale area.
Heading into the fight, my clients were told, "You don't stand a chance!" As in nearly all of my struggles against excessive local government programs and spending plans, my clients (humanly speaking) were fighting alone. Not one local politician publicly joined with them; politicians see no gain for themselves taking sides on a local ballot issue. Further, under an unjust Supreme Court ruling, the local government functionaries can use all the tax money they want in promoting their proposal just so long as they don't expressly advocate a "Vote Yes" message. Local media serve almost exclusively as lapdogs for the government school's proposal while employees of the local government agency often use aggressive intimidation tactics to silence opposition.
Against great odds, we fought hard in Robbinsdale during the campaign and Providence shown brightly upon us on election day. Voters defeated the proposal by over 1,000 votes.
And Then It Got Interesting
Some important background information first. For several years prior to this I had been in contact with a Minneapolis law firm that fights for Christian freedoms and Constitutional liberty in their state. They are a small but highly gifted firm that picks issues that involve a big legal lever-cases in which a victory will have a large impact.
Minnesota has a terrible state law that allows government agencies or their "friends" to file suit in a state administrative court against local ballot committees for "knowingly using false information during the campaign." This law assumes that a ballot issue question can be libeled or slandered. Such alleged damages are not inflicted on individuals or political candidates, where the code already provides legal remedies, but upon a non-person, an abstraction. Under this law, a non-person (a ballot measure) can be libeled or slandered by taxpayer committees opposing the local proposal.
School administrators have used this law to threaten several of my Minnesota client committees who were opposing extravagant new school building proposals or levies to fund massive spending. The general threat takes this form: "We are going to watch your campaign message very closely and if we see any false information we will notify you and you will be required to correct it or we'll file a legal complaint." Now keep in mind that the school administrator making this "gentle" threat is often the same person holding all the government records needed by the opposing ballot committee to make an accurate report to the voters. Stalling our clients and blocking access to the records are to the administrator's advantage. In Minnesota as in many other states, a district employee under the superintendent's authority is also the Election Clerk authorized to conduct the local election and count the votes! They truly hold all the cards.
What Happened In Earlier Minnesota Cases
My Minnesota client committees will often scrape together local donations to contend for their cause, receiving considerable persecution from the local bureaucratic class, competing against hugely unjust odds using absolutely accurate and factual information in a local election, and then win at the ballot box. And, after all of this, they can then have such a lawsuit filed against them. One of my client committees had over twenty-five false charges filed against them after a similar victory at the polls-including a charge that the chairman of my client committee falsely stated that the consulting architect on the pending ballot proposal had previously offered a bribe to a school official in a different district to get the contract on another proposed Twin Cities school building. As a result of this blowback, the chairman of my client committee had to hire an attorney to defend himself and the committee in administrative court.
One can easily spend thousands of dollars more to defend against such false charges. In this case, my client was acquitted of all charges, including his statement about the architect, after his attorney presented the evidence and got the architect to admit on the witness stand that in the past he gave something of real value to another school superintendent to influence him to persuade the building committee to name his firm as architect.
The Westminster Confession Q. 130 admonishes rulers against abusing their God-ordained authority in the areas of the home, the church, and the civil magistrate. The confession speaks to the areas of not "leaving them to wrong," "provoking others under their authority to wrath" or any other "unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior" that diminishes their God-given authority.
Local government bodies are getting bolder in violating this provision of the Fifth Commandment. King Rehoboam wouldn't listen to his elders, to the contrary hearkening to the young novices around him in 1 Kings 12. He responded to the pleas of the "whole assembly of Israel" by increasing his father Solomon's prior burdens, adding to the people's yoke and replacing whips with scourges. His father's elders told him to be a servant to the people and to speak good words to them. He added to their oppression instead.
Such violation of one's God-ordained authority will drive people to finally cry out, "What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel!" (1 Kings 12:16).
I was seeing Christian people in the nine states I work in being oppressed to the point that they were no longer seeing what "share" they have in America, or even in their state or community, while rejecting the corporate and nanny welfare state as evil. Every reasonable entreaty they offered was met with derision and increased oppression. Many of these people are reaching the point where they are willing to throw off their fears and rise up politically to expose, challenge, and defeat their oppressors at the ballot box. I fear what lies ahead if the ballot box is completely negated.
Here's where it got oppressive. After you've fought to win in the election, you may have to fight to win in court and dig into your pocket for legal fees. School districts in Minnesota and many other states can simply turn around and schedule another election, sometimes as soon as sixty days later. Holding all the cards, they simply wear out community taxpayers. And again, the legal authority to sue the victors is based on statutory premises that committee officers can libel a non-person.
In my past conversations with this Minneapolis law firm, we had come to call it the "Oppress the Taxpayers Act." Several of my clients, feeling they have little "share" left in their local communities, were itching to challenge the constitutionality of the law and this particular law firm was interested in going to battle to finally put a stop to it.
Now Back To Robbinsdale!
November 7, 2007, the day after our election day victory, Twin Cities' media were abuzz about the Robbinsdale defeat. In the media mix was the school superintendent saying that my clients "knew they were not telling the truth to the voters." He was making this up in an obvious prelude to yet another unjust lawsuit before the Office of Administrative Hearings (the administrative court). This time the attorney in Minneapolis heard it on the radio and called to give me a "heads up." I could see what the Robbinsdale superintendent was up to and asked the attorney's advice. His response: Sue them first! Challenge this oppressive law in Federal Court as a free speech violation. That will also "stay" any action they are considering.
Five of my former political clients (including the Robbinsdale committee) put up the money later that day and by that afternoon the law firm filed suit on their behalf against the county attorneys of Minnesota, the Minnesota Attorney General, and the Robbinsdale ISD superintendent, challenging the constitutionality of this state law. As I write this, the plaintiffs lost the first round in U. S. District Court in St. Paul (which dismissed their suit), but they recently won on an appeal to a panel of jurists on the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, which ordered the U. S. District Court in Minnesota to hear their case.
First They Beat Them And Then They Sue Them!
By Thursday morning, November 8, I was told Eleanor Mondale, daughter of former presidential candidate Walter "Fritz" Mondale, was throwing a fit on her WCCO radio talk show about me and my clients. "First they beat them and then they sue them," she was ranting! And at Robbinsdale, no less! She was asserting that my clients lied to win and then sued to protect our lies. Obviously there was no merit to it as one of the plaintiffs was the previous committee that had been previously acquitted of all twenty-five-plus trumped-up false charges lodged against them.
But the message was clear. Few people "play" this way with government education. The few who might do so have been Biblically trained by Rushdoony and others to see that civil government has no legitimate role in training up covenant children in the first place. It is time to confront the rotting corpse of this failed Prussian/Unitarian experiment in Christ-hating social engineering-the government schools.
The year before all this happened, a vice president of a major Twin Cities municipal bond dealer made a presentation at the March 2006 meeting of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators titled, "Public Finance Elections and the Paul Dorr Factor: Get Ready or Get Defeated." As God would have it, this very same gentleman, who has also written a book on how to pass voter-approved bonds and levies for government bodies, was the financial advisor on the quarter-billion-dollar Robbinsdale proposal that we defeated in 2007.
Just six weeks after the Robbinsdale defeat, the government education bureaucrats scrambled their meeting, which the reporter called me about in December of 2007. During this time the Minnesota DFL caucus staff did a research paper on me and were circulating it across the state. Truth was rarely found in the paper. The reporter then told me the Robbinsdale matter had the bureaucrats alarmed!
Up Against A Cornfield in No-Wheres-Ville, Iowa
"Me? They're afraid of me?" I again asked the reporter. "Now wait, let's put this in perspective," I challenged her. "The public schools of the Twin Cities are a multi-billion dollar, 125-year-old enterprise. The large majority of the city's adults are loyal graduates of their schools. They have access to the largest portion of the local and state tax revenues of any government agency in the state. The major public employee union, contractors, bond dealers, and vendors galore all feed at their trough and are intensely loyal to their system. The legislature is owned by them and the Minnesota judiciary grants them whatever expansion of power and authority they ask for. You in the media operate as the house organ for government schools!"
"Now consider me," I continued. "Here I sit in a remodeled garage for an office up against a cornfield in No-Wheres-Ville, Iowa, and you're telling me that I'm their primary fear. Come on!"
"When you put it that way [pause] well, then what is it?" she asked. I replied, "It's the people. They're ticked off with the government schools. More and more are saying that they've had it. They are starting with funding proposals, but I see it growing in other areas, too." Naturally, none of these comments of mine ever made it on her TV report that evening.
For more and more Christians, the rotting corpse of government education is increasingly hitting the tipping point of "what share have we in..." this school system. If we Christians can lead the children out and lawfully de-fund the schools, their day of demise could come sooner than we may believe.
It is Christ!
In May 2011, I was invited to a victory party after clients of mine defeated a proposed $42 million budget levy override in their community. This was the first time in the 65-plus campaigns I've assisted where they decided to hold such a celebration. They were a reasonable driving distance from my home so I could attend. (Clients can often be 500 to 1,000 miles away.) They wanted to do this because the school proponents and local media had demonized their committee and me, their consultant, during the campaign. At one point a local paper ran a story with a quote of mine they found on the internet-"It is time for Christian families to remove their children from Pharaoh's schools!" Though disturbing to my clients, they stayed the course, as I had warned them in advance what would come and encouraged them to stick to the campaign strategy I laid out. The voters responded to the equity of our message and delivered the school district a 66% "No" vote with a 57% voter turnout.
It was time to celebrate! When the committee officers introduced me, the attendees stood up and applauded. I could see sheer adulation on many of their faces. The local government school, in most communities and cities in America, is the idol/god. It is not to be challenged, questioned or denied! I helped this committee not only to challenge the school, but to draw their oppressive leadership out for the community to behold in its full waste and deception. And the electorate certainly denied them!
I thanked the men of the local ballot committee who with me had weathered the blistering attacks, and then I presented to them the One who receives the real glory. "I stand before you with the courage I have, the skills I brought to your fight, and the wisdom and passion I have, solely by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is for His glory that I fight! And I worked to serve your cause in the way that glorifies Him." A quiet calm descended over the room. I later decided that at the next such victory party, I will have a case of books from Chalcedon laid out on a book table and will use the opportunity to introduce the audience to the work of Rushdoony and others.
I am privileged to see the power of God continuing to send hundreds and thousands to flight in battle after battle on a scale exceeding all the hopes I had at the outset.
You Meant Evil Against Me, But God Meant It For Good
As Christ is our victorious Lord and King, He was also our suffering servant, such that His people are fully restored unto our Father by His blood. There is victory in suffering for Christ. I have been vilified routinely for Christ's sake in these contests.
In my opponents' eyes, one of my greatest sins is my unashamed conviction that the institution of government education has no Biblical warrant for its existence, and the sooner we bring about its demise and replace it with parent-directed Christian education, the sooner darkness and slavery will be lifted from America. If you "Google" my name you will see how I'm hated, even though I strive to treat the other side's leaders with respect.
Government school proponents accuse me of propagating all kinds of lies; proponent blogs have accused me of being a pedophile; the media accuse me of "dividing up their community," etc. I've taken steps to rebut any false allegations, turning the other cheek in many cases, and have found the wicked to be merciless even when one, for example, makes a simple, honest mathematical mistake. But as Joseph told his brothers, "You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:20).
I advise my clients in advance as to what is coming in the campaign, before they agree to employ me. We don't campaign against the government school charter per se as I am not being hired by the client committee to do that. I research and craft the message around the government school's gross financial excesses, exaggerated forecasts, vague plans, lack of transparency, excessive athletic spending priorities, and miserable academic results. The public often responds with-"Finally we see in print and hear on the radio the truth about the school district-the truth which they would never tell us! You were so aggressive, yet gracious in your communications." That is the tone and temperament I strive to deliver on behalf of my clients. I want the majority of voters to come away passionately indignant with the program of deception the government schools have used against the public for decades.
The deceitful extremes which our opponents can't resist employing are truly used of God for good! Not only do they overplay their hand causing the voters to reject their proposal, but I see Christian people who formerly supported the local government schools indignantly turn their backs on them once the campaign opens their eyes. As one Nebraska grandmother told me the day before an election, "Win or lose, my husband and I are going to do everything in our power to insure our grandchildren will never set foot in there again. We will fund their homeschooling or Christian education, whatever it takes! And whatever our daughter and her husband are willing to do."
The wicked actually amplify my personal message of getting Christian children out of the government schools because the community is paying far more attention to school issues during the campaign than they would otherwise, including my "nutty" idea. Again, this is not my client's message during the campaign, but the wicked make it a key part of their counterattack. Yet the community generally ignores their vitriol and we still defeat their proposals 82% of the time (so far). But in the post-election decompression a lot more parents start to think seriously about their children truly being in "Pharaoh's schools." In His eternal sovereignty, I see God using such adversarial public contests with the local government school on a regular basis "for good" when the idol worshippers mean it for evil.
I'd like to see some of the national ministries who are promoting Christian exodus from government education follow up behind such local ballot campaigns with a low-cost internet banner ad campaign in any community where a public finance campaign for a government school was recently held. The ads could ask, "Time to seek a better education for your children or grandchildren? Click here!" The ad would lead back to their website, offering a variety of regional resources to assist Christian families to exit the government school. Names of supportive churches could be provided to prospective homeschool families. All we need to do is work the margins. God will bring down the strongholds in His good time.
To that end, one of my favorite ministries laboring in this field is Exodus Mandate (Chaplain E. Ray Moore, Executive Director). He can be reached at www.ExodusMandate.org and deserves our support!
Eliabs Abound In the Modern Church
Indignant with the blasphemies spewing forth from Goliath (1 Samuel 17), David asked, "For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" Today, unbaptized blasphemers daily defy our living God in the government schools of America and millions who profess Christ still let their children "sit in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1) only to see, later, the majority of their children graduate and come to believe that faith in the triune God of the Bible is for the simple and foolish, thus becoming fools themselves.
When Christians begin to stand up against their local school district as not worthy of one dime of their money, plan on members of your family, your church, and Christian friends at work emulating David's brother Eliab-so as to mask their fear and compromise. In 1 Samuel 17:28 Eliab challenged David's indignation toward Goliath's mockery of the living God saying, "...with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and insolence of your heart..."
For those wanting to resist institutional blasphemy in their community, please know that those in the church who've compromised with this educational system, or who are buried in debt, or whose children are in such schools, or for who-knows-what-other-reasons, will often characterize your motives as irresponsible and prideful, much as Eliab did David's motives.
Certainly, we need to check our motives so that pride is not in the fight. But irresponsible? That becomes so subjective that most people look to their material possessions, convince themselves that a narrow understanding of 1 Timothy 5:8 ("not providing for their own") commands them not to risk anything material to oppose the local blasphemers, and as a result they remain silent! We need to become a little less consumed with protecting our material possessions and lot more concerned about "seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." Incalculable harm has been done to the Christian faith in America in significant part by these statist religious institutions. It is time to risk something material for the souls of future generations and to begin the rebuilding. After all, the elders whom the early church respected the most were the "...men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 15:26). Some have and do risk their material wealth, and God has blessed them for it. But many more need to consider doing so.
The Next Smokescreen: "Do it for the Kids!"
Common to nearly every expansion of local government beyond its Biblical or Constitutional authority is the "Do It for the Kids" smokescreen. As Professor Stephen Baskerville has pointed out in his important book, Taken into Custody,
It costs nothing to proclaim one's concern for children of course; many people today derive substantial income through the industries ostensibly devoted to children. Yet we should be wary of the claims of those who profess to be moved by pity for other people's children. Using children to tug on our heartstrings is not only a weakness of the sentimental; it may be a ploy by those cynical and unscrupulous enough to exploit children for their own agenda. Children are now a major source of political leverage ... for a host of government officials, journalists, and academics.2
Before, during, or after a campaign battle I will often recommend to my client committee members these thoughts of Baskerville's, and even more importantly, Rushdoony's book, The Politics of Guilt and Pity. I train the members in brief outlines how false guilt manipulation has no power over redeemed Christian men in the fight.
A homeschool father of nine children and businessman from Illinois, a man who led the school tax opposition fight in his own county, pointed out precisely where God's people first used "the kids" as an excuse to remain in their sin and slavery. After previous complaints to justify their remaining in slavery were invalidated by God's mighty deliverance, the people of Israel finally pull the "trump card" on Moses: "Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill ... our children ...?" (Exodus 17:3). Many evangelicals would rather kill the souls of their children for eternity in the unbiblical public school than face public charges that they don't care for "the kids"! Often some of our most strident opponents are evangelicals.
Tactically, we will communicate to the voters (especially the growing base of older voters) the serious problem we have with young people getting buried in debt today. We remind them that by the time most kids get out of college they are buried in student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and soon thereafter new home debts, setting many of them up for marital problems and influencing them to have few children. Sic. Read grandchildren, Grandpa and Grandma!
We lay the blame at the feet of many parents and, even more so, the government school itself, which so readily illustrates to children excessive wasteful spending habits which, again, helps set these children up for future financial hardships. We advise voters that one of the best things we can do for these children is to teach them how to be better stewards of their limited money and the assets they already have-and that starts right here in school!
"We don't need to borrow and spend just because some banker or bond dealer will loan us the money" is part of our campaign message. We then often summarize the point with a large headline, "Do What's Best for the Kids, Join Us and Vote No!"
When this concept of truly fighting for the kids' financial future is grasped by many voters, it sets free their guilt-ridden consciences, and releases an entirely new energy to oppose the tyrants in the community. Oh, does the government-class squeal! But the more they squeal, the more the voters think about the issue and realize the ugly truth behind their squealing.
So How Is This All Funded?
I help my local committee clients approach some in the community who will be paying the most under the upcoming new ballot proposal. Certain business classes are especially vulnerable to property tax increases, are insulated from the government school's intimidations, and yet often have a difficult time passing the tax increase costs on to their customers. If this type of businessman is facing a $5,000 a year property tax increase for the next seven or ten, twenty, or even thirty years should the proposal pass, he is often willing to throw in $1,000 or $2,000 in an organized professional effort to block it. Once he's "in" he can then call on his peers and tell them what's up.
In one case, a brother in Christ who has read Christian Reconstruction writers for years was elected county treasurer of his county (with a population near 300,000). He asked me to help design a campaign opposing a local proposal to ask for $600 million in sales taxes and the legal authority to raise an additional $600 million in property taxes over thirty years-$1,200,000,000 in all for local government schools. I drafted the fundraising letter for the committee and they mailed it out to a group of local businesses I had targeted.
In the late afternoons, evenings, and on several Saturdays, this county official made follow-up phone calls to the letter's recipients from his home. Several were stunned that they were receiving a phone call from the county treasurer (on his own time and dime) soliciting funds for a campaign committee being organized to kill a $1-billion-plus tax increase for their local schools. They couldn't get their checkbooks out fast enough. The proposal was defeated with an 80% NO vote.
I am also testing some very low-cost ways to "broadcast" outreach to targeted groups for the smaller donations. When people write out a check of any amount to fund a campaign against their government school, not only do they buy in to the campaign, but they find that their action starts to liberate them too.
Overcoming Fear and Voter Apathy
Defeatism and escapism, born from pietism and miserable eschatology emanating from the pulpits of America, so often permeates the entire community. "You can't defeat them" is the common refrain. Over the last several years, thirty-nine different individuals or committees have contacted me about opposing a local wasteful spending initiative needing voter approval. A few wanted to fight, but couldn't raise local opposition interest. Most decided not to fight after sizing up their governmental opponent, acting upon their human fear, and justifying their subsequent inaction by reasoning that so outrageous a ballot measure didn't need to be actively opposed since it would never pass anyway-contrary to my warnings of how the school funding advocates operate. Thirty-two of those thirty-nine ballot proposals did pass on their election day, adding $910 million of new taxes to the rolls. I tracked the voter turnout for the thirty-two measures that passed and discovered that, on average, if 6.4% of registered voters who stayed home on election day had turned out and voted NO, all of these proposals would have failed. Just 6.4%!
At times I get to remind potential clients the words of David to Goliath just before he reached into his bag for one of his five smooth stones, and before he ran toward Goliath to engage the fight (which all "knew" would end in David's bloody demise): "For the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands" (1 Sam. 17:47). Our power to defeat humanist, statist proposals to expand their destruction over Christendom in our home communities is not of our own flesh or strength. The battle is the Lord's!
My clients who decided to join the battle have defeated fifty-five out of sixty-seven such proposals I've assisted in-saving nearly $3 billion in property taxes alone. In all areas of community life, Americans need Christian men with the hope, the victory, and the conquest provided by the love of God and His law-word burning deep in their hearts and minds to lead them! I get to meet such men, community by community, on the campaign trail. To encourage them when the occasion arises I will give them a copy of Rev. Dr. Paul M. Raymond's lecture The Anatomy of Fear.3 Raymond pastors the Reformed Bible Church, Appomattox, VA.
Growth of This Movement
My efforts are expanding beyond government school funding proposals. I am now helping mobilize voters against sales tax proposals, massive courthouse additions, and rural zoning ordinances.
After enjoying ballot-issue victories, more of my clients are starting to form non-profit corporations to educate and mobilize voters in their communities. I'm assisting them to set up broadcast-email accounts into their local government jurisdictions, purchase email lists, start video-recording local governing bodies, build Facebook pages, producing political "hit" videos exposing local corruption, etc. (Our seventeen-year-old homeschooled son was hired by a local client to video-record the interviewing and hiring of a school superintendent. His client was sure the "fix was in" and he wanted it captured on film. He stood his ground against the district. See the rest of his story elsewhere in this issue of Faith For All of Life.)
I am now also helping with candidate campaigns to start replacing the locally elected tyrants and to expose public employee unions.
The massive growth of unbiblical government has not been restricted to the federal government. Much of the growth and "street-side" delivery of government tyranny is provided at the local level. It is my hope to equip Christians, in a Christ-like manner, to resist or push government back into its Biblical and Constitutional parameters.
Such an agenda, not unlike much of Dr. Ron Paul's message, frightens many Christians. It assumes the church is mature enough to get itself out of debt-slavery and to begin meeting the needs of the genuinely poor, the widows and orphans. It assumes parents can direct the education of their children and it assumes the church can rebuke and call to repentance local officers of the courts and state legislators for the wicked family court laws, and on and on. Only a repentant body of Christ can take back such duties.
But an increasing number who are prepared to assume these responsibilities still struggle to rise up because the unjust tax and inflation system constrains them. My work helps beat that system back and often liberates these men to start acting on their convictions.
How Did I Start Doing This?
God equipped me for my calling, as He assures us he will for all in the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11). I started my post-college days as a community banker. I was good at it ... real good at it, such that some of the larger bank holding companies in the upper Midwest were actively trying to hire me after I divested my half-ownership investment in a community bank. I worked for a few years as a bank acquisition consultant during the troubled 1980s. The utter ineptitude of the regulatory system drove me to publish a forecast in a Minneapolis banking magazine in 1989 as to what banking would look like if we didn't conform it to God's law and market discipline. My warning was ignored and my forecast has come true. Gary North and R. J. Rushdoony later opened my eyes to the entire fiat money system and this brought Biblical conviction to my past experiences.
I left banking, dissolved my consulting company, and within a week found myself in the Fulton County prison farm, Atlanta, GA, for joining with Randall Terry of Operation Rescue and peaceably blocking access to an Atlanta area abortion clinic. After this, my wife and I were never the same. I started an Operation Rescue organization in Sioux Falls, SD, where I began taking our children to rallies, prayer vigils, city-wide leaflet drops, rescuing babies about to die, prosecuting federal officials in the court of public opinion for unjustly prosecuting a local Christian sheriff who behind the scenes was lawfully assisting us rescue babies, etc.
As time went on our children grew up street-side, contending for Christ and His law, with many building their own theological, historical, political, and economic libraries as they matured. We not only confronted the known humanists, but we also confronted Christian colleges submerged in modernism, pro-life rallies, and even picketed Crisis Pregnancy Centers (who by policy operate their centers in violation of the Fifth Commandment by refusing to alert parents and pastors even when they have direct knowledge that a girl is about to murder her baby without lifting a finger to help stop it). In adulthood, many of our children are now actively contending for the crown rights of Christ Jesus in their callings, starting to train their children likewise.
I soon began to see that the pro-life movement itself was a deceitful mask for the lack of covenantal faithfulness in the pulpits and homes of Christian families across America. Even the so-called "abstinence education" movement has proven to be a hoax, purporting to teach children of marital union apart from Christ, apart from His Word, apart from their parents, and apart from their God-fearing pastor. Their trick is to assuage evangelical parents' consciences so as to give them license to keep their children in the government schools and "away from" that horrible Planned Parenthood sex ed-as if their son or daughter can possibly escape the consequences of an entirely sexualized school building, courtesy of the government school. The establishment pro-life movement stands in defense of government schools. I'm well past ascribing their intentions to merely being misguided.
Advancing Christ's Kingdom!
Money, debt, marital union, family life, abortion: it all came to point for me-the right Christian training-up of the next generation (apart from illegitimate civil oversight) is critical to a societal-wide reformation. Covenant Christian families and churches must take the lead or we perish. It is my vision that central to such leadership is getting our children out of government schools-and then we turn around and go after those schools! De-fund them, prosecute them in the court of public opinion, and challenge them wherever we can, for the advancement of Christ's kingdom and for the souls of the little ones!
And when the battle belongs to the Lord-as I have experienced and hope many others of you have or will experience too-a hundred will send ten thousand to flight and God will add His increase!
1. Comment on Deuteronomy 32:30, R. C. Sproul, ed., New Geneva Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995).
2. Stephen Baskerville, Taken Into Custody (Nashville, TN: Cumberland House, 2007), 285.
3. You can find it here: http://www.hisglory.com/Paul/articles/AnatomyOfFear.PDF
Paul R. Dorr is a Christian, married to Debra for 36 years, father of their eleven children. Debra and he have B.S. degrees from Iowa State University. Paul has served as an elder in his church, is a former bank owner and former bank acquisition consultant, past director of an Operation Rescue pro-life group, has held babies born due to Rescue interventions, and has spent time in multiple different jails in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Georgia serving Christ. Dorr won a major Iowa homeschool court case, and as owner of Copperhead Consulting Services has worked in nearly 70 political campaigns ranging from $3 million rural school buildings to a $1.2 billion school funding proposal, and has worked in three states for a Republican U.S. Presidential candidate.