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Mr. GOHMERT. Madam Speaker, I thank my friend from Louisiana for his kind comments. The truth is, he is one of the reasons I am comfortable leaving.
There have been times when I was extremely concerned about people standing up for what is right; whether it was standing up to our own leadership or leadership of the country, including the White House, leadership of our own party, or the other party. But I have been encouraged; that is why I was willing to take a big chance on running for office statewide, even though I got in so late.
That was a matter that I will not be able to save Texas from suffering; but I have got great comfort here.
What does concern me greatly about our country, I think the bill that was just--we took up the rule on just now, concerns me.
As I know my brother, Mike Johnson, knows and believes, as one of the leaders I know here on the floor, Moses, we believe, got word directly from God, and Moses passed that on, saying that a man shall leave his father and mother and a woman leave her home and the two will become one.
When Jesus was asked a question about marriage and divorce, he quoted Moses verbatim. Jesus, of course, some people say, was a great teacher, taught a lot of great things. But as C.S. Lewis pointed out, he said he was God. He said he was one on with the Father. He said so many things like that, it is very clear, he didn't have a choice to say he was a good teacher because he was either a liar, a lunatic, or he was Lord, as he said.
But the Founders, the huge majority of the Founders were not only believers in what Moses and Jesus taught, but they were strong practicing Christians.
Nowadays, school children are taught, Ben Franklin was a deist, someone who believes, basically, that some deity, something, some force, created the universe, and if that deity, thing, force, whatever, still exists today, it never interferes with the ways of men.
But if you go back to the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin gave a speech when things looked like they had come to an end; they were going to go no further. There was so much yelling and disagreement.
Ben Franklin was recognized by the President of the Convention, President George Washington, and he pointed out that they had had so much disagreement over everything, and he said--he pointed back to the Continental Congress, and he said: In the beginning contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.
That is not a deist saying those things. But he went on to say--and these are His words. We know because the speech was so profound others there asked him for a copy, and he sat down and wrote the speech and everybody that heard it looked and said, yeah, that is exactly what he said.
He went on to say, we know: I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth. God governs in the affairs of men; and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible a nation could rise without his aid?
He said: We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writing, that a nation cannot rise without his aid; a home will not rise without his aid. And he assured that this nation could not be built without his aid.
In this book, ``Wall of Misconception,'' by Pastor Emeritus, former head of the Presbyterian Seminary in Philadelphia, Peter Lillback, a great historian, he points out that President Washington, in his first inaugural address, frequently referred to the Almighty. His very first act as President was to pray. Washington prayed that God would secure the liberties of the new Nation.
He went on to say that no one should be more grateful to God than the people of the United States of America in light of what God had done for them throughout the war. Although the new nation had just gone through the tumultuous time after the revolution of creating a new civil government, the process fraught with sectional rivalries and tensions was accomplished in a peacefully unique way that called for pious gratitude--those were his words--since this implied even more divine blessings to come.
The implication Washington drew from all of this was that America could not expect the continuing ``smiles of heaven'' if the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained were disregarded.
We must remember that when Washington attended the Anglican churches of his day, he, along with the congregation, recited the Ten Commandments from the list behind the altar.
In Washington's historical context, ``the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained'' could only refer to the Ten Commandments, given that this was the belief of almost every American in Washington's day who read or heard his inaugural address.
Along with his solemn inaugural address that graced America's first auspicious pageant of civil religion, Washington's inauguration contributed other religious precedents.
He was sworn in as President with the use of the Bible. This Bible has been sacredly kept by the Masons of New York City. The page where Washington placed his hand for the oath of office was marked by the turning down of the corner of the page. Interestingly, the marked page is Genesis 49, the chapter where Jacob, the father of the sons of Israel, bestows his blessings upon them.
By this time, Washington had long been called the ``Father of His Country''. The parallel of the text in the inauguration was not accidental.
Tradition has that he said, so help me God. That was not a written part of the oath. Then he bent down and he kissed the Bible.
But the religious elements of Washington's inauguration were still not complete. Next, he led the Congressmen and everyone else across the street from Federal Hall to St. Paul's Chapel for a 2-hour service of Christian worship to commit the new nation to God.
According to Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, she knelt with President Washington as they received the Eucharist together. This is part of our history. That was the very beginning.
It is interesting to note, as Jonathan Cahn did, that on 9/11, the one building that was considered part of Ground Zero was not broken, cracked, damaged whatsoever, was that very St. Paul's Chapel, where our Nation was committed to God during that period in which all of the Members of Congress, the President, Vice President Adams, they were all there participating in that time of prayer and committing this Nation to God, to the Almighty.
On visiting there, I was informed that the graveyard that is right behind the chapel on the side facing the Twin Towers, that when they fell, a huge tree, sycamore tree, at the back of the cemetery was completely uprooted. Jonathan Cahn pointed this out.
But there, the proprietor, the caretaker said that tree fell across all those graves and not one gravestone was cracked, broken, harmed in any way, nor was the chapel, not even a window cracked. It was seen to be a miracle the way that building where our Nation was first committed to God was so very protected. Amazing, the history.
I know that there have been civilizations throughout history that have recognized same-sex union. But if you do enough digging, you find that when it came to actual marriage, that that was considered part of having children and a family, as God had said, go forth and multiply. That was considered--marriage was considered for having children and building a family.
Yes, of course, you can build a wonderful family by adoption. Now we are told that men can get pregnant. We wonder, you know, with the incredible advances of medicine, just how much man will take on the role of being his own God. It is a very dangerous thing because every time a nation has gotten to that point, they didn't last much longer.
If you want to attribute that to just nature or nature's God, as our Founders did, then you have your choice, but it did not bode well for such a Nation.
Now, back when the United States was a majority, a vast majority, of strong Christians, leaders of the country could appeal to the Judeo- Christian beliefs and the teachings of Moses, of the prophets, of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament. Those things could be appealed to in the hearts of most Americans, and they would find great reception.
Now, the polls, studies, and surveys indicate that a majority of Americans do not attend church and do not seem to believe in a loving God. The appeals, therefore, of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an ordained Christian pastor, who appealed to the better nature in America, that love was stronger than hate, and love could overcome hate, and love would bring the Nation together.
But since there are so few now, most don't seem to have a common agreement about the Judeo-Christian teaching that once overwhelmed the Nation at a time early on, when Harvard was established, Yale was established, basically to teach Christianity and educate people for a great future.
In fact, if you go back and look at the pledge that students had to make about their devotion to Jesus Christ, it is really staggering. But that is how things were started. That was an amazing start for this country.
Only a country that had turned its back on the teachings of Dr. King and the person that Dr. King called his Lord and Savior could become so hypocritical as we have as a Nation. We think, too often, we are God; we know better than God; we know better than Moses.
I expect sometime that his bust depicted in the middle of this Chamber as the greatest lawgiver of all time, somebody will complain that needs to be taken down. Never mind the fact that there are great lawgivers, like Hammurabi. Some have been talking about the Code of Hammurabi and the Justinian code. Those are people who are up there.
Most people are not aware Napoleon was a lawgiver through the Napoleonic Code. Thomas Jefferson is up there. People hopefully are aware he was not at the Constitutional Convention; he was representing us in Europe. But he did help with the Northwest Ordinances and was in Virginia. He helped with laws that became a helpful framework for our Constitution and our laws.
Democrats preach long and loud that George W. Bush was not a legitimate President, that he stole the election of 2000 and stole the election of 2004. For that reason, they then objected to his election on the House floor on January 6 not of 2021 but of 2001. Then there was objection on this floor January 6 of 2005.
Although we sat here and waited for our chance to vote on the counting of the electors, no one in here realized that, according to so many Democrats today, when you object to electors, you are an election denier, treasonous, and guilty of sedition. None of us suspected that at the time that objections were made on the other side of the aisle.
In fact, on January 6, 2017, when we had 11 different objections from Democrats saying that Trump stole the election, we didn't realize that, according to the Democrats, the Democrats that objected were guilty of treason and sedition and that they should really be run out of public altogether and should not be allowed to participate in government. In fact, they shouldn't be allowed to actually be seen out in public. It was so despicable that their neighbors should reject them and run them out of the neighborhood.
None of us on this side of the aisle--I remember--in 2005 and 2017, we didn't realize what the Democrats are now telling us, that those were acts of sedition and that they were showing themselves to be election deniers. We thought that because the Democrats were following the procedures that were set out in the Constitution, they were following their beliefs and their constitutional rights. We didn't dream that they were committing sedition and treason, as they are now saying that apparently they were doing.
It was shocking to me that Democrats were alleging that Donald Trump stole that election and that he stole it with the help of collusion with Russia. We heard those claims. It took a while longer, after a multimillion-dollar investigation that found nothing of the sort. Gee, it turns out, as the investigation has gone on, that actually the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, members of the FBI, members of the DOJ, and the intel community were working in conjunction first to prevent Donald Trump from getting elected and then also working after he was elected to have him removed from office.
Now, most of us were upset on this side of the aisle with the continued, ongoing, never-ending efforts to remove Donald Trump from the office to which he was duly elected. But we didn't realize that the Democrats' actions, according to their explanations now, amounted to sedition, treason, a coup d'etat, and all of these other things we have heard in the last 2 years.
It is shocking because I don't know of anybody on our side of the aisle who realized that what was going on, on the other side of the aisle, was actually an attempted coup and seditionist treason. We didn't realize that because we hadn't heard from the Democrats until the last 2 years that to raise such issues was exactly what they were saying.
Now, they have even hypocritically turned to the government, billionaire businesses, banks, and individuals to get them to go against Republicans and start letting some Republicans, like the President of the United States, know: ``We don't like your politics, and we will never allow you to do business with our banks and our businesses. We are going to try to break you, bankrupt you.'' We didn't realize that those were helpful things to do on behalf of our Nation.
I don't think they are indicative of what Dr. King, the reverend that he was--he had studied the Bible. He had even studied Gandhi's life and how peace was the way to make progress, peaceful protest. He preached against going after your enemies, going after your opponents, trying to destroy them. He preached what he knew, and that was Christian love.
But what we have illustrated here is a Nation that has turned from God and, to borrow from Longfellow, to allow hate in this country to be strong and mock the song of peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.
Overall, this Nation was one in which the people could be appealed to on the basis of a loving God who through, we believe, the Savior pointed out the two most important commands, to love God and love each other, and on those two hang all the law, all the prophets.
Actually, if you were to do an outline and put love God and love your neighbor, you can put all the laws from the Ten Commandments and most laws today under one of those two.
We have been so blessed in this country. Our Founders, nearly all of them, believed it was because they were trying to pursue freedom.
Historically, as an old history major, as somebody who has never stopped reading and learning history, we look back, as so many historians have, at the American Revolution. Many believe that the American Revolution came about because of the great Christian awakening that occurred in the 1700s, when most of the Nation repented of sins, of wrongdoing, and asked for forgiveness. What grew was a love of liberty and a love of freedom.
Historians have looked back and said, wow, that war ended, and it ended in the Treaty of Paris, 1783. I was surprised to see an exact duplicate of the Treaty of Paris, 1783, because of the huge words that started the Treaty of Paris. I did not realize that they were so big, and I didn't realize that is how it started. But if you think about making a treaty with the biggest, most powerful country in the world in 1783, what would you put on the document to scare Great Britain, with the biggest Army, biggest Navy, what would you start it with to make them afraid to break their oath? Well, the Founders started with the huge words: ``In the name of the most Holy and undivided Trinity,'' Trinity talking about the Father, Son, Holy Ghost. ``In the name of the most Holy and undivided trinity,'' that is how that started.
They thought that is powerful enough that even the British will be afraid to break that oath. That is what they signed.
Others pointed out that, in the 1800s, there was a great awakening, and that same yearning and love of freedom led so many to say that slavery must end, that we cannot continue.
Actually, Thomas Jefferson, of all people, put that as the biggest grievance in the Declaration of Independence, that King George ever allowed slavery to begin. Those who would say that the Nation started with slavery; no, Jefferson said it started in spite of it, that it was a blight on this country, and blamed King George for ever allowing it because it was damaging the country and would damage the country.
But in the 1800s, after the Nation's second great Christian awakening, we had a Civil War, and 500,000 Americans were lost, 500,000 casualties lost in that fight, but we emerged stronger out of it.
It took a while, but there were people who had the love Lincoln had developed. He started out in his twenties bragging that he was an atheist, but by the time he was President, as Stephen Mansfield points out in his book, ``Lincoln's Battle with God,'' he knew there was a God. He knew God was at work, and he knew that they should have love for people even with whom they disagreed.
But our country has abandoned the teachings of Moses, of Jesus, of Dr. King. I have idolized the ``I Have a Dream'' speech for nearly all of my life. It is so profound. It provokes tears. It is so powerful.
But that part of the dream where people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, we were so close. Now, this country has been fundamentally transformed, and, now, teachers are telling children to judge people by their skin color.
What has gone on? We have colleges that say that they are so omniscient that they know the way to go is to have segregated dormitories.
What happened to the dream? It has turned into a nightmare. How could this happen? Perhaps if there was a third great awakening, many believe, we could get back on track.
Why was the American Revolution successful? We didn't kill a lot of people after the American Revolution. We signed a peace treaty. We asked them to leave us alone, and we would leave them alone. So, why did the French Revolution end up with--you can find, I have seen estimates, some people say as few as 13,000 heads cut off with a guillotine. Some say 44,000 heads chopped off.
We didn't have that after the American Revolution. Why was that? Some historians say because ours was about love of freedom and liberty, as the Bible taught, and the French Revolution was about a love for revenge. We are seeing that vengefulness play out.
There is nothing wrong with disagreeing. As the preacher said--and I know in the 1960s Lyndon Johnson was given credit, but Dr. L.L. Morris said it back around 1950 before I was born, said it to my parents: If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.
I have said that in deacons meetings at our church when people say we all ought to have exactly the same idea. No, it is good--since we are all human, nobody is perfect, and nobody has 100 percent lock on God's wisdom--that we exchange ideas, and we argue. It is okay to argue.
When I talk about a battle, I am talking about a battle of words. Some people in here are unarmed in a battle of words, and some are quite armed in a battle of words. But that is a good, healthy thing, to disagree. Otherwise, we would only need one dictator.
I am afraid we have been moving in that direction. So many of the things Orwell talked about are happening. We have people on the other side of the aisle who basically want a ministry of truth that will write down what the truth is, and anybody that disagrees with that will be guilty of a crime.
I haven't heard anybody on the other side of the aisle talk about the enforcement mechanism. That was called the ministry of love. They would pick you up, torture you, and keep you in the basement of the ministry of love, torturing days, weeks, years, whatever it took until you would repeat whatever they told you was the truth. It is the kind of thing that would kill a Galileo for saying that Earth was not the center of our solar system.
We need to have open minds, but it is important to learn from history because when you don't--everybody knows the saying--you are destined to repeat it.
We have a chance, and I believe with all my heart that it is because God is a merciful God. He has been mocked. We have his name right up here: In God We Trust. I know lots of people have been trying to get that down, but it is still there, and I know it will still be there for the next 2 years.
But we have to get over this thing of being vengeful. Even Federal judges here regarding January 6, like I have said before, people that committed violent acts, people that did destructive acts to this building, they deserve to be severely punished, but there were some that walked into the building and seemed to be welcomed. People say they are terrorists, and Federal judges have called them all kinds of names, called them seditionists, called them all kinds of things when they weren't rioting. Some were, and they need to be punished, and they have been.
But to have Federal judges throw the Constitution out the window and say: I haven't heard the evidence, but you are a seditionist, and you are dangerous. We need to make sure you are punished. You are a threat to the country--when there was no evidence of that for the individual before the judge.
The gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Johnson), one of the great constitutional scholars in this body, and my friend, he really does understand the Constitution. One of the things I hope happens is that we will start subpoenaing judges. We impeached two Federal judges early on when I was here. It is time to bring them in and find out if there is a basis for impeaching them.
Are they going to continue to want to punish people in pretrial confinement, even though that is unconstitutional?
Are they going to continue to judge people and issue rulings when there is no evidence whatsoever on which to base the vile things they are saying about the individuals before them?
We need to know because if they are going to continue to be like Judge Roy Bean in his courtroom, which too many Federal judges are these days, it is time to stop it. Make them accountable. Let them know that there are checks and balances, and they are not God.
They took an oath, and they will be judged by that oath. If they are not following it, remove them. I hope that will happen, a shot across the bow.
I am grateful to have served in this body. I was hoping that, when I left, I would feel confident that our freedom was preserved for the next generations, at least the next one or two. I don't know. I see too many disturbing issues.
But I believe God is merciful, and he has given us a chance. I will be hopeful, and I will be praying for my colleagues that will be here next year. Let's get back on track. Let's don't do things out of hate. Let's don't do things out of revenge. Let's do things for a love of freedom so we don't have 44,000 people get their heads chopped off because people were overwhelmed and just insatiable wanting revenge.
I am very grateful to my friend for yielding to me today. He is a true--I started to say ``patriot,'' but I know some judge chastised someone for being a patriot; wanted to punish him more heavily.
So, hopefully, we can get back to a day when loving the country patriotically is a good thing.
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