Keeping My Oath
Despite what you may think, I am not much of a “joiner.” Unfortunately, I have learned through experience that joining clubs or organizations, and then becoming involved in the mechanics of operating the organization, leads mostly to aggravation and frustration. It is simply too hard, or though it seems, for any organized group of human beings to come together in a completely harmonious blend of dedication and drive. Too many egos, too many opinions, too many bosses all combine for a volatile and often hostile environment. So generally I avoid all the headaches by not joining at all… until last week.
That’s when I joined an organization known as Oath Keepers as a full member. I am proud to stand with these brave men and women, not as an outsider but as one of them. From their website:
“Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, veterans, peace officers, and firefighters who will fulfill the oath we swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and we will not obey unconstitutional (and thus illegal) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law and deprive them of their ancient right to jury trial.”
This is why I joined. I am not joining this organization because I want to be an oath keeper. I am joining because I already am an oath keeper. I have been keeping my oath since the day I swore it back in the mid 1970’s. I gave my word before God, to a whole nation full of people even those yet unborn, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I gave my oath that I would protect their rights as if they were my own. I did not take that responsibility lightly then, and I do not take it lightly now. I meant it when I spoke it.
So, I joined a group of people whom I can relate to and for whom I have respect. Respect because we stand up and declare what we will NOT do. I mean, how often do you see that? Especially from a bunch military types. We all are much more used to lists that tell us what we will do or what must be done. But Oath Keepers has the most important list of all, in my opinion. We have a list of orders we absolutely will not follow. It is a list I am proud to display:
Declaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey – March 3rd, 2009
1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people.
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
8. We will NOT obey orders to 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. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
The above list is not exhaustive but we do consider them to be clear tripwires – they form our “line in the sand,” and if we receive such orders, we will not obey them.
Our oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and not to any political party. In the long-standing tradition of the U.S. military, we are apolitical. We don’t care if unlawful orders come from a Democrat or a Republican, or if the violation is bi-partisan. We will not obey unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law.
I love that this line is being drawn now before, hopefully long before, trouble starts. I love that the line is being drawn by those of us who have actually taken the oath. We are declaring we will not be used as a force against our own people. We will not be used as a tyrants tool to enslave our fellow citizens. We will honor our oath.
Oath Keepers has drawn a line in the sand that I can live with because I live on the right side of the line already. I have lived there all of my adult life. Joining Oath Keepers for me is easy, because I don’t have to do anything I am not already doing. I am honored to stand among others that feel the same way I feel. The promise I made more that thirty years ago is still good today. I will keep my oath, until the day I die.
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