Archive for June 2013
Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
The Muslim Brotherhood was handed a tactical defeat on June 4, 2013 in Manchester, TN. The FBI and DOJ (Department of Justice) appeared at a meeting called by AMAC (American Muslim Advisory Council — Muslim Brotherhood) in Manchester, TN. It was to include a talk by a US Assistant Attorney General and an FBI agent in charge. The meeting was due to a joke posted by a Coffee County Commissioner on Face Book. The DOJ Assistant Attorney General Killian said in a newspaper interview that the joke might be in the category of a hate crime.
Over 1200 people came from all over the US to a meeting in a town of 10,000. The web had buzzed about free speech in Manchester and talk radio chimed in.
In the course of the presentation by Killian, several in the audience began to shout our retorts to him. At first some in audience tried to shush them, but the momentum began to build and the shouted challenges increased in numbers and volume. It should be noted that the shouts were factual and knowledgeable. An example: when it was mentioned how hard it was to be a Muslim refugee: “Free medical care, welfare and scholarships tough to take?” When Killian said that DOJ protected voter rights, the shouts were to the tune of: “You mean like protecting the Panthers in Philadelphia?”
There were also knowledgeable shouts about Islam: “We don’t care about the religion, it’s the politics. No Sharia.”
When Killian mentioned Eric Holder, the room erupted with thunderous boos. People were angry about the Feds. The FBI agent presented a better face, but he got blow back as well. Chants of “Ruby Ridge” and “Waco” rang out. This was a “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” attitude.
There has been both praise and condemnation of the crowd. But to understand it, you had to be there. There was a palpable pent up anger about a long string of corruption out of the Obama White House: the IRS scandals; Major Nidal Hassan’s jihad called “work place violence”; vacuuming up everybody’s phone records; and more. They felt that the Feds were here to talk down to them, not to answer questions.
The Feds came to talk down to them since they are considered rednecks. Those rural white people who are not politically correct are called rednecks. Rednecks are the only under-class who have no protection or advocacy. They are the only group that can be mocked, ridiculed and made the butt of jokes. The worst of the ghetto blacks are forbidden to be called the equivalent of redneck, the N word. There is no RN word. Nope, they are rednecks, trailer trash, crackers, white trash and worse.
Another measure of society’s hatred of rednecks it this: if the shouters in the audience had been black, the media would have said that they were: “Speaking truth to power”. They would be reported as victims against oppression and fighters for social justice. But rednecks are called bigots and ignorant haters.
Why did the rednecks have to come and oppose political Islam? Simple, our leaders will not do the job.
The leaders in the pulpits of America are professionally ignorant cowards. Ministers and rabbis go to Family of Abraham events with Muslims and tip toe around any criticism. They cry over the Crusades and believe whatever they are told by Muslims. Over 100,000 Christians were murdered last year and there is an ongoing jihad against Israel, but not a word will be spoken to the Muslims about the Islamic crimes. Tears will be shed over graffiti on a mosque, but not one mention of Christians being machine gunned at Christmas services in Egypt.
What university has ever held an event where the jihad doctrine of Islam is discussed? Critical thought and fact-based reasoning are not allowed in their forums and curricula. The history of the deaths of 270 million Kafirs has no place in history departments. Sharia cruelty is not taught in feminist studies. No word about Islam may be spoken without approval from the MSA (Muslim Students Association, a Muslim Brotherhood front.)
Will law enforcement and the military protect us against political Islam? They do not even recognize the existence of an Islamic threat doctrine. All information about Islam in terrorism training must be approved by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Will the media protect our civilization in a civilizational jihad? Not just no, but hell no! The media is Islam’s mouthpiece and a savage opponent of everyone who opposes Sharia law.
What about American business? Islamic business fuels civilizational war with unlimited funds, just as the Koran commands. As an 11 year veteran counter-jihadist, I am unaware of American business support for the counter-jihadists. There may be small donations, but no systemic funding. Muslims get billions, and our fighters get a thousand. How will that work out?
Well, if the preachers, rabbis, professors, reporters, military, politicians, law enforcement and business are absent in a civilizational war, who shows up? Isolated warriors such as Spencer, Geller, Bostom, and others are the front line fighters. Oh, and Tennessee rednecks.
The Tea Party types and conservatives say that we should always be polite. My personal experience is that I have presented talks about political Islam that are very civil and polite for years. It doesn’t make any difference. I am still called a bigot, hater, Islamophobe, racist and merchant of hate. I have been told by community leaders that it is people like me that stir up the terror. They say I am an unpleasant man who frightens people. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that I am one of America’s top 10 bigots. “Doing it right” is judged to be immoral. Being nicer may not be the way to win a civilizational war.
Our society has become so wimpy and politically correct that there is no longer any righteous anger. We have become a nation of pleasant liars who are never angered at society’s outrages. We are ever so polite to those who destroy our civilization. We are a nation of zombies, but polite zombies. There have been over 20,000 jihad attacks since September 11, 2001, but you don’t want to mention that since someone might become uncomfortable or be offended.
For years we have watched as Muslims and dhimmis (apologists) have put on a multicultural love fest with Islam. In every case Islam has dominated. This was the first time in 11 years that the Kafirs dominated the information battle space in Tennessee — the first time.
How do we dominate the information battle space without shouting? Analyze what went right at Manchester. Here is what we and the rednecks did right:
• We showed up. Now is in this case we had 1500 show up, but we cannot use massive attendance as a usual tactic. However, a normal AMAC event would have put out chairs for a 100 people. We don’t need but a dozen people to dominate the meeting with information.
• We knew the doctrine of political Islam. We knew when people were lying or telling a half-truth.
• We knew the event was happening. We had intelligence and knew who the players were.
• We opposed the lies by voice, leaflet and signs. This is what rednecks bring to the party—rednecks are not politically correct and speak their minds. (That is part of the reason that they are hated.) They don’t give a hoot what the media/government/church types think. This spirit must be carried into every meeting. We must speak up and speak out. This is hard for those who are ruled by being “nice”.
We must learn how to co-opt the events without shouting. We must be organized and show up at every public event where Muslims come together with their ignorant dhimmi (apologist) partners. All of these events should become information battles. We should show up with signs and leaflets. If they will not allow signs, then bring cloth banners which can be put into bags and backpacks. We must do these things politely, but with authority like a warrior. And forget about the question and answer session for scoring points – the Q and A is always: write down your questions and we will select the ones we want to answer.
We must invite the Muslim Brotherhood and all of their supporters, such as government agencies and ministers, to our own events to explain their position to us, not in their power position of speaking down to us, but in a round table event centered on fact based reasoning.
The Manchester event was a rough hewn victory. We must learn lessons from it and then show up for every battle against this civilizational jihad.
Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
copyright (c) CBSX, LLC, politicalislam.com
Use as needed, just give credit and do not edit.
By Dr. Earl Taylor, Jr
Having recently experienced the marriage of another child, I have once again been impressed with the importance of oaths or covenant-making as the very glue which holds a free people together. The trust we have in one another allows us to enjoy the freedom which accelerates progress. It is not by force that we do most things in a free society, but by free-will choices cemented by promises to each other, whether in marriage and family relationships, business relationships, or delegating individual authority to someone in political office to perform an act on our behalf.
We are at this time experiencing a test of this most fundamental procedure in our country. Our president has been formally charged with oath-breaking. We await a trial on those charges. Some say, in his defense, that this is not a very serious charge and should not carry a very severe penalty. Let us now examine the importance the Founders attached to oath-taking as an instrument of protection in our society.
Oath-Taking Required in God’s Law
Dr. Skousen explains the historical significance of oath-taking:
“The oath was originally designed as the most solemn procedure for covenant-making. It involved not only a covenant with another person or society but also a covenant with God that the oath-taker would fulfill his promise. This is why the oath was always to be taken in the name of God and not in the name of anything else:
‘Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.’ (Deut. 6:13)
“Once the oath was taken, it was to be given the highest priority in the life of the covenant-maker so that he made certain it was carefully fulfilled. This is the meaning of the third commandment:
‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.’ (Exodus 20:7)
“Oaths have been primarily reserved for the temple, for the giving of testimony, the coronation of kings and queens, the initiation into an important office, initiation into the military, and the confirming of some important official act.” ( The Majesty of God’s Law, 107)
America’s Founders felt so strongly the need to bind the conscience of every elected official and appointed administrator in the United States to faithfulness in their duties that they incorporated this solemn ceremony in Article VI, Clause 3 of the Constitution:
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Two Requirements Made Of Those Who Would Take an Oath
The Founders were emphatic that only those persons should be allowed to take the oath (and thus only those should be elected) who had a firm conviction of two basic religious principles: 1) The belief in a Supreme Being, and 2) a belief in a future life where rewards or punishments would be meted out for how well we performed in this life. Otherwise, the oath would mean nothing.
Founder James Iredell said it this way:
“According to the modern definition of an oath, it is considered a “solemn appeal to the supreme being, for the truth of what is said, by a person who believes in the existence of a supreme being and in a future state of rewards and punishments according to that form which will bind his conscience most.”.
Iredell went on to say that the actual procedure of oath taking could vary depending on a person’s religion. Hence a Christian would use the Bible, a Jew the Torah, a Moslem the Koran. Even a faithful Hindu, whose most sacred act is touching the foot of a priest, could take the oath in that manner. The overriding requirement however would be that the person have the two basic beliefs mentioned above. Otherwise, an oath would be meaningless. Iredell even said that the threat of perjury would not be very effective if a person did not believe he would one day have to face his Maker. Said he:
“It is, however, necessary that such a belief should be entertained, because otherwise there would be nothing to bind his conscience that could be relied on; since there are many cases where the terror of punishment in this world for perjury would not be dreaded….” ( The Making of America , p.664)
No Credibility If These Religious Beliefs Are Missing
Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of an incident in early America where a person absent these beliefs was not allowed to take an oath to tell the truth in court. Said he:
“While I was in America, a witness who happened to be called at the Sessions of the county of Chester (state of New York) declared that he did not believe in the existence of God or in the immortality of the soul. The judge refused to admit the evidence, on the ground that the witness had destroyed beforehand all the confidence of the court in what he was about to say.”
In a note de Tocqueville added:
“The New York Spectator of August 23, 1831, related the fact in the following terms: “… The presiding judge remarked that he had not before been aware that there was a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that this belief constituted the sanction [in law, that which gives binding force] of all testimony in a court of justice; and that he knew of no case in a Christian country where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief.” (Five Thousand Year Leap, p. 101)
As Washington pointed out in his Farewell Address: “Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?”
Can Violating An Oath Be Overlooked or Excused?
In the present crisis in Washington, some of the President’s defenders are being heard to say that the actions of President Clinton are only private in nature and have not subverted our system of government, hence, do not merit the President being impeached and removed from office.
“And despite the fact that Mr. Ruff says this doesn’t subvert our system of government, in reality, all republican government-that is, all government that operates on the principle of representation, where the people do not directly administer the government or make the law – all such government relies heavily on the integrity and sanctity of oaths. It is very important that the people you appoint take an oath to be faithful to your trust. If oaths mean nothing, then a republic — that is, a system of government based on representation — can’t really operate, because you can’t trust your representatives. And if you can’t trust your representatives, you ought to do everything yourself, which means that Republics don’t work. So it precisely subverts the entire system of government — top to bottom — if oaths mean nothing.
“So when Charles Ruff says an impeachable offense has got to be an attack on our system of government, I agree with him. But if the president has forsworn himself, if he has sworn falsely, if he has made mock of his oath, then he has subverted the entire system of representative government — by definition. And that is as clear as day.
“Would you contemplate that for a minute? In this very important and grave matter that has to do with removing the president from office, the Founders established a clear difference between the two bodies. The difference they established between the House and Senate, in order to raise the level of integrity and seriousness in the Senate vote, is shown by the fact that they put the Senators on oath or affirmation.
“Does that tell you something about how important they thought oaths were? It does; it illustrates it perfectly. So what happens if oaths mean nothing? The whole system falls to pieces. And indeed, in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere you will find several reiterations on the part of the people who wrote those papers of the fact that among those things that give confidence that representative government can operate at all are the things that guarantee that people are going to act with some integrity. And among those the most important is the sanctity of oaths.
“It is the sanctity of oaths that is directly assaulted by Mr. Clinton’s conduct, and by the effort to defend that conduct. And therefore it constitutes not just an assault on some specific little portion of our system of government; it constitutes an assault on the very bedrock foundation of the integrity of the entire system. They are not just assaulting something tiny and small, or some tiny little room of the house that might be damaged. They are going right for that which constitutes one of the main pillars of the whole thing — the sanctity of oaths.
“So when Ruff says that he doesn’t think that the president did anything to assault the system, he is either blind or rotten with corruption. I don’t know which. But if you have any knowledge at all it is hard to miss the importance that was placed by the Founders on the sanctity of oaths. And I don’t see how he could have read the Constitution and not been struck by the fact that they specifically put the Senators on oath when it comes to voting on the matter of conviction — when they are to determine guilt or innocence. And if they didn’t think that oaths were somehow a bedrock foundation of integrity, why would they have made this apparently useless gesture?
“So when the president perjures himself — that is, forswears himself and takes a false oath — he is directly assaulting not just an element of the Constitution. He is assaulting the very pillar of integrity for our entire system of self-government.
“And if that isn’t an impeachable offense, Mr. Ruff, then the standards you yourself have established you are willing also to deny. Now, the Republicans have made that point with respect to the court system a few times; I think that they need to make it with respect to the whole system of government. He is not only subverting the judicial branch’s integrity when he forswears himself under oath. Our Senators and Congressmen also take an oath, don’t they? The president takes an oath. And do you know who else takes an oath, where it is very, very important to us that they respect the sanctity of oaths? The people who have the weapons! Our soldiers also take an oath. And on the day that the soldiers decide that that oath is as worthless as Bill Clinton thinks his oath is, what might they do with those weapons?
“Soldiers are under discipline, and we have to thank God for that. And we have to thank God that they respect their oaths, and respect, therefore, that discipline. This is something that we need to be thankful for as free citizens of a free society, because republics die when soldiers no longer respect their oath to respect the rights of the people and the constitution. Republics are killed by such soldiers.
“So if we set the example in the civilian sphere that says “oaths mean nothing,” what effect will that have in terms of the oath that our military people are taking? If we are a society in which we raise up generations with the view that oaths don’t mean anything, what will then bind the conscience of our soldiers in the military, when they take an oath to respect the Constitution and want to turn their power, their military power, against our liberty. We are in great danger if we let these people do what they are doing.
“Mr. Ruff wants to pretend that oath-breaking, and the destruction of the sanctity of oaths is not fundamental to our system. It is fundamental to the trust and integrity of the people that we put in government, and it is also fundamental to the safety of our people in terms of things like the military oath. Which is why Mr. Clinton needs to be held accountable, and why I agree with the argument that Ruff made — which is that to be impeachable an offense must be against the system of government. But to break your oath, and thereby to destroy the society’s sense of the sanctity of oaths, absolutely and fundamentally undermines our whole system of government. And therefore by the very criterion that Ruff has established Clinton must be impeached and he must be removed from office. It is very simple.” (Remarks of Dr. Alan Keyes, December 10, 1998)
Earl Taylor, Jr.
President of NCCS, Seminars, Newsletters
By Janet Levy
The attempted snow job by the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) of Tennessee which sponsored the joint Department of Justice/FBI event, “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,” Tuesday night in Manchester, Tennessee, did not work with the 2,000 attendees. Claims that American Muslims are loyal citizens, partners in counterterrorism investigations, part of radicalization prevention efforts, and an integral part of American society for centuries fell flat, especially coming from the host organization that was formed only two years ago in response to anti-shariah legislation in the Volunteer State.
A well-informed crowd responded with calls of “taqiyyah” when members of AMAC, a group that bills itself as “a bridge between the Muslim community and law enforcement,” touted Muslim contributions to U.S. society and their dedication to upholding American values. (Taqiyyah doctrine obligates Muslims to deceive infidels as part the required effort or jihad to institute Islamic doctrine or shariah). In actuality, Muslim organizations have specifically instructed Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement and have demanded that all counterterrorism-training materials be expunged of critical references to Islam and Muslims, as well the training instructors fired or retrained who fail to follow along.
When it became clear at Tuesday’s event that the promulgation of lies was falling on deaf ears, one AMAC speaker resorted to shaming the audience for their alleged rudeness and intolerance. In the crowd’s defense, the passionate response was one of righteous anger against a doctrine that increasingly threatens Western civilization and values in the wake of the Boston bombings and the murder and beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby. That indignation was also a response to the hypocrisy of a program designed to falsely portray Muslims as victims of prejudice in dire need of special civil rights protection from hate crimes. No mention was made of jihadist acts, honor killings, demands for special accommodations, and the Muslim disinclination to assimilate to American cultural norms.
To further insult the crowd, the AMAC speaker showed a condensed version of the video “Welcome to Shelbyville” in which Tennesseans were portrayed as ignorant, bigoted rednecks. The rejection of the Muslim presence in Tennessee was explained away by previous resistance to integrating blacks and Hispanics. The situation was addressed as one of racism and fear of the unknown rather than a very real fear of what Islamic doctrine requires Muslims to do. This was an educated crowd well aware that Islamic doctrine clearly states that Muslims must not befriend non-Muslims and are required to wage jihad to establish a global Islamic government under shariah. Attendees appeared very familiar with the enemy threat doctrine, Muslim aspirations to replace the Constitution with shariah, and ubiquitous calls from Muslims for “death to America” and “death to Christians and Jews.”
It is particularly telling that no other group in the United States has been the focus of such a degree of attention and outreach, although FBI religious hate crime statistics from 2009 indicate that Jews are more than eight times more likely to be victims of religious hate crimes than Muslims. Yet there is no special protection afforded to Jews, no events announcing the prosecution of individuals who post material offensive to Jews, nor outreach programs to the American Jewish community to better serve their interests. When it comes to Jews and Christians, offensive remarks and portrayals are permitted under the First Amendment.
It is truly remarkable that the mission of an entire government agency, NASA, was reconfigured from space exploration and aerospace technology to Muslim outreach by the Obama administration in 2009. At that time, Obama required NASA to reach out to Muslims and help them “feel good about their historic contributions to science, math, and engineering.”
Recently, Obama announced that he was launching the Muslim Outreach Summit to elicit feedback from American Muslims on how the government can better serve them. It is unprecedented for any group in the U.S. to receive this level of special consideration.
Following the Benghazi attack, Obama went to the UN and announced, “The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” and that “Intolerance is a form of violence.” He didn’t reference the desecrations of images of Jesus Christ and churches or voice concern about Holocaust denial. He mentioned only the criticism of Islam as a cause for concern and a reason to curtail free speech rights. Let us not forget that in the “Audacity of Hope,” Obama avowed, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
DOJ attorney Bill Killian addressed the crowd by reading statutes verbatim from PowerPoint slides that defined hate crimes, civil rights violations, and federally prescribed violations and penalties. Prior to the event, he had released this statement: “This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion…. This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.” However, the DOJ and FBI have not scheduled meetings addressing the concerns of any other group but Muslims. Twelve such outreach sessions are planned for Tennessee alone.
FBI Special Agent Kenneth Moore ridiculed the idea that the evening was intended to threaten citizens with the possibility of prosecution and imprisonment for offending Muslims. He pointed out that despite the raucous conduct exhibited during the event and the protests, no one would be arrested that evening as evidence of the government’s commitment to the First Amendment. However, the crowd remained unconvinced that their free speech rights were not in jeopardy at some future point as part of the government’s program to accommodate the demands of Muslim and Islamic doctrine.
The event presented messages on two levels. Overtly, Muslims attempted to airbrush their image in America as having nothing to do with supremacy, triumphalism, and terrorism. A few hijabed members of the AMAC even sported T-shirts with messages supporting the First Amendment to apocryphally showcase their dedication to American principles and laws.
As for government officials, they ostensibly conducted an informational session on legal statutes related to offensive statements and reassured the crowd that arrests would not take place. But the covert message was clear: This event was held to reinforce the supremacy of Muslims and their civil rights as no other group has been afforded this level of deference or accommodation. It was a veiled threat to non-Muslims that Muslims and Muslims alone will receive special protection by the government and hate crime prosecutions are on the table at some future point. Americans beware.
Janet Levy, MBA, MSW, is an activist, world traveler, and freelance journalist who has contributed to American Thinker, Pajamas Media, Full Disclosure Network, FrontPage Magazine, Family Security Matters and other publications. She blogs at www.womenagainstshariah.com
This article appeared in Washington Times on June 18, 2013.
There is an all-too-common tendency for humans (particularly members of the political class) to blame or scapegoat others when they bungle their jobs. We are now being treated to the meeting of the Group of Eight — where the “leaders” of eight major countries are looking for excuses for why they have made such a mess of their own economies. Rather than acknowledge that the reason for such poor performance is excessive government spending, taxation and regulation, members of the G-8 are blaming their ills on lower-tax jurisdictions, which they pejoratively label “tax havens.”
In fact, all of the so-called tax havens have substantial taxes and significant government sectors. They also tend to have lower marginal tax rates on capital and labor income, which has enabled them to make their citizens rich and healthy. Many studies show that when government spending exceeds approximately 25 percent of gross domestic product, economic growth tends to slow, fewer jobs are created and the general welfare ultimately declines. If the G-8 had responsible leaders, the group’s summit would have as an agenda item “ways to downsize government.” Instead, their agenda includes how to increase tax revenue by going after jurisdictions with low tax rates. They disguise these schemes by using the phrases “increasing tax-base harmonization,” “tax information sharing” and “tax transparency.”
As can be seen in the accompanying table, low unemployment rates tend to be associated with smaller government sectors, and vice versa. This relationship can be shown with most governments over time and with cross-sectional studies. Many British overseas territories such as the Cayman Islands are attacked because they have no corporate and individual income taxes, and never have. They are not shown in the table because they are not totally independent from the United Kingdom.
Hong Kong and Singapore, which are former British colonies, have been successful by maintaining the British common-law legal system, coupled with low maximum marginal tax rates on income — 15 percent in Hong Kong and 20 percent in Singapore — low levels of economic regulation and limited government. Forty years ago, these jurisdictions were poor and without natural resources. They did have economic freedom, though, and relatively low levels of corruption. Now Hong Kong has a per-capita income close to that of the United States, and Singapore’s real per-capita income is substantially higher than that of the average American.
If big government were the key to economic success, France, with more than half of its GDP accounted for by government, would have rapid economic growth rather than an unemployment rate of 11 percent and negative growth. Yet France, Britain and the United States are demanding that the low-tax jurisdictions increase their taxes on businesses. They also demand more tax information sharing among countries. The officials of the G-8 assure us — as if they think we are all children or fools — that sensitive company and individual tax information will be kept confidential and not be used for political targeting, extortion, etc. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service had a reputation for being less corrupt and less incompetent than tax agencies in many other countries, which only illustrates how low the global standard is.
More tax information sharing among governments will be used to favor some businesses over others and to damage political opponents. We saw this happen in the United States as tax information was released illegally by people in the IRS to hurt Mitt Romney’s business and major individual donors. Corrupt officials — as we have seen in Latin America and elsewhere — will release selected information to kidnappers, extortionists and others who mean ill.
Two realities are being ignored by the political class at the G-8 and all too many in the news media who are covering the event. The first is that Europe and America already are taxed out. Only in the very short run can governments get any more tax revenue. In the longer run, higher tax rates will further depress work, saving and investment, resulting in more economic stagnation and no real net new revenue and higher, not lower, debt.
The other reality that is being ignored is that more government revenue is not needed to maximize the well-being of the citizens. By almost any measure, personal well-being — life expectancies, living standards and personal choices — is increasing far more rapidly in the smaller-government, lower-tax states than in the big-government states.
Any agreement among the G-8 to increase tax information sharing among governments will only serve to put everyone at greater personal risk. That, of course, is of little concern to political leaders hellbent on increasing their own power.
Some whine about the costs of all of the drinking and eating by the attendees at the G-8. In reality, our pocketbooks and our liberties would be much safer if those at the G-8 meeting ate and drank more, so they would be incapable of doing any business at all. That would be a small price to pay.
By Dr. Earl Taylor, Jr
An emerging “federalist revolution,” is beginning to unfold. Some of the states have launched a bold campaign to reclaim their rightful place in the American political system. This movement could well become one of the most significant developments in modern history, but in order to bear good fruit, it must be rooted in the inspired constitutional formula that made America “the land of the free.”
Since the only way to restore American federalism is to reinstate the principles on which it was built, this month we’re going to focus on the founding fathers’ original design for federal-state relations. And on the basis of that design, we’ll suggest a strategy that can help unite and empower the states as they work to reestablish their proper role in our nation’s government.
How Is Power Divided Between Washington , D.C. , and the States?
Federalism is the constitutional division of powers between the national and state governments. To function correctly, this kind of political system requires at least two things: a binding agreement that specifies the distribution of powers between the central government and the states, and effective controls for enforcing and maintaining that agreement. To provide these two elements is the main object of the U.S. Constitution. Since both are vital in the current struggle to repair our federal system, let’s examine each of them from the founders’ viewpoint.
The framers of our Constitution wanted a strong national government, but they also wanted it to be strictly limited to the functions authorized in the Constitution. Most of these are found in Article I, section 8, which outlines the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress. And not only does the Constitution specify the powers granted to the central government; it actually prohibits that government from exercising any powers not delegated to it. The 10th Amendment expressly declares that these are “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
Thomas Jefferson summarized the basic design of the system: “The people, to whom all authority belongs, have divided the powers of government into two distinct departments [i.e., the national and state governments], the leading [characteristics] of which are foreign and domestic…These they have made coordinate, checking and balancing each other, each equally supreme as to the powers delegated to itself.” 1
The founders felt so strongly about this division of powers that they regarded the 10th Amendment as “the foundation of the Constitution.” 2 Jefferson insisted that “to take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” 3
What Are the Safeguards, and Why Haven’t They Worked?
To help enforce and maintain this system of balanced federalism, the Constitution provides both external and internal controls on government. Perhaps the best example of an external control is the people’s right to cast their votes in frequent public elections. Yet this alone is not a sufficient protection, because elected officials sometimes “change their tune” after assuming office. All too often, a candidate who wins a national election by claiming to support constitutional principles catches “Potomac fever” upon arriving in Washington and quickly becomes part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
Among the internal controls established by the founders are (1) the oath of office, which requires all federal and state officials to pledge their support for the U.S. Constitution; (2) the separation of powers, which divides authority among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to prevent any one branch or individual from becoming too powerful; and (3) a series of checks and balances that enable the three branches of government to keep each other within their proper bounds.
Unfortunately, these internal devices for maintaining our federal system are now largely ignored. For instance, although the president and the Supreme Court both have authority to resist unconstitutional laws enacted by Congress, they seldom do so. In fact, the Court has actually ruled that “Congress is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution.” 4 Over the last several decades, such neglect of constitutional restraints has allowed Washington to become increasingly abusive toward the states and the citizens of this country.
How We Abandoned Federalism in 1913
Many Americans today are unaware that the Constitution provided another “internal control” on the government that was more powerful than all the others combined: the original design of the U.S. Senate.
For more than a century, senators were elected by state legislators rather than by popular vote. 5 The founders said they had organized Congress in such a way that “the people will be represented in one house, the state legislatures in the other.” 6 Thus the states were an integral part of the federal government and had a strong voice in the formation of federal policy. As James Madison put it, “No law or resolution can now be passed without the concurrence, first, of a majority of the people, and then of a majority of the states.” 7
According to George Mason of Virginia , the object of this design was to arm the state legislatures with “some means of defending themselves against encroachments of the national government…And what better means can we provide than [to give] them some share in, or rather to make them a constituent part of, the national establishment?” 8
Madison explained that the House of Representatives was always regarded as a “national” institution because its members were elected directly by the people, but “the Senate, on the other hand, will derive its powers from the states.[and in this respect] the government is federal, not national.” 9 In other words, the government in Washington is a “federal” government only if it incorporates the states into its very structure.
The founders even cautioned us about the dangers of altering this arrangement. For example, Fisher Ames of Massachusetts declared in 1788: “The state governments are essential parts of the system.The senators represent the sovereignty of the states…they are in the quality of ambassadors of the states…[But suppose] that they [were] to be chosen by the people at large…Whom, in that case, would they represent? Not the legislatures of the states, but the people. This would totally obliterate the federal features of the Constitution. What would become of the state governments, and on whom would devolve the duty of defending them against the encroachments of the federal government?” 10
But in 1913 we rejected this counsel and adopted the 17th Amendment. Since that time, senators have been elected by popular vote-and the states have had no official representation in Washington . The results have been so disastrous that, from the sobering perspective of our day, Jefferson’s warning of 1821 seems almost prophetic: “When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” 11
Let’s Give the U.S. Senate Back to the States!
As we noted earlier, the only way to restore American federalism is to reinstate the principles on which it was built. If we want a genuine federal government again, with the balance and controls originally provided by our Constitution, we must repeal the 17th Amendment.
The United States is a republic, not a democracy; we don’t need a second House of Representatives. Since all national legislation must be passed by both houses of Congress, why not give the Senate back to the states? As full participants in the legislative process, they could effectively block any laws, taxes, or appropriations which they considered to be unconstitutional or otherwise harmful to the states or the people.
Repealing the 17th Amendment is the safest, most effective, and most permanent solution to the current predicament in our federal system. Consider the strategies that the states are now using:
Over the years many states have lobbied Congress to reduce the burden of “unfunded mandates” imposed by the central government. Under President Clinton a law imposing certain restrictions on such mandates was passed, but these restrictions didn’t go far enough, and they can be eliminated at any time by a simple majority vote in Congress. Even worse, the new legislation does nothing at all about Washington ‘s unlawful seizure of the decision-making powers reserved to the states. A few states have filed lawsuits against the national government for specific violations of the Constitution. The problem with this approach is that the outcome is in the hands of the federal courts. And as James Madison observed, the legislative and executive branches of government are not the only potential threats to our liberty: “The judicial department, also, may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution.” 12
In an attempt to “reassert their rights” under the 10th Amendment, several state legislatures have passed resolutions declaring state sovereignty and demanding that Washington stop usurping their authority. Such resolutions are philosophically correct, but they provide no enforcement mechanism to restrain the central government. Some have suggested that the states could add “teeth” to their declarations by impounding federal taxes or by voluntarily returning federal funds issued for unconstitutional programs. However, these suggestions seem to overlook a harsh reality: the states have become so dependent on federal dollars that they are now subservient to Washington -and until that relationship changes, they are not likely to take decisive action.
Some states have revived the idea of participating in a proposed “Conference of the States”. But while the 10th Amendment movement doesn’t go far enough, some fear that this proposal runs the risk of going too far. Conference organizers, who believe that “fundamental, long-term, structural change” is needed to revive federalism, have discussed several constitutional amendments that could be recommended to Congress and the states. 13 NCCS shares the concerns expressed by others regarding some of these amendments, but we’re in agreement on the need for structural change-because that’s the only way to reverse the radical power shift that undermined our federal system in 1913. And as we contemplate what kind of change would be in the best interests of our nation, we come to this question: Who’s going to devise a better solution than the inspired model established by our founding fathers?
The 17th Amendment was a grievous mistake. Isn’t it time to make the states part of our federal government again? By resuming their rightful place in the Senate, the states can become partners in developing national policy-rather than underlings who must humbly petition Washington for favors, or adversaries whose only means of self-defense is a constitutional crisis.
In today’s political climate, repealing the 17th Amendment may appear to be an impossible feat. But if our citizens and leaders are educated in the American “freedom formula,” it can be done. In fact, there’s never been a more opportune time for such a campaign. In 1913, public confidence in the state legislatures was at its lowest ebb; but now the states are widely regarded, even by many in Washington , as far more competent and trustworthy than our national government. The opponents of federalism will try to sow confusion and alarm about the “loss of democratic institutions,” but those who understand the founders’ teachings will not be deceived.
Earl Taylor, Jr.
President of NCCS, Seminars, Newsletters
- To Judge Spencer Roane, 27 June 1821; in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert Ellery Bergh, 20 vols. (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1907), 15:328; emphasis in original.
- To President George Washington, opinion against the constitutionality of a national bank, 15 February 1791; in Writings of Thomas Jefferson 3;146.
- U.S. v. Butler, 297 U.S. 65, 66 (1936); emphasis added.
- U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 3, paragraph 1.
- James Iredell, remarks in the North Carolina ratifying convention, 25 July 1788; in Jonathan Elliot, ed., The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, 2d ed. Rev., 5 vols. (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1907), 4:38.
- Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers (1788; New York : Mentor Books, 1961), No. 62, p. 378.
- Remarks in the Constitutional Convention, 7 June 1787; in Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 , rev. ed., 4 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1937), 1:155-56; emphasis added.
- Federalist Papers , No. 39, p. 244; emphasis in original.
- Remarks in the Massachusetts ratifying convention, 19 January 1788; in Elliot 2:46; emphasis added.
- To C. Hammond, 18 July 1821; in Writings of Thomas Jefferson 15:332.
- Report on the Virginia Resolutions, January 1800; in Elliot 4:549.
“Conference of the States: An Action Plan to Restore Balance in the Federal System” (concept paper adopted by the Council of State Governments, the National Governors’ Association, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 December 1994), p. 4, 8-9.
By Dr. Earl Taylor, Jr
During this past month, my wife, my daughter, and I spent eight days in the Dominican Republic (D.R.). This large Caribbean island was the site of Columbus’ third voyage landing. Many monuments and other structures have been erected to memorialize Columbus. The largest, El Faro de Colon, or The Columbus Lighthouse, was constructed for the 1992 celebration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in 1492. It is interesting that inscribed on the face of this monument are several Old Testament scriptures and several other quotes of Plato, Aristotle, and Seneca, all referring to some great distant land or people or culture to be discovered yet in the future.
We were privileged to visit many people in many different situations. Some lived in the most humble of circumstances, with nothing but a tin or rotting wood roof over their heads. Others had better living conditions but still not approaching what most enjoy in the U.S.
During some of the discussions with those few who could speak a little English, I was anxious to discuss the political and economic situation in the D.R. To no surprise, I heard from some a great desire to go to the United States. Of course, the only way to legally get to the United States is to have an immediate family member already in the U.S. or to have a work contract with a U.S. company. Most have neither of these and so are left with trying to get here in ways we consider illegal. Dominicans who do try usually attempt to get to Puerto Rico, a U.S. possession just east of the D.R. A few others try to get to Venezuela and then make their way up through Mexico and attempt to cross the border in to the U.S.
With several of these Dominicans, my conversation went like this: “You seem to have freedom in your country. You seem to buy and sell what you want and travel and live where you want. You seem to have freedom of religion. You seem to be able to do what you want. Why do you want to go to America?” Their replies were most interesting. They said to me, “It looks like we are free but there are not many jobs here and it is so expensive to live here. If you want to start a business, the government requires a huge sum of money for permission. Few people have that much money and so most people who have businesses just pay some government official and he will let you do it.” It also seems to be common knowledge among some people that money given to the D.R. in U.S. foreign aid, which has been about $70 million per year, never goes to the people. They say the leaders keep it. The people also know that their country has a constitution with a three-branch government–a legislature, a president, and a judiciary.
I asked what they hoped to find in America. They said in America there are more jobs so that I can support my family. There is more freedom to work and to start a business. In America, they said, the government doesn’t take all your money. You can save and build. One person said to me that in America it just seems to work better.
Such is the hope of many people in the world. They continue to look to America as their only hope.
My conclusions are that even though they have a form of good government, even modeled after ours, there are major problems mostly stemming with the lack of morality and virtue among the people and leaders. The monetary system is based on paper money and thereby is prone to huge inflation caused by leaders who just print more money for their needs. It takes 33 pesos to now equal one US dollar. There is wholesale corruption among government workers which leads to bribery for favors in business. There is little enforcement of law and order as seen by the fact that nearly everyone has bars on doors and windows and driving is chaotic. Heavy taxation discourages people from working and saving.
I am sure most of those people do not realize the root cause of their problems in that country. They think they are free but they know things are just not working and they want to escape. Or they become vulnerable to more socialist ideas which deceptively promise a better life. They are currently involved in a presidential election and the streets are filled with campaign slogans and promises of all kinds.
Shades of our own problems?
During these conversations I thought these people sure have an idealistic picture of conditions in the U.S. I thought how we are facing some of the very same difficulties in our own land-and for the very same reasons. Our Founders built our system to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and yet many are finding it is not working for them either. Our monetary system is not the one required by the Constitution and is on the brink of collapse. Nearly every day we hear of corruption in high places and among other influential people. Law and order is breaking down to where more security is required in our homes and businesses. We, too, are in the midst of a presidential election only to find that those most likely to be elected are promising solutions that sound more like old deceptive socialist platforms than the Founders’ proven constitutional solutions. The situation brings to mind the statement of James Madison concerning the importance of basic goodness or virtue in the people:
“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 [ridiculous] 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 upon their [our elected officials] virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”
The solution will come only from a moral, virtuous, and informed people
In keeping with Madison’s feelings, in the end the people must recover themselves. He further said:
“As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter under which the [power of the] several branches of government … is derived, it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory to recur to the same original authority … whenever any one of the departments may commit encroachments on the chartered authorities of the others.”
Thomas Jefferson had great confidence in the people to correct serious errors in their government. He would say to local and state governments today that they do not have to completely submit to federal pressures and programs. In fact, local governments should be the ones to stand up and say enough is enough
The following are incredible observations and advice from Jefferson. To me, they stand without the need of comment. Jefferson is both bold and comforting in his expressions of confidence in the people in recovering from seemingly impossible odds. Please read and ponder his council to those of us who are concerned about our beloved country:
- Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.
- The influence over government must be shared among all the people. If every individual which composes their mass participates of the ultimate authority, the government will be safe..
- The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless.They will be forgotten.and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights.
- It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
- I am persuaded myself that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves. The people are the only censors of their governors; and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty.
- The people, especially when moderately instructed, are the only safe, because the only honest, depositories of the public rights, and should therefore be introduced into the administration of them in every function to which they are sufficient. They will err sometimes and accidentally, but never designedly and with a systematic and persevering purpose of overthrowing the free principles of the government.
- Say.whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
- Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
- If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
- The spirit of 1776 is not dead. It has only been slumbering. The body of the American people is substantially republican. But their virtuous feelings have been played on by some fact with more fiction; they have been the dupes of artful maneuvers, and made for a moment to be willing instruments in forging chains for themselves. But time and truth have dissipated the delusion and opened their eyes.
- The lesson we have had [i.e., from Federalist excesses] will probably be useful to the people at large by showing to them how capable they are of being made the instruments of their own bondage.
- The firmness with which the people have withstood the late abuses of the press, the discernment they have manifested between truth and falsehood, show that they may safely be trusted to hear everything true and false, and to form a correct judgment between them.
- My confidence.in my countrymen generally leaves me without much fear for the future.
- A people having no king to sell them for a mess of pottage for himself, no shackles to restrain their powers of self-defense, find resources within themselves equal to every trial. This we did during the Revolutionary War, and this we can do again, let who will attack us, if we act heartily with one another.
- Lay down true principles and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascendancy of the people.
- Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law.
- [A] people [can become] so demoralized and depraved as to be incapable of exercising a wholesome control..Their minds [are] to be informed by education what is right and what wrong, to be encouraged in habits of virtue and deterred from those of vice by the dread of punishments, proportioned, indeed, but irremissible; in all cases, to follow truth as the only safe guide and to eschew error, which bewilders us in one false consequence after another in endless succession. These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure of order and good government.
- I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power. (All quotes excerpted from The Real Thomas Jefferson , pp. 574-578)
Former Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, expressed similar confidence in the people’s ability to weather the storm and recover our beloved Constitution when he said:
“I have faith that the Constitution will be saved.. But it will not be saved in Washington. It will be saved by citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened.men and women who will subscribe to and abide the principles of the Constitution.” ( The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner , 1986, p. 30-31)
In our efforts to save the Constitution, let us not forget the many other elective offices to be filled periodically. It can be a powerful and persuasive check for state governments to say to the federal government, “No, we won’t take your money and nor be bound by the strings that come with it.” That takes courage-it takes Founding Fathers’ type of courage, but there are people, who, if they were elected to these offices, would do just that. Some states have or are now considering, for example, telling the federal government they are opting out of the intrusive No Child Left Behind education law. There are many other ways the people can begin to assert themselves.
Judging from the increase in requests for seminars around the country to study the Constitution in the tradition of the Founders, the people are responding to restore this precious document of freedom. Please consult our website to learn about having seminars in your area (http://www.nccs.net/seminars/index.html)
Earl Taylor, Jr.
President of NCCS, Seminars, Newsletters
By Dr. Earl Taylor, Jr.
Do you know how many new laws you’re expected to obey in 2013?
Whatever the number, when we combine all lawmaking activities at the federal, state, and local levels, we can see that every U.S. citizen is bound by literally hundreds of new government mandates each year. As business owners and others can attest, it’s becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to comply with these constantly changing legal requirements-or even to keep track of them all!
According to Richard Strong, Utah’s director of legislative research, there is a growing trend in American society to have legislators pass new laws for every ill: “People are turning to government to solve problems. Government is expected to come to the table on anything and everything.”
To Be Just, the Law Must Be Limited
Sadly, this is the very situation our Founding Fathers warned us against. In 1788 James Madison wrote: “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they… undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?” (see The Five Thousand Year Leap, p. 246)
Since law is force, it should be restricted to the one purpose for which individuals may legitimately use force–to protect our natural rights. As Thomas Jefferson put it in his First Inaugural Address, the law should “restrain men from injuring one another” but “leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits.”
Therefore, whenever a new bill comes before a legislative body, each member ought to ask himself.. “Do I have the right to use force against my neighbor to achieve this goal? Would I be willing to forcibly take his property, lock him in jail, or (in some cases) put him to death for failing to obey this law?” If a legislator isn’t certain it would be just to do so, he should vote against the bill.
In this and other ways, laws should always conform to basic moral principles. As French statesman Frederic Bastiat observed in 1848, “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.” (The Law, p. 12)
Natural Law: The Basis of Moral Government
But how can we ensure that our laws are morally sound? Throughout human history, enlightened societies have sought to accomplish this goal by developing their legal codes in accordance with Natural Law. America’s founders knew all about natural law, and they regarded it as an essential element in our nation’s “freedom and unity” formula. Indeed, the Declaration of Independence begins with an appeal to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”
What is natural law? First of all, Cicero defines Natural Law as “true law.” Then he says:
“True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.” (The Five thousand Year Leap, p. 40)
In 1764, Massachusetts patriot James Otis defined Natural Law as “the rules of moral conduct implanted by nature in the human mind, forming the proper basis for and being superior to all written laws; the will of God revealed to man through his conscience.”(Annals of America, 2:11) Closely tied to the idea of natural law are other vital principles such as justice, equality, and natural rights. In explaining his reasons for opposing an unjust revenue act passed by the British parliament Otis further declared, “The supreme power in a state is jus dicere [to declare the law only]: jus dare [to give the law], strictly speaking, belongs alone to God…. There must be in every instance a higher authority, [namely,] God. Should an act of Parliament be against any of His natural laws, which are immutably true, their declaration would be contrary to eternal truth, equity, and justice, and consequently void.”
When the U.S. Constitution was completed, its framers looked upon it as an expression of this higher law. According to Madison, it was a product of “the transcendent law of nature.” Alexander Hamilton called it “a fundamental law” and concluded that “no legislative act… contrary to the Constitution can be valid.” (Federalist Papers, Nos. 43 & 78)
Who Taught the Founders About This?
Where did the Founders learn about natural law? In their historical and political studies, it was a familiar thread that ran through the Greek and Roman philosophers (such as Aristotle, Demosthenes, Seneca, and especially Cicero); the Anglo-Saxon tradition of common law; and many of the European and English political philosophers (such as Sir Edward Coke, John Locke, Baron Charles de Montesquieu, and Sir William Blackstone).
This passage from Blackstone is representative of what they encountered in their reading: “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator…. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such, among others, are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to everyone his due…. This law of nature… is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.” (The Five Thousand Year Leap, p. 138)
The Bible and Natural Law
But the most ancient and most influential source from which the Founders drew their understanding of natural law was the Holy Bible, which they had studied from their childhood. “I will give thee… a law,” the Lord declared to Moses (Exodus 24:12), and He inscribed it on stone tablets to govern the house of Israel. When they vowed to obey this law, God accepted their covenant and promised that if they remained faithful He would make them “high above all nations … an holy people unto the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 26: 16-19)
The Israelites were forbidden to alter the words received by Moses, for “the law of the Lord is perfect.” (Psalm 19:7) “Great peace have they which love [the] law,” (Psalm 119:165) their leaders taught. “He that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29:18) The Lord also revealed to the prophet Jeremiah that in the last days He would “make a new covenant with the house of Israel,… I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
In the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed that the two greatest commandments are to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” and to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” and that “on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” The Apostle James spoke of Christ’s gospel as “the perfect law of liberty.” (James 1:25)
Biblical teachings had a powerful impact on America’s founders. In fact, between the years 1760 and 1805, the Bible was the most frequently cited source in American political writings. John Adams, who regarded politics as “the divine science,” once said: “Suppose a nation… should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. What a paradise would this region be!” (Quoted by Norman Cousins, In God We Trust, New York: Harper Brothers, 1958, p. 362)
America Was Built on Natural Law
As our forefathers sought to build “one nation under God,” they purposely established their legal codes on the foundation of Natural Law. They believed that societies should be governed, as Jefferson put it, by “the moral law to which man has been subjected by his Creator, and of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him. The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature accompany them into a state of society,… their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation.” (Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 3:228)
Throughout the first century of US. history, natural law was upheld as a key principle of government by the American people and their leader, not only by Presidents and the Congress, but also by the Supreme Court.
In the view of the Court, its members were to decide cases by exercising “that understanding which Providence has bestowed upon them.” (Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1, 186-87, 1824). Since the laws they adjudicated were based on “the preexisting and higher authority of the laws of nature,” (The West River Bridge Company v. Joseph Dix, 47 U.S. 507, 532, 1848), they relied less on judicial precedent than on “eternal justice as it comes from intelligence… to guide the conscience of the Court.” (Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 39 U.S. 210, 225, 1840).
So What Happened in the Twentieth Century?
In the 1900s, however, the Court began to depart from the original American philosophy. By 1947, Justice Hugo Black (following the earlier reasoning of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes) was urging that “the ‘natural law’ formula … should be abandoned”; he even argued that it was “a violation of our Constitution!” (Adamson v. California, 332 U.S. 46, 75, 1947).The other branches of the federal government have also succumbed to this new line of thinking.
Today, the United States has all but severed its connection to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” We’ve sold our birthright for a “mess of pottage,” and we now find ourselves harvesting the fruits of that decision. In the recent words of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith H. Jones, our country has plunged into a profound moral crisis “because we have lost the sense of a God who takes interest in what we do.” As a result, she says, we have come to tolerate violence, immorality, and the disintegration of our families-and “are only now beginning to reap the whirlwind consequences” of these evils.
We are reminded of this sober admonition from the Old Testament Prophet Hosea: “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land…. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, … seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
We Must Return to the “Freedom and Unity” Formula
More than ever before, America needs moral, God-fearing statesmen who have the knowledge, integrity, and determination to lead us back to the inspired principles on which this nation was founded. Among the most important of these is natural law. Only by adhering to this law, which is the will of our Creator revealed through the scriptures and through the conscience of every person, can our society enjoy lasting peace, stability, and happiness.
In modern times, many people have accepted the notion that all “truth” is relative and thus every opinion is equally valid, even in life’s most crucial issues. Such a philosophy inevitably tends toward confusion, corruption, and social discord. But absolute, eternal truth-the very substance of natural law-provides a sure standard for consensus by which we can “form a more perfect union” without violating the free will of any citizen.
In fact, we may say that revealed truth is the very center of America’s original freedom and unity formula. Thomas Jefferson pointed out that the divine truths implanted in us by heaven are “those principles … in which God has united us all.” Ironically, they not only unify us but also liberate us, as our Savior assured His disciples. “Ye shall know the truth,” He said, “and the truth shall make you free.”
Family and Community Applications
Here are a few suggestions that can help each of us implement these important principles in our homes and communities:
- Discuss the ideas in this letter with your family members, friends, and neighbors.
- Sponsor or attend an NCCS seminar in your community. Before the Founders’ formula can be restored, it must be taught to far more Americans. Through the voluntary efforts of dedicated patriots like you, we’ve recently conducted successful programs in Texas, Washington, Idaho, and several other locations.
- Study and ponder the Holy Scriptures and the Founders’ teachings in order to understand the “laws of nature” that should govern us individually and as a society. Influence your political leaders to act in accordance with these truths.
- Study current legislation on the state and federal levels and decide which conform to Natural Law principles and which violate it. How would you, for example, evaluate the following in terms of Natural Law? Congress recently considered a bill authorizing the release of $385 million for international family planning. Natural Law dictates that every person has an unalienable right to beget one’s kind and that any attempt to forcibly interfere with one’s right to do so is preventing the human race from propagating itself. In other words, it’s race suicide. A Congressman who lets Natural Law be his guide would never vote for such a bill. Yet it passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the President on February 29th. America will incur the wrath of the Creator not only for funding abortions in our own land but for providing the funding to other nations to forcibly restrict their citizens from having children. Another Natural Law concept violated in this action was the giving of taxpayer funds to foreign entities. This violates the wishes of the owners of this money as expressly given in the Constitution. Most state legislatures are currently in session which provides a convenient opportunity to examine closely the action of one’s own local legislators. Such an exercise would surprise most Americans.
- Pray for America, its leaders, and its citizens. Congress has declared the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer; this annual event is supported by many churches and by Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family, and we strongly endorse it. God still controls the destiny of all nations, and He will respond to our fervent prayers. He can withhold His judgments for the sake of a righteous minority (see Genesis 18:20-32), So it’s also vital that we strive to live by the truths He has revealed.
How grateful we are to be involved with you in this important cause! May the Lord bless and sustain you in your efforts.
Earl Taylor, Jr.
PS: To learn more about natural law, read W. Cleon Skousen, The Five Thousand Year Leap, pages 37-47 and 131-39.
by Gary DeMar
A California elementary school is offering a toy gun buyback program. Liberal geniuses claim that “playing with toys guns, saying ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ desensitizes children.” So as they get older, it’s easier for them to use a real gun.”
So now we know why liberals want to take more money from us in the form of taxes. Money “desensitizes” us to the plight of the poor. So through market intervention and higher taxes, the government makes more poor people.
I played with toy guns as a child, and when I didn’t have a toy gun, I made one out of wood. I’ve never shot anyone. When a toy gun isn’t available, young buys will find a stick or use their own 11974436-largefingers to gun-pretend. Murder is a heart thing, not a gun thing. (Col. 2:21–23; Mark 7:14–15). People are killed in many different ways and for many reasons. A woman in Georgia murdered two husbands with anti-freeze.
Teaching children responsibility and practicing it ourselves (gun safety) is the best remedy against gun violence. It doesn’t hurt to teach a moral worldview that puts God at the center of decision making and choices and recognizing that murder is striking at the image of God (Gen. 9:6). Such things are not permitted to be taught today.
Societies that introduce children to wine at an early age have fewer problems with alcohol later in life. If you teach children to eat well at an early age, most of them will grow up continuing those healthy eating habits. This isn’t always the case, but now we’re back to a sinful nature.
If children are taught at an early age how to handle a weapon and are shown the dangerous effects of a weapon, generally they will grow up respecting a gun’s power.
None of this is to say that there will never be violence, alcoholism, or obesity, but there will certainly be less of it.
Liberal social theory has a long history of making everything worse. When government gets involved in market and social changes, somebody always loses. Voluntary economic transactions result in a win-win experience between buyer and seller. Socialists hate this truth because it leaves them out of the transaction process and reduces their political power.
Liberals believe that if the economy is equalized through intervention and planning, everybody will be equal. It’s true. Everybody gets equally poor. A microcosm of the policy can be seen in Cuba. The only people who are prosperous are the government leaders who have a license to steal. Take a look at a satellite photo of North and South Korea at night.
Interventionists also believe that if they pass out condoms and create subsidy programs for young girls, children born out-of-wedlock will be a thing of the past. Ask me how these interventionist programs are working across the country? Let’s look at Richmond, VA:
First Things First, an organization dedicated to keeping dads involved in kids’ lives, reports that 60 percent of all families in the city of Richmond are single-parent households. Within the African-American demographic, that number spikes up to 86 percent, a number that surpasses the national average.
Bleeding heart liberals contend that with government involvement, people will become responsible with their lives and the lives of others. There’s no price to pay for stupidity if there’s always someone there to bail out idiots.
We saw the disastrous economic results with the home-loan bailout programs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With Uncle Sam in the wings to buy up default loans, lenders were quick to lend money to anybody who could sign their name to a mortgage note. No job or income stream was necessary.
When banks and other lending institutions were responsible for bad loans, they were much more cautious. It was government intervention that forced banks to loan to people who had no economic business getting a loan.
There is a predictable economic principle: The more you pay for something, the more of it you’ll get. If you pay people to be irresponsible; you will get more irresponsibility.
The assumption is that if kids don’t play with toy guns they won’t play with real guns. This is nonsense.
“Having a group of children playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians is a normal part of growing up,” Yih-Chau Chang, spokesman for the gun rights group Responsible Citizens of California, told the Daily Review. “While the intentions are obviously good on the part of the school administration, this doesn’t really educate children about guns or gun safety.”
There was a time when gun violence was relegated to criminal gangs, once again with government intervention being a catalyst (e.g., prohibition).
Here’s what I propose. Collect all the toy guns you can, take the cash, and buy a real gun and teach your children how to use it and treat it with respect. With power comes responsibility. The sooner a child learns this truth, the sooner he’ll make his way well in the world.
About the Author Gary DeMar Gary is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He is the author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, His most recent book is Exposing the Real Last Days Scoffers. Gary lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and four grandchildren, Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA). –
Greg Gutfeld opened the June 6th broadcast of The Five by talking about the IRS scandal and asking “What can we do as Americans right now? This seems like a golden opportunity to go after a bloated bureaucracy, clean it out and create something.”
The answer is to spark a national protest demanding limited government by doing 3 things:
First, unhide our taxes.
Even the 47% who don’t pay federal income tax pay taxes. During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said “There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what…” and “These are people who pay no income tax.” Obama’s media machine, including Stephen Colbert, immediately exploited the opportunity to further brand Romney as a typical out-of-touch rich guy. Romney defended his remarks as inelegant, but should have followed the advice of his father to be bold. Rather than dismissing them as a given megagroup voting bloc for the other side, why not recruit them?
People are unaware of how enormous the average person’s total tax burden is because it’s either hidden or dispersed across a wide spectrum of goods and services. Fair Tax advocates speak about hidden (embedded) taxes in mind-numbing detail, putting everyone to sleep. Keep people awake by making it simple. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s short and memorable 2003 rant helped him win California’s governorship: “From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet, they are taxed. When they go get a coffee, they are taxed. When they get in their car, they are taxed. When they go to the gas station they are taxed. When they go to lunch, they are taxed. This goes on all day long. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax.”
Nothing has changed since 2003. During the recent LA mayoral primary all the candidates came out against a ½ percent sales tax increase. Why? It’s visible to everyone. When given a choice, nobody likes paying taxes and, as expected, the small increase was voted down. Explain to voters that they unknowingly pay an enormous percentage of their income in taxes and they will be comparing and complaining all the way to the ballot box. A typical Los Angeles resident, who is single, earning $65,000 per annum with a standard deduction, can end up paying $23,072 or more than 35% of earned income in various taxes, as demonstrated by the following example:
|Federal income tax, social security, & Medicare||
|CA state income tax||
|CA SDI @ 1%||
|Federal and state gas tax||
|Embedded taxes @ 22% on $10K of purchases||
|Los Angeles sales tax @ 9% on $10K of purchases||
|Property taxes embedded in rent or paid directly||
Furthermore, this example doesn’t include utility taxes, phone taxes, sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol, and many other taxes.
This will be an eye-opener for most Angelinos in the same way that it was for California resident Bill Maher when he learned just how much of the total tax load he carries by being rich. He said “And here in California, I just want to say, liberals, you could actually lose me.” The fact that this new knowledge caused him to question his liberal ties proves just how potent taxation is as an argument for limited government.
Second, expose the wealthy and well-connected hypocrites who give away other peoples’ freedom.
Rich people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who want the rich to pay more taxes, sacrifice nothing. If they don’t like the TSA, they can charter a flight. They can proudly support gun control laws and hire armed guards. Even if strict environmental regulations are violated by someone like Sean Parker, he can afford the fines. Money is freedom because it gives you the power of choice regardless of obstacles.
Campaign promises to increase taxes on only big business and the wealthy are a political ruse. Everyone pays, no matter how narrowly such taxes may be defined. If you raise income tax rates on businesses, the additional tax will increase the price of the merchandise and buyers from all income levels will end up paying it. Or, increasing prices may cause sales to decline as more and more customers are unable to afford the product. And, when sales go down, people lose jobs. Raise taxes on the rich and they have less to invest, reducing economic activity and employment, if they don’t lobby for a loophole, assuring that the tax burden falls on someone else’s doorstep.
Government power gained from higher taxes and increased regulations can be used by politicians to bestow favors and create tax loopholes, thereby keeping campaign contributions flowing from the wealthy and well-connected. If Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are really concerned about middle-class Americans, they should become proponents of limited government and advocate ending the favors and closing the loopholes that they both enjoy.
Third, refine and co-opt the liberal talking point “we are the government.”
A popular liberal argument is: “Government is not evil because we are the government.” If we elect representatives from amongst ourselves to govern us, how can we complain and why should we fear tyranny when there will always be another election?
There are two problems with this argument.
First, Conservatives generally do not believe that government is inherently evil, but are wary of what can happen as its power increases. Governing is a human endeavor subject to myriad human failings, the consequences of which are magnified as it grows in size and scope. Refine the argument by pointing out that once an ordinary citizen crosses the line from the private sector to a government post, they immediately have the force of the government behind them. Think about TSA and IRS employees. Do you watch what you say or how you behave around them? Unlike the rest of us, they can inflict varying degrees of misery on people based on their authority.
Second, oftentimes people imbue government with the ability to magically handle problems in the most efficient and equitable manner possible. Co-opt the argument by explaining that since we elect representatives from amongst ourselves, they are just like us and the people we know, with all the flaws, shortcomings, and varying degrees of skill and judgment that come with being human, including the potential for abuse of power. We should only delegate that which we cannot do for ourselves, like national defense, so that any negative outcomes have a smaller impact.
George Washington said “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” It is as true today as it was at our founding because human nature has not progressed.
All of the above ideas need to be disseminated and repeated as core talking points of conservative and libertarian pundits and politicians when they discuss how to solve problems. Limiting the size of the federal government in accordance with the Constitution should become the default position, not tinkering with the tax code and the growing mountain of regulations, greater oversight or coming to a compromise.
As soon as you have a majority of the people clamoring for lower taxes, smaller government and more freedom, a charismatic, eloquent leader will appear. People are drawn to power for a lot of reasons: attention, admiration, public service, or simply the power itself. Those seeking power will jump in front of a parade once it becomes a potential route to power.
Jeanne C Minton is a retired financial executive and the author of Second Nature.