Misguided Patriots Sentenced to Prison
May 30, 2013
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
Jan. 6
The federal government is coming down hard on some of those who rallied to Donald Trump’s call to action on January 6, 2021, after Joe Biden was proclaimed president. Of the hundreds who have been arrested so far (authorities are still searching for another 220), about 47% have received criminal sentences (“What Happened to the Jan. 6 Rioters?” Time, May 26, 2023).

The average sentence so far is 60 days. Many received home detention, fines, community service, and probation.

But some are receiving severe sentences in federal prisons. Stuart Rhodes, 58, founder of the Oath Keepers militia, was sentenced to 18 years for “seditious conspiracy.” Rhodes is a Yale law graduate and a former Army paratrooper. Three other members of Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs, Jessica Watkins, and Kenneth Harrelson, have received sentences of 12 years, 8.5 years and 4 years. Peter Schwartz was sentenced to 14 years. He threw a folding chair at police, seized a police duffle bag filled with pepper-spray canisters and distributed them to others in the mob, who turned them on the law enforcers. Calling himself “Patriot Pete,” Schwartz used Facebook to call the November 6 action the “opening of a war.” Thomas Webster, a Marine veteran and former New York City police officer, was sentenced to 10 years for swinging a metal flagpole at police and tackling an officer and yanking off his gas mask. Cosper Head was sentenced to 7.5 years for grabbing a police officer around the neck and pulling him into the mob, where he was beaten, kicked, robbed of his badge and radio, and shocked with a stun gun. Many others have received multi-year sentences.

Altogether, 14 men and women have been convicted of “seditious conspiracy.” If they are truly guilty of such a thing, it appears that they were incredibly inapt at the job. Jessica Watkins told the judge that she was “just another idiot running around the Capitol” on Jan. 6, and that sounds about right for all of them.

I have no sympathy with those who fought with police and entered the Senate building, and many did.

At the same time, for the most part, these are true patriots who love traditional America and are deeply frustrated with what is happening to the nation.

Further, this is not “blind” justice from a government that largely ignored the true mayhem and “seditious conspiracy” committed by Antifa, et al, in the months prior.

There is no doubt that there is widespread corruption in the U.S. government and that there is a “deep state” that is committed to transforming old America into a new America. The question is what is the true cause of it, what
can be done about it, and what should be done about it. (See “Two Americas: The Old and the New,” https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/two_americas.php

I believe the Jan. 6 patriots are misguided in multiple ways, and I will mention two.

First, the Jan. 6 patriots don’t know the spiritual fundamentals. America’s root problem is not political or governmental, it is spiritual. The root problem is the apostasy of the churches and the rejection of God’s Word by a foolish nation. The problem is not merely the removal of the Bible from the public schools. It is the removal of the Bible from the churches, in practice, and from the hearts of the citizens. “... they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jeremiah 8:9). The average “Christian” American has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof, which is the infallible Bible and supernatural salvation and a holy, pilgrim lifestyle.

America’s irrational Leftism and Wokism is a judgment of God on a wicked nation; it is a sign of the end times; and it cannot be defeated with carnal weapons like guns and social media rants and militia rallies.

There is plenty that God’s people can do to change America, but it requires focusing on turning the churches to truth and godliness and away from biblical shallowness and worldliness. It requires focusing on building godly homes and raising a godly seed for Christ (Malachi 2:15). It requires focusing on regeneration and holiness and obedience to God rather than carnal anger and boasting. It requires focusing on sound biblical education.

Second, the Jan. 6 patriots don’t know the times. Bible prophecy, the only sure light in the present darkness, tells us that we are at the end of the church age, a time when the “mystery of iniquity” is operating in high gear, preparing for the rise of the “man of sin.” The prophesied global apostasy is in full bloom (Psalm 2:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:1-13; 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 3:3-7). The sign of Sodom is everywhere (Luke 17:26-30). The Rapture is at hand (1 Peter 4:7).

It is Great Commission time. Jesus Christ promised to be with the missionary churches to “the end of the world,” or age (Matthew 28:18-20). That’s exactly where we are. It is time for biblical churches to be more passionate about Christ’s business than ever before, because soon it will be too late. It is time to stop playing church. It is time for fathers to rise up and be the spiritual heads of their homes and for mothers to rise up and be the keepers of the home that God commands them to be. It is time for pastors to stop being content to lead lukewarm, worldly congregations, when it is clear that God hates such a thing (James 4:4; Revelation 3:1-3, 15-16).

The Jan. 6 patriots are like Josiah of old. When the king of Egypt came through Israel’s land on the way to Mesopotamia in the north, Josiah went out against him with an army, though he was warned not to do so (2 Chronicles 35:20-25). At the time, Josiah was leading a spiritual revival. He sincerely thought it was right to fight pharaoh, Israel’s age-old enemy. But he was sincerely wrong, and he died prematurely, unnecessarily, thus ending his own life and the revival that he was leading.

Josiah should have left pharaoh alone and focused on the revival. It might have stayed God’s hand of judgment for a later time.

But it wasn’t to be, because even good men can make terrible mistakes when they follow their own thinking and emotions rather than God’s Word.

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