Many Christians are using the phrase “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” to justify a passive approach to government overreach, but do Christians even know what that means today in the United States? Most of us weren’t taught what the Constitution actually says beyond a few popular sections—but for the first time in many of our lives, not knowing is dangerous. I’m honored today to have Rick Green, founder of Constitution Coach, here to answer your questions about the Constitutionality of many of the situations we’re facing today. Listen in, let’s learn together about the US Constitution and its role in our lives today.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Colossians 1:1-5
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Rick Green is America’s Constitution Coach. Millions of Americans have learned Constitutional principles through Rick’s programs and presentations. He is one of the most dynamic and inspirational speakers in America today; equipping, empowering and challenging citizens to live out their freedoms and restore our Constitutional Republic. An attorney, former Texas Legislator, and national radio host, Rick’s gift for bringing history to life and his common sense application of Constitutional principles is fanning the flames of a renewed national passion for civics and liberty.
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Hey, everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Monday, May 18th and it’s Meet My Friend Monday. You guys know, you’ve been listening to me for a long time. I just lied to you, but you can handle it, right, because you’re in the middle of a pandemic. Normally, I have guests on, on Fridays, but given the circumstances of what’s happening around us right now, I had an opportunity come my way, that I absolutely could not pass up — and you guys are going to be so blessed and encouraged today because Rick Green is on the show with me today and we’re going to rock your world. We’re going to be talking about the Constitution. He is America’s Constitution Coach, you guys are going to love this. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So thanks for tuning in today. I appreciate all of the emails that are coming in to me at the podcast. If you guys have questions for Mailbox Monday, you know how I love to have people on to help me answer your questions. You can submit those to me at HeidiStJohn.com/MailboxMonday and we’d love to hear your questions and we would even love to hear your suggestions for guests that might come on to help answer those questions so keep them coming. I know we’ve got a whole bunch of new listeners here at the podcast. I did a video last week that went viral and ever since, some of my life’s been a little bit of crazy town, so if you’re brand new to the podcast, I love to talk about all things faith and culture. So to me that includes politics, it includes education, it includes medicine, all those things, how does our faith relate, how do we live it out in the culture.
And I believe with all of my heart that we need to be having these important conversations, that the church has largely abandoned them, which partly is why we’re where we are today in the middle of this ridiculous pandemic situation that we find ourselves in, which really we’re recognizing now how very important our governors are and we have been sleeping at the wheel for too long and most of us don’t understand our rights and so imagine my sheer delight when my friend Kay called and said, “I think I could get Rick Green to come on your podcast,” and I was like, “Man, that would be so awesome,” and Rick had the time to do it and so I’m thrilled to have him here and I’m not going to waste any more time talking about him. I want to talk to him.
Rick Green, welcome to the podcast.
[Rick] Hey, Heidi, it’s my pleasure. Thank you for just speaking common sense and truth. You’re being true salt and light and I just love what you’re doing.
[Heidi] Thank you so much. Well, I love what you’re doing. You’ve been teaching Constitutional principles, for quite a while. So for those of my listeners who are not familiar with you can you just say a little bit for just a moment about kind of your passion and what you do?
[Rick] You bet. Yeah, I’m a former Texas State Representative. I’ve been with David Barton for about two decades now, I host his Radio Program and just getting to learn at that guy’s feet for decades and have access to his library, the largest private collection of Founding Fathers’ documents in the world, has been a wonderful place to be and we’ve been doing Constitution classes around the country for about 10 years. In fact, a lot of them up your way in Washington. Man, I’ve been in Chehalis, in Clark County, and all over your state.
[Heidi] I live in Clark County. Why were you here and I did not know about this?
[Rick] Oh, my goodness, yes. I don’t know.
[Heidi] Oh, my goodness.
[Rick] We’ve got to fix that.
[Heidi] We need to rectify this immediately.
[Rick] That’s right, that’s right. So it’s good, people are hungry right now. There are some people who are thinking about the Constitution for the first time in their life. They’re starting to really question, “What are my rights?” and “What can I do?” and so, that’s kind of the silver lining of the negative that we’re seeing out there, is that hopefully there’s an awakening that’s beginning where people will actually pay attention to what their freedoms are and begin to want to be a good citizen.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right and we live, right, in a Constitutional Republic but it seems to me that that has kind of deteriorated over the decades, yeah?
[Rick] No doubt about it. I mean too many people think we’re actually a Democracy instead of a Republic and we’ve forgotten the Constitutional jurisdictions of government, what government should actually do, what each branch or level of government should do, keeping them inside those boundaries has been a lost cause the last few decades as we’ve begun to ask government to do everything for us. And government’s a blessing, we’re not anti-government at all. We’re pro-government. Government’s a God created institution. When it’s inside its boundaries, when it’s doing those things the Declaration refers to consent of the governed, when it’s doing those things that we’ve given it consent to do and it stays within the boundaries that we the people actually drew, it’s a blessing. It’s good for us, but when it gets outside of those boundaries, when it starts violating the very things that we told it to do or not to do, then it becomes a curse, then it becomes a problem, and it becomes very dangerous and we’re seeing that right in front of us.
It’s happening every day, in fact, I’ve been adding up the clauses of the Constitution that have been violated in just the last few days and weeks, and it’s getting to the point where virtually no part of the Constitution is left unscathed by these leaders who in my opinion are drunk with power. I mean everything from four of the five rights in the First Amendment are being violated, from religion, speech, right to protest, our ability to travel, due process, even Fifth Amendment Takings Clause is being violated at this point, so this is a time for people to wake up. It is very much at our churches but it is also throughout the culture. I mean it’s our businesses, our churches, even the ability to go visit a relative, are you kidding me?
[Rick] I just never thought I would see this in my lifetime.
[Heidi] No, I didn’t, I didn’t either. Abraham Lincoln said, “The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” Those are strong words. Abraham Lincoln said, “If they pervert the Constitution, it’s the responsibility of citizens to overthrow them.”
[Rick] So true, so true, so right on and, honestly, that’s where we are at this point. We’re at a point where our leaders are ignoring us, especially in states like yours, in California, in New York. I mean there are places where these governors … and part of the problem here is we’ve lost the old idea of separation of powers and checks and balances. We’ve empowered … Well, we didn’t really empower them, they took power, but we’ve empowered one person, one person in each state to make these drastic decisions where they have literally put people on house arrest. I mean it’s basically Martial Law without calling it that and leaving one person to decide when they lift that, when they’re never going to admit that they are wrong. They’re politicians, that’s what they do. They’re not going to be willing to say, “Okay, look, the science changed and we got it wrong in the beginning. We were all scared and we went a little too far.”
They’re not going to do that and that’s why checks and balances are important and why the legislatures need to be involved in this as well and the people need to be having a voice in this. And a lot of the … We’re suing … I’m part of a lawsuit against my governor in Texas for that very reason that our Constitution doesn’t allow, our state Constitution, doesn’t allow the governor to suspend law. Only the legislature can do that, according to Article 1, Section 28 of our Constitution. And it’s like that in most states and unfortunately, the legislatures have been silent in most states. Now Wisconsin, you’ve actually got the legislature suing the governor. So in some places, we’re getting some pushback and that’s good, but we the people have to know our rights. You can’t defend your rights, you won’t even know when they’ve been violated, let alone know how to defend and assert them, if you don’t know those rights.
That’s actually John Jay, first Chief Justice in the United States Supreme Court, he’s a signer of the Constitution. He’s helped frame it. He’s one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers, which is our instruction manual on the Constitution and he said, “Every citizen ought to read and study the Constitution, teach the rising generation to be free, know their rights so they’ll perceive when they’ve been violated and be the better prepared to defend and assert them” We need that so bad right now in our nation.
[Heidi] Yeah, we’re definitely not there. I went to a meeting in my town of Vancouver, so you’ve been to Clark County, so you know, we run the Homeschool Resource Center here. We had about 700 registrations this last semester for classes. They’ve completely shut us down and — amazing, because we’re uniquely situation right now to help people, right? And we went to a meeting at a private property about, I think three days ago, and while we were there, the neighbors turned us in, called the police, the police showed up. My husband said he talked to them. They said, “Hey, we’ve got a report of a , basically, an unsanctioned meeting,” and my husband said, “Well, yeah, they’re meeting,” and the officer looked down the property, he could see us. He said, “Well, it looks like they’re not causing any trouble.”
But I told my husband, I said, “I never thought I would live to see the day, when I was afraid of the police, but I’m starting to feel that way.” Am I justified in feeling that way?
[Rick] You know, it’s so sad for me. My brother-in-law is a sergeant on the police force in Grand Prairie, Texas, and of course, we’re backers of the blue and these guys and gals have been put in the worst position possible. The governors and the mayors are the ones that have created this terrible situation. There are some police officers, chiefs, and sheriffs, that are saying, “No, we’re not going to do it. We’re not going to enforce unconstitutional orders.” But like most citizens, most law enforcement don’t know the constitution much better and so they’re caught in the middle. They don’t know what they can or can’t do and so they’re following orders, and you know, Heidi, I didn’t think I would say this in our lifetime, but I mean it is time for Civil Disobedience.
[Rick] Now that is peaceful Civil Disobedience, of course. We need to follow the MLK model. We need to … Just like he had people sign the … They had to sign to march with them and say, “I’m going to speak like Christ, love like Christ, I’m going to … That’s going to be my heart. It’s not going to be hate, it’s going to be love.” But there’s a time … In fact, you alluded to this in your Facebook Live. There’s a time for righteous anger, and that means you can be angry and sin not, and I think we’re at that point. We need to be smart about it. We need to be wise. I mean, all the churches that we’re advising, we’re saying, “Look, be smart about it. We don’t want to be foolish. We don’t want to feed the narrative of the left.” They think we’re all a bunch of snake handling crazy people from the mountains. That’s not what’s happening.
Churches are taking care of their people, they’re doing social distancing. They’re following all those guidelines, but to say that the government can tell churches the form or the manner in which they meet, that churches can’t meet, while you can go to Home Depot or Walmart and have even more people in the parking lot there. It’s just over the top and we’re beginning to see a lot of the religious hostility and the bias against organized religion and churches and people of faith. We’re seeing that in a lot of these left leaning politicians. They love having the power and, man, they love using that power against the very people that they, frankly, have a disdain for.
[Heidi] So I’ve got a question for you. I know that this is a question that Christians across the nation are asking right now. What can the church do? Because there are two different schools of thought and, you know what, here’s a really sad thing about this, Rick. This is causing division in the Body of Christ.
[Heidi] So there are the pastors … You know, I have been listening to what’s happening. Jack Hibbs, who I greatly respect getting ready to open the churches in California. He’s called them to open on Pentecost Sunday and I’ve been listening to that and I’m like, “Yes, that’s right.” We have a command in Scripture, “Do not forsake the gathering,” right, and so we did it for two months, right. We did the thing. We flattened the curve. We did the thing you asked us to do, at great expense, both emotionally, and spiritually to our churches, but then you have the other pastor, there’s another set of pastors that says, “No, we’re called to obey the law, and we’re not being Christlike if we don’t do that.”
And so what does the church do? So let’s say there’s a church in Vancouver, Washington, that wants to open next Sunday, can they open? What do they do?
[Rick] You know, we’ve actually created a website and teamed up with Liberty Council and First Liberty and Pacific Justice Institute on this. It’s called ConstitutionCoach.com and we’re trying to educate people on all these things. Can you open a business? Can you open a church? Can you go visit your relative? What’s constitutional? What has the authority? All those questions and the first thing we’re telling everybody is, “Look, there are unique circumstances. Everybody needs to think about their particular situation and if you are going to violate a local or state order, you need to weigh the consequences. Know, you may be fined, you may be arrested.” I mean those are things that happen in civil disobedience. Sometimes that’s what it takes to put the political pressure on the leaders to reverse course. That’s what happened in Texas.
Shelley Luther opened her salon. She got arrested. She was put in jail. We had peaceful protest and the Texas Supreme Court freed her and then the governor as a result of seeing all that backed off and lifted his order on the beauticians and so beauticians across the state were then able to live out their freedom, but we have beauticians in Laredo, Texas arrested under sting operations for doing manicures in their home.
[Rick] I’m sure they felt a lot like you felt when they showed up and you’ve been snitched on by your neighbor. So the first thing I would say is every situation is unique, get good counsel and advice. The fortunate thing is these law firms like … In fact, Brad Dacus covers Washington and Pacific Justice Institute, does a great job of helping churches out there. I’d send that pastor to the Pacific Justice website and he’s got guidelines for each state there as well. But I do think that that’s the right approach. That we have forsaken the gathering and, look, here’s why we ended up here. We don’t know our history and we don’t know our Constitution.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Rick] And so when they came out and said, “Hey, this is the way we dealt with this in 1918 with Spanish Flu and all,” we believed it and it’s been a pack of lies. I mean all of this stuff about, “Oh, this is exactly what we did in 19 …” That is not true. We had no statewide orders to shutdown entire economies, not a single one in 1918 and the Spanish Flu was 25 times more deadly than what we’re dealing with with the COVID situation. I mean literally, 25 times, a 2.5% mortality, case fatality rate and we’re looking at probably a 0.1 based on all the studies that are coming back and all the data, 0.1%, which means 99.9% of the folks that get this are going to be fine. They’re going to survive. They’re going to live.
Most of them aren’t even going to know they had it and so that also goes to the legal question here, does the government even have a compelling interest to do what they’re doing? Maybe they did in the middle of March. You know, when we’re looking at Italy and just like you said, the whole goal was, “Hey, 15 days to flatten the curve so that our hospitals are not overrun.”
[Rick] Not a single hospital in America was overrun, no one went without a hospital bed, no one went without a ventilator. We accomplished that task in spades and in fact, doctors and nurses got laid off because there was no activity at their hospital. So we did that and maybe government had a compelling interest to do something. Now I would say they did not, the next part of that legal test is it wasn’t narrowly tailored. It was not least restrictive. They went way overboard, but even the question of should they be doing any of it at this point, I think they’re going to lose that battle in the courts in the long run, because of the data and because of the science that they’re completely ignoring right now.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Rick] I’m sorry I went way off track there for you.
[Heidi] No, I’m so glad.
[Rick] But I think churches need to know that part, too.
[Heidi] Yeah, and these are the questions that people are asking in their living rooms and sitting around, you know, I mean it’s amazing to me, I was thinking, you were just saying, about this. They had a compelling interest in the beginning, right? And we all thought. We were like, “Ooh, pandemic. Let’s, you know, batten down the hatches. You know, 15 days of ‘flatten the curve.’”
[Heidi] But every time we turn around, they’re moving the goalpost.
[Rick] That’s right.
[Heidi] So it was 15 days, then it was 30 days, and now it’s 90 days and now we’ve got Kate Brown in Oregon saying, “It’s not going to go back to normal until we get a vaccine.” Which is terrifying. Here in Washington State, they’ve issued a … what I can … They seem very unconstitutional to me. I’ve got parents asking me, “What do I do if the contact tracer comes to my house? Do I have to submit to a COVID-19 test?” I’m like, “No, that’s unlawful search and seizure. They can’t come into your house.” Most of these people don’t understand the law so if parents are … You know, and ordinary parents … Because most of the people listening to this, not police officers. They’re a parent who feel like on some level, they’ve got to be able to do something to stand up against it but they don’t know what to do and my message to the government in all of this, particularly here in Washington State is, “Yes, you had a compelling interest, now you do not. You are losing the trust of your people.”
And to me that can only end, I hate to say this, but it can only end in violence and that’s what we’re seeing happen. The tension is Washington State and Oregon is so thick right now, you can cut it with a knife and tensions are rising and so the question becomes, “What can citizens do? What does civil disobedience look like?”
[Rick] There is a right way and a wrong way, without question, and it begins with obviously being peaceful. In fact, I show people on video, I say, “Look at David Benham when he was arrested in North Carolina as an essential business. I mean their counseling business is listed as essential and he’s out there practicing social distancing. He’s doing it all right and the police officers come and arrest him. In that whole scenario, he’s peaceful, he loves on those guys, he says to them, “Thank you for your service. I know you wish you didn’t have to do this. What you’re doing is wrong.” He doesn’t push them away and say, “Don’t touch me,” and all that. He doesn’t show any hate. He does it exactly right.
I would say that for these protesters that are screaming in hatred and they’ve got their AR15 strapped on the front and, Heidi, I’m a gun guy, I train … we’ve trained thousands of people on how to constitutionally, Second Amendment, how to defend themselves physically and intellectually, all those things. We do that all the time, so I am a very pro-gun guy. But for my friends that are out there protesting, if you show up like that, you are feeding the narrative and you’re actually going to enable these power hungry politicians to crackdown even further. So make sure it’s peaceful, it is not violent and what will happen is exactly what happened in the Civil Rights Movement, as people are being arrested and they’re being hauled out of their homes and they’re being hauled off the bus, because they don’t have a mask and those videos go viral, it changes the hearts and minds of the people in the middle, that right now are just scared.
They just don’t want to die, because they’ve bought the media lie on this thing that everybody’s going to die from it and so they’re just scared.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Rick] And it’ll change their hearts and minds and they’ll start going, “Wait a minute. This is like China all of a sudden. We’re a third … What is going on? This is happening in America.” So I would just encourage everybody, when you make that decision, if you decide to stand up and you’re willing to be arrested, you’re willing to enact civil disobedience, do it peacefully. Make sure you’ve got good legal counsel, that you’ve connected with one of these organizations. Go watch our videos, take a good Constitution class. I mean, just be informed when you do it.
Unfortunately, I think you’re right. I don’t think this changes without the civil disobedience. I’ve got a good friend that, believe it or not, he’s a conservative professor at the University of Texas. He’s the only one on the whole campus, but he’s a conservative …
[Heidi] I was going to say, “Wow, I didn’t know they were there.”
[Rick] Yeah. His name’s Rob Koons, he actually comes at our … Teaches at our Patriot Academy that we do and he just did a great article on… he said, “This is like the Ring in the Lord of the Rings. It corrupts even the best people.” Power is like that. It just has a draw to it and so when once they get the power, they’re not going to want to give it up and that’s why like you said, the goalpost keeps moving. There’s going to be a new standard, impossible things to meet. I mean the kind of results they want to see in the testing are impossible. The idea of a vaccine…
[Heidi] Yeah, and they got so many false positives.
[Rick] Yeah, I mean it’s unbelievable and we don’t even know if we can get a vaccine to this. I mean the scientists are telling us that. They’re saying, “We may never have a vaccine. There’s a lot of these kind of viruses that we’ve never gotten a vaccine for,” and so it’s, yeah, they’re going to move the goalpost. I think it’s only when the citizens stand up and push back in the right way that we’re going to see the change. And fortunately, we are seeing that in some of these states where like the Shelley Luther example, I think, is a perfect example for us to hold up and say, “This is how it should happen.”
Now granted, we’ve got a republican governor that’s … I wouldn’t say super conservative and has frankly handled a lot of this wrong, but he does respond to the constituency and so he backed off. I don’t know about your governor, how long it’s going to take, but I think when they start seeing that the tide is turning, the people’s attitudes are changing, the numbers are not … I mean even with them cooking the books, even with them throwing people into the category of dying from COVID who died from something else.
[Heidi] Right, right, yeah.
[Rick] Even with all or that, the numbers are still …
[Heidi] His parachute didn’t open but we found COVID, so that’s what killed him.
[Rick] You are so right. I hate to laugh but I have to to not cry because that’s how bad it is. They’re literally throwing those kind of numbers in there.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah.
[Rick] So they’re going to cook those books, they’re going to push those numbers up over 100,000 as soon as they can but we need to remind everybody exactly what you just said. I mean, go back to the beginning, it was all about flattening the curve, we did that and also, I would say to your churches, it will get … The numbers will get worse, because this is what they’re going to do. They’re going to say, “Oh, it’s because you churches opened that the numbers got worse.” Well, I mean, all of the scientists told us from the beginning, “You’re going to have a second wave.” We need a second wave is actually what they’re saying. You need a second wave to get the herd immunity, just in case we don’t ever get a vaccine.
So don’t … if you do open this Sunday or next Sunday, don’t let the increase in numbers scare you off. That is fully expected, what we should be looking at is Sweden and South Dakota and the places where they didn’t do total lockdowns and noticing that their numbers are almost the exact same, the guy from Israel, I forget his name, but he’s been studying all the data and he’s saying, “Look, it’s a 70 day peak. No matter what implements the states or the nations do, the trends are almost the exact same.” Which means we’ve killed our economy for no reason.
[Heidi] It’s astonishing and, you know, I’m sorry, it’s an election year, I hate to bring up the elephant in the room, but my hunch about all of this and I’ve been telling my husband from day one, I have sensed just such a wickedness behind this and the longer it goes on, that sense has been confirmed, over and over and over again. And I’m watching them wield beautifully, actually, masterfully, a spirit of fear and as Christians we know, God said, “I didn’t give you a spirit of fear. Power and love and a sound mind,” but we are afraid of this thing and being afraid of it …
You know, we talked to our kids from the very beginning because Jay and I have seven children, they range in age from nine to almost 30 and three grandchildren and we’ve talked to our kids and we said, “Listen, we travel for a living. You guys, there are germs and viruses and bacteria everywhere and God has given us an immune system, so let’s wash our hands. Let’s do the thing. Let’s not touch our faces.” All of the things, but it’s amazing to me how absolutely gripped by a spirit of fear and they’re wielding it and they’ve literally put the nation in lockdown and I can’t help but think, “Maybe this thing will go away after November.”
[Rick] Yeah, you know, in fact that Scripture from Timothy is perfect because the “sound mind” part of that, we’ve never seen such a blatant example of not having a sound mind. The fear literally clouding the mind to the point that people are not… just being reasonable. They’re not using common sense and they’re not just thinking this thing through and they’re not even willing to look at the new data because they are in such a state of fear, and so you’re right. I mean, that is exactly the right approach as to say, “We’re not going to operate out of a spirit of fear. We’re going to be smart. We’re going to take precautions,” just like you just described. We’re the same way. My wife lathers us up in hand sanitizer everywhere we go. She’s always done that, before COVID ever came around.
[Heidi] Yeah, right.
[Rick] And be smart about it and even, I mean honestly, Heidi, we sequestered ourselves. I’ve been looking for the right word. We didn’t have the disease so we weren’t being isolated. We hadn’t come in contact with anybody that did so we’re not quarantined. Sequestered is you’re doing it on your own decision based on your own authority and we decided, “Hey, we’re going to stay home.” We got grandparents that live next door. We’ve got, my daughter-in-law has an immune issue and so we said, “Hey, we’re going to be smart about this. It’s going to take a financial hit to do it,” and that should have been the choice for every American. It should not have been forced on them.
And like I said, historically, we’ve never done that, even in the big cities where Spanish Flu went crazy like Philadelphia and Seattle and San Francisco, even in those big cities, they did not shut down the entire economy. They only did the public gatherings. People were still able to go to work. This is a first in our history. It is going to have devastating effects and it’s going to take time for us to turn this around but we’ve got to learn, we’ve got to learn our rights and you … I’m glad you brought up even what’s happening with the election year.
You know, I will say this about President Trump. I was worried that President Trump would be Obama on the right when it came to the Constitution, that he wouldn’t care what the Constitution said, that he would just be, you know, “I’m a businessman, I’m going to get it done.” Nothing could be further from the truth. He has followed the Constitution even in the COVID crisis while a lot of the leftist politicians have been begging him to seize power, to nationalize industry, to do all these things that he should not be doing. He has refused to do so. I think his restraint in not having the federal government do things that it’s not empowered to do and not given permission to do, is a really, really good sign.
Everybody needs to remember, all of the lockdowns have been done by governors and mayors …
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Rick] …and county officials. They have not been done by the federal government, they cannot be done by the federal government. The only Constitutional power for the federal government when it comes to this is to prevent people from coming into the country without going into quarantine or as he did wisely, not coming in at all with China, and potentially crossing state lines. But he hasn’t even gone there and I’m glad to see that. This is a state and local issue and we need to be, I mean standing up, making the phone calls, showing up at the rallies, being peaceful, being wise when we do it, but letting our voice be heard until those elected officials have to change their position.
[Heidi] So let’s talk about Trump for a second.
[Heidi] Because this is another question that I have with regard to the federal government. I noticed on Wednesday, the president came out and said that he totally disagreed with Fauci on school reopenings, which I was like, “Finally.”
[Heidi] “Thank you.” Just to kind of watch him sort of stand in the gap but a lot of people have been saying, “Where is President Trump? Why isn’t he doing anything?” Like we’ve got these unconstitutional, overbearing, draconian governors that are pushing their states to the brink of bankruptcy and where is President Trump? Does he have any authority? Can he do anything? And I thought, “I don’t know.” But, and so that’s a good question for you, does the president … What kind of authority does he have?
[Rick] It’s a very tough spot and let’s go history first. Let’s go back to 1918, Spanish Flu, killed 675,000 people in America, 50 million people around the world and the president of the United States never said a word. Never addressed the issue, even though he got Spanish Flu himself. This is Woodrow Wilson. We were fighting World War I at the time and the American people still managed to win World War I and not kill their economy. In fact, when you look at the graphs, it’s barely even a blip in 1918 and so I say that to say, the president’s role is fairly minor in a situation like this.
I love the fact that Trump did what he did early on with this. I think he made a mistake by bringing so much attention to it for so long. I wish he had backed off a little bit sooner. I think he played into their hands on that and he’s usually much wiser than that and does better, but in terms of what he can do, it’s very limited. The one thing he could do that is constitutional and the reason I think he’s holding off for so long is because it hasn’t been done and that is to actually use the Commerce Clause of the Constitution for the very reason it was originally put in the Constitution. We had a Constitutional Convention in 1787 because states were preventing commerce from crossing state lines. That’s the main reason they met in 1787 and so the Commerce Clause was intended to prevent states from stopping or impeding commerce.
What he could do right now is go after these states and say, “Those are unconstitutional orders because you’re preventing, you know, Joe’s “whatever” in Washington from selling their good across state lines to somebody in Oregon or you’re preventing them from being able to go to their office and ship their orders to Texas and therefore you are inhibiting interstate commerce.” That is a proper constitutional authority of the federal government, it’s the one thing he could do and I hope that he does. I know he has waited, he’s hinted at it a little bit, but that’s a big, big move and we’ll see if he does it.
The other thing he can do is the Power of the Purse and he can put some requirements on these states and say, “If you’re going to get money over here, you’ve got to do this over there.” The last thing I hope he does is that he vetoes any spending bill that bails out the bad decisions of these states. It is wrong and immoral for states that did this wisely like South Dakota, to have to pay the bill for a Gavin Newsome in California that is not talking about keeping his economy dead through August. I mean unbelievable. We should not be asking states that made good decisions to bail out states that made bad decisions. It’s the same as bailing out banks that made loans, they shouldn’t have made. I mean that is immoral.
We should not be doing it and I hope he steps up and says no to that. I have my doubts because of the political pressure and unfortunately, I think the republicans in Congress are going to cave on that, too, but those are the three things, but the most important thing he can do, use the Commerce Clause for the very reason it was put in the Constitution in the first place. And that’s weird for me to say that, Heidi, because most of my Constitution class, I talk about how bad the Commerce Clause has been distorted, how it’s been used to expand federal power, all the things they’re doing outside the boundaries of the Constitution, they’ve used the Commerce Clause to do it, but this is the one thing it was actually intended to do, so we could actually use it for it’s right purpose and solve a lot of these problems if he does it.
[Heidi] Yeah, so we could say, “Hey, President Trump, use the Commerce Clause, and let’s get the economy moving again.” My next question is about the Attorney General, so we put a letter from Attorney General Barr at the front of the Homeschool Resource Center when we opened it, noting that he was talking about the Department of Justice starting to keep a tighter eye on what is happening to businesses across the states and I wondered. You know, he was saying that they might have an obligation to address this overreach in federal court. What can the Attorney General do to address what’s happening in the country?
[Rick] Yeah, and he would be the weapon, I guess, that Trump would use even in going after the states through the Commerce Clause as well, so I mean, and Barr has been pretty good so far. He’s even intervened in some of our cases on religious liberty and some of the violations that have happened there and I’d love to see him do the same thing with the business. I love that, that you actually took his letter and put it on the door. I knew we were going to get along.
[Heidi] We did, man, we were like, “Don’t mess with us.”
[Rick] That is awesome, and you already just having the … Like when those officials come around and … or even maybe letting your county officials know, because I think, if I remember right, it was actually, it was actually… your county was the first one that did the ban on public gatherings or one of those counties up in your area.
[Heidi] That’s … yes, yes.
[Rick] And then it started at 250 and then it came down to 150 and then statewide … Newsome was the first one, I guess, on March 19th to do statewide and then the dominoes fell and everybody was trying to out dictator each other.
[Heidi] Right, that’s what they’re doing. Yeah.
[Rick] No doubt about it but I do hope Barr intervenes in one of these cases with the businesses as well, and I think you guys are doing the right thing in protecting … and think about it, getting the kids together and having the education part of that, I mean the kids aren’t … the science has already shown that they don’t … they may not even be able to transfer the virus and they’re certainly not susceptible to it, and so even closing the schools was a foolish move from the beginning and a lot of the scientists said that. They said, “That’s the last thing we need to do, because now you’re cramming everybody into the home together and we ought to have the kids at school and it’ll help with the herd immunity.”
I mean we’ve just made mistake after mistake after mistake and instead of pivoting and correcting the course, it’s doubling down and it’s digging in because nobody wants to admit they were wrong and I think Fauci’s hopefully losing some of his credibility when he says we shouldn’t even open the schools in the fall.
[Rick] I really appreciate Senator Rand Paul questioning him on that and saying, “You’re not the final say. We need more voices,” and we do. We need more voices. I mean that’s what a representative government is supposed to be all about. I’d like to hear more scientists have a platform. I’d like to hear legislators more involved and not just these dictators in charge of the states.
[Heidi] Well, I think Trump agrees with you because Trump was actually quoted as saying that he was surprised by Fauci’s desire to keep the schools closed and Trump said, “Because it’s just to me, it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.” And so this is President Trump going up against Fauci, which really, he’s kind of become a little bit of a god on the left, right? Because we’re waiting with bated breath to hear what Fauci has to say and every time he opens his mouth now, I’m just like, “Weh, weh.”
[Rick] No kidding.
[Heidi] Like, “Who made that guy, he’s not the surgeon general. Who put this guy in charge of the medical community for the nation?”
[Rick] It’s part of the problem. It’s part of us not knowing how our system is supposed to work. Even on the state and local level, they’re letting these health officials make all the calls. It’s that elected representative that should be making the call, not that health official. They should be advising that elected representative and because think about it, the president or a governor should be, like Trump, I think has been trying to weigh in all of the consequences, all of the unintended consequences, how it affects the economy, how many suicides, how much depression, how much … All of the negative side effects of putting everybody, locking them in their homes. The domestic abuse is off the charts right now …
[Rick] …because of what we’ve done and a public servant that’s elected and has to answer for his actions will weigh those things typically and not someone … and Fauci’s even said this. He’s even said, “Look, my job is not to make the decision. My job is to give the scientific evidence and the advice and let the president weigh everything else and make the decision” and I hope the president begins to disagree with him more and starts putting more people on the stage to talk about this. Even Burke said the other day that she couldn’t trust anything that came from the CDC, so the very experts that told us a few weeks ago, “Don’t wear masks, it won’t help at all. In fact, it’ll make it worse, because you’ll be touching your face more,” are now telling us, “You have to wear a mask,” and we’re starting to implement requirements on that.
So the public trust, I think, is dropping very quickly because of the mixed messages and because of, frankly, being wrong over and over again. Fauci himself said in January, this is not anything the American people need to worry about. It’s going to be fine.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right, and I think not only is our trust of them waning as the numbers are coming in, and what they’ve been saying, too, isn’t bearing out, but they’re actually violating our trust. Every time we see a video of a mom with her … You know, I saw a breastfeeding mother get arrested in a playground last week.
[Rick] Oh, my.
[Heidi] I thought, “Oh, my goodness.” You’re watching the terrible overreach of police officers and local magistrates really overreaching their authority and the people are becoming afraid of them and so now you’ve got … not only are we losing the trust in your ability to make wise decisions, now you’re violating our trust and we no longer trust you to make good decisions and that to me is kind of a Molotov cocktail, a little bit of a recipe for disaster. So I’m hoping some of these guys will step in soon, sooner rather than later and start making better decisions.
[Rick] It’s a good reminder for us, too, Heidi, that not only do we need to know our rights, we’ve got to do a better job at choosing leaders that know our rights.
[Heidi] Oh, man, that’s true.
[Rick] And that are educated in crisis management and know how to protect rights while dealing with a crisis. As a good leader, you’ve got to be able to do that. I love how you mentioned the immune system earlier. I think … and tell me if this analogy works, but I was talking to my wife last night about this and we were talking about the immune system, and which vitamins to take and this and all that stuff and I said, “You know, baby, really, we’ve basically got the … just as a virus needs a weakened immune system to do harm, a society that is weak in basic civic literacy, that’s the perfect petri dish for bad government.”
[Rick] Because if you don’t know your history and you don’t know constitutional jurisdictions you allow for this virus of unconstitutional crackdowns, these tyrannical orders to literally spread across the nation, and I kind of think that’s what’s happened. I don’t know if the analogy makes sense or not, but to me it makes sense. That’s where we are and so we need basically an immune booster on civic literacy and actually knowing that those rights are.
[Heidi] Yeah, I was saying that on one of the videos I did on my Facebook page the other day, just saying, “Listen, church, you need a lesson in civics, because I have a feeling, you know, we don’t understand the history of this nation, we really don’t and we don’t understand civics,” and I said, “I have a feeling that a lot of you would have been un …” If Facebook existed during the Revolutionary War, I think, I’d have very few friends left right now, because we have such a basic misunderstanding of the Constitution, and why our nation was founded and why freedom is so important and why Christians should protect and cherish our liberty and defend it.
And we learned this through understanding the history of the country and also learning our Constitution. You guys are doing kind of an awesome thing in teaching Constitutional Literacy. Tell us a little bit about that, because I want to drive as many of my listeners over to what you’re doing as I can.
[Rick] It’s going to take a ton of us doing it. We call it ConstitutionCoach.com. We’ve got about 1,000 Constitution Coaches across the country that host local classes. They use our materials. You don’t have to have any expertise in this. We actually go into Independence Hall, we teach the Constitution in the very room where it was created, where it was signed. We go into David Barton’s library, and pull all the original documents off the shelf. So we make it fun to learn it but we equip these coaches and host to do this on Zoom.
They can get with their friends and family from across the nation or across the street if they’re not allowed to go outside, and then eventually, as places open up, we used to do this more in churches, in living rooms and so hopefully, that will begin to happen as well. But it’s basically a movement across the country to get some Civic Literacy in and begin to have a Civics understanding. I think you’re so right, Heidi, the church has got to get back involved in Civics. If you’re going to be salt and light in the community, you’ve got to be able to preserve what that community and that society is and the salt is not doing its job if it’s not actually bringing out the flavor, if it’s not making it possible for us to be free, if it’s not showing us what produces the best culture.
America is the greatest nation because our Founding Fathers used a Biblical foundation. They used Biblical principles and that produced the result of freedom and prosperity and all the things we enjoy. If you remove the formula that produces that result, you’re going to lose the result and we’re seeing that right now. So if we come back to the formula, the good news is I’ve got a friend that’s a former congressman, and he says, “The only problem with these principles is they only work every time they’re tried.”
So the truth is if we use them, they will work, but we’ve got to use them and the church is the vehicle, the church is responsible for this. It’s to be salt and light. Jesus said, “Occupy until I return.” He said, “Render unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s,” and in America, friends, you are Caesar. We the people, you’re Caesar so if you’re going to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s that means knowing what it means to be a good citizen and not only just claiming your rights, but also fulfilling your responsibilities under our system of government.
[Heidi] That’s right, because the Constitution says, “It’s a government by the people, of the people, and for the people.” So whenever the church says, “No, no, render to Caesar,” I’m always in … I’m like, “You’re Caesar. You guys don’t understand our country. Go back to school.”
[Rick] Probably some of your most, your worst hate mail you’re getting right now is from…
[Heidi] It’s from the church.
[Rick] Yeah, and they’re saying, “Oh, you’re not supposed to be involved in all this.” And so who will be, right? It’ll leave the culture and the society to those who have no faith and that’s why we’ve got the country we’ve got right now is because the church checked out. Pastors are waking up, you mentioned my friend Jack Hibbs earlier. Jack’s one of the best pastors in the country, and such a great culture leader. He’s fearless.
[Rick] I love that man and we need more pastors like that, I forget the historian’s name, but he talked about the pastors of the founding era and he said, “We didn’t need reeds shaken by the wind. These were mighty men of courage,” and he talked about how important the pastors were to the founding of the country and how they stood up. You can look at Pastor Jonas Clark there at Lexington, I mean the very … The shot heard around the world started because of a pastor preaching liberty to that church for 20 years and then ingrained in them that it’s got to be self-defense. You don’t want to attack, you respond. He did it exactly right and there were pastors all over the Colonies that actually took up their musket and they led their men into the fight.
In the same way, today, pastors need to be leaders. I’m not saying go out in any kind of violent way at all, but you’ve got to speak truth from the pulpit. You’ve got to tell your people to be strong. There’s a pastor that right now is leading a charge called peaceablygather.com, Brian Sand. Hey, Pastors, we’re lambs sometimes, but there’s also a lion and it’s time to be lions. It’s time for us to show that side of Christ and make sure that we’re showing strong leadership and not cowering down and allowing our flock to be led astray.
[Heidi] Man, that’s totally right. George Washington said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter,” and if there was ever a time for us to use the voices that God has given us to use the minds, power, love, and a sound mind … and I’ve been saying this for a while here at the podcast. My heart beat has just been, “Church, get off the bench and onto the battlefield.” This is absolutely, I think, a spiritual battle, as much as it is a legal and a constitutional battle, it is also a spiritual battle …
[Rick] I agree.
[Heidi] And I so appreciate the light that you are shining on this. You also have something really cool before we go, I want to mention it. A Patriot Academy, right, .com, that’s also you?
[Heidi] Where you guys are teaching youth about the legislative process. Tell listeners a little bit about what that is.
[Rick] Sure, yeah, in fact, Constitution Coach is a program of Patriot Academy. Patriot Academy teaches citizens of all ages our flagship program is a youth leadership program we do in state capitals across the country. Closest one to you guys in Washington is in Idaho. We do our Northwest Academy over at Boise and we actually put them in the hot seat. They’re on the real house floor, in the real committee rooms and the whole time they’re doing this legislative simulation, we’re teaching them Biblical worldview of government, Constitutional governance, what the Founder’s view was, and then how to be good leaders. We teach them speaking skills, leadership skills, how do they go into whatever area of the culture they’re going to go into.
Our graduates are now serving as reps and senators and all that, but they’re also making movies and doing music and leading in business. So it doesn’t matter what area God’s called you to, you still need to be a good citizen and Patriot Academy’s a great place to learn that. PatriotAcademy.com to learn more. We’re doing a virtual academy in June, unfortunately.
[Rick] We’re not actually going to be in Boise this year like we normally would, but they can participate in that and be part of the PatriotAcademy online or Lord willing by August, we’ll be doing a physical academy in Texas at the state capitol and they can come to that one, but it’s a great way for young people to get started and we do a military academy as well for all your military veterans that are listening, we need them to run for office. I just think …
[Heidi] No kidding.
[Rick] That our military vets are such good leaders. Dan Crenshaw right now is a rockstar in my opinion in Washington and so anyway, we do a military version of that as well. So the military guys are all over on the senate side. That sounded really sexist. The military guys and gals, I should say, because we have both are over there that have served in the military and they serve as senators, one of the young leaders 16-25 are over on the house side of the capitol, so it’s kind of a neat way for them to interact as well, gives the military folks encouragement to know there’s a new generation being risen and that young generation gets to learn from those military folks, but anyway, so there’s several different options.
We have a citizen track for folks that aren’t military and aren’t under 25, so there’s something for everybody but it’s all about learning our rights and then learning how to apply that, how to live them out, and do our part to preserve freedom for the next generation.
[Heidi] If we don’t learn anything from this whole pandemic, or I call it a plandemic, it’s that we need to protect our liberty and we need to know what our rights are and for goodness’ sake, get out and vote. So many people just sitting home and not participating in the process and I’m always telling people the only thing that the left needs to take this country off a cliff is for you guys to be quiet.
[Rick] That’s right.
[Heidi] They need your silence and you know what, they’re not going to get it from me and it sounds like they’re not going to get it from you.
[Rick] That’s exactly right and every election vote, never stay home just because you think there aren’t any good candidates. I mean even if you live in the people’s republic of Washington … Sorry, Heidi …
[Heidi] Right, right.
[Rick] If you live up there …
[Heidi] It’s earned, I get it.
[Rick] Yeah, but if you think there’s no good candidates, my mom always said, “You do the best you can with what you’ve got, where you are and then you work hard to make sure it’s better next time.” So you go in and you vote for the least bad of those guys and so … and I know some of our Christian friends are saying, “Oh, that Rick Green, he’s saying vote for the lesser of two evils.” Yes, I am, because you have to do that in every election. There’s no perfect candidate. Jesus is not on the ballot, if He was, then you would have somebody that wasn’t evil but everybody else, their heart is evil, no man can know it, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that so just don’t skip elections. Do the best you can with what you’ve got and then work hard to have better candidates and, frankly, Heidi, Christians need to be running for office.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Rick] Pastors need to be running for office. Get out there and get engaged in the process.
[Heidi] That is … I’m going to leave it right there, because I couldn’t say it any better. Rick Green, you are an encouragement. I know so many people listening to this right now are like, “All right, that’s it. We just got our marching orders from Rick Green.” So thank you so much for those of you who are listening. I’m going to link back to all things Rick Green in the show notes today.
Rick, you’re a Patriot and a friend. Thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate it.
[Rick] God bless, you, Heidi. Thanks for being a voice of truth. Keep up the good work. Look forward to doing it again sometime.
[Heidi] We definitely will. For more information on Rick Green and his ministry to Patriots, go to PatriotAcademy.com or ConstitutionCoach.com. Thanks for listening, everybody and I’ll see you back here in a couple of days.
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Heidi St. John
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