12/16/16

Balanced Budget Amendment: The Solution? Or Deathblow?

By: Publius Huldah

The BBA Made Simple

Say you want your Butler to buy some groceries; so you give him your credit card.  You can:

  1. Give him an ENUMERATED LIST of what you want him to buy: 1 chicken, 5# of apples, two heads of cabbage, a 2# sack of brown rice, and a dozen eggs.  Whatever amount he spends for these enumerated items will be charged to you.
  1. Tell him he may spend on whatever he wants, and ask him to please don’t spend more than 18% of your weekly income. But whatever amount he decides to spend (on pork and other things) will be charged to you.

The first illustrates how our Constitution is written:  The items on which Congress is authorized to spend money are listed – enumerated – in the Constitution.  To see the list, go HERE.

The second illustrates how a balanced budget amendment (BBA) works:  It creates a completely new constitutional authority to spend on whatever the federal government wants to spend money on.  And there is no enforceable limit on the amount of spending.

Our Constitution Limits Spending to the Enumerated Powers

Our Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to spend money on whatever they want.  If Congress obeyed our Constitution, they would limit spending to the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution. Since the Constitution delegates to Congress only limited and narrowly defined authority to spend money, excessive federal spending is not the result of a defective Constitution, but of disregarding the existing constitutional limitations on federal spending.

Because everyone has ignored these existing limitations for so long, we now have a national debt of some $20 trillion plus a hundred or so trillion in unfunded liabilities. 1

Various factions are now telling conservatives that the only way to stop out of control federal spending is with a BBA.

Obviously, that is not true.  The constitutional answer is to downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.  Eliminate federal departments (Education, Energy, Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, etc., etc., etc.), for which there is no constitutional authority.  2

Since our Constitution delegates only a handful of powers to the federal government, most of what they’ve spent money on since the early 1900s is unconstitutional as outside the scope of powers delegated.

Yet our Constitution is still legally in place; and can be dusted off, read, and enforced by a Repentant People.  They can shrink the federal government to the size established by the Constitution which created it. 3

Using the Federal “Budget” to Snap the Trap on an Unsuspecting People

Our Constitution doesn’t provide for a budget.

Spending is to be limited by the enumerated powers.  Pursuant to Art. I, §9, clause 7, the Treasury is to publish periodic Statements and Accounts of the Receipts and Expenditures.  Since the list of objects on which Congress is authorized to spend money is so short, it would be a simple matter to monitor federal spending and receipts.

But since the unconstitutional Budget & Accounting Act of 1921, Presidents and Congress have been putting into the “budget” whatever they want to spend money on.

Do you see that if the federal government is given constitutional authority (via a BBA) to spend money on whatever they want, they are ipso facto granted constitutional authority to exert power over whatever they want?

Oh, Americans!  False friends lead you astray and confuse the path you should take.  Under the pretext of imposing “fiscal responsibility” with a BBA, they would legalize the totalitarian dictatorship which has been developing in this Country for 100 years.

Creating the all-powerful federal government by Amendment

A BBA changes the standard for spending from whether the object is an enumerated power to whatever the federal government wants to spend money on. 4

So a BBA would transform the federal government created by our Constitution from one of enumerated powers only, to one of general and unlimited powers because it would authorize Congress to appropriate funds for – and hence have power over – whatever they or the President decide to put in the budget!

A BBA Doesn’t Reduce Federal Spending

A BBA wouldn’t reduce federal spending because:

  • All versions permit spending limits to be waived when Congress votes to waive them; and
  • Congress can always “balance the budget” with tax increases. Compact for America’s “balanced budget amendment” delegates massive new taxing authority to Congress:  it authorizes Congress to impose a national sales tax and a national value added tax (VAT) in addition to keeping the income tax.

Typical Misconceptions

Americans think, “I have to balance my budget; so the federal government should have to balance theirs.”

They overlook the profound distinctions between the economies of their own family unit and that of the national government of a Federation of States.  Our federal Constitution sets up a system where Congress is to appropriate funds only to carry out the enumerated powers; and the bills are to be paid with receipts from excise taxes and import tariffs, with any shortfall being made up by a direct assessment on the States apportioned according to population (Art. I, §2, clause 3).

Americans also think that since States have balanced budget amendments, the federal government should have one.  They overlook the profound distinction between the federal Constitution and State Constitutions:  5

  • The federal government doesn’t need a budget because Congress’ spending is limited by the enumerated powers. Congress is to appropriate funds to carry out the handful of enumerated powers, and then it is to pay the bills with receipts from taxes.
  • But State Constitutions created State governments of general and almost unlimited powers. Accordingly, State governments may lawfully spend money on just about anything.  So State governments need budgets to limit their spending to receipts.

Conclusion

A BBA would have the opposite effect of what you have been told.  Instead of limiting the federal government, it legalizes spending which is now unconstitutional as outside the scope of the enumerated powers; transforms the federal government into one which has power over whatever they decide to spend money on; and does nothing to reduce federal spending.

Twenty-eight States have already passed applications for a BBA.  Go HERE to check the status of your State.  Warn your friends and State Legislators.  For a model your State can use to rescind its previous applications, go HERE and look under “Take Action” column, or contact me.  Do not let the malignant elite complete their revolution by replacing our Constitution.

Endnotes:

1 State governments are voracious consumers of federal funds.  THIS shows what percentage of your State’s revenue is from federal funds.  Contrary to what RINO State Legislators say, they don’t want federal spending reduced: They want to keep those federal dollars flooding in.

2 George Washington’s Cabinet had 4 members:  Secretary of War, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.

3 Our federal Constitution is short and easy to understand.  The only way you can avoid being misled is to find out for yourself what it says.  Be a Berean (Acts 17:10-12).

4 Amendments change all language to the contrary in the existing Constitution.  Eg., the 13th Amendment changed Art. I, §2, clause 3 & Art. IV, §2, clause 3 because they were inconsistent with the 13th Amendment.

5 In Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from end), James Madison said:

“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. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

12/13/16

Does the Constitution Need to be INTERPRETED?

By: Gary Alder

Ever since the US Constitution was ratified the question asked over and over is: who has the prerogative and responsibility to interpret the Constitution? Early on, the Supreme Court assumed the right to exercise this function but nowhere in the words of the Constitution (the document itself) is this practice authorized.

Before jumping to the conclusion that the Constitution requires interpreting and accepting anyone’s interpretation, I would ask what I consider a much more pertinent question and its corollary: Does the Constitution need to be interpreted, and if so why?

I can think of only three possible reasons why our Constitution would need interpreting which I will list and examine in the increasing level of likelihood and incidence of interpretation.

  •   The way a clause is worded doesn’t make sense.
  •   The way a clause is worded is ambiguous or imprecise.
  •   Part of the Constitution doesn’t say what we want it to say.

As I will demonstrate, interpret generally is used as a euphemism for disregard or make the Constitution say what its actual words don’t.

Case 1 – The way a clause is worded doesn’t make sense.

I can’t think of an example of such gross incompetence in the original Constitution, but the Twelfth Amendment states that a presidential Elector can’t vote for a presidential and vice-presidential candidate both from his own state.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;

If you assume that the Electors were designed to cast a final vote, (which I don’t), that means that if the Electors are given a list of candidates and one presidential and one vice-presidential candidate are from Delaware, all of the Electors except those from Delaware could vote for both. What sense does that make? Someone needs to interpret some sense into that one.

Case 2 – The way a clause is worded is ambiguous or imprecise.

Probably the most glaring example of this concerns the issue of slavery, the worst blight in our history as a nation. This ambiguity allowed a practice to continue beyond the 20 year period that barred the federal government from interfering, while giving time for the states to get rid of that abhorrent practice. (see Article I Section 9, also Article V)

The migration, or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

Even though they couldn’t bring themselves to write the words slave or slavery in the Constitution, by dancing around the issue with euphemisms, a conversion time was allotted. The only part of the system that ended up being addressed was the foreign slave trade which to the credit of congress was abolished in January of 1808. It took a horrible war which devastated the nation and claimed the lives of 620,000 Americans to finally resolve the issue.

Case 3 – Part of the Constitution doesn’t say what we want it to say.

Now we come to the part of the issue that seems both most pervasive and most perversive. This is the problem with most interpretations and interpreters. Rather than studying the Constitution and trying to figure out what it is saying, we usually try to find a way to make it say what we want it to say. By our “cut and paste” methodology—taking a piece here, ignoring a piece there, and interpreting a piece somewhere else, we arrive at a system of government that is a modified democracy rather than the modified federation that the original Constitution defined.

To illustrate this point, we can look at the First Amendment and the way that it has been interpreted.

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.

This amendment contains a list of things that congress may not do. Rather than follow the Constitution, our government has declared a wall of separation between church and state and made themselves the arbiter of that separation. Freedom of speech is now interpreted to include disruption of the daily activities of others and even destruction of property, and not only are we free to petition government but the First Amendment supposedly allows rowdy gathering and protesting of any entity or organization that seems to be doing or not doing things the particular mob assembled wants them to do or quit doing. How does that become peaceably assembling? What freedom of speech and freedom of religion do not include are things like prayer in schools and expressions like “Merry Christmas” or “God Bless You”. If Congress can make no law concerning these things, where did all this nonsense come from?

Probably the most common interpretation given to the Constitution by educated people who should know better, is the notion that it defines a two-party (or any party) system of government. Unfortunately the “two-party system” is the system that supplanted “Constitutional Federalism” when America turned its collective back on the original Constitution. It happened so early in our history that Americans almost without exception assume that party politics is constitutional. It led to replacing the recommendations of the best presidential candidates by independent Electors to the confirmation of the least-worst options as determined by a party-controlled popular vote between self-nominated and self-interested demagogues who bribe the people with legislative promises which they have no constitutional authority to fulfill if they do get elected.

Most of the time the popular vote for President coincides with the party manipulated electoral votes, but the election of 2016 was an exception. Now there are many who are trying to manipulate the vote of the Electors in different directions. It will be interesting to see how this works out. There is some hope that this confusion will lead to a study of the actual words of the Constitution and the concepts that those words convey. Time will tell.

Article VI of the Constitution reads:

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 or affirmation, to support this Constitution;…

which invites this rhetorical question: when the officers take the oath to support this Constitution, are they bound by the words of the Constitution or by some interpretation; and if so which one?

Having analyzed the reasons why the Constitution could need some interpretation, I conclude that what is needed most is careful study of the actual words of the Constitution by both the elected officials and all Americans. This study must include a look at the whole picture not just a few select pieces. If the incumbents do not follow the Constitution, they must be replaced. If after careful study, changes seem appropriate, let them be made by amendment not by interpretation.

As George Washington said in his farewell address:

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. 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. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

Gary Alder 801-597-4182  [email protected]    www.freedomformula.us
P.O. box 306 Cokeville, Wyoming 83114

Gary and Carolyn Alder Authors of:

The Evolution and Destruction of the Original Electoral College

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.)

08/26/16

The ‘separation of church and state’ and ‘religious persecution’

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Thomas Jefferson asked for the "the following inscription, & not a word more" on his tombstone: Here was buried Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia

Thomas Jefferson asked specifically for the “the following inscription, & not a word more” on his tombstone: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom & Father of the University of Virginia”

“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.” – The Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776

The founding fathers believed in religious freedom, not religious suppression and persecution. The Library of Congress confirms that “the great majority left Europe [to come to America] to worship God in the way they believed to be correct.” In Europe, “majority religious groups who controlled political power punished dissenters in their midst.” The “New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland,” the article continued, “were conceived and established as ‘plantations of religion.'”

While most of the founding fathers were undeniably deeply religious, they also wanted to ensure that the federal government would impose “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

It is quite unfathomable that their intent has been somehow interpreted over time to mean that all semblance of religion should be removed from the public square. That action, one could reasonably conclude, is suppression of religion, or “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.

Read more here…

07/15/16

Slavery and America’s Founding Fathers: How did they really feel?

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

John Jay via theimaginativeconservative.org

John Jay via theimaginativeconservative.org

In 2009, Hillary Clinton won the Margaret Sanger Award. Margaret Sanger, socialist and racist, is still hailed by the left. She coined the phrase, “birth control” and believed that “the physically unfit, materially poor, racially inferior, and mentally incompetent needed to be eliminated.” Hillary Clinton was questioned about this during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and she made the following deflective statement:

“Well, Congressman, let me say with respect to your comments about Margaret Sanger, you know, I admire Thomas Jefferson. I admire his words and his leadership and I deplore his unrepentant slave holding. I admire Margaret Sanger being a pioneer in trying to empower women to have some control over their bodies and I deplore statements that you have referenced. That is the way we often are when we look at flawed human beings. There are things that we admire and things we deplore.”

This is a recurring theme on the left. To discredit the founding fathers, they are often referred to as “Old, white slave owners.” This history should be put in context with the time in which they lived.

So the question is, what did the founding fathers actually say about slavery?

Read more here…

07/4/16

Happy Fourth of July!

By: David Barton | Wallbuilders

4th of July

Celebrating America

Today, July 4th, we celebrate Independence Day – the 240th birthday of America! We also commemorate those who signed the Declaration of Independence and were willing to risk so much. As they acknowledged:

And 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.

Many of the signers suffered for their actions. Some were hunted, lost homes and property, fled with their families to avoid capture, and had family members captured or killed. Yet despite the high cost, no signer went back on his personal pledge, and America did win its freedom! The stories of the signers inspire us, and America has thrived under the five unique principles they set forth in the Declaration:

 

  • There is a Creator.

 

  • The Creator has given a certain set of inalienable rights to every individual.

 

  • The primary purpose of government is to protect those inalienable rights.

 

  • There is a fixed moral law (“the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”).

 

  • Decisions below the level of inalienable rights and fixed morals are to be made with the consent of the governed.

 

As we remember these principles from our nation’s founding, let’s celebrate this Independence Day in a way that was recommended by John Adams in 1776:

It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

This short video by David Barton identifies the principles that have made America exceptional. Happy Fourth of July!

06/2/16

How to Make America Great Again

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

052616_COM_JC_689.jpg

It is sign of the times that when people are told that Harvard was founded by a Puritan minister and dedicated to Christ and His Church, most react by wondering if this can actually be true. The reaction is evidence that Cultural Marxism has almost succeeded in eradicating the facts about the Christian roots of American education.

During her 2016 commencement address, however, Harvard President Drew Faust referred to gathering near Harvard’s Memorial Church, one of those “enduring symbols of Harvard’s larger identity and purposes, testaments to what universities do and believe at a time when we have never needed them more.” She added, “And much is at stake, for us and for the world.”

This was an extraordinary statement of historical accuracy. What’s more, she went on to tell the graduates that values should be a major influence in their daily lives.

She said, “For this morning’s ceremony I wore the traditional Harvard presidential robe—styled on the garment of a Puritan minister and reminding us of Harvard’s origins. Values were an integral part of the defining purpose of the early years of Harvard College, created to educate a learned ministry.”

It’s rarely mentioned these days, but the official website declares that “Memorial Church of Harvard University is a space of grace in the center of the Yard, rooted in the good news of Jesus Christ.” In fact, Harvard itself was rooted in that good news.

The real history of Harvard and other colleges is seldom mentioned in the new, modern, and secular America that we have today. But I went to my bookshelf for a copy of Vaughn Shatzer’s 1999 book, History of American Education, which tells the almost forgotten story of how Harvard and other colleges, including Princeton, Yale, William and Mary, Rutgers, and even Columbia, were based on a Christian worldview.

The facts in this small, 127-page book are not only important but politically relevant today, as Shatzer devotes a section to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s involvement in the federal takeover of America’s schools. That effort today is known as Common Core.

Going back in history, Shatzer writes, “Many of our Founding Fathers such as John Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Fisher Ames attended Harvard. Amazingly, Fisher Ames, who proposed wording for the First Amendment, entered Harvard at age twelve.”

“Of the first 126 colleges formed in America,” he notes, “all but three were formed on Christian principles. Up until 1900 it was very rare to find a university president who was not an ordained clergyman.”

Is the pendulum now swinging away from Cultural Marxism and back toward America’s founding principles?

Referring to Widener Library and Memorial Church, Harvard President Faust said, “we need the qualities that both represent, because I believe that reason and knowledge must be inflected with values, and that those of us who are privileged to be part of this community of learning bear consequent responsibilities.”

She continued, “Up until the end of the 1800s, most American college presidents taught a course on moral philosophy to graduating students. But with the rise of the research university in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, moral and ethical purposes came to be seen as at odds with the scientific thinking transforming higher education.”

She added, “But in today’s world, I believe it is dangerous for universities not to fully acknowledge and embrace their responsibilities to values and to service as well as to reason and discovery. There is no value-free science. There is no algorithm that writes itself. The questions we choose to ask and the research we decide to support; the standards of integrity we expect of our colleagues and students; the community we build and the model we offer: All of this is central to who we are.”

The issue of “who we are” has to consider the Founding Fathers and who they were, and why America was so successful for so long.

Shatzer’s book looks at many of the Founding Fathers. However, one of them, Thomas Jefferson, is particularly fascinating because today he is regarded as having been a proponent of the “separation of church and state.” In fact, while president he was chairman of the school board of the District of Columbia. One of the principal textbooks was the Bible. Jefferson hired clergy to teach classes.

He founded the University of Virginia in 1817 and its official motto was a Bible verse, John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The scripture was also inscribed on the walls inside the Rotunda.

It may not be Harvard President Faust’s intention to return the American educational system back to its original Christian values. But in order to truly make America great again, the “values” she talks about have to be given their true meaning within the context of American society at large.

She concluded her address by saying, “Reason and responsibility. Widener and Memorial Church. Harvard and the world. We have a very special obligation in a very difficult time. May we and the students we send forth today embrace it.”

Her speech is a good first step, but can these brick and mortar colleges and universities be saved?  Or have they been so corrupted that the real solution lies in an educational revolution that transfers learning to less expensive and mostly online institutions such as Amberton University, a nondenominational Christian institution? That university proclaims that its Christian commitment “does recognize its unique role in education and believes that the principles of Christianity and academic excellence run parallel, not perpendicular.”

Isn’t that what the Founders had in mind?


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

05/30/16

MEMORIAL DAY: Freedom—We Must be Vigilant in its Preservation

By: Carolyn Alder

Memorial Day

“Memorial Day” was originally known as “Decoration Day.” Graves of soldiers who had given their lives in the Civil War were decorated with flowers to remember and honor their sacrifice. Later, the observance was renamed “Memorial Day,” to honor the sacrifice of all who died in all the wars.  It is a day for solemn reflection on the service and sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price to preserve freedom.

Americans who died (from the Revolutionary War on) that we might have freedom:

Killed In Action over 1,354,000, plus 88,000 MIA.

(How can we even estimate the number wounded to preserve freedom?)

The Founders and Framers of this nation knew it would require much more than battle and blood to acquire and preserve freedom.  They pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure the Blessings of Liberty for their posterity.  The Declaration of Independence declares the principles of freedom; the United States Constitution was their charter to preserve freedom. We call it the Formula for Freedom.

The Founders also knew that we could not retain freedom, liberty and the American Constitutional Republic without being a virtuous and moral people. There are numerous statements to support this principle, however, just quoting from our first 3 Presidents:

President George Washington in his farewell address warned: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them (religion & morality). …Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?  And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.  (Sept. 19, 1796)

President John Adams stated, addressing the military, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  (Oct. 11, 1798)  (Concerning his own sons he advised Abigail, “Let them revere nothing but Religion, Morality and Liberty.”)

Thomas Jefferson:  “God who gave us life gave us Liberty at the same time.” (1774)   “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 of 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 forever.” (1781)

“There is no more ominous defilement of our Constitution and threat to Liberty ‘endowed by our Creator’ than that of the errant notion of a ‘Wall of Separation’ between our constitutional government and our Creator. … The plethora of fraudulent opinions by judicial activists have for decades ‘interpreted’ the First Amendment to suit their political agendas, placing severe constraints upon the free exercise of religion…to expel religious practice from any and all public forums.”  Essential Liberty Pocket Guide

Our Constitution, written and ratified “in order to secure the Blessings of Liberty”, established a constitutional Republic structured to control the government, not to control the people.  Laws made under the Constitution, the “Supreme Law of the Land”, were to be founded on God’s Law, natural law and natural rights; not rights invented by government or the “whims of man” by those in positions of power.  God’s Law the Foundation of Free Government

John Quincy Adams, our 6th President 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.”  (Apr. 30, 1839)

Alexander Hamilton stated:  “The law…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.”  (Feb. 23, 1775)

Justice James Wilson a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as a justice on the first U.S. Supreme Court wrote:  “…all laws, may be arranged in two different classes.  1. Divine.  2. Human. … But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God.  Human law must rest its authority, ultimately upon the authority of that law, which is Divine.”  (James Wilson, Lectures on Law 1791)  From the Pen of James Wilson

In short, we have been given a great legacy of freedom by those who came before us and paid the ultimate price. We can only repay that debt by our willingness to promote and restore freedom for those who will come after us.  As General Douglas MacArthur stated, “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” (May 3, 1948)

By: Carolyn Alder  www.freedomformula.us

05/29/16

MEMORIAL DAY: America’s Godly Heritage

By: Carolyn Alder

Memorial Day

Today is a day for solemn reflection to honor the service and sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price to preserve freedom.  Let us also reflect on America’s Godly Heritage in acquiring freedom.

The Founders of this nation knew it would not only require their blood to gain freedom, but also God’s favor.  The Declaration of Independence declared the principles of freedom and their grievances’.  The signers significantly affirmed their pledge to secure the Blessings of Liberty for themselves and their posterity with these words: “We therefore, the Representatives of the united states of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, … with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Our Founders publicly recognized and acknowledged the “hand of God” in their affairs:

Benjamin Franklin in the Constitutional Convention:  In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain …we held daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. …And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need assistance?  (June 28, 1787)

Thomas Jefferson:  God who gave us life gave us Liberty at the same time. (1774)  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 of 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 forever. (1781)

James Madison:  It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it (the Constitution) a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.”  (Federalist 37 Jan. 11, 1788)

Our first Commander in Chief and President, George Washington:  I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States, and I should be pained to believe, that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God, who is alone able to protect them.  (March 11, 1792)

Let us appreciate America’s Godly Heritage. We have been given a great legacy of freedom by those who came before us and paid the ultimate price. We can only repay that debt by our willingness to promote and restore freedom for those who will come after us. As General Douglas MacArthur stated, “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” (May 3, 1948)

By Carolyn Alder  www.freedomformula.us