The Constitutions Part IV
Part I: The people were “not a party” to the Constitution.
Part II: There are two forms of government free and not so free governments by contract.
Part III: The people opposed and feared the Constitution and those fears have been realized.
Pursuing Perspective and Precepts
“The end does not justify the means.” Ayn Rand
In all fairness, the Constitution of the United States of America occupies a unique place in history, although, its basic elements have been seen in the centralization of governments for thousands of years.
The creation of the institution called the “United States” was a valiant attempt by some men to create a central exercising authority in hopes of bettering the condition of man without losing control of that power vested in that government. From the days of Pharaoh, Saul and Rome such efforts often ended in disaster.
A detailed study, a broader approach, and a critical eye upon that history is required to understand the context and condition in which that document rose to prominence and the perils wrought in its consummation.
There are two forces operating in governments.
1. To guarantee the safety of the people there is a granting of power by the people to one form of government;
2. And there is an imposition of limitations to guarantee the safety of the people from government.
The balance of these elements in the world of government defines the difference between freedom and despotism. Those who seek power will commonly make a promise of liberty but proceed to create offices of power and take control to obtain that end. This temptation of one man ruling over another has come down to us in the fallen nature of man from Cain to Christ.
People are fond of attributing the United States’ success, prominence, and power to its constitution. There are many factors that compose our past and present and the constitution and the institutions it created and continues to create are only one part of that equation. Not disregarding the unspoiled natural resources of the land itself, it is the people that have made this nation great. It is also the people who will destroy it.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln
In early America there was a higher rate of literacy than in Europe or Britain, even higher than it is today. You had to know how to read to study the Bible and it was religious zeal and faith that had been a great motivating factor in the settling of North America. Education was important, even paramount but faith in higher principles, precepts and purposes was predominant.
Every home had a collection of books as a prized treasure. Without TV, radio or other distractions, books and the ideas they contained was a common pursuit. Books like Gibbon’s The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire had been published. There was a keen interest in governments and how they should work or did not work. The quest for Civil Freedom was another passionate pursuit of those early adventures to the wilderness. There were more law books per capita in America than anywhere else in the world.
It was the inuring conditions of survival and endurance that played out the purifying process for those early Americans. There was no social security, Medicare, unemployment, etc. The people were responsible for their family’s needs, protection, education, and condition. The community itself, often through the Church, was dependent on mutual charity to sustain itself.
The burden of social responsibility cultivated an independent and self-reliant character unprecedented in America ever since. Shouldering that responsibility is correlative to retaining and maintaining the rights so equated with freedom.
There are many people who espouse the Constitution as the sacred source of American success. The success of every free nation is not its structure but its virtue. The structure offered by the constitution actually provided a means by which the people could neglect and even waive their rights and return to bondage. Many do not even know what is in the constitution and do those that do often fail to really understand it and its flaws?
“Lawyers are being graduated from law school by the thousands who have little knowledge of the constitution. When organizations seek a lawyer to instruct them on the Constitution they find it nearly impossible to secure one competent.”1
It has been well established that the people were “not a party” to that Constitution and the vast majority opposed it. “We the People” clearly did not mean the average American.
This does not mean they opposed many of the noble concepts contained in it but that they saw certain dangers in its creation and implementation. Patrick Henry was one of its most ardent opponents yet he served in an office under its authority. Most Americans saw great dangers in that structure and form of government and to know their concerns is to be forewarned and forearmed.
Any constitution is a body of precepts, written or unwritten, for the purpose of controlling government action until modified. What was the constitution of those natural people in America if they opposed the Constitution of the United States? What did Samuel Adams mean, on August 1, 1776 when he said, “Our Union is complete; our constitution composed, established, and approved’.”
Certainly customary law played a part in that constitution of the people but it did little to give the whole nation international standing. Hamilton thought debt to other nations gave the United State standing.
We should look for the answers to these questions without limiting our search to the brief history of America. We shall examine the whole history of mankind. To not study and learn all you can about institutions and enterprises that have such a dynamic grip and integral influence over our lives and the lives of our children is foolishness and folly.
Anyone may seek out the Anti-Federalist Papers to see the opposing views, pitfalls and dangers. Ruination and downfall so common in history might be more readily avoided with a diligent effort to understand the opposing fears and trepidation toward a central governing power.
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”2
Our entire concept of history has been greatly influenced through the writing and rewriting of history in ancient and even our modern text books.
It is not the constitution which was written as if good men would take office but the exercise of principles of freedom and God-given law upon which our faith should rest. The weightier matters of law, judgment, mercy and faith3 should be the pastime and endeavor of every man and woman of America if they are to be a free nation under God.
Early American settlers had a curiosity about government and a religious devotion to the study of forms of government. Their love of the Bible allowed them to read for themselves how the ancient men of Israel lived free from kings and parliaments for centuries and still govern themselves.
The examination of the Bible produces a diversified opinion of what God wants. This dichotomy is the result of language and the private agenda of the men who read it. The selfish nature and agenda of men sows confusion in the world.
While men chose to interpret the text in millions of different ways, they could see how Israel supported their government with tithing to ministers only “according to their service”.4 They read how they owned the “milk and honey” produced on land they “possessed” and taxes consisted of granting “freewill offerings” to a network of men they chose. The army was a volunteer militia organized along the same social structure of congregations and servant ministers who supported the community through a system of charity. Leaders were titular and supported the needs of the people by the free offerings of the people according to the choices by the people.
They had already become aware of the network of tens, hundreds and thousands which were the foundation of their form of government. It was seen in many cultures before Christ and throughout Europe after Christ. Some yearned for the days when the head of each house was prince on his own land, having been delivered from bondage in Egypt by God through Moses.
They read about the sin of the “voice of the people” calling for a king to judge them like the other nations,5 and if they did fall prey to the temptation of electing a ruling elite that they should bind that ruler by written limitations.
Why did God bring men out of worldly governments like Babylon, Ur, Haran, and Egypt? Did God lead men away from the rule of men in the Old Testament and then in the New Testament reverse His opinion and desire them to go back under governments where men rule over their neighbor? Electing Saul was a rejection of God. The agreement to go under Pharaoh was the result of a series of choices. Men were making some of the same choices before the birth of Christ down to this very day. The fact is Christ came to set us free and seal that freedom in His own blood.
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,” 2Co 6:17
Is it the will of the Father in Heaven that men go under the authority of other men by consensual or quasi contracts through application and participation to obtain benefits? We know that we are to make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.6
“And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?” Judges 2:2