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Posts Tagged ‘United States Constitution’

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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U.S. ConstitutionJudge Douglass Bartley, a former Wisconsin tax court judge and author of the four-volume series (three already completed), The Kiss of Judice: The Constitution Betrayed: A Coroner’s Inquest and Report, is scheduled to be on Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb on Truth Frequency Radio, September 1, 2013 at 8 PM Eastern for the full two hours, for the second part of our in-depth discussion of the United States Constitution.

For his previous interviews, see:

1) An interview with constitutionalist judge, Douglass Bartley, on Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith, December 18, 2012

2) Exposing Faux Capitalism with Jason Erb: Episode 18: Interview with constitutionalist judge, Douglass Bartley

Update: Judge Bartley was unable to make it for this second interview due to personal circumstances. Stay tuned for details about the upcoming fourth volume of his book.

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U.S. ConstitutionSince World War II, the American public has been regularly lied to and misled by various mass media sources that a Declaration of War under the United States Constitution is unnecessary, outmoded and/or only symbolic.

Article I, Section 8, which grants enumerated powers to Congress, grants Congress the power “[t]o declare War.”

Therefore, any references to war in the Constitution relate to this specific power.

The proof that a Declaration of War under the U.S. Constitution isn’t symbolic comes from the U.S. Constitution itself, which states in the Third Amendment that:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Given that the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is still in effect, not having been amended by a subsequent amendment, it demonstrates that only a Declaration of War by Congress, specifically under Article I, Section 8, gives the Congress the authority to quarter soldiers in the houses of Americans, in a manner prescribed by law, and if there is only a so-called authorization under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, or some presidential executive action, such quartering would be unconstitutional and illegal.

This amendment clearly puts the lie to anyone perpetrating the notion that a Declaration of War is only symbolic subsequent to the last official Declaration of War in World War II, and in the subsequent years.

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English: Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of ...

From the November 27, 2012 interview with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Charlie Rose:

  • 9m – Says he supports a reasonable, not a strict interpretation of the Constitution. This is, of course, how he justifies so called “reasonable” limitations on the enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights, such as “reasonable” gun control restrictions.
  • 17m – Says back in the good old days, judges used to lie when changing the meaning of the Constitution, but now they make it mean whatever they say it means
  • 18m – Says he has no more power to interpret the constitution than the President or the legislative branch
  • 19m – His Lincoln hypocrisy on habeas corpus, in criticizing it, yet ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006) that habeas corpus didn’t apply to a non-U.S. citizen detained at Guantanimo Bay, in the absence of a constitutional suspension by Congress, despite the U.S. Constitution restricting the power of the federal government, regardless of the citizenship or location of the detainee.
  • 35m – He expressed his surprise about Chief Justice John Roberts’ tax clause ruling in support for Obamacare
  • 37m – Claimed that the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore was based upon the Florida courts allegedly violating the Constitution, yet mentioned about the U.S. Supreme Court decision ending the vote counting so the U.S. wouldn’t be a laughing stock
  • 41m – Says judicial activism started under the Warren court
  • 46m – Says he had to do all of the originalist interpretation when he got on the court, since no one else was doing that
  • 49m – Charlie Rose said he promised Scalia he wouldn’t ask him anything he didn’t already know the answer to, showing how such interviews are tightly scripted and controlled

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Painting, 1856, by Junius Brutus Stearns, Wash...

There are a lot of different things said about what the U.S. Constitution mandates regarding the monetary system, and to clarify, here is my analysis:

  • Congress has the sole public power to strike coins from any metal. The proof that it isn’t limited to gold and silver is the plain language, “coin money,” and the first Coinage Act of 1792, which provided for the coining of bronze coins as well as gold and silver.
  • Exercise of that power is optional, just as is their power to declare war.
  • Congress does not have the power to create any non coin-based money, based on an originalist interpretation of the Constitution and a strict interpretation of its enumerated power to coin money and the 10th Amendment.
  • Individuals and non-corporate associations of individuals retain the right to mint coins or issue paper currency, as per the 9th Amendment, so long as there is no counterfeiting.
  • States have the option of enacting legal tender laws, and if they do, gold and silver must be made legal tender in payment of debts.
  • People and even businesses are allowed to accept payment for goods and services in something other than gold and silver, regardless of legal tender laws, because of the distinction between payment for goods and services and payment of debts.
  • States are prohibited from issuing “bills of credit,” which specifically refers to paper currency. Due to the Tenth Amendment, the States retain powers not delegated to Congress, and, therefore, they have the power to issue credit that isn’t backed by anything, so long as there is no paper currency associated with it.

For my other writings about a constitutional monetary system, see The U.S. Constitution doesn’t say money should be gold or silver coin, and The Constitution doesn’t insist on a gold or silver-backed currency.

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Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

The constitutional way of signing a bill -- with a pen in your own hand

It wasn’t enough for President Obama to illegally go to war against Libya.

No, he had to violate another part of the Constitution. This time, by indirectly signing a four-year extension to the so-called Patriot Act with an autopen.

Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution states:

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it

The clear meaning of this requirement is that the bill that has passed the House and Senate, which is to be presented to the President, has to be signed by him, and only him, and not some autopen based on his order.

If they can’t get the bill to him on time, then that should say something about the perils of waiting until the last minute, and about too many bills being passed by Congress. Taking shortcuts is no excuse, since the bill will become law if it’s still unsigned 10 days later (excluding Sundays).

The Constitution’s language also makes it clear that line-item vetos aren’t constitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled as such in 1998, after such a provision was signed into law in 1996 by President Clinton.

Therefore, we don’t need a Supreme Court decision to tell us what should be obvious by a plain reading, and the former Attorney General under George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, is no authority on the Constitution, in arguing autopen signings are constitutional, since he was the one who claimed that there was no constitutional habeas corpus protection in the constitution for Guantanimo detainees, despite Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution already recognizing a pre-existing writ of habeas corpus, in saying:

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

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The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

However, as the First Amendment Center states:

The right to petition, however, requires only that the state receive complaints and grievances, not that it respond to them. Historical practice aside, as the Court explained in Minnesota Board for Community Colleges v. Knight (1984): “[N]othing in the First Amendment or in this Court’s case law interpreting it suggests that the rights to speak, associate, and petition require government policymakers to listen or respond to individuals’ communications on public issues.”

Compare that to the Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, that allowed for a group of 25 barons to seize the king’s property to redress their grievances, if redress wasn’t provided within 40 days. In the words of King John:

And if we, or in our absence abroad the chief justice, have not corrected the transgression within forty days, reckoned from the day on which the offence was declared to us (or to the chief justice if we are out of the realm), the four barons mentioned before shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons. Together with the community of the whole land, they shall then distrain and distress us in every way possible, namely by seizing castles, lands, possessions and in any other they can (saving only our own person and those of the queen and our children), until redress has been obtain in their opinion. And when amends have been made, they shall obey us as before.

Why is it that 794 years later, in 2009, 303 million American people (the sovereign) can’t even expect a response to their petitions from their servant government of, by, and for the people, whereas 25 barons could seize any and all property from their sovereign, that they deemed proper to redress their grievances?

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