Reverend Johann Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg throwing off his robes

Black Robe Revolution

I have grown tired of hearing the word democracy describe our nation in the media. The United States of America has never been, at any time in its embattled history ever been a democracy. The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic with "democratically elected" leaders. Let me break this down. The United States of America in itself is not a democracy. The United States of America is a republic of independent States. Those 'independent States' (and the citizens who reside within them) participate in a democratic election process to choose leaders for the Federal Government. Just as they choose those who will represent their State in the Federal Government, see the difference? Democracy is not our form of government but a process within our government.

We, the people, are misled to believe we are a broken democracy. We are led to believe that the freedoms and liberties we hold important are bestowed on us by the Federal Government leaders we elect; total misinformation. The People and the States are not to answer to the Federal Government; quite the opposite by original design. The States hold authority over the Federal Government, and the people speak for or against the actions of the Federal Government through their elected state leaders. At least, that is how it is supposed to work in a system that is not corrupted by greed, power, and party politics. Our freedoms and liberties are guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights.

We as citizens have allowed our Federal Government to fall apart, that's right! It's our fault, all of us. I'm not pointing fingers and blaming political parties; this goes way back beyond even that.

Our Forefathers did not believe political parties were a healthy or efficient concept for our government. Based on what I have observed in my lifetime, I would agree, but these parties were allowed to develop. We pay the wage for it today (quite literally). I will tell you, for disclosure's sake, I am a registered Republican, only to the point that I have to be to participate in the electoral process. If it were called 'people wearing chicken suits,' I would still be so that I could vote in primary elections. Still, I believe the party system as it has manifested is a massive crack in our national armor. Our votes should be for the person and not a party.

We have been stomped down, silenced, and misled into believing we have nothing to say. That our voices do not matter and that our political parties know better. We have been forced to choose sides (political parties) and fight among ourselves, blaming each other for our problems. It's interesting; somewhere, I've heard this kind of deception and corruption story. Yeah, that's right; it led to the American revolution against British rule. At that time, these 'parties' were known as Patriots and Loyalists.

Not everyone was against British rule; these were the loyalists (Loyal to the British Crown), certainly not those who had a great chance of profiting from such government rule. Those who favored it were those who could afford the restrictions and taxation that were being levied or were people misled by inaccurate information. Moreover, they were blind to these practices' effects on the less wealthy colonial areas. Sound familiar? A group of fed-up ordinary colonial citizens made it known when they tossed cases and barrels of overtaxed tea off ships in the Boston Harbor. These are the Patriots (Stood for Freedom from the British Crown), a title that is frequently misrepresented and slandered then and even today.

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party

Let's put something into perspective that many overlook but is right in front of us. It blew my mind when I woke up and put it all together. I mentioned earlier we are a Republic. It is no coincidence that people who defend the Republic identity tend to be Republicans. Those who favor party (notice I said 'party' not 'government') control or democracy are identified as Democrats. However, the internet and television will try to tell you otherwise. Do you see a substantial similarity going on here? (Loyalists/Democrats – Patriots/Republicans) History is repeating itself, except within our Federal Government. Now don't run off to change political affiliations; as I said previously, our current Party system is part of our problems. I'm sure some of you want me tarred and feathered right now. You are thinking that I'm glorifying the Republican Party while down-talking the Democratic Party.

On the contrary, I am standing up for the Patriot Republic Identity. The "Parties," Republican, Democrat, and other offshoots, are part of our broken national identity. Our country requires revolution from party politics. 

Copy of the Declaration of Independence

Some of you may think this is a far stretch compared to what is happening today, and I say you have a right to your opinion. You even have the right to disagree with me. But, ask yourself, Would I have these rights today to my opinion or disagreement if our Forefathers and Patriots were not willing to fight to defend them? Our rights, freedoms, and liberties, and once again being challenged, should we not stand up to protect them again?

I am an ordained Christian Minister. As such, there have been some and will continue to be those telling me I have no place talking about government or politics or even preaching about it. This belief is yet more misinformation that has been spoon-fed to our nation. 'Separation of Church and State' is a myth, a discrediting based on a misunderstanding. 'The separation of Church and State came from the misinterpretation of a letter written by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802, to a church. This letter had nothing to do with separating the church from our government but dispelling a rumor that a specific Christian church denomination would be named the national religion. Instead of inventing the wheel, there is an excellent article on this written by Tim Greenwood. Tim Greenwood's article explains this letter and the events involved. I encourage you to read it for your educated understanding and perspective before reading my article further.

You're a Preacher! Why are you talking about a revolution?

First, before I continue, I want to say that taking up arms is a right in the 2nd amendment of our constitution. I, however, am not advocating for initiating an armed conflict. Revolution comes about in many forms.

If you believe that as a minister, I am out of line for even mentioning the concepts of revolution and liberty, then you have been misinformed on some historical facts. It's true; the reality is Ministers fueled the American Revolution at the church pulpit. Ministers like Jonas Clark preached about freedom and liberty from his pulpit. He then called on men who were willing from his congregation to take up their rifles and follow him to defend against the Red Coats. These very men became known as the Lexington Minute Men. This Pastor would lead these men to defend liberty in his same churchyard at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775.

"If Christian ministers had not preached and prayed, there might have been no revolution as yet – or had it broken out, it might have been crushed."

Bibliotheca Sacra [BRITISH PERIODICAL], 1856

The Battle of Lexington

Battle of Lexington 19 April 1775

Peter Muhlenberg, sculpted by Blanche Nevin Given by Pennsylvania to the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Peter Muhlenberg, sculpted by Blanche Nevin
Given by Pennsylvania to the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Over his arm is draped his black robe.

Another Minister was Pastor Johann Peter Muhlenberg. Pastor Muhlenburg, a Lutheran Minister, was so vocal in preaching liberty and freedom that he carried two flintlock pistols on his belt because of threats on his life. He would lay these pistols on his pulpit as he preached. Having served in politics and military service previously, Pastor Muhlenberg would preach, "In the language of the Holy Writ, there is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight!" Muhlenberg would then remove his black preaching robe and collar to reveal a continental army uniform. General George Washington would personally ask Muhlenberg to command the 8th Virginia Regiment as Colonel. They would participate in several important campaigns, followed by men from his congregation.

Because of the impact these ministers and many others had on the revolution, the British backhandedly named them the "Black Robed Regiment" because of their traditional black robe preaching attire.

There are many online resources about the "Black Robed Regiment" online. A few of my favorites are The resources of Pastor Dan Fisher and those at the National Black Robe Regiment Website.

I am one of many Christian Ministers that believe that the time has come for the "Black Robed Regiment" to stand up again for our liberties. We need to preach the whole truth of the Bible, stand for the morality that these teachings gave to our nation's founding, and affirm that God blesses our rights, not the government. My fellow Ministers might read this and think, "If I Preach About That, They will take away our tax status as a Church.

No Church HAS EVER lost its Tax-Free Status for speaking on political matters.

If you have an actual exemption letter from the IRS, they can take the piece of paper away, but your status remains the same. They have no authority; the freedom of religion protects you. That section in the IRS Code is the Johnson Amendment of 1954. named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas

Senator Johnson's amendment would add,

"and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

to the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c)(3) which addresses Non-Profit Organizations.

The Johnson amendment was slipped in to the (IRSC) without discussion or debate by then Senator Johnson in an attempt to silence a labor union that was endangering his political campaign. This language was never intended to impact churches. However, it is commonly abused to prevent Ministers and Church from speaking on political matters.

Our Children are taught to believe we are a democracy under a government of ultimate power and control. Led to believe that a socialist mindset is better. We are NOT a Democracy! We are a Republic of States, For The People, with a Government led By The People. Our government must be reminded of this, and our citizens must be reminded of their power and national identity.

Rev. Steven D. Hofmeister
Rev. Steven D. HofmeisterFounder, Senior Pastor, & President
Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland
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