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Liberty: Can We Ever Restore It?

February 15, 2010
Neal Ross

I have been told that I sound like a broken record, constantly harping on our governments unwillingness to adhere to the constitution. That may be so, but I do it for a reason. You see, when our government refuses to adhere to the constitution, your rights come under attack.

How many times have I used the following quote from the Declaration of Independence, “…that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…”? Out of all the quotes, that one is probably the most important for people to understand.

A good percentage of the people in this country care too little about the history of this nation, and how our constitution came into being. When the convention that produced the constitution was called, the purpose was to amend the Articles of Confederation and nothing more.

If I can’t get people to take the time to sit down and read the constitution, I am pretty certain that they won’t read the Articles of Confederation either. Yet they are just as important as the constitution because they allow you to see what changes were made to our system of government when the constitution was ratified.

The Articles of Confederation were written in 1776 and sent to the states for ratification in 1777. They are considered to be the first actual constitution. I won’t bother to include the entire document, but Articles two and three should be read to understand what was to be the purpose of government.

Article 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.

Article III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding them-selves 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 pretence whatever.

In Article II we once again come across that word sovereignty. It is of the utmost importance that people understand the meaning of that word. Sovereignty means, a) supreme authority, b) freedom from outside interference and the right to self-government, and c) a politically independent state.

In the Supreme Court case of Julliard vs. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421 we find the following quote, “There is no such thing as power of inherent Sovereignty in the government of the United States. In this country sovereignty resides in the People, and Congress can exercise no power which they have not, by their Constitution entrusted to it; All else is withheld.” That is the highest court in the land saying that we the people have the power, not the government.

The primary purpose of government is to protect our rights, which we are endowed with from God, “…That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

Our constitution was written to grant government the least amount of power necessary to function, while reserving the remainder of the power to the states, and to the people.

These facts are plainly stated in the 9th and 10th amendments,

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Yet our constitution was not something that everyone agreed to. Out of the fifty five delegates to the convention, thirteen refused to attend and out of those who did, only thirty nine were willing to sign it.

In particular, the delegates from New York, John Lansing, and Robert Yates walked out of the convention because they felt that the changes being made could not “afford that security to equal and permanent liberty which we wished to make an invariable object of our pursuit.” Perhaps these men foresaw the dangers to our liberty which would be made possible by a strong central government.

To summarize what I have discussed so far, we the people are sovereign, and the rights which God endowed us with are the main purpose for government. Therefore, when we allow our government to trample upon our rights, we are allowing them to take away things that are a gift from God, which they have absolutely no right to infringe upon.

People may think that our nation began with these documents which created some system of government, or at least a perpetual union of states. They would be wrong. One hundred and thirty years prior to the Declaration of Independence being written, a group of colonists got together and wrote The Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England.

From that document I quote, “Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace.”

Furthermore, the second Article states, “The said United Colonies for themselves and their posterities do jointly and severally hereby enter into a firm and perpetual league of friendship and amity for offence and defence, mutual advice and succor upon all just occasions both for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the Gospel and for their own mutual safety and welfare.”

That may not go over too well with those who believe in a separation of church and state, but the people who founded this great nation came here to advance the Kingdom of God and enjoy the freedom to openly practice their religious beliefs.

We certainly have come a long way, haven’t we? From a nation whose purpose was to allow people to openly worship, and retain their God-given liberties, to one in which an all powerful government infringes upon both.

1 Corinthians 10 states, “29Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?” Yet isn’t that exactly what is happening? Aren’t we allowing other men’s conscience to be the judges or our liberty?

If our rights and liberty are indeed gifts from God, how can anyone who claims to be Christian, sit back and allow their government to take from them what they have no right to take?

In the book of Isaiah we read, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness…” Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.” That is exactly what is happening in this country today. Evil is winning because people are too concerned with their own happiness and security. Or they are too concerned that they may offend someone by speaking out.

As Christians we are told not to condemn, yet cannot we enlighten people about the errors of their ways? In 1 Corinthians 6 we read, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

In 2 Corinthians 6 we are warned to “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” Our first president under the new constitution, George Washington, once said, “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.”

He also said, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.”

Our country is in its current sad state of affairs because we have done just that, disregarded the eternal rules of order which Heaven itself has ordained. We justify sin under the banner of political correctness and tolerance. We look to government to fix all that ails our country, when we need to look inside our own lives and seek to live according to the laws contained in Scripture.

Scripture is full of times when the faithful fell into evil ways. The blessings bestowed by God were withheld from them until they became repentant and returned to a life of righteousness. What makes Americans think that they are any more deserving of the blessings of liberty and freedom when they refuse to renounce their evil ways an return to God?

I do not claim to be a perfect man, free from sin. But I do think that I understand the fountain from which spring the blessings of freedom and liberty. America can once again be great, but it will not happen unless we once again become a God-fearing nation worthy of His blessings.

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