Getting Taxpayer-Funded Free Stuff Is Not "Religious Liberty"

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

There seems to be some confusion among religious columnists as to what constitutes religious freedom and what does not. 

In a recent column for Crisis, Thomas Ascik claims that the US Supreme Court's ruling inTrinity Lutheran v. Comer is a victory for "the free exercise of religion." 

The ruling essentially states that church organization can now receive government grants for amenities and activities that are not specifically religious activities. In the case of Trinity Lutheran specifically, the church had applied for a government grant to repave its playground with recycled automobile tires. 

The state of Missouri denied the grant to the church on the grounds that it was a religious organization. Now SCOTUS has ruled such exclusionary policies are unconstitutional. 

That's fine as far as it goes. I have no more of a problem with Trinity Lutheran receiving state funds than with Secular Daycare Brand X receiving them. In both cases, the taxpayers have been ripped off and their money handed over to someone else. The fact that Trinity Lutheran is a church is not the problem in this equation. 

But, let's not pretend that getting a government grant has anything to do with the free exercise of religion or religious liberty. In no way did the grant-selection process mean that Trinity Lutheran or its membership was prevented from freely exercising its faith. As a result of the grant going to some other organization, the building was not seized by the state, the members were not silenced, and the church's publications were not censored. 

The claim that government grants are equal to freedom here is no more convincing than the claim made by certain feminists that a woman does not enjoy "personal freedom" unless the taxpayers pay for her contraception. 

The truth here is that not receiving a government grant for something — whether it be contraception or the repaving of a playground — does not constitute a violation of rights. 

On the other hand, when the state seizes money from private parties in the form of tax dollars, it does indeed restrict religious liberty. 

For example, every tax dollar collected in taxes from the membership of Trinity Lutheran means one dollar fewer than the members can elect to donate to the church. Every dollar taxed means one dollar less to be spent on bibles, or hymnals, or a soup kitchen run by the church.

This fact illustrates why freedom of religion, like freedom of speech, is just another type of property right. After all, if the members of Trinity Luthern (or any other organization) are free from the impoverishing effects of taxation and regulation, then those very people will be more free to support the religious programs and communications they wish. 

This is why Murray Rothbard preferred the precision of property rights to the vague — and thus more easily violated — "human rights" that pertain to speech and religion. 

According to Rothbard

Take, for example, the "human right" of free speech. Freedom of speech is supposed to mean the right of everyone to say whatever he likes. But the neglected question is: Where? Where does a man have this right? He certainly does not have it on property on which he is trespassing. In short, he has this right only either on his own property or on the property of someone who has agreed, as a gift or in a rental contract, to allow him on the premises. In fact, then, there is no such thing as a separate "right to free speech"; there is only a man's property right: the right to do as he wills with his own or to make voluntary agreements with other property owners.

Applied to religion, property rights means that any group of people must be free to exercise their religion freely wherever the owner is willing to let them do it. Anyone who voluntary wishes to take part in a groups religious services must be free to do so and anyone who wishes to read religious materials distributed by the church must be free to accept it or buy it. Churches must be free to donate whatever materials or services they like to whomever they like. Provided the recipient freely accepts it. 

Thus, no extra right to exercise religion is necessary when people's property rights are respected. 

On the other hand, when church organizations — or anyone else — seeks to tax someone else in order to receive a "grant" then this is the exact opposite of religious liberty. It is nothing more than violating someone else's property to receive a free gift. The tax dollars taken from taxpayers to pay for the repaving of a playground are dollars that could have been used by those taxpayers to support their own religious causes, their own speech, and their own freedoms, all of which also stem from basic property rights. 

Obviously, church organizations are no more guilty of this than the myriad of non-religious non-profits that live off taxpayer funds. And, Ascik has a point in noting that the state of Missouri's policies are inequitable. Indeed, if that grant money the Trinity Lutheran seeks ends up going to a militantly secularist organization that teaches people to despise Christians, then the taxpayers of Trinity Lutheran may actually be paying some other organization to attack them. 

The answer to this problem isn't to give more grants to Trinity Lutheran, however. The answer is to end the grant program and the taxes that support it. 

Real Threats to Religious Liberty

Ascik's final error is in confusing real threats to religious liberty with the fake threat found within Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. 

Ascik does identify some: 

In ... Hosanna Tabor (2012), the Court unanimously held that federal disability law could not interfere in hiring decisions of a Lutheran churchand its school. And in the Hobby Lobby (2014) decision and the remand of the Little Sisters of the Poor case (2016) to the lower courts, the Supreme Court effectively ruled that Christian people must be allowed to live their faith all the time, including in business, not just on Sunday morning.

Ascik is correct there that all of these cases posed real threats to religious liberty. In each case, government regulations placed mandates on religious organizations that either directly violated the exercise of religion or hobbled the ability of a church organization to bring on personnel who reflected the values of the organization. Indeed, in the cases of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters, the government placed a direct mandate on a religious organization to pay for activities those organizations viewed as contrary to their religious views. 

This is a true violation of the free exercise of religion. 

But, in this case too, a simple respect for property rights solves the problem and does not require any special right of "religious freedom." All that is necessary is to allow organization to hire and fire whom they wish, and pay for whatever type of insurance they wish. 

Similarly, these organizations could support their own cause by not asking the taxpayers to pay for their playgrounds or for any other free gift.

 

Comments

PleasedToMeatYou Jul 3, 2017 11:59 AM Permalink

"But, let's not pretend that getting a government grant has anything to do with the free exercise of religion or religious liberty. " Amen! My wife and I were just talking about this this morning.  When religious organizations (or anybody else) start taking, and coming to rely on government money, they have accepted a comfortable fitting leash, or perhaps a noose.  You need a stack of short-sighted ignorance to be unaware of that. 

Ink Pusher PleasedToMeatYou Jul 4, 2017 1:35 AM Permalink

All religions are nothing more than constructs. You can keep your depraved culture of accepted divine pedophilia.Constructs specifically designed and implemented to control the growing masses of weak minded fools seeking salvation, forgiveness or spiritual ascension.I seek none of those things as I will never be saved, never be forgiven or never ascend to a higher spiritual plane than I am already on today. I depend on myself and i don't require a deity to tell me the difference between right and wrong because I am not an imbecile ,nor a willfully subervient moron drone.I accept my flaws and faults, I would highly suggest you all suck it up and do the same before you get suckered or murdered by some con-artist religious fanatic or renegade lunatic while searching needlessly for more fleeting and false enlightenment.

In reply to by PleasedToMeatYou

Abaco Jul 3, 2017 8:15 AM Permalink

This is a silly article where the author completely misses the point. Granted the governent should not be taxing people and then distributing to others what was taken un threat of violence. However, government spending wasn't at issue. The only issue in the case was whether could be discriminated against - could be ineligible for the distribution - becasue they are religious institutions. If the governent is going to tax a Christian's earnings, and then distribute that money to social advocates - like planned parenthood whom the Christian would presumeably never support, while saying the organizations the Christian would support cannot receive funds, it is clearly infringingupon the free exercise of religion.  One's money is being taken to support a cause while the person is told the money can never go to support his cause. Therefore he has less money.The discussion on the legitimacy of governent taking by force - taxation - and distributing or favored groups - need not, and should not, consder religon at all.  

captain-nemo Jul 3, 2017 5:08 AM Permalink

Chistianity is a lot more than religion. Besides being a protector of the moral code (the way moral once used to be defined), Christianity is also the defender and the protector of western values and traditions. The religious part is just a small piece of it all. In Europe , Christianity who used to be the main pillar in European culture are almost gone, and the little that is left is hijacked by liberal priests that have replaced the Bible with human rights , immigration rights and the green aganda.  The few churches that are left and not replaced by mosques are primarily used to house and give shelter to illegal immigrants. In a few generations from now, the religion of piece will take over the role that Christianity once had in Europe Is this what Americans wants too? Wouldn't it rather be better to spend a few tax dollars to support these important values while you still can, rather than to welcome political islam, with public stoning, hangings and whipping of people.   

northern vigor captain-nemo Jul 3, 2017 7:05 AM Permalink

The trouble with setting precedent of giving tax dollars to a church, is that eventually the mosques want to be subsidized also....and you can bet your last dollar that the mosques will get more than the churches. Lets not go down that road of subsidizing any. Eventually the government will tell the church that they need to tow the government laws if they want to keep getting a grant. The government laws may be sharia one day.

In reply to by captain-nemo

CatsPaw Jul 3, 2017 4:17 AM Permalink

I am very geneous with my donations to religion: everyday I throw some cash into the air, whatever god grabs is his.But he is just a nice guy he always gives everything back. Religion logic:-We need money to give to the poor, we dont give the money we get to the poor.-We need to confess your sins while we abuse children.-You need to go to churce every sunday, so we can keep repeating this non sense till you buy it.-Dont steal, we will.-Dont kill, unless its for God. Dont worry we will tell you when its for God.-The bible is up for interpretation when we say it is, and we are the ones to interpret it.-The bible is a holy book, that was written by people who could not write, translated from language to language over 2000 years, but its accurate (try asking your mother a story you told her yesterday, see how accurate humans are).-Believe in a God that will send you to burn for eternity if you fail on what he wants, and what he wants is total submission of your actions and thoughts (not even north korea is that bad).-Do what god (the church) says and you will be rewarded... after you die... and you get 72 virgins... oh wait, I think I mixed up something there. So... how can people believe that? Well, if you are told since you are little this kinda crap... When a priest comes to my home to ask me if I will want to talk about god (a different one comes every day) I just want to punch him in the face, but I say that I decided to do what he does to convince people to stop beliving in god.If this fucker god exists, I am going to ask him how the fuck was he so retarded to allow humans to speak for him. 

ExcapedPOI Jul 3, 2017 12:04 AM Permalink

Author you have made a good case, but have come to THE WRONG CONCLUSION!  The correct solution is not to end the grant process, but rather you have proven EXTREMELY well that TAXATION IS THEFT.  Your conclusion, therefore should be:  End taxation!

conraddobler Jul 2, 2017 11:35 PM Permalink

In the modern world money equals access to resources.Thus money is actually the root of all evil because control of it means control over all resources as you can buy and sell governments, military's etc with it.It's an obvious scam that has been perpetrated upon the planet.People were here PRIOR TO MONEY and are in fact priceless but we don't operate that way we slap a dollar sign on everything.  The problem with valuiing everything in monetary terms to the excess that we have is staring us all in the face the world has been bought up with funny money while we were all busy trying to get ahead they sold sign got slapped on literally everything.The fact that some people are savy enough to get into the streams and accumulate some money with hard work and dedication just seals the lie that success is there for the taking.That was true but the process to avoid anything like that happening in the future is already in play.Those with a lot of money are busy trying set up money pumps right into their waiting tanker fleet for transportation right to their treasure vaults.This is obvious in every fucking metric and graph imagineable but people still cling to the outdated ideas of hard work pays.Sure in even an unfair world this will work but as the unfairness curve steepens you will have to run faster, cheat harder to keep up.The trend is NOT YOUR FRIEND here and selling your soul out to be part of the cretins with all the cash hordes is only going to get you miserable in the end.Nothing about the greater part of the modern world is an actual human actualization engine that is should be it's a carnival game that is getting more twisted by the second.A veritable zombie hoarde stands between us all and the truly wealthy like an ancient moat to keep any upstarts from storming the castle.It's obivious that the theft is accelerating and it's obvious our overlords who do know history are well aware how this ends and they know the pace is quickening and they will have to at some point pull the plug and let the teaming masses do their dirty work for them.The idea is to focus attentions elsewhere and keep us all busy as the last getaway cars race out of town through the chaos. 

damicol Jul 2, 2017 11:21 PM Permalink

I don't know how many times I have said this.The only way to protect your property rights is to do it yourself.Like anything else, protecting your own rights, because only the dumbest MF'ers believe someone else like the fucking govt will do that, there is a cost.My labor is my property, and fuck, do I protect it.I do not, have not and will not, pay fucking taxes. Period. I do not, have not for over two fucking decades, and will not file any tax return or any other documnet t5o any cunt that details any aspect of my labor or it's value.There is a cost, But a cost I believe is worth it not just in $$$ but in my ultimate freedom to do what the fuck I decide and want and not some other cunt.That is priceless to me, and the cost was a total and complete change in the way I live, structure my life and the adaptation to do everything totally contrary to what the govt automatically assumes you do things.They expect you to live in a property you own or rent. I do not.They expect you to have a salary. I do not have.They expect your business to be owned by you. My business is not owned by me. I own the owners of my business and no records of that ownership exist outside those I make arrangements with. My business pays no taxes, it is in a tax haven. the owners are scattered far and wide, but my ownership of the owners of the business is total and comp0lete.Move to state of being, of living, where there are no records, where no tangible assets the government covets exist, but only intangible assets, that cannot be measured and counted and recorded and so where there is nothing left to tax, and tax will cease.It is not rocket science, just the cost of doing it. And the internet and cheap travel makes this so fucking easy and cheap now.  

space junk damicol Jul 2, 2017 11:56 PM Permalink

AMEN brotherI have held off giving the fuking Internal Fuckass Revenue Cunts another dime this year.FUCK THEM if it puts me on a listFUCK THEM if it gets me harassed I will eventaully *and that is way more sooner than later* be able to opt out of almost everything these khunts want me to subscribe to.Le'ts get Trump to ABOLISH THE IRS and the FUCKING FEDERAL RESERVE sons of bitches! People don't realize just WHAT a scam it really is.  MEGA corps like Google and GE pay zero taxes, yet they want to have a shitfit over 5 or 10k in personal taxes?  I think not. We're coming for you, Koskinen and LOis Lerner and all the rest of you sons of bitches. Glad to see someone out there really 'gets it'.  I sure do.    

In reply to by damicol

davidhenry Jul 2, 2017 8:05 PM Permalink

Yeah, this article was dumb.The problem starts with its title. (Getting Taxpayer-Funded Free Stuff Is Not "Religious Liberty")The issue wasn't the getting of free stuff,  it was preventing the getting of free stuff based on religion.

mary mary Jul 2, 2017 8:03 PM Permalink

That's because SCOTUS is ruled by the Catholic Church, not by the USA.  6 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices are Roman Catholic.  The other 3 are Jewish.Samuel Alito: CatholicStephen Breyer: JewishRuth Bader Ginsburg: JewishElena Kagan: JewishNeil Gorsuch: CatholicAnthony Kennedy: CatholicJohn Roberts: CatholicSonia Sotomayor: CatholicClarence Thomas: CatholicNot a single Protestant, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Confucian, Greek or Russian Orthodox, Hindu, Muslim, Native American Faith, Rastafarian, Shinto, Taoist, or anything else.  There is a religious test for Supreme Court membership, in direct violation of the USA Constitution.

mary mary New_Meat Jul 3, 2017 12:05 AM Permalink

There are 6 flavors of Catholic, 3 flavors of Jewish, and 0 flavors of everything else.  Take your pick.There were 0 Catholics and 0 Jews on the first USA Supreme Court.  Catholics and Jews are Theists.  Most of the founding fathers were Deists.  James Madison, who did most of the work on the Constitutation, was a Deist.  Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was an Atheist.Basically, Catholics and Jews stole the USA.  It's what they do: steal.

In reply to by New_Meat

onasip123 Jul 2, 2017 7:33 PM Permalink

Anyone getting free stuff paid for my taxpayers is not Liberty. Period.

Liberty is freedom from force and fraud. The US federal government is one of the biggest frauds in world history as it forcefully extracts property from the American people.

Actually pretty much every national government today is a fraud that is more dedicated on forcibly extracting wealth from its people than protecting the people's wealth.

Codwell Jul 2, 2017 7:06 PM Permalink

Ummm.. ...  The author totally misconstrues the ruling. Since the activity was nonreligious It had nothing to do with the free exercise clause.   It was a due process and equal protection action ie two entities in the same situation treated diffetently without significant reason to treat them differently.  The reason given was religious but it was found nonapplicable in this case.

dirty fingernails Jul 2, 2017 6:31 PM Permalink

The hilarious part of the SC ruling is that churches being treated the same as any otger organization opens them up to taxation on land, income, etc. Equality is such a bitch! lmao morons fighting for a spot at the gov teat

HuskerGirl Jul 2, 2017 6:30 PM Permalink

What everyone needs to understand is that nothing from the government is free.  Even when you realized that for the government to give you anything means they had to take it from someone else.  They don't create anything.But once the government gives you something, they always expect you to accept their conditions.  Want your money back for your schools?  Then you better teach to federal standards.  Think you get your Social Security money back?  Then take a day to read all the inane rules and hoops you have to jump through that are designed to keep you from it.Nothing from the government is free.  You'll pay much more than you get one way or another. 

Faeriedust Jul 2, 2017 6:17 PM Permalink

Sorry, NO.Von Mises once again ignores the fact that in many regimes -- even CURRENT regimes such as China -- the State imposes religious participation by force, or punishes religious participation in a non-approved sect by force.  Kind of like what Clinton did to the Branch Davidians.A case can be made that a certain minimum of property rights is essential to the free exercise of human rights. Starvation and exposure caused by destitution put an obvious limit to Free Speech, even if the result of mere economic penalties.  Hitler's confiscation of Jewish property coupled with restrictions on their practice of trades left many without the means to either survive or emigrate long before the Final Solution was implemented.  Nevertheless, tyrannical governments don't always wait for the long, slow effects of economic strangulation.  They have been known to imprison or kill the people while leaving their property relatively intact.

Faeriedust Lucretius Jul 2, 2017 6:27 PM Permalink

Actually, historically speaking, it's tribute.  Modern taxation arose from the ancient habit of levying an annual assessment on conquered tribes and nations.  Roman citizens, for instance, paid a lot less in taxes than anyone in the Middle East, where each new conqueror had added a new tax that was added to the old tax that a city or ethnos had been paying to the Guy Before.  Eventually everyone and all land in Europe had been conquered often enough that the tribute was assumed as a standard fee that went along with being The Government.  Some rare places however are known as "allodial" land, which means that they were never assessed tribute by a conqueror and therefore the owners owned them, not by grace of the Government, but by "natural right" of inheritance from those who had "always" owned them.Of course, the U.S. was conquered from its allodial inhabitants and they were shunted off to reservations, with all of the land redistributed as fruits of conquest by first the Brits and then the American Government, so from inception of modern title, all land in America is assumed to be "owned" on the semi-feudal condition that a percentage of the land's value is annually paid to the government for possession.  And then you have the Income Tax, which was originally unconstitutional, but they actually passed an amendment to legalize it. It was (supposedly) intended to be a tax on rents, but instead has become a tax on wages, along with the payroll taxes which are actually a form of mandatory insurance.But anyway.  Taxation isn't just theft.  It's specifically "your money or your life" ransom for your ancestors having lost the war a long, long time ago.

In reply to by Lucretius

JLee2027 Jul 2, 2017 5:48 PM Permalink

Churches taking money from the Government are a perverse, twisted evil abomination. Whatever happened to having a congregation fundraiser and asking people to chip in?  This is what we are supposed to do, not rely on the Government.

HomelessPatriot Jul 2, 2017 5:47 PM Permalink

Whether the kids play at a church or state playground makes no difference as they are both US citizens. Let's concentrate our efforts on those that don't belong here and deport them and let the kids play.

Deep Snorkeler Jul 2, 2017 5:46 PM Permalink

Separation of Church and StateCombinations, partnerships and deals betweenany church and the state is a threat to us all.Fundamental to feudalism and fascism arechurch-state legal partnerships that result in suppression of the middle/lower classes.Secularism preserves freedom.

GeezerGeek Deep Snorkeler Jul 2, 2017 7:45 PM Permalink

Feudalism and fascism seem to be doing quite well in the USSA without any "church-state legal partnerships." In other countries, particularly where sharia law is imposed, your statement might make sense except for the fact that sharia-compliant Muslim countries integrate mosque and state, they are not partnerships. Both Syria under Assad and Iraq under Hussein were examples of Muslim countries not implementing sharia. Contrast religious freedom in those to countries like Saudia Arabia. As for your idiocy about secularism preserving freedom, there is a far greater threat these days from the "corporate-state legal partnerships" we see, at least in the USSA. Is this corporatism more aligned to religion or secularism? And in the ultimate secular states, the USSR and the Peoples' Republic of China, freedom was neither present nor preserved. The middle classes were devastated from the beginning under those ultimate secularists. China eventually recognized that its economic progress demanded allowing a bit of freedom to the people.BTW, there is nothing in the Constitution for the United States that declares an absolute separation of church and state. Except Progressives ignore the Constitution as written. Total Fail on your part. How does it feel to be so ignorant of facts and history? 

In reply to by Deep Snorkeler

Faeriedust Deep Snorkeler Jul 2, 2017 6:31 PM Permalink

Kind of interesting given that the original position of the Catholic Church in Western Europe was as the Empire's contractor for provision of social services. Which, previously, the government of the Empire hadn't really provided, as most religious and charitable societies were private syndicates.  So under Constantine in 320 Anno Domini, the Catholic Church was the new and sassy advocate for the middle/lower classes.

In reply to by Deep Snorkeler

truthalwayswinsout Jul 2, 2017 5:44 PM Permalink

This would never be a problem if federal and state government stop giving shit away.  There is no need for the federal government to do 90% of what it does. And the states are so pussy whipped from federal grants 90% of what they do should not be done.

Ms No Jul 2, 2017 5:35 PM Permalink

I have always had a problem with churches being catered to and more powerful than the individual but when they come under attack it is usually the Bolsheviks which almost leaves you no choice but to defend them.  We can always deal with their pilfering later.  We have bigger problems. 

OverTheHedge Ms No Jul 2, 2017 6:13 PM Permalink

Charity is a cornerstone of Christianity, and several other religions. However, taxation for redistribution is charity by committee:you as an individual are too stupid to know which causes are worthy, so the government will decide on your behalf. You are also too parsimonious to give sufficiently, so the government will decide on your behalf half how much you will should give to the cause a they decide are worthy. It turns out that a significant proportion f your total tax payment is charity at gunpoint. Somewhat detracts from the feeling of doing good.

In reply to by Ms No

GeezerGeek OverTheHedge Jul 2, 2017 7:57 PM Permalink

It seems to me that taking tax monies and giving to approved charities is a hidden method of imposing some bureaucrat's version of morality on the taxpayers. It is far from unlikely that those very same bureaucrats were protesting, back in the 1960s, that the government had no right to impose its morality on them.I do recall reading surveys that claimed active Christians remained more charitable than any other demographics, despite the taxation. I don't know how accurate that was, but I do know from personal experience that churches in my area do far more for poor communities than any secular organizations.

In reply to by OverTheHedge

scraping_by Jul 2, 2017 5:28 PM Permalink

Ah, yes, the romantic view of property.Ownership is socially (government) defined and enforced. Trying to substitute some inarguable right to property for the inarguable right to life and dignity has a certain materialistic plausiblity, but it's really just the Middle Ages aristocracy covered with a vocabulary made to sound like science.Scrape off all the pleading and you get the flock of neoliberals bleating 'Private Good, Public Bad!"

shuckster UmbilicalMosqu… Jul 4, 2017 1:10 AM Permalink

If property rights are lost, everything else is too, as it won't take criminals long to figure out that they can go and rob and rape anyone who they outnumber. Governments that don't respect property rights (Obama's government for example) destroy the very fabric of society. I used to think property rights was a notion curated by vicious hoarders and stamp collectors. I've come to appreciate it since then, as it was the only thing protecting my bank account from being raided by about 10,000 different people who could have. Even being back on my taxes and deeply in debt, my money remains unmolested. Of course, I know that once I breach a certain threshold the IRS will be notified (I'm not sure what that threshold is). Anyways, I'm just glad that there is still 1% respect for rule of law, even though the other 99% has been completely eroded 

In reply to by UmbilicalMosqu…

scraping_by shuckster Jul 2, 2017 6:03 PM Permalink

Luckily, the government imperfectly defends my right to property. I'm not so lost in macho fantasy to think I could do it on my own. And I would not want to own only what I can personally defend. Life in a place where collective mutual defense is the rule rather than the exception is a lot more productive and pleasant. It would certainly be better if cronies didn't have such a big say in government, and the police didn't think themselves too important to put out more than a minimal effort,  but we Boomers have already made the mistake of thinking the struggle has ended. That struggle is eternal.Two things: imperfect isn't worthless, as most of us learn as we age. And the social/government definition of property doesn't include me and mine, the way it has in many places and many times. So there's that.

In reply to by shuckster

UmbilicalMosqu… GeezerGeek Jul 3, 2017 7:47 AM Permalink

That's why the people of the USSA have the Second Amendment. More than 62% of Americans legally have more than one gun in their homes, and why there are more than 90 guns per every 100 people here. When you consider the number of illegal guns, and unknown guns in the posession of the citizens, you have a population that will never be conquered by any invader or government police state. People also tend to forget that the military, State National Guard militias, citizen militias, and police are all manned by people who are friends, nighbors, and relatives. The few bad apples would be exterminated in a very short time if unconstitutional orders were given to attack the citizenry.

In reply to by GeezerGeek