11/24/16

Thanksgiving Through the Years

By: Lee Edwards | The Daily Signal

thanksgiving

George Washington was first in war, first in peace, and in November 1789, the first president to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving, openly acknowledging God as the source of all “the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.”

Among the “favors” were a Declaration of Independence that inspires us to the present day, a remarkable military victory over the most powerful nation in the world, and an ingenious Constitution of checks and balances that places “we the people” at the center of our government.

For the next fourscore and seven years, most states honored a November date as a day of prayer and fasting, but there was no national celebration. Of the early presidents, only James Madison, in 1814 and 1815, issued proclamations.

Then in November 1863, with the Civil War still raging, President Abraham Lincoln officially declared the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving. Echoing Washington, Lincoln asked Americans to “implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full employment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.”

God heard the people’s prayers for an end to war and the preservation of the Union, but He had yet to vouchsafe a “full” employment of harmony and tranquility.

Succeeding presidents issued proclamations in the same providential spirit of Lincoln and Washington, freely thanking God for His favors and benefits. In 1904, for example, President Theodore Roosevelt said that “the time has come [again] when a special day shall be set apart in which to thank Him, who holds all nations in the hollow of His hand, for the mercies thus vouchsafed to us.” In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge said that Americans should “devoutly give thanks to the Almighty for the many and great blessings they have received, to seek His guidance that they may receive a continuance of His favor.”

However, with the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the coming of secular progressivism, God was given an increasingly secondary role while the “civic spirit” of America was extolled. “May we on Thanksgiving Day and on every day,” said FDR in the middle of World War II, careful not to use the “G” word, “express our gratitude and zealously devote ourselves to our duties as individuals and as a nation.”

President John F. Kennedy also skirted the word “God,” calling on Americans to “renew that spirit [of Thanksgiving] by offering our thanks for uncovenanted mercies, beyond our desert or merit, and by resolving to meet the responsibilities placed upon us.” Faithful to his progressive roots, President Barack Obama declared in his 2012 Thanksgiving proclamation that “we are a people who draw our deepest strength not from might or wealth but from our bonds to each other” (but not, apparently, to a transcendent being).

As he did in so many ways, President Ronald Reagan broke sharply with the progressives, taking inspiration from Washington and Lincoln and reemphasizing the religious character of Thanksgiving. Quoting the 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation, Reagan said that “no human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” Reagan went on: “God has blessed America and her people, and it is appropriate we recognize this bounty.”

Thanksgiving has always been rooted in the notion, wrote commentator Daniel Horowitz, “that as a nation, our entire prosperity, security, and liberty is completely dependent upon God’s providence.” So on this Thanksgiving Day in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, let us give thanks and thanks and ever thanks to Him who gives us life, liberty, and happiness.

11/24/16

Sore Losers — The Framers didn’t want us to play this game

Carolyn Alder www.freedomformula.us  [email protected]

Gary and Carolyn Alder Authors of:  The Evolution and Destruction of the Original Electoral College 

electoral

The game ended over two weeks ago and yet the losers are still pouting, protesting, rioting, vandalizing, suspending college classes, threatening to secede, petitioning the Presidential Electors to vote for Hillary on Dec. 19th, and planning to flood down on Washington D.C with protests on Jan. 20th, 2017.

This is not just a game lost; but a war that has been going on over a year to capture the “White House.”  The battleground states became a battleground nation. Mr. Trump won the Electoral College battle, Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote battle; but who will win the war on Jan. 20th?

It won’t be the Constitution or the American Federation the Framers established.

Were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump the most outstanding individuals and statesmen this nation could produce? This ludicrous and shameful behavior is what party politics and mass democracy has done to us.

Doesn’t this election cycle, if nothing else, prove that we need a better way to elect this high office?

The Framers did not want a democracy.  They  rejected the idea of a popular vote to elect the President.  The notes from the Constitutional Convention, describe many options that were discussed at length on several occasions as to how the office of the chief Executive, the President of the Union of States should be chosenTo share a couple example of their objection to a popular election:

“ Mr. GERRY. (Elbridge Gerry, MA) A popular election in this case is radically vicious [violent]. The ignorance of the people would put it in the power of some one set of men dispersed through the Union & acting in Concert to delude them into any appointment.” [1]

Mr. Gerry also spoke of the “excesses” and “evils” of democracy expressing his opposition this way, “The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want [lack] virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.  In Mass. it had been fully confirmed by experience that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute.” [2]

Col George Mason delegate from Virginia, also known as the father of the Bill of Rights, put it this way, “It would be as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for chief Magistrate to the people, as it would to refer a trial of colours to a blind man.” [3]

Roger Sherman of Connecticut said, “that the president ought to be elected by Congress, since he feared that direct election of presidents by the people would lead to the creation of a monarchy.” [4]

If the Framers did not want a popularly elected president or democracy –what did they want?

They wanted to design a structure of government to control the national level of government, safeguard freedom, protect individual liberty, establish justice and promote prosperity. They did not go from a confederation of states to a consolidated central government.

The Framers intelligently designed the greatest political document ever created–the Constitution of the United States.  It defined a modified American Federation; a “more perfect Union”–not a democracy.  The Constitution added one house (but only one house) to be elected by the people.  The Articles of Confederation had no assembly elected by the people.

They also added an Executive Branch with specific limited responsibilities and a detailed method for filling that office.  Article II of the Constitution carefully outlines every step.  It was a compound process using one group outside of government influence (independent Presidential Electors) to recommend the most outstanding presidential possibilities; and a second group inside government (the House of Representatives) to make the final election by the States, each state having one vote.

The concept of having one body nominate a group of candidates from which another body will make a final selection is consistent with Resolution # 5 of the Virginia Plan and not an uncommon practice. [5]

Both the nomination and the election came under the jurisdiction of the States.  The States would choose the method of appointment of the Electors and the States having an equal voice—one vote each, would elect the President.  (An American Federation again.)

A “short cut” was provided in case a majority of Electors recommended the same individuals; then there was no need to go to the House. For a more detailed examination of the presidential election process see:  A Far Superior Process [6]

Some of the delegates in the Convention thought the Congress would often make the final election. George Mason for example, stated “that nineteen times in twenty the President would be chosen by the Senate, an improper body for the purpose.”  However, on Sept. 4th when the final election was changed from the Senate to the House, it pleased many delegates.   Mr. Madison records: “Col: Mason liked the latter mode best as lessening the aristocratic influence of the Senate.” [7]

However, because political party machinations sought to manipulate and control the Presidential Electors, and always force a majority, we soon lost the independence of the Electors and the Executive Branch.  The first Branch to fall victim to party politics and democracy was the Executive, facilitated by the 12th Amendment. The Senate was the second casualty of party control and democracy with the 17th Amendment.  The State’s lost the voice of their State Government and the American Federation crumbled to the ground.

President George Washington in his farewell address earnestly pleaded and warned the country in the most solemn manner not to resort to political parties; that sooner or later, the despotism and spirit of revenge would result in the ruins of Public Liberty. (Sept. 19, 1796)

We claim that constitutional government was destroyed by party government.  See our book: The Evolution and Destruction of the Original Electoral College

The Constitution was intelligently designed to control the government, not to control the people.

However, the Constitution does not have any control over party politics, but party politics has a lot of control over the people and the government.

[1] http://userpages.umbc.edu/~bouton/History101/ConstitutionalConvention.htm

[2]  United States—Formation of the Union Documents Illustrative of the Union of the American States  p.125 https://archive.org/details/documentsillustr00libr

[3] Jul 17, 1787 United States—Formation of the Union pg.127 https://archive.org/details/documentsillustr00libr

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/15/in-defense-of-the-electoral-college/?utm_term=.e160bfe685e2

[5] May 31st, 1787 United States—Formation of the Union p.127 https://archive.org/details/documentsillustr00libr

[6] http://noisyroom.net/blog/2016/03/03/if-your-nominating-process-resembles-a-circus-you-get-clowns-in-the-white-house-the-framers-designed-a-far-superior-process-the-original-electoral-college/

[7] United States—Formation of the Union p. 678 https://archive.org/details/documentsillustr00libr

11/24/16

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving

From: Wallbuilders

The Pilgrims are well known today for their association with the first Thanksgiving festival. The Pilgrims were Separatists — a set of Protestants who felt that they would be unable to reform the Church of England and therefore needed to separate and form their own church. Following persecution from the Church of England, they went to Holland and then eventually to America. (The Puritans were those who believed they could reform the Church of England. It turned out that they were wrong, and following severe persecution, some 20,000 followed the Pilgrims to America.)

The Pilgrims had obtained a land grant for Virginia and set sail in the Mayflower on September 6, 1620. But after a rough ocean crossing, they landed some 200 miles north of Virginia in what became known as Massachusetts. On November 11, 1620, they finally dropped anchor and came ashore.

The harsh New England winter was already well underway. Having no homes or shelter of any kind when they landed, before spring arrived, half of the 100 settlers had died. But that first year also brought unexpected blessings as some of the Indians in the area who had learned English were willing to help the Pilgrims by showing them many things they needed to survive, including how to plant Indian crops such as corn, and how to hunt and fish in that area.

The Pilgrims first harvest was bountiful — enough to fill their needs and help them through the coming winter. So even though it had been a harsh year, they still had reason to celebrate. The governor of Plymouth Colony therefore called a three-day festival, inviting the ninety Indians to join the 50 Pilgrims. This feast, which included times of thanks to God as well as athletic competitions and food and fellowship, is commonly celebrated as the first Thanksgiving festival in America. Edward Winslow, an early governor of Plymouth, wrote this account:

[O]ur harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let’s remember the history of this holiday and the hard work of these early pious Christians as we, too, take time to thank God for our blessings. From all of us at WallBuilders, Happy Thanksgiving! 

(If you’re interested in more information on historic American Thanksgiving across the centuries, WallBuilders has a collection of Thanksgiving proclamations from various state governors & presidents as well as a collection of historical sermons on the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving celebrations.)