We are gathered here today, beloved, to mourn the passing of a dear old friend.

We're going with an open-casket ceremony. I hope none will be offended at that.

Here is the corpse, and I encourage you to view it. (You must admit, he still looks remarkably fresh!)

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Our close friend, the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution, is gone. As you know, he had been suffering for a long time. He was afflicted at the end of his life by a wasting disease that slowly chipped away at his vitality. And let's just be honest: The ones who could've maybe saved him generally didn't realize what was wrong until it was too late.

He began his life along with a band of nine brothers, as one brought into the world to oppose and restrict the reach of tyrannical government. By all accounts, he did his job well. But old age started to catch up with him, as it does with all of us. Little afflictions, small aches and pains,  grew into a malady that took his life.

We won't dwell here on all of them, but some of the major blows to his health included the following:

  • The USA PATRIOT Act came along and greatly expanded the government's ability to do wiretapping operations focused on US citizens.
  • It also granted federal law enforcement such as the FBI and DHS the authority to write their own search warrants, free of judicial review.
  • The TSA was established and began naked-image scanning of Americans based on zero suspicion of terror or any crime at all. Any objectors were treated to physical pat-downs and what is now a long list of abusive horror-stories.
  • The feds launched a program that will eventuate in thousands of unmanned surveillance drones flying over our cities. Not because they have any probable cause. Not because there has been any kind of "due process." Just to watch us.
  • In the wake of the Boston bombing, citizens were subjected to what amounts to "house arrest" based on zero suspicion, and then warrantless house-to-house searches. We knew our friend was on his death bed when these actions were actually hailed as heroic by those who suffered them.

And then came detailed news of the fact that the federal government is capturing and inspecting every single piece of electronic information that passes between phones or anywhere on the internet. Our private phone conversations are being monitored along with every email, every text or tweet, every browsing history on the web. It is all being stored and scrutinized at the Utah Data Center, and one whistleblower estimates the number of total communications already so captured is in the tens of trillions. Or, nearly 2 billion each and every day.

This would include the things we enter when we make purchases online on supposedly "secure" pages. If you've done any banking online, the feds have access to all of your account information. They've got your credit cards and spending history.

The big attraction of internet porn used to be the faceless anonymity of it. A guy no longer had to frequent the shady video rental shack outside of town, where he could be seen. He didn't have to hand the magazine he wanted to buy to the clerk behind the register and deal with the looks back at him. Well, this is gone. The feds know your favorite flavor, and how often you partake. How much trouble are you going to make for them now? All of that information can be leaked and made public, after all.

In George Orwell's classic, 1984, the hero found himself having to retreat to his closet in order to be reasonably sure that he wasn't being watched. He couldn't trust his television to not be looking back at him. We're not terribly far from that, if we are at all. Your cell  phone is already a convenient tracking device, as is the satellite-linked GPS device in your car.

Our friend's death was largely uncontested. Sure, a few of us could see the writing on the wall and we made all the noise we could. But it wasn't enough to save him.  Turns out, most folks around us, like the aforementioned Bostonians, were happy to watch him die as long as the trade-off was more visible Security Theater.

Let me close this ceremony by urging you, friends, do not let the death of the 4th be in vain. He has nine brothers in the Bill of Rights and they, too, are suffering with constant, malignant attacks upon their health.

One of the uphill battles we face in this task, frankly, is the pitiful state of pulpits across our Land. During the nation's founding, due to the fiery, fearless preaching that resounded up and down its length, many referred to the American Revolution as the Parson's Rebellion. We desperately need a revival of that Black Robed Regiment.

If you sit under the preaching of a man, or woman (or, God help you, a man who might as well be a woman) who is preaching submission and surrender to government no matter what, you have need of knowing what God has really said about this. Now, for only 99 cents for your Kindle, you can pick up the information-packed article, No Cover For Tyrants: 1 Peter 2:13-17 Explained. This is a companion work to the larger book, Resistance to Tyrants: Romans 13 and the Christian Duty to Oppose Wicked Rulers (in paperback and Kindle formats.)

And this above all: Do not lose heart. Though our friend lies dead, our God has proven that He knows the way out of the grave.

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