We are also working on having this read into the Congressional Record.
Please read it over and give your thoughts and constructive criticism ASAP in the comments section. Time is of the essence, so please give your thoughts on edits so we can get it done and sent in. Don't pay attention to spacing or other formatting issues, just the contents.
One edit I would like to see is that it begin with noting that we are "a collection of your fellow Americans, including active duty military service members, current serving police, veterans, and other public servants and private citizens—" or something like that, to show we are far more than just your average group of citizens. I took the liberty of adding that in, inside brackets to note my addition. I have made a couple of other edits in brackets, one to include police and another to add the rest of the oath we swore that day. Otherwise, it is as first proposed.
I think the author (not me) has done a fine job, after much labor to make this address in the style and spirit of the prior addresses made by militia companies who renewed their oaths on Lexington Green. However, we are most open to your suggestions for improvement.
I do think it would be fitting to also send it to the legislatures and governors of all 50 states, and to seek to have it read into the record of those state legislatures, if possible.
Let us know what you think, but again, ASAP!
- Stewart Rhodes
[DRAFT] RESOLUTION ADDRESS OF OATH KEEPERS, APRIL 19, 2009, LEXINGTON GREEN
19 April 2009
To the honorable members of the Senate and House of Representatives,
and to the honorable Secretaries of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, of the United States of America, in their separate capacities of our brothers and sisters in the public trust, of our own public servants, and of our fellow citizens, respectively, Greetings.
We, a collection of your fellow Americans — [including active duty military service members, current serving police, veterans, and other] public servants and private citizens—, united by sworn oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, having voluntarily associated under the style of Oath Keepers, are met on Lexington Green on the 234th anniversary of that fateful day when better and truer men than ourselves, by their martial exertions and by their fidelity to Law and Liberty, forever consecrated this ground.
We note with soberness that now, as then, our beloved Country confronts a profound and deepening crisis. Now, as then, that crisis is brought on chiefly by a long train of abuses and usurpations on the part of our public officers, who have come to habitually violate the oaths, on condition of which they hold their offices.
We note, however, that this long-continued and gross infidelity on the part of others is only the proximate cause of our present, common American distress. We confess that now, unlike then, we ourselves may be complicit in the official lawlessness that is becoming general in all three branches, and at both levels, of our governments. We ourselves, in the orders that we have issued or carried out—either as officers or men of the standing National Armed Forces of our Republic, or as executive officers of our several States—; or in the statutes whose passage we have furthered—as members of our respective State Legislatures—, may have too little marked the bounds set by the Constitution that we swore to uphold. Moreover, we ourselves—in our original capacity of citizens—may, with our fellow citizens, have been too little vigilant in superintending the actions of our increasingly errant public servants. If so, we acknowledge our general and particular faults before God, before our sovereign masters and fellow citizens, and before our families and posterity. Yet, bold to hope that Nature’s God is still a God of Mercy, we humbly pray for His pardon, and for time to make amends and avert the consequences of our dereliction.
We note that, at earlier times of similarly grave crisis, previous generations of Americans have mustered on Lexington Green, have pledged anew their official and private fidelity to the Constitution of the United States, and, in so doing, have rediscovered the path of escape from foreign intrigue, from domestic tyranny, and from disunion and lawlessness.
We note that, in 1798, foreign intrigue had gone far to sow mutual suspicion and discord among fellow Americans, and aimed at the dissolution of our Union, while an imperious foreign power threatened to invade our shores. In that hour of crisis, the several Brigades of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts mustered in their turns on the Green where their fathers had fought before. Their officers publicly renewed their oaths to the Constitution of the United States. They thereupon directed unanimous patriotic addresses to the President of the United States, announcing the public renewal of their oaths, and assuring him of their fidelity to their sworn duty. In his reply to the officers of the First Brigade, Third Division, Militia of Massachusetts, then President John Adams noted with grateful and confident satisfaction that:
"Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken and so solemnly repeated on that venerable spot, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government."
Unlike those ancient oath keepers, we are mustered this day in voluntary association, rather than in an official public capacity. Indeed, we confess with shame that, having with our fellow citizens utterly neglected for a century to attend to those militia institutions, for the perpetuation of which our Constitution so ably provides, and which, alone among all our constitutional institutions, it characterizes as necessary to the security of a free state, we are quite unprepared on this day to muster in our several regiments, brigades, and divisions in the particular official capacities most appropriate to the crisis at hand.
Nevertheless, we note that many of our number do now serve, on condition of oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, in our several offices or stations in the Armed Forces of the United States, [as police officers], or in the executive branches or Legislatures of our respective States. Most of those among us who do not now so stand in the public trust have so served in the past, on condition of similar oaths, which, if no longer enforceable against them by explicit law, yet make their moral force felt upon their American hearts today.
We are pleased to announce to you that we have this day, on this hallowed ground and on this sacred anniversary, publicly and solemnly renewed the oaths required of us by the command of Article VI, Clause 3, of the Constitution of the United States. We have done so in the several forms which, according to our particular offices, the relevant Federal and State statutes prescribe, or, in the case of those no longer standing in the public trust, in the form of the following general oath:
I, ___________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, [pledging my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor]. So help me, God.
As a testament of the earnestness of our oaths, as evidence that, in our own hearts, at least, oaths are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations, those among us who hold executive offices or stations at the Federal or State level have in counsel together identified ten unlawful orders which either ignorant, careless, or corrupted superior officers may conceivably issue to us in the future, which we cannot, consistent with the required oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, lawfully fulfill, and which—we have mutually and publicly pledged to each other this day—while we yet hold the public trust on condition of that oath, we will not attempt or pretend to fulfill, namely:
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.
As a similar testament to the earnestness of our oaths, those among us who serve as State Legislators, on condition of an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitutions of our several States, have publicly and mutually pledged to each other this day that we will introduce and promote the passage of such legislation in our own States as shall be consistent with our national and our State Constitutions and as we shall find best calculated to discountenance, to thwart the force of, and to protect the lives, liberties, and properties of our fellow State citizens against, all manner of unlawful Federal executive, legislative, and judicial usurpation and lawlessness, that we will, by our sacred votes, attempt to prevent the further passage in our own States of such unlawful statutes as encourage or facilitate such Federal usurpation and lawlessness, and that we will, by our votes, seek to repeal in our own States such existing unlawful statutes as do now encourage or facilitate such Federal usurpation and lawlessness.
Finally, as a similar testament to the earnestness of our oaths, those among us who have resumed the stations of private citizens, have publicly and mutually pledged to each other this day that we will do all that pertains to our rightful station to more vigilantly superintend our public servants in all three branches and at both levels of our governments, to require of them that fidelity to their lawfully required oaths that is the condition of their offices, and that we will encourage our fellow citizens to likewise exercise a more vigilant and firm surperintendence of the public servants for whose lawful or lawless acts we bear, by the mutual covenant of our Constitutions, an ultimate responsibility before God, before each other, and before our posterity.
Having now publicly renewed our lawfully required oaths, and in directing to you this our unanimous patriotic address, we urge you, the honorable members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States of America, to return to a conscientious faithfulness to your own oaths, to desist from passing statutes that presume to usurp powers not granted to the Congress, or the exercise of which is specifically proscribed to them, by the People of the United States in their Constitution, and to begin the task of repealing, with all deliberate care, those decades of lawless statutes that now profane our statute books.
We urge you, the honorable Secretaries of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps to examine your own official acts and to pledge anew your own fidelity to the oaths, on condition of which you hold your offices. While we cannot presume to direct, we urge you, in your official capacities, in pursuance of your lawful duty to see to the lawful execution of duty by those under your authority, to challenge the uniformed members of your respective Services to publicly renew their own oaths on the anniversaries of the inception of your respective Services, on the anniversaries of signal battles, or on other appropriate occasions, and to earnestly encourage such members to acquaint themselves with the peerless genius manifest by their sovereign masters, the American People, in their Constitutional distribution of the powers of war and peace between the Executive and Legislature of their National government and between the National and State levels of their compound Republic; to study the weighty principles of justice, statecraft, and history’s wisdom that undergird this singular Constitutional architecture; to reflect on the incalculable blessings of unexampled liberty and independence that have accrued to their fathers from the lawful observance of these strictures, as well as on the incalculable losses of liberty and the dangers to their Union and Independence that, by every ambitious or careless violation of the same strictures now threaten their country and fellow citizens; to examine the fidelity which they have hitherto borne to their oaths and; to resolve on greater faithfulness to the Constitution’s commands in the future.
Brothers and Sisters in the Public Trust, Our own Public Servants, Fellow Citizens: We remind you, as we remind ourselves, of the truth that Father Jefferson spoke to similarly errant public servants in a previous day, namely, in his Summary View of the Rights of British America:
"The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counsellors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest."
To be faithful to a sworn oath is but to be honest. To be less than faithful to that oath is to perjure oneself, and to invite the punishment of that God whose name one has invoked in first swearing it. We resolve to be faithful. We urge you to a like fidelity.
Adopted by unanimous consent by the OATH KEEPERS assembled on Lexington Green, Massachusetts, on the 19th of April in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nine and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.