I became a political conservative during the Goldwater Presidential campaign. I read the books, None Dare Call It Treason and Phyliss Schlafly’s A Choice, Not an Echo. These books persuaded me to join the John Birch Society. I was a wholehearted convert. I have never believed that moderation in the pursuit of liberty is a virtue. I live by the motto, "If liberty is extremism, then give me extremism, or give me death." I became a night-and-day, sleeping, waking, fire-breathing anti-communist. I read through the entire collection of books provided to each home chapter of the Birch Society. I sat up nights reading every new book from Western Islands Publishing. Soon, in addition to JBS chapter meetings in my home, I became active in other conservative groups and began to appear on television on behalf of conservative causes.
My parents, who were registered Democrats, found my behavior frightening. As I look back at it now, some of my deeds were certainly bizarre. For example, I got myself thrown out of the Allegheny County Fair for displaying a sign. It was a glorious sign, lovingly crafted on two 4' by 8' sheets of plywood. It read, "Impeach Earl Warren," on one side and "Get the U. S. out of the U. N." on the other. I can’t understand why I was evicted; I only wished to provoke good deeds. (Where was the ACLU when I needed them?) My mother woke up the next morning to find that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette devoted their headline to my ejection from the fair. On the front page was a photograph and story about my Volkswagen camper and plywood sign.
Ah, those were the good old days! The publicity got the Birch Society a lot of new members. Such antics, however, have a darker side. Two of my friends suffered nervous breakdowns from the stress and persecution stemming from our activities. Another became an anti-Semite. Still another went down to an alcoholic’s grave. The great majority of the conservatives did survive this warfare, however, by becoming "serious Christians." Our anti-Christian enemies first took away our reputations, and then, not satisfied, they destroyed our careers. Our foes desired our death, but only succeeded in driving us to life. Relentlessly, we were driven for refuge to the Rock, Christ Jesus. The King dressed our wounds and gave us new assignments. Some he sent to the ministry and Christian education. Others went to entrepreneurial parachurch activities that are cursed by Pharisee/churchmen but blessed by our God. I believe that the hardened soldiers who were bloodied in organizations like the Birch Society elected Ronald Reagan and pushed this nation away from the precipice of collectivism.
Today, I believe these same soldiers are pressing for a new Christian reformation that is lifting and will continue to lift America to a new golden age. I know it is popular among those who have blind eyes that cannot see the kingdom of God to say, "The conservative movement is dead." It is not. The King has just changed their assignments. The movement is marching toward Biblical law, the home school movement, the Christian Coalition, the Promise Keepers, and other parachurch endeavors. We are winning and will continue to win, because we are willing to die for our cause. Anti-Christians are not willing to die for their cause; as a matter of historical fact, they are not even willing to put up a good fight. When confronted with determined opposition, they will flee. The counsel of our Lord is, "Be not afraid of their faces."
I anticipate the day soon when conservative leaders will find it wise to quote Scripture to support their ideas. Politicians will one day sniff out the fact that quoting the Bible will get them a majority. When they do, politicians will have instant conversions like those who followed Constantine in 312. R. J. Rushdoony writes of the public opinion before Constantine (in many ways public opinion today is the same): "They failed to see that the empire was already dying, and that the death of Christians would not save Rome’s failing life. It was Constantine’s grasp of this fact that led to the recognition of Christianity" (Institutes of Biblical Law, The Craig Press, 1973, p. 560). Constantine became emperor and is remembered for all ages as "Constantine the Great." After Constantine’s victory, hordes of "wannabe" heroes cried out, "Jesus is God," but too late to win the prize. Winners must cry out by faith before the will of God is revealed to losers.
You will know the dawn of a new age is breaking when you hear the first major Presidential candidate say that we cannot tax the rich a higher percentage than the poor, because an equal tax is the only tax that will be supported by the American people. The American people want God’s law, and none other. It was the sacred intention of the framers of the Constitution to tax all men equally. The progressive income tax is the handiwork of an envious thief named Karl Marx. When the Presidential candidates hum that tune, the chains of millions will rattle and dance in agreement. As of now, the politicians from their sick, constipated bellies, belch out words like "fairness." They are too weak and too fearful to pick up the word of God, the sword of the Holy Spirit. Remember those who stood around watching Elijah challenge Jezebel’s prophets, "They answered not a word." So it is with today’s "Jezebel" politicians.
This then is the glorious future of the conservative movement — to roll back the enemies of darkness using Scripture instead of failed reason, failed emotions, and failed humanism. In the words of God, "Even so, come" (Rev. 22:20). This opinion is not mine alone. Otto Scott, the author and editor of the great newsletter, Compass, recently told me in private conversation, "We are in and have been in a new and great Christian Reformation." Our "National Anthem" asks the question, "Oh, say can you see?"
God’s Word asks, "Having eyes, see ye not? . . ." (Mk. 10:18)
- Ellsworth McIntyre