DID YOU SWEAR AN OATH OF SERVITUDE AND BONDAGE?

From Paycheck Piracy

The tradesmen got even angrier! They had already left the Church Of England. But with every new “reformed” Church still opposing the clear words of Christ, there was no church for them to join – or found. They exercised the right of assembly to discuss the Bible. Some of them preached it on the street corners, using their right of freedom of speech. But they couldn’t establish a church, which followed Jesus’ words, for that would have required assent to that treaty, which opposed what Jesus had commanded. To show their absolute displeasure with those who’d kept this secret for so long, they refused to give anyone in Church or State any respect. It was the custom to doff one’s hat when he encountered a Priest or Official. They started wearing big ugly black hats, just so that the most myopic of these claimed “Superiors,” wouldn’t miss the fact that the hat stayed atop their head. Back then the term “You” was formal English, reserved for use when speaking to a Superior. “Thee” was the familiar pronoun used among family and friends. So they called these officials only by the familiar pronoun “thee” or by their Christian names, “George, Peter, Robert, etc.” We call these folk “Quakers.” That was a nickname given to them by a Judge. One of them had told the Judge that he’d better “Quake before the Lord, God almighty.” The Judge, in a display of irreverent disrespect replied, “Thee are the quaker here.” They found that pretty funny, it being such a total misnomer (as you shall soon see), and the nickname stuck.

With the huge membership losses from the Anglican Church – especially from men who’d been the more charitable to it in the past – the Church was technically bankrupt. It wasn’t just the losses from the Quakers. Other people were leaving to join the new “Reformed Churches.” Elsewhere in Europe, the Roman Church had amassed sufficient assets to weather this storm. The far newer Anglican Church had not. But the Anglican Church, as an agency of the State, can’t go bankrupt. It becomes the duty of the state to support it in hard times. Parliament did so. It enacted a Tax to that end. A nice Religious Tax, and by current standards a very low tax, a tithe (10%). But it made a deadly mistake in that. The Quakers, primarily tradesmen, recognized this (Income) Tax as a Tax “without Jurisdiction,” at least so far as they went. As men un-sworn and un-allieged, they pointed out that they didn’t have to pay it, nor provide a return. Absent their Oaths establishing this servitude, there was “no Jurisdiction.” And they were right. Despite written laws making it a crime to willfully refuse to make a return and pay this Tax, NONE were charged or arrested.

That caused the rest of the society to take notice. Other folk who’d thought the Quakers were “extremists” suddenly began to listen to them. As always, money talks. These guys were keeping all they earned, while the rest of the un-sworn society, thinking this Tax applied to them, well; they were out 10%. The Quaker movement expanded significantly, that proof once made in the marketplace.

Membership in the Anglican Church fell even further, as did charity to it. The Taxes weren’t enough to offset these further losses. The tithe (Income) Tax was actually counter-productive to the goal of supporting the Church. The members of the Government and the Churchmen were scared silly. If this movement continued to expand at the current rate, no one in the next generation would swear an Oath. Who’d then farm the lands of the Nobility? Oh, surely someone would, but not as a servant working for subsistence. The
land would need to be leased under a contract, with the payment for that use established in the market, not on the unilateral whim of the Nobleman. The wealth of the Nobility, their incomes, was about to be greatly diminished. And the Church of England, what assets it possessed, would need to be sold-off, with what remained of that Church greatly reduced in power and wealth. But far worse was the diminishment of the respect demanded by the Priests and Officials. They’d always held a position of Superiority in the society. What would they do when all of society treated them only as equals?

They began to use the term “anarchy.” But England was a Monarchy, not an anarchy. And that was the ultimate solution to the problem, or so those in Government thought. There’s an aspect of a Monarchy that Americans find somewhat incomprehensible, or at least we did two centuries ago. A Crown has divine Right, or at least it so claims. An expression of the divine Right of a Crown is the power to rule by demand. A Crown can issue commands. The King says, “jump.” Everyone jumps. Why do they jump? Simple. It’s labeled a crime to NOT jump. To “willfully fail (hey, there’s a couple of familiar terms) to obey a Crown command” is considered to be a treason, high treason. The British Crown issued a Crown Command to end the Tax objection movement.

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