There has been a slowly rising crescendo for half a century from a growing group of conservatives who are religious and hold their faith in the L0rd as dearly as they hold to the rights as delineated in the founding documents, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and increasingly the Declaration of Independence. It is in the Declaration of Independence that these religious conservatives find their strongest arguments that they are uniquely positioned to more fully understand the ideas and ideals behind the founders and what they viewed as the origins of the nation they wished to found. They also take to heart many of the arguments made between the different founders which many were fortunately preserved in the letters of correspondence. The likely most famous coming from John Adams who wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” But even this quote falls short of the delineation of the manners for power distribution which was the backbone of the Declaration of Independence. Despite the watering down of the reference in order to pacify a select group of founders who feared placing too strong a reference to things religious as they feared relating too close an interdependence between the Almighty and the governance of the country they were to found. Still, the distribution of power is given a direct flow from the Creator to the individual people and from them to government. The government was relinquished to accepting only those powers permitted by the people and the people retained all other powers and rights not relegated to government. And taking things one step further, the power which was relinquished to the purview of government was to be most powerful at the most local level and from their powers would be relented upwards until the Federal Government would receive the least power and only those powers which were furthest from the citizens as those powers were to be retained at the governance closest to the people and most readily monitored and corralled by the citizens. The Constitution went even further in limiting the powers of the Federal Government in that it spent more words forbidding powers to the Federal Government than granting it powers.
It would be an impossible argument to try and claim that as time has passed that the Americans as a peoples have strayed from their strict religious beliefs and are now at best evenly divided between religiously observant and largely secular. If one were to query a plurality of Americans as to where their rights originate, they would likely say they were granted by the government and likely the Federal Government. This is exactly the opposite of the ideas that were the underpinning of the intentions and inspirations of the Founding Fathers. This belief has become so widespread that the Federal Government does not even pretend to follow the restriction on their powers as delineated in the Constitution. This has been a growing problem which found its origins in the humanist movement which really gained steam at the turn of the twentieth century. The prominence of the humanist, secular humanist in particular, was given a huge impetus with the writings of two men of science, the first being Charles Darwin and the second Sigmund Freud. Between these two gentlemen much of what had been wonder and the purview of the Creator were now reassigned to the purviews of science and given Earthly explanations. This drove the movement that culminated in <a href=http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_Am17.html?ModPagespeed=noscript>Amendment 17</a> to the Constitution which stripped the States of their representation at the Federal Level thus removing the power to limit the powers stolen from the States by the Federal Government which over time allowed the Federal Government to gather far superior power over that of the States and other local governances. This inverted the power curve from G0d – People – Local Governments – State Governments – Federal Government to the new divisions of power which now appears to closely resemble Federal Government – State Governments – Local Governments – People. When the followers of secular humanism rearranged the structures of power in the governance of the United States they not only inverted the entire power curve, they removed the Creator from the picture completely and placed the Federal Government as the originator of all powers, rights, and grantor of all privilege. The same year that Amendment 17 was ratified there was another, namely Amendment 16. This permitted the Federal Government to collect an income tax from the people which further placed the peoples under the thumb of the Federal Government as the governance now had a direct access to one’s wealth.
Once the Federal Government inverted the entire power structure which had been implemented under the system designed by the Founding Fathers it began to take over those areas which had been relegated to religion and seen as the place where religion and thus G0d was responsible. Such areas included assisting those who were in need, those unable to care for themselves, feeding the hungry, assisting those who were unemployed, the homeless, providing for the education of the people, providing health care, childcare of orphans, and all distribution of charity. One by one the government took control of these areas with the concept that the government would provide such care without subjecting those who were in need with sermons and other pressures which religious institutions were presumably guilty of forcing upon those they helped. The fact that a church run soup kitchen might impinge upon those receiving their food that they say a prayer and listen to hymns while they ate was cast as being an unnecessary victimization on those who were needy. Why should anybody have to put up with such an imposition of their sensibilities just to receive a meal. Government was going to save these needy people from such an imposition. Government took over the care for children in orphanages with the reasoning that the government would be more suitable and particular when choosing adoptive parents and this would free those seeking to adopt from the possibility for meeting unnecessary religious requirements. The result was that the main determination for adopting a child became more aligned with wealth or who one knows than more humanistic qualities. Unemployment, charity, you name it and the government crept in and usurped responsibility replacing religion in every sector of our society. By the end of this year the government will be well on their way to replacing religion in its last bastion, hospital and health care. The death knell for religious provided health care is known as Obama Care which will slowly morph health care in ways that will wrest it from the hands of religious institutions eventually making government the sole provider for health care just as they have taken over every other area in society which once was provided by religious institutions. This was not done by accident as government was seeking to replace religion and replace G0d as the originator and guarantor of rights and freedoms. Let us pray that when we find that we the people can no longer suffer the overreach and domination of government over the individual that we can find the strength of character and the power of faith and trusting in our Creator take back from government those rights and privileges it has stolen from us the people and return the balance of power such that the people are under the protection of G0d and not the vassals under government.
Beyond the Cusp
We have written about this solution that addresses the recognition of same sex couples under the law while also maintaining the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman that should satisfy both sides of the argument. It preserves marriage while granting same sex couples with the legal rights they claim to seek and does so by reducing the intrusion of government into what should be a religious matter decided by each individual house of worship. The answer is to allow houses of worship to issue marriage certificates and hold marriage ceremonies while for those couples who wish the benefits and responsibilities the state applies to couples can receive a civil union contract from the state which will allow their pairing to have all the legal rights which currently are restricted to married couples. The marriage the houses of worship would perform would not allow the couple to claim any of the benefits of those who have a civil union contract unless the married couple also satisfied the state requirements and received a civil union contract. This separates the institution of marriage from any entanglement within the legal workings of the state thus freeing the individual state governments to decide what will be acceptable as a couple in the eyes of the law while the religious institutions decide what defines a married couple. The two are separate from each other and though any couple married by a religious ceremony would very likely also qualify for receiving a civil union contract, not every recipient of a civil union contract would be eligible to be necessarily married by every religious institution. There are also other advantages and options which become available in defining marriage which is currently disallowed due to the state being the issuing body of marriage certificates.
The main advantage is that each house of worship would be enabled to define marriage in whatever manner their congregation decides it should be defined. If the house of worship only wishes to recognize marriages between people of their religion and refuses to allow mixed religion marriages, which would be that house of worship’s right and the state would have no problems as the state has no jurisdiction over any religious service or definition as per the First Amendment. On the other side, if a couple can locate a house of worship willing to marry them, then they can have a marriage license and be considered married. Also, if a couple wishes to be married but does not deem it necessary to have state sanctioning their marriage, they would not be forced to receive a civil union contract but by not receiving the state’s issuance of a civil union contract would negate them of the benefits of being a couple in the eyes of the state and in all state functions. They would not be able to file a joint tax return or necessarily be allowed to visit each other in a state run hospital or have numerous other benefits. They would still be able to be the benefactor in their wills but would face the taxes upon one’s death as if they were not a legally joined couple.
The reason we like this solution is not because it enables same sex unions as much as it removes the government from what should be a purely religious institution, marriage. The further the government can be removed from defining terms in our lives and society, the more free the society will become. It is necessary to have the government define legal contracts as those are enforced in the courts of the state. It is not necessary to have the state define anything that does not require a legal contract. Marriage was originally not a legal contract but was a moral contract issued by the religious culture. The interest of the state in marriage has been as a financial interest, a social interest, a contractual interest, and a left over remainder from when the state and church coexisted almost as one entity through much of human history. By granting the state the issuance of the civil union contract the state continues to have all the jurisdictional constraints which it currently possesses but allows for marriage to be returned to the religious sector of our society. This is something which is desirable as it is fitting to have marriage and civil union contract both exist as the state and religion have been divorced from their previous relationship and thus should have separate interests in the whole idea of marriage. The religious institutions would have their historic interest of defining the basic structure of family and all that entails. The state would have their rightful fee for the contractual legal aspect which has been the main interests of the state as well as defining family for tax and other considerations.
There is one more benefit with this solution. We have heard time and time again that all those wishing to legalize same sex marriages desire is to have the same legal rights as do heterosexual couples. By relegating marriage to religious institutions and removing it from legal and public jurisdiction and in the legal and public forum having the contractual part of marriage relegated to civil union contracts, then all who are accepted by the state, which would likely include same sex couples as the state should not have any legal reason to deny such and moral reasons are not the state’s purview, would have the same identical rights while religious institutions could define marriage in any manner they wish. Religious institutions which allow polygamy or polyandry could allow such and it would then be up to the state on whether such could receive a civil union contract and with what limitations or provisions. Since the state licenses separate from religious institutions such discrepancies should not make for the problems we are currently facing as each would define their own definitions. This is just another application of a kind of separation of powers where the state has its set of considerations, legalizations and limitations while the religious institutions have their definitions and preferences and the two do not necessarily have to match.
Beyond the Cusp
The United Nations member States are once again working to implement an all-inclusive weapons treaty with dual intents. The publicized intent is to control the trading of weapons between weapons manufacturers and countries such that all weapons transactions will be covered thus preventing any sales to terror or other non-state actors. This treaty will presumably prevent terrorist and criminal entities from acquiring armaments from handguns to advanced weapons systems such as rockets and mortars. The secondary and less mentioned impetus is to control all private ownership of weapons by individuals. This time the treaty will not be aiming to necessarily disarm all non-state individuals but will instead be satisfied in simply having complete lists of every weapon privately owned. Of course these lists are guaranteed not to be a first step towards eventual weapons confiscation and everyone can believe that the world’s governments would never go back on this promise. But why should this be of any concern to the American people as they have the Second Amendment which guarantees them the right to keep and bear arms. But is the Second Amendment really sacrosanct or can it be abridged through international agreements?
John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower, asserted that treaties are a form of law which overrides the Constitution. The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution is in Article VI and states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” This clause was primarily intended to forbid the individual States from being allowed to enter into treaties independently and also to guarantee that all the individual States would be bound by and treaty entered and legally ratified by the Federal Government. There have been numerous people who have maintained that a treaty entered into by the United States through ratification by the Senate and signed by the President would then supercede the United States Constitution. This statement can be made true if one replaces one little word; remove ‘United’ from before the word ‘States’ and instead replace it with the word ‘individual’ and then it would be correct. Treaties do override the individual State’s Constitutions, not the United States Constitution. This also applied to individual State laws, regulations, statutes or other legally binding resolutions.
The reasoning behind the contention that international and other treaties entered into by the United States would supercede the Constitution ignores the semicolon replacing it with a comma. The treaties that are enacted must be tempered by the Constitution and can be rendered mute if found to be unconstitutional. The phrasing which states that treaties are to be made “under the authority of the United States” places the limitations within the constitution in effect for treaties just as it is for laws passed by the States or Congress. So, the Administration is limited in its power to enter into and negotiate treaties even with the ratification of the Senate by the same restrictions that the Congress and President are under when enacting Federal Law. So, let the world negotiate a presumable universal arms treaty which will eventually be used to implement the universal disarmament of individuals because even should the Senate ratify such a treaty and the President sign same, the Supreme Court, in theory, should render the enforcement of such a treaty unconstitutional and hopefully support the individual rights of the American peoples.
So sorry to those in the Administration and to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who have been rumored to be hoping they could use such a treaty to negate the Second Amendment and were working for Senate ratification. The Founding Fathers were smart enough to preclude the meddling of the outside world with the unique rights granted by the revolutionary Constitution they crafted. The world around them was full of Emperors, Kings, Caliphs and other absolute rulers whose slightest whim was law. With a world where any treaty the nascent United States would enter would be with countries with such autocratic rulers that they realized that the rights provided by the United States Constitution would not be respected or even understood outside the nation they were founding. With such a world surrounding the Founding Fathers it is only logical that they would protect the delicate balance which gave the individual supreme rights even over and above the government which was crafted to serve the people and be endowed with limited powers, a strange and unique concept in their time. The American people will owe those men a debt of gratitude as long as there continues to be those who guard and keep those precious rights safe and protected. That is the task that the Founding Fathers demanded of those generations which followed and upon whom they had doubts and hopes, much as many patriots today harbor.
Beyond the Cusp