“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government…” Patrick Henry
So much has happened over the past 7 years it can be overwhelming. At times such as these, where I have a hard time expressing myself, I turn to those whose wisdom exceeds my own, because what I have on my mind doesn’t seem to give me the right to say them. I look critically at myself at times like this, wondering who am I to lecture anyone about what America should be and what duties the people and those who run it should be. I don’t have years of University education. I graduated high school. I don’t hold any fancy titles or have diplomas hanging on my walls. No degrees, no doctorates. I’m a stay at home mom trying to raise her child the best I can. I wasn’t born here, and those who know me, know I’ve only been a citizen for a couple of weeks now. In other words, this ordinary, average person doesn’t have the right to lecture those who have Ivy League backgrounds or those who have lived their whole lives being what I’ve only lived a couple of weeks being- an American.
What I do have is a great burden for this country, and for the people who have given so much to try and preserve her. Not just our men and women in uniform, although they are never far from my heart and thoughts. I know so many people who love this country, and honestly if I were to ask anyone, “Do you love America” I would hope they would all say, “Of course!”
However, I wonder how much people can love this country when they reelect people who want to transform her; or when so many don’t care who they elect, as long as there is something in it for them. How many politicians love America? I have to wonder at that, because it seems that for a long time, many who have made politics their careers care more about their prestige than they do about keeping their oaths to uphold and protect the Constitution…the Law of this country.
I read a poll a couple of years ago, showing that many seminary students studying to be pastors didn’t know the simplest of Bible trivia, such as who wrote the Gospels. They didn’t believe in the core doctrines of Jesus’ virgin birth or that He was God in the Flesh, sinless in His earthly life, or that He died on the cross and rose again. How can someone feel a call to do something that they don’t even understand or believe in? It is much the same with politicians and those who put them back into office term after term.
Let me borrow from those whose wisdom far exceeds my own because much of what they wrote, spoke, and lived is more eloquent than what I could ever express, yet it sums up everything I feel. Over the past few years, I’ve come to understand that the problems we have in America today stem from two sources: lack of belief and lack of understanding of historical truth about America and her foundation.
It’s no secret that America’s very foundation since the times of the first pilgrim was, in the words of the Mayflower Compact, “for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith.” If one is to read the Colonial compacts, early government charters, codes and covenants, one would see that Biblical belief and the ideas of freedom is reiterated throughout all of these documents. The men who founded America knew of and held true to the Biblical ideals and freedoms in the Magna Carta as well.
People like to claim that the Founding Fathers were Deists at most, but looking at their words–not just the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, but also their private words, letters and speeches–we know that these men clearly understood the Nature of God and His hand in the foundation of Government. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22; “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us.”
God is mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence. He is Nature’s God, Maker of Nature’s Laws, and Legislature. He is our Creator, our Founder. He is Supreme Judge, and Judiciary, and He is Divine Providence, the Executive.
Our Founders knew that Nature and Equality could only be truly represented in a limited government which has a separation of powers, and they knew the giver of liberty: “God who gave us life gave us liberty.” Thomas Jefferson.
Again from Thomas Jefferson, “That these are our grievances which we have thus laid before his majesty, with that freedom of language and sentiment which becomes a free people claiming their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.”
Government by consent of the governed is the first guarantee of limited government and freedom, which is why We the People are meant to have power over those who govern us.
Our Founders knew that when people are free to pursue their own industries and secure prosperity for themselves and their families, they would be vigilant about whom they elect, to ensure that the general welfare of our communities was promoted. If the general welfare of our local communities is as good as, or better than our own, we can be sure our liberties will not be restricted.
They gave us a representative Constitutional Republic which would continue to give government enough power to protect our liberties, but not so much as to take them away. They knew this type of limited government with checks and balances is one in which freedom is granted to each individual and where small groups of ‘nobles’ or privileged class would not gain tyrannical power over the rest of the people.
The basic duties of our government are laid out in the Preamble to the Constitution. We the People are to have power over the government. First duty was to establish justice, as America is a nation of just laws as given in the Constitution.
Ensuring domestic tranquility ensured that people would get along and be safe, so community laws were established to keep peace. Providing for the common defense is the main duty of the federal government. America is a sovereign nation, and our federal government is charged with ensuring the safety of the citizens by defending in cases of attack by others, or by securing and making sure people follow the laws to enter into the US.
The most misunderstood part of our Preamble is “to promote the general welfare”. This meant that we would ensure that those who governed us would promote and protect our liberties and leave us free to pursue our goals which benefit society, and that we would hold onto these for ourselves and our children. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”
And again from Thomas Jefferson, “A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.”
Too many people have succumbed to the idea that government handouts are a duty of the federal government and that through these, the government is the giver of rights.
Patrick Henry, my favorite Founding Father once said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
My burden is for this country that I love and call home. I see the “jewel of liberty” in danger, not only by a government out of control, but by so many who would be willing to trade it for what is offered to them in the form of government handouts. “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” Thomas Jefferson
Our liberties, our rights, are inalienable, which means they are not transferrable, can’t be given away and can’t be taken. Our Freedoms are embedded in our Bill of Rights and are God given; our Founders knew that.
“It is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defense of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave” –John Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, November 20, 1772
Please understand that if you give the government power to grant rights, you also give them power to take rights away. Too many people the world over have experienced tyrannical systems in which they have been ruled over by a minority that decides who gets fed and who doesn’t. They decide who gets the right to work and where, who gets to keep their property and who doesn’t. Throughout the ages, millions have suffered at the hands of dictators who have the power to decide who gets to live and who dies. And yes, even in light of our own country’s latest national debate, our own leaders potentially have the power to decide who gets a lifesaving operation and who does not.
Those who have lived all of their lives in America, those born here, don’t always realize just what a beacon of freedom America has been to people all over the world. Millions have come to escape government tyranny, and millions have come for something simpler–the chance to live freely, to pursue their dreams unhindered and live their lives without fear. People who are not born and raised in America understand how valuable freedom is, and so did our Founders as they broke free from tyranny themselves.
In regards to veterans I have to ask again, are we as a free people going to preserve what they have fought and so many have died to give us? Are those who have given, and so many who still give up so much for us, worth fighting for?
Please remember America–you are Americans. America has always been exceptional; it has always been the greatest of nations. It is not simply a nation of “free stuff”; it is a nation of freedom! Do something to save this nation. Learn about the reasons for the Constitution, for our Declaration, and the intent of the founders when they formed a limited Representative Constitutional Republic.
“If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.” Samuel Adams
Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of learning when he said, “A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”
If you don’t fight to hold on to what bit we have left, well, the founders knew what would happen…
“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams