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John Adams and the Red Coats…Oath Keepers and Kim Davis:


Just three short weeks after the Boston Massacre had taken place, a grand jury indicted Captain Preston and his men of firing into an angry crowd. The soldiers of the 29th regiment being accused of murder were: William Wemms, James Hartigan, William McCauley, Hugh White, Matthew Kilroy, William Warren, John Carrol, and Hugh Montgomery. If they were found guilty, they each faced their death. The very unpopular red coats had so far been turned down by every attorney they had approached for representation. That is until 35 year old John Adams agreed to take on their case. As history would show, John Adams was no great supporter of the British Army. Indeed, taking this case, that involved the murder of Adam’s fellow Bostonians, could have been detrimental to his future law practice, his own safety, and even that of his family. So why did he do it? Because, it was the right thing to do, and being a man of principal, he felt compelled to act…even if it was an unpopular act. You see, John Adam’s was a great supporter of the rule of law and equal justice for all. I am reminding us of this story about one our greatest founding fathers because I believe that the moral of the story is in play today, with the recent actions of the Oath Keepers.

Truth be told, I had originally written a much more emotional version of this article and decided to try and tone things down a bit and hopefully insure that my words are not dismissed as frustrated rantings.

When I first heard that we were going to Morehead, Kentucky to offer embattled County Clerk, Kim Davis protection, I knew that we were going to be taking a lot of flack, from all sides of this issue. The truth of the matter is, I, personally, take a very libertarian view on gay marriage and do not believe that the government has any place to be issuing (or not issuing) marriage licenses. This governmental practice originated as a way to keep blacks and whites from intermarrying, essentially, as a form of oppression and just another control measure for the powers that be. It is my personal belief that whatever any man or woman does in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness is their own business. As long as it does not interfere with any one else’s pursuit thereof the same, so be it. I have, since I was a young adult, argued that everyone is entitled to all of our inalienable rights, including the freedom of expression and due process. This even includes some vile people such as the KKK, the Black Panthers, Neo- nazis…I think you get my drift. I also believe that this massive call for political correctness is going down the wrong road for our country. I think the government has no place telling a baker or any other small business owner (no matter what personal beliefs they may hold) who they must or must not do business with. Honestly I wouldn’t want a cake from someone that didn’t want to bake it for my occasion, I would have to question the quality and care that was put into its production. Today it may be the Christian baker being forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding. But how long will it be until we see a Jewish baker being forced to bake a cake for a neo-nazi holocaust celebration?

Whether I personally believe in what Kim Davis was doing, in her stand against gay marriage, does not matter. Whether or not you support Kim Davis’ actions, or hate them, again, it does not matter. We can not pick and choose who gets due process based on whether they are on our side or not, or even on the side of popular opinion. It must be equal across the board. The fact is, Judge Brunning had no legal right to have Kim Davis arrested and held for what she did. Brunning has been an out of control, activist judge, who has been running unchecked for quite some time and needs to be  reined in. There are quite a few decisions he has made where, I believe, and the courts found, he unlawfully pushed his will upon others, and violated their civil rights. Just look up a bit of his history.

Yes, the Supreme Court did make a Judicial Review Ruling on gay marriage, however, they do not have the power to make law. That lies only with the Congress and with each state’s legislative body. Kentucky has not yet made any new law to go along with this ruling, and as it sits currently, Kentucky has a constitutional amendment defining marriage in their state that runs counter to the Supreme Court’s ruling. So in fact, Kim Davis seems to be the only person in Kentucky actually following the law as it currently stands. Ironically, she was arrested and held with out having broken any law. I feel that offering her protection, much like with John Adams and the red coats, was the right thing to do. Being a part of this extraordinary organization brings me all across this diverse land of ours. I get to meet, and work with, some of the best human beings living and breathing, in our time. However, it also means that sometimes I need to soldier up, and help to protect the rights of someone that the vast majority of Americans may not agree with. It won’t always be a popular decision, but it will always be, what I feel is, the right thing to do. In our great country, our rights and freedoms do not belong solely to those we agree with, but to every citizen. Once we stop standing up for the rights of all, we lose sight of why this country even came into existence.

Jason Van Tatenhove


Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.



  1. Excellent article and much to the point.

    It is true, right or wrong, all must be protected in such a way that their natural rights are not trampled on – popular or not. We must not let the mob rule, but our laws, our US Constitution must prevail.

    That is the reason why I say when we arrest the Traitors and Domestic Enemies to our nation, we must charge and prosecute them. They must have their day in court regardless of the harm, if any, that they have done to our nation.

    Thomas Paine, “Dissertation on First Principles of Government”: “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach to himself.”

  2. Jurisprudence is extremely complicated with many variables that are sorted out during one event then at a later proceeding the original sorting is resorted with the original ruling overturned and a new ruling setting precedent. Then, at times, as the case wends its way through the complexity that is the courts another change is made. And the ultimate case law is produced by the Supreme Bunch who are embedded in place even after their usefulness is long past (term limits?).

    I remain convinced that Oath Keepers should be very selective in the cases it becomes contentious with. OK is not a panel of legal experts ready to contend with a legal system whose power includes calling upon local, state and federal policing bureaucracies to back the rulings of the judicial system. To actually confront the legal system that can call upon the government’s warrior class verges upon the edge of insurrection that could, in some scenarios, result in what I personally believe is a much-needed Revolutionary War Two.

    OK proclaims it is not a militia but its actions veer close to what some would interpret as “militianess.” Better to create an off-shoot separate from the OK whose Ten Orders is a lofty needful goal to convince the common folks in the employ of what some view as an increasingly tyrannical government to not blindly obey those whose hearts and minds lust for wealth and power with little to no concern for the USA and the masses of common folks within.

    Of course the entities controlling OK will do as they will but I hope that rationality and logic will guide their thinking as decisions are made. And I would be a proud supporter of OK as an entity seeking to influence the hearts and minds of its target market via the Ten Orders routine while supporting, if created and led in a Founders-like manner, a nation-wide coordinating committee to unite and guide the local militias that would rise up akin to dandelions after a spring rain if OK created a new, separate organization to assist in a viable cohort of local militias.

    The standards required to become a militia unit as part of an association of militias and the requirement to adhere to those standards would be a boon to the militia concept as a whole. OK should consider expanding upon its original mission but do not compartmentalize the new effort into OK as it exists now; keep the two entirely separate. Go for it. Tyranny is not at the gates; it is within the city and rotting the foundation of our society.

  3. I agree in part Jason, but man’s reasoning and law will eventually fail the individual and the people within the civil body politic, because it fails to recognize a higher moral authority. Eventually there will be the need for those who do recognize that Higher Moral Authority to step up where the non-believing Oathkeepers fear to tread. Libertarianism is just another device to find our way without God. It tickles the ear with “Liberty and Justice for all” but in the end will lead to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
    -lifetime member

  4. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.?
    George Washington — letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

    The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation,? wrote Washington. ?All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.?
    George Washington in a letter to Touro Synagogue (1790)

    We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.?
    Founding FatherJohn Adams — letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.?
    Thomas Jefferson — in a letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”
    James Madison — “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785

    “The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?”
    John Adams

    The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?”
    John Adams

    Congress has no power to make any religious establishments.?
    Roger Sherman, Congress, August 19, 1789

    The American states have gone far in assisting the progress of truth; but they have stopped short of perfection. They ought to have given every honest citizen an equal right to enjoy his religion and an equal title to all civil emoluments, without obliging him to tell his religion. Every interference of the civil power in regulating opinion, is an impious attempt to take the business of the Deity out of his own hands; and every preference given to any religious denomination, is so far slavery and bigotry.?
    Noah Webster calling for no religious tests to serve in public office, Sketches of American Policy,

    Knowledge and liberty are so prevalent in this country, that I do not believe that the United States would ever be disposed to establish one religious sect, and lay all others under legal disabilities. But as we know not what may take place hereafter, and any such test would be exceedingly injurious to the rights of free citizens, I cannot think it altogether superfluous to have added a clause, which secures us from the possibility of such oppression.?
    Oliver Wolcott, Connecticut Ratifying Convention, 9 January 1788

    The legislature of the United States shall pass no law on the subject of religion.?
    Charles Pinckney, Constitutional Convention, 1787

    Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.?
    Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1791

    It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.?
    James Monroe — First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817

    It is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit; for remedy whereof, and that equal liberty as well religious as civil, may be universally extended to all the good people of this commonwealth.?
    George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

    I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.?
    Founding Father Thomas Jefferson — letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802

    I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.?
    Founding Father Thomas Jefferson — letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”
    Thomas Paine

    I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works … I mean real good works … not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing … or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity.”
    Benjamin Franklin — Works, Vol. VII, p. 75

    “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”
    Thomas Jefferson — Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”
    Thomas Jefferson — letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT “The Complete Jefferson” by Saul K. Padover, pp 518-519

    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”
    Thomas Jefferson — “Notes on Virginia

    “On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.” Thomas Jefferson — to Carey, 1816

    “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
    George Washington

    [Editor’s Note: CS, just a quick note to thank you for posting this material. It is appreciated.
    Elias Alias, editor]

  5. i disagree her Martyrdom think she should resign for her Faith and gone quietly into the night. It became an Agenda, unlike the Bakers or Pizza Shops or anyone else who lost their Business, i guess i see them as more worthy of the honor?There are many things about this that dont add up, from the Pope to her defying an Order whether he had the right or not isnt the point to me, obey it and go forth w the fight but hey who am i . receive his Blessings and Rosaries for a Pentacostle follower i didnt understand. Scripture talks about this

    King James Bible Hebrews 13:17
    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  6. I agree with this article except that the author is a bit confused when it comes to organizations like the KKK and Neo-Nazis. Those groups are not exercising free speech because there is no natural right to advocate for the murder of other people, that is a crime. And to call for the violent overthrow of the Constitutional Republic, which is the position of Neo-Nazis, is also a crime under federal law. Therefore, the concept of free speech does not extend to speech which is an unlawful incitement to violence which is what the KKK and Neo-Nazis represent. To permit their speech and call that libertarian-ism is fraudulent in the extreme, immoral, illegal, and a crime.

    Obama is not even a “natural born Citizen”, but the “free speech” of the Press and his attorneys have all used their “free speech” as criminal propaganda to incite the overthrow of the Constitutional Republic which happened in 2008/9 and is ongoing. This is what unregulated illegal “free speech” gets you. Tyranny!

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