Skip to comments.Happy Birthday Constitution – Hope It Is Not Your Last
Posted on 09/17/2012 7:11:17 AM PDT by Kaslin
Happy birthday, Constitution!
Today marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of this unique and prescient document. Every American should take a moment to reflect on what a treasure we have in America.
Our constitutional republic has survived for over two centuries. The Framers of the Constitution believed in a separation of powers, so that no governmentand certainly no particular branch of governmentwould become so mighty, so imperial, as to threaten the God-given freedom of the People.
And so they created a House of Representatives to represent the people in proportion to the population of a state. They created a Senate to represent the interests of the states. They vested executive power in the President. And they created an independent judicial branch.
Power was very much on the minds of the framers, as was the matter of rights. The Constitution confers a lot of positive rights on the people, such as the right to a jury trial for suits at common law where the value in controversy exceed $20. Yet, at its core, the Constitution is even more concerned with affirming natural rightsGod-given rights to which all human beings are entitled simple and precisely because they are human beings. One of those God-given rights is the right to self-defense, embodied in the Second Amendment as the right to keep and bear Arms.
That right has faced some severe challenges in recent years.. In 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled in D.C. v. Heller that the Second Amendment is, indeed, an individual right. Two years later, the Court held in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment applies to the individual states. Both cases were decided on a 5-4 vote. Put another way, Americans are just one Supreme Court justice away from losing those rights.
The Supreme Court line-up has changed since the 2010 ruling, but the 5-4 balance remains. One of the dissenter, John Paul Stevens, has retired. But President Obama nominated Elena Kagan to take his place, and Kagan has a long history of anti-gun activism. Indeed, she was one of the most prominent anti-Second Amendment activists in the Clinton Administration.
The make-up of the next Supreme Court may well hinge on the outcome of the elections this November. Should any of the five conservative jurists on the Court retire or leave, a re-elected President Obama would almost certainly replace him with yet another judge in the mold of his two picks thus far--Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Both are liberals hostile to Second Amendment rights. With Second Amendment cases currently winding their way through district and circuit courts of appeals, future sessions of the Supreme Court will yield critical decisions in this area.
Of course, Second Amendment cases arent the only issues that will find themselves on the court docket. The future make-up of the court may well determine whether gay marriage is discovered to be a Constitutional right.
The margins in many Supreme Court decisions are razor thin. Clearly, the current line-up already contains a majority willing to expand the interpretation of the taxing power so far that it could validate ObamaCare. And four justices in the NFIB v Sebelius (ObamaCare) case were willing to view that laws requirement that individuals be forced to buy government-approved health insurances as a proper exercise of the governments power to regulate commerce.
A newfound willingness to allow the federal government to order citizens to participate in commerce and buy specific services they may not want or need is worrisome indeed. So, too, is the growing proclivity of liberal judges to use of foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution.
Certainly, we cannot take it for granted that the Constitution will always be faithfully interpreted to support the freedoms and proper role of the federal government. As we celebrate the U.S. Constitution today, many conservatives worry that the next 225 years may not be as kind to the idea of a limited federal government committed to protecting the natural rights of all citizens.
Free courses on the Constitution. From a liberal arts college that takes NO money from the government.
I highly recommend these courses.
Constitution 101 and 201
Imagine if every State required their high school students to take the survey version of Constitution 101 and 201.
Once we ceded education to the Left, the fate of our republic was largely sealed.
A sobering article...I hope it’s not the last, too.
Thanks for the ping, Slim...quiet birthday here since I’m at work, but I will be celebrating later :)
On a beautiful September morning in the Year 2001, Americans watched vivid pictures and horrible consequences of a clash of two opposing ideas--ideas which have warred against each other throughout history. They are the ideas of liberty and life versus those of tyranny and death.
Indeed, "ideas have consequences" (Weaver)!
Throughout most of civilization's history, individuals have lived under tyranny by one form of government or another. America, however, began its noble history by relying on another idea.
Thomas Jefferson stated it thus: "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." America's Declaration of Independence acknowledged the real source of life, rights, liberty, and law as a "Creator"-not government. It also recognized the oversight of a "Divine Providence," a "Supreme Judge of the world," and the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God."
For decades now, many American citizens have bought into counterfeit ideas about their so-called "freedom," ignoring their nation's founding ideas and endangering liberty. They have believed they could retain their liberty as individuals and as a nation, while excluding public acknowledgment of liberty's source. Tuesday, September 11, 2001, refuted that myth.
Almost immediately, on that awful Tuesday morning and in the days after, news anchors; national political leaders; school officials; Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, and other clerics; bereaved family members; exhausted rescue workers; citizens of every economic level, color, creed, and national origin made appeals to the Supreme Being for help and guidance and strength, and they made these appeals in all sorts of public forums and places, without regard to a previously-imposed "political correctness" fad.
Clearly, the young men who commandeered airplanes on September 11, 2001, were motivated by a different and opposing set of ideas, and they did not bring with them life and liberty for themselves or their victims. They, and those who sent them, exercised tyrannical control over other people's lives and brought death and destruction, with yet unforeseen agony to the world.
Unfortunately, the individuals whose teachings influenced their fateful descent into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon misused the teachings of one of the world's primary religions to brainwash them into their suicide mission. Those individuals and all who enslave minds with the ideas of tyranny and death are an abomination upon the earth. They cannot rightly use God as an excuse for their evil acts.
Although often ignored by those who profess faith, according to Seth Godin, a simple precept is contained in the writings of most religions, though worded in different ways. It is:
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary." (Jewish) "No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." (Islamic) "Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: do not unto others what you would not have done unto you." (Confucian) "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." (Christian) "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." (Taoist) "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." (Buddhist) "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself."(Zoroastrian) "This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." (Brahman) (Quotations cited in " The Official Rules of Life," by Seth Godin, ©1996)
This identical concept is at the heart of the American Constitution's philosophy and principles of law and liberty. Laws, the Founders insisted, were intended to expand, not contract, liberty. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson stated: "No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him." Our 1776 Declaration of Independence, according to him, reflected the "American mind" of the day, with words so forceful they motivated citizens to risk "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor" for "self-evident" truths: 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."
Abraham Lincoln declared, ". . . it is no child's play to save the principles of Jefferson from total overthrow in this nation . . . . The Principles of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society . . . . And yet, they are denied, and evaded, with no small show of success . . . . All honor to Jefferson - to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a . . . revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression." (Note: "harbingers" means "initiators of threatening change.")
In recent years, Americans have found themselves in what T. S. Eliot labeled a new provincialism: the provinciality of time, imprisoning them in their own little present moment, without any notion or consciousness of enduring ideas from the past. Some say it happened over recent decades as so-called "public" learning places stopped exposing children to ideas labeled as "religious." By the act of censoring all ideas labeled by certain pressure groups and politicians as "religious" in origin, America's youth were deprived of the right to examine competing ideas about life and to claim as their own the unique ideas that made liberty their birthright.
The ideas which might sustain youth, some say, have been effectively censored and devalued in America's textbooks and classrooms, resulting in several generations of citizens neither exposed to nor able to debate their merit. As a result of neglect in the "public square," many citizens also failed to discuss the ideas in homes, churches, and other places where children might learn about a vital dimension of themselves--their spirits.
We know that strong inner impulses and restraints must motivate us if, voluntarily, we are to act in ways that don't harm others, and these impulses and restraints most often result from consciousness of a higher purpose and authority.
Even ministers, teachers, and parents have bought into revised histories of America's founding, never bothering to read the extensive writings of the Founders for themselves. Such leaders chose, instead, to criticize the founding generation for failing to solve all the problems of humanity in their limited time on earth. By doing so, they display great ignorance of the magnitude of what that small, committed group did accomplish, in fact, on behalf of the oppressed throughout the entire world; and they did it in such brief lifetimes.
America's Constitution incorporated the ideas of its Declaration of Independence into constitutional limits on government power. For over 200 years, it has produced freedom and opportunity for millions of oppressed people--more than has any other official national document in recorded history.
At this critical time in our history, these ideas should be our most valuable export to oppressed persons in countries where evil men still enslave the minds of individuals in order to set themselves above the God of life and liberty. At the same time, the ideas must be restored to the minds of rising generations at home, if America is to continue as a beacon of liberty for the oppressed of the world.
God has blessed America, not only with natural beauty and natural resources, but with a written Constitution, appropriately amendable only by its owners, the people (Justice Story). Its provisions for limited, divided, and separated powers of government, with checks and balances to guard against abuse by those entrusted with that power, were intended to secure "the Blessings of Liberty." To survive, however, its ideas must be restored to prominence in "the American mind."
Quoted, with permission, from: "Lessons in Liberty" -L. G. Lewis, Co-Editor, "Our Ageless Constitution" & "Rediscovering the Ideas of Liberty"
Thank you for another great post
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