If You Take An Oath, Then Keep It – Oathkeepers
- 25 March 2012 by Author 0 Comments
If You Take An Oath, Then Keep It – Oathkeepers
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 03/25/12
On January 20, 2009, President-elect Barack Hussein Obama stood in front of the portico on the west side of the U.S. Capital and recited an oath administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The promise Obama made was, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Officers in our military take a similar oath, when they avow, “I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Even local law enforcement and first responders take a similar oath to support the Constitution. At all levels, those to whom are entrusted our safety, security, and lawful tranquility, swear or aver that they will support the Constitution of the United States. For military personnel especially, this is considered a lifetime oath, not just for their term in active duty.
Those who take oaths to uphold the Constitution should be expected to keep them. Clearly from what we see emerging from Washington these days, many who take the oath perfunctorily and cavalierly, don’t feel a compulsion to keep it. This has lead to the emergence of an organization dedicated to keeping the oath.
The Oathkeepers (Oathkeepers.org) distinguish themselves from those who simply take the oath, and promise instead to actually “keep” it based on key provisions of the Constitution itself. They list ten things they will not do if so ordered, for any one would be anathema to the rights assured to all American citizens by our founding legal codex. The violation of any of these would constitute the most egregious, and totalitarian disembowelment of our fundamental liberties.
The Oathkeepers declare that they will not obey orders to: 1) disarm the American people; 2) conduct warrantless searches of the American people; 3) detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal; 4) impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state; 5) invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty; 6) blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps; 7) force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext; 8 ) assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control;” 9) confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies; or 10) infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
As fundamental as those “guaranteed” rights are to all Americans, there really is nothing controversial to the basic tenets of the group. What should be controversial is that we have politicians who, as evidenced by their legislation and executive orders, are opening the door to abuse of the most basic rights of our republic. They take the oath, but obviously have no intention of keeping it. That’s what should be alarming, and controversial, to all of us.
Those rights that Oathkeepers vow to uphold are promised by the Constitution to all of us, regardless of race, creed, political affiliation, or ideology. These truly are fundamental, and are not reliant on narrow or limited constitutional interpretation, but are generally accepted rights and privileges for all Americans.
In light of that, there really should be no American citizen unwilling to take, and keep, the same oath to support our basic constitutional rights that our president, our military, and our first responders take. In fact, if our politicians kept their oaths, there would be no need for the Oathkeepers. National legislation, like the National Defense Authorization Act, and executive orders, like the National Defense Resources Preparedness order from just last week, have opened the door to abuses of those very rights.
Mike Chism, a Pocatello resident who serves as the Idaho Chapter President for the national Oathkeepers organization, said they’re giving all citizens an opportunity to take the oath. City Councilman Jim Johnston will administer it on Wednesday the 28th at 6 p.m. in the Vision 12 Studio at City Hall. Said Chism, “Any American Citizen who wishes to either reaffirm their Oath, if they have once taken it, or any other Citizen who never has taken it, we’re offering that opportunity.”
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.