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Constitution Day 2014

Posted By Max Lyons, Thursday, September 11, 2014

Constitution Day, September 17, 2014

 

 

“Vigilant, a. Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

 

A quote that one hears quite often on the theme of freedom or liberty is, “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” Who said this? Many attribute this saying to Thomas Jefferson; some believe that it was stated by English statesman Edmund Burke.  Actually the author is John Philpot Curran, an Irish statesman and orator. Here is Curran’s full quote in context:

 

It is the common fate of the indolent (lazy) to see their rights become prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of the crime and the punishment of his guilt.

 

Curran is saying that if you are lazy, those who are diligent but not godly are going to pilfer your rights. You are going to become a servant, and you deserve it, because you were not vigilant in preserving your liberties. This is a harsh, but it is a reality.

In 1 Peter 5:8-9 we are reminded to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” The devil’s mission every day is to “rip you off.” He is trying to get you so bound by sin that you won’t have the liberty that God wants you to walk in. Believers must be vigilant and resist the devil every day in order to not fall prey to him.

The devil wants to get America off the track on which our forefathers set us. Satan desires us to have our laws based on the opposite of God’s Word. Believers must be vigilant and resist him in order for this not to happen. Our Constitution delineates a form of government based upon the principles of God’s Word. Since our founding period, it has been either altered or ignored to the point that we no longer have a Christian form of government. The spirit is gone, and now only the “letter” of our Constitution remains.

 Can our original Constitution be revived? Yes, as the learned Noah Webster taught that each of us has a constitution in our mind, we can revive our original constitution by renewing our mind (Romans 12:2) by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5).

 Eternal vigilance, in Jesus, is our battle cry!

 

 

Tags:  Constitution  government 

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Bill of Rights Day, December 15

Posted By Connie Moody, Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As a Virginian and an American Christian, I am proud that on December 15, 1791, Virginia became the tenth state to ratify the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, thus making it officially part of the United States Constitution and the law of the land.

Why is this so significant?

The Constitution, though brilliant in its own right, was contested by many because of what was not written—exact stipulations enumerating unalienable individual liberty and provisions for local self-government. It was feared that without this explicit definition in writing, generations would veer from the purpose of the new form of government and its Constitution—its covenant with the people—that is, the guaranteed security of the sovereignty of the individual to govern his own life and the states to govern their local affairs as the first spheres of civil government, a covenant to remain a limited national government with only expressed powers. The Federalists so embraced the ideals of personal freedom as basic to the principles of civil government that they presupposed their meaning to be inherent; the Anti-Federalist (a misnomer of their political position) too well understood human nature and knew that ideas out of sight would soon be out of mind, presenting a citizenry ripe for tyranny.

The Anti-Federalist were of sufficient number and power to derail the entire constitutional ratification process; they were men of conscience and character unwilling to concede this political absolute. Likewise, the Federalist held their convictions that listing rights would permit the abuse of anything not expressly noted. However, both groups came together in compromise [with promise, to send forth, a binding together for the benefit of another—for the benefit of generations of Americans yet unborn] as men of righteous vision, brilliance, and humility to craft a blueprint of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. This blueprint—our Constitution with the Bill of Rights—serves men and nations seeking liberty to this day as well as providing a plan for the constant rebuilding of our own great land. It is worthy our understanding of its virtues, celebration of its conception, and defense of its permanent integrity.

History reveals that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were broader in scope than the practice of the day; the rights were not applicable to all people in the new nation: to slaves, Native Americans, women, and most white males. However, as is always true with vision, the destiny and even the journey is farther and brighter than our current position. Over the 221 years since the ratification, we have gained a better understanding of the phrase, "We the People”; we have traveled some distance toward the vision. The language and intent of the original document needs no revision. It is our minds that require continual renewal by the Word of God, our character that needs continual refinement by trial and experience, and our conscience that must practice continual positive response to absolute truth as wrought out by our convictions and in our daily life of self-government.

So, we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights written to keep them in sight. Do you have them in mind today? The Anti-Federalist contended for this visible memorial for our benefit; it is our responsibility to look on it and ask, "What does this mean?” Dedicate December 15 as a day to revisit the Bill of Rights and thank God for the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and their deeply held convictions on our behalf.

Tags:  Bill of Rights  Constitution  liberty  limited government 

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How will you observe Constitution Week 2012?

Posted By Connie Moody, Friday, September 14, 2012

James Madison explained in a letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822,

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance;
and a people who mean to be their own governors
must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.


James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote this conviction with authority. He knew first-hand that it was the enlightened, intelligent understanding of Biblical principles that informed the public opinion of the founding generation to establish the world’s first constitutional Republic with the essential ingredients of the consent of the governed, the principle of representation, the checks and balances of branches and a dual form (state and national), and above all, the rule of law—of nature and nature’s God. He had worked and studied all of his life to know these truths.

Madison knew also that the principles that began, created, and established the American Republic are the necessary means of sustaining it. True knowledge is the power essential to keep a Republic. The principles must be founded in us and forged into the hearts of our children in order to sustain our American liberty and be a blessing to the world.

Many of us have been robbed of this truth—this powerful knowledge. Our educations were filled with facts and figures but devoid of principles. The methods of teaching we experienced cultivated the character of dependence and conformity, not the spirit of transforming Truth. We can fill-in blanks but we cannot think and reason from cause to effect. We can choose and circle one: A, B, or C, but we cannot identify and articulate principles and apply them to all areas of life. The inability to reason from principles threatens the Republic and fails to sustain American liberty secured in the Constitution.

How will you observe Constitution Week this year? Transforming or conforming?

We have a newly revised and most appropriate tool for observing Constitution Week: The Bible and the Constitution, 2nd Ed. This 2012 edition of the volume originally published as a collector’s edition to commemorate Ronald Reagan’s presidential proclamation making 1983 the Year of the Bible is available now in paperback with an integrated study guide. This mini-study provides the storytellers: parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, and patriots with a simple account—a primer—of America’s Christian history and the Biblical principles of the U.S. Constitution. It outlines the story you must learn and then tell the children. Study questions throughout the text supply leading ideas to consider and ponder and help discern principles we must apply to our lives today.

You are invited to arm yourself and your family with the powerful knowledge contained in this slender but mighty volume. Begin your personal or family study or host a study group of friends, neighbors, co-workers, or Sunday school class members to mark the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America on September 17, 1787.

"We the people. . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

AGAIN

this seventeenth day of September in the Year of our Lord two thousand twelve and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred thirty-sixth.


U.S. CODE     Title 36—Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations

§ 108. Constitution Week

The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation—

(1) designating September 17 through September 23 as Constitution Week; and

(2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Constitution Week, in schools, churches, and other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

(Pub. L. 105–225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1256.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES: Revised Section 108 .............; Source (U.S. Code) 36:159. Source (Statutes at Large) Aug. 2, 1956, ch. 875, 70 Stat. 932.

Tags:  Bible and the Constitution  Constitution  Madison 

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Exercise your sovereignty—VOTE!

Posted By Connie Moody, Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large,
in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject,
and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law.” 
-
Alexander Hamilton

In joining ourselves into commonwealths for the better protection of our rights and liberties we surrender a small portion of our individual sovereignty—a distinction that marks man as being created in the image of the Sovereign—to the state by consent. However, we retain the majority of our sovereignty as we dare maintain our rights through Christian self-government in all our reserved jurisdictions and check the restraints set on local, state, and national civil government through our voices of enlightened reason and our votes of clear conscience.

We must not believe that our small self-governed lives and our single ballots are insignificant or incapable of effecting great purposes. God has written a history of using the weak to confound the mighty. The seeds of His Gospel sown through our words and deeds will produce a manifold harvest in another season that blesses all.

"Also. . . the Washington Examiner wrote an excellent editorial praising [Virginia Attorney General] Ken Cuccinelli and his fellow Attorneys General for stepping up and defending the Constitution.  They said, 'Elections are just one way the Constitution empowers Americans to fight back against a centralizing regime in the nation's capital. State attorneys general have every right—indeed, it is their obligation—to respond forcefully when the federal government breaks the law.' " (From The Cuccinelli Compass, The Rule of Law, e-mail 03/13/2012, kc4ag@cuccinelli.com.)

To read the full editorial click here.


‘"What constitutes a state?
Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned;
Not bays and broad-armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
Nor starred and spangled courts,
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.
No: MEN, high-minded MEN,
With powers as far above dull brutes endued,
In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude:
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain;
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain
:
These Constitute a state;
And SOVEREIGN LAW, that state's collected will,
O'er thrones and globes elate
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.'"

Excerpts from the Works of Daniel Webster, 1851, cited in Verna M. Hall's Christian History of the Constitution: Christian Self-Government with Union, Vol. II, p. 8. (Emphasis added.)

Tags:  Alexander Hamilton  constitution  duty  republic  right  sovereign law  state  vote 

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