Were the Founders Religious? Was America Founded to Be Secular?

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Did the Founding Fathers want American society to be religious or secular? Joshua Charles, author of Liberty’s Secrets, explains.

What did the Founding Fathers believe about religion? Were they Christians, or just deists? Did they believe in secularism, or did they want Americans to be religious? Joshua Charles, New York Times bestselling author and researcher at the Museum of the Bible, explains.


UPDATED w/ Combined Posts


A Facebook friend posts a lot of stuff from the Left. And while I could spend all day refuting in similar fashion much of it (like the below), this topic caught my eye. Here is the FB graphic she posted on her wall:

So, let’s deal with these in order, shall we?

THOMAS JEFFERSON

This is the headline at THE JEFFERSON MONTICELLO site: “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man (Spurious Quotation)” — spurious indeed. They follow this with the fuller quote:

This comment on Christianity is a somewhat paraphrased excerpt from the following letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley:

“this was the real ground of all the attacks on you: those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame.” – Jefferson to Priestley, March 21, 18011 (entire letter)

There are other useful links at MONTICELLO’S link to this topic. Even CHECK YOUR FACT has this regarding the Jefferson quote:

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Jefferson ever said or wrote this. His estate at Monticello includes the saying on its list of “spurious quotations.”

Fact Check:

The quote has been frequently attributed to Jefferson on social media, appearing in numerous memes and posts on Facebook.

However, the Daily Caller found no record of Jefferson ever saying or writing this expression. A search of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson returned no results matching the alleged saying. It doesn’t appear in a collection of his quotes and letters either.

His estate at Monticello also includes the statement on its list of “spurious quotations.” The first known appearance in print dates back to 1996, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation…..

Did Thomas Jefferson dislike religion? Ben Shapiro speaks with author and Wallbuilders founder David Barton about Jefferson and his version of the Bible.

Sorry Charlie.

But history is more complex than your meme.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

The fuller quote reads… and note, many say this about their youth as well. I say similar things — as I stayed out of the church as a youth when I could.

  • “I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.”

Later in life however, Franklin (and I would say myself) wrestled with religious matters well, and came out on the theistic end of life. Here, for example, is a letter from Benjamin Franklin to the “atheist” Thomas Paine:

TO THOMAS PAINE.

[Date uncertain.]

DEAR SIR,

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion, that, though your reasonings are subtile and may prevail with some readers, you will not succeed so as to change the general sentiments of mankind on that subject, and the consequence of printing this piece will be, a great deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face.

But, were you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous life, without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantages of virtue, and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations. But think how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great point for its security. And perhaps you are indebted to her originally, that is, to your religious education, for the habits of virtue upon which you now justly value yourself. You might easily display your excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous subject, and thereby obtain a rank with our most distinguished authors. For among us it is not necessary, as among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised into the company of men, should prove his manhood by beating his mother.

I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it. I intend this letter itself as a proof of my friendship, and therefore add no professions to it; but subscribe simply yours,

B. Franklin

Other interesting items of Mr. Franklin’s faith in God can be found here: Benjamin Franklin Was Not A Secularist

I start out this upload with a call into the show this week… after a little back-n-forth it ends. BUT, I include a bit of the show Dennis Prager speaks about during the call. That is from late February. A great topic covered well. Here is the creed spoken of:

✦ I believe in one God, the creator of the universe.
✦ That he governs by his providence.
✦ That he ought to be worshipped.
✦ That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to his other children.
✦ That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this.

For a very good discussion of the influence of the Calvinistic tradition on the thinking of Benjamin, see:

  • John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 191-213.

JOHN ADAMS

The fuller quote from Adam’s sheds some light on Calvinism’ influence on the founders. The quote was taken out of context from a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 19 April 1817 (entire letter):

  • Twenty times, in the course of my late Reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible Worlds, if there were no Religion in it”!!! But in this exclamati[on] I Should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell. So far from believing in the total and universal depravity on human Nature; I believe there is no Individual totally depraved.

A slightly more English friendly version is this:

“Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible Worlds, if there were no Religion in it!!!’ But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company – I mean hell.” (Charles Francis Adams [ed.], The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. [Boston, 1856], X, p. 254.)

  • Taken from They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions, by Paul F. Boller, Jr. & John George, p. 3.

Adam’s was using the quote as a hyperbolic analogy to make a larger point. The opposite point as displayed in the meme. And the point was the depravity of mankind in a VERY Calvinistic structure. Here, as a way to drive the point home that this topic — that is, religious influences on the founding of America — is a topic I have for seminary studied well. Here is a bibliography of books used for a class. Books that sit on my shelves, I will highlight one in particular I recommend:

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Atkinson, James. The Great Light: Luther and the Reformation (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006).

Barton, David. America’s Godly Heritage (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders Press, 1993).

___________. Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion, 3rd ed. (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders Press, 2000).

Belloc, Hilaire. The Protestant Reformation (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1928).

___________. Characters of the Reformation: Historical Portraits of 23 Men and Women and Their Place in the Great Religious Revolution of the 16th Century (Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1936).

Berman, Harold J. Law and Revolution II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformations on the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

_____________. Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983).

Eidsmoe, John. Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1987).

Esolen, Anthony. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2008).

Estep, William R. Renaissance and Reformation (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986).

Evans, M. Stanton. The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition (Washington, DC: Regnery, 1994).

George, Timothy. Theology of the Reformers (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1988).

Hannah, John D. Charts of Reformation and Enlightenment Church History (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004).

Hillerbrand, Hans J. The Reformation: A Narrative History Related by Contemporary Observances and Participants (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1964).

___________. How the Reformation Happened (New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1968).

Hoffecker, W. Andrew. Revolutions in Worldviews: Understanding the Flow of Western Thought (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2007).

House, Wayne H. Charts of Christian Theology & Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992).

_____________. Charts on Systematic Theology ( Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2006).

Lowenthal, David. No Liberty for License: the Forgotten Logic of the First Amendment (Dallas, TX: Spence Publishing, 1997).

MacCullouch, Diarmaid. The Reformation: A History (New York, NY: Penguin, 2004).

Marshall, Paul. God and the Constitution: Christianity and American Politics (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).

McGrath, Alister E. Reformation Thought: An Introduction, 3rd ed. (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1999).

______________, ed. The Christian Theology Reader (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1995).

Nichols, Stephen J. The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007).

Noll, Mark A. America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).

Olberman, Heiko A. The Dawn of the Reformation: Essays in Late Medieval and Early Reformation Thought (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1992).

Parker, G.W.H. The Morning Star: Wycliffe and the Dawn of the Reformation (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2006).

Pelikan, Jaroslav, Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700), vol. 4 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

Sandoz, Ellis, ed. Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805 (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 1991).

Sharansky, Natan. Defending Identity: It’s Indispensible Role In Protecting Democracy (New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2008).

Skinner, Quentin. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: The Age of Reformation, vol. 2 (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1978).

_____________. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: The Renaissance, vol. 1 (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

_____________. Liberty Before Liberalism (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Spellman, W.M. John Locke and the Problem of Depravity (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1988).

Stark, Rodney. The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (, New York, NY: Random House, 2006).

_____________. For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (Princeton, NJ: Princeton university Press, 2004)

Tomkins, Stephen. A Short History of Christianity (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005).

Walton, Robert C. Chronological and Background Charts of Church History: Revised and Expanded (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2005).

Witte, John Jr. Religion and American Constitutional Experiment (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2005).

___________. The Reformation of Rights: Law, Religion, and Human Rights in Early Modern Calvinism (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

___________., and Frank s. Alexander, eds. Christianity and Law: An Introduction (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

___________. From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition (Louisville, KY: WJK, 1997)

___________. God’s Joust, God’s Justice: Law and Religion in the Western Tradition (Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006).

___________. Law and Protestantism: The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Woods, Thomas J. Jr. The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2004).

Later in life, Adams wrote:

  • “I love and revere the memories of Huss, Wickliff, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melancton, and all the other Reformers, how muchsoever I may differ from them all in many theological metaphysical & philosophical points. As you justly observe, without their great exertions & severe sufferings, the USA had never existed.” — John Adams to F. C. Schaeffer, November 25, 1821, in James Hutson, ed., The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 15–16.

GEORGE WASHINGTON

The quote by our first official President does not even hint at secular thought? The entire letter in fact does not. An excellent site recording the non-secular events surrounding the Constitution, also note the following — to use just one example from the many via Is the Constitution a “Secular Document?”

After being sworn in, George Washington delivered his “Inaugural Address” to a joint session of Congress. In it Washington declared:

[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves . . . . In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and . . . can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.

[W]e ought to be no less persuaded that 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….

    • Messages and Papers of the Presidents, George Washington, Richardson, ed., vol. 1, p.44-45

Following his address, the Annals of Congress reported that:

The President, the Vice-President, the Senate, and House of Representatives, &c., then proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel, where Divine service was performed by the chaplain of Congress.

These people obviously didn’t get the memo about the Constitution creating a secular government…..

More on Washington can be found HERE.

In recent conversation a similar meme was sent to me that added Thomas Pain. So here is a quick dealing with this that should add more context to Mr. Pain’s complexity that is not represented in the “out of context” thoughts in full he had about the subject.

THOMAS PAIN UPDATE

Many posit that Thomas Pain was a deist. The problem is that Pain had issues with God, yes, but “deism” represented in thought of the 1700’s is a bit different than what the 21st century mind posits. Obviously he is no Evangelical Christian, but neither is he “anti-God.” For instance:

Even Thomas Paine, in his discourse on “The Study of God,” forcefully asserts that it is “the error of schools” to teach sciences without “reference to the Being who is author of them: for all the principles of science are of Divine origin.” He laments that “the evil that has resulted from the error of the schools in teaching [science without God] has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism.” Paine not only believed in God, he believed in a reality beyond the visible world.

I wrote a post defining deism through a debate I had in the very early 2000s, here is a snippet of thought from that POST:

“A being who could [as deists believe] bring the universe into existence from nothing could certainly perform lesser miracles if He chose to do so. A God who created water could part it or make it possible for a person to walk on it. The immediate multiplication of loaves of bread and fish would be no problem to a God who created matter and life in the first place. A virgin birth or even a physical resurrection from the dead would be minor miracles in comparison to the miracle of creating the universe from nothing [as deists believe]. It seems self-defeating to admit a great miracle like creation and then to deny the possibility of lesser miracles.”

(Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, by Norman L. Geisler, p. 189.)

Author Joshua Charles also succinctly catalogued Thomas Pain’s complexity of thought on the matter:

Even Thomas Paine, who in the second half of his life was an ardent opponent of orthodox Christianity (mostly Catholicism) and the clergy and did not believe the Bible was divinely inspired, wrote at the same time, “All the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make or invent or contrive principles. He can only discover them, and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.”

Paine criticized any teaching of “natural philosophy” (i.e., science) that asserted that the universe was simply “an accomplishment” (i.e., self-existent). He also criticized those teachers who “labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter and jump over all the rest by saying that matter is eternal” and thereby encouraged the “evil” of atheism. “Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator Himself, they stop short and employ the knowl­edge they acquire to create doubts of His existence,” he lamented. “When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well-executed statue, or a highly-finished painting… our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talent of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How, then, is it that when we study the works of God in creation, we stop short and do not think of God?”….


For more context, read Joshua Charles, Liberty’s Secrets: The Lost Wisdom of America’s Founders (Washington, DC: WND Books, 2015), 82-91.

Here is some more in-depth study of God and shows that what is ripped out of a lifetime does not do justice to the topic but merely reinforces presuppositions. First, a definition for the below:

  • theophilanthropist: a member of a deistic society established in Paris during the period of the Directory aiming to institute in place of Christianity

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vol. III: Literature of the Revolutionary Period, 1765–1787

The Study of God
By Thomas Paine (1737–1809)

[A Discourse delivered to the Society of Theophilanthropists at Paris.]

RELIGION has two principal enemies, Fanaticism and Infidelity, or that which is called atheism. The first requires to be combated by reason and morality, the other by natural philosophy.

The existence of a God is the first dogma of the Theophilanthropists….

The universe is the Bible of a true Theophilanthropist. It is there that he reads of God. It is there that the proofs of his existence are to be sought and to be found. As to written or printed books, by whatever name they are called, they are the works of man’s hands, and carry no evidence in themselves that God is the author of any of them. It must be in something that man could not make that we must seek evidence for our belief, and that something is the universe; the true Bible; the inimitable work of God.

Contemplating the universe, the whole system of creation, in this point of light, we shall discover that all that which is called natural philosophy is properly a divine study. It is the study of God through his works. It is the best study by which we can arrive at a knowledge of his existence, and the only one by which we can gain a glimpse of his perfection.

Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is? Search not written or printed books, but the scripture called the Creation.

It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles. He can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.

When we examine an extraordinary piece of machinery, an astonishing pile of architecture, a well executed statue, or a highly finished painting, where life and action are imitated, and habit only prevents our mistaking a surface of light and shade for cubical solidity, our ideas are naturally led to think of the extensive genius and talents of the artist. When we study the elements of geometry, we think of Euclid. When we speak of gravitation, we think of Newton. How then is it, that when we study the works of God in the creation, we stop short, and do not think of God? It is from the error of the schools in having taught those subjects as accomplishments only, and thereby separated the study of them from the Being who is the author of them.

The schools have made the study of theology to consist in the study of opinions in written or printed books; whereas theology should be studied in the works or books of the creation. The study of theology in books of opinions has often produced fanaticism, rancor, and cruelty of temper; and from hence have proceeded the numerous persecutions, the fanatical quarrels, the religious burnings and massacres that have desolated Europe. But the study of theology in the works of the creation produces a direct contrary effect. The mind becomes at once enlightened and serene; a copy of the scene it beholds: information and adoration go hand in hand; and all the social faculties become enlarged.

The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of the creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter; and jump over all the rest, by saying that matter is eternal.

In a great synopsis of how complex people change over time, Pain’s pro-God arguments happened during the American Revolution and independence. Only later did he become more secular and defended atrocities like those in France. CHRISTIAN HERITAGE FELLOWSHIP opines well (the entire article is worth reading as well as following up with the footnotes):

….What many now fail to realize is that the Thomas Paine of the 1770s and 1780s (or the era of the American Revolution) was not the later Thomas Paine of the 1790s and early nineteenth century. Characteristic of much of his life, Paine soon found himself at odds with leading figures of the American Revolution. Following the War of Independence, he returned to England, where he was born. A few years later, he ventured to France (1790) where he was caught-up in the events of the French Revolution. Unlike the American Revolution, the French Revolution of 1789 and the many years that followed were the result of the godless influence of Voltaire, Rousseau, and the European “Intellectuals.” From these wells of irreligion that sprang from the French Revolution, Paine drank freely and deeply—a fact that was reflected in his subsequent writings.

Though Paine produced other works, two writings defended the anti-Christian French Revolution and the philosophy that justified its horrors. The first of these two works, Rights of Man (1791), included thirty-one articles that argued in defense of revolution when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people.[5] The second work, The Age of Reason—published in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, was a traditional deistic attack upon Christianity, institutional religion, and denied the legitimacy of the Bible. Particularly the latter work amounted to a betrayal of the Founding Father’s understanding of the foundation of human government.

No King, But God!

It is not possible to argue that the latter Thomas Paine was the “real” influence upon the origin of America. No; it was the younger, Thomas Paine who exerted a religious influence upon the formation of America that was consistent with the Christian convictions of other Founding Fathers. Paine’s Common Sense made no attempt to disparage or ridicule the Bible, but rather, employed Scripture and Christian thought to develop his arguments in favor of American independence. While a detailed analysis of this book would further support this claim, only a couple of extended quotes should be sufficient to convince the most candid readers.

First, the fact that the Bible is used favorably by Paine as part of his collage detailing his understanding of human government which began with the “Sovereign, the King of heaven”:

The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, thro’ the divine interposition [providence], decided in his favor. The Jews elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son and thy son’s son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but a hereditary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. The Lord shall rule over you. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor, but denieth their right to give it; neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of heaven.[6]

Second, Paine extended his argument in favor of the rule of the “Sovereign, the King of heaven” to include his right to rule in America. Writing eleven years prior to the drafting of the United States Constitution, Paine referred to a written form of government he called a “Charter.” What is critical to Paine’s understanding of human government is the fact that he believed the supreme law giver was the One who “reigns above,” and He has made his law known through “the Divine Law, the Word of God.”

But where, say some, is the King of America? I’ll tell you, friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Great Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the Charter; let it be brought forth placed on the Divine Law, the Word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the Crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.[7]

Conclusion

For Thomas Paine, there was “No king, but God!” He believed that human government must proceed from divine government, or “the Charter” (or Constitution) must be founded upon or arise out of, or be “placed on the Divine Law, the Word of God.”

Thomas Paine did have a great impact upon the origin of America as an independent nation, but it was the religious, not irreligious Thomas Paine that exercised this influence. And, given the fact that Americans were Trinitarians (believing in God the Father, Son, and Spirit), they believed Jesus was God, and, therefore, there was little or no difference between the expressions, “No king, but Jesus” and “No king, but God.”

So the meme is lacking context, obviously.

JAMES MADISON UPDATE

Another new portion of a meme I hadn’t seen before dealt with a portrayal of Madison and the “separation of religion and state.” You wanna talk about “ripped out of context”? Hoo boy.

  • “There is no principle in all of Madison’s wide range of private opinions and long public career,” writes biographer Ralph Ketcham, “to which he held with greater vigor and tenacity than this one of religious liberty.” (HERITAGE FOUNDATION)

While Madison fought against anti-Catholic sentiments and inserting the word “Jesus Christ” in an amended preamble of Virginia’s Bill for Religious Liberty, he was not for separation of church n state as progressives see it. For instance, in a letter of Madison to William Bradford (September 25, 1773), Madison spoke of the desire that all public officials – including Bradford – would declare
openly and publicly their Christian beliefs and testimony:

  • I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.

James Madison is the author of how we view “conscience” in our public life. To wit:

In addition to his passion for religious liberty, Madison underscored that “conscience is the most sacred of all property.” Because religious rights were central to Madison’s worldview, he saw the inherent link between freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

In particular, Madison was convinced that keeping government out of the affairs of the church (or religion) was the only way that people could follow the dictates of their conscience. He viewed established state religion as a denial of the fundamental, God-given right of conscience. Due to this, he concluded that the institution of the church should be separate from the state and not directed by the government in any way, a principle that was enshrined in his original draft of the First Amendment.

Expanding a bit on this is my post from years back, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE:

The First Amendment never intended to separate Christian principles from government. Yet today we so often hear the First Amendment coupled with the phrase “separation of church and state. The First Amendment simply states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Obviously, the words “separation,” “church,” or “state” are not found in the First Amendment; furthermore, that phrase appears in no founding document! While most recognize the phrase “separation of church and state,” few know its source; but it is important to understand the origins of that phrase. What is the history of the First Amendment?

The process of drafting the First Amendment made the intent of the Founders abundantly clear; for before they approved the final wording, the First Amendment went through nearly a dozen different iterations and extensive discussions.

Those discussions – recorded in the Congressional Records from June 7 through September 25, 1789 – make clear their intent for the First Amendment. For example, the original version (followed by later versions) introduced in the Senate on September 3, 1789, stated:

  • “Congress shall not make any law establishing any religious denomination.”
  • “Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination.”
  • “Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination in preference to another.”
  • “Congress shall make no law establishing religion [denomination] or prohibiting the free exercise there of.”

By it, the Founders were saying: “We do not want in America what we had in Great Britain: we don’t want one denomination running the nation. We will not have Catholics, or Anglicans, or any other single denomination. We do want God’s principles, but we don’t want one denomination running the nation.”

Of interest is the proposal that George Mason – a member of the Constitutional Convention and “The Father of the Bill of Rights” – put forth for the First Amendment:

  • “All men have equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians [denomination] ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.”

Their intent was well understood, as evidence by court rulings after the First Amendment. For example, a 1799 court declared:

  • “By our form of government, the Christian principles – we do want God’s principles – but we don’t want one denomination to run the nation.”

Again, note the emphasis: “We do want Christian principles – we do want God’s principles – but we don’t want one denomination to run the nation.”

[….]

On the day the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they underwent an immediate transformation. The day before, each of them had been a British citizen, living in a British colony, with thirteen crown-appointed British state governments. However, when they signed that document and separated from Greta Britain, they lost all of their State governments.

Consequently, they returned home from Philadelphia to their own States and began to create new State constitutions. Samuel Adams and John Adams helped write the Massachusetts constitution; Benjamin Rush and James Wilson helped write Pennsylvania’s constitution; George Read and Thomas McKean helped write Delaware’s constitution; the same is true in other States as well. The Supreme Court in Church of Holy Trinity v. United States (1892) pointed to these State constitutions as precedents to demonstrate the Founders’ intent.

Notice, for example, what Thomas McKean and George Read placed in the Delaware constitution:

  • “Every person, who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust… shall… make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: ‘I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forever more, and I acknowledge the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.’”

Take note of some other State constitutions. The Pennsylvania constitution authored by Benjamin Rush and James Wilson declared:

  • “And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: ‘I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the rewarded of the good and the punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.’”

The Massachusetts constitution, authored by Samuel Adams – the Father of the American Revolution – and John Adams, stated:

  • “All persons elected must make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. ‘I do declare that I believe the Christian religion and have firm persuasions of its truth.’”

North Carolina’s constitution required that:

  • “No person, who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the [Christian] religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit in the civil department, within this State.”

You had to apply God’s principles to public service, otherwise you were not allowed to be a part of the civil government. In 1892, the Supreme Court (Church of Holy Trinity v. United States) pointed out that of the forty-four States that were then in the Union, each had some type of God-centered declaration in its constitution. Not just any God, or a general God, say a “higher power,” but thee Christian God as understood in the Judeo-Christian principles and Scriptures. This same Supreme Court was driven to explain the following:

  • “This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation…. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people…. These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”

Madison was intimately involved in those iterations. Remember as well that Madison was a member of the committee that authored the 1776 Virginia Bill of Rights and approved of its clause declaring that:

  • It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.

In 1789, Madison served on the Congressional committee which authorized, approved, and selected paid Congressional chaplains. in 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible. Throughout his Presidency (1809-1816), Madison endorsed public and official religious expressions by issuing several proclamations for national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving. (Much more can be found at WALLBUILDERS)

Dinesh D’Souza’s 5-Part Prager U Series: Making America

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. You’ve heard their names. You may have even heard them referred to as the Founding Fathers. But what exactly does that mean? In this five-part series, Dinesh D’Souza examines how each of them, in their own particular way, helped to create the great enterprise that is America.

Obama Gets Qur’anic History Wrong (Rashida Tlaib Update)

UPDATE UNDER VIDEOS (JUMP)

This was to be the first of many times that an American president would plot to overthrow a foreign government–a dangerous game but one that the Jefferson administration found as hard to pass up as many of its successors would. Wrote Madison:

  • “Although it does not accord with the general sentiments or views of the United States to intermiddle in the domestic contests of other countries, it cannot be unfair, in the prosecution of a just war, or the accomplishment of a reasonable peace, to turn to their advantage, the enmity and pretensions of others against a common foe.”

Max Boot, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2002), 23-24.

Again, Ron Paul “type” take on history is woefully wrong… something his son understands. Between 1800 and 1934, U.S. Marines staged 180 landings abroad.


Rashida Tlaib


Damn the media! Rep. Tlaib didn’t use Jefferson’s Qu’ran. FRONT PAGE MAGAZINE has the story:

But then Rep. Rashida Tlaib announced that she hadn’t actually used Jefferson’s Koran, but an actual Koran. Despite her announcement, many media outlets didn’t bother correcting their fake news. But that’s typical of the media, which acts as the communications arm for the most radical Democrat elements, without ever caring about truth or the facts.

It’s not surprising that Rashida Tlaib chose to opt out of Jefferson’s Koran. While it’s a great publicity stunt, Rashida Tlaib realized that she could gain the benefits of the propaganda, without actually having to soil her religion by using a book that no good Muslim would touch.

There are two problems with Jefferson’s Koran.

1. It was owned by an infidel. That’s a lesser problem.
2. Its translation is quite blasphemous.

Jefferson wasn’t reading the Koran in the original Arabic. His Koran was translated by George Sale in the 18th century. It contains his commentary and notes, some flattering, some rather less so….

(The whole article is worth a read… not long at all)

This UPDATE [now a lie by the MSM] comes by way of WEASEL ZIPPERS, and it has to do with a new Congresswoman being sworn in on Thomas Jefferson’s Qu’ran. (Click TWEET for link to watch video)

It’s pretty ironic for a couple of reasons.

1) Jefferson had the Quran not because he believed in it, but because, among other reasons, US shipping was being attacked by radical Islamist Barbary Pirates who justified their actions by the Quran. He wanted to understand their thought to know how to deal with them.
2) George Sale who wrote that translation did it specifically to expose what he thought were problematic aspects of the Quran that not everyone covered, so his point was to expose them to Christians.

To emphasize the idea that this socialist Muslim is clueless, take note of JIHAD WATCH’S quoting Rashida Tlaib:

According to the Detroit Free Press, Tlaib will borrow this version of the Qur’an from the Rare Books and Special Collections section of the Library of Congress.

“It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history,” said Tlaib, “Muslims were there at the beginning…. Some of our founding fathers knew more about Islam than some members of Congress now.”

What rhymes with clueless? Brainless? ALSO NOTE an older post of mine on a couple of these anti-Semitic Democrats:

[….]

After her primary win on August 7, however, Tlaib radically shifted her positions on Israel, so much so that Haaretz suggested that she pulled a “bait-and-switch.”

In an August 14 interview with In These Times magazine, Tlaib was asked whether she supported a one-state or two-state solution. She replied:

“One state. It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work…. This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work.”

Tlaib also declared her opposition to US aid for Israel, as well as her support for the BDS movement.

When asked why she accepted money from J Street, Tlaib said that the organization endorsed her because of her “personal story,” not her policy “stances.”

In an August 13 interview with Britain’s Channel 4, Tlaib revealed that she subscribes to the specious concept of intersectionality, which posits that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fundamentally a dispute between “white supremacists” and “people of color.”

When Tlaib was asked about her position on Israel, she replied, “I grew up in Detroit where every single corner of the district is a reminder of the civil rights movement.”

When Tlaib was asked whether, once in Congress, she would vote to cut aid to Israel, she replied: “Absolutely. For me, US aid should be leverage.”….

(“The Democrats Lurch More Antisemitic“)

Why You Should Be a Nationalist

It’s undeniable: Around the world, nationalism is on the march, and the media and reigning political elites would have you believe this is a dangerous disaster in the making. So, why is Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of Nationalism, unafraid? Watch to understand.

  • Back in Virginia in 1788, Madison led the fight for ratification of the Constitution at the state’s convention, oratorically dueling with Patrick Henry and other Anti-Federalists who tried to block the nationalistic document. The compromise reached was ratification together with the promise of a Bill of Rights that would be promptly added. All 13 states ratified the new Constitution and it took effect in 1789, as Washington was sworn in as president.
  • By late 1815, however, Madison asked Congress for a new bank, which had strong support from the younger, nationalistic republicans such as John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay, as well as Federalist Daniel Webster. Madison signed it into law in 1816 and appointed William Jones as its president.
  • Like other nationalists Madison was disgusted with the weak national government of the 1780s—it was badly organized (with no president and no courts), and lacked the power to raise taxes. It would be unable to defend the new nation in a major war. Hamilton therefore was a strong proponent of powerful national government at this point. (He changed his mind in the 1790s.)

Federalist #10 | Mark Levin

Mark Levin reads from and comments on FEDERALIST #10:

  • “Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison as the tenth of The Federalist Papers: a series of essays initiated by Alexander Hamilton arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Published on November 22, 1787 under the name ‘Publius’, Federalist No. 10 is among the most highly regarded of all American political writings” (WIKI).

See also: Limiting an Overreaching Federal Government: Is State Nullification the Solution? A Constitutional Analysis

FBI and CIA Leaders Seem To Want Larger Government

Let me just say that the Founders would probably have preferred State agencies over an over-arching Federal one like the FBI. Comey seems to like the people now that will allow carte-blanche to what the regular agents call the “Seventh Floor.”

PAJAMAS MEDIA comments on Comey’s Tweet (emphasis added):

Former FBI Director James Comey — a lifelong Republican — urged Americans to vote for Democrats this November, echoing other #NeverTrump Republicans in abandoning conservatism just to flout the president. Ironically, his reasoning fits better for supporting Republicans than Democrats.

“The Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that ‘Ambition must … counteract ambition,'” Comey tweeted. “All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall.”

Comey tweeted this at a time when not only progressivism (the ideology that encourages a bureaucratic state unaccountable to the people) but outright socialism (a supercharged big government version of that ideology) holds sway in the Democratic Party.

If Comey were truly interested in “ambition counteracting ambition,” he would encourage years of more effective Republican rule, because only Republicans have shown the spine to begin dismantling the unaccountable bureaucracies that represent the greatest threat to the founders’ vision.

On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sent a CHILLING BLOW to the unaccountable bureaucracy. That court struck down one alphabet soup agency — the FHFA — as unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers. The FHFA is an administrative agency, but it was not accountable to the head of the administration, the president of the United States. The 5th Circuit defended the Constitution and restored sanity to the operation of government.

Similarly, President Donald Trump has been slashing regulations and ordering his administration to PARE BACK the excesses of the administrative state. Furthermore, on the very day Comey told Republicans to vote Democrat, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018, a law that would VASTLY BENEFIT ENTREPRENEURS.

When James Madison wrote that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition” in Federalist 51, he was not addressing the different parties in Congress — the founders firmly opposed modern parties, what they would call “factions.” Instead, he was addressing the separation of powers between the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.

“Faction” has dominated American politics for nearly 200 years — with only a few respites. The separation of powers, however, has fallen on hard times. The current bureaucratic administrative state consists of dozens of alphabet soup agencies that effectively make laws, with very little oversight from Congress and rather tepid oversight from the president.

If the costs of federal regulation flowed down to U.S. households, they would cost the average American family $14,809 IN A HIDDEN REGULATORY TAX — that’s $14,809 on top of Social Security, income tax, and estate tax.

Furthermore, the administrative state fosters the perverse situation of a “deep state.” There are so many bureaucratic agencies that it takes a long time for a new president to replace the directors the previous president put in place. For this reason, there can be a large cabal of bureaucrats appointed by the last president (in this case Obama) who are hostile to the policies of the current president (in this case Trump).

[….]

If James Comey really wanted to return to the founders’ vision of ambition counteracting ambition, he would support Tea Party and conservative Republicans. These leaders would actually restore the Constitutional checks and balances, reining in the administrative state.

Instead, Comey turned traitor not just to the Republican Party but to the Constitution itself, supporting Democrats who are embracing socialism and even less separation of powers. Make no mistake: Comey’s “higher loyalty” is not to the Constitution.

/// READ IT ALL ///

Our Founders Hated “Direct Democracy”

(Originally posted in April of 2015)

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:

James Madison (fourth President, co-author of the Federalist Papers and the “father” of the Constitution) – “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general; been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

John Adams (American political philosopher, first vice President and second President) – “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Benjamin Rush (signer of the Declaration) – “A simple democracy is one of the greatest of evils.”

Fisher Ames (American political thinker and leader of the federalists [he entered Harvard at twelve and graduated by sixteen], author of the House language for the First Amendment) – “A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will provide an eruption and carry desolation in their way.´ / “The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and the ignorant believe to be liberty.”

Governor Morris (signer and penman of the Constitution) – “We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate… as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism…. Democracy! Savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.”

John Quincy Adams (sixth President, son of John Adams [see above]) – “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”

Noah Webster (American educator and journalist as well as publishing the first dictionary) – “In democracy… there are commonly tumults and disorders….. therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.”

John Witherspoon (signer of the Declaration of Independence) – “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

Zephaniah Swift (author of America’s first legal text) – “It may generally be remarked that the more a government [or state] resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.”

CATO Article:

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.”

The General Welfare | Righting Constitutional Misconceptions

From My “Concepts” Series

It was the author of the U.S. Constitution James Madison, who proclaimed:

  • “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

(click to enlarge)

In this latest example (originally posted Sept of 2012) of John Van Huzuim’s conflating terms and ideas, we see a prime example of how liberals will argue. First, let us deal with how the framers of the Constitution understood “General Welfare,” and not what John says it means or how he thinks conservative Republicans understand it. Here is some input from two of the authors of the Constitution, professor Williams explains:

On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine men signed the U.S. Constitution. Each year since 2004, we have celebrated Constitution Day as a result of legislation fathered by Senator Robert Byrd that requires federal agencies, and every school that receives federal funds, including universities, to have some kind of program on the Constitution. I cannot think of a more deceitful piece of legislation or a more constitutionally odious person to father it – a person who is known as, and proudly wears the label, “King of Pork.” The only reason that Constitution Day is not greeted with contempt is because most Americans are totally ignorant about the framer’s vision in writing our constitution. Let’s examine that vision to see how much faith and allegiance today’s Americans give to the U.S. Constitution.

James Madison is the acknowledged father of the constitution. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia. James Madison wrote disapprovingly, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Today, at least two-thirds of a $2.5 trillion federal budget is spent on the “objects of benevolence.” That includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, aid to higher education, farm and business subsidies, welfare, ad nauseam.

A few years later, James Madison’s vision was expressed by Representative William Giles of Virginia, who condemned a relief measure for fire victims. Giles insisted that it was neither the purpose nor a right of Congress to “attend to what generosity and humanity require, but to what the Constitution and their duty require.”

In 1827, Davy Crockett was elected to the House of Representatives. During his term of office a $10,000 relief measure was proposed to assist the widow of a naval officer. Davy Crockett eloquently opposed the measure saying, “Mr. Speaker: I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a popular measure to help the mentally ill saying, “I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity.” To approve the measure “would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.” During President Grover Cleveland’s two terms in office, he vetoed many congressional appropriations, often saying there was no constitutional authority for such an appropriation. Vetoing a bill for relief charity, President Cleveland said, “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.”

Compared to today, yesteryear’s vision vastly differs in what congressional actions are constitutionally permissible. How might today’s congress, president and courts square their behavior with that of their predecessors? The most generous interpretation of their behavior I can give is their misunderstanding of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that reads, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” Misuse of the “general welfare” clause serves as warrant for Congress to do just about anything upon which it can secure a majority vote.

The framers addressed the misinterpretation of the “general welfare clause. James Madison said, in a letter to James Robertson, “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare’, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” James Madison also said, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison laid out what he saw as constitutional limits on federal power in Federalist Paper Number 45 where he explained, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.”

Thomas Jefferson explained in a letter to Albert Gallatin, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

What accounts for today’s acceptance of a massive departure from the framer’s clear vision of what federal activities were constitutionally permissible? It is tempting to blame politicians and yes we can blame them some but most of the blame lies with the American people who are either ignorant of the constitutional limits the framers imposed on the federal government or they have contempt for those limits….

…read more…

POLITISTICK notes the difference when they write: “Progressives and their communist cousins — even RINOs (Republicans in name only) will argue the ‘General Welfare’ clause is somehow being authorization for the federal government to spend on anything members of Congress dreams up.” Continuing Madison is again quoted from:

James Madison, in his brilliance, anticipated this argument, of course, and shot it down on several different occasions:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.”

In other words, if the words “general welfare” meant going outside of the enumerated powers, there would have been no reason to even write the enumerated powers in the first place!

Madison further imagined where Congress might stretch the General Welfare clause if it were misinterpreted to be open-ended:

If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads.

In short, everything, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.

[….]

For all of the reasons above, with the Democrat Party all but merging with the Communist Party USA and the Republicans, led by big government RINO’s Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, only wanting slightly smaller and just barely less unconstitutional than the Democrats, I strongly support both the Convention of States and the Federalist Party. Both parties are arguing which can bastardize the U.S. Constitution the most. We know that the Democrats will always be the most aggressive in this venture but the Republicans are not far behind.

The Sage from South-Central

Larry Elder on his radio program takes a call in regards to this exact same understanding of the General Welfare Clause.

.

Ben Franklin Money Quote

  • I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. (Ben Franklin)

In another ARTICLE Professor Williams ends with this, and I think it is suitable for this discussion:

You might say, “If our Constitution provides no authority for programs near and dear to the hearts of so many Americans, the heck with the Constitution.” If that’s your perspective, you’re in good company. The Courts, Congress and the White House beat you to it. Long ago they said, “The heck with the Constitution.”

This is what John is saying, the heck with the constitution! Take note as well that not only does he miss-defines what conservative think, he also argues for police and fire personnel, and then from there jumps to welfare programs (the war on poverty, so-called). (Remember what I always point out with John? Non-sequiturs… he is full of them.) Now, Obama-Care is placed under this umbrella the writers of the clause rejected. I will end here with Professor Williams in regards to Obama-Care:

Here is the second part to POLITISTICK’s post on the matter… love me some Madison!

…Only certain, specifically identified powers, called “enumerated powers,” were delegated to the federal government from the states — powers that the Founding Fathers believed were best performed on a national basis, duties like “provide for the common defense,” to coin money, establish uniform immigration laws, “Post Offices,” treaties with foreign nations, to regulate (which does not mean restrict) interstate commerce, and a few others. These powers were clearly listed in Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution.

James Madison, considered the main author and father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist #45, regarding the Alleged Danger from the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered, the following two sentences that summarize this principle of state sovereignty and a limited federal government:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Madison further described the proper role for the soon-to-be federal government versus the unique roles of the individual states:

“The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

So (let’s forget the politicized decision by the tyrants in black robes who declared Obamacare constitutional — it is not) what does this mean? Would a full single-payer healthcare system like the one proposed in California (which would have more than doubled the entire state budget) be allowed by the U.S. Constitution?

You bet it would — on the state level — but NOT on the national level. If people in California want to more than double their already exorbitant taxes in order to pay for such a system, they are allowed to under the Tenth Amendment, which states, referring to Article I, Section 8:

“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.”

Nowhere in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution among the enumerated powers are the words, medicine, health care, doctor visits, surgery, healthcare insurance (yes, people got sick in the late 1700’s and there were doctors and medicine), or anything like this even remotely mentioned as a power being transferred by the states to the federal government…..

Women Apparently Love Alternative Facts

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.


EQUALITY


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:

French Revolution

Let’s take the idea of equality. For the Americans, it was largely a matter of equality before the law. When Jefferson wrote in the Declaration, “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,” he meant that human beings were equal in their possession of legal rights. He did not mean that all people were equal in talent, merit, wealth, or social status. Rather, they were equal, as human beings, in their right to pursue their interests and their dreams without interference by the government or other people.

Writing in the Federalist Papers No. 10, James Madison made it clear that he had no use for the French idea of absolute equality. He wrote, “Theoretic politicians have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.” For Madison, there was no single or general will in mankind. Rather, there was only a society of individuals with diverse interests and opinions whose natural freedoms needed to be preserved by government.

The French idea of equality, or égalité, is one of the three national mottos of the French Republic, but it is derived from a certain view of freedom. Since freedom is collective—an expression of the general will—and it is not individually determined, then naturally its truest expression is equality of the masses. You can be truly free only if you are in sync with the general will.

But that implies that everyone’s will must be equal; otherwise, what’s the use of it being general? If everyone was allowed to have different interests, statuses, opinions, they would not be united in a single will, would they? As Saint-Just put it during the height of the Reign of Terror, “Private happiness and interest are a violence against the social order. You must forget yourselves…. [T]he only salvation is through the public good.”

The “public good” is just another word for collective freedom, which leads us to the third motto of the Revolution, fraternité, or the appeal to national unity. The first celebration of the storming of the Bastille, called the Féte de la Fédération and held on the Champ-de-Mars in 1790, was not a Victor Hugo–like celebration of Les Misérables, but a mass rally celebrating the fraternité of the Revolution and the unity of the French nation. It was the French ideas of liberty and equality all wrapped up in one. Free citizens would come together as equal partners in the unified French nation.

But there was, in the French Revolution, a paradox in this passion for unity. All nations celebrate national unity, even our own, but it can be taken to extremes. The fraternal desire for consensus and accord ended up in violence and discord.

Hearing the guilty verdict at his trial during the Terror, a member of the Girondin party joked that the only way for him and his compatriots to save their skins was to proclaim “the unity of their lives and the indivisibility of their heads.” Exactly! Pushing for agreement to the extreme of violence is the most divisive—and exclusionary—thing you can possibly do.

In the history of ideas and political movements, the legacy of fraternité is twofold: One, it gave birth to the populist nationalisms that would roil Europe and the world for the next two centuries, and two, taken to extremes, it led to the rise of totalitarian democracy in the 20th century.

All these differences in interpreting freedom, equality, and unity led the Americans and the French to very different notions of government.

(HERITAGE)

Examples of Impossible Equality

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:

  • “If homosexuality is really genetic, we may soon be able to tell if a fetus is predisposed to homosexuality, in which case many parents might choose to abort it. Will gay rights activists continue to support abortion rights if this occurs?”

Dale A. Berryhill, The Liberal Contradiction: How Contemporary Liberalism Violates Its Own Principles and Endangers Its Own Goals (Lafayette, LA: Vital Issues Press, 1994), 172.

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:

… In fact, though conventional wisdom would suggest that progressives everywhere were pleased with the demonstration, it turns out some transgender people thought the prevalence of “pussy hats,” vagina costumes and paintings of female genitalia were “oppressive” toward their community.

“[P]ussy hats set the tone for a march that would focus acutely on genitalia at the expense of the transgender community,” Mic . com staff writer Marie Solis reported. “Signs like ‘Pussy power,’ ‘Viva la Vulva’ and ‘Pussy grabs back’ all sent a clear and oppressive message to trans women, especially: having a vagina is essential to womanhood.”…

(THE BLAZE)

Transgender activists were infuriated that the Women’s March featured too many “white, cis women.”

Many transgender advocates claimed that the march was not inclusive toward transgender women, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

Some transgender women were bothered by the march’s emphasis on vaginas and the color pink…

(DAILY CALLER)

I like to call myself an “imperialist white supremacist Christian cisgender capitalist heteropatriarchal male.”

The trans-women don’t like the cis-women and the cis-women don’t like the trans-women. Pass the popcorn.

Transgender activists are upset that the women‘s march over the weekend was not inclusive to biological men who identify as women, as the protest presented an oppressive message that having a vagina is essential to womanhood.

Saturday’s event to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump was largely a “white cis women march,“ with too many pictures of female reproductive organs and pink hats, according to trans women and nonbinary individuals

The women‘s march had an over-reliance on slogans and posters depicting gender norms, like using pink to represent women and girls, said some transgender activists who boycotted the march.

Sorry, trannies, but until you can have abortions, the feminist movement isn’t that interested in you.

(GAY PATRIOT)

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:

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:


GENDER WAGE GAP


FIRST and FOREMOST… when categories are compared properly, we see women tend to make more than men…

Among college-educated, never-married individuals with no children who worked fill-time and were from 40 to 64 years old— that is, beyond the child-bearing years— men averaged $40,000 a year in income, while women averaged $47,000.30 But, despite the fact that women in this category earned more than men in the same category, gross income differences in favor of men continue to reflect differences in work patterns between the sexes, so that women and men are not in the same categories to the same extent.

Even women who have graduated from top-level universities like Harvard and Yale have not worked full-time, or worked at all, to the same extent that male graduates of these same institutions have. Among Yale alumni in their forties, “only 56 percent of the women still worked, compared with 90 percent of the men,” according to the New York Times. It was much the same story at Harvard:

A 2001 survey of Harvard Business School graduates found that 31 percent of the women from the classes of 1981, 1985 and 1991 who answered the survey worked only part time or on contract, and another 31 percent did not work at all, levels strikingly similar to the percentages of the Yale students interviewed who predicted they would stay at home or work part time in their 30’s and 40’s.

Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008), 70.

What typically happen with women around age thirty? The word rhymes with manly.

Here we see Independent Womens Forum (Twitter) contributer, Carrie Lukas’ op-ed, in the Wall Street Journal — noting the same disparities that are the outcome of choices:

…The Department of Labor’s Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.

Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.

Men, by contrast, often take on jobs that involve physical labor, outdoor work, overnight shifts and dangerous conditions (which is also why men suffer the overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths at the workplace). They put up with these unpleasant factors so that they can earn more.

Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women’s earnings are going up compared to men’s….

See more here: “A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men.”

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).

…various countries’ economies, there are still particular industries today where considerable physical strength remains a requirement. Women are obviously not as likely to work in such fields as men are— and some of these are fields with jobs that pay more than the national average. While women have been 74 percent of what the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as “clerical and kindred workers,” they have been less than 5 percent of “transport equipment operatives.” In other words, women are far more likely to be sitting behind a desk than to be sitting behind the steering wheel of an eighteen-wheel truck. Women are also less than 4 percent of the workers in “construction, extraction, and maintenance.” They are less than 3 percent of construction workers or loggers, less than 2 percent of roofers or masons and less than one percent of the mechanics and technicians who service heavy vehicles arid mobile equipment.

Such occupational distributions have obvious economic implications, since miners earn nearly double the income of office clerks when both work full-time and year-round 20 There is still a premium paid for workers doing heavy physical work, as well as for hazardous work, which often overlaps work requiring physical strength. While men are 54 percent of the labor force, they are 92 percent of the job-related deaths.

Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2008), 64-65.

RECOMMENDED BOOK:


LGBTTQQFAIPBGD7@bRs?PLWb+2Z9A2

…Marriage


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.

Societal Advantages

I’m gay, and I oppose gay marriage

In our sometimes misguided efforts to expand our freedom, selfish adults have systematically dismantled that which is most precious to children as they grow and develop. That’s why I am now speaking out against same-sex marriage.

By the way, I am gay.

A few days ago I testified against pending same-sex marriage legislation in Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary and House Civil Law Committees.

The atmosphere at these events (I’ve also testified elsewhere) seems tinged with unreality—almost a carnival-like surrealism. Natural law, tradition, religion, intellectual curiosity, and free inquiry no longer play a role in deliberations. Same-sex marriage legislation is defended solely on grounds of moral relativism and emotions.

Pure sophistry is pitted against reason. Reason is losing.

[….]

Same-sex marriage will do the same, depriving children of their right to either a mom or a dad. This is not a small deal. Children are being reduced to chattel-like sources of fulfillment. On one side, their family tree consists not of ancestors, but of a small army of anonymous surrogates, donors, and attorneys who pinch-hit for the absent gender in genderless marriages. Gays and lesbians demand that they have a “right” to have children to complete their sense of personal fulfillment, and in so doing, are trumping the right that children have to both a mother and a father—a right that same-sex marriage tramples over.

Same-sex marriage will undefine marriage and unravel it, and in so doing, it will undefine children. It will ultimately lead to undefining humanity. This is neither “progressive” nor “conservative” legislation. It is “regressive” legislation.

(read more)

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.”

…moving on…

Not Immutable

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:

  • “Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is,* instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS”

Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishers, 2003), 99.

* By the age of 18 or 19 years, three quarters of American youth, regardless of their sexual orientation, have had sexual relations with another person. Gay males are more likely than heterosexual males to become sexually active at a younger age (12.7 vs. 15.7 years) and to have had multiple sexual partners. The ages at the time of the first sexual experience with another person are closer for lesbians and heterosexual females (15.4 vs. 16.2 years).

(New England Journal of Medicine)

Some articles I see as connected,

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:

More than twenty years ago, the influential lesbian author Camille Paglia had this to say about the “born gay” myth: “Homosexuality is not normal. On the contrary it is a challenge to the norm…. Nature exists whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single relentless rule. That is the norm…. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction…. No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous… homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait.”

But she was just getting started as she asked:

“Is the gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay? Sexuality is highly fluid, and reversals are theoretically possible. However, habit is refractory, once sensory pathways have been blazed and deepened by repetition—a phenomenon obvious with obesity, smoking, alcoholism or drug addiction—helping gays to learn how to function heterosexually, if they wish is a perfectly worthy aim. We should be honest enough to consider whether or not homosexuality may not indeed, be a pausing at the prepubescent stage where children band together by gender…. Current gay cant insists that homosexuality is not a choice; that no one would choose to be gay in a homophobic society. But there is an element of choice in all behavior, sexual or otherwise. It takes an effort to deal with the opposite sex; it is safer with your own kind. The issue is one of challenge versus comfort.”

Michael L. Brown, Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide (Washington, DC: WND Books, 2015), 162.

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.

Glenn Beck interviews from lesbians who disagree with the gay fascist left. [Edited for brevity and emphasis added to the really important bit that only a complete smeghead would disagree with.]

[Kathy Trautvetter and Diane DiGeloromo, a lesbian couple who own and operate BMP T-shirts, a New Jersey-based printing company, sat down with Glenn Beck Thursday night to explain why they are standing up for an embattled Christian printer who refused to make shirts for a gay pride festival.]

[….]

The lesbian couple are standing up for Christian t-shirt maker Blaine Adamson, who refused to print shirts for a gay pride festival because it compromised his values. Adamson has come under attack for his stance, but this couple supports him. The story is a microcosm for what should be happening in America as we navigate the way the world is changing.

“As a business owner, it struck a chord with me when I read the story, because I know how hard it is to build a business. You put your blood and your sweat and your tears into every bit of it. When I put myself in his place, I immediately felt like if that were to happen to us, I couldn’t create or print anti-gay T-shirts, you know, for a group. I couldn’t do it,” Kathy explained.

Diane added, “We feel this really isn’t a gay or straight issue. This is a human issue. No one really should be forced to do something against what they believe in. It’s as simple as that, and we feel likewise. If we were approached by an organization such as the Westboro Baptist Church, I highly doubt we would be doing business with them.”“Everybody votes with their dollars, you know?” Kathy said. “And why you would want to go with somebody who doesn’t agree with you, [when] there’s others who do agree with you, that’s who I want to do business with.”

Nice. If only all gay people were so tolerant and open-minded.

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:

Once again, the Christian White Heteronormative Patriarchy is oppressing two people who just want to love each other.

A mother and son whose forbidden love affair could land them each a lengthy jail sentence have declared they are ‘madly in love’ and nothing will tear them apart.

Monica Mares, 36, and her son Caleb Peterson, 19, face up to 18 months in prison if found guilty of incest at a trial later this year in New Mexico.

But the mother and son couple have vowed to fight for their right to have a sexual relationship and are appealing to the public to donate to their legal fund.

Can you believe that The Patriarchy actually wants to put them in jail for being in love? Probably because of Thoecracy and stuff. “Government everywhere but in our bedrooms, yo!”

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:

“Don’t be ridiculous,” they said. “No way does same sex marriage lead to legalized polygamy. The slippery slope argument is a complete fallacy, because enactment of one liberal social policy has never, ever led to the subsequent enactment of the logical extension of that liberal social policy. Ever!”

Well, they may have been wrong about the coefficient of friction on that particular incline. Commenter Richard Bell notes the following: Judge Cites Same-Sex Marriage in Declaring Polygamy Ban Unconstitutional.

[….]

Since marriage is no longer about creating a stable environment for children, and has become (and this mainly the fault of heterosexual liberals) about personal fulfillment, validation, and access to social benefits, there literally is no constraint on how much more broadly it can be redefined.

Goals

There have been quite a few admissions like this, but here is one example by a wel known LGBT activist cataloged by THE BLAZE:

A 2012 speech by Masha Gessen, an author and outspoken activist for the LGBT community, is just now going viral and it includes a theory that many supporters of traditional marriage have speculated about for years: The push for gay marriage has less to do with the right to marry – it is about diminishing and eventually destroying the institution of marriage and redefining the “traditional family.”

The subject of gay marriage stirs powerful reactions on both sides of the argument. There are those who argue that legalizing it would diminish traditional marriage. And those advocating for gay marriage have long stated that the issue will not harm traditional marriage. Ms. Gessen’s comments on the subject seem to contradict the pro-gay-marriage party lines.

Gessen shared her views on the subject and very specifically stated;

  • “Gay marriage is a lie.”
  • “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there.”
  • “It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.” (This statement is met with very loud applause.)

As mentioned above, Gessen also talked about redefining the traditional family. This may have something to do with the fact that she has “three children with five parents”:

“I don’t see why they (her children) shouldn’t have five parents legally. I don’t see why we should choose two of those parents and make them a sanctioned couple.”…

Surprisingly [sarcasm], this matches up with another ideology:

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:


PROFILING


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):
Shootings

A study by a Harvard professor released this month found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings even though officers were more likely to interact physically with non-whites than whites.

The paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, which examined thousands of incidents at 10 large police departments in California, Florida and Texas, concluded that police were no more likely to shoot non-whites than whites after factoring in extenuating circumstances.

“On the most extreme use of force — officer-involved shootings — we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account,” said Harvard economics professor Roland G. Fryer Jr. in the abstract of the July 2016 paper.

Mr. Fryer, who is black, told The New York Times that the finding of no racial discrimination in police shootings was “the most surprising result of my career.”

At the same time, the study found blacks and Hispanics were more than 50 percent more likely to experience physical interactions with police, including touching, pushing, handcuffing, drawing a weapon, and using a baton or pepper spray.

The 63-page study, “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force,” appears to support research conducted at Washington State University showing that officers in simulation tests were actually less likely to shoot at blacks than whites.

The paper also challenges the contention by the new wave of civil-rights groups such as Black Lives Matter that racist police are singling out blacks for shootings….

(WASHINGTON TIMES)

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!

Where to start with actor Jesse Williams’ widely praised rant on police brutality and white racism delivered at this year’s Black Entertainment Television awards show?

To his enthusiastic audience, Williams reeled off lie after lie, all in the name of black “resistance” over the “oppressor” – meaning anyone he believes benefits from “this invention called whiteness.” Time magazine called his discourse “powerful.”

Where are fact-checkers when the fact-devoid desperately need fact-checking? After all, Williams practically begged to be fact-checked when he said, “What we’ve been doing is looking at the data, and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day.”

The “police … manage to … not kill white people every day”?

Let’s start with 2014, the last year for which there are official records. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the police killed 261 whites and 131 blacks. The CDC also found that from 1999 to 2013, the police killed almost twice the number of whites compared to blacks, 3,160 and 1,724, respectively.

Activists promptly note that whites account for nearly 65 percent of the population and that, therefore, one would expect whites to comprise most of those killed by cops. And we are told that blacks, while 13 percent of the population, represent a much greater percentage of those killed by cops. Institutional, systemic, structural racism!

Here’s what those promoting the “police disproportionately kill black people” narrative consistently omit. Whites, despite being almost 65 percent of the population, disproportionately commit less of the nation’s violent crime – 10 percent. Blacks, at 13 percent of the population, disproportionately commit more violent crime. As to murders, black commit nearly half. Yet whites are 50 percent of cop killings.

Criminology professor Peter Moskos looked at the numbers of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 and found that 49 percent were white, while 30 percent were black. “Adjusted for the homicide rate,” says Moskos, “whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.” So if anything, whites have more to complain about than Mr. Williams….

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.

Traffic Stops

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 National Institute of Justice is the research and evaluation agency of the DOJ. In 2013, the NIJ published its study called “Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy.” Unlike when responding to dispatch calls, police officers exercise more discretion when it comes to traffic stops. Thus, the supposedly “racial profiling” cops can have a field day when it comes to traffic stops, right?

But according to the NIJ, 3 out of 4 black drivers admit being stopped by police for a “legitimate reason.” Blacks, compared to whites, were on average more likely to commit speeding or other traffic offenses. “Seatbelt usage,” said the NIJ, “is chronically lower among black drivers. If a law enforcement agency aggressively enforces seatbelt violations, police will stop more black drivers.” The NIJ conclusion? Numerical disparities result from “differences in offending” in addition to “differences in exposure to the police” and “differences in driving patterns.”

President Obama, backed by research from the left and from the right, said, “Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”

Richmond, Virginia, is a city of 214,000, with a black population of 50 percent. Eighty-six percent of black Richmond families are headed by a single parent. Of Ferguson’s 67 percent black population, how many kids grew up in fatherless homes?

Whatever the answer, isn’t this a far more relevant statistic?

(CREATORS)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:

A Madison Quote Debunked

Wikiquotes records a person asking if the above quote is authentic. As with other quotes I have dealt with in the past, this one too seems a little too self-serving to be Madison. Here is the question and answer to the above:

I have come across this quote, attributed to Madison, in several blogs, and would like to know if it is authentic.

….I don’t know that De Leon meant that as an exact quote. It appears that he was speaking extemporaneously, not from a prepared statement. The whole convention was “stenographically reported by B. F. Keinard.”

Earlier, in 1889, De Leon had written an essay, The Voice of Madison, discussing what Madison had written about suffrage and property. De Leon’s essay is a little vague, but I believe that he is talking about remarks that Madison made at the Federal Constitutional Convention and later elaborated upon in a series of notes. Madison is talking about whether the right to vote should be limited to landholders, a restriction he opposed.

There is some similarity in theme between the purported quote and Madison’s discussion of suffrage. Madison does say that, as the population increased, the proportion of the population with property, especially farm land, will decrease. And he discusses the inherent conflict between the rights of those with property and those without. But I don’t see anything about our republic being an impossibility.

De Leon’s essay “The Voice of Madison” was reprinted, along with an essay about Karl Marx, in a small book in 1920, prefaced by the quote in question. De Leon had died in 1914, so he didn’t have the chance to proofread this book, so is not responsible for it appearing there. As I said earlier, I’m not sure that he meant it to be taken as an exact quote.

I hope that helps.

[….]

The purported quote looks more like it is De Leon giving his own quick summary of what Madison had to say in the essay which can be found here.

The question then becomes, who Daniel De Leon, and why would he twist Madison so? The answer is that he was a Marxist (propagandist):

Daniel DeLeon (1852–1914) was an American socialist newspaper editor, politician, Marxist theoretician, and trade union organizer. He is regarded as the forefather of the idea of revolutionary industrial unionism and was the leading figure in the Socialist Labor Party of America from 1890 until the time of his death.

Here is an excellent background to this communist/anarcho-leftist movement in Chicago in the late 1800s that included De Leon:

  • Theodore Draper, The Roots of American Communism (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003), 13-17.

Also transferred across the Atlantic was the bitter feud between Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin, the son of a Russian nobleman and the father of modern revolutionary anarchism. Bakunin’s ideas and methods became the stock in trade of the nineteenth century’s revolutionary underground—the conspiratorial form of organization, the cult of violence, the loathing of all authority, the quixotic vision of liberty and equality through destruction and chaos. A Revolutionary Socialist party was organized in Chicago in 1881 by an extremist faction which split away from the Socialist Labor party. The arrival in New York the following year of a German Bakuninist, Johann Most, gave the anarchists a mordant spokesman. Most spread the gospel of the “propaganda of the deed,” “expropriation” of the rich, and the beauty of a well-placed stick of dynamite. The “Revolutionary Socialists” and the anarchists united at a convention in Pittsburgh in 1883 and drew up a platform proclaiming that “there is only one remedy left—force.” By 1885, this organization claimed about 7000 members, over twice as many as the politically minded Socialist Labor party.

In a well-ordered society, this sort of agitation might have been dismissed as the ravings of madmen. But the United States of this time was not a particularly well-ordered society. Thousands of immi­grants poured into the country from Europe each year—almost 9,000,000 from 1881 to 1900. The relations between labor and capi­tal were largely undefined and uncontrollable except by sheer force on both sides. Employers fought labor organizations by every possible means. Strikes were ruthlessly crushed by armed guards, police, sheriffs, militia, and federal troops. Court injunctions tied the hands of unions on the mere threat of a strike. Working conditions often ranged from the primitive to the abominable. Bad times followed good times with monotonous regularity.

In this inflammable social climate, socialism, trade unionism, and anarchism were not the only panaceas. When the A.F. of L. was formed, the Knights of Labor boasted three times the membership of the trade unions. The Knights, founded in 1869, came out of a period when labor organizations were compelled to work in secrecy

to overcome the lockouts, blacklists, and forcible resistance of em­ployers. Originally conceived to promote education, mutual aid, and cooperation, it came to spend most of its energy on strikes and boycotts. In one respect, its struggles differed from those of the trade unions: the Knights organized the unskilled and semi-skilled, the trade unions the skilled workers. The decline of the Knights in the period 1886-1900 signified the ascendancy of the skilled craft labor of the trade unions, but the tradition of industrial unionism, which finally prevailed, goes back to the Knights of Labor.

The status quo was challenged from other directions. Henry George attacked land speculation as the source of all social evil and sought to stamp it out by taxing all profits from land equal to the full rental value—the “single tax.” In the great American utopian tradition, Edward Bellamy’s tremendously popular novel, Looking Backward, appeared in 1887. Bellamy’s hero awoke in the year 2000 A.D. to find a world of perfect virtue and virtuous perfection because the state had peacefully expropriated all private industrial enterprise and taken charge of the entire economy on a basis of equality and cooperation. Bellamy’s genteel and ethical vision of socialism ap­pealed to many more native Americans than did Marx’s analysis of the class struggle, but some of those who started with Bellamy ended with Marx. The Christian Socialist movement arose in the late 1880s. Some Protestant thinkers and ministers fought sin in the guise of capitalism and sought salvation in the form of socialism. The essential ideals of socialism were scattered far and wide, and in­corporated into many different systems of thought.

The official Socialist movement, however, was little more than a small, moribund, foreign-language sect until the Socialist Labor party was taken over by that imperious, eccentric, and magnetic personality, Daniel De Leon, in 1890. A lecturer on international law at Columbia University, De Leon had supported Henry George’s candidacy for mayor of New York in 1886 and had passed through both the Knights of Labor and the Bellamy movement. De Leon could not make the S.L.P. into a mass movement but he could give it an unprecedented theoretical vitality. The convert to Marxist doc­trine quickly became its outstanding American interpreter and even went on to do his own thinking in order to fill the gigantic vacuum left by Marx on the nature of the future socialist state. De Leon was a doctrinaire, but a creative one, a combination rarely encountered in Marxian dogmatists. When the future Communist leaders were growing up, De Leon was already a force to be reckoned with, and he initiated some of them into the mysteries of Marxism before that other creative doctrinaire, Lenin, came along to replace him in their affections.

Industrial unionism and Bellamyite utopianism served Eugene Victor Debs as stepping stones to socialism. A former railway fire­man born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Debs organized the American Railway Union on industrial-union lines in 1893. After a turbulent strike against the Pullman car company the following year, a sweeping court injunction, the intervention of government troops, and a debacle for the union, six months in jail for defying the injunction gave Debs the enforced leisure to start studying socialist literature. After this strike setback, Debs devoted himself to a scheme for the cooperative colonization of a sparsely settled Western state. Disap­pointed again, he announced his conversion to socialism in 1897. In­stead of joining forces with De Leon in the Socialist Labor party, how­ever, Debs formed a rival organization, the Social Democratic party, in 1898.

At about the same time, a rebellion began to erupt in the Socialist Labor party. The rebels, led by Morris Hillquit of New York, op­posed De Leon’s domineering personal rule and his anti-A.F. of L. trade-union policy. After much negotiation and maneuvering, the forces behind Debs and Hillquit combined to form the Socialist party of America in 1901. It brought together Christian Socialists and orthodox Marxists, immigrant workers and native intellectuals, trade-union officials and millionaire social reformers. Only a few of the delegates at the first Socialist party convention “had more than the haziest intellectual acquaintance with theoretical Marxism,” writes David A. Shannon. “Certainly the anticapitalism of many of the delegates derived more from Edward Bellamy’s Looking Back­ward than from Das Kapital.”

Those who were looking for a militant, extremist movement, however, were no longer likely to find it in socialism. The most excit­ing new phenomenon in the labor movement in the first decade of the twentieth century—the most impressionable early years of the future Communists—was syndicalism. It arose in the Western states where the craft unionism of the A.F. of L. could not or would not penetrate. The original impulse came from the Western Federation of Miners, formed in 1893 with William D. (Big Bill) Haywood as secretary-treasurer. The mine federation, an industrial union, had stormed out of the A.F. of L., charging lack of support, and had retaliated by setting up independent Western Labor centers, first the Western Labor Union, then the American Labor Union. Finally, a conglomeration of anti-A.F. of L. elements, including those in the American Labor Union, the Socialist Labor party, and the Socialist party, met together to form the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) at Chicago in 1905. At the outset, it was big enough to hold Debs, De Leon, and Haywood—but not for long.

Though most of the organizers of the I.W.W., including Haywood, were avowed socialists, they did not agree on the road to socialism. The fundamental dispute hinged on the old problem of political versus economic action. Should political parties or trade unions or both make the revolution? The orthodox Marxists put their faith primarily in revolutionary parties; the syndicalists, in revolutionary trade unions. The original preamble of the I.W.W.’s constitution referred to a struggle “on the political as well as on the industrial field.” This phrase did not go far enough for those who believed in revolutionary political activity and went too far for those who believed solely in revolutionary trade unionism. Debs left the I.W.W. in 1906 because he felt that it underestimated the importance of po­litical activity. De Leon was ousted in 1908 in a coup executed by an I.W.W. group more sympathetic to anarchism than to socialism. In that same year, the preamble was changed to eliminate the reference to political activity altogether. The I.W.W. developed into an American variety of anarcho-syndicalism whose battle cries were “direct action,” “sabotage,” and the “general strike.”

The Left Wing of the American labor movement before World War I had its deepest roots in two movements—socialism and syndicalism. Therefore it did not have a single home. It was in the main divided in its loyalties among three organizations—the Social­ist Labor party, the Socialist party, and the I.W.W. But that elusive and yet indispensable term—the Left Wing—cannot be fully under­stood organizationally. There are usually a number of rival groups within the Left Wing, each claiming to be the only true Left. The Left Wing of one period differs from the Left Wing of other periods. This instability is characteristic of a term which does not stand for a party or a program but rather for a relative position, and often only for a vague state of mind.

Nevertheless, there has been something like a historic Left in the American labor movement. As one Left Wing has followed an­other, a number of basic issues have recurred again and again. Since the Left Wing was less an organization than a fluctuating body of attitudes and ideas, these issues, more than anything else, gave it an enduring character.

|| Federalist No. 47 ||

The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts
From the New York Packet.
Friday, February 1, 1788.
Author: James Madison

Original Text

To the People of the State of New York:

HAVING reviewed the general form of the proposed government and the general mass of power allotted to it, I proceed to examine the particular structure of this government, and the distribution of this mass of power among its constituent parts. One of the principal objections inculcated by the more respectable adversaries to the Constitution, is its supposed violation of the political maxim, that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments ought to be separate and distinct. In the structure of the federal government, no regard, it is said, seems to have been paid to this essential precaution in favor of liberty. The several departments of power are distributed and blended in such a manner as at once to destroy all symmetry and beauty of form, and to expose some of the essential parts of the edifice to the danger of being crushed by the disproportionate weight of other parts. No political truth is certainly of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty, than that on which the objection is founded.

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Were the federal Constitution, therefore, really chargeable with the accumulation of power, or with a mixture of powers, having a dangerous tendency to such an accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal reprobation of the system. I persuade myself, however, that it will be made apparent to every one, that the charge cannot be supported, and that the maxim on which it relies has been totally misconceived and misapplied. In order to form correct ideas on this important subject, it will be proper to investigate the sense in which the preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct. The oracle who is always consulted and cited on this subject is the celebrated Montesquieu. If he be not the author of this invaluable precept in the science of politics, he has the merit at least of displaying and recommending it most effectually to the attention of mankind. Let us endeavor, in the first place, to ascertain his meaning on this point. The British Constitution was to Montesquieu what Homer has been to the didactic writers on epic poetry. As the latter have considered the work of the immortal bard as the perfect model from which the principles and rules of the epic art were to be drawn, and by which all similar works were to be judged, so this great political critic appears to have viewed the Constitution of England as the standard, or to use his own expression, as the mirror of political liberty; and to have delivered, in the form of elementary truths, the several characteristic principles of that particular system. That we may be sure, then, not to mistake his meaning in this case, let us recur to the source from which the maxim was drawn. On the slightest view of the British Constitution, we must perceive that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments are by no means totally separate and distinct from each other. The executive magistrate forms an integral part of the legislative authority. He alone has the prerogative of making treaties with foreign sovereigns, which, when made, have, under certain limitations, the force of legislative acts. All the members of the judiciary department are appointed by him, can be removed by him on the address of the two Houses of Parliament, and form, when he pleases to consult them, one of his constitutional councils. One branch of the legislative department forms also a great constitutional council to the executive chief, as, on another hand, it is the sole depositary of judicial power in cases of impeachment, and is invested with the supreme appellate jurisdiction in all other cases. The judges, again, are so far connected with the legislative department as often to attend and participate in its deliberations, though not admitted to a legislative vote. From these facts, by which Montesquieu was guided, it may clearly be inferred that, in saying “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates,” or, “if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers,” he did not mean that these departments ought to have no PARTIAL AGENCY in, or no CONTROL over, the acts of each other. His meaning, as his own words import, and still more conclusively as illustrated by the example in his eye, can amount to no more than this, that where the WHOLE power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the WHOLE power of another department, the fundamental principles of a free constitution are subverted. This would have been the case in the constitution examined by him, if the king, who is the sole executive magistrate, had possessed also the complete legislative power, or the supreme administration of justice; or if the entire legislative body had possessed the supreme judiciary, or the supreme executive authority. This, however, is not among the vices of that constitution. The magistrate in whom the whole executive power resides cannot of himself make a law, though he can put a negative on every law; nor administer justice in person, though he has the appointment of those who do administer it. The judges can exercise no executive prerogative, though they are shoots from the executive stock; nor any legislative function, though they may be advised with by the legislative councils. The entire legislature can perform no judiciary act, though by the joint act of two of its branches the judges may be removed from their offices, and though one of its branches is possessed of the judicial power in the last resort. The entire legislature, again, can exercise no executive prerogative, though one of its branches constitutes the supreme executive magistracy, and another, on the impeachment of a third, can try and condemn all the subordinate officers in the executive department. The reasons on which Montesquieu grounds his maxim are a further demonstration of his meaning. “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body,” says he, “there can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise lest THE SAME monarch or senate should ENACT tyrannical laws to EXECUTE them in a tyrannical manner. ” Again: “Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for THE JUDGE would then be THE LEGISLATOR.

Were it joined to the executive power, THE JUDGE might behave with all the violence of AN OPPRESSOR. ” Some of these reasons are more fully explained in other passages; but briefly stated as they are here, they sufficiently establish the meaning which we have put on this celebrated maxim of this celebrated author…

(The Library of Congress)

Club

Modern English ~ Interpolation

Having reviewed the general form of the proposed government and the power allotted to it, I will now examine the specific structure of this government and the distribution of its total power among its parts.

Critics: Violates Separation Maxim

2. One major objection made by the more respectable adversaries to the Constitution is its supposed violation of the political maxim that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments should be separate and distinct.

It is said that the structure of the federal government doesn’t seem to have this essential precaution in favor of liberty. The powers are distributed and blended in a manner that destroys all symmetry and beauty of form, and exposes some essential parts of the government to the danger of being crushed by the disproportionate power of other parts.

Separation of Powers, Liberty

3. This objection is based on a political truth with the greatest intrinsic value and endorsed by the most enlightened patrons of liberty. The holding of all powers—legislative, executive, and judiciary—in the same hands, whether by one person, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, is the very definition of tyranny. Therefore, if the federal Constitution combined powers, or mixed powers in a way that tended to lead to a dangerous accumulation, no further arguments would be necessary to inspire a universal rejection.

I believe, however, that it will become clear to everyone that the charge cannot be supported and the maxim it relies on has been totally misunder­stood and used incorrectly.

In order to make an informed judgment on this important subject, it is proper to investigate why the pres­ervation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct.

Political Scientist, Montesquieu, Recommends Separation of Power

4. The expert always quoted on this subject is the famous Montesquieu. If he didn’t discover this invaluable pre­cept in political science, he can be credited, at least, with effectually rec­ommending it to mankind. Let’s try to discover his meaning.

Maxim in British Constitution

5. The British Constitution was to Montesquieu what Homer has been to the didactic writers on epic poetry. As poets consider the work of the immor­tal bard as the perfect model from which the principles and rules of the epic art were drawn, and the standard used to judge all similar works, so has the great political critic, Montesquieu, viewed the Constitution of England as the standard. Or, to use his words, it is the mirror of political liberty. It contains several elementary truths, principles that are part of the British system. So that we make no mistakes interpreting his meaning, let’s return to the source from which the maxim was drawn.

Powers Mixed in British Constitution

6. A brief look at the British Constitu­tion reveals that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments are not to­tally separate and distinct from each other.

The chief executive is an integral part of the legislative authority. He, alone, makes treaties with foreign sovereigns that have, under certain limitations, the force of legislative acts. All the members of the judiciary department are appointed by him, can be removed by him on petition by the two Houses of Parliament, and be­come, when he wants to consult them, one of his constitutional councils.

One legislative house also forms a constitutional council to the execu­tive chief, at the same time that it is the sole depository of judicial power in cases of impeachment, and is the supreme court of appeals in all other cases.

The judges, again, are so con­nected with the legislative branch that they often attend and participate in its deliberations, though they cannot vote.

No One Has Total Power of Two Branches

7. From these facts, which guided Montesquieu, it may be inferred that, in saying “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates,” or, “if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers,” he didn’t mean that the government’s branches should have no partial agency in, or no control over, the acts of each other. His words and examples make his meaning clear: when the whole power of one branch is in the same hands as the whole power of another branch, the funda­mental principles of a free constitu­tion are subverted.

This would have been true in the British constitution if the king, who is the sole executive magistrate, also held the complete legislative power, or the supreme administration of justice; or if the entire legislative body was also the supreme judiciary, or the supreme ex­ecutive authority. This, however, is not among the vices of that constitution.

The chief executive cannot, him­self, make law, though he can veto ev­ery law; he cannot personally adminis­ter justice, though he appoints those who administer it.

The judges can exercise no execu­tive power, though the executive chooses them. Nor any legislative func­tion, though they may be advised by legislative councils.

The entire legislature can perform no judiciary act, but joint acts of the two houses of the legislature can re­move a judge from office, and one house has the judicial power of final appeal. The entire legislature, again, can exercise no executive prerogative, though one house constitutes the su­preme executive magistracy, and the other, after an impeachment vote by one third, can try and condemn all the sub­ordinate officers in the executive de­partment.

Liberty Demands “Separation” Maxim

8. Montesquieu’s reasons for his maxim further demonstrate his mean­ing.

“When the legislative and execu­tive powers are united in the same per­son or body,” says he, “there can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise lest the same monarch or senate enact tyrannical laws to execute them in a tyrannical manner.”

And: “Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with all the vio­lence of an oppressor.”

Some of the reasons are more fully explained in other passages. But, even briefly stated as here, they establish the meaning of this celebrated maxim of this celebrated author….

Mary E. Webster, ed., The Federalist Papers In Modern Language for Today’s Political Issues (Bellevue, WA: Merril Press, 1999), cf., Federalist 47, 197-199.