On every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed. Thomas Jefferson
The experiment that our founding fathers initiated in building this country was one of self-government. They established this government based upon the belief in One God, the God of Nature. Therefore, the Natural Laws that they built the government upon are the Laws of God. This is the God, which endowed humankind with unalienable rights. However, along with those rights, God gave man responsibilities, which cannot be separated from the rights. They believed that in accepting each of these rights, man, accepts the responsibility to take it upon himself to ensure that all of his brothers enjoy each right equally. In a sense our government as it was established, can only survive if we live by the question that John F. Kennedy asked, “Ask not, what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. This is the essential quality necessary for the success of a Republic. This is the essence of Republicanism as our Forefathers intended it when they created our Republic.
“He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country
who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power
and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any
office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man…
The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven,
let us become a virtuous people.” Samuel Adams
Imagine a country where each community felt a moral responsibility to make sure that each member of that community had an opportunity to work, to support himself and his family. Each individual felt a moral obligation to his neighbor, to see that the sick were cared for, all were fed and everyone had shelter. They envisioned a country where each citizen felt a sense of moral duty to every other citizen. Our Forefathers believed that this could be a country of citizens, raised from childhood as moral and virtuous. They would be citizens taught the true meaning of being an American living under of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. They imagined that we would understand as citizens that, “To whom much is given, much is expected”, and that each citizen would be a government unto himself, (self-governing) guarding the rights and privileges of his brothers and sisters, as he would guard his own, This is the only people deserving and capable of such a government as they were building.
2 Corinthians 8:13-15 13”For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14your abundance at the present time should supply(A) their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15As it is written,(B) “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
I would supposed that our founding fathers believed that this was possible because the Americans of the time embraced a moral and virtuous life much like the lives lived today by the Amish people. It is easy to imagine the American of our Forefathers vision surviving on the shoulders of the Amish. It is also the type of heart centered life lived by the Hasidic Jews. This virtue and sense of moral obligation was something that they did not feel was inborn, but had to be taught from a very young age through family, school and what they considered religion. Both of these different groups, the Amish and the Hasidic Jews have different religions, but they both live and teach the Love of God and the responsibility that God give us to love one another.
I remember when my oldest daughter was very young she went to a Montessori School. It seemed to me that all she did all day was cut vegetables and pour water. Then when it was time for her to go to another school, the teachers at Montessori suggested that I take her to different schools and spend the day there with her. We went to one of the schools that they had suggested and I watched as the children in the class fought over toys, pulled them out of the shelves and left them on the floor while they went for another. Then I watched my daughter go to the toy shelf, take out a toy and play with it for a while. Then, she would put the pieces all together and place it neatly back on the shelf where it came from – she was order in the midst of the most unnerving chaos. I immediately took her hand and ran out of the classroom before she caught on to what they were doing and it rubbed off on her. There were many reasons that Montessori taught my daughter and her classmates to be considerate, share, and put things back where they came from, but what was important was that the teaching became second nature to her. This was the expectation of our founding fathers. They believed that from a young age a child could be taught to act against selfishness through developing a habit of virtuous and moral actions.
Ben Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
“Self-love… is the sole antagonist of virtue, leading us constantly by our propensities to self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to others. Accordingly, it is against this enemy that are erected the batteries of moralists and religionists, as the only obstacle to the practice of morality. Take from man his selfish propensities, and he can have nothing to seduce him from the practice of virtue. Or subdue those propensities by education, instruction or restraint, and virtue remains without a competitor.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Law, 1814. ME 14:140
What Thomas Jefferson spoke of as ‘self-love’, was what we today would call selfishness. Once the British were expelled from this country the wealth and corruption that they had brought with them – left also. The people easily connected the lack and suffering that they had endured under British rule to the corruption, wealth, and lack of virtue of the British Aristocracy and were anxious to separate themselves from anything resembled it. They were, having earned their independence, satisfied with a life that was moral and virtuous, they had fought and achieved so much together that there existed a sense of brotherhood, even if temporary. All read the writings of the founding fathers. Virtue and morals were taught in the schools and centers of worship. There was a sense of peace and wellbeing that impressed even the most skeptical European that a virtuous people, capable of freedom and self-government could exist. Less government was as experiment in the ability of people to real meaning of self-government was the governing of self and the protection of others. This required virtue and a spiritual moral code.
1 John 3:17 “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
I have felt, for the past ten years, that our Government was becoming more and more corrupt, more and more corroded, the structure was so eaten away by greed and corruption that there was just not enough of whatever was once there, to hold the building (Government) together any longer. Greed had become like termites, laying eggs upon eggs within the structure until regardless of what we did to eliminate what we saw, the new eggs were constantly hatching and further eating away at what was left. Eating away at the Constitution that once had such strong spirit.
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations” ~James Madison
Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks–no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.
” Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.” ~ James Madison
The Constitution cannot hold up a government that is supporting a society that runs contrary to the spirit of its Framers, anymore than a carriage built to carry a baby can stand under the weight of an elephant. Anything specifically designed for one type of user, can only be guaranteed if it only used by that type of user. This Constitution was designed to support and serve a moral and virtuous people, and only such a people, as the majority, can anticipate that it will endure.
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war”
Originally posted 2015-05-11 05:27:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter