Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Principles of Liberty

Principles of Liberty in our Founding Documents

Principles of Liberty in our Founding Documents

Those who are familiar with the 28 Principles of Liberty outlined in The 5000 Year Leapare acquainted with the claim that these are the principles upon which the Founders based our new government, thereby assuring us of lasting peace , prosperity, and freedom. Occasionally the question is asked, "Where can we find these principles in our founding documents?" This letter will help the reader make that connection. First, however, one point needs to be made clear. There is a notion today that the Declaration of Independence is not really a part of American jurisprudence and that the principles contained therein cannot be referred to as a basis of American law. This line of thought is usually concluded by saying that if a principle cannot be found in the Constitution, such as a belief in a Creator, it is not part of American culture or law. This idea is blatantly false. The Declaration of Independence has been repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court as part of the fundamental law of the United States of America . (See John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution , pages 360-362) The following, then, are some of the ways in which the 28 Principles of Liberty were emphasized as the Founders structured our government. Principle 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. Natural law was defined as the order in which the Creator made everything work properly. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God." If governments and human relationships are formed according to these laws, they will succeed, if not, they will surely fail, as history has proven. (First paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.) Principle 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. The Founders knew they could not succeed in this political building without the support of the "Supreme Judge of the world" and without a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence ." They knew this would not happen unless they kept His commandments which amounted to being virtuous and morally strong. (Last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.) Principle 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders. No greater case can be made of the damage done to a free people by power-hungry and tyrannical leaders than the long list of abuses Thomas Jefferson listed in the Declaration. While directed at King George, these abuses are typical of leaders who are without virtue and morality. (List of grievances in the Declaration of Independence) Principle 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. As in Principle 2, the Founders knew they could not succeed in this political building without the support of the "Supreme Judge of the world" and without a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence ." They believed they would have His support and protection if they relied on Him, constantly kept His laws, and taught their children to do likewise. (Last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.) Principle 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible.The Founders considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truth. The words Nature's God, Creator, created, Supreme Judge of the Universe, and Divine Providence are used throughout the Declaration of Independence. Principle 6. All men are created equal. (An exact quote from the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) Principle 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. "-That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men." (Second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) Principle 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. (Second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) Principle 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. The Founders knew that God had revealed certain laws for human happiness, such as laws against killing, stealing, adultery, lying, coveting, etc. These are reflected in the right of man to form a government to protect his unalienable rights of life, liberty, and property outlined in the Declaration and the Bill of Rights. Principle 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. The last paragraph of the Declaration makes it clear that the people as a whole, by their representatives in Congress, have complete authority from the Supreme Judge of the Universe to govern themselves in every way and to take their rightful place among the sovereign peoples of the earth. Principle 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. The second paragraph of the Declaration makes it clear that the people have a God-given right to throw off dictators and establish a government that will better protect them in their rights. Principle 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. Article 1.2.1 of the Constitution sets forth the provision that gives the American people the right to vote for their own representatives, thereby making the United States a constitutional republic of the people. Principle 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. In forming our government on the basis of Natural Law, the Founders dealt directly with the human nature characteristic that power almost always corrupts. The separation of powers, checks and balances, and limited governmental powers in the Constitution were all methods employed to check the human frailties which result in run-away power. That is why the Constitution will never be obsolete or outdated. Principle 14. Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure. The fifth amendment of the Bill of Rights specifically prohibits the federal government from taking private property of the people for public use without just compensation. It is a recognition of the sacred right to property and that property is really an extension of one's life and liberty. Principle 15. The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations. Other than setting up a proper monetary system and ensuring the free flow of commerce between the states, no power is given to congress to regulate economic affairs of the people. It is a manifest intent to keep the federal government completely out of the free-market economy and to leave any needed regulation to the states. Principle 16. The government should be separated into three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial. Articles I, II, and III of the Constitution create this beautiful separation of powers to prevent the tyranny of consolidated government. Principle 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. This constitutional system of pitting human nature against human nature by checking each other's power is pure genius. Principle 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. Of the 200 or so nations on the earth today, about 125 of them have written constitutions. However, ours is the oldest one-one of the youngest nations has the oldest written Constitution. The Founders were the first in modern times to realize that the best way to preserve good government and the rights of the people, is to write them down. Principle 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people. Article 1.8 contains the twenty powers delegated to congress; Article II contains the six areas of responsibility of the president; and, Article III contains the eleven kinds of cases assigned to the federal courts. The Tenth Amendment reminds us that all other powers are reserved to the states and the people. Principle 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. Article VI declares the Constitution to be the supreme law of the land. If a law is passed which violates the rights of people, it can be declared null and void by the guardians of the Constitution. Principle 21. Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. The Tenth Amendment leaves most power to govern with the states and local governments. This is where freedom really manifests itself. Principle 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. The people reserve the right in Article I.1.1 not to be governed by any law not passed by their representatives. Article III gives the power to the judiciary to prevent a citizen from being prosecuted by an unjust law which violates the unalienable rights of the people. Principle 23. A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education. The reaction of King George to the list of grievances in the Declaration of Independence is an example of why tyrants want to keep the people ignorant of their actions. In order to preserve and encourage the sacred right of people to gain knowledge, the Constitution forbids the federal government from involving itself in education of the people. It leaves this responsibility to the states and the people where it can be locally controlled. (Tenth Amendment) Principle 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. Article 1.8 gives Congress the power to maintain a military. Principle 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none."   No authority can be found in the Constitution for the United States to tie its sovereignty to any other nation or to give the people's money to foreign rulers. Principle 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. No authority can be found in the Constitution to involve the federal government in family affairs. The Founders knew any laws dealing with these kinds of sensitive issues must be kept close to the people, thereby best preserving this most sacred institution. Principle 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. Article 1.8 lists "to pay the debts" as the first use of public funds. The Founders considered it immoral to pass debts on to the next generation. Principle 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race. The entire Constitution was intended to be such a model for the world of how a people can govern themselves and thereby enjoy an unlimited amount of freedom, prosperity, and peace. Our greatest export was to be freedom. As we experience this season of Thanksgiving, let us be thankful that our Founders rooted our wonderful country in solid and lasting principles. Sincerely,   Earl Taylor, Jr.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Psalms 37

1  A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.



2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11  But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12  The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

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13  The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14  The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15  Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16  A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17  For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
18  The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19  They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20  But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
21  The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22  For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26  He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27  Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28  For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29  The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30  The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31  The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32  The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33  The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34  Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35  I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.



36  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37  Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38  But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39  But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40  And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.


Proverbs 7

1  My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
2  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
3  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
4  Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
5  That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
6  For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
7  And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8  Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9  In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
10  And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
11  (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
12  Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
13  So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
14  I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
15  Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
16  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
17  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18  Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
19  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
20  He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
21  With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
22  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
23  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
24  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
25  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
26  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
27  Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Proverbs 1

1  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
2  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
3  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
4  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6  To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

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8  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11  If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12  Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13  We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18  And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
19  So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof

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20  Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21  She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

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23  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 

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24  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

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28  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Psalms 59

1. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
2  Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
3  For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
4  They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.


5  Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.


6  They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
7  Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?
8  But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
9  Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
10  The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.



11  Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
12  For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
13  Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.
14  And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
15  Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.
16  But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
17  Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

 
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