Today, July 4th, is Independency day in the U.S. It is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Our nation is different than any other country. It took several years after July 4th, 1776 before the form of government we have today was formed. On May 25, 1787 delegates from 12 states sent representatives to Philadelphia with a mandate to revise the articles of confederation that proved ineffective. The constitutional convention ended on September 17, 1787 and the result was new form of government, one by the people that would be governed (“We the people…in order to form a more perfect union). Those who would govern would be chosen from the citizens of the country. All other nations were organized by those who would govern and the structure was to benefit the ruling class and the power they held over their citizens. The responsibility of power was divided into three bodies: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. There were limitations on each branch that prevented them from overstepping the powers granted to each branch and to prevent them from taking on the responsibilities of the other branches of government. There was also a division of powers between the federal government and the states. The constitution granted certain rights to the states that allowed them to be establish laws that the federal government had not authority over. James Madison commented:
“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”
James Madison, Federalist No. 58, 1788
Another unique aspect of the founding of our nation was that God inspired the founding fathers as they declared their independence from Great Britain and established our constitutional government:
Thomas Paine had this to say about the importance of our nation remembering God and his commandments in the success of our nation:
“But where says 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 Britain...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.”
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
Below are a few other quotes from some of those who were involved in the process of establishing our unique form of government and what they thought would be critical to its success. As you read them I would ask you to ask if we are still following their thoughts or have we strayed from what they intended our government to be? Is the balance between the three branches of government and between the federal branch and the states still the way our founding fathers intended?
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.
John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of 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? 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?"
Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention
Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787
A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity.
James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.
George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.
George Washington, letter to the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May, 1789
It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.
George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, September 5, 1789
I believe that if the 56 delegates to the constitutional convention in 1787 were alive today, many if not all would be outraged by what we the people have allowed to happen to the constitution that they fought and died for. James Madison said above that the citizens of our country need to be informed, to be involved in the process to insure its success. Are we informed? Do we actively seek righteous men and women to represent us?
The balance between the branches of government does not exist as it was intended. The executive branch has taken on the powers of the legislative branch by using executive orders to make laws. The legislative branch has failed in its duties completely and do nothing to benefit or uphold the constitution. The judicial branch instead of making decisions based on the laws set forth in the constitution are making laws by their decisions. The states have allowed the federal government to usurp its powers so much they now have no ability to govern themselves.
What can we do? We the people must return to the basic fundamental outlined in the constitution as it was written by our founding fathers. We need to return to the values of the Christian nation that we should be. The God of Heaven and his commandments were part of the foundation of our nation and we must go back to those principles and not give in to the evils that have eroded the basic fundamentals of morality and religious freedoms the constitution upholds. Only when we seek out individuals that will protect and defend the constitution of the United States as written, not as they interpret it, then will we have the liberty and freedom that God intends for us. The first paragraph of the declaration of Independence states:
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.
On this Independence day I would ask if it is time again for us to declare our independence from those who would enslave us and deny us of our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and our rights to worship the true God of Heaven?
Your comments and questions are welcome