"The people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." --Samuel Adams
[Publisher's Note: This essay is a two-part seminal treatise on Constitutional Rule of Law in advance of Constitution Day, 17 September, the 222nd anniversary of our national Constitution. This essay appears in its entirety in our new Constitution booklets. On Constitution Day, The Patriot will announce a major education initiative promoting the Right construction of our Constitution and Rule of Law.]
On December 16th, 1773, "radicals" from Marlborough, Massachusetts, threw 342 chests of tea from three British East India Company ships into Boston Harbor in protest of oppressive taxation and tyrannical rule. They wrote of their actions, "A free-born people are not required by the religion of Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their ... liberties." That event, of course, was the Boston Tea Party.
On April 19th, 1775, Paul Revere departed Charlestown (near Boston), for Lexington and Concord, in order to warn John Hancock, Samuel Adams and other Sons of Liberty that British regulars were coming to arrest them and seize their weapons caches. Revere was captured after reaching Lexington, but his friend Samuel Prescott took word to the militiamen in Concord.
In the early dawn of that first Patriots Day, Captain John Parker, commander of the militiamen at Lexington, ordered, "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they want a war let it begin here." And it did -- American Minutemen fired the "shot heard round the world," as immortalized by Ralph Waldo Emerson, confronting the British on Lexington Green and at Concord's Old North Bridge.
On July 6th, 1775, Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson issued their Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms: "With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves."
A year later in Philadelphia, on July 4th, 1776, Jefferson and 55 merchants, farmers, doctors, lawyers and other representatives of the original 13 colonies of the United States of America, in the General Congress, Assembled, pledged "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" to the cause of liberty, declaring, "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
Our Founders further avowed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Our Declaration of Independence was derived from common law, "the laws of nature and nature's God," all men being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." It calls on "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions" and "the protection of Divine Providence."
The Declaration's common law inspiration for the rights of man has its origin in governing documents dating back to the Magna Carta (1215), and was heavily influenced by the writings Charles Montesquieu, William Blackstone and John Locke.
However, its most immediate common law inspiration was Blackstone's 1765 "Commentaries on the Laws of England," perhaps the most scholarly historical and analytic treatise on "the laws of nature and nature's God."
Blackstone wrote, "As man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. ... This law of nature, being coeval [coexistent] with mankind and dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this. ... Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered [permitted] to contradict these."
In 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee representing the 13 states to draft a formal document of incorporation, and approved the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union for ratification by the states on November 15, 1777. The Articles of Confederation were ratified on March 1, 1781, and the "the United States in Congress assembled" became the Congress of the Confederation.
At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, it was apparent that the Articles of Confederation between the states were not sufficient to secure the interests of the confederation. On February 21, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation charged a group of delegates with revising the Articles of Confederation. Those delegates decided against amending the existing Articles in favor of a new Constitution and convened in Philadelphia to draft a new Constitution.
Using the Virginia Plan drafted primarily by James Madison, the delegates spent five months deliberating a constitutional draft, which would secure the rights and principles enumerated in the Declaration by establishing a republican form of government under strict Rule of Law, reflecting the consent of the people and severely limiting the power of the central government.
George Washington and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention wrote, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
"To secure these rights..."
The Bill of Rights: "In order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of [the Constitution's] powers..."
Endeavoring to define further our Constitution's limits on government interference with the innate rights of the people, James Madison, its primary architect, introduced to the First Congress in 1789, a Bill of Rights -- the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution, which was then ratified on the 15th of December 1791.
The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: Two Treatises of Government, authored by John Locke in 1689 regarding protection of "property" (in the Latin context, proprius, or one's own "life, liberty and estate"); the Virginia Declaration of Rights, authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state's constitution; and, of course, our Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson.
There was great debate about the need to enumerate these rights, as such a listing might be taken to suggest that they were amendable rather than unalienable; granted by the state rather than "Endowed by our Creator."
As Hamilton argued in Federalist No. 84, "Bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. ... For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?"
On the other hand, George Mason was among 16 of the 55 Constitutional Convention delegates who refused to sign it because the document did not adequately address limitations on what the central government had "no power to do." Indeed, he worked with Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams against its ratification for that reason.
As a result of Mason's insistence, 10 additional limitations were placed upon the federal government by the first session of Congress, for the reasons outlined by the Preamble to the Bill of Rights: "The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution..."
Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights (as noted by Thomas Jefferson: "The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."), and a clear delineation of constraints upon the central government.
Rule of Law v. "A Living Constitution"
"What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws. ... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government." --Alexander Hamilton
For its first 150 years (with a few exceptions), our Constitution stood as our Founders and "the people" intended -- as is -- in accordance with its original intent. In other words, it was interpreted exegetically rather than eisegetically -- textually as constructed, rather than as a so-called "living" document, altered to express the biases of later generations of politicians and jurists.
But incrementally, constitutional Rule of Law in the United States has been diluted by unlawful actions of those in the executive, legislative and judicial branches -- most notably, the latter -- at great hazard to the future of liberty.
As Thomas Jefferson warned repeatedly, the greatest threat to the Rule of Law and constitutional limitations on the central government was an unbridled judiciary: "The original error [was in] establishing a judiciary independent of the nation, and which, from the citadel of the law, can turn its guns on those they were meant to defend, and control and fashion their proceedings to its own will. ... The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch."
Jefferson understood that should our Constitution ever become a straw man for a politicized judiciary to interpret as it pleased, Rule of Law would gradually yield to rule of men -- the terminus of the latter being tyranny.
Regarding the process of amendment prescribed by our Constitution in Article V (popular ratification rather than judicial diktat), Samuel Adams wrote, "[T]he people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government and to reform, alter, or totally change the same when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it. And the federal Constitution -- according to the mode prescribed therein -- has already undergone such amendments in several parts of it as from experience has been judged necessary."
Jefferson concurred: "The will of the majority [is] the natural law of every society [and] is the only sure guardian of the rights of man. Perhaps even this may sometimes err. But its errors are honest, solitary and short-lived."
The Federalist Papers, as the definitive explication of our Constitution's original intent, clearly define constitutional interpretation. In Federalist No. 78 Alexander Hamilton writes, "[The Judicial Branch] may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment ... liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments."
In Federalist No. 81, Hamilton declares, "[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution." And yet this non-existent "spirit" is the essence of the so-called "Living Constitution," which liberal jurists now amend by judicial diktat rather than its prescribed method in Article V.
The first instance of extra-constitutional interpretation by the federal judiciary was the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, in which the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Marshall, denied the plaintiff's claim because it relied on the Judiciary Act of 1789, which the court ruled unconstitutional.
Marbury set a very dangerous precedent, which would, a century later, be used to greatly expand the limited judicial powers outlined in Article III of our Constitution.
Prior to Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" mischief, however, the courts were still largely populated with originalists, those who properly rendered legal interpretation based on the Constitution's "original intent." But Roosevelt grossly exceeded the constitutional limits of his office and that of the legislature in his ill-advised efforts to end the Great Depression (the latter falling victim to World War II -- not FDR's social and economic engineering).
FDR even attempted to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court in 1937 so those appointees would give him a majority, which would do his political bidding. He failed, but during his unprecedented first three terms, he appointed eight justices to the High Court, who radically accommodated their "interpretation" of the Constitution to comport with Roosevelt's expansion of central government authority and power.
It is no coincidence that the term "Living Constitution" was coined in that same year, as the title of a book on that subject.
In the decades that followed, the notion of a "Living Constitution," one subject to contemporaneous interpretation informed by political agendas, took hold in federal courts. With increasing frequency, "judicial activists," jurists who "legislate from the bench" by issuing rulings at the behest of like-minded special-interest constituencies, were nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court.
This degradation of the Rule of Law was codified by the Warren Court in Trop v. Dulles (1958). In that ruling, the High Court noted that the Constitution should comport with "evolving standards ... that mark the progress of a maturing society." In other words, it had now become a fully pliable document, "a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please," as Thomas Jefferson had warned. Indeed, the Court had become "a despotic branch."
Since then, judicial despots have not only undermined the plain language of our Constitution, but also grossly devitalized the Bill of Rights.
For example, the First Amendment reads plainly: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Once again, in plain language, "Congress shall make no law..."
Judicial activists have for decades "interpreted" this amendment to suit their political agendas, placing severe constraints upon the free exercise of religion, invoking the obscure and grotesquely misrepresented "Wall of Separation" to expel religious practice from any and all public forums.
As noted by the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist, "The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based upon bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. ... The greatest injury of the 'wall' notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intention of the drafters of the Bill of Rights."
Meanwhile, judicial despots and legislators are endeavoring to abridge the freedom of speech and the press, while asserting that virtually all other mediums of expression constitute "free speech."
As another example, the Second Amendment reads plainly: "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." And yet certain executive, legislative and judicial principals are unceasing in their efforts to enfeeble this essential right.
In the 1788 Massachusetts Convention debates to ratify the U.S. Constitution, Founder Samuel Adams stated: "The Constitution shall never be construed ... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
That same year, James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46, "The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."
Madison's appointee, Justice Joseph Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution (1833), has correctly observed of the Second Amendment: "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
Similarly, Founder Noah Webster wrote, "Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state."
Equally offensive to our Constitution is the manner in which the 10th Amendment's assurance of states' rights has been eroded by judicial interpretation.
The 10th Amendment reads plainly: "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 Federalist No. 45, Madison outlines the clear limits on central government power established in the Constitution: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
But as early as 1794, Madison had begun to rail against the government's unconstitutional urge to redistribute the wealth of its citizens: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. ... If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
Today, more than two-thirds of the federal budget is spent on "objects of benevolence," for which there is no constitutional authority. Put another way, much of your income is being confiscated and redistributed unconstitutionally.
Perhaps with an eye toward such a future, George Washington advised, "The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all."
Today, more than two centuries hence, Justice Antonin Scalia has said, "As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to 'do what the people want,' instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically."
A "Wall of Separation"?
George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address of 1796, "Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in the Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the opposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
Our Founders affirmed that the natural rights enumerated in our Declaration of Independence and, by extension, as codified in its subordinate guidance, our Constitution, are those endowed by our Creator.
Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. ... Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."
Alexander Hamilton insisted, "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." These are natural rights -- gifts from God, not government.
Moreover, it was with firm regard to this fact that our Constitution was written and ratified "in order secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." As such, it established a constitutional republic ruled by laws based on natural rights, not rights allocated by governments or those occupying seats of power.
John Quincy Adams wrote, "Our political way of life is by the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, and of course presupposes the existence of God, the moral ruler of the universe, and a rule of right and wrong, of just and unjust, binding upon man, preceding all institutions of human society and government."
Notably, the conviction that our rights are innately bestowed by "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," is enumerated in the preambles of every state constitution of our Union.
But, for many decades, those who advocate a "living constitution" have used the "despotic branch" to remove faith from every public quarter, ironically and erroneously citing the "Wall of Separation" metaphor -- words that Jefferson wrote to denote the barrier between federal and state governments, not to erect a prohibition against faith expression in any and all public venues.
The intended consequence of this artificial barrier between church and state is to remove the unmistakable influence of our Creator from all public forums, particularly government education institutions, and thus, over time, to disabuse belief in a sovereign God and the notion of natural rights. This erosion of knowledge about the origin of our rights, the very foundation of our country and basis of our Constitution, has dire implications for the future of liberty.
A republic ... if you can keep it...
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was asked if the delegates had formed a republic or a monarchy. "A republic," he responded, "if you can keep it."
To that end, as a warning for future generations to beware of "cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men," Washington wrote, "A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position."
John Adams cautioned, "A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
Today, our Constitution is the oldest rule-of-law charter governing a sovereign republic. It authorizes a republican form of limited government with the express aim of defending individual rights, which are the gift of God.
Unfortunately, and at great peril to our liberty, our Constitution has for years suffered at the hands of "cunning, ambitious and unprincipled" politicians and judges who recognize only vestiges of its original intent for governance. Consequently, constitutional Rule of Law has been undermined by those who have deserted their sacred oaths to "support and defend" the same.
Our legacy of liberty, bequeathed to us by generations of American Patriots, is at risk. If we are to extend liberty to the next generation, we must renew our commitment to this animating contest of freedom as ordained by God, and as set forth by our nation's Founders in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
While the words "conservative" and "liberal" are ubiquitously used to describe party alliances, these words more essentially describe whether one advocates for the Rule of Law, or the rule of men; for the conservation of our Constitution as the Founders intended, or its liberal interpretation by "progressive" legislators and judicial activists.
It is well past time that we each ask of ourselves: "Which do I advocate?"
The role of, and limitations upon, our central government were and remain defined by the supreme law of the United States, our Constitution, as adopted, and aptly defended in The Federalist Papers.
Those of us who endorse the most basic tenets of our Republic, "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," are called to honor that heritage and set about the formidable task of restoring individual liberty and constitutional limits upon the branches of our national government.
The words of these Patriots ring as true today as they did at the dawn of our nation:
"The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People ... they may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty." --John Adams
"Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them." --Thomas Jefferson
"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!" --Alexander Hamilton
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." --Samuel Adams
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" --Patrick Henry
"If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." --Thomas Paine
To support and defend...
The last line of our Declaration of Independence reads, "For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
Indeed, many first-generation American Patriots died fighting for American liberty.
A decade later, their liberty won at great cost, our Founders further codified their independence and interdependence by instituting our Constitution, which specifies in Article VI, clause 3:
"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath [emphasis added] or Affirmation, to support this Constitution..."
The Constitution prescribed the following oath to be taken by the president-elect: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend [emphasis added] the Constitution of the United States."
Regarding the Presidential Oath of Office, Justice Joseph Story wrote: "[T]he duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.' The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose." Story wrote further that if the president does not honor his oath, his office "will be utterly worthless for ... the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."
Members of Congress and commissioned military personnel are also required by statute to "solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic: [emphasis added] that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."
The oath for enlisted military personnel repeats the preceding affirmation, "that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same," and concludes with, "I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
The subtle distinction between officer oath and enlisted oath is that officers are bound to disobey any order that violates our Constitution, while enlisted personnel are bound to obey only lawful orders.
Notably, these oaths mandate the preservation, protection, support and defense of our Constitution as ratified, not a so-called "living constitution." And by extension, every American Patriot who has taken such an oath is bound by his or her pledge to also support and defend the Constitution's foundation, the Declaration of Independence, and the Declaration's basis, Natural Law.
As we speak, and while uniformed Americans serving our nation defend our Constitution with their lives, many elected officials debase it by enacting extra-constitutional empowerments of the central government, invariably to appease special constituencies or to perpetuate their office. Or to do both.
Though military service personnel who violate their oaths are remanded for courts-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, politicians who violate their oaths are often rewarded with re-election. However, those who do not abide by their oaths, elected officials first and foremost among them, must rightly and justly be removed from office, posthaste, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
If you have ever taken an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," [emphasis added] and you remain steadfast in your pledge to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same," then take time to administer that oath to those who have not.
If you are among those who have not yet taken this oath, request its administration from a fellow Patriot who has, and stand ready to abide by it when duty calls.
If there is to be a peaceful transfer of liberty to our posterity, then we must return to principium imprimis, or First Principles.
Short of another American Revolution to remove by force those who do not abide by their oaths, our freedoms cannot long endure unless we, the people, reaffirm what was well understood by our Founders: that our Creator is the only eternal assurance of liberty.
The primacy of faith must be restored in order to preserve the conviction that, as Jefferson wrote, our "liberties are the gift of God"; traditional families and values must be restored as the foundation of our culture; individual rights and responsibilities must be restored as the underpinning of republican government; free enterprise must be unbridled from government constraints; and constitutional authority over each branch of government must be restored to ensure liberty, opportunity and prosperity for a civil society.
The Cycle of Democracy has been accurately summarized as:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty (rule of law);
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage (rule of men).
Our Founders established a democratic republic, not a democracy, in order to enfeeble this cycle, but with the erosion of constitutional authority, our Republic is now in grave peril of following the same cycle as have all other democracies in history. Only intervention by citizens and leaders who advocate for the primacy of constitutional authority, those committed to supporting and defending that authority above their self-interest, can save the Republic for the next generation.
Irrevocably linked to liberty ensured by constitutional Rule of Law is economic liberty.
Nineteenth-century historian Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, "[Democratic Republics] and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."
In 1916, a minister and outspoken advocate for liberty, William J. H. Boetcker, published a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots:
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.
Fact is, the central government cannot give to anybody what it does not first take from somebody else.
And none can claim the name "American Patriot" if they comport with or adhere to laws and regulations which violate our Constitution.
At its core, the word "patriot" has direct lineage to those who fought for American independence and established our constitutional Republic. That lineage has descended most directly through our history to those who have pledged "to support and defend" our Constitution -- those who have been faithful to, and who have abided by, their oaths, even unto death. On behalf of those gallant souls, Samuel Adams asked, "Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen and then ask yourself, What should be the reward of such sacrifices?"
The time is at hand when Patriots must inquire with a unified voice, "If there is no constitutional authority for laws and regulations enacted by Congress and enforced by the central government, then by what authority do those entities lay and collect taxes to fund such laws and regulations?"
On July 4th, 1776, our Declaration of Independence, this nation's supreme manuscript of incorporation, asserted, "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."
Our Declaration's principal author, Thomas Jefferson, also wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God."
While one hopes and prays that liberty can be restored and extended to our posterity without discord or rebellion, history does not favor such prospects.
Fellow Patriots, until the next Continental Congress is convened, I implore you to make no peace with oppression, and I leave you with these words of encouragement from the Father of our Nation, George Washington: "We should never despair. Our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new exertions and proportion our efforts to the exigency of the times."
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
LJC: As one who knows first hand that most citizens of the United States of America desire to live in as much personal freedom as possible given the state of the world today....while as a government we are bending over backwards, trying to please everyone, everywhere....striving to live up to our responsibilities within the world community that for the most part rejects or limits personal freedom for citizens as conceptualized in the Founding Documents of this country....while at the same time, heaping abuse on this country.
And then.........it is not only that people of other countries do not understand our Ideas of Freedom nor desire to try to live their lives within Concepts of Freedom that define the United States of America....but sadly...tragically....this can also be said about many Americans, especially educated Americans, today, who also feel free to criticize and to abuse this country, apparently having chosen to reject 'freedom of the individual'....voting instead for socialized governmental control of the people.
I ask myself, 'How can this be....'
And when I found this article I thought I had found at least part of the answer to my question. I offer it to you now as 'food for thought'!
March 19, 2007
"They always blame America first." That was Jeanne Kirkpatrick, describing the "San Francisco Democrats" in 1984. But it could be said about a lot of Americans.
In their assessment of what is going on in the world, they seem to start off with a default assumption that we are in the wrong. The "we" can take different forms: the United States government, the vast mass of middle-class Americans, white people, affluent people, churchgoing people or the advanced English-speaking countries. Such people are seen as privileged and selfish, greedy and bigoted, rash and violent. If something bad happens, the default assumption is that it's their fault. They always blame America -- or the parts of America they don't like -- first.
Where does this default assumption come from? And why is it so prevalent among our affluent educated class (which, after all, would seem to overlap considerably with the people being complained about?). It comes, I think, from our schools and, especially, from our colleges and universities. The first are staffed by liberals long accustomed to see America as full of problems needing solving; the latter have been packed full of the people cultural critic Roger Kimball calls "tenured radicals," people who see this country and its people as the source of all evil in the world.
On campuses, students are bombarded with denunciations of dead white males and urged to engage in the deconstruction of all past learning and scholarship.
Not all of this takes, of course. Most students have enough good sense to see that the campus radicals' description of the world is wildly at odds with reality. But this battering away at ideas of truth and goodness does have some effect. Very many of our university graduates emerge with the default assumption thoroughly wired into their mental software. And, it seems, they carry it with them for most of their adult lives.
The default assumption predisposes them to believe that if there is slaughter in Darfur, it is our fault; if there are IEDs in Iraq, it is our fault; if peasants in Latin America are living in squalor, it is our fault; if there are climate changes that have any bad effect on anybody, it is our fault.
What they have been denied in their higher education is an accurate view of history and America's place in it. Many adults actively seek what they have been missing: witness the robust sales of books on the Founding Fathers. Witness, also, the robust sales of British historian Andrew Roberts's splendid "History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900."
Roberts points out almost all the advances of freedom in the 20th century have been made by the English-speaking peoples -- Americans especially, but British, as well, and also (here his account will be unfamiliar to most American readers) Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. And he recalls what held and holds them together by quoting a speech Winston Churchill gave in 1943 at Harvard: "Law, language, literature -- these are considerable factors. Common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice and above all a love of personal freedom ... these are the common conceptions on both sides of the ocean among the English-speaking peoples."
Churchill recorded these things in his four-volume history of the English-speaking peoples up to 1900: the development of the common law, guarantees of freedom, representative government, independent courts.
More recently, Adam Hochschild, in his excellent "Breaking the Chains," tells the story of the extraordinary English men and women, motivated by deep religious belief, who successfully persuaded Britain to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself. Their example was followed in time, and after a bloody struggle, by likeminded Americans. The default assumption portrays American slavery as uniquely evil (which it wasn't) and ignores the fact the first campaign to abolish slavery was worded in English.
The default assumption gets this almost precisely upside down. Yes, there are faults in our past. But Americans and the English-speaking peoples have been far more often the lifters of oppression than the oppressors.
"There is something profoundly wrong ...too many are operating off the default assumption and have lost sight of who our enemies are.
Copyright 2007 Creators Syndicate
The USA In Bible Prophecy
The Foundation on which the Answers for Today will come to Light!
Revised and Expanded
Author: Rev. F. E. Pitts
Commentary by E. Raymond Capt
Did Christ know of this North American Continent? ... Sure he did. Did He know this great Nation would be Christian from its beginning? ... Of course he did. Is it possible that this Nation, the greatest Christian super power of all time, known to Jesus Christ, was never mentioned, indicated, or foretold in the Bible?
Many Christians today have not been exposed to what our forefathers believed and understood. Whether through God's purposeful blindness or due to modern-day revisionists intense desire to rewrite our Christian American history, the fact remains, we have lost our true identity, our heritage, our Israel roots. It's time our people awakened from their sleep and learn not only their true history but also their Destiny that is unfolding, even now, according to God's Divine Plan.
This book clearly indicates that America is the land set aside by God Almighty to be the place of re-gathered Israel. Sermons and documents by the Founding Fathers testify to their belief that they were the Israel people of the latter days, and that the Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled in their undertakings. It would be wise for us who are living in these last days to take a closer look at the past generations of our great Nation to relearn what they knew about America's critical role in Bible prophecy.
This book presents an amazing sermon by Rev. F. E. Pitts of Nashville, Tennessee to a joint session of Congress in 1857 (four years before the Civil War) in which he named the UNITED STATES as the last great power (Stone Kingdom of Daniel 2). He offers scripture after scripture proving that America is The New Jerusalem (Zion) spoken of by the prophets to be established before the return of Christ. Furthermore, he educates us on our responsibilities during this wondrous time in history.
The last half of the book contains excerpts from Our Great Seal and Abrahamic Covenant by E. Raymond Capt, noted Christian author, archaeologist, and historian. With the advantage of living in this latter time, he is able to shed additional light on this subject not fully known by our early American ancestors.
The seals, spoken of in Daniel 12:9, are rapidly being removed by God confirming the fact that we are truly living in the last days. What a sobering responsibility we have as his "light bearing" servant people!
Scripture passages from: Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, John, Micah, Revelation, Matthew, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Hosea, Hebrews, Joel, Psalms, I Peter, I & II Chronicles.
USA in Bible Prophecy Nashville Tennessee
The Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1727-1680 BC)
The Ten Commandments (ca. 1447 BC)
The Magna Carta (June 15, 1215)
The Declaration of Arbroath (1320)
Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh (March 25, 1584)
Mayflower Compact (November 11, 1620)
The Maryland Toleration Act (Sept. 21, 1649)
English Bill of Rights (1689)
Albany Plan of Union (1754)
Colonial Charters (1606-1732)
Resolutions of the Stamp Act (1765)
Anonymous Account of the Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770)
Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress (October 14, 1774)
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! (March 23, 1775)
Call to Arms (July 6, 1775)
Virginia Declaration of Rights (June 12, 1776)
Samuel Adams Advocates American Independence (August 1, 1776)
Common Sense - Thomas Paine (1776)
Treaty of Paris (1783)
State Constitutions (1776-1778)
Articles of Confederation (1777)
The Federalist Papers (1787)
The Anti-Federalist Papers (1787)
The Bill of Rights (1791)
Letter Of Transmittal (September 17, 1787)
Articles of Amendment (1787)
Bill of Rights Preamble (1789)
Memorial and Remonstrance (1785)
Annapolis Convention (September 14, 1786)
North-west Ordinance (July 13, 1787)
First Thanksgiving Proclamation (October 3, 1789)
Proclamation of Neutrality (1793)
Washington's Farewell Address (September 17, 1796)
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Treaty of Ghent (1814)
Star-Spangled Banner (1814)
Monroe Doctrine (1823)
The Lyceum Address (1838)
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)
Amendments Proposed in Congress by Senator John J. Crittenden (18 December 1860)
South Carolina Declaration of Secession (24 December 1860)
Jefferson Davis, Farewell to Congress (21 January 1861)
Georgia Secession (29 January 1861)
Jefferson Davis, 1st Innaugural Address (18 February 1861)
Jefferson Davis, 2nd Innaugural Address (22 February 1862)
Gettysburg Address (19 November 1863)
Emancipation Proclamation (22 September 1862)
The Treaty of Versailles (June 28, 1919)
Franklin D. Roosevelt -- 1st Inaugural Address (March 4, 1933)
Charter of the United Nations (June 26, 1945)
International Organizations Immunities Act (December 9, 1945)
United Nations Participation Act (December 20, 1945)
Winston Churchill -- "Iron Curtain" Speech (Mar. 5, 1946)
Participation in UNESCO (July 30, 1946)
Amendment of United Nations Participation Act (October 10, 1949)
North Atlantic Treaty (April 4, 1949)
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
John F. Kennedy -- 1961 Inaugural Address (January 20, 1961)
Martin L. King -- I Have a Dream (Aug. 28, 1963)
Martin L. King -- Letter from Birmingham Jail (Apr. 16, 1963)
Roe v. Wade (1973)
Reagan's Executive Order on Federalism (October 26, 1987)
Contract with America (1994)
2004 Republican National Convention Speeches (Aug. 30 - Sep. 2, 2004)
Wake up, America! Wake up, Patriots throughout the world!
These are sobering, thoughtful days. The 'signs' are there for those who have 'eyes to see and ears to hear'. Therefore each day, world wide, let us exercise our responsibility to INVOKE The Cosmic Christ Light of Invincible Love, Purity and Peace into everyone in every country of the world. Let us invoke into the air we breathe, the Invincible Ascended Master Energy of Freedom to compel the DISSOLVING of any 'line of impure energy' that sets one group of people against another or continues to distort and hide God-Truth'
Now let us join hearts and minds as again we say,
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH
AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME
Lois J. Crawford
GEO. WASHINGTON'S VISION