The Need For The Constitution, And The Necessity Of A Republic

I apologize for my recent lack of writing, especially in light of how new this blog is. I recently had surgery on my hand and I am just now returning to where I can write. Please bear with me as I may be slow for some time still.

                As much as I wish to leap into discussing current events (Syria, anyone? What should we be doing there?), it would be detrimental to understanding those events if we did not first lay a groundwork to understanding how our nation actually works—a study of the Constitution, and indeed, of the entire process of self-government by the people. It is impossible to understand how we should act in regards to the rest of the world if we do not first understand ourselves, and the laws that govern us.

Such a study is dearly needed: in an exit poll (a poll taken of all voters as they left the voting place) of the 2012 presidential election, less than twenty-five percent of voters knew that the Constitution was the supreme law of America. Less than one-quarter of the people deciding how our nation will be governed know the fundamental fact that the Constitution that we the people created is our first and foremost law!

                And because of that, neither do they know how that Constitution is the only law in the world that gives and protects the incredible rights that they enjoy as Americans. We need to again study the Constitution and remind ourselves of its importance. We will begin with how the Founding Fathers first recognized that we needed our Constitution, with the first American government and the failings of the Articles of Confederation.

 

 

                In 1787, a group of the greatest minds in American history came together and created a masterpiece that has served as the lifeblood of our nation – the United States Constitution. For some hundred and fifty years, the Constitution guided us faithfully and made our nation into a world superpower, a beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity. In the twentieth century, many politicians began trying to work their way around the Constitution and downplaying its significance. And this past year, a frightening poll taken of the voters who participated in the presidential elections revealed that nearly three out of every four of the people deciding the fate of our nation do not even know that the Constitution is the ruling law of the land.

                This failing on the part of the Americans of the last hundred years to teach their children the unequivocal importance of the Constitution has opened the door for those who oppose freedom to blatantly trample on this incredibly crucial shield to our freedoms. The result has been the loss of personal freedoms, the enormous expansion (and waste) of the government, and the first step to socialism. What has been left undone for the last hundred years cannot be reversed, so the turning of the tide must begin now with us, you and I, teaching the rest of America the grandeur and importance of protecting and respecting our federal Constitution.

 

                Following the publication of the Declaration of American Independence, as the war with England drug on, the Continental Congress began to work on a formal plan of union; finally revealing it in late 1777 as the “Articles of Confederation”. The American colonies (now states) had all originally been founded by various Christian sects searching for the freedom to worship as they saw fit, and they still refused to trust their religious and personal rights to a central federal body that might not agree with them (for example, the greatest divide was between the New Englanders – Puritans – and the Virginia and southern states – Anglicans). Each state wanted to reserve the power of defining the peoples’ rights for the people, and therefore all rights were reserved for the state governments. The intent of the Articles was never to create a centralized government. The Articles of Confederation was created only to serve as a loose alliance between thirteen independent states (note: the word “state” literally means “nation”; not “province”, as we Americans generally think of it – these were thirteen little independent nations), to bring their forces together under one flag in order to fight off a common enemy. In many ways, it resembled the alliance that exists between the nations of the British Commonwealth. Sections Two and Three of the Articles state,

                II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress Assembled.

                III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.

                Engaged in a war with the world’s greatest superpower of the time, the American states were forced to band together merely in order to survive; any attempt for each state to fight the war independently would result in nothing other than a crushing defeat of the collective whole. Thus, the Articles of Confederation created a slight form of cooperation by which the states would fight and treat as a single body with any foreign power. However, all civil authority rested with the states.

               

                The Articles were successful in that they kept the states in semi-mutual agreement and carried them through the War for Independence. As a group, they were recognized as a new world power, and the alliance kept any foreign nation from attacking and conquering any single state.

                Yet the Articles were not perfect, and did not appear to be able to provide long-term safety to the newly freed states. The concept behind the Articles was a very limited government, which proved to be effective in protecting the rights of the individual. However, money is required to keep a government operating, and the Articles provided no way of taxation; meaning that General Washington and his troops often went without pay, and the Congress could not raise money to pay off the massive debts contracted to foreign creditors during the war. Each state had its own currency, creating a massive headache and profit-loss as businesses tried to carry out interstate commerce. With no authority into civil matters, the Congress could not interfere when states went to war over boundaries, or when some states carried out individual wars with Indian tribes. And nothing could be enacted at the national Congress level unless all thirteen states agreed; a feat which never occurred. Finally, in the midst of all the other chaos, unpaid veterans of the war rose up under Daniel Shay in Shay’s Rebellion of 1786, demanding that the national government pay its debts and protesting the unfair taxes of their state (Massachusetts). A state militia quickly dispersed them; but the Founder’s greatest fears were coming true – the bloody anarchy running rampant in France was appearing in America, and Americans were being forced to take up arms against each other.

                The Federation had united enough to win a war against England, but only a few years later, it appeared that the great experiment of freedom was already collapsing into the rule of the mob – soon, the superpowers of Europe would be able to return and retake their former colonies. The only possible way to save the struggling young union and prevent a total collapse of free power in New World was to create a stronger, more flexible central government that wielded enough power to keep the states from declaring war on each other and destroying themselves, but not enough power to develop into a totalitarian regime that could usurp the God-given, unalienable rights of the people.

                In 1786, before Shay’s Rebellion, representatives from five states had met in Maryland to discuss the problems with sea trade and the high tolls and other difficulties that plagued people trading between states. The meeting accomplished little other than a proposal to revise the Articles of Confederation. Following Shay’s Rebellion, the Continental Congress issued a call for a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

                The call for change had gone out, but it would come back stronger than expected. For time had already shown that neither a Coalition (as America currently had) nor a Democracy (as France currently had) could establish peace and protect freedom. The only option left was to create an entirely new government – the Republic.

Call To Arms

 

                It’s time to wake up.

                As I sit writing this, our nation is suffering through the worst crisis period in its history. It shows no sign of recovery; and without immediate action, we will never pull through. The first thought that probably entered your mind, reader, was that of our debt problem, or the “fiscal cliff”. And with our nation $17 trillion dollars in debt (approximately 1.2 times the GDP, and over three times the annual federal revenue), it is no problem to be taken lightly. You can walk into any bank in this nation and look at their repossession records. That’s what happens when you can’t pay your debt. And as a nation, we can’t pay our debt. One of these days, our “banker” is going to walk up tell us that our note has been called and the party’s over.

                But I’m talking about something that goes deeper. Something that my grandfather and great-grandfather fought for. Something that millions of Americans have laid down their lives for.

                Our freedoms.

                I don’t believe there is a single sane person in this country that believes that America is in a good spot. It’s failing. And we all know that, no matter how much the men in Washington try to sugar-coat the truth. I’m not taking sides or picking partisan fights here. We must take off our rose-colored glasses and see the situation for what it is. It’s failing. And when America fails, the last light on earth goes out. We are last chance for freedom in the world. When we go, freedom dies.

                Our Founders didn’t intend for freedom to die.

                They gave everything, even their very lives, for freedom; for the defense of America. They gave everything, even their very lives, to ensure that America would live on for the future, and serve as a beacon to those who died not have the blessing of freedom.

                And they did not intend for America to fail.

                In our mindless greed and our worry over the small issues of government, we have left the Constitution and its principles of freedom and individual liberty. We have become caught up with saving the trees and saving the ice caps, and we are blind to the power-hungry bureaucrats stealing away the freedoms given us by the Constitution, one by one. Our Constitution, the rock built to keep in check tyranny and despotism, is nothing but an afterthought in the minds of our elected rulers – merely a dusty old piece of paper from a bygone era, no more. A piece of paper that has no relevance on the issues of today.

                Americans, nothing could be farther from the truth! The Constitution, although beaten and abused through the last hundred years, is still a living and breathing law; the law of our land! It is by no means perfect (though I will let history speak for itself as to whether there has ever been a better), but it is ours, and the successes of our glory days bear enough testimony that it works when kept.

                As American citizens, every one of us has the solemn obligation to defend the Constitution against all enemies. Even when those enemies are our countrymen. There are no exceptions.

                But today, most Americans have not read the Constitution, nor do they have the slightest idea about what it contains. They cannot defend the Constitution, because they don’t even know what they would be fighting for. And so our Constitution is being dismantled, piece by piece. When it is gone, so is America.

                As Americans, we cannot let this happen. We are neither soldiers nor legislatures; our job is far more important. We must teach Americans about the glory of America. It is time for the Constitution to rise again, and we must be the ones who carry it back to its place of power. Everyone one of us has influence in the circle of people around us, we must teach them. Teach them the Constitution, teach them of those who threaten it, and teach them of freedom, and all the Americans before us who laid down their lives so that we could enjoy the blessing of liberty.

                Every day, our freedoms are being stripped from us. We cannot give another inch. This moment – right here, right now – is where we must plant our feet say, “No more!!!” This is where we must stop the onrushing waves of tyrannical government; we must turn the tide now. To delay is to allow despotism to overrun our nation. This is the call to battle, the summoning to war. It is time for us to take the banner of liberty, to take the torch that has been passed down from generation to generation since it was lit by those courageous men on July 4, 1776. We cannot suffer it to go out. It is time to take our stand. It is time for us to take back our nation. This is the call to arms.

                Will you answer?

A New Dawn

“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, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” —Declaration of Independence, in Congress July 4, 1776

                Perhaps it is strange to begin a blog on the Constitution and the founding of America with the most celebrated line in American history, rather than some new sales-pitch on how to fix all of our nation’s problems. Just a simple line that almost all, if not all, of the people who will be reading this blog know, and could quote without hesitation.

But how often do we merely quote that line like a magical good-luck charm, hoping that the mere incantation of those thirty-five words will keep us safe from tyranny; and completely forget the deep meaning that it holds? How often do we treat it for what it truly is: a resolution; a belief formed and written by the most remarkable group of men to ever assemble in America, a conviction that you and I and every other person ever born is equal in the sight of God and that no other mortal man has the authority to domineer over our lives? How often do we consider that it was a revolutionary exclamation of human rights never heard before in the world? How often do we forget the sacrifice that was made to ensure that the promise of liberty made in that short line was to live on and extend its light of freedom to you and me?

Because of that simple line, I have the freedom from oppression to write this blog, and you have the freedom from oppression to read this blog, if you so choose. You have the freedom to agree with what I say or ridicule me as a fool, because you have the right to believe whatever you choose. You can choose where to live, where to work, what you want to be in life, where to worship, whether to worship anything or not, and myriads of other personal choices. That short, simple line – so often tossed aside by historians and students of politics – defines every action of your life. Because of the courage and the revolutionary new ideas that our Founding Fathers, and the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of men and women who died to defend the truth enshrined in that phrase; you are free.

For a young man who loves his nation and wishes to see it continue with the blessing of freedom that it holds, there can be no greater introduction than this statement of the lofty ideals that gave rise to our beloved nation.

 

 

                For many years, I have been a great lover of the story of America’s founding, and the incredibly freedom-protecting government that she was created with. And for quite some time, I have intended to write a blog to try to share with my generation the amazing saga of America, the land of the free; to try to explain our wonderful freedoms, our remarkable Constitution, and how we must protect our freedoms for future generations—as well as modern day issues in the light of the Constitution and how our Founders would have considered them. But I continued putting off the writing, telling myself that I was not ready or knowledgeable enough to try to teach others. And for the last year and a half, I was caught up in pursuing different a goal.

                However, my plans in that regard recently ended, in a failure that was very painful to me. As I tried to think of what my next step should be, I realized that in spite of my youth and the fact that I am still not at all a true expert on the Constitution; I still have the gift and the love of America that God has given me, and I can share that with others. I am still not a scholar of the Constitutional, only a simple student trying to find out as much as he can about the beginnings of our nation. But I want to try to help you learn what I have been privileged to learn, and perhaps understand more about the awesome beliefs and concepts of freedom that were in America’s founding.

 

 

                As I write, I shall try to be as objective as possible and simply write from the point of view of the Constitution, without any biased twists, and present all sides of the issue. I am still learning to write and I know that one day I will look back at this and consider it horrible writing; but I hope that I will improve as I write, and I ask that you bear with me if I become wordy, or confusing, or boring (or if I make my articles far too long…I promise that they won’t be as long as this introduction!).

                In this blog, I will try to explain the Constitution—why it was needed, how it was created, and the thought process that went into what it says—and some more detailed studies of important issues such as states’ rights,  religious freedom, human rights, federal power, and others. I also hope to study current and past Supreme Court decisions, and current world events. Politics and history are often tossed aside by the Millennial Generation (that is all of y’all who are my age) (and yes, I am a Southerner) as being boring and pointless. Let me assure you, there is nothing further from the truth and I hope that you will learn as I write about some of the amazing things our nation has done!

 

 

I truly hope that through this blog, you may learn something of America and why she is great. The freedom we enjoy as Americas is precious and rare, and although we have accepted it as a fact that it will always be there, the truth is that we must valiantly defend our freedoms so that they are not taken away! Every day, our nation’s leaders take us farther away from the original intent of the Founders (not trying to attack either Republicans or Democrats; both parties have contributed to this usurpation) and unless we stop them, all of the freedoms will be taken away from us, freedoms that our Founding Fathers risked their lives for and thousands of brave American soldiers have died defending. It is time to wake up! It is time to take a stand for the truth and for our freedoms! A new day is dawning, one that will see us either arise and return to the glorious strength America once had, or one that will see us giving up all the liberties our Founders gave us. Which do you wish to see? I hope for the one with America’s strength, and I hope that this new day that dawns on my life will keep me writing about America and our freedom. My prayer is that you will learn something from this blog that will help you realize the glorious gift of freedom that you enjoy, and help you learn how to defend that freedom in today’s world.

I will close with a short quote from possible the most brilliant man to ever live in America, Benjamin Franklin. “I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

Our Founding Fathers were devout Christians and created a nation founded on principles of Christianity. Whether you believe in the God of the Bible or not, you live in a land of freedom. Christian freedom. May God bless America, and may God keep us free!