Martial Law or Jubilee, You Decide!

-4bb3e8c9e317ebebHundreds of years ago these United States of America set into effect a form of government with a capability to declare Martial Law in extreme circumstances. Since then, the Supreme Court has determined that either the President of the United States, Congress, or governors in regard to their individual states may declare variations of martial law. Of those and according to www.encyclopedia.com “Congress has never declared martial law. However, at the outset of the Civil War, in July 1861, Congress ratified most of the martial law measures declared by President Abraham Lincoln. Its martial law declaration gave the Union military forces the authority to arrest persons and conduct trials.” Once instituted, civil rights and or habeas corpus are suspended. Specifically, Constitutional freedoms and liberties are suspended, and civilians are no longer entitled to the rights they enjoy. Basically, once imposed it allows the enforcing entity to shred the Constitutional right of individuals and impose its own will through military force.

Read this to mean, given the current direction of affairs in America that martial law is an option. One way that would or could become a reality is by federalizing the state, county, and city police forces. By the way, federalizing these groups has recently been brought up as an option for holding police officers more accountable in light of recent shootings. This would be a back door method to set the stage for eventual martial law. Think of it, a method of military enforcement that excludes individual civil law and habeas corpus. Effectively, the second and third order effects of our current state of affairs could lead to perhaps the broadest application of martial law and in effect the broadest revocation of personal liberty.

Therefore, groups who continue to destabilize, kill, and go after innocent civilians, local, state, and federal authorities are creating a lose/lose scenario. Granted, previous incidents of partial enactment of martial law were brief. The longest was put in place by Abraham Lincoln and lasted for nearly two years. What is the answer? We are then left to actually resolve our issues as a people and as a nation. Words like “unite”, “reconciliation”, and “forgiveness” comes to mind and President Obama called for similar narratives from here forward after the events in Baton Rouge.

Jubilee3Are there examples of similar societal recoveries in history or measures put in place by governments to prevent events like we are experiencing today? YES! One example is found in Israel. We could learn a great deal from our Biblical forefathers about unity, reconciliation, and forgiveness. In the Hebrew tradition, there was an event called the “Year of Jubilee”. It was held every 49-50 years according to the Hebrew calendar. In that tradition, Jubilee was mainly focused on land grievances and crop disputes but because agriculture was the staple of economy back then and the basis for relations with your neighbors the level of unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation that it ensued during that year was nothing short of incredible. During that year, debts were forgiven, slaves were freed, land was returned, possessions were restored, and more importantly everyone went home to their home town. They were called nationally to Jubilee. (Leviticus 25:8-13) Not only were they called to Jubilee but it was considered a holy time marked by a single shofar blast or shout for joy. Overall, it was understood as a time for freedom and liberty.

We must instill nationally a method of Jubilee. It need not be every seven years or every 50 years. It only need be what we make it but it must be made with ALL in mind. At some point, we must realize that we as a people are worth more than the sum of our parts.

Mine is a suggestion, a way. Whatever we do or decide it needs to be quick and we must recognize that the second and third order effects of our current direction only lead to more despair. I don’t know about you, but Jubilee sounds a whole lot better than the alternative.

Let’s hold each other accountable and petition for a YEAR of JUBILEE.

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.