Mark Levin delves into the insane ideas from the Party I find the most in common with (the GOP) that somehow Congress can legislate or Mandate that Trump not fire Mueller. This is evidence that some well-known names in the Republican Party have no idea about our Founding document or passion to adhere to It’s clear enumerated guiding lines of separation of powers. Levin also delineates clear investigatory lines regarding Trey Gowdy’s assertion regarding Mueller’s mandate. Classic Levin!
Below are two positions taken by a left leaning columnist and a right leaning columnist that essentially say the same thing. SOMETHING, mind you, Dennis tapped into some time ago in his article entitled, “AMERICA’S SECOND CIVIL WAR.” Here are the other two articles mentioned in these audios:
- Tim Arango of the New York Times: “In Clash Between California and Trump, It’s One America Versus Another“
- Michael Walsh* at American Greatness: “Democrats Fire on Fort Sumter“
Before beginning I just wish to say that California is working against the clear Constitutional mandates that the Federal government controls and protects its borders… and the Trump administration is working against the Constitution in its trying to fight against California’s legalization of marijuana. NOTE! If you are for the state of California choosing to legalize pot, but against the state defining marriage as between one-man and one-woman… you are a confused individual who makes choices on emotion and not Constitutional foresight/understanding. When Walsh and Prager discuss “arresting California lawmakers,” in my minds eye the legal standing ta do this is Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution — which reads:
- “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government…“
I have been warning about this for years in regard to The Golden State… California is setting itself and our country up for a world of hurt.
NEW YORK TIMES:
* Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic of Time Magazine. His works include the novels, “As Time Goes By,” “And All the Saints” (winner, 2004 American Book Award for fiction) and the “Devlin” series of thrillers; as well as the recent nonfiction bestseller, “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace.” A sequel, “The Fiery Angel,” is scheduled to appear in 2018.
<< LANGUAGE WARNING >>
- That’s what happens when you order a tall drip instead of a whipped, half-caf, blended, soy, mocha frappicino, blended chocolate burst!!! they brought this on themselves – Facebook Friend
Joking aside, one should know at the outset, that I agree with the coffee shop owner. He should be able to serve whom he wants and whom he does not. I posted elsewhere that if he puts up a sign saying,
- “No One Allowed But Gay Middle-Aged Men In Borat Bathing Suits.”
He has that right – dammit! JUST LIKE a Christian business owner can deny service celebrating same-sex marriages. This should only be used as an example of Leftist hypocrisy, but people should be ready to provide FREEDOM to counter this. I will expand on this more with media and examples… this post may be long.
RED STATE notes the following about this incident:
GAY PATRIOT wryly notes this about Red States post:
BTW, no one would sit and watch a straight couple do the same.
In a past post of mine — “Gary Johnson Is a Cake Fascist” — an example used to compare equal application of the law (a Constitutional ideal) of Bruce Springsteen cancelling his tour in North Carolina :
One person i know succinctly posted this:
- The free market is the great equalizer of inequities while protecting freedom at the same time.
This idea is what Barry Goldwater was running on. Freedom. Here Dennis Prager comes to the realization that his position on Goldwaters “anti-Civil Rights Act” platform was wrong all these years:
The thinking that special rights apply to different groups of people are what totalitarian regimes proffer. Here is an example of freedom being diminished, really a backfiring of Leftist ideals on the Gay Left.
Even the “supposed” Libertarian candidate wants the state large enough to force, fine, and run out of business citizens acting according to their conscience. Here is the debate portion that showed Gary Johnson was a Leftist and not a Libertarian:
I even called into the Michael Medved Show to challenge Gary Johnson on this debate:
The REAL march toward freedom was realized in this GREAT EXAMPLE of these two freedom loving lesbians fighting against the LEFT in oprotecting the freedoms of a Christian T-Shirt company owner:
Gay Patriot shot me over to The Blaze’s article on this… good stuff, and I LOVE these two ladies.
So ~ to be clear ~ we use this as an example of the Left being hypocrites, but offer a way that increases people’s freedom.
- “The larger the government gets, the smaller the person gets. The smaller the government gets, the larger the individual gets.”
Since this is a large post, I would suggest picking a topic or section and going through it… and then coming back to cover another section. We are often busy and so must manage time wisely. The reason for this post was a short paragraph written by an awesome gal who quickly explained her positions of why she (and other women) marched in the Women’s March that recently took place the day after the election. I took her small paragraph and bullet pointed a few issues I wish to address, and these can be seen in numbers one through four – below right. They are easily jumped to by clicking on the number. I will respond with media, quotes, and commentary in a way that steps beyond the mantras of the professional Left.
I would suggest combining this post with an earlier post of mine to understand just how much culture and the media can misrepresent things during an election season.
So buckle up…
Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” statement was loudly rejected. However, if such importance is placed on false facts… then this should help the student of truth to wade through the “alternative facts” apparently infuriating women of the Left.
The mottos of our country are: E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty. The motto of our Revolution was basically: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” While the Constitution requires those who stand before the law to be treated equally (equal under the law)… “equality” is not part of liberty. You can have either liberty or either equality – but not both. You will see this fleshed out in number three, bellow., but a good example of this in history is the French Revolution. It had a motto: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” This was an experiment done around the same time as the American Revolution and it collapsed on itself. Here is a good recap of these foundation philosophies:
The modern Left and the French of centuries past have a similar view of equality. It is an illiberal view of nature. To create equality IN THIS SENSE (guaranteed equal outcomes) is an impossible task. I will give you a couple examples of what I mean. The first deals with “special rights” in the attempt to create the [illusion] of choice. In an oft used example of mine I note that by defining when life begins at a later stage of a humans life-span, we see gender abortions (typically a girl is aborted due to cultural preferences for males), but here is a hypothetical of a newly forming protected class:
Mmmm, do you see an issue here? Under the “health of the mother” as the courts interpret Doe v. Bolton, ensuring a gender outcome or wanting a straight child would be allowed since “stress” or maladies like the baby having a cleft palate, or the mother is struggling financially, or one wished to pursue a career — are grounds for aborting children. Legally. Heck, if financial worries is reason enough… what’s left? Another example of the impossibility of reaching the equality spoken of here is those who felt marginalized BECAUSE of the march. Here are a couple examples:
I like to call myself an “imperialist white supremacist Christian cisgender capitalist heteropatriarchal male.”
So just by having an inclusive march many were excluded. This is the trouble with the Left’s egalitarianism. It cannot work and merely creates more division and eventual cannibalism, as Christian Hoff Sommers notes:
- Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America, Thomas G. West
- Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women, by Christina Hoff Sommers
GENDER WAGE GAP
FIRST and FOREMOST… when categories are compared properly, we see women tend to make more than men…
What typically happen with women around age thirty? The word rhymes with manly.
Another reason there is a broad variance in pay are for a few reasons. Women tend to choose different career paths than men (choice), and also take time out to care for children (nature).
- Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition, by Thomas Sowell
The first thing to say is the Higher Court settled this — I says settled with “air quotes.” However, many fine gay men and women I know would reject this decision either because they think marriage between heterosexuals has benefits for society same-sex marriages cannot offer. And/or they support the idea in the Constitution that what isn’t clearly enumerated in the Constitution for the Federal Government to concern itself with, then these decisions should be left to the states.
Another examples comes from respected Canadian sociologist/scholar/homosexual, Paul Nathanson, writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are:
- Foster the bonding between men and women
- Foster the birth and rearing of children
- Foster the bonding between men and children
- Foster some form of healthy masculine identity
- Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults
Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival,… every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively…. Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Going further he stated that “same sex marriage is a bad idea”… [he] only opposed “gay marriage, not gay relationships.”
Some persons think being gay is immutable, and so apply the 14th Amendment to the issue. However, this is not the case. Homosexuality is often times due to trauma early in the person’s life. Or sexual activity at a young age:
So, for instance, my mom knew quite a few lesbians throughout her life as a hippie/druggy, who now loves Jesus. In her mobile-home park living experience she has become friends, acquaintances with and met quite a few lesbians over the years. She told me that most had been abused by some older man (often a family member) when they were young. Also, the men I have known well-enough to intimate to me their early lives also have corroborated such encounters (one was a family member, the other not). Which brings me to a quote by a lesbian author I love:
You see, much like Walt Heyer, a man who had a sex operation, lived as a woman for 8-years, and then one day started to confront the “demons” from his childhood. He started to deal with these earlier issues in his life after taking some courses to get a degree in counseling at U.C. Irvine — he realized his gender dysphoria was because of trauma at a young age (HERE). To put a stamp of approval via society on a “choice” that is caused by anothers “choice” in making these relationships equal, is doing more harm to the individual than good (as Walt Heyer also points out in his book, mentioned in the link). Many have changed their sexual orientation from gay to hetero… but if this is the case, then one’s fluid sexuality is very UNLIKE ethnic origins (an ex-gay tells his story; a man raised by lesbians and who’s own early sexuality was in flux tells his story).
Here we find the indomitable Camille Paglia, a lesbian scholar, noting some of the above:
IN CASE you are not tracking… one cannot change his or her ethnicity/color.
Equality – LGBT [Must] Be Accepted By Everyone
Here is the actual quote from the paragraph mentioned at the top of the post:
- “LGBT WOULD have just the same rights to be married, get a job, be accepted by EVERYONE”
In order to impose some essence of equality, the government has to homogenize ALL interactions. In doing so, and getting to the “accepted by everyone” level, you would have to have something more that what Orwell wrote of in 1984. This is in actuality impossible, and is a sign of the Utopian goals of the Left.
- For thousands of years human beings have dreamt of perfect worlds, worlds free of conflict, hunger and unhappiness. But can these worlds ever exist in reality? In 1516 Sir Thomas More wrote the first ‘Utopia’. He coined the word ‘utopia’ from the Greek ou-topos meaning ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere’. But this was a pun – the almost identical Greek word eu-topos means a good place. So at the very heart of the word is a vital question: can a perfect world ever be realised?
All societies and movements that have attempted this have failed, miserably. This is no different. It curbs the freedom of contract between two individuals for a product or a service. Same-sex marriage as pushed by liberals is in direct conflict to enumerated protections in the Constitution. In Massachusetts, and now it is happening in Illinois. The oldest (in the nation), most successful foster and adoption care organization has closed its doors because they would be forced to adopt to same-sex couples. Lets peer into who this would affect:
- “Everyone’s still reeling from the decision,” Marylou Sudders, executive director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), said yesterday. “Ultimately, the only losers are the kids,” said Maureen Flatley, a Boston adoption consultant and lobbyist. (more on RPT & WT)
And business are bankrupted by government to impose these unreachable norms.
Again, this is not a straight versus gay category. This is a Left/Right issue in our body politic. For example, here is a Christian, conservative, apologist — Frank Turek — making a point:
- “….Imagine a homosexual videographer being forced to video a speech that a conservative makes against homosexual behavior and same sex marriage. Should that homosexual videographer be forced to do so? Of course not! Then why Elane Photography?….”
Now, here is a “conservatarian” blogger, Gay Patriot’s, input:
- “…it’s a bad law, a law that violates natural human rights to freedom of association and to freely-chosen work. It is not good for gays; picture a gay photographer being required by law to serve the wedding of some social conservative whom he or she despises.”
AGAIN, there are many gay men and women that GET IT:
GAY PATRIOT shot me over to The Blaze’s article on this… good stuff, and I LOVE these two ladies.
Love is Love
A story via GAY PATRIOT and his very humorous way to bring to light the deeper issue at hand, we find another example of the deteriorating acidic colloquialisms of the Left falling apart at the expense of civil society:
One can see my post on polygamy as well: How Polygamy Hurts Society by Making Girls/Women Chattel, and Stopping Boys from Turning into Healthy, Productive Men
However, here is GAY PATRIOT noting what is really going on:
There have been quite a few admissions like this, but here is one example by a wel known LGBT activist cataloged by THE BLAZE:
Surprisingly [sarcasm], this matches up with another ideology:
- What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense,by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T Anderson, and Robert P George (book)
- RPT’s Cumulative Case (my site)
- Gay Christians? (my site)
- Is Marriage Heterosexual? (my site)
Here again we run into the issue of EQUALITY as the Left views it. Not an equality in the sight of the law but an equality in outcomes. This is actually REALLY easy to show as wrong. But the 100% thingy made me chuckle. It reminded me of this call into the Larry Elder show:
Too Funny! But this is the thinking of these egalitarian tyrants. Take note that I will deal with the SHOOTING OF BLACK MEN first, then deal with Traffic stops. Remember, studies show police officers are MORE likely to shoot a white criminal than a black (cue shocked faces):
Listen, these next two media pieces are a bit long, but you get to hear real-world statistics. The first pice of media is from Larry Elder via my YouTube channel. The video following Elder is a Bill Whittle production… good stuff for the serious student of truth:
Here is LARRY ELDER layin’ down the SAGE LAW!
Just a very quick explanation of the above. Using newer stats, if you had 100 black men lined up on a street on one side, and on the other side you had one-hundred white men lined up on the street, and a white man walked down the middle of the street… he would be 27-times more likely to be assaulted and then killed by the black men. Again, keep in mind that blacks make up almost 12.6% of the population and whites make up 77.35% of the population.
Here Larry Elder (a statistician in his own right) notes reports from the DOJ and other sources to bring the reader into alignment with something beyond a false narrative they heard from a friend:
- The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, by Heather Mac Donald
- Are Cops Racist? (Reprint Edition), by Heather MacDonald
Here is a portion of the article by ALLEN GUELZO and JAMES HULME Mark Levin was reading from:
Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan;
Front row (left to right): John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Chief Justice John G. Roberts,
Associate Justice Lycurgus of Sparta, and Associate Justice Margaret Sanger.
- “…we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams, first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States. Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6.
And this great quote and commentary:
The below if an extended quote from a book that I highly recommend for the beginner if you are truly interested in this endeavor. A list of other resources can be found in my BIBLIOGRAPHY section of a paper for school. I will also include MLA and APA for helping the student to quote. from Joshua Charles book, LIBERTY’S SECRET. Enjoy:
- John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book, 1987), 54-61.
- [APA] Eidsmoe, J. (1987). Christianity and the Constitution. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
- [MLA] Eidsmoe, John. Christianity and the Constitution. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1987. Print.
Charles Louis Joseph de Secondat, the Baron Montesquieu of France (1689-1755), was cited by the founders of this nation more frequently than any other source except the Bible. His best-known work, The Spirit of Laws, distinguished four forms of government: monarchy in which the guiding principle is honor, aristocracy in which the guiding principle is moderation, republican democracy in which the guiding principle is virtue, and despotism in which the guiding principle is fear. His main contribution to the thinking of the founders of this nation was the concept of separation of powers between legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. This concept is so vital to the American constitutional system.
Because he lived in France and taught in French universities during the time of the philosophes, Montesquieu is sometimes identified as a deist. But he was born a Catholic, and remained a Catholic to his death. He did have some private questions concerning Catholic dogma. Stark suggests that Montesquieu moved closer and closer to Christian orthodoxy as he grew older, noting Montesquieu comment that the establishment of Christianity among the Romans would be an absurdity if it were merely a natural historical event.2 In any event, he received Communion shortly before he died, and he emphatically declared his belief that the elements were the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.3
Montesquieu believed all law has its source in God. As he says in the opening of The Spirit of Laws: “God is related to the universe, as Creator and Preserver; the laws by which He created all things are those by which He preserves them.”4 These laws apply to the physical world and human beings. Men make their own laws, but these laws must conform to the eternal laws of God.
Particular intelligent beings may have laws of their own making, but they likewise have some which they never made…. Before laws were made, there were relations of possible justice. To say that there is nothing just or unjust but what is commanded or forbidden by positive laws, is the same as saying that before the describing of a circle all the radii were not equal.5
[p.55>] Montesquieu believed man was basically evil and self-centered. His pessimism was due to the fact that he felt intelligent beings do not choose to follow God’s laws:
But the intelligent world is far from being so well governed as the physical. For though the former has also its laws, which of their own nature are invariable, it does not conform to them so exactly as the physical world. This is because, on the one hand, particular intelligent beings are of a finite nature, and consequently liable to error; and on the other, their nature requires them to be free agents. Hence they do not steadily conform to their primitive laws; and even those of their own instituting they frequently infringe….
Man, as a physical being, is like other bodies governed by invariable laws. As an intelligent being, he incessantly transgresses the laws established by God, and changes those of his own instituting. He is left to his private direction, though a limited being, and subject, like all finite intelligences, to ignorance and error: even his imperfect knowledge he loses; and as a sensible creature, he is hurried away by a thousand impetuous passions. Such a being might every instant forget his Creator; God has therefore reminded him of his duty by the laws of religion. Such a being is liable every moment to forget himself; philosophy has provided against this by the laws of morality. Formed to live in society, he might forget his fellow-creatures; legislators have, therefore, by political and civil laws, confined him to his duty.6
He compared Christianity to Islam and declared Christianity superior partly because of the better government it promotes, “a moderate Government is most agreeable to the Christian Religion, and a despotic Government to the Mahommedan”:
The Christian religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would, without doubt, have every nation blest with the best civil, the best political laws; because these, next to this religion, are the greatest good that men can give and receive….
The Christian religion is a stranger to mere despotic power. The mildness so frequently recommended in the gospel is incompatible with the despotic rage with which a prince punishes his subjects, and exercises himself in cruelty….
While the Mahommedan princes incessantly give or receive death, the religion of the Christians renders their princes less timid, and consequently less cruel. The prince confides in his subjects, and the subjects in the prince. How admirable the religion which, while it [p.56>] only seems to have in view the felicity of the other life, continues the happiness of this!7
In addition he explained that “the Catholic Religion is most agreeable to a Monarchy, and the Protestant to a Republic,” because “the people of the north have, and will forever have, a spirit of liberty and independence, which the people of the south have not; and, therefore, a religion which has no visible head is more agreeable to the independence of the climate than that which has one….” This was more true of Calvinist societies than Lutheran societies.8
In his writings, Montesquieu explained the role of religion in fostering values which find expression in civil laws. He pointed out that this is also true in non-Christian societies. He expressed the orthodox conviction that Christianity is a religion revealed by God himself. “In a country so unfortunate as to have a religion that God has not revealed, it is necessary for it to be agreeable to morality; because even a false religion is the best security we can have of the probity of men.“9 Thus, even a false religion can positively affect society if it fosters values which find expression in good laws.
While Montesquieu’s countrymen followed the way of the radical philosophes which ultimately led to destruction, the American founding fathers were receptive to his views. He recognized the value of religion, Christianity in particular, in fostering good laws and good government. Knowing the sinful nature of man, he advocated separation of powers by which power checks power. That was Montesquieu’s main contribution to the thinking of the founders of this nation: the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Noted for literary quality and readability as well as for legal and historical scholarship, Sir William Blackstone’s famous Commentaries on the Laws of England are rated as the most famous treatise on common law.
Blackstone (1723-1780) was an English barrister whose talents and inclinations were more suited to teaching law than to practicing law. Harvard Law Professor Duncan Kennedy describes Black- [p.57>] stone’s Commentaries as “an important 18th-century treatise that all legal scholars have heard of but practically no one knows anything about.”10 One reason may be that Blackstone’s God-centered view of law is out of fashion in today’s legal community.
Throughout the latter half of the 1700s and the first half of the 1800s Blackstone’s popularity in America was uneclipsed. It is said that more copies of Blackstone’s Commentaries were sold in America than in England, that his Commentaries were in the offices of every lawyer in the land, that candidates for the bar were routinely examined on Blackstone, that he was cited authoritatively in the courts, and that a quotation from Blackstone settled many a legal argument.11
The founders of the nation read Blackstone with great interest. At least one delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Charles Cotes-worth Pinckney of South Carolina, had been Blackstone’s student at Oxford and was Blackstone’s firm disciple. James Madison wrote in 1821, “I very cheerfully express my approbation of the proposed edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries…”12
The founding fathers drew three major points from Blackstone. The first was his conviction that all law has its source in God. Blackstone wrote about various categories of law, one of which is the law of nature:
Law of Nature. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when He created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when He created man, and endued him with free will to conduct himself in all parts of life, He laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that free will is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.
Considering the Creator only a Being of infinite power, He was able unquestionably to have prescribed whatever laws He pleased to His creature, man, however unjust or severe. But as he is also a Being of infinite wisdom, He has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things antecedent to any positive precept. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all his [p.58>] Dispensations conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such, among others, are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to everyone his due; to which three general precepts Justinian has reduced the whole doctrine of law….
This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God Himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this…
Blackstone then described revealed law, the law of God as found in the Bible.
Revealed Law. This has given manifold occasion for the interposition of divine providence; which in compassion to the frailty, the imperfection, and the blindness of human reason, hath been pleased, at sundry times and in divers manners, to discover and enforce its laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature as they tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity. But we are not from thence to conclude that the knowledge of these truths was attainable by reason, in its present corrupted state; since we find that, until they were revealed, they were hid from the wisdom of the ages. As then the moral precepts of this law are indeed of the same original with those of the law of nature, so their intrinsic obligation is of equal strength and perpetuity. Yet undoubtedly the revealed law is of infinitely more authenticity than that moral system, which is framed by ethical writers, and denominated the natural law. Because one is the law of nature, expressly declared so to be by God Himself; the other is only what, by the assistance of human reason, we imagine to be that law. If we could be as certain of the latter as we are of the former, both would have an equal authority; but, till then, they can never be put in any competition together.
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these.13
For the founding fathers, a second significant point in Black-stone’s writings was the role of judges. In Blackstone’s view, judges discover and apply law; they do not “make” law. This closely [p.59>] follows from Blackstone’s underlying view of law as part of the revealed law of God or the law of nature. Judges were not a source of law. There are only three sources of law—general custom, the court precedents which present-day judges are not free to alter; special custom, rights of private parties that had ripened into rights by prescription; and statute law, that which was passed by Parliament. In respect to the latter, the role of the judge is to interpret the will of the legislature, not to substitute his own ideas in their place.14 Blackstone, like Montesquieu, saw three branches of government, but envisioned the legislative as superior to the judiciary.
A third significant point in Blackstone’s Commentaries was his expert systematizing of the common law of England. While this systematizing was needed in England, it was even more necessary in America because America was a new nation that did not have England’s long traditions.
The common law of England is generally founded on biblical principles. The Anglo-Saxon Alfred the Great, for example, started his legal code with a recitation of the Ten Commandments and excerpts from the Mosaic law. There were additions to the Anglo-Saxon law. In the eleventh century Henricus Bracton systematized the common law according to Roman law as revised by the Justinian Code. The result was a Christianized version of the Roman law.
The Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament influenced the commercial law of England and the rest of Europe. Throughout much of the Middle Ages the church prohibited money-lending at interest, based on the interpretation of certain passages of Scripture. The Jews interpreted these Scriptures differently and were willing to lend money at interest. Often the only place one could borrow money was in the Jewish community. Jewish scholars such as Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon (Maimondes) codified the Jewish law and it formed the basis for much of English commercial law.
The canon law of the church and the emphasis on individual rights found in the Viking [p.60>] law from portions of England controlled by Norwegians and Danes also influenced English common law.15 The noblemen who forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in A.D. 1215 came mostly from areas which had been under Viking control. While the Vikings were not Christians until about A.D. 1000, their emphasis on individual rights was consistent with biblical principles.
Although for a time it was popular to belittle Blackstone and his beliefs,16 his views are becoming increasingly valued by legal scholars. One of Blackstone’s former students, Jeremy Bentham, charged that Blackstone was an arch-conservative and an “enemy of reformation.” But, fortunately, Bentham never gained the following in America that he had in England.
The 1986 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica puts it well: “Blackstone’s description of the law as it existed was accurate and comprehensive, and was of great use to those who wished to reform it.”17 The author adds that it is “amusing” (the 1911 edition changes this word to “curious”) that even today Blackstone’s Commentaries “probably express the most profound political convictions of the majority of the English people.”
The common law of England is part of the Christian heritage of America. That so much of it survived the migration to America is due in large part to Sir William Blackstone.
John Locke (1632-1704) was the British philosopher and political theorist who inspired a generation of Americans to thoughts of independence and the rights of man. His best-known works are his “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” and his two treatises “On Civil Government.”
John Locke was born into a Puritan family, the son of a rural Calvinist lawyer who fought on the side of the Puritans in the English civil war. He was educated at Calvinist institutions and emerged with a Calvinistic world view although he was a bit more moderate than some Calvinists.
Locke, sometimes identified as a deist and freethinker, was actually a staunch and fervent Christian. He placed a higher value [p.61>] on human reason than most orthodox Christians; but he used his powers of reason to arrive at Christian truths. According to his understanding of original sin, children are born neither good nor bad, but rather with a “tabula rosa” or “blank slate” upon which good or bad can be written during life. He wrote a treatise titled “The Reasonableness of Christianity,” in which he attempted to prove the truth of Christianity. Locke believed that if he showed people how logical and reasonable Christianity was, everyone would accept it. He did not realize that most objections to Christianity come from the heart and not the mind.
He was a pious man,18 and always held a high view of Scripture. Locke studied the Bible extensively and wrote paraphrases of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians, as well as “An Essay for the Understanding of St. Paul’s Epistles, by consulting St. Paul himself.” These were published after his death. He derived his view of Scripture largely from Richard Hooker’s “On the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.” Hooker, an Anglican theologian, took a middle-ground position between the Catholics who placed church tradition on a par with Scripture, and the Puritans who stood for Scripture alone. Hooker argued that where the Scripture is clear, Scripture alone must govern. Where Scripture is unclear, church tradition may be employed to help interpret it; and where both Scripture and church tradition are unclear, or where new circumstances arise, reason may also be employed to apprehend God’s truth.19
Locke frequently cited the Bible in his political writings. In his first treatise on government he cited the Bible eighty times. Forty-two of these citations are from Genesis, mostly chapters 1 and 3. Twenty-two biblical citations appear in his second treatise in which he argued that parents have authority over their children based upon the creation of Adam and Eve and their offspring. He also argued that man has the right to possess property since God gave the earth to Adam and later to Noah. He based the social compact which government is established upon “that Paction which God made with Noah after the Deluge. “(4)20 His basic doctrines of parental authority, private property, and social compact were based on the historical existence of Adam and Noah.
John Locke made two major contributions to the thinking of America’s founding fathers. The first was his doctrine of natural law [p.62>] and natural rights which the founding fathers were acquainted with from other sources but found most clearly expressed in Locke’s writings. He based both of these concepts on Scripture:
Human Laws are measures in respect of Men whose Actions they must direct, albeit such measures they are as have also their higher Rules to be measured by, which Rules are two, the Law of God, and the Law of Nature; so that Laws Human must be made according to the general Laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive Law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.21
Locke identified the basic natural rights of man as “life, liberty, and property.” This phrase is part of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence, where Jefferson expanded “property” to “pursuit of happiness.”
Second, Locke contributed the theory of social compact: the idea that men in a state of nature realize their rights are insecure, and compact together to establish a government and cede to that government certain power so that government may use that power to secure the rest of their rights. The social compact theory is similar to the Calvinist idea of covenant. The social compact theory, like the covenant, allows the government only the power God and/or people delegate. This is the cornerstone of limited government. It finds expression in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution and in the Declaration of Independence which states that governments exist to secure human rights and “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
2) Werner Stark, Montesquieu, Pioneer of the Sociology of Knowledge (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961), pp. 14-16.
3) Robert Shackleton, Montesquieu: A Critical Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961), pp. 395-96.
4) Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws (New York: Hafner, 1949, 1962), 1:1.
5) Ibid., 1:2.
6) Ibid., 1:2-3.
7) Ibid., 24:27-29.
8) Ibid., 26:30-31.
9) Ibid., 24:32.
10) Duncan Kennedy, “The Structure of Blackstone’s Commentaries,” Buffalo Law Review (1979), 28:203-375, 209.
11) Lutz, “Relative Influence of European Writers,” pp. 195-96.
12) Madison, quoted by Verna M. Hall, The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government with Union (San Francisco: Foundation for American Christian Education, 1962, 1979), p. 130A.
13) Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, quoted by Hall, Christian History of the Constitution, pp. 140-46.
14) Kennedy, “Structure of Blackstone’s Commentaries,” p. 250.
15) Thamar E. Dufwa, The Viking Laws and the Magna Carta: A Study of the Northmen’s Cultural Influence on England and France (New York: Exposition Press, 1963), pp. 32-92. For a general discussion and detailed documentation of the Christian and Jewish influence on the development of English common law, see John Eidsmoe, The Christian Legal Advisor (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984, 1987), pp. 26-29.
16) “[Blackstone] had only the vaguest possible grasp on the elementary conceptions of law. He evidently regards the law of gravitation, the law of nations, and the law of England, as different examples of the same principle—as rules of action or conduct imposed by a superior power on its subjects. He propounds in terms a fallacy which is perhaps not quite yet expelled from courts of law, viz., that municipal or positive laws derive their validity from their conformity to the so-called law of nature or law of God. ‘No human laws,’ he says, ‘are of any validity or contrary to this”’ (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1896, s.v. “Blackstone, Sir William”; cf. 1911 ed.).
17) Encyclopedia Britannica: Micropedia, 1986, s.v. “Blackstone, Sir William.”
18) Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia: Knowledge in Depth, 1986, s.v. “Locke.”
19) Encyclopedia Britannica: Micropedia, 1986, s.v. “Hooker, Richard.”
20) John Locke, Of Civil Government, Book Two, II:11, 111:56; V:25, 55; XVIII:200.
21) Locke, ibid., XI:136n.
Was the Constitution written in a way that was designed to protect freedom and limit the government’s size? Has it been effective in doing that? And what’s the Supreme Court’s record when it comes to protecting our rights? Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, answers these questions and more.
Zo tells you why the Democrats are rewriting the Constitution. He reminds viewers that the Democrats rewrote the constitution once before, when they seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy.
Take note of Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution reads:
- “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government…”
I tell my kids that we do not have a democracy, but a Democratic REPUBLIC; and I am basing these on the Constitution and the authors (and signers) understanding of it (commonly referred to as “original intent”). Our Founders had an opportunity to establish a democracy in America but chose not to. In fact, they made very clear that we were not – and never to become – a democracy:
Critics have long derided the Electoral College as a fusty relic of a bygone era, an unnecessary institution that one day might undermine democracy by electing a minority president. That day has arrived, assuming Gov. Bush wins the Florida recount as seems likely.
The fact that Bush is poised to become president without a plurality of the vote contravenes neither the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution. The wording of our basic law is clear: The winner in the Electoral College takes office as president. But what of the spirit of our institutions? Are we not a democracy that honors the will of the people? The very question indicates a misunderstanding of our Constitution.
James Madison’s famous Federalist No. 10 makes clear that the Founders fashioned a republic, not a pure democracy. To be sure, they knew that the consent of the governed was the ultimate basis of government, but the Founders denied that such consent could be reduced to simple majority or plurality rule. In fact, nothing could be more alien to the spirit of American constitutionalism than equating democracy will the direct, unrefined will of the people.
Recall the ways our constitution puts limits on any unchecked power, including the arbitrary will of the people. Power at the national level is divided among the three branches, each reflecting a different constituency. Power is divided yet again between the national government and the states. Madison noted that these two-fold divisions — the separation of powers and federalism — provided a “double security” for the rights of the people.
What about the democratic principle of one person, one vote? Isn’t that principle essential to our form of government? The Founders’ handiwork says otherwise. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. That’s why a state like Montana, with 883,000 residents, gets the same number of Senators as California, with 33 million people. Consistency would require that if we abolish the Electoral College, we rid ourselves of the Senate as well. Are we ready to do that?
The filtering of the popular will through the Electoral College is an affirmation, rather than a betrayal, of the American republic. Doing away with the Electoral College would breach our fidelity to the spirit of the Constitution, a document expressly written to thwart the excesses of majoritarianism. Nonetheless, such fidelity will strike some as blind adherence to the past. For those skeptics, I would point out two other advantages the Electoral College offers.
First, we must keep in mind the likely effects of direct popular election of the president. We would probably see elections dominated by the most populous regions of the country or by several large metropolitan areas. In the 2000 election, for example, Vice President Gore could have put together a plurality or majority in the Northeast, parts of the Midwest, and California.
The victims in such elections would be those regions too sparsely populated to merit the attention of presidential candidates. Pure democrats would hardly regret that diminished status, but I wonder if a large and diverse nation should write off whole parts of its territory. We should keep in mind the regional conflicts that have plagued large and diverse nations like India, China, and Russia. The Electoral College is a good antidote to the poison of regionalism because it forces presidential candidates to seek support throughout the nation. By making sure no state will be left behind, it provides a measure of coherence to our nation.
Second, the Electoral College makes sure that the states count in presidential elections. As such, it is an important part of our federalist system — a system worth preserving. Historically, federalism is central to our grand constitutional effort to restrain power, but even in our own time we have found that devolving power to the states leads to important policy innovations (welfare reform).
If the Founders had wished to create a pure democracy, they would have done so. Those who now wish to do away with the Electoral College are welcome to amend the Constitution, but if they succeed, they will be taking America further away from its roots as a constitutional republic.
How did the terms “Elector” and “Electoral College” come into usage?
The term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” In the Federalist Papers (No. 68), Alexander Hamilton refers to the process of selecting the Executive, and refers to “the people of each State (who) shall choose a number of persons as electors,” but he does not use the term “electoral college.”
The founders appropriated the concept of electors from the Holy Roman Empire (962 – 1806). An elector was one of a number of princes of the various German states within the Holy Roman Empire who had a right to participate in the election of the German king (who generally was crowned as emperor). The term “college” (from the Latin collegium), refers to a body of persons that act as a unit, as in the college of cardinals who advise the Pope and vote in papal elections. In the early 1800’s, the term “electoral college” came into general usage as the unofficial designation for the group of citizens selected to cast votes for President and Vice President. It was first written into Federal law in 1845, and today the term appears in 3 U.S.C. section 4, in the section heading and in the text as “college of electors.”