Who is America's God now? | Cults

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Covid-19 broke us.

People who were once reasonable began to call for the banishment of the unvaccinated from civil society. Death was divided by vaccine status and treated accordingly. Information was censored for “our own good.” Anyone who questioned the leader or fell out of line, was deemed as dangerous or literally accused of murder.

Steven Hassan developed the B.I.T.E model by, among other things, studying brainwashing in Maoist China. B.I.T.E stands for:

B — Behavior
I — Information
T —
Thought and
E — Emotional control

B.I.T.E identifies patterns used by cults to manipulate their members.

There are fifty attributes to watch out for. Listen to some of these and compare them to your experience during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. Dictate where, how and with whom the member lives and associates or isolates
  2. Financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence
  3. Restrict leisure, entertainment and vacation time
  4. Permission is required for major decisions
  5. Rewards and punishments are used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative
  6. Discourage individualism, encourage group-think
  7. Impose rigid rules and regulations
  8. Instill dependency and obedience
  9. Deliberately withhold information
  10. Distort information to make it more acceptable
  11. Systematically lie
  12. Minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information, including:
    • Internet, TV, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, media
    • Critical information
    • Former members
    • Keep members busy so they don’t have time to think and investigate
    • Control through cell phone with texting, calls, internet tracking
  13. Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
    • Ensure that information is not freely accessible
    • Control information at different levels and missions within group
    • Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when
  14. Encourage spying on other members
    • Impose a buddy system to monitor and control member
    • Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership
    • Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by group
  15. Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda, including newsletters, magazines, journals, audiotapes, videotapes, YouTube, movies and other media
  16. Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
    • Adopting the group’s "map of reality" as reality
    • Instill black and white thinking
    • Decide between good vs. evil
    • Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
  17. Use of loaded language and clichés that constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words (“Follow the science”)
  18. Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
  19. Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine or policy allowed
  20. Labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil or not useful
  21. Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the fault of the leaders or the group
  22. Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as:
    • Identity guilt
    • You are not living up to your potential
    • Your family is deficient
    • Your past is suspect
    • Your affiliations are unwise
    • Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
    • Social guilt
    • Historical guilt
  23. Shunning of those who leave; fear of being rejected by friends and family
  24. Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins
  25. Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority
    • No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
    • Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc.

That is basically all of them except for rape, murder, torture and kidnapping. So that’s horrifying. But what’s even scarier, is that most of us went along with it, even just for a little while. As a nation, as a world, we are still going along with it in many ways.

Now, look at antiracism.

Antiracism requires blind obedience to leaders like Ibram X Kendi — who can arbitrarily assign or remove guilt based on his own perception. The work of being an antiracist never stops. There is always more internalized racism to uncover and implicit bias to reveal.

The work of being an antiracist never stops.

Can you ever be forgiven? Can you ever be cleansed?

No. Because the moment you say you are not racist, it is taken as a proclamation of guilt, and the cycle can just begin again.

It’s brilliant gaslighting.

They convince you that you have a problem — a problem so deep-rooted you can’t even see it, and the only way to solve that problem is to do whatever the leaders say. And if you don’t do what they say, it’s because you are extra guilty.

It’s cult initiation 101.

Cults seek out people with a vulnerability — say a sense of guilt (which almost all humans carry just from being alive) — after they identify the vulnerability, the cult offers an antidote, one that can only be obtained through obedience. From there, the reprogramming begins.

After reprogramming, it’s really hard to come back. But it can be done.

Let's use Megan Phelps Roper's story to illustrate.

Meghan Phelps-Roper was only five years old when she stood on her first picket line in Kansas. She had a sign that read:

“Gays are worthy of death.”

She had no idea what it said, nonetheless what it meant. But her mother had brought her there and handed her that sign, so she waved it around happily. She was making her family proud, for a five-year-old girl, that’s better than candy.

Megan is the granddaughter of the founder of Westboro Baptist Church who, among many other horrific statements, once said:

The Jews killed the Lord Jesus….Now they are carrying water for the f**s; that’s what they do best, sin.”

The Westboro Baptist Church has become infamous for its lack of humanity. They protest military funerals, wish death upon others, and because they are so convinced their crusade is holy, they feel empowered to be as rude and inhumane as they want. The ends justify the means and they feel that hate — directed at the right people — is a holy work.

Megan lived for 27 years under the Westboro Baptist Church. She brandished signs that said things like:

“Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

and

“God Hates You.”

She was the face of the movement and battled it out on Twitter with the naysayers on behalf of the whole congregation.

Those Twitter battles ended up being her saving grace.

Can you imagine?

The usual crowd of angry people came out on Twitter to admonish her, criticize her, and throw hate right back at her. But not everyone did that. There were a few who never lost their humanity. Their message was “we are all human beings worthy of love and respect, including Megan.” They didn’t condone her hate or tip-toe around her misunderstandings, but they saw beyond them. She was a person who had trapped herself in the toxic ideas she inherited. But, most importantly, she was a person.

Two men went above and beyond — one man named David, who had a blog named Jewlicious. Another named Chad, later became her husband.

What began on Twitter as a verbal rock-throwing fight, slowly evolved into a real conversation — one that appealed to Megan’s humanity. They asked questions, which made Megan feel respected and heard. She could let her guard down now — these people weren’t here to fight, they were here to understand. That changed everything. The questions they asked inspired questions in herself. There were holes in her thinking she hadn’t considered, and given the right environment, she felt safe to really wrestle with those questions.

One day, David met Megan on the picket line to give her food from a market in Jerusalem. A Jewish man brought treats to the woman who held signs that said:

"Your Rabbi is a whore.”

He was a person. A nice person. A smart person who could debate her on the Bible.

And a Jew!

There was no way for Megan to reconcile it. Her whole reality unraveled from there.

Imagine being her, and realizing that you have inherited lies from the people you love most. Knowing the truth meant leaving them, maybe forever. She was the church’s rising star but after leaving the church, she would be just another “them" — another outsider.

Megan and her sister left Westboro baptist church in 2012.

The cult mentality spreads across social media like a virus.

Since leaving the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan has said she sees the tactics of her former cult all over our public discourse. The cult mentality spreads across social media like a virus, and although it’s slower in real life, it’s spreading there too.

To combat this, she gave this advice:

  • Don’t Assume Ill-Intent

This is a hard one because some people actually do have bad intentions, but not everyone. Megan believed she was doing good work with the Westboro Baptist Church. That may be hard for you or me to imagine, but it’s all she knew. It would be easy to assume that the woman tweeting “Thank God for AIDS” has horrible intentions. But the few who chose to believe otherwise changed Megan's life forever.

  • Ask Questions

We can not assume we know why people believe the way they do and even if we really do know, we open doors when we ask questions. Questions indicate sincere interest and respect and in the best cases, may even lead the other person to ask you what you think.

  • Stay Calm

Another hard one. Don’t yell. Don’t freak out. Don’t lose your cool. You don’t have to hold back the truth, but if anger is in the driver's seat — expect a wreck.

  • Make Your Case

Your opinion may not be as self-evident as it seems or even as self-evident as it should be. Why should men not be in women's prison?

We have to make the complete case. Every. Single. Time.

No one had made the case to Megan that what she was doing was harmful. When they did, she changed her mind. The Bible says to be wise as serpents, but also as gentle as doves. We can’t be naive, but we also can’t give up on people prematurely.

It’s tempting to look at the person tweeting that “unvaccinated people deserve death” and assume that they are past hope. But what if they aren’t?

It’s one thing to recognize the cult-like tendencies pulsing through American politics and work to stop it, but the real question is: what made us vulnerable to cultic authoritarianism in the first place?

Why is it that we keep misplacing our religious instincts? Because we all do it. Even if just in small ways, we all are vulnerable to tribal and yes, even cultic inclinations.

Is this whole religion thing just too dangerous? Should we abandon it altogether? Or is an abandonment of religion what got us in this mess in the first place?

In 1798, John Adams wrote in a letter to the Massachusetts militia:

“We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by…morality and Religion…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Adams said our Representative Republic needed not only a moral, but religious people to survive. If not restrained by the government, then people must foster the discipline to restrain themselves. Religion, having played that role in societies for centuries, seemed the best way to encourage that.

I am not suggesting we all convert to one faith or that, God forbid, the government imposes that on us, but we do need moral agreements. We need a plumbline to guide us as a nation, and we each need to come to it of our own free volition.

Generation to generation we are losing our spiritual well-being.

Our nation is undergoing a cultural revolution, a technological revolution and a sexual revolution, but what we really need is a spiritual restoration.

We need a national revival.

But what does that look like?

They worshiped new gods — gods of meaningless realities. That would always lead to destruction for them.

After God delivered the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, they did not go straight to the promised land. For forty years they wandered the desert while God prepared their hearts. They still had a slave mentality, they had bad habits and they needed time to work that out of them. But the new generations forgot the God who had parted the sea, sent the plagues and freed them from Pharoah. They worshiped new gods — gods of meaningless realities. That would always lead to destruction for them. Then they would beg God to take them back, and he would, and a generation later the people would forget again.

Joshua, one of the Bible’s mightiest warriors, spoke to the Hebrew people and said:

"If you love God, follow him. If you love Baal, or if you love another god, follow him, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

That is essentially what early Americans said. Other nations could choose a god for themselves. (They had seen how poorly that went.) But America said: As for this Nation, we will humble ourselves before the God of the Bible.

God was with our founding generation. We call it divine providence because it just doesn’t make sense without God. How could we have done that on our own?

But we are the new generation and we have forgotten the God of our ancestors. We forgot the prayers, the devotion and the miracles and we are reaping the consequences.

But because the God our founders worshiped believes in free will, we have a choice to make. Just like the Hebrews, we can decide; do we like our new “gods,” or would like to serve the God we called on to found this nation?

I’m going to use a loaded word — repentance. For some, repentance is associated with shame, guilt, fire and brimstone and for others, it’s a get out a jail free card on your way back to do whatever you want.

But it’s neither of those things.

That’s not what I’m talking about at all.

In Hebrew, the word for repentance is Teshuvah which literally means to turn. If you are going in the wrong direction, repentance/Teshuvah is turning around and going the other way. Repentance is about changing what you do, just as much as it is about the condition of your heart. Thus when we repent, we turn around and start over in the right direction — the direction God wants us to go.

That is not easy. It takes incredible faith to humble yourself and repent.

It’s not easy, but it is possible.

And in the next installment, I will tell you about the impossible repentance of the people we consider to be the most guilty of sinners — the Germans after World War 2.

Catch up with the rest of the "Who Is America's God Now?" series here:

This post is part of a series by Glenn and Mikayla G. Hedrick exploring Who is America's God now?

4 signs that PROVE Americans are hitting rock bottom

Spencer Platt / Staff | Getty Images

As we approach the presidential election in November, many Americans are facing dire economic straits.

Glenn has shown time and time again that Bidenomics is a sham, and more Americans than ever are suffering as a result. Still, Biden and his cronies continue to insist that the economy is booming despite the mounting evidence to the contrary. But who is Biden fooling? Since the beginning of the year, gas has gone up an average of 40 cents a gallon nationwide, with some states seeing as much as a 60-cent per gallon increase. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are on the rise, evictions are surging, and America is experiencing a record amount of homelessness. We can't survive another Biden term.

Americans across the country are hitting rock bottom, and here are four stats that PROVE it:

Evictions

John Moore / Staff | Getty Images

Across the country, people are being evicted from their homes and apartments. Between 2021 and 2023, evictions increased by 78.6 percent. With inflation driving up prices and employers struggling to raise wages to compensate, rent is taking up an increasingly larger percentage of people's paychecks. Many Americans are having to choose between buying groceries and paying rent.

Foreclosures

Justin Sullivan / Staff | Getty Images

Renters aren't the only ones struggling to make their monthly payments, foreclosures are on the rise. This February saw a 5 percent increase in foreclosures from last year and a 10 percent increase from January. More and more Americans are losing their homes and businesses.

Bankruptcies

Chris Hondros / Staff | Getty Images

High interest rates and inflation have driven bankruptcies through the roof. Total filings have risen 13 percent and business bankruptcies rose 30 percent in 2023. It's getting harder and harder for businesses to stay afloat, and with California's new law requiring most restaurants to pay all employees a minimum of $20 an hour, you can expect that number to keep climbing.

Homelessness

FREDERIC J. BROWN / Contributor | Getty Images

The result of all of these issues is that it is getting harder and harder for Americans to afford the basic necessities. January of 2023 saw a record-breaking 650,000+ homeless Americans, a 12 percent jump from the previous year. More Americans have hit rock bottom than ever before.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I want to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. Life is tough, but it is worth it in the end.

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. They just won’t let go of their power even though their time has passed.

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

The generation coming of age is right to feel frustrated.This mess — with high costs and a massive debt burden — was not of their making.

Iwant to talk to Generation Z. I’ve seen some clips of you complaining about your 9-to-5 jobs on social media and how life is really hard right now. To be honest, my first reaction was, “Suck it up, buttercup. This is what life is really like.” In a sense, that’s true. But in another sense, I think you’re getting a bad rap. You are facing unique problems that my generation didn’t face — problems that my generation had a hand in creating.

But I also think you don’t understand the cause of these problems.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

I would hate to be in your position. When I was your age, we didn’t have to deal with any of the challenges you’re facing. In one sense, your life has been tough. At the same time, compared to previous generations, your life has been very easy. Everybody was rushing to save you, to protect you. You were coddled, which makes your life harder now.

You’ve grown up with social media and the definition of narcissism: somebody gazing into the pond looking at themselves all the time. I don't mean this as an offense, and I am not just including you in this. We’ve become a culture of narcissists. It’s all about “me, me, me, me.”

You’ve been in territory that my generation never had to enter. You’ve already navigated a landscape that we didn't have to, where nothing is true, and you can’t trust anybody. I wouldn’t trust anybody either if I were in your position. But I do know a few things to be true and a couple of things I can trust.

First, life is worth it. ≈

Second, life is not about stuff. As a guy who is kind of a pack rat, I can tell you that none of that stuff will create happiness in your life. In fact, I think your generation has a better handle on happiness in some ways than anybody in mine. You’re starting to realize that pharmaceuticals may not be as good as natural solutions in a lot of situations, that the huge house may not be as satisfying as just having a smaller house, that living your life instead of having to work all the time may be a better way to live.

I want to talk to those of you who feel like it’s not worth even trying to go to work because you’ll never get anywhere. You work 40 hours a week or more, and you still can't afford a place to live. You’re still living with your parents. You can’t afford food. I think you're right to feel frustrated because the problems you're facing weren't always the case.

I blame a lot of the current problems we’re facing today on the hippies. That may be wrong, but I hate hippies. Hippies have been screwing things up since the 1960s. While on their socialist march, they have become everything that they said they were against: lying, greedy politicians. ≈

These are the people who have come up with policies that make you feel like this is the way the world is. I hope I can convince you that it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t the way our country has always been. We don’t have to keep these people in power. Actions have consequences. Votes have consequences. These people allow crime, looters, squatters, riots, and somebody needs to pay for that.

If you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework.

You say you can’t afford health care. I understand. Since Obamacare passed, the cost of individual health insurance has doubled. You need to remember that politicians promised that if we passed this massive health care overhaul, it would mean a savings of $2,500 per family. You're in school. You must know that $2,500 savings is not the same as an 80% increase. Moreover, the cost of hospital stays is up 210%. I understand when you say you can't afford health care at these costs. Who could afford health care? Who could afford insurance?

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed.

You are also starting your life with thousands of dollars in debt. Your parents didn't have that burden. People used to be able to work their way through college and graduate debt-free. Others were able to get jobs that quickly paid off their debt. You can't do that now. Once the government said that they were going to guarantee all student loans, university costs skyrocketed, and it hasn't stopped. You can thank the progressive President Lyndon B. Johnson for that.

Once the government said that they were going to guarantee everybody’s college tuition, universities found out that they could just charge more because the government would give you virtually any amount in your loan. And they have been charging more and more ever since. In 1965, the average college tuition was $450 a year. Adjusted to inflation, that's $4,000 a year. You're currently paying an average of $26,000 a year as opposed to the inflation-adjusted $4,000.

What happened? The answer is always the same: government regulations. Gas is up. Why? Government regulations. Can't afford a house? Well, that's due to several things. Many of them revolve around the fed and our national debt. But the simple answer is the same: government regulations.

Moreover, the U.S. government has run a staggering national debt. We have been concerned about it forever, but the people in power haven't been listening to your mom and dad and people like me. A lot of other people just thought, "Oh, well. We could get away with it. We're the United States of America, after all. Somehow or another, it will all work out."

People like me have been saying, "No. We can't pass this on to our children." You're now seeing what we have passed on. When you say that the adults are responsible for creating this world of problems, in some ways, you’re right. We were lied to, and as many people do, they want to believe the lie because it makes them feel better.

There are big lies being pushed in your generation as well. You're being told that a man is a woman and a woman is a man. At the same time, you’re being told that gender doesn't even exist at all. It makes us feel better to go along with the lie because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

My generation believed the same kind of lie about our national debt. We were told that we could spend all this money on subsidized programs because it would provide you, our children, with a better life. Some people warned, "Wait, how will they pay this off? This will cost them." We didn't want to believe them. The lie sounded better, and it was easier to believe that than the truth. We never saw the consequences, and even if we did, they were always way out in the future. Nobody wanted to listen to the doomsday people saying, "No. It's going to come faster than you think."

And that time is right now. Our government now is printing $1 trillion every 100 days. That's never been done before. We have more debt than any country has ever had in the history of the world. But we’re not alone. Every country is doing this. They’re going into debt like we’ve never seen before, and we’re all about to pay for that. It’s going to make your life even harder.

There are Democrats and Republicans who still believe in spending all kinds of money and getting us involved in every global conflict. Then there are constitutional conservatives who believe that we should conserve the things that have worked and throw out the things that don’t and follow our Constitution and Bill of Rights. You haven't really learned about those most likely. But you should. All of our problems are caused by the government and the people who feel they can bypass the Constitution. That's what this election is really all about.

You might say, “I don’t really care. I don’t like either of the political parties.” I know a lot of people who don’t like either of them, but one is going to try to cut the size of this government and one is going to spend us into collapse.

The people who created this mess cannot fix it. But it can be fixed. You need to learn enough about the truth, about why this has happened to us, and about how our Constitution lasted longer than any other Constitution in the world. The average is 17 years. This thing has lasted hundreds of years. Why? How? And why is it falling apart today? That's what you should dedicate some of your time to figuring out today.

You can complain about the way things are. I complain. Everybody complains. But don't wallow there. Learn what caused this. And if you end up thinking more collectivism is the solution, then you haven't done enough homework. They always end the same way, and that's exactly where we're headed right now. We can either repeat the dreadful past of nations that have tried it before us, or we can choose freedom, liberty, and prosperity. The ball is in our court.

Glenn recently had Representative Thomas Massie on his show to sound the alarm about an important yet often overlooked issue affecting what we eat. Whether you're trying to be prepared to weather a catastrophe or just trying to keep food on the table without resorting to eating bugs, it's more important now than ever to source local food. Unnoticed by most, our right to eat home-grown or locally-sourced foods is under attack. The government doesn't just want a say in what you eat; they want you vulnerable and dependent on their system, and they are massively overstepping their bounds to ensure your compliance with their goals.

How did the attack on your food begin?

Government overreach on food can be traced back to 1938 under the autocratic eye of FDR with the Supreme Court case "Wickard v. Filburn." The case was pretty straightforward, but the results were devastating. The case began with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, which sought to control national food prices by placing limitations on how many crops farmers could grow in a season.

Filburn was one such farmer, who was allotted 11.1 acres of wheat to plant and harvest annually. Filburn planted and harvested 23 acres, arguing that the extra acres were not headed for the market, but were used for personal consumption. After being penalized for over-harvesting, he fought his case all the way up to the Supreme Court, arguing that Congress did not have the authority to regulate crops that never left his farm.

Unfortunately for Filburn (and the rest of us), the Supreme Court didn't agree. They ruled that the mere existence of that extra wheat—whether it left Filburn's farm or not—had an effect on the national value of wheat. Congress assumed the power to regulate just about anything that could be roped under the umbrella of "interstate commerce."

Under the precedent set by Wickard v. Filburn, Congress might bar you from growing tomatoes in your backyard, because it could affect national tomato prices. This was a major blow to our right to feed ourselves, and that right has been eroding ever since.

How is our right to feed ourselves under attack today?

Last June, the Virginia Department of Agriculture shut down Golden Valley Farms, a small Amish farm owned and operated by Samuel B. Fisher in Farmville, Virginia. Golden Valley Farms had started out selling dairy products, primarily, and processed some meat for personal consumption. However, by popular demand, Fisher began selling meat.

Fisher initially hauled his animals to a USDA processing plant, paid to have them processed, and then hauled them back. This process was time-consuming and costly, and Fisher's customers didn't want the meat processed by the plant. A survey done on Golden Valley Farms customers found that an overwhelming 92 percent preferred meat processed by Fisher. So naturally, Fisher began to process more and more meat for his customers.

Moreover, COVID shut down the USDA plant, which made it impossible for Fisher to process the animals by the USDA anyway, though the demand for meat was greater than ever. Fisher made the call to process 100 percent of his animals himself and didn't look back. That was until June when the Virginia Department of Agriculture caught wind of Fisher's operation and shut it down. The VDA seized all of Fisher's products, and he wasn't allowed to process, sell, or even eat his meat. Then they loaded it up in a truck and left it at the dump to rot.

Nobody ever got sick from eating meat from Golden Valley Farms. This was NOT about "health and safety." This was about control. The fact is that informed adults were not allowed to make a simple transaction without the government sticking its slimy fingers into Fisher's business and claiming it was somehow for "our benefit." But it's not for "our benefit." It's so they can regulate and control what we buy and what we eat, and they cannot stand it when we operate outside of their influence.

What comes next?

Where does this end? With so much of our ability to feed ourselves already eroded, is it too late? Is it going to get worse? Before long, will it be illegal to eat eggs from your chickens or pick vegetables from your garden without getting government clearance first? Fortunately, a solution is already in the works.

Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie recently told Glenn about a new constitutional amendment designed to limit government overreach regarding food production. The proposed amendment reads as follows:

And Congress shall make no law, regulating the production and distribution of food products, which do not move across state lines.

The amendment is still on the drawing board and has not been formally introduced to Congress yet. But this is where you come in. Call your representative and tell them to support Massie's amendment and take a stand for your right to provide sustenance for you and your family.

If we can build skyscrapers, we can rebuild bridges

Kevin Dietsch / Staff | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

I am sick and tired of hearing about our limitations. The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge this week is an amazing hero story of the cops and first responders who saved an untold number of lives by doing exactly the right thing quickly. But I’m really tired of hearing about how long it’s going to take us to recover from this catastrophe and how bad it’s going to be.


The immediate impact for Americans regarding this bridge collapse seems dire. If you're waiting for a new car to come in from overseas, prepare to wait longer. The Port of Baltimore stands as the nation’s leading import-export site for cars and trucks. It’s also the leading nexus for sugar and gypsum, which is used in fertilizer, drywall, and plaster. A record 52.3 million tons of foreign cargo was transported through Baltimore just last year.

To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

The bustling port is now cut off after the 1.6-mile-long bridge crumbled and fell into the river early Tuesday, blocking the only shipping lane into the port.

The officials have said the timeline for rebuilding the bridge will be years. The Port of Baltimore creates more than 15,300 jobs, with another 140,000 jobs linked to the activity at the port. This is a major disaster and will continue to cause significant problems on the East Coast for U.S. importers and exporters.

The bridge collapse means it will not be possible to get to the container terminals or a range of the other port terminals in Baltimore. Maryland Secretary of Transportation Paul J. Wiedefeld told reporters on Tuesday that vessel traffic in the port would be suspended until further notice but noted the port is still open to trucks.

Michael Mezzacappa, an attorney and expert on property damage cases in the shipping industry, told the New York Post that the collapse will have a major impact on shipping and traffic routes in the East Coast for the foreseeable future. “It’s not going to get fixed any time soon,” Mezzacappa said. “It’s going to take a lot longer than anyone expects. This is going to be a major problem for the Northeast.”

Remember the American spirit

I am absolutely sick to death of all of these stories that say things like that. Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten what we’ve done?

Let me remind you of the American spirit, a spirit so potent and so vibrant that it has scaled towering mountains, mountains nobody thought they could cross.

It’s the spirit that constructed marvels of engineering. Have you ever been to the Hoover Dam? Have you seen the New York City skyline? The skyscraper was invented here for a reason. Here we are on the threshold of tomorrow, and none of us knows what is going to happen. But I'm getting the impression that we’ve been so beaten down that we believe we’re not going to make it tomorrow.

Have we forgotten who our ancestors are and what they did? If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer. You will see a people who can do anything.


I want to stop just briefly in 1930. The Great Depression had its icy grip on us. It was a time that felt like a flickering candle in the vast darkness just barely holding on. Yet, it was in this crucible of adversity that Americans did great things.

The Empire State Building rose. It wasn’t just a structure of steel and stone. It was a beacon, a beacon of hope and American resilience and ingenuity. The way that thing was built — no one has ever seen anything like it before and since. In a record-shattering one year and 45 days, an army of workers, as many as 3,400 men on certain days, transformed this audacious vision into a cowering reality.

If you look through our history even briefly, you will see a group of people who never take no for an answer.

The Empire State Building wasn’t constructed. It was conjured into existence with a symphony of clanging metal and roaring machines and the inexhaustible spirit of its builders. The men perched on steel girders that were being flown in by giant cranes whispered tales about how they could still feel the warmth of the freshly poured metal beneath them. That beam was still warm, even though it was poured in Pittsburgh, put on a train, then put on a boat, then on a truck, then hauled up into the air.

They could fill the warmth because we moved that fast. It was a feverish pace of construction. It seemed to defy the laws of time and physics.

For a long time, it was the tallest building in the world — an architectural achievement. It was also a declaration to the world that America was a land where the impossible became possible, that we are a people of determination, innovation, with a relentless will to succeed.

These aren't merely historical footnotes. They are blazing torches illuminating our path forward. They remind us that when we're faced with adversity, we don't just endure it. We overcome it. We don’t wait for history to chart our course. We write it with the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs. That’s who we are. Have we forgotten that?

What are we waiting for?

We find ourselves at another crossroads faced with the challenges that threaten to dim the bright future that we all dream for our nation, for our children. The spirit that built the Empire State Building, laid down miles of railroads, cut through the Rocky Mountains, and sent astronauts to the moon is still inside of every heart of every American, somewhere.

Awaken that spirit. Scale new mountains. It's not just rock and earth. Scale the mountains of innovation. Build. Not just physical structures but a future that upholds the spirit of adventure, hard work, and ingenuity. Stop tearing everything down. Let's start building.

Why are we waiting? If this isn't a national emergency, I don't know what it is.

And I don't just mean the bridge. I mean all of it. You might say, “Well, our government has to lead.” Really? Does it? Maybe that’s our problem. America is led by its values and principles that are found in the souls of those who still remember who we are and who we serve. Americans lead the way. The government always follows.

You might say again, "Well, we can’t act without the government." Nonsense! Where are the bridge builders who will stand up today and say, “I'll get it done!” As soon as that happens, you’ll see who is leading and who is stalling. The government is the one that stalls the engine out. To expect more from our leaders is rational. But to expect the most from ourselves is essential.

There is nothing we can't achieve when we all stand together, united by our dreams, and driven by the will to see them fulfilled. Don't listen to anybody else who tells you differently.