Remembering John Baptist Kotmair and the Value of An Evaluated Life

By Pastor David Whitney

Last Friday I attended the Funeral of a true American hero and patriot, John Baptist Kotmair, Jr., 83, of Westminster, Maryland. He passed from this world to the next on December 13, 2017.

At the service I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 7:2, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.”

A funeral is a valuable reminder that one day we too will depart this world. It is a time to reflect not only on the life of a loved one, but also a time to think about our own departure from this world. It is a time to examine what we are living for, to ask ourselves serious questions that at other times are too easily brushed aside.

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Many American patriots will remember John Kotmair’s unremitting efforts on their behalf. Most patriots will remember him as one of the strongest voices of the tax honesty movement, fearlessly striving to educate the public about the limited application of the federal income tax.  He and his wife Nancy took to the road for two and a half years, visiting patriots and recruiting for the Patriot Network and then for the National Patriot Association. In addition to founding Save-A-Patriot Fellowship, he was founder and fiduciary of Liberty Works Radio Network Fellowship.

John’s passion was to educate the public about the Christian heritage and legacy of a Constitutionally limited government left for Americans by the founders of our nation.  He fervently desired that government at all levels be held to the confines of the Constitution.  He was no fair-weather patriot, but rather, as his hero, Samuel Adams, he desired to be a grand incendiary in the great cause of Liberty, understanding that it takes a, “tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men,” to prevail.

To that end, he was identified as an enemy of the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, and they attacked him and the Fellowship without cause numerous times. In 1981, using a stacked jury, they convicted him of “failure to file” and sentenced him to two years in federal prison. In 1993, they raided the Fellowship and attempted to shut its doors and put him in prison once again. God, the Author of Liberty caused those attempts to come to naught; John and the members of the Fellowship prevailed.

After the raid, Mr. Kotmair and numerous Fellowship members set up Liberty Works Radio Network to inform Americans of their God-given heritage.

Despising Liberty and all those who exercise their rights secured by the First-Amendment, the Department of Justice sued in federal court to shut down Save-A-Patriot Fellowship, an action which —without the benefit of any trial on the facts — culminated in a permanent injunction in 2008 against Mr. Kotmair and some of the First-Amendment activities of the Fellowship. However, due to the faithfulness and dedication of fellow patriots, the Liberty Works Radio Network Fellowship and the Save-A-Patriot Fellowship are still active. John has left a legacy.

When we evaluate our own lives one of the most important questions we can ask is based on what Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The evaluated life is the life worth living.
The evaluated life asks am I seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardour
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.

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