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The Draft is Slavery

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"The draft is white people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from the red people."
from the musical: Hair

The Draft is Slavery


The recent announcement of Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. that he will submit a bill in the next congressional session to make military service mandatory, should send shivers up your spine. Here are his own words: "I'm going to introduce legislation to have universal military service to let everyone have an opportunity to defend the Free World against the threats coming to us." For those who can no longer recall the history of the Viet Nam period, it would be simple to repeat the arguments that were used to discredit the nature of a military draft. While those condemnations were valid and remain so today, they often missed the most fundamental reason to oppose universal service to the State.

The following critique: "The Bible and the Draft" by John W. Robbins, doesn’t require any improvement. We urge you to read this account in total. Our essay will cite the most important elements. Western Civilization is based upon the precepts established in the Ten Commandments. These fateful words were written over twenty years ago. Rangel, surely, didn’t understand them then, so they need to be repeated again.

"The federal government is again contemplating the conscription of young people for both military and civilian labor. The liberals are supporting "national service," i.e. they advocate forcing young people to spend two or more years of their lives in some sort of "public service"—including, but not limited to, the military; and the conservatives are supporting the military draft, i.e., forcing people to serve in the armed forces. The liberals’ position is consistent with their other positions favoring unlimited government. The conservatives’ position seems to be inconsistent with their usually limited government views. What is the Christian position? Can the consistent Christian favor either the draft or national service?"

Anyone want to disagree with the Eighth Commandment - Exodus 20:15: You shall not steal? From the Robbin article:

This Commandment does not refer only to inanimate property. The Hebrew word is used in connection with both property and persons, and in Exodus 21:16 we read of "manstealing," i.e., kidnapping, which is a capital crime. This commandment clearly forbids not only the theft of property, but also the removal of innocent persons against their will.

The second misconception is that the Ten Commandments, including this one, apply only to private individuals and not to governments. This notion, which has absolutely no foundation in Scripture, illustrates how far we have gone toward deifying government, for it is attributing divine qualities to rulers to say that they in their official (or private) capacities are exempt from the law.

There is not the slightest hint in Scripture that governments are above the moral law.

The bible refers to historic record that the Israelites demanded a king "such as all the other nations have." You remember that a government, under a king was established; but do you recall the warning in 1 Samuel 8:10-18:

"Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves, and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your young men and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day."

Here is the Robbin’s conclusion: “God does not command, approve, or condone the governmental actions described here, and the government he had established for the Hebrew republic was empowered to do none of these things.”

Now lets look at the subject of military service in the Hebrew republic. Since there was no draft in that government, Robbin states, there were four classes of men (note that all the references are to men, none to women) who may not serve in the Hebrew army:

    • Those who have a new house;
    • Those who have a new vineyard;
    • Those who have a fiancée;
    • and Those who are afraid.

In the case of the first three classes, we are explicitly told that the private interest of these men to enjoy their new homes, vineyards, and wives is superior to the public interest of the nation. Unlike the first three classes mentioned, these men were sent home not for their own pleasure, but because their presence in the army would undermine the morale of the troops. Now Robbin turns to the New Testament - The Eighth Commandment has not been repealed, nor have the legitimate functions of government changed from the days of Samuel. From apostle Paul:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”  Romans 13:3-7

Again Robbin states: In these verses Paul clearly lays down the two legitimate purposes of civil government: to punish the wrongdoer and to praise the good. The purpose of government is not the punishment of innocent men . . . then the government cannot punish innocent people by forcing them to labor in the army. The principle, no punishment without a crime, is so basic and is written into the U. S. Constitution by the Thirteenth Amendment: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

We encourage you to read the rebuttal to objections in this argument in the remainder of “The Bible and the Draft” essay. But for our purpose, the central theme that is supported in our most basic foundation in law, is that civil authority does NOT have a claim upon citizens to be forced into service to the STATE. Even if you reject the basis in Mosaic Law, are you willing to deny that slavery in any of it forms is acceptable? Involuntary servitude in the Thirteenth Amendment MUST apply to the government. The specious notion that the Rangel’s of this government want you to adopt is that the citizen has a duty to accept a draft, either military or ‘community service’ in nature.

The frauds that allege that they represent the ‘People’ because they favor universality of a policy, insult the intelligence of every person. They are protectors of the STATE, first and foremost. They cherish the position of elite ‘overseer’, while they preach the message of a deformed and perverted allegiance to an eternal government that they place above all others. Not exactly in the same tradition from your Harlem Congressional predecessor, Adam Clayton Powell . . . How far have we descended when dissent is absent, and now turns into pro-active support of the draft? Could it have anything to do with the rejection of the meaning, intent and significance of the Eighth Commandment? Charlie Rangal wants to the chief enabler for “manstealing”. “Paid His Dues”, seems to mean something quite different for Rangal. Is his ‘Free World’ the us that you should serve? Or is it the threat for those who remain - The Free.

SARTRE - January 3, 2003

Seventeen draft resisters died of mistreatment in Alcatraz Prison during World War I
 - PBS, the good war

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