Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

The Progressive Mind, Part 4: The Value System of Socialism

To the Christian mind, socialism or progressivism, as it is called in America today, is the epitome of evil. However, to the socialist mind, it is the essence of morality and virtue. Most believers in Biblical Christianity find it difficult to comprehend how anyone could support a philosophy that has resulted in the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of people, just during the past century alone. In attempting to understand the slavish devotion of millions of people to the doctrines of socialism, it is important to realize that it is much more than a philosophy of politics and economics. It is also a religion. More specifically, it is a division or “sect” of a religion. That religion is Humanism, the established religion of modern America and most other nations of the world today.

As a religion, Humanism is the mirror image of Christianity, which is a monotheistic religion that worships and glorifies the God of Creation, revealed in the Bible and worshiped by most of America’s Founding Fathers. Humanism is a polytheistic religion worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator. Humanism has many gods. Its two major ones are, the human race en toto, and its political systems — “the State”. Its lesser gods include science, human reason, and nature — including the earth and its creatures. Just as Christianity has many divisions or denominations, Humanism also has many divisions or sects, but rejects both the Christian God of Scripture and the Scriptures themselves.

Background of Humanism

The lure of humanism first appears in the creation story of the Garden of Eden, in the dialogue between Eve and the serpent recorded in Gen. 3:1-6.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

“And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die’.”

“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

The history of mankind is the history of man’s efforts to cast off the boundaries established by God and creating or becoming our own gods, determining for ourselves that which is right or wrong, good or evil. That is the essence of Humanism, which is normally divided into two types, religious or secular. Our purpose here is to examine the influence of organized and focused Humanism on our culture, economy and government. Since both religious humanism and secular humanism share the same worldview and the same vision for America and the world we do not distinguish between the two.

Modern Humanism traces its beginnings back to the sixteenth century Unitarian movement started by Ferenc Dávid in 1565 in opposition to the reformed theology taught in the Churches of Switzerland. David was court preacher to János Zsigmond Zápolya, Prince of Transylvania, a historic section of what is today Romania. David rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and later came to believe and teach that Christ’s existence began with his birth. A similar movement sprang up in Poland at about the same time as the one in Transylvania. This group was known as the Polish Brethren and was completely suppressed by the established church. One of its best known leaders, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

Eventually Unitarianism spread to the colonies among the dissenters to the Calvinism preached in the Congregational churches. In the mid to late-eighteenth century two momentous events transpired in America, the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening. Proponents of the enlightenment sought to apply science and reasoning to human nature, religion and society. The Great Awakening was a time of widespread religious revival. Along with the tremendous growth in the more traditional Christian churches like the Congregational, Presbyterian, and Baptist, Unitarian congregations also experienced considerable growth as a backlash to the “hell fire and damnation” preaching styles of evangelists like Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield.

The eclectic mixture of Calvinism, Armenianism, and scientific reasoning crated ambivalence in America’s religious climate that continues to this day. Many of the Founders attracted by the intellectual nature of the enlightenment were drawn to the Unitarian point of view. The Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography lists John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson and several others as Unitarians. Although Jefferson never joined a Unitarian congregation he makes it clear in his correspondence that he embraced the Unitarian philosophy of his day. In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June 26, 1822, Jefferson writes, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States, who will not die an Unitarian.”

In 1791 Joseph Priestly, an English scientist, philosopher, and Unitarian theologian, fleeing persecution in London, migrated to America. He settled in Philadelphia where he became the Pastor of a Unitarian congregation. Philadelphia served as the seat of the federal government from 1790 until 1800 while buildings were being erected in the District of Columbia to house the new government. Priestly became one of the leading ministers in Philadelphia with many government officials regularly attending his sermons. He developed a close friendship with Jefferson and is credited with providing the encouragement and inspiration for the famous Jefferson Bible.

In America, the early Unitarian movement (as opposed to an organized religion) was led mostly by Congregationalist ministers or former ministers. Unitarians at the end of the eighteenth century still clung to many of the doctrines taught by the Congregationalists. Most had a strong faith in the providence of God, believing He ruled in the affairs of men and nations, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. They rejected the divinity of Christ, however, as well as the infallibility of the Scriptures and the doctrine of original sin. Since Unitarianism is primarily a free thought movement, it has no creed or firm theological position. Although most held the scriptures in high regard they did not consider it to be either infallible or the final authority in matters of religion. Their primary source for religious truth was nature, science, and human reason which were to be used in understanding Biblical teachings.

As time went on Unitarian teachings gained widespread acceptance among the “intellectual” classes. In 1805 Unitarian Henry Ware was elected Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, a school originally founded to train Congregationalist ministers. The Arminianism that had become popular during the first Great Awakening mixed with the teachings of Calvinism from the Reformed movement and Unitarianism from the age of reason to form the religious “soup” that produced the second Great Awakening in the nineteenth century.

The influence of Unitarianism can be seen in the work of the antebellum reformers of the early and mid-nineteenth century. Brook Farm, one of the more famous utopian communes of that era, for instance, was founded by former Unitarian minister George Ripley and his wife Sophia in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Although many of the utopian communes were started by reformers not connected to the Unitarian movement, they all were based on the Unitarian doctrine, the “perfectibility of man”. Although the belief that man was a being created by God was still widespread, many rejected the Creation Story and the story of the “fall” in the Bible as myth. The common belief among the reformers was that man’s development was progressive and the utopian communes were designed to help that progression along. It would be some time before they found a satisfactory answer to how mankind came into existence.

During the second Great Awakening a new reform element emerged with the preaching of the “social gospel” and the widespread popularity of millenniumism. This new wave of reformers attempted to create “Heaven on earth” and bring in the Millennium Kingdom through social reform. The temperance, abolitionist, feminist, prison reform, asylum reform and the settlement house movements were all reforms inspired by the social gospel and the developing religion of humanism.

With the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 the United States became the first civilized nation in history not to have an established religion. For the first time man could allow his imagination to run free in matters of religion, believing, teaching and preaching whatever his fantasy could conjure up without repercussion. New churches were formed and old ones split as congregants followed the new doctrines of their latest charismatic leaders, resulting in the nine hundred or so divisions we currently have among the self-identifying Christian churches in America. Without the objective authority of the Bible, Unitarians, the unchurched and nominal Christians gravitated toward the developing humanism, the “natural” religion of man without God.

In the 1850’s, two books were published in Europe that were to have a lasting effect on American religion, culture and politics. They were Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Both of these books furthered the development of the humanist philosophy. They provided answers to the two basic questions of existence, “where did we come from?” and “where are we going?” Evolution theory validated the utopian efforts of the reformers. If man was not created, but came into being through the natural processes of evolution, then he must still be evolving. If man does not possess a sin nature as a result of the “fall”, then the evil we see about us must come from life experiences and the social environment in the culture.

Therefore, since mankind is in a state of perpetual evolution, it just makes sense that in order for that evolution to have a positive outcome, a proper environment must be created to guide man’s development. That is where utopian socialism comes in. An ideal environment for human evolution cannot be left to chance or the whims of individual men. It must be planned and controlled collectively, that is, by government. While the label of Marxian socialism has never been accepted by American socialists, its precepts along with Darwinian evolution theory were incorporated into the humanist religion destined to later become the de facto established religion of America. As Norman Thomas observed in 1944, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

By 1825 Unitarian ministers had formed a denomination known as the American Unitarian Association. For the next hundred years Unitarianism continued to grow as a liberal and forward thinking segment of Christianity. In 1867 two Unitarian ministers, David Atwood Wasson and William J. Potter, founded the Free Religious Association. Its stated purpose was to, “emancipate religion from the dogmatic traditions it had been previously bound to.” It opposed organized religion and supernaturalism, promoting the supremacy of individual conscience, reason and the perfectibility of humanity.

In 1927 a group of seminarians and professors at the University of Chicago organized the Humanist Fellowship and began publishing the New Humanist magazine. In 1933 a group of 34 Unitarian ministers and academics from America’s leading colleges and universities convened and drew up The Humanist Manifesto. The Manifesto has since had two updates, the first in 1973 and the most recent in 2003. The updates reaffirmed the principles expressed in the original and expanded its vision for a one world government with an even distribution of resources and incomes around the globe.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

Corliss Lamont was a leading light in the Humanist Movement for most of the twentieth century. He authored many books on Humanism and Socialism, among them The Philosophy of Humanism and You Might Like Socialism. In a document titled “Humanist Support The United Nations” Lamont writes,

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations, is in its entirety a Humanist document. Which could have easily been inspired by our own Humanist Manifesto”.

The first Directors of three prominent United Nations Departments were also prominent in the Humanist movement following World War II, Julian Huxley of UNESCO, Brock Chisholm of the World Health Organization, and John Boyd-Orr of the Food and Agricultural Organization.

Humanism supplies the underlying value system of American socialism, Progressivism, and America’s Democrat Party. The three organizations that have exerted the most influence during America’s journey from a Constitutional Republic to a Democratic Socialist state were, the American Humanist Association, The Unitarian Universalist Association, and The Democratic Socialists of America. The American Humanist Association has been particularly active in efforts to eliminate the influence of traditional Christianity from our national discourse and public institutions, working through the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU was begun in 1920 ostensibly to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country”. Corliss Lamont, mentioned above, served as Director of ACLU from 1932 to 1954, and until his death in 1995 was Chairman of National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. This group successfully blocked Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Committee attempting to expose Communists in our government. History has shown that McCarthy was right in many of his accusations.

In the Introduction to the Humanist Manifesto I, the author gives the reason for the necessity of such a document as, “While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:…” He then goes on to list the basic principles of Humanism. It is ironic that the ACLU, a creature of organized Humanism that presents itself as a defender of the Constitution uses the First Amendment of that same Constitution to suppress religious liberty for Christians and to censor any attempts to teach Creationism in any of our educational institutions in favor of its primary doctrine, Evolution.

The ACLU with two hundred staff attorneys and thousands of volunteer lawyers working pro bono file hundreds of lawsuits annually designed to suppress Christianity and further the doctrines of Humanism. Although, according to its manifesto Humanism was organized to establish “a religion” “shaped for the needs of this age”, it is allowed to operate freely among government departments and officials, as well as our educational and other social institutions without sanction. Since it does not recognize any Deity or maintain places of worship, it is not officially considered a religion and is not subject to the restrictions of the widely held doctrine of “separation of Church and State”. Laws designed to further its doctrines as a result of its litigation and lobbying efforts among our state and national governments, however, make  Humanism our de facto established national religion. The eighty-five members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, considered by the Democratic Socialist of America as its Washington lobbying arm, also serves as the chief lobby for Humanism in the nation’s Capitol.

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Obama and the Jefferson Koran

By Niko
President Obama recently had the Jefferson Koran on display during the White House Ramadan dinner. While the President was accurate when he said, “Of all the freedoms we cherish as Americans, of all the rights that we hold sacred, foremost among them is freedom of religion, the right to worship as we choose. It’s enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution — the law of the land, always and forever.” He is kind of missing the point of why Thomas Jefferson owned, read, and was partially responsible for the first printing of the Koran in the United States. Barack Obama associated the Jefferson Koran with generations of patriotic Muslims in America, and that Islam is part of our national story.

Jefferson needed that copy of the Koran because he was desperate to learn something about Islam from that religion’s written de facto standard of all things Muslim. Why? Just like today’s radical Muslim terrorists, the concept of jihad was being used to legitimize the killing and harassing of U.S. merchant ships during the al-jihad fil-bahr (the holy war at sea), serving as the cornerstone of the Barbary states’ interaction with Christendom. Jefferson also figured that the best way to learn about the political, military, social, economic, and religious agendas of America’s enemies was to read about it translated directly from the Arabic text. Jefferson’s copy of the Koran equipped him with everything he needed to know on how to respond to threats from the caliphates of the early 1800s.

So, the sunset dinner Thomas Jefferson held at the White House with an envoy from Tunisia (which Barack Obama was mentioning to refer to religious tolerance), Ambassador Adja explained the Muslim nation’s violence to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

They are known in history as the Barbary Pirates, as they were from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Allusion to the affair can be found in the words “…to the shores of Tripoli” mentioned in the Marine Corps Hymn. They were in fact Wahhabi-type, radical Muslims. After the Revolutionary War, the young United States of America lacked its own Navy and no longer had the protection of the British Royal Navy, so it was forced to pay the extortion fees forced upon it by the Barbary States of Tripoli, Algiers, Morocco and Tunis.

However, by the last year of George Washington’s presidency, a full sixteen percent of the federal budget was spent on extortion payments. Thomas Jefferson, who served as Secretary of State under President Washington, believed that a time would come when not only the economic effects of the extortion payments to the Muslim terrorists would be felt by every American but also that using force would be the only practicable way to end the terrorist attacks. He saw it not only as an affront to the nation’s dignity, but also as an ineffectual response to an abhorrent practice.

Once Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as our nation’s third President, he began refusing payments to the offending nations. In response, Tripoli declared war against the United States (and Algiers threatened to do so), thus constituting America’s first official war as an established independent nation. Jefferson, determined to end the two-decades-old terrorist attacks, selected General William Eaton (Adams’ Consul to Tunis) and elevated him to the post of “U. S. Naval Agent to the Barbary States,” with the task to lead an American military expedition against the four terrorist nations. General Eaton therefore led a successful military campaign against Tripoli that freed captured seaman and crushed the terrorist forces. After four years of fighting, in 1805 Tripoli signed a treaty on America’s terms, thus ending their terrorist aggressions.

What Barack Obama fails to see is that the religion of Islam, both past and present, has yet to demonstrate that it is friendly to a free government and a free people and the main traits seems to be intolerance and tyranny.  As a modern confirmation of this fact, the U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom monitors nations for egregious violations of religious liberty, and the current list of the most religiously-intolerant nations in the world is loaded with Islamic nations, including Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (secularism and communism join Islam as the other two worst offenders). On the watch list for serious but slightly less egregious violations are numbers of other Islamic nations, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria (secularism and communism again join Islam among the worst violators). Significantly, the Judeo-Christian belief system protects freedom and religious liberty; yet, other belief systems – especially that of Islam – have not exhibited those protections.

President Obama also used the venue to praise Hilary Clinton’s assistant, Huma Abedin, saying “The American people owe her a debt of gratitude — because Huma is an American patriot, and an example of what we need in this country — more public servants with her sense of decency, her grace and her generosity of spirit.”   It is interesting to note that The Departments Deputy, Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and /or organizations.  This doesn’t necessarily indicate her connection, but may deserve some scrutiny because her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy making.  One would think that the proper vetting would have occurred by Clinton’s people concerning her brother Hassan and her mother Saleha Mahmoud Abedin, and any connections with known Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, but this is the administration that appointed a known radical communist, Van Jones, to its cabinet as the green-jobs czar.

We must be mindful not to let “creeping sharia” infiltrate our system of freedom under the guise of religious liberty and tolerance.  Former President, John Quincy Adams, realized that Sharia law is not compatible with a free society, “[The] law of nations as practiced among Christian nations . . . is founded upon the principle that the state of nature between men and between nations is a state of peace. But there was a Mohametan law of nations which considered the state of nature as a state of war.”   We need to note that the Clinton family has been playing a key role in promoting Fethullah Gulen who has worked assiduously to overthrow Turkey’s secular government.  Gulen, who currently resides in Pennsylvania, has told his followers that in order for “worldwide Islamic domination to succeed, every method and path is acceptable, including lying to people.”   We need to pay attention to Azizah al-Hibri, appointed by Barack Obama to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.  Al-Hibri believes that sharia law is superior to American law.  Yet, al-Hibri is only one of the pro-sharia adherents that Obama has placed in influential positions since he became president.  Last year, Obama appointed two devout Muslims to Homeland Security.  Obama’s record concerning Islamic terror was alarming from the beginning of his term and it has only become more entrenched.  Congressman Keith Ellison aka Keith Hakim, who converted to Islam and brought the Jefferson Koran for his swearing in process, is already in place in Congress.  His connections to CAIR are troubling.

Most importantly, we need to stay informed and hold those elected to represent us accountable.  Since the Obama administration is clearly becoming more friendly to radical Islam, we should learn more about Islam, how it operates, and what it teaches.  The wise recommendation of Chinese General and international relations expert Sun Tzu (544-496 BC) remains relevant here:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

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.

Concerns About the Proposed Balanced Budget Amendment

Virtually every conservative and Republican politician, pundit, writer, and broadcaster is enthusiastically touting the Balanced Budget Amendment proposal. If I was of a more cynical nature I might think that Congress is trying to rid itself of some of the tedious responsibility the Constitution places on it. Considering the seriousness of any proposed Constitutional Amendment, we ought to spend some time reading and understanding its implications before giving it our support.

Section I of the proposed Amendment says,

“Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote.”

If you are a fan of Constitutional Amendments that sounds fine; it is concise, to the point and reasonably well worded. It does not leave a lot of “wiggle room” for the courts and politicians to avoid understanding exactly what the Amendment is supposed to accomplish.

Since the purpose of an Amendment is to change, expand, or repeal the rules for government written by the Founders into the original Constitution, before we allow ourselves to be stampeded into something future generations will have to live with and very well may regret; we ought to carefully consider the consequences. History has shown that the U.S. Constitution including the Bill of Rights is the best plan of government ever devised by man. Although, for the past century, its value has been demonstrated mostly by the consequences following its many breaches rather than by strict compliance to it by our elected officials.

The fact that so many people feel that a Constitutional Amendment is necessary is prima facie evidence that one or more of the branches of government is failing to live up to the oath of office to defend and support the Constitution each of its members took before assuming their position. We do not have to look far to identify the culprits, either. Both the Legislative and Executive branches are ignoring the restrictions on taxing and spending in the original Constitution and taxing us into poverty and spending us into oblivion. Thomas Jefferson made the complaint against George III in The Declaration of Independence, that “he has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

Jefferson knew nothing about the EPA, DOE, DOL, or any of the many czars currently accomplishing this chore for the Obama Administration, so we have to assume that he was referring in particular to the “Quartering Act” and the occupation of Boston. But he could just as well have been writing about any of “alphabet soup” of government agencies jammed into every nook and cranny of Washington, D.C.

Assuming that we really do need a Constitutional Amendment to enforce fiscal discipline on our elected officials and that they will abide by a new Amendment more faithfully than they have abided by the Constitution itself in the past, the Amendment as written above seems to be adequate for the job — if it stopped with those words. However it does not. The proposed Amendment contains 618 words making it the longest Constitutional Amendment to date.

In writing Amendments brevity is the key to effectiveness. Every unnecessary or carelessly chosen word becomes a loophole through which the courts, politicians and lawyers can push socialist policies, or that societal busybodies can use to take away a little more of our liberties. For example, the Fourteenth Amendment, containing only 445 words, is used to grant birthright citizenship to the children of foreigners who happen to be born on U.S. soil; to claim the right for same sex marriage; and, to give the federal government the authority to decide the qualifications for voting in national, state and local elections. The same pattern is true for the other ill thought-out and excessively worded amendments added to the Constitution since 1791.

Section 2, provides that…

“Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending before the beginning of such fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific amount in excess of such 18 percent by a roll call vote.”

This may be okay for those willing to spend almost twenty percent of their work life laboring for the federal government. However, keep in mind that the federal government is only a small portion of the government bodies we have to support with our taxes. The spending limit imposed by this section is based on the aggregate GDP of all fifty states. Each of those states has hundreds of taxing and spending bodies “harassing their people and eating out their substances”. The combined outlay of all the government bodies in the United States, federal, state, county and local is much closer to 50% or more than to 20%. This section guarantees that the federal government will always be entitled to at least 18% of the produce of our labor, to spend on whatever it sees fit; more if it thinks it is necessary.

Section 3 is one of the more troubling sections of the proposed amendment. It provides that…

“Prior to each fiscal year, the President shall transmit to the Congress a proposed budget for the United States Government for that fiscal year in which—
‘‘(1) total outlays do not exceed total receipts; and
‘‘(2) total outlays do not exceed 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States for the calendar year ending before the beginning of such fiscal year.”

What is troubling about this section is that it puts the onus on the President to determine the budgetary needs of the country each year, wiping out a four-hundred year portion of our heritage. If History is indeed our best predictor of the future, future Presidents will claim that the Constitution (this Amendment) gives the Executive Branch the “power of the purse” overturning four hundred years of custom and Constitutional law. As we pointed out in a previous post, the power of the purse has always resided in the people’s assembly. Before the Constitution it rested with the colonial general assemblies. Since the Constitution it has rested in the House of Representatives.

The Remaining eight sections all contain similar opportunities for future courts and politicians to mold in into about anything they desire it to be. The piece de resistance, however, is found in section 11, which says, “This article shall take effect beginning with the fifth fiscal year beginning after its ratification.’’

It takes on average, two to five years to get an Amendment through the Amendment process. This section adds an additional five or six years, depending on the time of the year it is finally ratified, before it takes effect. By that time we will either be a socialist dictatorship or we will have won the struggle with the socialists in government and will not need the amendment.

Space prevents a complete exposition of this question. We have provided a copy of the proposed Amendment here and challenged readers to consider some of the possible pitfalls inherent in any changes to our Constitution, no matter how logical and necessary they seem at the time. As my mom used to say “eat what’s on your plate before going back for more”. Enforce adherence to the Constitution we have, before attempting to add more requirements that are likely to be ignored or circumvented when government finds such action desirable for its agenda.

It’s Time To Cut Up The Credit Card

The debate over raising the debt ceiling continuously brings up the threat that not doing so would jeopardize the “full faith and credit of the United States”.  Exactly what is the full faith and credit of the United States?  It might help in the discussion if we stopped for a moment and thought about what the expression actually means.

“Full faith and credit of the United States” is referring to the confidence lenders have in the ability of the federal government to confiscate enough of the earnings of the American people in time to pay off its debts when they come due. The federal government itself earns nothing. Every penny spent by any government must first be earned through the physical and intellectual labor of its citizens. The government then confiscates a part of those earnings and uses it to pay for the products and services it purchases.

Once the amount of spending exceeds the amount of confiscated earnings, in order to continue spending the government must borrow against the future earning of it citizens. At present: July 13, 2011, some forty percent of the average person’s earnings are taken by federal, states and local governments in order to support their prolific spending habits. Thomas Jefferson warned us in 1813 “never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term; and to consider that tax as pledged to the creditors on the public faith.” That is still good advice today.

The problem is that our politicians do not have the political courage to follow Jefferson’s advice. They know that attempting to do so would result in their being thrown out of office at the earliest possible opportunity. To put it in perspective, the total paid by the average American today is somewhere between forty and sixty percent of their income, including all taxes paid at the federal, state and local level. (exact figures are hard to come by) That means when we go to work each week, all the money we earn on Monday and Tuesday goes to a government body in taxes — government always gets its money first. It is not until Wednesday or Thursday that we begin to earn money we can use for our own personal consumption.

If we followed Jefferson’s advice today the government would need to confiscate all our earning in taxes and still it would not have enough to pay off the debt. Of course, it cannot do that and survive, therefore, they need to keep raising the debt limit and passing the debt on to future generations. It is time to force the federal government to “live within its means”. As it is, we have already condemned our children and grandchildren to a life of servitude to the state. To allow the federal government to continue to borrow against the earning of future generations is unconscionable and should not be allowed.

That is exactly what congressional Republicans will be doing if they make any type of deal with the progressives (American socialist) currently running the federal government to raise the debt limit. It’s time to cut up the nation’s credit card.

Choosing the Right Candidate

Before we know it, we are going to find ourselves in the midst of the most important primary race in generations. The number of patriots who recognize the perils facing America has grown exponentially over the past two years along with the continued growth of the Tea Party Movement. A number of patriotic politicians have stepped up to the plate to oppose the reckless and dangerous socialist policies of the current administration. Still, as we survey the developing field of possible “conservative” candidates we see a lot of ambiguity as to what it means to be a true constitution  conservative, both among the people and the potential candidates.

There are only two issues in the next election, one for the people and one for the candidates. The one for the people is; do we wish to continue as a constitutional republic or as a democratic socialist oligarchy?  The answer to that question determines the question we must get a clear answer to before we decide to support any candidate in the coming elections.  If the answer is that we want to continue as a constitutional republic, then the only thing we need to know about the candidate is; will he or she fight for our founding principles and defend our founding documents?

This is not something about which we have to speculate.  We have over four hundred years of history as our guide; 169 years of colonialism under a monarchy, 5 years as independent nation states, 8 years as a confederation of sovereign states, and 222 years as a constitutional republic, including some 130 years of experimenting with socialism. The one lesson we should have learned from our own history as well as the history of other nations of the world is that socialism does not work. Yet, in spite of the clear evidence that it does not, our political leaders continue to attempt to force in on an inadequately informed population.

The number one challenge facing the patriot movement today is a lack of knowledge among the voting public concerning our history, our Constitution and our American heritage. America has become a nation addicted to big government socialism. In order to cure any addiction one first has to recognize it and admit that it is a problem and have a real desire to break the habit.

Illinois Conservative.Com has published a new book, “Philosophy of Evil” especially for Tea Party Members and other patriots to help in understanding who we are as a people, where we are today as a nation and how we got here. It is the result of years of study and months of intensive research in American history and the history of socialism, especially as it took root and grew in American society. Philosophy of Evil traces the history of socialism in America from the early experiments with it in colonial times, through the utopian commune movement, the progressive era and its rapid growth in the twentieth century, culminating in the economic, political and social crises we are experiencing  today.

We invite our readers to go to our website, check out the subject index and read the sample chapters we have posted there. We believe an understanding of the information found in this book is essential to the restoration of America as a constitutional republic. As Thomas Jefferson said concerning his writing of the Declaration of Independence,

“[Our purpose is] not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent. …. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it [is] intended to be an expression of the American mind.”  Thomas Jefferson, 1825

New Book
Philosophy of Evil
Socialism in America

Click HERE for more information

The Founder’s Lockbox

By Jerry McDaniel

Unlike the fictitious Social Security lockbox, the Constitution contains a lockbox for the federal government. That box is the list of enumerated powers found in Article One of the Constitution, and the lock is the Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights. In Houdini like fashion, the government has escaped from the box over the past century, using the Seventeenth Amendment to open the lock. Our task in the twenty first century is to stuff it back into its box and reclose the lock.

Bracketed between the first and nineteenth clauses of Article I, Section 8, is a comprehensive list of all the powers delegated to the federal government; or to put it another way, a list of those things the federal government is charged with managing on behalf of the American People; namely, those that cannot be adequately managed by the states or individual citizens. This is the “lockbox” intended by the Founders to contain the federal government.  Clause One introduces the enumerated powers and describes the taxing powers of the government and Clause Nineteen describes the conditions all laws passed by Congress must meet. Clause One reads,

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

This clause list three purposes for which Congress is allowed to lay and collect taxes, debt, defense, and welfare. The two key words are “common” and “general”. Under common defense, the Feds are allowed to tax us for the collective defense of all the states and territories making up the United States. It does not authorize taxing in order to provide block grants for law enforcement activities within individual states,  to protect individual citizens against insults and unkind treatment by other citizens, our own unwise decisions, or to protect us from the proselytizing efforts of various religious groups.

Neither does it authorize Congress to tax us for the defense of other nations, unless the defense of that nation is directly related to our own national security. Border security, anti-drug smuggling and human trafficking, etc. are legitimate functions of the federal government because they are for the “common defense” of all the states. International defense against terrorism is also a Constitutional power that falls under this clause because international terrorist organizations have declared war on America.

The same principle applies to “general” welfare. As Thomas Jefferson pointed out in his report to George Washington concerning the chartering of a National Bank, Congress does not have the power to tax for any purpose that might be thought to promote the welfare of citizens but only for the general welfare of the nation as a whole and extending only to those enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. Taxing one group of citizens in order to provide for the welfare of another group of citizens is not countenanced by the Constitution. Most of the “earmarks” that are used by Congress members to “buy votes” only improve the welfare of a limited number of citizens therefore are unconstitutional. The famous “bridge to nowhere” would have benefited only a small number of the citizens in Alaska, for example.

The phrases “common defense” and “general welfare” also make up the litmus test for the laws authorized by clause nineteen, which reads,

“[Congress shall have the power…]To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

The key words here are “necessary”, “proper” and “foregoing”. Keep in mind that clause eight is a single, compound sentence made up of nineteen clauses, separated, as James Madison pointed out, by “nothing stronger than a semicolon”. The word “foregoing” refers only to the enumerated powers listed in clauses two through eighteen, all of which fall under the headings of common defense or general welfare. Thomas Jefferson pointed out that the word “necessary” applies only to those laws without which an enumerated power could not be carried into execution. This is the first test as to whether a law is constitutional or not. Necessary does not have the same meaning as “facilitate” or “make more convenient“.

The second test of constitutionality under this section is, is it proper? Does the law fulfill the purpose set forth in the introductory clause of providing for the common defense or the general welfare of the nation? If it does not it is not “proper” for the purpose and is therefore, unconstitutional.

Someone has said, “the power to tax is the power to enslave” however, repealing the Sixteenth Amendment or reforming our tax code is a useless exercise until we first return the federal government to its constitutional lockbox. Regardless of the form it takes, the American people have to be taxed eventually in order to pay for government spending since the only income it has is what it is able to squeeze out of the taxpayer. The only way to establish and sustain lower taxes is to limit government spending to those things included in the enumerated powers section of the Constitution. That is our challenge for the twenty-first century.