Saturday, October 31, 2020

Democracy Is a Curse and a Republic Is the Cure

Demos is the Greek word for "people" and cratos is the Greek word for "power."

For the United States to become ruled by a majority opinion of the people rather than the Constitution and its stated objective to protect inalienable rights - rights that are granted and guaranteed to every individual by God, not the government - was the greatest fear of our Founding Fathers. 

The way the Founders thought regarding democracy is completely foreign to most Americans today. When I explained the dangers of democracy from the Founding Father's perspective on my Facebook page this week, I literally had a man curse the Founders (and me) using the most vulgar language possible. 

The only thing truly cursed, however, is pure democracy. And the only cure is a representative Republic. The Constitution of the United States - and full adherence to it - is the only thing that protects liberty from disappearing in the United States. 

If you are feeling more oppressed today than ever as an American citizen, it is no accident. 

Democracy is the worst form of tyranny. The majority can oppress, shame, denigrate, and restrict any minority they choose, whether it be religious, intellectual, cultural, or political.

The Republic of the United States is a nation where the Constitution guarantees liberty for all people - even those in the minority - and it is the best form of government. Read carefully what Founding Fathers Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton wrote about the dangers of democracy:
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.” Thomas Jefferson

"Democracies ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been incompatible with personal security or the rights of property, and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” James Madison

"Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments, If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy or some other form of a dictatorship.” Alexandar Hamilton

 The Founding Fathers were very intentional in setting up a Republic, not a democracy.

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands..."

The Founding Fathers established the Electoral College to ensure that an individual elected to the presidency doesn’t only have the support of the population-heavy coasts, but broad support throughout the entire country. 

The Electoral College is hated by a majority when their candidate is not elected because they don't understand the dangers of majority rule like our Founders did.

The Founding Fathers went further in their protection against democracy by establishing the United States Senate to reflect non-democratic ideas.  Each state is represented equally in the Senate, irrespective of population, size, or prestige in order to place in check democratic extremes.  

Pure democracy, the Founders believed, must be avoided like the plague. 

The establishment of the Supreme Court is the best example of the Founding Father's fear of democracy.

The Supreme Court is the least democratic institution of all. The court’s members are given lifetime appointments by presidents elected via the Electoral College, subject to no democratic oversight or elections. Justices are called upon to decide cases and controversies according to what the law demands, not according to their personal preferences or the passions and prejudices of the electorate.

The desire to "pack the Court" to more reflect "the will of the people" will be the downfall of the Republic. It will be come the final nail in the coffin for the downfall of the Republic and the rise of dangerous democracy. 

Abraham Lincoln gave an 1856 speech: and said:
“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles.”

It is interesting to note that Communists worldwide have dropped the term "communism" in favor of its perfect synonym - democracy. 

Aristotle first pointed out how democracy - the power of the majority - leads to tyranny. "It is just as easy," said Aristotle, "for a majority to become a despot as it is for a monarch to become a tyrant. Further, it is possible for a tyrant to be benevolent (good) and for democratic despotism to be malevolent (evil). "

Evil has arrived in America. 

Plato believed the general populace to be "shiftless and flighty".
"Sometimes he drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times, he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he’s idle and neglects everything; and sometimes he even occupies himself with what he takes to be philosophy."
But what about "All men are created equal"? Does that not mean that majority should always rule over the minority? 

No. Not at all.
"To understand the statement of the Founding Fathers that all men are “created equal” we must look at it in the light of their own daily practice, which was worlds removed from the equality postulated by the French Revolution. They were as a body, believing men. Human equality consisted for them in the creation of all men by God, their equal redemption and final judgment, together with the consequent dignity of the human person and the rights assured to individuals and families by the natural law. But as for human society itself, they frankly recognized it as composed of unequal elements and sought their political solution in a Representative Republic. It is that form of government which still remains to us, despite the persistent efforts of those who have been carrying on the termite work of weakening its wisely planned and powerful supports. Under such circumstances there is need of watchfulness and enlightened patriotism."(Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Erik. Menace of the Herd or Procrustes at Large . Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition).

What is at stake this Tuesday in our election? 

The Supreme Court.

The Constitution. 

The Electoral College.

The future of America. 

The Tyranny of the Culture vs. the Liberty of the Constitution.

The Republic itself. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

I Vote for the Platform that Respects God-Given Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Private Property

I am a liberal. 

At least that's what some of the leaders of the Christian denomination to which I belong say about me. 

They say that I am a liberal. But as is the case with every obloquy, context is everything. 

I believe in the veracity (truthfulness) of the Bible.

Because of my trust in Scripture, I believe in the equality of men and women. I believe the Bible teaches that leadership in the church and society should be based on character and gifting and not color or gender. I believe that every human being is created in the image of God and there is only one race - the human race - and the color of one's skin never defines the worth of one's soul. I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.

If that is a liberal, then I welcome the label.

But now I will explain to you why I will be voting for the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

This post will upset my political liberal friends, but I only wish for them to see that this 2020 election is an issue of morality for me. As a Christian pastor, I am obligated to speak on issues of morality.

I will vote for the platform of a party, not the Presidential candidate of a party. 

The Republican Platform protects life

"We oppose the use of public funds to promote abortion or to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare." (p. 13)

The Democratic Platform promotes death:

"We believe every woman should be able to access... safe and legal abortion." (p. 42) 

The Republican Platform protects liberty:

"Every violation of state sovereignty by federal officials is not merely a transgression of one unit of government against another, it is an assault on the liberties of individual Americans." (p. 15). 

The Democratic Platform promotes tyranny:

"Democrats will act swiftly to stand up a comprehensive, national public health surveillance program for COVID-19 and future infectious diseases. We will recruit at least 100,000 contact tracers with support from trusted local organizations in the communities most at risk to help state and local health departments use culturally competent approaches to identify people at risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus." (p. 10). 

 The Republican Platform promotes capitalism:

"A central reason why the 20th century came to be called the American Century was the ability of individuals to invent and create in a land of free markets. Back then they were called risk-takers, dreamers, and small business owners. Their enterprise is the lifeblood of our economy." (p. 6)

The Democratic Platform promotes socialism

"Our economy was rigged against working families and the middle class even before the novel coronavirus sickened millions and killed more than 150,000 Americans and counting. Working families’ incomes have been largely stagnant for decades, while the cost of basic needs—from housing to health care, higher education to child care—keep rising at precipitous rates. Meanwhile, the rich have been capturing a larger and larger share of the economic pie... That is why Democrats commit to forging a new social and economic contract with the American people—a contract that invests in the people and promotes shared prosperity." (pgs. 13-14).

For all of you who wonder how a so-called "liberal" Christian can vote for the Presidential candidate of the Republican party, I'm giving you the answer.

I pay attention to the principles of the platform upon which the different Presidential candidate stands. 

To me, this election is a moral issue. 

God, the Creator of mankind, gives to us certain "unalienable rights," and any political platform that takes away "life," "liberty," or the "pursuit of property (happiness)" is attempting to steal only what God can bestow. 

To all my millennial friends out there, take this post as a fair warning. 

When you forget that unalienable rights are bestowed by the Creator and not the government, when you start stealing what is not yours, when you take the lives of human beings that you didn't create, and when you demand conformity of all people rather than giving liberty to each individual, then you've begun betraying the principles upon which America was founded. 

That's why this liberal will always vote for a platform, not a candidate. 

The rule of law and government by Judeo-Christian principles is the American way. An immoral society will lead to immoral behavior. I'll not vote for an immoral platform. 

The ultimate end of socialism

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Leftism/Nazism: The Sacred Principle of Sameness

Political leftism destroys personal liberty. How is that possible, you ask? do you believe that leftism/liberalism gives more freedom, not less? 

You are mistaken. Here's why. 

The sacred principle of sameness is the standard of leftism.

For example, the Nazis of Germany during World War II were socialists. Leftism was their political philosophy. Some cannot comprehend how Nazism (The National Socialist German Workers' Party) was leftism on parade. In fact, liberals today do everything in their power to convince you that Nazism isn't socialism, a position that is in complete denial of the Nazi name and platform. The Nazi platform stated:
"We demand that the State shall make its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals (non-citizens) must be deported
LEFTISM is a book written by Dr. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909-1999). Erik was a polymath intellectual and the leading historian of the Nazis. Take the time to read, digest, and comprehend the following concise summary of Dr. Kuehnelt-Leddihn's position. Your personal liberty is at stake:
"When a government demands identically dressed men or women carry out identical movements, the nation gives the overpowering impression of homogeneity, synchronization, symmetry, and uniformity.
Thus, a leftist identity movement tends toward the effacement of self (e.g. "the individual") and towards nostrism (e.g. "USness"). In nostrism, the individual becomes submerged in the whole. "We're all in this together."

Nostrism was the term created by the Austrian Nazi Walter Pembaur (1886-1948). The Nazis used nostrism in a clever way. 'Whoever praises and extolls the collective unit in which he participates (the German nation, the Aryian race, the working class, the Nazi party) only praises himself."

The nonconforming person or group who sins against the SACRED PRINCIPLE of SAMENESS will always be treated as a traitor, and if he is not a traitor the envious majority will push him in that direction through social shaming. All leftist identity movements take a stand for sameness and oppose otherness. All modern liberal trends point to the specter of a terrifying, bigger and more pitiless conformity.

To the simple-minded, identical laws, identical measurements, an identical language, an identical currency, an identical education, an identical political power ("one-man-one-vote"), identical pay rates, an identical intellectual level, and identical clothes (or coverings) seem highly desirable. It simplifies matters. It is cheaper. It saves thinking. To certain minds it even seems 'more just.'"

Political leftism destroys personal liberty. I would thoroughly subscribe to the words of Alexis de Tocqueville when he wrote, "Despotism appears to me particularly to be dreaded in democratic ages. I think that I would have loved liberty at all times, but in the present age I am ready to worship it."

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Good Deeds May Be Repaid with Evil in This Life

A Doolittle Raider headed to Tokyo, Japan
I am researching the life of John Birch, a Baptist missionary in China who was assassinated by communists on August 25, 1945, just days after the end of World War II. Some call Birch the first victim of the impending World War III

During my research, I discovered that Birch providentially met Lt. Col. James Doolittle on April 20, 1942, in China as the Doolittle Raiders attempted to escape Japanese-occupied China after crash landing their planes there on April 18, 1942. Col. Doolittle and his men had bombed Tokyo, the capital of the Japanese Empire, in retaliation for the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The improbable mission called Target Tokyo launched just a little over four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Raiders devasted Tokyo with their bombing run, and the Japanese became shocked and frightened that American B-25 bombers (sixteen of them) could reach Tokyo and bomb the city. It was a major victory for the American armed forces and it rallied the American people back home.

There were eighty Doolittle Raiders. All of them volunteered for the mission and knew that they did not carry enough fuel to return to the carriers from which they launched. They flew into the mission knowing they would have to crash land in China and somehow to make their way out, finding assistance from the Chinese people who did not like their Japanese invaders. \

Doolittle Raiders assisted by the Chinese

The Chinese people did help the American airmen.

They hid them in their homes. They fed them. They passed word ahead to family members in other Chinese villages that the Americans were coming. The Chinese were the ones who found John Birch and brought him to Doolittle. Birch served as an interpreter for the American soldiers until they safely exited Japanese-held territory. 

But the Chinese people paid dearly for their good deeds. 

James M. Scott, in his superb 2016 book Target Tokyo, highlights what the Japanese soldiers did to the Chinese people - men, women, and children - who assisted Doolittle and his men escape.

The Japanese marched into the walled city of Nancheng at dawn on the morning of June 11, beginning a reign of terror so horrendous that missionaries would later dub it “the Rape of Nancheng.” Soldiers rounded up 800 women and herded them into a storehouse outside the east gate. “For one month the Japanese remained in Nancheng, roaming the rubble-filled streets in loin clothes much of the time, drunk a good part of the time and always on the lookout for women,” wrote the Reverend Frederick McGuire. “The women and children who did not escape from Nancheng will long remember the Japanese—the women and girls because they were raped time after time by Japan’s imperial troops and are now ravaged by venereal disease, the children because they mourn their fathers who were slain in cold blood for the sake of the ‘new order’ in East Asia.”

At the end of the occupation, Japanese forces systematically destroyed the city of 50,000 residents. Teams stripped Nancheng of all radios, while others looted the hospitals of drugs and surgical instruments. Engineers not only wrecked the electrical plant but pulled up the railroad lines, shipping the iron out. A special incendiary squad started its operation on July 7 in the city’s southern section. “This planned burning was carried on for three days,” one Chinese newspaper reported, “and the city of Nancheng became charred earth.”

Over the summer, the Japanese laid waste to some 20,000 square miles. They looted towns and villages, then stole honey and scattered beehives. Soldiers devoured, drove away, or simply slaughtered thousands of oxen, pigs, and other farm animals; some wrecked vital irrigation systems and set crops on fire. They destroyed bridges, roads, and airfields. "Like a swarm of locusts, they left behind nothing but destruction and chaos,” wrote one eyewitness.

Those discovered to have helped the Doolittle raiders were tortured. In Nancheng, soldiers forced a group of men who had fed the airmen to eat feces before lining up ten of them for a “bullet contest” to see how many people a single bullet would pass through before it stopped. In Ihwang, Ma Eng-lin, who had welcomed injured pilot Harold Watson into his home, was wrapped in a blanket, tied to a chair and soaked in kerosene. Then soldiers forced his wife to torch him.

“Little did the Doolittle men realize,” the Reverend Charles Meeus later wrote, “that those same little gifts which they gave their rescuers in grateful acknowledgement of their hospitality— parachutes, gloves, nickels, dimes, cigarette packages—would, a few weeks later, become the telltale evidence of their presence and lead to the torture and death of their friends!”

Japan’s secret bacteriological warfare group, Unit 731, launched an operation to coincide with the withdrawal of Japanese troops from the region.

In what was known as land bacterial sabotage, troops would contaminate wells, rivers, and fields, hoping to sicken local villagers as well as the Chinese forces, which would no doubt move back in and reoccupy the border region as soon as the Japanese departed. Over the course of several meetings, Unit 731’s commanding officers debated the best bacteria to use, settling on plague, anthrax, cholera, typhoid, and paratyphoid, all of which would be spread via spray, fleas, and direct contamination of water sources. For the operation, almost 300 pounds of paratyphoid and anthrax germs were ordered.

Technicians filled peptone bottles with typhoid and paratyphoid bacteria, packaged them in boxes labeled “Water Supply,” and flew them to Nanking. Once in Nanking, workers transferred the bacteria to metal flasks—like those used for drinking water— and flew them into the target areas. Troops then tossed the flasks into wells, marshes, and homes. The Japanese also prepared 3,000 rolls, contaminated with typhoid and paratyphoid, and handed them to hungry Chinese prisoners of war, who were then released to go home and spread disease. Soldiers left another 400 biscuits infected with typhoid near fences, under trees, and around bivouac areas to make it appear as though retreating forces had left them behind, knowing hungry locals would devour them.

“After they had been caught unawares by the falling of American bombs on Tokyo, Japanese troops attacked the coastal areas of China, where many of the American fliers had landed,” Chiang Ka-Shek cabled to Washington. “These Japanese troops slaughtered every man, woman and child in those areas. Let me repeat—these Japanese troops slaughtered every man, woman and child in those areas.”

“They shot any man, woman, child, cow, hog, or just about anything that moved, They raped any woman from the ages of 10 – 65, and before burning the town they thoroughly looted it. None of the humans shot were buried either, but were left to lay on the ground to rot, along with the hogs and cows.”

It is estimated the Japanese soldiers killed between 250,000 to 500,000 Chinese in retaliation for the good deeds the Chinese gave the American Doolittle Raiders.
The story of the Chinese people and the Doolittle Raiders is a reminder to us all that doing what is right and honorable is often repaid with evil in this life. 

Do what you do in this life not because of the rewards you might receive while alive, but in anticipation of meeting the Creator who is by His very nature righteous and compassionate.

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Help Tim Price Publish The Original Pilgrim Book

Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. 

Pilgrim Painting by Mike Wimmer
Charles Studd (1860-1931),
 the author of the couplet above and a man best known as C.T. Studd, was the son of a wealthy English merchantman. Charles' father came to know Christ during a Dwight Moody evangelism crusade in London, and soon the entire Studd family became followers of Jesus.

C.T. Studd used income from his family business to fund his work as a Christian missionary to China. He later founded Heart of Africa Missions, which now operates under the name Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ (WEC International).  C.T. Studd knew that a life well spent meant sharing Christ with intent. 

In 2020, you have an opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through a book being published in America by my friend, author Tim Price. That book is entitled The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart.

Typically, authors earn their money from "royalties" or "advances." Tim, an author and a publisher himself, needs our financial help to get this book published because of two important reasons: 
1. Tim has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Tim had to quit his job because of the diagnosis, relocate to be near his adult children in western Nebraska. Tim is now working from his home to finish this project. He is doing great mentally and physically at this time, but the future is unknown to all but God. Publishers won't risk an advance. But people of faith will. use their resources to advance the Kingdom.  Tim has finished the manuscript in preparation to publish The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart. He is now working on the artwork.  If you could help Tim with a donation to his Go-Fund-Me account, you will be playing a significant role in the Kingdom's advancement in English-speaking countries as I will explain in a moment.  Tim is committed to recognize those who financially help him with this project. Again, any donation, no matter the amount - small or large - is an advancement of Christ's Kingdom because....
2. The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart is the Original Pilgrim story. Originally written in 1622 by John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) in Comenius' native Czech language, The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart remains the most read book in Czech literature to this day. Many people, including me, believe this book inspired  John Bunyan's 1678 classic The Pilgrim's Progress.  In the new Moravian Public Libraray in Brno, Czech Republic, a stone relief of The Labryinth of the World welcomes those who enter. 
The Pilgrim's Progress is an allegorical story of a Pilgrim on his sojourn through the world and how Pilgrim finally discovers how "the burden" on his shoulders (sin) can be removed by Christ. The nuggets of wisdom by John Bunyan found in Pilgrim's Progress include statements like, "What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it." 

The Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) wrote in his commentary on The Pilgrim's Progress, “Next to the Bible, the book I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire; and the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures.” Spurgeon wrote he loved Bunyan because Bunyan bled Bible.

John Amos Comenius' The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart is even better than The Pilgrim's Progress. Comenius' work has lagged in popularity among English-speaking peoples behind The Pilgrim's Progress because Bunyan wrote his allegory in English and Comenius' wrote his original pilgrim story in Czech and pictorial illustrations in Comenius' work were absent. 

Tim Price is solving that problem. He is updating The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart into a better English version and adding vivid illustrations to the book. And you can be a part of Tim's effort to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ through allegory. 

Go to OriginalPilgrim.Com to help. 

In this video below, I tell you a little more about Tim and the project.

In this next video, Tim gives information about the various reward levels for donations to this project.

In this video, Tim explains how he became interested in this project.

Thank you, friends, for your consideration. 


Friday, October 09, 2020

The True Size of the USA Is Smaller Than We Think

Below is a map of the United States superimposed over Africa. The website True Size allows you to move countries and position them over other countries (or continents) to see the true geographical size of nations.

One of the dangers of self-absorption is the inflated view of oneself and the inability to see reality objectively. The United States has a self-absorbed culture. This little map might humble us enough to see that we Americans don't wear as big of britches on the world stage as we might think.
"I the LORD bring down the tall tree and I exalt the low tree." (Ezekiel 17:24).

Trees are often used as metaphors of people in Scripture. God's purpose for the people of any nation is to humble them so that they will trust in Him and not their industry, their money, or their power.  Let's keep our perspective. The world doesn't revolve around us, but the world does revolve around the LORD, the Creator of the universe, and the Giver of life. Trust Him.

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

A Personalized Bible Is a Great Gift for Loved Ones

Wade's study Bible from
For regular readers of my blog, you know I've lamented often over the dearth of Biblical knowledge in the United States. Americans used to be able to speak the same language, full of references from the Scriptures. Every citizen of the United States had at least a general knowledge of what the Bible teaches. 

No more. 

When the #1 song in America is the obscene, profane, and sexually explicit song called WAP, the Bible is the last thing Americans, especially millennials, have read or want to read.

That's why I have a suggestion for you.

Send to those that you love a personalized Bible from

When the Word of God arrives with your loved one's name embossed on the front cover, it's like the LORD is calling your loved one to read His Word.

I received my study Bible yesterday. I teach and read from the New American Standard Bible, but has all the major translations and all the colors and bindings (leather, soft, hardback, etc.) you'd find in a major Christian bookstore. 

Ordering is fast, easy, and efficient. Open an account at and start sending gifts that have eternal meaning! 

Wade Burleson's embossed Bible from

Thursday, October 01, 2020

"John Childers' Soul Has Gone to Hell --"

"Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen." George Savile

As promised, I will tell you the story of a man named John Childers and the judgment that comes to those who mock God and His commandments. 

On Friday, August 15, 1873, the United States government hanged John Childers in Fort Smith, Arkansas. 

In an age of "social justice" when Americans seem concerned about oppression and injustice, but pay little attention to crimes committed, even releasing criminals "without bail," we're due for a good reminder that ultimate justice is in the hands of Almighty God. To flaunt His moral code is to jeopardize your existence.

The following is excerpted from Glenn Shirley's superb 1957 book Law West of Fort Smith: A History of Frontier Justice in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) 1834-1896.

Deputy United States Marshal James Messler adjusted the noose about the prisoner's neck. He placed the big knot under the left ear in the hollow just back of the jawbone and took up the slack. Then, mopping huge drops of perspiration from his forehead with a soiled bandanna, he stared down the thirteen steps at the two thousand sweating sight-seers who packed the jail yard inside the grim stone walls of abandoned Fort Smith.

It was the afternoon of August 15, 1873. The sun boiled down. There was not even a tiny stir of breeze. The sky was clear except for a small black cloud coming up in the southwest. It crossed the Arkansas River, and as Messler adjusted the noose, seemed to pause and hover over the scene. 

The crowd waited. 

The prisoner was John Childers. He was strong, of muscular build, five feet eleven inches in height, and twenty-four-years old. He had been born in cowskin Creek in the Cherokee nation to a white man and a Cherokee woman. He had spent his childhood in wickedness, and at the time of his arrest for murder, a crime so cold-blooded and vicious, scarcely one among the many assembled could not recite the revolting details. 

On the morning of October 14, 1870, Childers met an old man named Reyburn Wedding. The old man made his living trading with the Indians, and Childers came across him near Caney Creek below the Kansas line in the Cherokee Nation. Reyburn drove his wagon with a fine black horse that caught Childer's fancy, and the outlaw began dickering for a trade. Reyburn Wedding declined the offer, saying he was not interested in parting with the animal and drove on. 

Childers' face darkened. Deciding to have the horse at any cost, he spurred his poney ahead, overtaking the peddler. Hitching his mount to the tailgate of the wagon, he climbed into the seat beside the old man. 

According to testimony developed later at the trial, Childers' bargained for the horse twenty-seven times, and twenty-seven times Wedding refused. Finally, Childers seized the surprised trader by the head, whipped a long knife from his belt, and before Wedding could move to defend himself, stretched the old man across the back of the seat and slashed his throat from ear to ear. Then the outlaw dumped the body in the water, stripped the harness from the horse he coveted, and rode away. 

Deputy Marshals of the United States government eventually captured John Childers in Indian Territory, transporting him to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where Judge Isaac Parker sentenced him to die by hanging on August 15, 1873. 

Behind Childers on the newly erected gallows stood a guard of six deputies headed by Marshal John Sarber. Sarber asked the convicted horse thief and murderer, "Are there any last words you wish to say, Childers?" 

The killer tossed away his cigar, and for the first time since his capture, he appeared disturbed. "Didn't you say you were going to hang me?" 

"Yes," Sarber replied.

"Then," Childers responded cooly, "why in the hell don't you." 

The marshal buckled Childers' hands to his sides. The black hood was placed over the killer's face and adjusted. Then the marshal gave the signal. The assigned deputy released the bolt and John Childers' neck tilted curiously to one side as he shot to the end of the rope. 

And at exactly that same moment a remarkable thing happened. 

As the door fell from under Childers' feet, a tremendous clap of thunder shook the earth of the enclosure, drowning completely the thudding noise of the cumbrous trap. The black cloud hanging above the fort had seemed innocent enough. From it now shot a bolt of lightning. It struck the frame of the gibbet, shooting a thousand tiny sparks into the air. 

"John Childers' soul has gone to hell -- I done heerd de chains a-clankin'!" screamed an ashen-faced Negro woman as she hysterically waved her arms and swooned in the center of the throng. Then the cloud burst open and for several minutes rain poured down, soaking the bewildered crowd.

None present could ever deny the startling phenomenon that attended the execution. The entire proceedings -- the grim ritual on the scaffold, the celestial detonation, the pyrotechnics, and sudden drenching -- filled the spectators with awe. 

People who witnessed it shuddered with fear, and those who had come to mock and jeer at the law never again attempted to explain away what they witnessed.

John Childers' soul had gone to hell.

The Leavenworth Times (Kansas) Front Page Report on John Childers' Execution in Fort Smith