Sunday, July 02, 2017

See You At Church. . . regarding the U.S. Constitution

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Sunday, 10:00 AM, July 2, 2017 I will be speaking at the First Christian Church, 701 Egan, Beaumont.

Here's a taste of what I will be talking about:

Government is necessary.  Madison regarded it as self-evident “that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.”

Divine Providence was the centerpiece of the view of the founders.  Through Divine Providence, the English Colonies defeated the most powerful military force in the world, and through Divine Providence, the greatest constitution in history was written after about four months of grueling debate.  Benjamin Franklin, likely the least religious of the delegates, recognized God’s Hand in the forging of this nation, and was not afraid to voice his opinion on the matter after the first few weeks of debate during the federal convention of 1787 was yielding little by way of results.

The new nation needed solutions, and the men present were arguing over matters that would not matter if the country collapsed.  The elder statesman, Benjamin Franklin, who had been watching the tumultuous beginnings of the convention with patience, and in silence, spoke up. “Gentlemen, we are missing something.”

Franklin understood that if the convention was going to be able to move forward, the battling delegates had to discover a common bond that was both inspirational, and demanded virtuous action.  He recanted how they had been on their knees in prayer during the war against Britain.  He reminded the delegates how all odds had been against the States that had united for war in the hopes of defeating the mightiest war power on Earth.  Yet, with the Hand of Divine Providence guiding them, and protecting them, the newly formed union of States defeated the British, and now stood at the gateway of an exceptional existence.

Had the delegates forgotten to place the current proceedings at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in the Hands of God?

The 71-year old in round-rimmed glasses recounted all of the miracles of America, and explained to the room of delegates, whose average age (minus his) was about 27-years old, that their bickering, and disagreements, simply proved that human understanding is imperfect.  He commented on how they had studied history for examples of good and bad government, including the different forms of republics.  He discussed that with all of the laborious research they had engaged in, and looking at the current systems of government throughout Europe, that no system studied was perfectly suitable for the needs of the fledgling United States.  Even with all of that research, in the convention they could not seem to be able to find the political truth they sought.  How is it that they could not find the answer?  Could it be that something was missing?

Should they, perhaps, humbly appeal to The Creator?  Should they not consult the “Father of lights to illuminate our understandings?”

The American Revolution was a dangerous undertaking.  The founders, Franklin reminded the delegates, during the war were on their knees in daily prayer.  The prayers were heard, “for only His Favor could account for their victory.”

Franklin said that they were “consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.  And have we now forgotten that powerful friend?  Or, do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?”

Benjamin Franklin was not known to be a religious man.  He admitted that in his younger years he did not give much thought to the credence of the existence of God.  But, as he had grown older, his observations were telling him otherwise.  To explain this, Franklin said, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

Without God, he assured his fellow delegates, “We labor in vain.”  Without God, the government formed by the convention would fail.  Without God they would be divided, bickering over little partial local interests.  Without God, the greatness that could be the United States would be lost to future generations.

Benjamin Franklin, the celebrated “deist” by those who seek to deconstruct the story of the founding of the United States, then recommended that the delegates pray before each session of the convention.

After the motion was seconded, an interesting development occurred.

Alexander Hamilton, and a number of others who shared his political views, expressed their apprehensions about praying before each session of the convention.  Hamilton believed the Constitution was limiting the authorities of the federal government too much, and now he was bothered that God was going to be inserted into the convention.

In the end, the delegates decided that no clergy could be hired, partly due to a lack of funds, and therefore a formal prayer before each session of the Constitutional Convention was not possible.  Nonetheless, refusing to allow that to stop them from seeking God’s Will before continuing, a majority of the delegates walked to the nearest church, and congregated there for a prayer.

Later, during America’s journey, based on Franklin’s request, the tradition of prayer before each session of Congress was initiated, and has been in place ever since.

In the opinion of a majority of the founders, Divine Providence was an important key to the success of America, and is an integral part in maintaining the essence of freedom.

In the view of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, limitations on the government, the preservation of individualism, and a reliance on Divine Providence, were inseparable from justice.  Only a virtuous society is capable of operating within the “rules of just conduct.”  Without being a godly society, the security of personal property, and natural rights, would be in danger.  “That alone is a just government,” wrote Madison, “which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

The United States of America was founded upon the concept of classical-liberalism, which is a political theory consistent with limited government and the rule of law.  The essence of liberty was recognized in the limitations of government, in a system where checks and balances defends individuality, personal rights, and property, while preventing corruption, and providing a sound foundation for the emergence of a spontaneous free market that spawns wealth creation, and individual opportunity.

The Constitution was written to provide a sound system of governance that would be capable of standing the test of time, and the test of tyrants.  Rather than follow the folly of democracy, where the majority rules through a purely democratic system and we run the risk of losing our liberty, various checks and balances were inserted so as to establish a balanced government where all power, including the power of the people, was sensibly divided.  An informed electorate, exercising their original authority through the sovereignty of their States, can protect and preserve individualism through their efforts, and be more aware of the political tides that are constantly colluding against the Blessings of Liberty.  Understanding the essence of liberty makes us more likely to recognize the constitutional limits that insulate economic life from politics and prevent free-loader behavior that embraces the redistribution of wealth, rather than the creation of wealth through a free market system.

For the essence of liberty to prevail, government must be limited, and just.  The security of individualism, natural rights, and property must take precedence over political philosophies, and the misguided desire of the ruling elite to engage in social engineering.

The essence of liberty is found in the limitations of government, and a limited government promotes economic freedom, the rule of law, and the preservation of the rights of the people.

Without limitations on government, the essence of liberty will become nothing more than a memory of freedom.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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