[Congressional Record Volume 168, Number 195 (Thursday, December 15, 2022)]
[Pages H9894-H9896]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                            THE GOHMERT RULE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 4, 2021, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is recognized 
for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, how much time is remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 25 minutes remaining.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, there was a quote from John Adams, as a 
follow-up to what my friend from Arizona (Mr. Schweikert) was saying. 
He had great exchanges with his friend, then his enemy, and then his 
friend again for the rest of their lives, Thomas Jefferson.
  John Adams said there are two ways to conquer and enslave a country. 
One is by the sword; the other is by debt.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my friend for yielding. This will likely be 
the last speech that I will be able to give from the House floor. I can 
imagine there are people clapping all over that are watching C-Span.
  It has been a tremendous honor to serve in this hallowed body. It 
just has.
  This was not something that I aspired to from my earlier days, and in 
fact, I really didn't want to be a judge. After my mother got over the 
disappointment of my choosing not to apply to med school, and then got 
used to the idea of having an attorney, she ended up, through the 
eighties, she knew she had a brain tumor that was going to ultimately 
take her life. They had done what they could at Mayo Clinic in surgery. 
They could do no more.
  She was brilliant. She put herself through Baylor in 2\1/2\ years, 
while she was working full-time, most of that in the registrar's 
  My brilliant mom taught school as an eighth-grade English teacher for 
so many years and taught Sunday school for most of her years.
  She would say: Louie, you would make a great judge.
  I would go: Mother, I don't want to be a judge. There are some 
lawyers I would hate to sit there and listen to all day. Besides, I 
make more money than a judge does. I have no interest.
  We lost her in January 1991, and after that, I had been thinking 
about what my brilliant mother used to say. A few months later, I had a 
judge call me and ask if my female client would go out with him before 
her trial. It was a civil trial on a breach of contract. I told him, 
basically, that I couldn't help him, but I knew we needed a new judge.
  I tried for months to find somebody that would run against him and 
talked to all kinds of Republican lawyers that I thought had been 
considering it. Nobody would step up.
  By Thanksgiving--I had to file around the 1st of December--my wife 
and I both just had this peace that this is what I was supposed to do, 
is run for judge. So, I did.
  As the most politically astute person in our county--Republican, that 
is--told me the night before the primary election, he said: Nobody gave 
you a snowball's chance of winning because this guy was the first 
Republican elected in the county.
  In fact, I had Republican leaders that said: Look, we know it is not 
great, and there are some issues there, but he was the first Republican 
elected in our county. We just feel like we owe him the job.
  Well, nobody is owed a public service job. By Thanksgiving, we had 
this peace that this is what I am supposed to do, win or lose. I ran 
and ended up not just squeaking by, as was predicted the day before in 
a 50/50 chance of winning. I won with 70 percent of the vote.
  After years on the bench, I just had this feeling--I applied the law 
as it was, whether I liked it or not--but that I need to go change some 
of these laws, try to change some of them.

  Then, I had the invitation from Governor Perry to an appointment to 
be chief justice of the court of appeals there. I thought, well, 
perhaps this is a way to finish my career on the bench. My wife thought 
so after we prayed about it, contemplated.
  Then, when I finished that term, Governor Perry wanted to provide 
another appointment to the appellate bench. I said no, I think I am 
supposed to run for Congress. I did and got elected. I won with 70 to 
80 percent of the vote ever since.
  What I thought was, this country is in trouble, and maybe I can go 
help get this country on track. Maybe I can make a difference.
  After one term, Newt Gingrich--we lost the majority, November 2006, 
after I had been here 2 years. I was talking to Newt Gingrich about it. 
He said: I have heard you. You ought to be on the floor every day 
talking about these issues. We have 2 hours of Special Orders every 
  I thought, maybe so, and I took it to heart. Since then, yes, I have 
given a lot of Special Orders, talking about the issues that I think 
are critically important.
  When the Democrats took the majority back, my Democrat friend--I hope 
that doesn't hurt his re-elect,--John Garamendi said: Louie, we just 
voted on the new rules of the House and passed the Gohmert resolution.
  I said: What does that mean, John?
  He said: It means you can no longer have multiple Special Orders in 1 
week. You can only have one. That is the new Gohmert rule. Informally, 
that is what some of us call it because we don't want to hear you every 
  I had told the Cloakroom years ago, look, if nobody is going to take 
our time to talk about these issues--there is usually not much of 
anybody around here on the House floor, but as Newt said, you may have 
200,000 to 4 million people watch C-Span at different times. You never 
know how many are going to watch, but you can make a difference if you 
talk about what is important.
  I told the Cloakroom years ago, look, if somebody is not going to 
take our time, I will get my tie back on and

[[Page H9895]]

come back over there and take it. So, that is what I have done.
  Eighteen years later, this country is in deeper trouble than it was 
when I got here. I know, having gotten my degree in history, and having 
never stopped studying history, so many great stories, profound 
stories, about our history.
  I know my daughters have suffered abuse from people because they were 
my daughters, not that they agreed with me on everything. In fact, we 
have disagreements. I love them, and I never meant for them to suffer.
  Recently, I read a sermon that was prepared by Pastor Tommy Nelson in 
Texas. There was a Governor, Thomas Nelson, of Virginia, who was a 
commander back during the Revolution. In 1781, Yorktown is surrounded. 
General Lafayette comes over and says: General, Governor, where should 
we fire first with our cannons?
  Governor Nelson, General Nelson, he knew that the British command was 
in his home. They had taken his home. They made it their command 
center. He told Lafayette: Right there at my house.
  There were some, reportedly, that said: We don't want to fire at 
that. It is your house.
  He said: That is where the enemy is. That is where you have to fire.
  Cannonball after cannonball went through his home.
  The Founders suffered so much, gave so much, many with their lives. 
You look at the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, they 
suffered immeasurably. Many of them forfeited their lives for the cause 
of freedom.
  But John Adams, in one of his letters to Jefferson, toward the end of 
his life, he said: ``The general principles on which the Fathers''--
talking about the Founding Fathers--``achieved independence'' were 
``the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then 
believed, and now believe, that those general principles of 
Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and 
attributes of God.''
  John Jay himself, one of the authors of the Federalist Papers, a 
Supreme Court Justice, our Nation's first Chief Justice, he wrote in 
his own handwriting: ``The Bible is the best of all books for it is the 
Word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the 
next. Continue, therefore, to read it and to regulate your life by its 
  Back to John Adams. He said: ``The jaws of power are always open to 
devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy 
the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.''
  Boy, he was so astute and wise.
  He said: ``Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an 
anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes, and no 
man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure.''
  It is so true. He saw what happens even in the few democracies or 
republics that have ever existed. I think ours is not just a republic, 
but a form of democratic republic where we elect our representatives 
instead of like ancient Greece, Athens, where they actually had 
everybody participate in the big decisions.
  I do have a heavy heart. I see what is going on. We had a hearing 
today regarding mass shootings, witnesses from Sandy Hook, from Uvalde, 
and they are saying we have to get rid of the guns, like getting rid of 
spoons would get rid of obesity.
  The problem is not with our Second Amendment right. It is exactly 
what John Adams pointed out. He said: ``We have no government armed 
with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by 
morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would 
break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a 
  Then he said: ``Our Constitution was made only for a moral and 
religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any 

                              {time}  1530

  Our problem is very clear to me. It is not with weapons. It is with 
the lack of morality. It is exactly what President Adams said over 200 
years ago. He saw it. If you are not teaching children that there is 
absolute right and wrong--there may be gray areas. There are, as every 
lawyer would tell you. But there are some absolutes that are right or 
  Those of us who believe the Bible, God made clear that the children 
of Israel were to teach their children: Keep the verses of scripture 
all around all the time, put them on your doorposts. And I knew that; I 
had seen the scripture.
  But the first time I was at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, I 
said, What are these little tubes on the door?
  Well, they were verses of scripture. They took it literally.
  You need to have those verses everywhere. Teach your children. And we 
have not done that.
  So after people like Bill Ayers, Weather Underground, violent 
hippies, after they had tried to push us into a Marxist country or make 
us one and they had no success whatsoever, the violence didn't help, 
they realized the way to go is to go into the universities, get tenure, 
and in the meantime be teaching future teachers that Marxism is a good 
idea. Whether you call it socialism, progressivism--not change the 
name, call it progressivism. It is still Marxism.
  But as Dostoevsky said in response to this nut named Marx in the 
1800s, The problem with Marxism is not economic. We know that is a huge 
problem. It is always going to fail. But the problem with Marxism is 
atheism because the government has to become God. That is what he was 
meaning. That has, for so many people, become God.
  I came here thinking, gosh, if we could just get enough Members of 
Congress to stand up for what is right and preserve our freedom--I 
ultimately have realized, Congress--as upset as people are at Congress, 
and we rate very poorly in the polls--Congress is a reflection of this 
country. You don't like what is going on in Congress, well, it is a 
reflection of what is going on in the country.
  This House is the only elected body that I am aware of in the whole 
country where you can only get there by being elected. If a Senator 
leaves or dies, they can be appointed or elected, either one, but 
normally appointed to fill until the election. This body, you can't get 
in here as a Member unless you have been elected.
  Adams said, ``Cities may be rebuilt and a people reduced to poverty 
may acquire fresh property, but a constitution of government, once 
changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost 
forever. When the people once surrender their share in the legislature 
and their right of defending the limitations on government and of 
resisting every encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.''
  If we want Congress to be better, the country has got to become 
better, because we are headed toward Marxism. Many realize that. If you 
looked at the original Black Lives Matter--and it was never about Black 
lives. It was about moving toward Marxism. One of their tenets--they 
took it off. One of their goals was eliminating western-style marriage.
  Western-style marriage? We don't have western-style marriage.
  Moses said God told him a man shall leave his father and mother, a 
woman leave her home, and the two will become one. That is marriage. It 
was for procreation of the Nation of Israel and for the people. And 
civilizations that lasted have based their growth on that societal 
building block, the family.
  Then you had Jesus. When asked about marriage, and particularly 
divorce, He quoted Moses verbatim: A man shall leave his father and 
mother, a woman leave her home, the two will become one flesh. And He 
is the one who added, and let what God has joined together, let no one 
put asunder, or separate.
  But this body, just this month, we come in here, now that we have a 
majority that is much wiser--it is a bipartisan majority that is wiser 
than Moses and Jesus--said no, no, no, we will tell you what marriage 
  So churches that supported that, they are going to find out you 
either become woke or the United States Government is going to come 
destroy your entity, church, or school. That is where we are heading. 
Perhaps the Supreme Court will protect us. Maybe it won't.
  But I still hear Justice Scalia. We were having lunch, and he said, 
you guys have the ultimate power. You can stop anything. You have got 
the power of the purse. You don't like something;

[[Page H9896]]

you can kill it. Just cut off all the funding. So don't come running 
over across the street to us just because you don't have the nerve to 
do what you think should be done. Come run to us? You didn't do what 
you have got the power to do.
  We haven't done that. Easier to hope maybe the Supreme Court will 
take care of it.
  Adams also said, Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon 
wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never democracy or a 
democratic republic yet that did not commit suicide.
  He said, Be not intimidated nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out 
of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. 
These, as they are often used, are but three different names for 
hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice. I mentioned this when I was 
reading Tommy Nelson's sermon.
  But Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s and 1840s, he said: ``Upon my 
arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was 
the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there 
the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from 
this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France, I had 
almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom 
pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I 
found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common 
over the same country.''
  He talked about our Founders. Forget 1619 or whatever. He says--he is 
talking about the Founders. They brought with them a form of 
Christianity. Yes, some people pushed slavery. But Thomas Jefferson, in 
that original Declaration of Independence, one of the grievances was 
against King George for ever allowing slavery to get started, because 
he saw the damage it was doing to America and to the people that were 

  But Alexis de Tocqueville said about our Founders: ``They brought 
with them . . . a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe 
than by styling it a democratic and republican religion. . . . from the 
earliest settlement of the immigrants, politics and religion contracted 
an alliance which has never been dissolved''--until recent history. He 
didn't live to see what is going on now.
  Look, some of us get beat up. We do believe a woman has every right 
and should make all the decisions concerning her body. She does. She 
should. That is the way it should be. She has every right to make 
decisions for that unborn child that she is carrying. But if a decision 
is made to kill that other body, that is normally when government gets 
involved, because we are supposed to protect the most vulnerable among 
  Some people continue to try to say, gee, we didn't see Christianity 
mentioned in the Constitution. Of course, the Declaration of 
Independence mentions our Creator and also nature's God. But actually 
if you look at the way the Constitution was signed, it was signed ``In 
the year of our Lord 1787.'' Yeah, that is the way they dated it. I 
mean, it is amazing. Some people say it is unconstitutional to sign 
anything with that date if it is government. Well, if it is signed like 
the Constitution is signed, I don't see how it could be 
  But there was the First Presbytery of the Eastward, a group of clergy 
from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and they wanted Christianity to 
be mentioned in the Constitution. They wrote a letter and they declared 
that as they see, because of Washington's piety and his support for 
Christian morality--which really is Judeo--but that morality that they 
see, means we are in good hands.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.