Our Godless Constitution?

Constitution of the United States of America (...

Constitution of the United States of America (page 2) (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Is the Constitution of the United States a godless document? This idea stems from modernism. Modernism is the belief that the way things are now is the way they have always been. Fortunately that is simply fallacious thinking. Here are a few reasons that show the Founders did not write a godless Constitution.

First of all, the Constitution is not our original founding document. It is based on the Declaration of Independence, which clearly acknowledges God. What is the evidence we can use to see that the Declaration of Independence is our original founding document? Besides its historical significance in breaking our ties with the British monarchy, there are 27 grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence as the reasons we were making that break. Each of those grievances are dealt with and resolved by various clauses in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution explained that there was a problem/solution relationship between the two.

Here is an example:

Declaration:  “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Constitution:  “Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.”

The problem (listed fourth in the Declaration) of King George requiring the colonial legislatures to convene in far away locations is dealt with in Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution. This is just one such example; there are 26 others.

Another reason involves an acknowledgement of God in the text of the Constitution. The attestation clause (VII) reads,

“Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

While some might argue that it was simply the convention of the time, the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ (our Lord) in the date, is an example of the intentions of the signers. The numbering of twelve years sets the Declaration as the beginning of the United States; laying the foundation as it were. The Constitution is filling out the form; giving structure to the government of the new nation.

The twelve years mentioned above is another piece of evidence for the Declaration being our founding document. The Declaration of Independence is quite clearly a document that recognizes God’s sovereignty over human governments:

“When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s

God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
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…” (emphasis mine)

There is more evidence that demonstrates that the Constitution was a document acknowledging God. David Barton explains several more in his teaching: God and the Constitution. Please check it out. Read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for yourself. There’s an app for that! Become informed on the intended structure of our government.

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American Exceptionalism

Map of the British invasion of New Haven, Conn...

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WallBuilders Live! aired a three part recording of Tim Barton this week speaking to Patriot Academy on American Exceptionalism. What makes America great… or rather, what made America great? “If we forget what we’ve done, we won’t know who we are.” – Ronald Reagan.

Tim makes the point that this war was not just fought because of taxation without representation. That is a modern deconstructivist, revisionist fallacy. The Founders had deep convictions about their splitting from England. If you look at the Declaration of Independence (Click here), of the 27 abuses listed as reasons to assert our independence from England, 8 were judicial abuses, 8 were legislative abuses, 9 were military abuses, and only 2 were economic abuses. However, if you ask anyone why we had the revolution, most people know the answer to be taxation without representation. We have forgotten where we came from.

Tim colorfully weaves stories throughout his explanation of what made America great. He tells several stories of American heroes from the Revolution that we never hear nowadays. For example, Elizabeth Lewis, wife of Francis Lewis, signer of the Declaration, stood at the door of her home while being fired on by cannon. She was thrown into a British POW camp, and fed bread and water once a day, became malnourished, and died shortly after her release. Do you suppose she stood up before cannon fire because her family was being taxed without representation? No. There was a deeper conviction than this. If we actually read the Declaration,we understand better.

Mr. Barton related stories like Naphtali Daggett, pastor and pro tempore president of Yale, who went out to meet the British with 100 other men to hold them off and give the towns people a chance to evacuate New Haven, CT. The 100 man set up along a hillside to hold back the British, but Naphtali Daggett climbed a hill way ahead of them and began sniping the British troops. The 100 men were driven back and the British advanced. Daggett was left alone in his position. The British commanding officer journaled that he had heard shots ring out every few minutes, and he was going to ignore them, except that one of his men was getting taken out with each shot. They went back and found this old man shooting at them. They captured Daggett but when the commanding officer saw that it was just a one old man by himself he offered to let them go free if he would promise not to shoot at them anymore. Naphtali Daggett said there was nothing more likely than that he would keep on shooting the soldiers. That answer cost him his life. This is just one example of a story of sacrifice and courage from our War for Independence.

If you would like to hear more of these stories and a more complete explanation of American exceptionalism, please listen to Tim Barton’s presentation on WallBuilders Live!

Principles behind our American Government

WallBuilders had Frank Miniter as a guest this week. They discussed rebuilding our weakened Bill of Rights which had a lot of good ideas. However, David Barton and Rick Green opened the show with a discussion of American Exceptionalism  and the basic principles upon which America was built. I appreciated their explanation and pass them on here.

American Exceptionalism – a set of ideas and philosophy that produce institutions and policies which lead to unprecedented levels of stability and prosperity. Six principles upon which our American system was built: 1. There is a divine creator. 2. That creator gives individuals certain unalienable rights. These are not rights to groups. They are not collective rights. They are individual rights, endowed by the creator not by the government. 3. Government exists to protect these rights.   4. There are moral absolutes that govern our lives known as the laws of nature and of nature’s God.  5. Below the moral law is the social compact which makes up our body of non-moral laws such as the speed limit, building codes, and so forth. 6. If a system of government doesn’t do it’s job you can abolish it and form a new one.

It is not hard to believe that these are the principles upon which our Declaration of Independence was formed. The language closely parallels what we find there. Unfortunately we have been fed the lie so long that our founders were atheists, agnostics, and deists that we are slow to believe our nation had such God-centered founding principles. Please listen to WallBuilders to get a new insights on our founding (which are actually an older, better historically supported perspective).