Remember Waco
And Reverend Nieomoeller

  The following editorial is a slightly modified version of the speech that I gave at the memorial service for the people who died in Waco last year. I am taking the opportunity to have it printed here so that more people may be able to consider what I had to say.

   Ladies and gentlemen. We are gathered here today in remembrance of the Branch Davidians who were murdered in Waco, Texas one year ago today. Remembering doesn't sound like doing much, but it is vitally important. As George Santayana said:

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." 
   As we think back on the events that occurred in Waco, other events that occurred in other times and places are also brought to mind. The relevance of these things that occurred can be partially illustrated by the story of one man. He lived through both World War I and World War II in Germany. He was a patriotic and God fearing man. During World War I he served in the German Navy as a U-boat commander. Some time after the war ended, he became a Protestant Minister.

   Unfortunately, he had in common with most other people the failing of sometimes judging things by their initial appearances. In 1933 he welcomed the Nazi party to power in Germany. He was, however, very shortly to be disillusioned. You see, for all his other faults, the good minister was truly a God fearing man.

   Adolf Hitler, though, had no use for God fearing people. He wanted for his own the absolute loyalty of all Germans. There was to be only one power in Germany, and Adolf Hitler was to be it. The movement that Hitler backed wanted to change the Chrisitian religion. Among other things they:

"proposed the abandonment of the Old Testament, 'with its tales of cattle merchants and pimps' and the revision of the New Testament with the teaching of Jesus 'corresponding entirely with the demands of National Socialism'. Resolutions were drawn up demanding 'One people, One Reich, One Faith.' requiring all pastors to take an oath of allegiance to Hitler and insisting that all churches ... exclude converted Jews."  
-William L. Shirer, 
Fawcett Crest, 1962 p. 328 
    This was way too much for the minister of our story. He got together with other pastors and they organized a group of Protestant churches and congregations in opposition to this. For this and other actions, none of which were more serious than simply speaking the truth and organizing people, the minister spent from 1937 till the end of the war being shuffled between various concentration camps. That he survived as long as he did can only be taken as a minor miracle. The Pastor's name was Martin Nieomoeller. He may be more familiar to you all as the source of the following quotation:
"In Germany they came first ... for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."  
   The importance of what Reverend Nieomoeller did and said is twofold, for it highlights truths that are important at all times and in all places, and are especially critical for a Constitutional Republic.

     The first truth is that all people and governments are subject to a higher law. This higher law is defined by Religion. Whenever you have government officials who hold that there is no power, law, or standard of accountability to which they can be held for their actions, then quite literally you will have hell to pay. Go back through the history of the past several decades. Every time there have been murders and atrocities of genocidal proportions that have been perpetrated it has been governments that were responsible. Governments whose officials believed that there was no law higher than themselves that they were answerable to.

    The second truth is that the people of the United States will wield the power in the United States only as long as they are united. We cannot let ourselves be split into different groups by religion, race, ethnicity, hair style, or which side of which media cause du jour we happen to be on. We have to focus on those things that we have in common with each other, and how we can best work together to obtain our common interests. We the people of the United States are going to have to abandon a "me first" mentality for an "us first" mentality. We cannot depend on the politicians to forge a consensus for us. It is up to us to form the consensus and then tell the politicians what that is.

    Waco was a test. We flunked. We permitted innocent men, women and children to literally be burned to death before our very eyes. However, we still have a shot at a passing grade for the course. It is up to us to organize ourselves, first to remember, and then more importantly, TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Remembrance in and of itself is useless without action. Would the Texans have ever achieved their Independence from Mexico if all they did was remember the Alamo? No, they got organized and they did something about it. Now, I am not calling for an armed revolution. But I am calling for people to unite, to take the time to talk to each other, to let their elected officials know what it is they want, and to back that up with votes on election day. We do not need an armed revolution to preserve our freedoms now, but that may not always be the case. I strongly urge all of you to take peaceful action while the situation can still be handled peacefully. It is too late when bullets have started to fly to mourn the chance that you had at the ballot box.

- Mike/North Central Florida Regional Militia
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These  are the personal views of Mike Johnson. He is the elected spokesman of the North Central Florida Regional Militia. They are neither endorsed nor supported by Citizens For Better Government. They are presented for informational purposes only. 
Last Revision: September 30, 1997