DULLES, VA – There's no question we're living in troubling times, but Col. Oliver North has written a new book that helps put things into perspective. In fact, his latest work reminds us that while change is constant, much remains the same.
"Our nation's capital is in the midst of seemingly intractable, destructive, disarray. Opponents of our Commander in Chief have launched intrigues in Congress to remove him from his post. Sound familiar? Spies, traitors, and terrorists abound threatening the lives of those serving in our military. Look what just happened out at Pensacola. And in the midst of an undeclared war, the issue of whether women should be allowed in a combat zone has become a contentious issue. Some are saying the very form of our government is at risk. You look at that and go, 'That's 2019.' No, that's actually 1775 in America," North told CBN News during a recent interview at his Virginia office.
In Times of War
It's 1775, the year before America gained independence and the setting for his latest book, The Rifleman. It's a war story about heroes, both unsung and popular like George Washington, Patrick Henry, and even Benedict Arnold – before he became a traitor.
"Ultimately in the entire revolution, there are more people who die of smallpox than die from British muskets and artillery and yet we prevail. I mean, if you can't see the Lord's hand in that you're missing something," North says with his signature smile and wink.
Daniel Morgan: The Rifleman
A man you may not recognize, Daniel Morgan, inspired North to write the book. The Virginia colonist rounded up a rifle company to meet up with General Washington, marching some 500 miles from Winchester to Boston.
"Washington tells Morgan, take your guys out, have them in position, as the sun comes up aim at the red coats with gold in their epaulets. Those are the officers," North explains.
It was unconventional warfare that effectively helped America's volunteer military beat back the British.
"Every one of them could take a rifle like this having been a tracker and a hunter and kill a British red coat at 250 yards or more just like this," North says as he fires a rifle during a video posted on his Facebook page.
Preachers at War
North's book also details the role preachers played in the revolution. People like Reverend Peter Muhlenberg who's said to have preached from Ecclesiastes 3, which includes "a time for war and a time for peace," from his Virginia pulpit before dramatically removing his clerical robe to reveal a colonel's uniform.
"And what's happening in the American colony is of the Lord's design. And so the hymns that you see in this book are actually the ones that were being sung in churches all across the colonies, that were loyal to the idea of independence and liberty, and a form of government nobody ever thought of having, a government that's seminal documents begin with the words 'we the people' and it's the only constitution that comes out of this war – it's the only document, our constitution, that gives homage to God and not some prince or some potentate," North explains.
North and the NRA
North made headlines last summer for his abrupt departure as president of the National Rifle Association. However, when it comes to defending American rights, like the Second Amendment, he says, it's individuals, not organizations that make all the difference.
"I found somethings that I thought deserved an honest, outside, independent review. I was joined in that effort by several other people, all of whom have been fired. At the end of the day what makes the difference in our country is individual citizens standing up and saying I want these freedoms. The forefathers of this nation fought for it just like the ones in this book, they bled for it, and in many cases died of it. And if you look at what we're about. It ought to be protecting those individual liberties," he says.
For him, like so many who fought in America's revolution, North says his Christian faith sustains him and keeps him grounded.
"My reinforcement for 25 years in the US Marine Corps was the 23rd Psalm. It lays out exactly what you're going through and today it's the 26th Psalm. And the 26th Psalm ends with the words in my translation 'My feet are on level ground.' And I tell my young grandkids, I've got 18 grandkids. I said you've got to keep company with those who have integrity," he explains.
"Integrity has to be the core part of that loyalty. That's how I know the good Lord is looking out for me and my feet are on level ground," North says with a smile.