Is Secession the Best Way Forward?

Secession may be the most peaceful, humane means of achieving societal harmony, and it does not have to involve violence.

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Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) made headlines recently by making a case for “national divorce.”

The phrase “national divorce” is a euphemism for secession, the process by which a political entity or entities, such as a state or portions thereof, voluntarily withdraw from a larger political entity or union. Ideally, this would be accomplished via nonviolent means.

What was Taylor Greene’s motivation? Certainly, the behavior of the federal government is a big motivator. Our general government is fiscally reckless: taxes and spending are out of control, and the upward trajectory for both are frightening. The federal court system believes it has the power to overturn legitimately passed state laws and tends to legislate from the bench. Treasure and blood are spilled in the pursuit of forever wars.

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Politics has been weaponized. It is no longer the norm to have respectful disagreements; political opponents must be demonized and destroyed. Finally, the limits imposed by the U.S. Constitution on the general government are largely ignored.

But the primary reason is the culture war. Christians who abhor abortion, believe in marriage as between one man and one woman, and oppose the sexualization of everything—especially children, are finding it increasingly difficult to have their views respected and to live their lives without harassment from the state. 

Let’s face it, the Left has already won the culture war. The most vocal ideological component of the Left, the LGBTQIA+ cult, is now almost universally embraced and “affirmed” by all of the country’s major institutions, including the federal and many state governments, Hollywood, academia, Corporate America, professional sports, and most forms of media.

Christians are routinely persecuted for not showing allegiance to the LGBTQIA+ cult and transgenderism in particular. Opponents are canceled, doxed, deplatformed on social media, marginalized, and have increasingly come under violent attack.

Witness the recent violence against former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who was invited to speak at San Francisco State University. Her topic was the right of women athletes to not have to compete with men and have men share their locker-room facilities. Despite this entirely reasonable (and sane) position, Gaines was assaulted and essentially kidnapped by student thugs who adhere to the transgender cult. To further the outrage, police refused to criminally charge the students involved.

The message is clear: it is not a crime to assault individuals who speak out against this madness.

The Biden Administration has made it quite apparent that it is all-in behind this movement and will do absolutely nothing to address the growing violent threat to Christians. Of particular note, Catholic churches and faith-based pregnancy resource centers have increasingly come under attack without much of a response from the Department of Justice. Sadly, the USCCB has been largely silent and has refused to demand law enforcement hold those responsible accountable.

Faithful Christians now fight a guerilla effort to gradually push back against the onslaught of a tyrannical, authoritarian, and godless Left.

The country is being torn apart. There is little to no common ground with these people. In many cases, they would rather see us dead than peacefully accept our disagreements and our desire to protect children from radical transgender ideology.

So, what to do about it?

Secession is one possible solution that should be seriously considered.

Modernly, secessionist movements have been observed in many parts of the world, including Catalonia (Spain), Quebec (Canada), and Scotland (United Kingdom). England’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) is one of the most prominent examples of actual secession in recent memory.

Secession in the United States is largely condemned on the Left but also by many on the Right as “treason.” It is also often equated with “racist” or “white supremacist” thinking. Despite this, secession movements in Vermont, Texas, California, and western Oregon/Idaho have emerged in recent years.

The genesis of secession-as-treason is unmistakably tied to the formal secession of eleven southern states from the United States of America to form the Confederate States of America (CSA) in 1861. This action eventually led to the War for Southern Independence (note: I reject the use of the title Civil War because the CSA had no intention of overthrowing the United States government. Thus, the conflict does not meet the definition of a civil war).

After the war, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in the landmark case Texas v. White (1869), that unilateral state secession was illegal. Abraham Lincoln needed this decision to justify his illegal invasion of the sovereign CSA. However, the war did not settle the issue; violence does not decide legal matters.

In the late 19th century, socialist minister Francis Bellamy penned the Pledge of Allegiance. Generations of Americans have recited a revised version of the pledge, believing we are “one nation, indivisible.”

Nonsense. The U.S. is a federal republic. The states made the federal government, not the other way around. If a state could accede to the union, doesn’t it make sense that a state could withdraw if the union was no longer of benefit to the state’s citizens? After all, the American union is not a covenant with God. It is not a permanent arrangement and was never debated as indissoluble. It is historical fact that the union would have never come into existence if states thought they couldn’t leave.  

As humans, we have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, we have the ability to freely determine our political status and pursue our economic, social, and cultural desires without state interference.

Secession may be the most peaceful, humane means of achieving societal harmony, and it does not have to involve violence.

Secession is not a perfect solution by any means, and it would not be easy to pull off. In fact, it would probably be quite painful, as there are so many difficult and contentious issues to work out—such as the obligation for the accumulated federal debt, Social Security, Medicare, and so on. Almost every state is addicted to cash from the federal government, and most will be unwilling to forsake federal programs that have wide and deep constituencies.

The difficulty of secession doesn’t mean we shouldn’t begin a serious discussion of the possibility and start figuring out how to untangle the multitude of relationships with the federal government.  The difficulty of secession doesn’t mean we shouldn’t begin a serious discussion of the possibility and start figuring out how to untangle the multitude of relationships with the federal government. Tweet This

What may be required is for a “blue” liberal state such as California or a group of blue states (such as New England) to seek secession before any “red” conservative states, such as Texas, attempt to leave the union. Red states who seek secession will be accused of doing so for nefarious reasons, but not so blue states.

In fact, the state of California has a rich secession/partition history. A division of the state into smaller parts or separation as a whole may be the best hope to give the process legitimacy. Any attempt by the Left in California to secede should be enthusiastically embraced by those on the Right.

Secession is not the only way. Other decentralizing solutions do exist.

Probably the least-disruptive solution is to abide by the U.S. Constitution as written. We know the political class in Washington, D.C., will never limit its own power. But our original system of federalism was well designed to allow most contentious issues to be settled locally; we must stop making every routine problem of life a national issue requiring national solutions. One size does not fit all in a republic of some 325 million people with myriad interests and cultural norms.

In our federal system, states have vast powers. State legislatures need to stop feeding at the trough of the federal treasury. Nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and rules needs to be used more aggressively to protect states’ authority and interests. It is being done now. For example, many states no longer assist the federal government in enforcing federal laws restricting private firearm use or the consumption of marijuana. The Covid pandemic clearly demonstrated that state governors have considerable power, and decrees from the federal government can be simply ignored if they trample on rights retained by the states.

Another possibility is the creation of an Article V convention. Article V of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to call a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. It takes two-thirds of the states (34) to call the convention and 38 to ratify any amendments that are proposed. The Article V convention allows the states to directly bypass the U.S. Congress and provides hope that stricter limits can be placed on the federal government. 

According to Convention of States Action (COSA), an organization leading the effort to build support for an Article V convention, 19 states have already passed a resolution to call an Article V convention. A number of states are in various stages of passing a resolution. Hopefully, the momentum continues and the necessary two-thirds will be achieved, allowing a convention that could, in the words of COSA, “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.”

I love America. I prefer not to see states or portions thereof leave the union. But I only see the persecution of Catholics and other Christians accelerating as the LGBTQIA+ cult amasses more political and cultural power. A movement that once claimed it merely wanted acceptance now demands complete and total public affirmation of its lifestyle (and deviancy). The cult will simply not leave us alone.

Christians should support secession and any other forms of political decentralization that will allow us to live in greater societal harmony. It is time to explore the various avenues available to us to live our lives as Christians free of persecution. 

[Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore]


  • Bob Landry

    Bob Landry is a parishioner, board member, and Instituted Acolyte at of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. He works as an investment manager.

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