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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Jefferson’

United States ConstitutionI fell for the myth of the “godless” U.S. Constitution until 2012.

Here are the reasons the United States Constitution is not “godless”, with thanks to Pastor David Whitney of the Institute on the Constitution for bringing up some of these points up during a presentation he made on Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith:

Starting with the preamble to the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Where do “Blessings” come from, if not from God?

And the Declaration of Independence makes it clear that the “Creator” is the author of “Liberty”, as we see from its text:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Then, there are the references in the Constitution to oaths, such as this one:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.

The distinguishing feature between an Oath and Affirmation is that an oath is sworn to God, while an affirmation is only solemnly stated.

We see this from the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s primary definition for oath:

1a (1) : a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says

and with all definitions of affirmation, there is no mention of God:

1a : the act of affirming
b : something affirmed : a positive assertion
2 : a solemn declaration made under the penalties of perjury by a person who conscientiously declines taking an oath

The second definition shows that one makes an affirmation by conscientiously declining to take an oath, meaning that one doesn’t believe in God, or doesn’t feel that it is necessary to do so, while still believing in God.

Then, for the requirement of the President upon taking office:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Then, for the oath or affirmation required of Senators and Representatives:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The “no religious Test” requirement is internally supported in the Constitution by the ability to either swear an oath or make an affirmation, and its purpose was to prevent religious divisions among the many Christian denominations at the time, and later, among different religions.

The most cited reference made by those advocating a “godless” Constitution refer to the First Amendment, which states, in part:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

This is one of the most misunderstood parts of the Constitution. It only limits Congress from establishing any official national religion, and from prohibiting the free exercise of religion anywhere in the United States. It does nothing to prevent the States from doing so, within their respective jurisdictions. This is evidenced by the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut having official state religions after the U.S. Constitution was adopted.

And since the Executive can only execute laws passed by Congress, if Congress can pass no laws establishing an official religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise of religion, the Executive also cannot implement any regulations doing the same.

Then, since the judicial branch can only interpret laws passed by Congress, they are also prevented from doing the same.

Notice that there is no “wall of separation between Church and State” mentioned here, or anywhere else in the Constitution. In fact, that reference is from a 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, which referred to a one-way wall of separation, with the newly constituted federal government unable to interfere with religious worship in any way.

Then, in the Fourth Amendment, we see a reference to an “Oath”.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Long before 2012, I was aware of the mention of “the Year of our Lord” in the Constitution, and accepted the notion that it was just used as a convention at the time.

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.

However, if it connoted nothing religious, then why did Thomas Jefferson’s aforementioned 1802 letter only show him signing the date and year, and mentioning nothing about “the Year of our Lord”?

Finally, the mention of most of the rights in the Bill of Rights are references to natural rights, and where do those natural rights come from? The signers of the Declaration of Independence made it clear that they are from the “Creator”, who is also “Nature’s God”.

For more on the godly nature of the U.S. Constitution and U.S. form of government, see my interview with Pastor David Whitney here.

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Tom WoodsFrom Tom Woods’ April 15, 2013 article, The Greenbackers’ Fake Quote Industry, picked up by LewRockwell.com the following day, I made the following comments, to which Woods responded to:

Bill Still tried to get fake quotations removed from his documentary, The Money Masters, but the copyright holder wouldn’t allow it, for reasons we can only surmise. In 2011, he created this page dedicated to exposing false monetary quotations (http://s6.zetaboards.com/Bill_Still_Reforum/topic/1177385/1/) so it’s good to see that you’ve joined forces with a Greenbacker in the interests of intellectual honesty, Tom.

To which Woods responded:

I happily concede that this speaks well of Bill Still.

Then, I commented:

In 2009, I exposed the fake Jefferson quote you cited above (https://fauxcapitalist.com/2009/10/28/what-thomas-jefferson-said-about-private-banks/) after hearing it so many times and deciding to do my own research and conceding that it must be fake if the word “deflation” wasn’t even used in Jefferson’s time.

To which he responded:

Great. Now if only you could get the 167,000 people who keep propagating the fakes to visit your page, we’d be getting somewhere.

Then, I wrote:

Tom, while fake quotations are often cited by Greenbackers, there are also fake quotations cited by Austrian School adherents, such as this fake Aristotle quotation: “In effect, there is nothing inherently wrong with fiat money, provided we get perfect authority and god-like intelligence for kings.“ We can thank James Dines for propagating that one. I emailed him asking for his source, and he never responded.

To which he responded:

I have never heard of James Dines, and I cannot imagine any serious Austrian falling for such an obvious fake. With the Greenbackers, fake quotations are systematic and everywhere.

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Image of Lew Rockwell

On LRC’s blog on November 10, 2011, Lew Rockwell wrote:

MSNBC is blocking their own guy Pat from appearing to discuss his new book. I have my own differences with this beautifully written, fascinating work (and I despise MSNBC), but suppression is hardly appropriate with the man or the network.

But what about LewRockwell.com keeping certain articles by its regular contributors from its readers?

A Google search shows at least 72 articles by The Economic Collapse Blog re-published by LRC since August 2010.

On November 7, 2011, The Economic Collapse Blog published the article, 14 Reasons Why We Should Nationalize the Federal Reserve. This article was picked up by Infowars.com, but not by LRC — for the obvious reason that it doesn’t fit with their narrative that the government can’t do anything right.

This one article isn’t the exception, but the rule. I have seen several such articles by TCDB that aren’t picked up by LRC, with it being rather obvious when a TCDB article with a “government is inherently bad” spin potential is published shortly before or after a TCDB article that doesn’t fit with LRC’s anti-state narrative. Another such example is the article, Free Trade or Fair Trade? 20 Reasons why All Americans Should be Against the Insane Trade Policies of the Globalists, which predictably wasn’t picked up by LRC.

As Lew Rockwell added:

UPDATE from Robert Katz:

“If [a] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God’s sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose.” — Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814

So I say to Lew Rockwell, if The Economic Collapse Blog’s overtly pro-state articles be false in their facts, disprove them; if false in their reasoning, refute them, but let us freely hear both sides if we choose.

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F for Fake

Bill Still, producer of The Money Masters and The Secret of Oz, and Andy Gause, author of The Secret World of Money, have finally blown the whistle on fake quotes about money.

On the August 27, 2011 episode of Erskine Overnight, Gause pointed out that a quotation about private banks that is commonly attributed to Thomas Jefferson is likely not authentic.

This site has been a leader in getting this information out to you nearly full two years ago, in the case of the oft-cited Jefferson “quotation” about private banks, as discussed in my October 28, 2009 article, What Thomas Jefferson said about private banks.

Also, on February 12, 2011, I wrote the article, What Aristotle didn’t say about fiat money, which disputed a quotation about fiat money that is attributed to Aristotle, when in fact, he wrote something completely to the contrary.

Then, on the August 20, 2011 episode of The Secret Truth, Bill Still revealed that about a dozen of the purported quotes in his documentary, The Money Masters, are not authentic, and he has tried to get them removed, but the owner of the rights to the documentary won’t let him.

I am glad to see that they have both gone very public about what I had already documented — that some of the so-called ‘quotations’ about money are complete fakes.

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Timothy F. Geithner, Under Secretary of the Tr...

In May, 2011, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner held up a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, and made the audacious claim that the Congressional debt limit is unconstitutional, citing Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which reads in part:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

The nerve of him to claim the federal debt limit is unconstitutional, since he was previously the head of the largest of the 12 privately-owned regional banks of the illegal and unconstitutional Federal Reserve System.

Despite the 1819 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCulloch v. Maryland, which effectively ruled that a private central bank is constitutional, a private central bank was regarded as unconstitutional by the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, and by Thomas Jefferson, and is unconstitutional by a plain reading of the Constitution, which states that Congress has the power to coin money.

I think most Americans would regard the delegation of Congress’ power to declare war to a private entity to be ridiculous, but what about delegating its power to coin money?

Not only is Timothy Geithner a hypocrite on one count, he’s also a hypocrite for previously threatening that Congress is going to have to raise the debt limit he now claims is unconstitutional.

He also showed his ignorance of U.S. monetary history in claiming that the U.S. meets its financial obligations, in failing to acknowledge that the U.S. ended the gold standard in 1933, and the gold exchange standard in 1971.

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Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a ...

The following quotation on fiat money is attributed to Aristotle, one of the fathers of Western thought, who lived from 384 to 322 BC.

In effect, there is nothing inherently wrong with fiat money, provided we get perfect authority and god-like intelligence for kings.

However, when I did a Google search for that quotation, it only produced 56 results, none of which cite the book that he allegedly was reported as saying that.

Searching the MIT Internet Classics Archive for any references to the above quotation, and similar variations thereof, turned up no such reference.

When hearing any quotation, such as the one about private banks that is widely attributed to Thomas Jefferson, you should consider whether it is actually authentic.

There are many quotations widely attributed to prominent historical figures that are used to bolster the credibility of various claims, such as the alleged inferiority of fiat currencies. However, if the quotations are inauthentic, then the credibility of the claims based on them has to rest on other criteria.

See my article on the English tally sticks for an example of a successful fiat currency that lasted hundreds of years.

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Among the most famous of quotations attributed to Thomas Jefferson, is this one:

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around  them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

But did Thomas Jefferson really say that? That’s what I had thought, especially after hearing it repeated by so many people on so many different programs and web sites. Then, one day, I decided to verify it for myself, and was surprised by what I found.

Bartleby, famous for its books of quotations, states:

Although Jefferson was opposed to paper money, this quotation is obviously spurious. Inflation was listed in Webster’s dictionary of 1864, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, but the OED gives 1920 as the earliest use of deflation.

Another authoritative dictionary, Merriam-Webster, reports the first use of the word deflation, in any context, dating back to 1890 — 64 years after the death of Thomas Jefferson.

As Bartleby hints at, one shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Even if Jefferson didn’t say that, in whole or in part, it’s consistent with his beliefs and actions.

The full significance of this quotation will be addressed in several subsequent articles.

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