Rule of Law or Rule by Law?


There has only ever been one king John in the entire long history of jolly old England.  No subsequent monarch has ever taken that name, nor has any rightful heir to the throne been so christened.  Here is why.

A century after the Norman Conquest of 1066, the Angevin/Norman lands came to include half of what is today France.  In 1189, the Crown passed to Richard the Lionheart, who reigned for a decade but died without a legal heir to his throne.  He had once famously assigned his young nephew, Arthur, to be his successor, but had a change of heart on his death bed, preferring his brother John instead.  John was the youngest of four brothers, and was the least suited to be king.  In fact, he had never even thought about the throne, but the very worst thing happened: he got everything he could ever have wanted, and it destroyed him.

Upon Richard's death, several barons took up the cause of having John established as king.  They went about securing the fealty and castles of those barons who would pay homage.  These barons believed that they needed an adult king, rather than a boy like Arthur who had barely reached the age of reason.  King Philip of France opposed John's claim to the throne and sponsored Arthur to be England's new king.  Philip knighted Arthur and named him heir to all the Angevin lands in France, except Normandy, which Philip kept for himself.  After making their claim, Philip and Arthur laid siege to the castle of Mirabeau, where Queen Eleanor, John's mother and Arthur's grandmother, held court.  John hastily dispatched his army to raise the siege of Mirabeau, where he won the major victory of his life, taking 252 nobles and knights prisoner.  Prince Arthur's threat to the throne was thwarted and he was taken prisoner by his uncle.  King John was of a jealous, vindictive nature, and he was angered by the rebellion in France.

John sought to consolidate his power through his prisoners. He offered Arthur lands and titles in exchange for agreement to renounce all claims to the English crown.  Arthur refused, prophesying that unless John released him and surrendered the monarchy, he would never know another moment's peace.  John took vengeance by removing his noblemen prisoners to castle dungeons in Normandy and Southern England.  He even demanded hostages from 22 English families whom he believed to favour Arthur.  None of these men were ever seen again.  All of the hostages of Mirabeau, along with the 22 noble English families, were held without trial, without appeal, & without notice.  All were ultimately starved to death.  

Many knights objected to John's actions, asking for the whereabouts of so many sons of proud English noble families.  They were answered with stony silence, as cold as the dungeons where the imprisoned were left alone to die.  John finally took Arthur under guard to Rouen to make a final plea to renounce all claims to the English throne.  When Arthur adamantly refused, John flew into a rage, crushing 12 year old Arthur's skull with a rock.  John took Arthur's lifeless body to the River Seine and sank it in its depths.  That was the last that anyone ever saw of Arthur of Brittany, the Angevin Prince.

King John's actions were in utter contempt of chivalry, knightly conduct, and in clear violation of canonical law.  Since the Conquest, it had been considered reprehensible to kill a captive nobleman.  Aroused by the rumour of Arthur's murder, the Bretons were the first to revolt against John's rule in France, vowing to "never stop fighting the king of England, who dared to commit such a horrible crime against their lord, Arthur, his own nephew!" So John, abandoned by some and opposed by others, lost the Angevin lands in France.  None of his pleadings, rants, or threats could restore them.  Consequently, he determined to take them back by force-which required a great deal of money.

John imposed a series of fines upon the English nobility for the right to inherit, to marry, and to hold office.  He sold lands, castles, and even whole towns. He sold offices, lordships, and earldoms.  Devising a new way to attack English families, he sold marriages to young female wards, wealthy heiresses, and widows.  Far from any Arthurian veneration of the feminine, this was its debased antithesis.  One of the ripest plums John had to sell were sheriff's offices. The sheriff of a shire was the "tax farmer"; he was given a fixed rate to harvest from a given county for the crown, but could keep the residue for himself.  These offices were auctioned to the highest bidder and considered a wise investment.  King John instructed the sheriffs to tax all the merchandise sold by merchants, and all that they did not sell. The sheriffs were told to tax the yeoman (land-owning) farmers on all the produce they sold, and all that they did not sell.  Taxes were imposed on the income, the goods, and the lands of everyone.

John's lust for money and power were insatiable.  He even attacked the church by harvesting a tax on its lands and incomes-money the church independently managed in caring for the poor.  Incensed by this encroachment upon his authority, Pope Innocent III threatened John and England with Papal interdiction, effectively banishing them from the church.  John responded in typical fashion by threatening to confiscate all of the clerical estates, vowing to "send the Roman clergy back to their master with their noses slit and their eyes put out." Rome placed England and her king under interdiction in 1208.  No one in England could be baptized, attend Mass, take Holy Communion, marry, or be sacramentally buried.  The spiritual agency of the English people had been betrayed by a corrupt crown.  They complained that "the devil", King John, had driven God Himself from England.

The Papal interdiction only made John more desperate to hold on to power.  He was losing the loyalty of English barons.  Through his web of spies, John had ready knowledge of every suspect house in England, of which there were now many.  He sent troops of soldiers to aristocratic castles, demanding possession of their sons and nephews to extort their fealty.  This was yet another attack upon English families, English culture, and even English law.  When the county and barony of England learned of these events, they could no longer stand idly by.  Their own beloved families were being destroyed mercilously, in contempt of all honour.  John starved the life out of England's families; he robbed the meagre earnings of the middle-class and took food from their mouths for his own use.  He was at war with their Christian beliefs and the Church itself, which was the spiritual agency of charity to the poor of England.  John had become a law unto Caligula of Ancient Rome.  He had to be stopped.

The barons of England finally arose from within the system of Feudal castles that for more than a century stood as a bulwark of tyranny, and turned that network against John's own despotism.  Merely seven knights remained loyal to John in a kingdom allied against him.  The Archbishop of Canterbury demanded acknowledgment of the customs and laws of England and an end to the personal tyranny of kings.  Robert Fitz-Walter, the "Marshall of the Army of God and Holy Church" demanded that John meet with the barons to hear their terms.  Out of this harshest of tyrannies emerged a fundamental tenet of modern democracy: the Rule of Law, as articulated in The Magna Carta, or "Great Charter" of 1215.

John and his predecessors ruled according to the principle of Vis et Voluntas, or "Force & Will".  This meant that the king was above the law, that his will was law, and that his force entailed even the power to make war against his own people.  To forge a new principle of governance, a new lawgiver, Archbishop Stephen Langton, crafted a collection of demands made by the rebel barons into the "Great Charter", or Magna Carta.  The king, the barons and Archbishop Langton met on open ground at Runnymede, between John's stronghold at Windsor and the barons' at Staines, where the agreement was struck.  

The preamble begins:

"To all free men of our kingdom we have granted for us and our heirs forever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs...This freedom we shall observe and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity."

The articles set out within the Charter deal with new rights of the individual and of the family, new property rights for merchants, tradesmen, farmers, serfs, and the freedom of the forests, which were released from the controlling privilege John had assumed.  Article 63, in summation, reads as follows:

"It is accordingly our wish and command that the English Church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for themselves and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all things and all places forever."  

On 15 June 1215, the first of England's tyrants conceded the foundation of English liberty, and affixed his own seal to it.  The Charter was circulated to every town of the land and sworn to by the citizens it newly protected.  English liberty flowered from this document for over 800 years.  It converted a monarchy defined by an omnipotent ruler's "will and force"into a limited, radically altered system in which royal power was made subject to the explicit consent of the nobility whose interests were explicitly protected.  The institutions of family, Church and municipality were acknowledged; judicial and parliamentary systems, as well as commercial interests, were founded in personal protections, private property, and representation of the people.  No more was the system based upon the "will and force" of a king, but instead upon the words of "the law of the land."

All of this occurred for the first time since the fall of the Roman Republic, more than a millennium earlier.  Lord Denning, one of England's most revered jurists, once described the Magna Carta as "the greatest constitutional document of all time-the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot."

John did not deserve the gesture, but his own son was crowned Henry III and the Magna Carta was renewed on 12 November 1216, and survives as the era's greatest legacy.  The institutions of Parliament and the judiciary, the expanding societies of merchants and freemen, were all young and fragile, but the Magna Carta was the bedrock of protection for England's new establishment.

Precisely 800 years after the Magna Carta ended the reign of England's first tyrant, Justin Trudeau took office as the Prime Minister of Canada in the Autumn of 2015.  He promised "Sunny ways', "transparency", "renewed national pride", and "good government for the middle class".  Little did Canadians realize at the time that they had elected their nation's own petty tyrant.

Justin Trudeau was named for a Roman Caesar and like John, he was raised as the modern equivalent of a prince.  His father, the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau, ruled Canada as our Prime Minister for the first thirteen years of Justin's life.  Despite this, like John before him, Justin was not groomed to assume the reins of power.  He was not especially clever and struggled to finish anything he started.   He attended University for several years but never earned a degree.  He was a ski instructor, an aspiring actor, a substitute teaching assistant, and above all, the partying socialite son of a famously rich and powerful man.  Growing up, there were no signs that Justin would or could ever follow in his father's footsteps.  Prior to entering politics, Pierre Trudeau was a respected intellectual, journalist, and legal scholar.  The Prime Ministers who both preceded and followed Pierre Trudeau into the PMO were similarly accomplished men.  Brian Mulroney, Jean ChrÈtien, Paul Martin, and even Joe Clark had all been successful lawyers and entrepreneurs before entering public life.  Stephen Harper, the man whom Justin defeated in the 2015 election, was a respected economist who emerged from an intellectual think tank.  Justin had no such credentials; in fact, as Dr. Jordan Peterson put it so aptly-Justin Trudeau ran solely on the strength of his father's name, and knew it, which is precisely why he is wholly unfit to govern.  

Regrettably, that is where the parallels with the despotic King John merely begin.  Like John, Justin surrounds himself with mediocre sycophants and yes men, tolerating no dissent.  He ostracizes and banishes recalcitrant cabinet ministers-the modern equivalent of feudal barons-and punishes them.  Jody Wilson Raybold and Bill Morneau are but two examples.  Like King John, Justin uses the oppressive force of the state against his own people.  It is well documented that he employed the RCMP and foreign mercenaries to violently quell the Freedom Convoy in February of 2022, which was a peaceful protest of Justin's own draconian restrictions of the very freedoms first guaranteed in the Magna Carta.  

Like king John, Justin is power hungry and avaricious.  He does not hesitate to use state power to enrich both himself and his friends.  High income taxes, carbon taxes, inflation, and rising bank interest rates all enrich the ruling class while destroying the wealth and opportunity of the middle-class Canadians he was thrice elected to represent.  It is estimated that Justin's net worth has increased 300 fold since he took office nine years ago, and his government has sold influence to wealthy corporations like SNC Lavalin, to foreign interests like the CCP, to judicial candidates, and even taken election contributions from a Chinese empire bent upon global domination.  

Like king John, Justin seeks to erase the cherished history of his country.  He has described Canada as a country without any core identity, a post-national, pan-cultural society.  Political activist Marcus Garvey once famously stated that "a people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots."  In time, a tree without roots withers and perishes. This is precisely what Justin is doing to Canada: systematically cutting out the roots of Canadian culture, including our cherished shared history, customs, and law inherited from England.

Justin's regime is anti-Christian and has watched hundreds of churches burn over the past several years, with no justice or punishment for the arsonists.  One of the initial steps that Justin took after coming to power was to change the very lyrics to the Canadian national anthem.  This important cultural change was done without any Parliamentary debate or public consultation.  On the occasion of the Coronation of Charles III in the Spring of 2023, Justin seized the opportunity to remove all Christian symbols from our national coat of arms, replacing crosses with snowflakes.  The imagery inside our passports has removed the Fathers of Confederation, the infamous WWI commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and the iconic Terry Fox.  In their place, we have the LGBTQ rainbow flag, parks, ducks, and squirrels.  An obscure black woman named Mona Desmond, whose claim to fame is that she was denied entry to a cinema one night in the 1950's, now has her face on the five dollar bill.  Finally, in addition to the new coat of arms, Canadians are being told that our national flag, which has been the logos of our nation since 1967, will be changed by Justin without any public input or consultation.  

The most dangerous synergy between evil King John and our Justin is their shared contempt for the Rule of Law.  Like John, Justin rules by executive caprice.  He developed this habit during the totally unnecessary and contrived Covid-19 pandemic.  In that period, Justin sequestered himself in a cottage in Quebec, emerging daily to dictate laws to Canadians after he shut down Parliament.  Prior to Justin, it was unprecedented for a Canadian Prime Minister to be found guilty of violating the Parliamentary Code of Ethics, which is essentially a criminal statute.  Justin has been convicted five separate times, which does not even take into account his greatest scandal of all, that being inexplicable Chinese donations to the Trudeau Foundation, and incontrovertible proof of CCP interference in the 2019 & 2021 Federal elections, both of which were narrowly won by the Trudeau Liberals.  Perhaps most offensive to Canadians is Justin's constant preaching about the ravages of climate change, which necessitate destruction of Canada's richest and most important natural resources: oil and gas.  Meanwhile, Justin jets around the world emitting more CO2 into the atmosphere than the average Canadian family does in an entire year.  When he arrives at his destination, he and his vast entourage stay at hotels so lavish that one night's stay could fund a middle-class mortgage for a full six months.

Like king John, Justin has no regard for individual liberties or the personal property rights of the citizenry.  Justin is dedicated to eradication of free speech, censorship of Canadians, death of the free press and media, as well as destruction of democracy itself. Justin has divided his people, infused them with shame, called our history genocidal and our shared heritage racist.  He has weakened national pride for the purpose of severing modern society from its cultural identity, all for the sake of drawing more and more power to himself.  In order to do this, he has estranged us from the Christian church and set in its place a secular WOKE religion that is thinly disguised Marxism.  How thinly? Consider this:  one of the principal aims of the Leninist period in the Soviet Union was to abolish the bourgeois family.  The Bolsheviks advocated for the abolition of differentiated gender roles.  Justin's support for the radical LGBTQ agenda thus fits squarely within his totalitarian plans.  The family unit perpetuates class inequality through the transfer of private property via inheritance.  Following the abolition of private property, the bourgeois family will cease to exist, making individuals even more reliant upon the state.  Like John, Justin has targeted the family as the basic structure of a free society.

Marxist scholars adapted their revolutionary theory to the social and racial unrest of the 1960s.  Justin's late father was an avowed communist who witnessed this movement first hand and was at its forefront when he entered national politics in 1968, a scant three years prior to Justin's birth.  Abandoning Marx's dialectic of capitalists vs. Workers, they substituted race for class and sought to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based upon racial and ethnic categories.  Justin thus introduced the hateful concept of systemic racism into the Canadian polity, resulting in a measurable increase in social chaos, civil unrest, race and gender conflict, and overall division within our society.  

The "four olds"was a term used during the Cultural Revolution in China to refer to the pre-communist elements of national culture that had to be destroyed:  Old ideas (democracy), old culture (Christianity), old customs (private property), and old habits (the family).  When I was young, Canada was often referred to as the wealthiest country per capita in the world, second only to the United States.  Today, we are barely in the top 20.  The U.S., with all of its obvious problems, is 30-40% more prosperous per capita than Canada.  Our country has lost its place in the world; despite fervent campaigning, it has been defeated in recent bids for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council by the likes of Portugal and Ireland.  Nor were we included in the important military alliance between the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom.  There are even calls to abolish the British Crown in Canada in favour of a republic without any connection to its past or the promise of a prosperous future.

As we approach our nation's 156th anniversary, we must ask the question:  where to, Canada?  I think that we are a good country that is probably more receptive to immigration than any other and has little tendency to violence.  But the chief purpose of Canada has not been to exploit its extraordinary potential as the only transcontinental, bicultural, parliamentary Confederation in world history.  Rather, we have spent almost all of our history seeking to avoid being subsumed by the American colonies or the United States.  No Canadian today is really concerned about the overwhelming American contiguity.  While we are somewhat complacently self-satisfied about being a more peaceable country, anti-Americanism has ceased to be a real motivation for Canadian nationalism.

Canada today is a rudderless country whose leader proclaims the dawn of a post-national era as China and a truncated Russia careen around the Eurasian landmass celebrating and exploiting a temporary American torpor.  As our over eager submission to the insane Covid-19 lockdown demonstrated, we have become a double-masked country with little sense of ourselves.  Some of us are still trying to wave the maple leaf flag to half-staff throughout the country in recognition of our faux indigenous problem.

My solution for Canada is two fold.  First, we need a de novo Magna Carta that would depose Justin as King John was 8 centuries ago.  We must restore the Rule of Law and the concept of Peace Order & Good Government.  We must recommit ourselves to Constitutional democracy, religious freedom, individual liberty, fair and impartial courts, protection of private property, enforcement of law and order, and conservation of our cherished history and national institutions.  In short, the era of globalist tyranny must end.  Second, we must get back to doing big, ambitious projects in this country.  This is precisely what instills pride and captures public imagination.  Consider for instance the Canadian Pacific Railway, one of the engineering and financial marvels of the world when it was completed 140 years ago.  It had to span largely over the Canadian Shield all the way to the Rocky Mountains, and the CPR was mostly financed in London and New York, where it faced considerable competitive hostility.  No one back then wanted Canada to succeed except Canadians-not even the British.  There have been other such projects in living memory, including the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Montreal World's Fair of 1967, when the eyes of the world were on Canada and they were suitably impressed.  There was also Confederation Bridge, completed in the early part of this century, which linked Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick.  National pipelines, continually frustrated and even banned in Justin's Canada because they offend his climate change agenda, offer perhaps the best hope for great national projects from which we can all derive both pride and prosperity.

Canada is a great but underperforming country.  One could not currently divine such greatness from the quality of its political leadership, and the frightening fact is that in a democracy, we get the government we deserve.  The situation is not hopeless, but it is desperate.  Canada is full of justified hope but is in desperate need of inspired action.  This country was established as a Christian nation.  The source of the common law is found in Christianity, and voluntary submission to the Supremacy of God.  He gave His Ten Commandments first to the Hebrews, and later to the entire world.  Following them brings blessings, peace, prosperity, joy, and an ordered civil society; violating them brings tyranny, destruction, sorrow, and death.

God's law is religious and moral.  Morality is inseparable from law.  The Law reveals, establishes, and declares what is moral, just and right, applying equality to all of us.  No one is above the law.  The law discriminates between what is moral and immoral; right and wrong; good and bad; just from unjust; and most of all, truth from lies.  Any transgression of the law is an offense against God and society.  The law is an absolute immutable moral order to which we must conform.  Law must not submit to our sinful desires, since that invites chaos and evil.  God's word is truth, and so the law must express that truth.  

Canada's source of constitutional authority is the Supremacy of God, which ordains and establishes the Rule of Law.  When informed by the Supremacy of God, the Rule of Law defines life in a society governed by inherently just laws sourced from the Divine, whereby we submit and are obedient to the Supremacy of God.  It means to live in a free and democratic nation which honour's God's Commandments, abiding by absolute standards of morality, in a society characterized by wilful obedience to truth, justice, and righteousness.  

Absent the Supremacy of God, the Rule of Law has devolved into rule by law, or by force and will, just as in evil King John's time. The source of authority for rule by law is human reason divorced from morality.  Resulting laws reflect purely humanistic beliefs breeding totalitarianism, oppression, class and race conflict, identity politics, intolerance, and idolatrous self-love.  These collective beliefs are incompatible with freedom and democracy.  Here, there are no absolute standards of morality, but instead moral relativism and prejudice.  Christian morality is ridiculed and purged from law.  Inequality pervades society.  Legal fiction replaces truth, and so we live by lies.  God is no longer the source of law.  Extremist ideology embracing Marxist, WOKE ideology is now the driving force for social political and legal change.  

Canada has degenerated into a rule by law society.  God's laws, once entrenched in the common law and our courts,  have been replaced by the soulless rule of human philosophy and reason.  The Trudeau government's naked hostility to God and Judeo-Christian values and its adoption of an intolerant woke secular culture has persecuted Christians, silenced and oppressed dissidents, and the crushed our God given human rights.  

Those who do not believe in God may wonder why preservation of the Supremacy of God and restoration of the Rule of Law are essential to guaranteeing our freedoms and reversal of our national descent into tyranny.  The answer is simple:  freedom, equality, truth, and justice are foundational values derived from the Bible.  But for Christianity, there would be rampant racism, slavery, discrimination, loss of freedoms and rule by oppressive laws.  Christianity is the bedrock of Western civilization.  Its teachings and morals introduced the sanctity of human life, criminal laws against behaviour that violated God's commandments, and protected marriage and families from harm.  Christianity inspired art, music, literature, architecture, the calendar, public holidays, swearing of oaths to speak truth, even establishment of hospitals, charities, universities, and schools.  

If you support freedom and democracy, then pray for a Christian revival in this country; only such a miracle can restore Canada to a nation of just laws, of peace, order, and good government.

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