Above, Rick Green (L) speaks with Kirk Cameron in a Biblical Citizenship session.
June 2021 – After winning court battles in 2018 and 2019, Jack Phillips is being sued for a third time, all because he exercised his First Amendment rights again.
Readers may recognize Phillips as the “Colorado baker.” He owns a cake shop in Lakewood, Colorado, and he is now returning to court after refusing to bake a cake for a gender transition celebration.
The ongoing struggle of Phillips and his cake shop has implications that reach far beyond one person’s business. Understanding what rights Phillips is afforded under the Constitution will continue to be critical in the defense of his freedom.
That same understanding is absolutely imperative for each American, because if the constitutional rights of one person in Colorado can be challenged, so too can the rights of any American.
However, to defend said rights, one must first understand those rights.
“If you don’t know your freedoms, and you don’t live them, you lose them,” said Rick Green, founder of Patriot Academy, an organization that empowers individuals to make a difference in government. “When you know your rights, you will better perceive when they’re violated … and be better prepared to defend and serve them.”
Equipping people in the defense of their rights, Green and Patriot Academy have started a class titled Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
This free course is designed for groups or individuals and is offered both online and in-person at venues across the nation, teaching how one’s faith in God contributes and interacts with living as a citizen of the United States.
“It combines biblical worldview and constitutional citizenship,” Green told AFA Journal. “They work incredibly well together. There’s much of the Constitution that was based on specific Scriptures. If you’re teaching both, then society benefits so well. When you lose either one, everyone is harmed.”
Classes concerning government and the Constitution are often viewed as boring or tedious, but Green explains that his class is different.
“I wanted to make it entertaining and engaging and fun,” he said. “We really make it applicable to people’s lives but also entertaining while they’re going through it.”
Surely most Americans are aware the American Revolutionary War was fought in the late 18th century between American colonists and the armies of Great Britain. However, many are unaware that, around the same time period, the French were staging a revolution of their own. This historical coincidence provides an astonishing comparison between two nations and the differences in their foundations.
“America’s system is built on liberty from God, and therefore lived out respecting His authority,” said Green. “The French said, ‘We want freedom, we want liberty, but we don’t want God, and we don’t want religion.’ So it led to total chaos, and it did not work. The difference is they removed God from the equation.”
This comparison highlights the origins of American greatness, roots that citizens desperately need to remember today. However, the current state of American culture is one that has collectively disregarded what made America great in the first place.
“These rights do not come from the government,” Green explained. “They come from God, and that separates our system from other systems in history. If you have a freedom of religion or freedom of speech or freedom of assembly, but it’s given by government, then [the government] can take it away ... whenever they want based on anything that they want … whether it’s a virus or it’s a change in philosophy.”
Thankfully, these rights are not dependent on human institutions.
“If your freedom comes directly from God ... which is the way our Declaration described our whole system,” Green explained, “then the government is accountable to you, and your rights don’t change based on the winds, based on the fads of the day. Your rights are inherent because God gave them to you, and He doesn’t change.”
Unfortunately, the principle of God-given rights is missing from American classrooms.
“We are failing miserably as a nation on passing the torch of freedom to our kids,” said Green. “I don’t know of another nation in history that [teaches] its children to hate their own nation. Instead of teaching them what works to produce freedom, we just teach them to tear down the system.”
This makes the Biblical Citizenship in Modern America course all the more important, a course that has been warmly received by individuals all over the United States.
So far, roughly 220,000 people have completed the course, with thousands more currently enrolled. Additionally, Green reported the message is reaching beyond the normal conservative states.
“It’s [in] every state,” Green said of the class’s reach. “I think we’ve got coaches in every state now. I hear more from classes in California and Oregon and Washington. When I went to places like that, it was like a drink of cold water to a man in the desert. They ate it up and were excited … they were hungry for truth.”
This course is having a tremendous impact, not only on the historical and cultural knowledge of people across the nation, but on the actions and influence of those people in local government.
Green recounted that one individual in Nevada started leading his own class, and during the weeks the class was meeting, a local county commissioner seat came up for election.
“We need to run somebody for this!” the leader said.
“You should run!” the class responded.
“OK, but what are you going to do?” the leader asked.
Soon, members of the class began volunteering for positions such as finance chair, sign coordinator, etc.
“By the time it was over, they had the campaign team,” said Green. “They ran, he won, and now he’s a commissioner. So it all came out of that class where they had seen how the system works, [and] they realized there is hope … that you can take back our government and actually be good salt and light in that government.”
Biblical Citizenship in Modern America clearly produces citizens who are knowledgeable of their rights and are inspired to do something powerful with those rights.
This type of citizen is sorely needed in today’s America, a country where people are sued when they exercise their rights. Kristen Waggoner, Jack Phillips’ attorney, offered a stark reminder to fellow Americans who are watching Phillips repeatedly defend his freedom.
“Today it’s Jack,” said Waggoner. “Tomorrow it could be you.”
“We know God gave us a job to do,” said Green, “We’re supposed to rebuild the wall where we’re living. If we’re faithful where we’re planted, we can have joy in the process and know that we did our part, and we can leave the results to God.”
Patriots and more
Walker Wildmon, vice president of operations at AFA, attended a Patriot Academy student conference as a youth. He bears a powerful testimony concerning the instruction and training he received:
Each year, Patriot Academy is training hundreds of students in the Constitution and how to defend biblical values in the public square. The Academy helped me grow in my knowledge of our Founding Fathers, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without Rick Green and the entire Patriot Academy team.
Learn more about how to attend or lead a Biblical Citizenship in Modern America class or other Patriot Academy events at biblicalcitizens.com or patriotacademy.com.