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Hope for the Dead
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That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves.

–Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

When America was in its infancy and struggling to find a culture and frustrated at governance from Great Britain, the word most frequently uttered in pamphlets and editorials and sermons was not “safety” or “taxes” or “peace”; it was “freedom.” And two intolerable acts of Parliament assaulting freedom broke the bonds with the mother country irreparably, precipitating the Revolution.

The first was the Stamp Act of 1765, which was enforced by British soldiers, who used general warrants issued by a secret court in London to rummage through the personal possessions of any colonists they chose, ostensibly looking to see whether they had purchased the government-mandated stamps.

These general warrants, like the ones the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issues in America today, did not specifically describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized — which the Constitution requires.

Rather, they granted authority for the bearer to search wherever he pleased and seize whatever he wanted — as FISA warrants do currently, in direct contravention of the Constitution.

The second intolerable act was the Revenue Act of 1767, the proceeds from which were used by the king to pay salaries of colonial officials and clergy, and thereby secure their loyalty.

The Stamp Act assaulted the right to be left alone in the home, and the Revenue Act corrupted colonial governments and restricted the free exercise of religion. These two laws caused many colonists to realize they needed to secede from Great Britain and form their own country, in which freedom would be protected by the government, not assaulted by it.

They did that, of course. Yet today, the loss of freedom still comes in many forms.

Sometimes it is direct, as when Congress tells us how to live our personal lives and the courts permit it to do so. Sometimes it is subtle, as when the government borrows \$1 trillion a year and, as a result, our money and assets lose much of their value and our descendants will be taxed to repay the loans. Sometimes the government lies about its assaults, as when the National Security Agency reads our emails and text messages and listens to our phone calls without a constitutional search warrant, and when the CIA uses drones to kill people the government hates or fears without a declaration of war or any due process.

Freedom is the ability of every person to exercise free will without a government permission slip or watchdog. Free will is the natural characteristic we share in common with God. He created us in His image and likeness. As He is perfectly free, so are we.


When the government takes away free will, whether by fiat or by majority vote, it steals a gift we received from God; it violates natural law; it prevents us from having and utilizing the means to seek the truth. Because the exercise of free will to seek the truth is a natural right, the only time it is moral for the government to interfere with it occurs when one has been fairly convicted by a jury of using fraud or force to interfere with the exercise of someone else’s natural rights.

We know, from events 2,000 years ago that Christians commemorate this week, that freedom is the essential means to discover and unite with the truth. To Christians, the personification, the incarnation and the perfect manifestation of truth is Jesus — who is the Christ, the Son of God and the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On the first Holy Thursday, Jesus attended a traditional Jewish Passover Seder. Catholics believe that at His Last Supper, Jesus performed two miracles so that we could stay united to Him. He transformed ordinary bread and wine into His own body, blood, soul and divinity, and He empowered His disciples and their successors to do the same.

On the first Good Friday, the Roman government executed Jesus because it was convinced that by claiming to be the Son of God, He might foment a revolution. He did foment a revolution, but it was in the hearts and minds of men and women. The Roman government had not heard of a revolution of hearts and minds, so when it crucified Him, it thought it had triumphed over Him.

Jesus had the freedom to reject His horrific death, but He exercised His free will to accept it so that we might know the truth. The truth is that He would rise from the dead.

On Easter, that “far-off divine event,” He rose from the dead. By doing that, He demonstrated to us that while living, we can liberate our souls from the slavery of sin and our free wills from the oppression of the government. And after death, we can rise to be with Him.

The Resurrection of Jesus is the linchpin of human existence “to which the whole creation moves.” With it, life is worth living, no matter its heavy costs or pains. Without it, life is meaningless, no matter its fleeting joys or triumphs. Easter has a meaning that is both incomprehensible and simple. It is incomprehensible that a human being had the freedom to rise from the dead. It is simple because that human being was and is God.

What does Easter mean? Easter means that there’s hope for the dead. If there’s hope for the dead, then there’s hope for the living. But like the colonists who fought the oppression of the king, we the living can achieve our hopes only if we have freedom. And that requires a government that protects freedom, not one that assaults it.

Happy Easter.

Copyright 2019 Andrew P. Napolitano.

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• Category: Ideology • Tags: Christianity, Constitutional Theory 
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  1. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Since November 2017, I and several other commenters have noted Mr. Napolitano’s carrying water for the Establishment’s priestly (lawyer) class in the context of Russiagate. I no longer trust him. Nor should you.

    Propaganda is usually recognized when overt, but narratives also are woven – holes between the threads – through omission. Using the search tool upper right, I just looked for “Assange” in Mr. Napolitano’s 269 columns since 2013 here at The Unz Review: “No results found.”

    In fairness, “WikiLeaks” has appeared four times. But two were in “Judge’s” 2017 and 2018 Office Pool humor (?) columns. And the other two mentions were back in 2016, when he was dubious about the rollout of Russiagate in the context of the Clinton emails, and even referred to WikiLeaks as “the courageous international organization dedicated to governmental transparency.”

    It remains to be seen whether and how “Freedom Watcher” will address the recent rendition and subsequent treatment of Mr. Assange. But in the meantime, St. Mueller’s altar boy looks pretty pious in his Easter bonnet, doesn’t he?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  2. MrTuvok says:

    If the divine would underpin our worldly governments as the judge so eloquently has put forth, we would be in a much better place.

    Some say this time of awakening has a divine origin to put us back on this path.

    However, there are dramas unfolding similar to that of Easter.

    Recently, President Trump washed his hands off Julian Assange when he apparently was led to be slaughtered.

    The fight for Assange’s justice is probably far more important than fighting deep state attacks on President Trump.

    In this time of celebration many will join in prayer for Julian’s release from his oppressors.

    • Replies: @reno
  3. @anonymous

    I haven’t trusted him for a long long time. At his core he is an ardent statist, Liberty be damned.

  4. The Stamp Act 1765 was objectionable mostly due to the taxation it imposed explicitly on the colonies, and led to cries of “No taxation without representation” at protests around the colonies.

    General warrants, as well as unconstrained Executive Powers, were well on their way out of vogue following the ratio decidendi in Entick v Carrington [1765] EWHC KB J98, which regarded General Warrants as neither authorised by statute nor by precedent, therefore not allowable under English Law. The case is considered the inspiration for the Fourth Amendment.

  5. Anon[570] • Disclaimer says:

    There’s hope for the dead? Sorry, humans have no reward more and no advantage over a dead cat.

    Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten…in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

    Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

    No fictional magical Jew character concocted by Hellenized Jews is going to change reality.

  6. dvorak says:

    Hey, is the Napolitano comments section open again?

    Let me say the same thing I always say: Napolitano is a crypto-open borders freak.

    When you look up “muh Constitution,” the Koch brothers and Napolitano (the wretched Boomer) are pictured. As orcs and Communists wipe out the last Whites in America, Napolitano will say from his deathbed, “And what news of the National Archives, is the Constitution intact?!”

  7. buckwheat says:

    In the spirit of the Easter season I say to Napolitano……….GET FUCT!

  8. reno says: • Website

    Not only did Judge Swamp ignore the explosive news of Assange’s arrest, he ignored the obvious parallels between his chosen topic and Assange’s arrest.

  9. This is a good article, using specific historical analogies to make the points, but like all such articles, it focuses more on transgressions against the Constitution that threaten rich elites more than the serfs. Take the invasiveness of the Stamp Act, which the author connects to protecting average citizens’ privacy in their homes. How old school is that concern in an era when it’s just the privacy invasions of powerful & rich political elites, harangued by FISA warrants and such, that are the subject of angst by elite lawyers.

    The low-wage employees in the bottom 80% dodge all kinds of privacy intrusions due to surveillance-capitalism / Peeping Tom Capitalism that pierces their private / public spaces, all for the privilege of engaging in everyday commerce or holding a temp / churn gig, paying an insufficient amount to cover rent. It is not like we cede privacy for the benefit of accruing world fame and inter-generational wealth, like these high rollers that make lucrative clients for Constitution-focused lawyers.

    There is a difference between a public and private space, though. Consider all of these museums and architectural gems. All over the world—from Brazil to France—we’re seeing the most treasured museums and public architecture destroyed by fire, with inconclusive explanations for the frequent destruction of public buildings that was not the norm a few decades back. These are often under-funded public spaces that could benefit from surveillance tech without the privacy issues. People who aren’t employed by the museums aren’t in those spaces very long, so the technology would not constitute a privacy violation. But it might protect irreplaceable human creations in a cost-effective way.

  10. Without Resurrection, life after death, life is meaningless, Napolitano says if I read him right. He must mean belief in life after death, since belief is all we have to go on. That’s pretty insulting to those who think their lives are “meaningful” (definition, please?), yet who believe that when they die, that’s it.

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