Category Archives: Revolutionary War

Gun Control: Never letting a good crisis go to waste

When Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for President on February 10, 2007, most Americans seemed to think “constitution” only applied to a morning walk in the park and the word “socialist” referred just to European politicians and their Parties. Those few among us who talked or wrote about the Constitution and socialism were considered radicals and right-wing nuts. Attempts to warn the American people about the likely consequences of electing Obama as President were met with accusations of racism, “name calling”, or simply playing politics to divide the country. Politicians considered their Oath of Office to protect and defend the Constitution as merely a quaint ritual they were required to perform before being presented with the reins of power.  Obama’s election to the Presidency changed all that.

More Americans today are reading and attempting to understand the Constitution than at any time since the founding era. A few politicians are even beginning to take their Oath of Office seriously. In addition, citizens, commentators, politicians and journalists are starting to understand the meaning of American style socialism, i.e., progressivism.

Sometime today, President Obama is scheduled to stage a press conference surrounded by the usual compliant, brainwashed members of his constituent group, in this case, “concerned kids” and their fearful parents. He is expected to suggest some nineteen actions he believes he can take through Executive Orders to control gun possession and use without the consent of Congress. After all, he cannot “allow a good crisis to go to waste” just because of Congress’ inaction.

As we evaluate the proposals made by the President, there are some things we should keep in mind. First, Executive Orders that attempt to restrain or regulate the personal actions of individual citizens are unconstitutional for two reasons; (1) they are in violation of the very first sentence of Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution, which vests “all legislative powers” in the Congress. This includes all bureaucratic “rule” making as well. (2) All legislative acts of the federal government that impinge on the freedoms of individual citizens are unconstitutional, as those powers are reserved to the states or to the people, through their local legislative bodies, by the Tenth Amendment.

Second, most gun control laws, in themselves, are unconstitutional and prohibited by the Second Amendment which says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Many advocates of gun control try to apply this Amendment to the arming of the Militia only. In doing so, they miss the main point of the Amendment. Many of the Framers had first hand experience of the danger of standing armies during the occupation of the city of Boston from October 1768 by troops under the command of British General Thomas Gage, until the militia drove them out, March 17, 1776, over seven years later. The eleven months siege of Boston that led to the withdrawal of British troops was manned by volunteers made up of minutemen and colonial militia, for the most part carrying the personal weapons they had brought from home.

Because of this experience the Framers were wary of standing armies preferring instead, when feasible, that defense of the states should be carried out by citizen militia, trained by the state and under the direction of the Governor as Commander in Chief. Article 1, Section 8 authorizes Congress, “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;” This insures that Congress will review the nation’s military needs every two years. The phrase, “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” reveals the primary purpose of the second amendment, which is to provide for the defense of the states by an armed citizenry against the possible tyranny of the federal government.

The use of the word “people” in the phrase, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”, indicates that this right applies to all the people, not just to those who are members of the Militia. Nowhere is the word “people” used to identify the Militia, either in the Constitution or elsewhere. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines Militia as, “The body of soldiers in a state enrolled for discipline, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies; as distinguished from regular troops, whose sole occupation is war or military service. The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades, with officers of all grades, and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations.” The Militia is drawn from among the people, but the term is never synonymous with the people.

Last week, Governor Andrew Coumo of New York, made the remark, “you do not need ten bullets to kill a deer”, alluding to another common myth concerning the Second Amendment; that it applies only for the purpose of hunting or other gun related sports. That suggestion is ludicrous when you consider that hunting was a primary source of meat for the dinner table of the average citizen of that time. No Congress would even consider infringing on the right of the citizens to feed their families by hunting, therefore the thought that an amendment was necessary to protect that right would not occur to the Congress of 1789. The right to keep (possess) and bear (carry) arms for self-defense is a natural, God given and unalienable right possessed by all citizens. Laws attempting to restrict the amount and kind of ammunition a citizen may use are also unconstitutional because they infringe on the rights guaranteed by the amendment by limiting its efficacy.

Many practicing Christians are somewhat ambivalent about the issue of gun control, referring to the example of Jesus and his admonition to “turn the other cheek”. This ambivalence is not supported by Scriptures. The primary arms for personal defense in the Bible, before the invention of firearms, were swords. The word “sword” is used 93 times in the Old Testament and 10 times in the New. Nowhere in the Bible is a prohibition against the carrying of a sword (arms) for self-defense either stated or implied. In the twenty-second chapter of Numbers, we read the story of the Angel of the Lord, with his sword drawn, blocking the path of the disobedient Prophet Balaam.

Some of Jesus’ Apostles were armed with swords, and in his final instructions to the Apostles at the Lord’s Supper, Jesus advised, “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one”. When the Jews came for Jesus, Simon Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest. Although Jesus restored the ear of the servant, he does not rebuke Peter or any of his disciples for bearing arms for self-defense. At his “trial” before Pilate Jesus replied to questioning with “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

In the spiritual sense, Christians are subjects of the Kingdom of God, but in the physical sense, while we live we are citizens of our country. In America, where we have enjoyed the blessings of God more than any other nation, partly because of the freedoms secured by our Constitution, it is our duty as citizens, whether as Ministers or laymen, in or out of our churches, to publicly and privately defend and promote the Constitution, the only earthly defense of our liberty. We owe it to our descendents who may have to live here for another thousand years.

For more on this subject, please read the excellent Article by Publius Huldah in the American Clarion.

2012 Election Is Only The First Step

As a Constitution Conservative, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending the Constitution. In fact, I go much further than most conservatives do. I believe the Philadelphia Convention, and the thirteen state ratifying conventions were all done under the superintending providence of God. Therefore, I also believe that our founding documents contain God’s plan for the governing of America. Even a casual survey of American history clearly shows that whenever we deviate from that plan we pay a dear price in political turmoil and economic hardships.

It is imperative for the survival of the Republic that Mitt Romney be elected in November. Obama has to be turned out of office before he completes his mission to “fundamentally transform America” — if it is not too late already. Romney is the only alternative available at this time. However, we must not be misled into believing that electing Romney is going to turn things around overnight. Throughout his political life, Romney has been a follower, not a leader. That is not going to change automatically when he gets in the White House.

Furthermore, Romney has not exhibited a firm grasp of the Constitution during his campaign for the Presidency. For example, he has promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Millions of voters will cast their ballot for him based on that promise. However, when he makes it, he is being disingenuous. The President does not repeal legislation, only Congress can do that. Even Romney knows that much about the working of our government, therefore, he is being disingenuous with the American people when he makes the promise. What he should say is, “on my first day in office I will urge Congress to repeal Obamacare as its first order of business.”  That he can do.

He also says frequently, “On my first day in office I will, by executive order, issue waivers to the states exempting them from having to enforce the provisions of Obamacare.” (Paraphrased) Here he is violating at least two clear provisions of the Constitution. Executive Orders, in the sense he is using the term, carries the weight of law. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution, First Article, First Clause, clearly states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Executive Orders, other than administrative orders directed to employees of the Executive Branch directly in the President’s chain-of-command, are unconstitutional.

When he indicates that he will not enforce Obamacare as President, he is in effect, saying that he and he alone will decide what the law is. Unfortunately, the same conservatives who condemn Chief Justice Roberts and the Obama Justice Department for making one-man decisions concerning which laws to enforce or what the law is in the first place, are the same conservatives that are cheering Romney on in his promises. Far too many critical decisions are made in our government by one person, whether it is the President, a bureaucratic Czar, or the “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. This has to stop, and should never be encouraged by a Constitution Conservative, whether or not we agree with the intended outcome.

One of the most overlooked sentences in the Constitution is found in the last sentence of Article II, Section 3, “He (the President) shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…”  This is one of the few specific duties of the President spelled out in the Constitution. Whether we like it or not, Obamacare was passed by Congress and signed by the President, therefore, it is the law and the President is responsible for its execution.

However, it is not the law of the land. Article VI, paragraph two says, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,” Notice, it is the Constitution itself that is the Supreme Law of the Land, not the opinions of the Supreme Court or the acts of Congress when they conflict with the Constitution. One of the first landmark cases of the Supreme Court was Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the Court, said in his opinion, “a law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void.” Obamacare is not only repugnant to all thinking Americans, it is also repugnant to the Constitution; therefore, it is really no law at all. Nevertheless, until it is repealed by Congress, it is the duty of the President to enforce it. What then, can we do?

To answer that question we have to look to the hierarchy of sovereignty laid out in our Founding documents. In the Preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of our federal government, we read, “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says, “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In America, the supreme power resides with the people by natural law, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In order to maintain a civil society, the people delegate certain powers to representatives elected by them to serve in the state legislatures that, in turn, are restricted by State Constitutions. In 1774, the people of the original thirteen states formed state governments made up of their elected representatives. Those state legislatures delegated certain powers to the First Continental Congress to form a confederation, primarily for the purpose of conducting the Revolutionary War. In 1786, Congress authorized a convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of strengthening the Articles of Confederation to make them more effective in dealing with issues common to all the states that could not be adequately handled by the states individually. In that Convention, the Constitution was written creating a federal government with limited powers for carrying out a finite number of enumerated responsibilities dealing mostly with national defense and commerce.

In the hierarchy of powers, the federal government as a creation of the Constitution has the least amount of legitimate power, carefully limited to those matters delegated to it by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. In all matters not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, State Law is supreme over federal law. This power structure is not contradicted by the “Supremacy Clause” quoted above in Article VI. Since legislating health care is not one of the enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution, the state legislatures can forbid the enforcement of Obamacare within its jurisdiction. Until it is repealed by Congress– hopefully in January 2013–, it is up to the state governments to prevent its implementation on a state-by-state basis.

While it is the responsibility of every Patriot to vote for Mitt Romney for President in the upcoming election, do not be misled into expecting President Romney to reverse the downward slide of American society without constant prodding from our side. Those patriots who expect to return to their slumber after the November election had better stock up on NoDoze. The real work begins in January of 2013 and we can expect it to continue for at least the next generation if we are to return America to the Constitutional Republic designed by our Founders. While we are attempting to regain control of our federal government, we also have to give serious attention to reforming our state governments. More on that later.

A New Script for the Talking Heads This Week

“Santorum says he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state,” blared the headline in Sunday’s Yahoo News. Santorum seems to have a penchant for making statements that drive the left-wing media nuts. His latest, according to Yahoo was, “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” made during a campaign speech in Michigan last week. While his ability to send the left-wing media into hysterics should be celebrated by conservatives, unfortunately conservatives, independents and rank and file Republicans alike, who are not familiar with American History, are likely to be turned off by Santorum’s statement. The lack of knowledge concerning our own history by a majority of the American people is what is appalling, not Santorum’s statement.

The term “Black Regiment”, used during the Revolutionary War did not refer to the black soldiers who fought in the War for Independence. Instead, it referred to the large number of Christian Pastors who served in the Continental Army, not as chaplains, but as combat soldiers and officers. They were called the black regiment because of the black robes they customarily wore in the pulpit when preaching. It was not unusual for all the able-bodied men in a church to follow their Pastor’s lead in joining either the local militia or the army. Entire congregations often showed up at the recruiting office as a group and fought as a group in battle.

The First Amendment was never meant to protect citizens from incidental exposure to the religious view of their fellow Americans. In fact, for over a hundred and fifty years after the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, our Christian heritage was openly celebrated in practically all American institutions, schools, courts, government assemblies, and public gatherings of all types. Virtually all senior citizens of today who grew up in America can remember starting every school day with a morning devotional, led by the teacher. Why, we even said the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag. That “wall of separation” found in the First Amendment and alluded to by Thomas Jefferson in the famous letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 was not a wall intended to keep out the influence of Christianity or religion in our public policies. It was intended to keep the national government from meddling in the religious affairs of the people.

It was not until the 1960s that the Supreme Court suddenly discovered new meaning in the First Amendment phrase, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”, that had never been noticed by any of their predecessors in the 175 year history of the court. The court deliberately ignored the second phrase in the clause, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. In doing so, the court inadvertently or intentionally created the conditions guaranteeing exactly what the first phrase prohibited, the establishment of a national religion. In officially disconnecting the American culture from its Christian heritage, they created a vacuum that was quickly filled with another religious structure more compatible with the changing American mindset. Secular Humanism became the established religion of America.

Since that time, the courts have consistently ruled and legislators have routinely passed laws supporting the doctrines of secular humanism, America’s new established religion. Court rulings and laws supporting environmentalism, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc., etc., are all based on the doctrines of secular humanism. This shift away from the traditional American values embodied in our Christian heritage is rapidly leading to the destruction of our culture, our political system and our economic well-being. The eradication of Christian values is essential to the acceptance by our citizens of the socialist system envisioned by America’s new “ruling class”. Christianity is incompatible with socialism; On the other hand, secular humanism supports and even encourages socialist policies.

While the media will have a field day with Santorum’s statement in the coming week, patriots who understand America’s history and heritage should applaud him for his courage in standing firm on his and America’s traditional values. A politician who is willing to compromise his or her core principles in order to win an election is not worthy of the office they seek. One of the questions all Americans have to answer in the coming elections is do we prefer a leader who stands by and defends his principles or do we prefer candidates who have no principles? The future of America may stand or fall on the answer voters give to this question.

Obama Giving America the “Bird”

In the midst of the Revolutionary War, Congress set up a committee to design a seal for the United States of America. The design they finally settled on and adopted by an act of Congress, June 20, 1782, included the Bald Eagle as our National Bird. The Society of the Cincinnati, An organization of Army officers in the Revolutionary War incorporated a crudely drawn Eagle into the symbol for its organization. To some, including Benjamin Franklin, the drawing resembled a turkey more so than an Eagle, prompting Franklin to comment to his daughter Sally, in a letter of January 26, 1784, his doubts about the choice.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

“With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country…

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth is, the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

Over two hundred years later, when reviewing the history of America in the context of the socialist policies adopted by our government over the past several generations, especially those promulgated by the Obama administration, it appears the Founders may have been prescient in their choice. Certainly the character of the eagle, as described by Franklin is more symbolic of a great number of the American people today than those of the Revolutionary War era. However, in place of the Turkey as suggested by Franklin, I would like to nominate the Ostrich as our national bird. I realize that the myth of an Ostrich burying his head in the sand when confronted with danger is based on fiction and not fact, but the image is an accurate description of a large segment of the American people.

During the 2008 election season, Barack Obama clearly communicated his socialist intentions to the American people who were paying attention. He was considered the “great orator” of the twenty-first century by many. Although he spoke in platitudes and clichés of “hope and change”, he made little effort to hide his intentions from the American people. The socialists among us understood his message and enthusiastically supported his candidacy. With the exception of a few Americans with some understanding of Constitutional government and history, many Americans “hid their heads in the sand”, figuratively speaking. Those who raised their voices in warning of Obama’s intentions were ridiculed and condemned as “conspiracy freaks” and “right-wing fanatics”. Their critics assured themselves and us that “those things could never happen in America” because of our Constitution and besides, “The American People would never stand for it.”

Three years later, we have socialism and new socialist policies forced upon us on an almost daily basis and still, the American Media and many conservative leaders refuse to take their heads out of the sand and look around at what is happening to the country.

Over the past three years, we have been tracking the governing style of Obama and comparing it with that of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela prior to his suspending elections and becoming Venezuela’s dictator President as he is today. It is evident for those who are paying attention that Obama is following Chavez’s pattern.

The most recent example of this fact is Obama’s “we can’t wait” initiative. By that he means that when Congress refuses to rubber stamp his socialist policies, he will ignore Congress and accomplish his goals through the bureaucratic system set up in the Executive Branch. Yesterday, Obama again clearly stated his intentions in a speech given at the Eisenhower Executive Building in Washington, and quoted in CNS news, Obama said;

“When Congress refuses to act, Joe and I are going to act,” Obama said on Tuesday, with Vice President Joe Biden at his side. “In the months to come, wherever we have an opportunity, we’re going to take steps on our own to keep this economy moving.”

Speaking to and about the “middle class” Obama said that, “With or without Congress, I’m going to continue to fight for them. These are the words of a would-be despot, not those of an American President who recognizes the constraints placed on him by the Constitution. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution says. “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” For political reasons, Progressive Congresses have abdicated this power, willingly giving it to the Executive and Judicial Branches by establishing bureaucratic departments and delegating to them legislative powers not sanctioned by the Constitution.

The progressive (American socialist) Democratic Party now routinely uses the Federal Court System and the Bureaucratic systems in the Executive Branch to circumvent the wishes of the people and the Congress. These departments and their tyrannical actions are further isolated from Congress and the American people by being placed under the direction of Czars, (the Administration’s term, not mine), unaccountable to Congress and untouchable by the electoral process. The weak response of the media to yesterday’s speech by Obama and the ho-hum attitude of the American people serve as ample reasons to change out national symbol from the Bald Eagle to the mighty Ostrich.

President Does Not Have Constitutional Authority to Prioritize Payments by Treasury

Conventional wisdom among the wizards of smart and pundits of politics in the mainstream media is that President Obama will use the prioritizing of payments by the Treasury to boost his political standing should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling August 2. For Congress to permit him to do so would overturn four hundred years of American history and two hundred years of the rule of law under the Constitution. It would also be a gross violation of the number one doctrine of our government system, separation of powers.

The “power of the purse” has existed with the people’s assembly in America since the establishment of Virginia’s House of Burgesses in 1619 and the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620. The power of the purse residing with the people’s assembly during the colonial period was based on the English Constitution and the principle of representative government dating back to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the later establishment of the House of Commons in the fourteenth century.

During the 157 years between 1619 and 1776 the colonial legislatures used the power of the purse to rein in the colonial governments when they became too overbearing; often refusing to allocate funds for proposed government projects and sometimes even refusing to pay the salaries of government officials until their demands were met. Under the doctrine of representative government, Great Britain could not legally levy internal taxes on the colonies because they had no representation in Parliament.

Following the French and Indian War, England attempted to tighten its control over the colonies by doing away with their legislatures’ power of the purse, first with the Sugar Act, the Currency Act and the Stamp Act of 1765 and 1766. When these failed, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act of 1766 and the Revenue Act of 1767. The Declaratory Act declared… “that the said colonies and plantations in America have been, are, and of right ought to be, subordinate unto, and dependent upon the Imperial Crown and Parliament of Great Britain”.

Passage of these Acts and British efforts to enforce them led directly to the Boston Tea Party, the Boston massacre, Lexington and Concord, the Revolution and the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 in which Thomas Jefferson answered the Declaratory Act with these words: “…These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent States…”

When the original Constitution was written in 1787, the power of the purse was given to the House of Representatives as the only branch of government elected directly by the people. Article I, Section 7 says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;” Section 8, clause 1 describes the types of revenue Congress is authorized to raise and the purposes for which it is to be raised. This is followed by a list of functions on which Congress is authorized to spend that revenue.

The first purpose for which Congress is authorized to raise and spend revenue is to “pay the debts”. The second is to “provide for the common defense”. Amendment 14, Section 4, clause 1, says, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” Aside from reassuring us that any debts incurred in putting down the insurrection by the progressives against the Constitution will be honored, this Amendment prohibits the government from defaulting on its debts. Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 requires Congress to fund the military.

Although at least three-fourths of the debts incurred by Congress was used for unconstitutional expenditures, they were granted by lenders in good faith based on their faith in America’s credit worthiness, are lawfully valid debts, and must be honored.  2.5 trillion dollars of that debt is owed to the Social Security Trust fund that has been borrowed for the operations of government over the past several generations. The President does not have the Constitutional authority to refuse to honor that debt.

The President is a member of the Executive Branch. That is the administrative branch whose job is to administer the laws and policies prescribed by Congress. The Executive Branch does not have Constitutional authority to pass laws or originate policies other than those internal administrative policies necessary to carry out its constitutional functions as assigned to it by laws passed by Congress. The origination of legislation and policy are the functions of the Legislative Branch.

In the event the debt ceiling is not raised by Congress and the government does not have the funds to continue operating at its present level, the Constitution and the House of Representatives sets the priority of what is and is not to be paid. Approximately $200B comes into the treasury every month. The Constitution requires the treasury to pay the debts as they come due including interest on the debt. That includes the amount required to pay Social Security obligations when due and the operation of the military. These consume about 40% of federal revenue. Prioritizing the remaining 60% among the necessary operating expenses of government is the responsibility of the House of Representatives not the White House.

America’s Sacred Texts

By Jerry McDaniel

After several years spent studying American History and our founding documents, I came to the conclusion that the Founding Fathers left us a perfect plan for governing a free people. Most, if not all the major domestic crises faced by America since its founding could have been avoided had the leaders at the time, followed the precepts of our founding documents. Unfortunately, while the Founders gave us a perfect plan, that plan has never been administered by perfect men. The verdict of history and the Bible is that there are no perfect men, which brings us to the central question. If there are no perfect men, and yet we have a perfect plan of governance, how did we get it?

To appreciate fully the wisdom of the Founder’s plan it is necessary to view it as a single document consisting of three parts. (1) The Declaration of Independence gives the justification for our existence as a separate and independent people and the principles to enable us to govern ourselves successfully. (2) The Constitution presents the plan for governing, embodying those principles, and strengthening the whole while protecting the liberty and independence of all its parts. (3) The Bill of Rights clarifies and amplifies the intent of the Founders for particular elements of the plan.

These three parts of the Founder’s plan, collectively represent the most perfect and complete plan of government ever devised. Since its inception in March,1789 there have been many attempts to improve on the original as our political leaders moved away from its direction and chafed at the restrictions the plan placed on their ambitions. In each attempt to “update” the original, history has shown the effort to be of dubious benefit, with the unintended consequences sometimes far outweighing the intended improvements. For example, there have been seventeen Amendments to the Constitution since the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Most of those have produced marginal benefits with negligible damage to the original plan. Others have been used by revisionists to alter drastically the original plan, to the detriment of the American people and liberty, Amendments 12, 14, 16 and 17, are good examples.

The unity, cohesiveness, and durability of the Founder’s plan is even more remarkable when we consider the diversity of personalities, occupations, education, and interests of the hundreds of people who contributed to its formulation, including the Second Continental Congress, the Philadelphia Convention, and thirteen State Ratifying Conventions. One explanation can be found in the closing paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence”. This phrase is much more than a rhetorical device to add solemnity to the document. It expresses the heartfelt faith of virtually all the Founding Fathers.

In our desire to view ourselves as a secular society ruled by a secular government, we overlook and often deny the most fundamental attribute of our national character; we are a religious people. According to a 2007 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 78.4% of all American Adults identify themselves as Christian. 4.7% identify as being affiliated with other than Christian religions and another 5.8% identify as being religious but not affiliated with any particular religious group. 88.9% of all American Adults consider themselves “religious”.  Admittedly, many of those who identify themselves as Christians are not “practicing” Christians, and many more would not meet the Biblical definition of Christian. However, that does not change the fact that we are a Christian nation and have been since our founding.

That is not to say that all the Founding Fathers would be considered as orthodox Christians by today’s doctrinal standards. It is fashionable in today’s secular America to discount the religious influence on the founding of America by pointing out inconstancies between the views of many of the more prominent Founders and what we might consider to be a proper Christian worldview. In doing so, we deny ourselves some of the most valuable lessons of history. There was a wide variety of beliefs then, just as there is now. The Framers that crafted our founding documents were members of Quaker, Anglican, Baptist, Congregationalist, and other Christian disciplines, and yet, there were certain beliefs they all held in common. Two of the most important religious characteristics of the Founders were their reverence for the Holy Bible and their faith in the Providence of God. They perhaps possessed the highest degree of Bible literacy of any group of political leaders before or since. The political speech of that era is replete with biblical references.

It is popular for historians to point to the writers of the Enlightenment Era such as John Locke or Montesquieu as providing the guiding principles behind our founding documents. The truth is that political writings of the time contain far more references to Biblical sources than to Enlightenment sources. In fact, Professor Daniel Dreisbach, an historian with American University claims there are more references to the book of Deuteronomy alone, found in the political writings of the Founders, than all of the Enlightenment writers combined. The Bible formed such a large part of the Founders thinking that they routinely referenced it in their speeches and correspondence without attribution, assuming that their audience would automatically recognize the reference. A classic example of this can be found in a speech by Benjamin Franklin to the Philadelphia Convention on June 28, 1787.

“…[T]he longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages.”

In this short paragraph, there are at least three distinct biblical references, Psalm, 127, Matthew 10:29, and Genesis 11:8-10. Franklin also refers here, to the Providence of God in the “affairs of men”, as does George Washington in a letter to Brig. General Thomas Nelson in August 1788,

“The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”

This was written just before the Presidential election of 1788 and after the completion of the Constitution. It is evident that he was referring to the Divine Hand of God in the Revolutionary War and the events following, including the Confederation and the outcome of the Philadelphia Convention. James Madison had the same thoughts in mind when he wrote Federalist 37. In discussing the difficulties of the Convention in reconciling the differing ideas, opinions and interests of so diverse a group, Madison wrote,

“It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect on this circumstance without partaking of the astonishment. It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.”

I agree with Franklin, Washington and Madison in their conclusions that the plan of government set forth in our founding documents bears clear evidence of the providence of God in its creation. Lest I be misunderstood, let me point out that the Divine Providence of our founding is different from the inspiration of Scripture. In inspiration, God deals with individuals directly so that each book of the Bible has a single author. With Providence God works “behind the scenes” so to speak, using multitudes of people and events, often seemingly unrelated, to bring about His will. Providence can only be seen through the lens of hindsight. It is only through observing the formation and progress of our nation in history, that we can appreciate the Providence of God and that we can confidently declare our founding documents to be America’s Sacred Texts.

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The Death of Federalism

Federalism is dead in America; its Constitution on life support. With Barack Obama in the White House and progressive democrats in control of Congress, the left’s centuries old goal of a consolidated government has finally been realized. With federalism gone, the Constitution becomes little more than an interesting historical artifact to be marveled at by historians and academicians. The experiment of enumerated powers and state sovereignty no longer has any relevance in American politics.

For over two hundred years, the one defining characteristic of the American psyche has been a desire for independence and its natural twin, liberty. It was to secure and maintain this independence that the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were written and published to the world. Thomas Jefferson, writing what he considered to be “an expression of the American mind” wrote in the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, these words:

“We, therefore, the  Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”

For more than a hundred and fifty years, the Colonies had considered themselves as independent colonies, governed by laws of their own making, under the protection of the British Crown. Their relationship with the British government as expressed through its Parliament had always been tenuous at best. It was the increasing encroachment on the colonies independent status by Parliament that eventually led to the break with Great Britain and the Revolutionary War.

It is interesting to note that in the original copy of the Declaration of Independence on display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, D.C., and in most published copies of the Declaration, the word “united” in the first line of the final paragraph is not capitalized. It is “united States of America” not “United States of America”. The significance of this minor detail is in the type of union the Colonies envisioned. Also, notice that states never appears in the singular, always the plural. Compare the plural word “states” as used in our founding documents with the singular title, “State of Great Britain”. The colonies were “united” in their independence from England and they were “united” in defense. They did not consider themselves to be, and did not contemplate becoming a single consolidated “State” government.

The government later established under the Articles of Confederation was anything but a united, state government. In fact, the Articles were primarily concerned with mutual defense and international commerce. Article Two specifically precludes any type of central authority over the states other than the few specified.

Article Two
“Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.”

This spirit of independence held by the states was carried over in the Constitution and was the principle underlying the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution and the prohibition of encroachment by the national government on the liberties of its citizens, by the Bill of Rights, especially the Tenth Amendment. The states would never have ratified a Constitution calling for a central consolidated government. The highly venerated Federalist Papers were written primarily to convince the inhabitants of the various states that such a consolidated government could never develop under the Constitution. As it turns out, Hamilton, Jay and Madison severely underestimated the ingenuity of politicians on a quest for power, and the fears of the anti-federalist who opposed the Constitution have been proven by history, to be valid.

The difference between a “federal government” and a “national government” is more than just a matter of semantics. The national government envisioned by the present administration, regulating a centrally planned economy and regulating the private and collective lives of American citizens cannot be accomplished without uniform national laws and despotic enforcement. This fact has been made manifest by the recently passed and proposed regulatory bills of this administration concerning health care, finance, manufacturing, energy, etc. It is further manifested in the ongoing court cases in Arizona, California, Virginia and some dozen other states concerning immigration, gay marriage, energy production, etc.

The Constitution is a static document. Its words do not change with the calendar. If we are successful in taking back control of the government in the next two elections, there is hope for the restoration of limited constitutional government. However, federalism is dead. Nationalization of the central government has advanced to the point it can never be restored to the status of a federal government without major social upheavals that would never be condoned by the people. The best we can hope for is a modified national government with the gradual elimination of some if its more egregious encroachments.

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