The Constitutions Part V
Part I: The people were “not a party” to the Constitution.
Part II: There are two forms of government - free and not free.
Part III: The people opposed the Constitution for good cause.
Part IV: The centralization of power and authority in the hands of governments created by the hand of man is a rejection of God and the Constitution from its inception was such a rejection.
Equality of Responsibility and Rights
Those early American settlers who came to this land seeking liberty and freedom were unique among most colonization in the new world. Their struggle was not merely to escape tyranny or gain riches of gold but to achieve the burden of responsibility and the pearl of freedom under God.
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” George Bernard Shaw.
Either Americans have steadily turned over the responsibility, power and authority granted to every man by God and therefore the correlative rights endowed by God in order to obtain the benefits of government, or again, “Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights, due to ignorance”.1
“Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state. ”2
Does mankind do this because they are abandoning their God-given responsibility through avarice and apathy or because they are ignorant of the importance of the exercise of that responsibility in order to maintain their corresponding rights?
When people rely upon government institutions to do that which they should do for themselves they become dependent, weak and subject.
“Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.”3
Government, in order to provide the benefits of security and order expected of it, has set about revising, editing and adding to the legal system with an overwhelming zeal. This has been a common trend by central governments that has always ended in the same historical disaster, called tyranny. Has this system gone astray down that path or is the concept of central government fundamentally flawed? In order for central governments to keep the people secure they must first secure the people.
It was not the written Constitution of the United States but the body of precepts, actions and deeds that predated its adoption including those that secured the charters - that were proclaimed as the earlier guardian of the American free dominion. The Constitution for the United States was written to regulate the government created by it. The constitution was never the whole body of law, the origin of our original freedom nor was it the desired destination of the average freeman.
“The civil law reduces the unwilling freedman to his original slavery; but the laws of the Angloes judge once manumitted as ever after free.”4
There are always men who want to be free, but they are not always men willing to let their neighbor enjoy that same freedom. Most revolutions are simply won by the more dominant force.5
The early colonists came seeking religious and civil freedom. Some thought to create governments to be different from them and were willing to take away the liberty they themselves sought. Others thought that governments could be instituted for the protection of rights of the individuals with compacts and constitutions devised to restrain government. While other people have come to believe, “The purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people”.6 And still others believed that, “In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other”.7
Americans have pondered and tested many ideas and forms of government, because bad government was a major motivator for their arrival. For the most part they survived these social experiments, the same as they did the wild Indians, ravenous fauna, and the harsh elements of this new land.
The colonists, who feared the oppression of their former governments, attempted to check the possibility that their own freedoms might again be taken away with what is called social contracts. Clear vision has often been obscured by minds which remain the habitation of anger and resentment, fear and judgment, while pondering the plan for or possibility of paradise.
The wilderness was good cause for fear or at least trepidation. They were without the monarchy to secure their protection. They were seeking some form of government that would secure their society without taking away their freedom. True freedom is not dependent upon government but upon the virtue of the people. Bad government is the product of the lack of virtue among the people.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need seems a good idea in the beginning and it has a Christian ring to it too. Fortunately, the colonists must have examined the Bible before everyone starved to death.
They knew that the sin of Sodom was an abundance of idleness and failing to strengthen the hand of the poor.8 And that, “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute”.9 They knew that “everyman needed to do his share and eat their own bread.”10 They knew that socialism violated the commandments by coveting your neighbor’s goods.11
To each according to his ability12 and from each according to his own choice13 is the only workable formula in a free government. This precept is revolutionary in today’s thinking but was the foundation of God’s government from Abraham to Christ.
There are few things more influential in the lives of people than the governments they form. While the development of the character of mankind is effected by the environment of the society created by its government, the government itself is actually a product of the character or lack of character present in the people.
“The selfish spirit of commerce knows no country, and feels no passion of principle but that of gain.” Thomas Jefferson
Economic systems, the means of exchange and wealth, are the foundation of the industry. They are a product of the morals of the people rather than the whim of the government. Among a moral people there will be no call for monarch, ruler or regime. Among a just people no unjust weights and measures will be offered or accepted. Among charitable people no usury would have a use.
“Capitalism justified itself and was adopted as an economic principle on the express ground that it provides selfish motives for doing good, and that human beings will do nothing except for selfish motives.” George Bernard Shaw
Capitalism tests the moral fiber of the people. America has not had capitalism for almost a century. It has operated under a system of debt notes, borrowed money, and social programs that impoverish the people in spirit and eventually in truth.
No Fuss Selfishness
At first the idea of giving everyone their own democratic voice seems fair on the surface. To give every one a chance to voice their opinion is not what democracy is all about. Democracy is not about having your say, as much as it is about having your neighbor’s say. They would eventually realize, that, “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people”.14 Democracy can only work with virtuous people but virtuous people have no interest in democracy.
“A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.”15 “Democracy is the road to socialism.”16 They are so closely related that we can say that “More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life.”17
Under capitalism man exploits man;
Under socialism the process is reversed.
The truth is men exploit men.
Socialism is the result of application, membership, and greed. “All socialism involves slavery”.18 “Socialism: nothing more than the theory that the slave is always more virtuous than his master”.19 “Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.”20
There are at least two types of people in the world, those who are apathetic and those who want to take advantage of the apathetic. Socialism streamlines this process and makes it more convenient for both groups. There is a people of a third kind which is far more rare. They consist of those few people who actually care about others as much as they care about themselves and are willing to do something about it.
“Socialism is workable only in heaven where it isn’t needed, and in hell where they’ve got it”.21 It is only appealing to those who covet their neighbor’s goods and are willing to do so through the agency of government they create for themselves. While democracy is its older brother where the majority covet their neighbor’s right to choose through the privilege of voting.
Most people who seek to satisfy their own desires will seek to control and exercise authority over others in order. It is the beast in everyman which forms the corpus of the beast of revelations. Most of the struggles of mankind is between those who lack virtue and those who love vice. The truly virtuous are often caught up in the chaos and ruckus that inevitably will follow. If we will not practice pure religion22 we will get something far less.
“Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion” Richard John Neuhaus
It is clear that if someone robs or injures someone that they are sinning against righteousness, but coveting is a much more subtle sin against the brotherhood of mankind. It is easier to hide and disguise, justify and excuse.
“And they covet fields, and take [them] by violence; and houses, and take [them] away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” Micah 2:2
If the Ten Commandments were the foundational law of a nation then the desire for anything that belongs to your neighbor, even though it is obtained by legal means, remains a crime in the eyes of God. If you do the crime you will do the time.
Tying the Gordian Knots
The legend of Alexander the Great’s Gordian Knot has been used as a metaphor for an intractable problem, that cannot be untied by any conventional means. If all willing have used, and even abused, their neighbor then it is only just that all be used by their neighbor. If this was done with a covetous heart or mind then the God of justice can offer no salvation.23
We are snared in a net of our own making so then how shall we be freed? If people have bound themselves in a legal snare by contracts and constructions of law because of their own wanton desires or sloth then they might be freed by the practice of an antitheses policy.
We may only be freed by the love of Christ in us. His love begins the journey of our return to liberty. Christ knew what he was talking about.
“...he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2
While God holds us to our word and Christ tells us to make our yeses yes it is not merely our word and constructive contracts that bind us. Our covetousness has woven the net but it is our debt that has entangled us in this net of bondage.
The debt to our neighbor and the surety nature of a system in debt forms a Gordian Knot that binds all in the corporate state. Even if we free our neighbor by waiving our legal right to his purse what do we do about the debt of the whole body that is bound as one?
“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger...” Proverbs 6:1
God may have made us to lie down in green pastures or wish to lead us beside the still waters but we have not been following God or Christ for a long long time.24
Proverbs goes on to say that we are snared and taken with the words of our own mouth, our pledges, applications and consents. You have delivered yourself and must humbly admit your error even to the unrighteous mammon.
It tells us to no longer be slothful and blind to our own error. We must be like the ant who has no master yet works together without rulers. The poverty of our own debt is due to our own slumber and avarice. We have been the naughty person, a wicked man, who tells the world by where his feet have gone.
It is our own foolishness which has brought this calamity and bound and broke the people without remedy. The Lord is specific as to the six even seven things that keeps Christ from our hearts.
“A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:17-20
God loves those who love Him25 and those who love God will love Christ.26 And those who love Christ will keep His commandments,27 “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life”.28 If God loves Christ because he is willing to lay down his life, that he might take it up again29 then Christ will love us if we lay down our life for our neighbor with nothing but hope that we might take it up again.30
If we plunder our neighbor for our own welfare and security then we do not love Christ, we have no faith in His sacrifice and are not saved except in our own imagination.
By the legal net of their own making the people have been justified in plundering their neighbor’s goods for false “freedom, security, and peace”. The churches and their doctrine of licensing corruption has lulled whole nations into slumber. They have sowed the wind and will reap the whirlwind.31
The people take bites out of one another and are devoured in their own deeds.32 How do a people betray God and make a travesty of His law and legally plunder their neighbor?
“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn’t belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.”33
The problem is not the contracts as much as it is the vice of the people. Vice is the absence of virtue and a return to virtue is a return to God and a turning away from the ways of the world. The love of Christ is the love of others. It is fasting from the legal plunder offered by the benefactors who exercise authority one over the other.
Loosening the Knot
The Gordian Knot was unloosed by the bold stroke of his sword that cut through its complexity with his sword. Jesus too came to bring a sword and free men with a bold stroke if we would repent and seek His kingdom and the righteousness of God.
“Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter.”34
The more the colonists experimented the more they mistrusted power in the hands of governing authority. And the more the people saw the value in self-reliance tempered with brotherhood, compassion and concern for their fellow man by daily choice and personal sacrifice the more they and their liberty became inseparable.
“The religious liberty which Christianity awakened among its disciples organized it into republics.”35
There was some limited authority that remained in the hands of representatives of the original Colonial Republics and those State Republics following the Declaration of Independence. By law Natural Rights or the exercise of Un-or-Inalienable Rights of the freeman was only by their individual consent.
Greater jurisdictional powers could only be acquired by the titular government leaders through evidence of consent, including application, contract or acquiescence. If the people failed to attend to the essence of the republic or delay in the protection of their neighbor’s right to choose the Republic will die from neglect.
“Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility ... In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on Responsibility.”36
Why did the colonists know this? They saw it in action and the fruits of it in the face of adversity. They had read it in the Bible.
“Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act.” Ezra 10:437
Those pilgrims colonizing this American continent had become self-sufficient individuals and self-reliant as a truly independent people in communities while enduring the hardships of the wilderness and struggling with the lessons and precepts of their most read book, the Bible.
“We have now shown from the New Testament that, in the plurality and equality of their chosen officers, as well as by their constitution, the primitive Christian churches were republics.”38
They had sought the ways of the Ancient Church seeking to overcome five centuries of persecution and oppression of the true spirit of Christ and the liberty he endowed. They knew not to depend on government but upon the love of each other in voluntary cooperation because they knew, the benefits of rulers “are deceitful meat.”39
“A man is called selfish, not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.” Richard Whately
Americans were beginning to learn to love their neighbor as themselves out of necessity, if not design. They understood that, “Justice will only exist where those not affected by injustice are filled with the same amount of indignation as those offended.”40
The key to good government is good men who govern themselves in the ways of the Father of us all. When people are for their neighbors as much as they are for themselves then a government by the people will prosper because you will have a people of which good government shall be sustained. When men fail to love their neighbor as themselves then no checks and balances or constitutions will save them from their folly.41
A nation in love with the fruits of debt is like a falling man who is in love with his ability to fly. The desire for benefits at the expense of your neighbor is a crime against the sacrifice of Christ. It is a rejection of God. To apply to men you call benefactors but exercise authority over your neighbor, though it be legal, is a rejection of Christ and a prayer to the Adversary of Christ.
To seek comfort in the present at the expense of your neighbor and your mutual posterity is the religion of infidels.42 Debt is the abundance poverty in a nation without the discomfort and it is the result of moral bankruptcy of the people. A nation is not great because of its past but only because of its present and the people who live there carry the burden of their own neglect. “The price of greatness is responsibility.”43
“Thy princes [are] rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.” Isaiah 1:23.
If you want to become a slave all you have to do is to require others to provide for you what you should be providing for yourself. Just covet your neighbors’ goods and you, too, shall be sold into bondage. The colonists had heard that, “...through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:3
If you are to be redeemed you must repent and be baptized in the spirit of Christ which flows through those who doeth the will of the Father as doers and not just hearers. Each individual must look for the beam in their own eye. They must lovingly hear the rebuke of their neighbor if they wish to have a voice in their own government.
No man should walk away from the accusation of error but face one another as you do yourself in the mirror. Society is the reflection of our own souls and error neglected in one is error in all. If you want your rights you must take back responsibility for yourself, for your family, and for your neighbor.
Contracts, Covenants, and Constitutions
The book Contract, Covenants, and Constitutions, reveals the contrasting nature of a free government and those established by contract. It brings the original Constitution of the United States into historical contexts and the change in the modern American government into a unique revealing perspective. It also takes a detailed look at the prohibition in the Bible concerning government by contract; the Biblically delegated elements for constitutions; and the debt and bondage that always results from the failure to adhere to Godly precepts.
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2John Dewey (1859 – 1952), an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer