The Case for an Australian Militia (I)


The idea of Christian society being made up of an armed, skilled populace has deep historical roots tracing back through medieval times, to the Bible. Alfred the Great codified the laws of England in the 9th Century, often resorting to Biblical law in order to do so. Alfred applied the Deuteronomic laws of kings that forbad a standing army (Deut. 17), and as a result developed a national defence based on militia:

By the Saxon laws, every freeman of an age capable of bearing arms, and not incapacitated by any bodily infirmity, was in case of a foreign invasion, internal insurrection, or other emergency, obliged to join the army…[1]

A militia has a number of advantages over a professional, “full-time” defence force:

Firstly, there is virtually no cost to be borne by taxpayers. A militia force is largely self-supporting, dependent on the initiative and energy of locals.

Secondly, it is apolitical, and not dependent on government. It cannot be manipulated, controlled or reduced by a government, and cannot be sent to war overseas. This has important implications.

Tyrants have always been suspicious of armed, independent subjects; it is in their nature to suppress the liberties of individuals. Charles II sought to disarm Protestants, and one of the early attempts of Britain to move against dissident Americans prior to the War of Independence, was when the British Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, General Gage, sought to stop armed protest by confiscating American stores of arms in September 1774.[2]

Thirdly, it is decentralised, which removes the danger of an incompetent or corrupt central control.

Fourth, it provides a measure of defence anywhere, at extremely short notice: no need to wait for professional troops to be marshalled at a central point, and then sent thousands of kilometres across the nation to territory they are unfamiliar with, to confront an invader who has already dug in.

Fifth, it is almost impossible to defeat. What is evident from history, is that well-armed and determined locals can make it extremely difficult for an invading force to hold territory. The raw fire-power of an invader is only one aspect of warfare. A local population, angry and indignant at an invading force, will be resourceful, perseverant and tireless in their resistance. Think of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Switzerland has had a militia for hundreds of years. This may explain why Switzerland has not been invaded in two centuries. Though Switzerland shares a border with Germany, Germany did not invade her in either World War.

Conclusion: A national militia is a legitimate national institution, protecting the community and the nation from invasion. We must work towards its inauguration.

[1] Francis Grose, Military Antiquities Respecting a History of the British Army, from the Conquest to the Present Time, 2 vol. (London: Egerton and Kearsley, 1801), 1:1. (The two above para. quoted in McDurmon, J., “Bring Your Guns to Church,” American Vision website, 24/4/2010.)

[2] Source: Wikipedia.

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