The Attack on America 2018
Before framing the Constitution, the Framers studied history for 500 years before Christ. Fearful of the public majority, they deliberated in secret with windows closed and the doors locked despite the sweltering summer heat in 1787. Their purpose was to identify the repetitive political failures that lead to the demise of political organizations, particularly governments. Successfully defining those elements required of successful and enduring governments using valid uncorrupted history as their guide, they created an order of law giving structure to the new government. This was a new experiment in freedom and justice for all.
Critical to all relationships of every size and composition, this “supreme law of the land” was binding on all parties. Further, because the intention of the makers of the law must be upheld for any organization to succeed, they established a due process by which any deviation from that original intention must be accomplished. Amendment of the Constitution required ratification by three fourths of the states. Similarly, always fearful of the public majority and intending to limit government, they instituted checks and balances on the structures of government, and the Electoral College.
The attack on America has been prosecuted by those violating the original intention of the Constitution. Proceeding because voters have not held those they elect to their oath of office to “protect and defend this Constitution” from “enemies, foreign and domestic”, every branch of government has displayed some injustice.
Recently, a doctrine of law that is foundational to the judicial process was violated by the legislative branch. That doctrine demands that all are innocent until proven guilty. Using character assassination, guilt by association, double standards, blatant lies and deceptions, and other means that are so despicable that the Framers and Founders never even considered addressing them, some members of Congress attack the Constitution itself. Without any valid evidence acceptable to any court of law, due process according to the Constitution is trashed.
The presumption of innocence has been repeatedly recognized and reaffirmed by this Court as a deeply- held and foundational principle underlying our justice system, long predating the adoption of the Constitution and firmly embedded within the “due process of law” protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. This Court has recognized that the presumption of innocence “is stated as unquestioned in textbooks, and has been referred to as a matter of course in the decisions of this court and in the court of the several states.”2 Simply put, “it is not within the province of a legislature to declare an individual guilty or presumptively guilty of a crime.”3
This principle – that all individuals are presumed innocent until validly convicted in a court of law – is “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” such that “neither liberty nor justice would exist if [it was] sacrificed.”4 The origins of the presumption go well beyond our own Anglo-American legal system, stretching back to Roman antiquity and beyond to the Old Testament. Infra pp. 6-7. The presumption was central to the English common law, including the writings of Sir William Blackstone. Infra p. 8. And disregard for the presumption of innocence was one of the motivating factors behind the Declaration of Independence at the time of this nation’s birth. Infra pp. 9-10. Moreover, the presumption of innocence has never been limited to criminal cases but extends through all the law. Infra pp. 11-14. Unsurprisingly, given that pedigree, the presumption of innocence has been repeatedly reaffirmed by this Court. Infra pp. 15-17.
- The Presumption of Innocence Is Deeply Rooted in Our Nation’s History and Tradition, Such That It Is Implicit in the Concept of Ordered Liberty.
The presumption of innocence is such a foundational principle – so suffusing every aspect of our legal system – that it is perhaps at risk of being taken for granted. This brief thus begins by tracing the origins of that principle, its extension beyond the requirement that criminal charges be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and its repeated application by the decisions of this Court.
- The Presumption of Innocence Has Deep Historical Roots.
The presumption of innocence has been called “a general principle of our political morality,”7 “a guardian angel,”8 the “cornerstone of Anglo-Saxon justice,”9 “a touchstone of American criminal jurisprudence,”10 “the golden thread that runs throughout the criminal law,”11 and the “focal point of any concept of due process.”12 This basic principle traces its roots far past our nation’s Founding, through English common law to writings from antiquity and even the Old Testament.
Several writers have observed the Biblical foundations of the presumption of innocence.13 In the Book of Genesis, after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God did not summarily punish them but instead summoned them to hear their pleas:
“Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman, whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”14
Thus, even an omniscient God did not presume Adam and Eve to be guilty, but only inflicted punishment after obtaining proof through confessions (and presumably rejecting Adam’s defense of entrapment and Eve’s defense of fraud). The presumption of innocence found even more concrete expression in the Book of Deuteronomy, which states that “[o]ne witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime” and instructs judges to “make a thorough investigation” before inflicting punishment.15
The presumption of innocence can definitively be traced back to antiquity and the ancient Roman maxim, de quolibet homine presumitur quod sit bonus homo donec probetur in contrarium, meaning, “each person may be presumed to be a good man, until the contrary is proved.”16 A related maxim embodying the presumption of innocence stated, ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat, meaning “the burden of proving a fact rests on the party who asserts it, not on the party who denies it.”17 The Emperor Trajan, mean- while, wrote that a person should not “be condemned on suspicion; for it was preferable that the crime of a guilty man should go unpunished than an innocent man be condemned.”18
The presumption of innocence was once again picked up in the writings of Enlightenment philosophers. Voltaire, for instance, wrote of “that generous Maxim, ‘that “tis much more Prudence to acquit two Persons, tho” actually guilty, than to pass Sentence of Condemnation on one that is virtuous and innocent.’ ”19
From there, the presumption of innocence took firm root in English common law.20 Echoing Voltaire, as well as Emperor Trajan, Sir William Blackstone declared that “the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one person suffer.”21
Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England “not only provided a definitive summary of the common law, but was also a primary legal authority for 18th- and 19th-century American lawyers.”22 Influenced by both Voltaire and Blackstone, Benjamin Franklin, “our founding grandfather,”23 wrote, “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.”24
In fact, one of the motivations leading up to the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was the Crown’s disregard for this principle of innocent until proven guilty.25 The American colonists had many objections to the infamous Sugar Act of 1764 and its companion, the Stamp Act of 1765. In addition to the core complaint of taxation without representation,26 the colonists strongly objected to the enforcement provisions of the two statutes. Whereas in England actions asserting violations of similar laws were tried before a jury, cases alleging violations of the Sugar and Stamp Acts were to be tried in newly created American vice-admiralty courts where there were no jury trials.27
“The most onerous provisions”28 of the Acts required merchants whose vessels were seized for alleged customs violations to bear the burden of proving that they were not guilty.29 Thus, one grievance leading to the American Revolution was the Crown’s disregard for the presumption of innocence – a feature shared with Colorado’s scheme here.
The Parliament . . . guarding the People of the Realm, and securing to them the Benefit of a Tryal by the Law of the Land, and . . . depriving all Americans of that Privilege – What shall we say to this Distinction? Is there not in this.., a Brand of Infamy, of Degradation and Disgrace fixed upon every American? Is he not degraded below the Rank of an Englishman?’
Id. at 336 (quoting John Adams, Admiralty Notebook, in micro- films of the Papers of John Adams, pt. III, reel 184).
- The Presumption of Innocence Is Integral to the Concept of Justice and Due Process of Law.
The presumption of innocence extends well beyond the requirement that the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial and is, in fact, an axiomatic principle that defines the concept of justice and due process throughout our entire legal system. “[N]either liberty nor justice would exist if [it was] sacrificed.”30
The presumption of innocence is more than a simple evidentiary presumption, and instead reflects a long-standing societal judgment about the degree of legal process that is required to strip an individual of liberty and property. The presumption is a “shorthand description of the right of the accused to remain inactive and secure, until the prosecution has taken up its burden.”31 It “takes possession of this fact, innocence, as not now needing evidence, as already established prima facie.”32 In other words, the presumption does not depend on a judgment that an individual is in fact more likely innocent than guilty; indeed, as a factual matter, it might be more reasonable to assume that anyone who has been arrested and indicted is more likely guilty than not.33 Instead, the presumption stands for the basic proposition that a person can be deprived of rights to liberty or property only following a valid conviction by a court of law.
Respect for this presumption of innocence is foundational to the very concept of justice. The presumption emerged in the English common law as part of a profound transformation in the nature and function of legal proceedings, and it can be contrasted to other, medieval approaches to the administration of justice:
An accused did not have to demonstrate innocence by hands unscarred from hot coals, irons, or stones. An accused did not have to bring together twelve peers in a wager of law to swear that his or her oath of innocence was clean and trustworthy. God could no longer reveal the innocent from the murderer, thief, and robber. Proof of factual innocence was replaced by proof of legal guilt or its absence, legal innocence. Legal standards and burdens of proof acknowledged what ancient fact finders and jurists could not: Definitive proof of factual innocence was too much of a burden for mortals to bear.34
In other words, the presumption of innocence is intrinsic to the very idea of a rational and orderly justice system. The presumption marks the divide between a world where individuals can be subjected to arbitrary and irrational deprivations of their liberty and property – forced to win back their rights through an affirmative showing of innocence – and a world where rights can be infringed only following a valid legal judgment of guilt.
This “general rule of policy and sense” – that all persons shall be assumed, in the absence of evidence, to be free from blame – runs “through all the law.”35
It often has been stated in the context of criminal proceedings,36 but it is by no means limited to that context.37 To the contrary, its first appearance in the American colonial courts, an early (1657) decision of the General Court of Massachusetts, emphasized its broader applicability:
Whereas, in all civil cases depending in suit, the plaintiff affirmeth that the defendant hath done him wrong and accordingly presents his case for judgment and satisfaction, it behoveth both court and jury to see that the affirmation be proved by sufficient evidence, else the case must be found for the defendant; and so it is also in a criminal case, for in the eyes of the law every man is honest and innocent unless it be proved legally to the contrary.38
In other words, the presumption of innocence applies broadly beyond criminal cases and is integral to due process of law.
- This Court Has Consistently Recognized That the Presumption of Innocence Is Constitutionally Required.
Unsurprisingly, in light of the pedigree and importance of the presumption of innocence, this Court has long recognized the presumption of innocence as a touchstone of the American justice system. As early as 1827, the Court acknowledged that “the general rule of our jurisprudence is, that the party accused need not establish his innocence, but it is for the government itself to prove his guilt, before it is entitled to a verdict of conviction.”39
In Coffin v. United States, the Court explicitly recognized the presumption of innocence as a fundamental principle of criminal law. The question presented was whether the trial court had violated a defendant’s rights by not instructing the jury on the presumption of innocence. Before embarking on a detailed historical analysis of its origins, the Court characterized the presumption of innocence as “axiomatic and elementary,” affirming that “its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law.”40
Since then, the Court has repeatedly held that the presumption of innocence is constitutionally required. For example, in In re Winship, the Court held that juveniles, like adults, were entitled to proof beyond a reasonable doubt when charged with a violation of criminal law.41 The Court reiterated that the presumption of innocence, as a “bedrock” principle, was constitutionally required.42 In Estelle v. Williams, the Court declared that, “The presumption of innocence, although not articulated in the Constitution, is a basic component of a fair trial under our system of criminal justice.”43 And in Taylor v. Kentucky, the Court concluded that the presumption of innocence “is an element of Fourteenth Amendment due process, an essential of a civilized system of criminal procedure.”44
The Court has also adhered to this same principle in analyzing the constitutionality of legislation. In Tot v. United States, the Court rejected the idea that “the legislature might validly command that the finding of an indictment, or mere proof of the identity of the accused, should create a presumption of the existence of all the facts essential to guilt.”45 And in McFarland v. American Sugar Refining Co., the Court stated that “it is not within the province of a legislature to declare an individual guilty or presumptively guilty of a crime.”46
2 Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432, 454 (1895).
3 McFarland v. Am. Sugar Ref. Co., 241 U.S. 79, 86 (1916) (Holmes, J.), cited with approval by Patterson v. New York, 432 U.S.197, 209 (1977).
4 Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997) (quoting Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 325-26 (1937)).
7 William S. Laufer, The Rhetoric of Innocence, 70 Wash. L. Rev. 329, 338 (1995) (quoting William Twining, Rethinking Evidence: Exploratory Essays 208 (1990)).
8 Laufer, supra, at 338 (quoting James Bradley Thayer, A Preliminary Treatise on Evidence at the Common Law 553 (1898)).
9 Laufer, supra, at 338 (quoting Henry J. Abraham, The Judicial Process 96 (1993)).
10 Laufer, supra, at 338 (quoting People v. Layhew, 548 N.E..2d 25, 27 (Ill. App. Ct. 1989)).
11 Scott E. Sundby, The Reasonable Doubt Rule and the Meaning of Innocence, 40 Hastings L. J. 457, 457 (1988-1989) (citations omitted) (quoting Rupert Cross, The Golden Thread of the English Criminal Law: The Burden of Proof 2 (1976)).
12 Sundby, supra, at 457 (quoting Sandra Hertzberg & Carmela Zammuto, The Protection of Human Rights in the Criminal Process Under International Instruments and National Constitutions 16 (1981)).
13 See Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432, 454 (1895) (citing Simon Greenleaf, III, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence § 29, at 31 n.1 (Edmund H. Bennett & Chauncey Smith, eds., 1853) (tracing the presumption to Deuteronomy); see also Alexander Volokh, N. Guilty Men, 146 U. Pa. L. Rev. 173, 173, 178 (1997) (identifying biblical passages loosely related to the presumption of innocence).
14 Genesis 3:11-13.
15 Deuteronomy 19:15-20; see also Numbers 35:30.
16 James Bradley Thayer, The Presumption of Innocence in Criminal Cases, 6 Yale L. J. 185, 190 (1897).
17 Laufer, supra, at 332 n.14 (citing George P. Fletcher, Rethinking Criminal Law 520 (1978)).
18 Volokh, supra, at 178 (quoting Dig. 48.19.5 (Ulpian, De Officio Proconsulis 7).
19 See Dan Gifford, The Conceptual Foundations of Anglo- American Jurisprudence in Religion and Reason, 62 Tenn. L. Rev.759, 761 n.6 (1995) (quoting Respectfully Quoted 183 (Suzy Platt ed., 1992) (quotation from a 1974 translation of the 1749 version of Zadig).
20 In-depth treatments of these developments can be found in Anthony A. Morano, A Reexamination of the Development of the Reasonable Doubt Rule, 55 B.U. L. Rev. 507 (1975); Laufer, supra; Thayer, supra; and Jeff Thaler, Punishing the Innocent: The Need for Due Process and the Presumption of Innocence Prior to Trial, 1978 Wis. L. Rev. 441 (1978).
21 4 William Blackstone, Commentaries, *358 (1765).
22 Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 712 (1997).
23 See Dudley R. Herschbach, Our Founding Grandfather, Harv. Mag., Sept. 2003.
24 Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan (March 14, 1785) in 9 The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, 1783-1788, at 293 (Albert H. Smyth ed., 1906).
25 See Declarations and Resolves of the First Continental Congress (Oct. 14, 1774), available at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/resolves.asp.
26 See Samuel Adams, Report on the Sugar Act (May 1764), in Theodore Draper, A Struggle for Power: The American Revolution 219 (1996) (“If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves?”).
27 See Matthew P. Harrington, The Legacy of the Colonial Vice-Admiralty Courts (Part B), 27 J. Mar. L. & Comm. 323, 332 (1996) (noting this was “a constant source of irritation to the American colonists”). For example, John Adams argued that the use of the vice-admiralty courts to try trade cases placed an unfair burden on Americans:
28 Harrington, supra, at 333.
29 For example, Article XLV of the Sugar Act provided: [I]f any ship or goods shall be seized . . . and any dispute shall arise whether the customs and duties for such goods have been paid . . . then, and in such cases, the proof thereof shall lie upon the owner or claimer of such ship or goods, and not upon the officer who shall seize or stop the same; any law, custom, or usage, to the contrary notwithstanding.
The Sugar Act (Apr. 5, 1764) in Prologue to the Revolution: Sources and Documents on the Stamp Act Crisis 1764-1766, at 8 (Edmund S. Morgan ed., 2012).
30 Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997).
31 Taylor v. Kentucky, 436 U.S., 478, 483 n.12 (1978); see also id. (explaining that “the so-called ‘presumption’ is not evidence – not even an inference drawn from a fact in evidence – but instead is a way of describing the prosecution’s duty”); Commonwealth v. Webster, 59 Mass. 295 (1850), abrogated on other grounds by Commonwealth v. Russell, 470 Mass. 464 (2015) (“All the presumptions of law independent of evidence are in favor of innocence, and every person is presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty.”) (emphasis added).
32 Thayer, supra, at 199; see also id. (explaining that the presumption of innocence means that, even if a person is “under grave suspicion,” “he is not to suffer in your minds from these suspicions or this necessity of holding him confined and trying him”).
33 See Zechariah Chafee, The Progress of the Law, 35 Harv. L. Rev. 302, 314 (1922) (“There is no probability that a man indicted by a grand jury is usually innocent”); Thayer, supra, at 199 (“[I]f the jury were not thus called off from the field of natural inference, if they were allowed to range there wherever mere reason and human experience would carry them, the whole purpose of the presumption of innocence would be balked. For of the men who are actually brought up for trial, probably the large majority are guilty.”); id. at 188 (the presumption in favor of the defendant is a “maxim of policy and practical sense; it is not founded on any notion the defendants generally are [factually] free from blame.”).
34 Laufer, supra, at 331-32 (emphasis added).
35 Thayer, supra, at 189.
36 See Thayer, at 196; George P. Fletcher, Two Kinds of Legal Rules: A Comparative Study of Burden-of-Persuasion Practices in Criminal Cases, 77 Yale L. J. 880 (1967-1968) (arguing that the presumption of innocence and the requirement of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” are historically and philosophically distinct).
37 See, e.g., Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513, 526 (1958) (hold- ing, in civil tax-enforcement proceeding, that “[d]ue process commands that no man shall lose his liberty unless the Government has borne the burden of producing the evidence and convincing the factfinder of his guilt”).
38 Thayer, supra, at 189 (quoting 16 Records of Massachusetts, III., 434). See generally P. Thomas, Revolution in America: Britain and the Colonies, 1763-1776 at 67 (1992); David S. Lovejoy, Rights Imply Equality: The Case Against Admiralty Jurisdiction in America, 1764-1776, 16 Wm. & Mary Q. 459 (1959); C. Ubbelohde, The Vice-Admiralty Courts and the American Revolution 126-42, 154-58 (1960).
39 U.S. v. Gooding, 12 Wheat. 460, 471 (1827) (Story, J.). Other decisions suggest that the presumption of innocence has always been part of the American justice system. See, e.g., Hopt v. Utah, 120 U.S. 430, 439 (1887) (approving jury instruction adopted by lower court stating that “the law presumes the defendant innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”); Lilienthal’s Tobacco v. United States, 97 U.S. 237, 266 (1877) (“[I]n criminal trials the party accused is entitled to the legal presumption in favor of innocence, which, in doubtful cases, is always sufficient to turn the scale in his favor.”); see also Leland v. Oregon, 343 U.S.790, 802-03 (1952) (“[F]rom the time that the law which we have inherited has emerged from dark and barbaric times, the conception of justice which has dominated our criminal law has refused to put an accused at the hazard of punishment if he fails to re- move every reasonable doubt of his innocence”; rather, it is “the duty of the Government to establish his guilt,” a notion “basic in our law and rightly one of the boasts of a free society [and] a requirement and a safeguard of due process of law”) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting), cited with approval by In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 362 (1970).
40 156 U.S. 432, 453 (1895).
41 397 U.S. 358 (1970).
42 397 U.S. 358, 363 (1970) (observing that the reasonable doubt standard “provides concrete substance for the presumption of innocence”).
43 425 U.S. 501, 503 (1976) (Burger, C.J.).
44 436 U.S. 478, 486 n.13 (1978)
45 319 U.S. 463, 469 (1943)
46 241 U.S. 79, 86 (1916) (Holmes, J.), cited with approval by Patterson v. New York, 432 U.S. 197, 209 (1977)
The Truth Shall Set You Free
The following article is published in response to thousands of members’ and readers’ requests. Originally, it was not published, because the liberal progressive movement attacking America rejects any argument linked to religion dispelling their flawed false ideologies. They ignore the historical reality, quoting the “father of our country”, our first president, George Washington saying in his Farewell Address, that “Religion and morality are indispensable supports for our form of government.”. Joined by the vast majority of the other Framers and Founders, Washington repeatedly acknowledges “divine Providence”, and an immutable Law giving everything order.
The importance of this is that, as the primary requisite doctrine of law, the intention of the lawmakers is indelibly controlling in adjudicating political order in our republican democracy. The Framers’ and Founders’ Biblical worldview is the foundation of the Constitution, and it must be interpreted recognizing that fundamental tenet.
September 8, 2018
[As of Sunday, 9 September, 2018, over 6,500] Christian pastors, churches, organizations and leaders have signed an online statement affirming evangelicals’ rejection of “social justice” campaigns, which reflect the “values borrowed from secular culture” that are touted by numerous churches across the United States.
“[T]he project introduced just days ago [was] launched in response to a move by churches – including evangelical churches – into social activism.”
Social ‘injustice’ … according to the Bible
The declaration takes on “social justice warriors” in the Church who have misled evangelicals to believe that the politically correct movement is backed by the Bible.
“[The] statement from evangelicals … challenges those who believe ‘social justice’ is compatible with Christian teaching.” “[It] references copious numbers of statements from Scripture as it takes on the inroads it feels secular culture has made into the evangelical Church.”
The first words of the declaration attack the divisive “social justice” philosophy sweeping the nation and the Church through the mainstream media and education system, which consistently tout groups such as Black Lives Matter and glamorize athletes – including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to kneel for the National Anthem – for bashing police, whites, America and all it stands for … in the name of a so-called “civil rights” movement.
In view of questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word. Clarity on these issues will fortify believers and churches to withstand an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.
We submit these affirmations and denials for public consideration, not with any pretense of ecclesiastical authority, but with an urgency that is mixed with deep joy and sincere sorrow. The rapidity with which these deadly ideas have spread from the culture at large into churches and Christian organizations — including some that are evangelical and Reformed — necessitates the issuing of this statement now.
In the process of considering these matters we have been reminded of the essentials of the faith once for all handed down to the saints, and we are re-committed to contend for it. We have a great Lord and Savior, and it is a privilege to defend his gospel, regardless of cost or consequences. Nevertheless, while we rejoice in that privilege, we grieve that in doing so we know we are taking a stand against the positions of some teachers whom we have long regarded as faithful and trustworthy spiritual guides. It is our earnest prayer that our brothers and sisters will stand firm on the gospel and avoid being blown to and fro by every cultural trend that seeks to move the Church of Christ off course. We must remain steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
The Apostle Paul’s warning to the Colossians is greatly needed today: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). The document that follows is an attempt to heed that apostolic command. We invite others who share our concerns and convictions to unite with us in reasserting our unwavering commitment to the teachings of God’s Word articulated in this statement. Therefore, for the glory of God among his Church and throughout society, we offer the following affirmations and denials.
We affirm that the Bible is God’s Word, breathed out by him. It is inerrant, infallible, and the final authority for determining what is true (what we must believe) and what is right (how we must live). All truth claims and ethical standards must be tested by God’s final Word, which is Scripture alone.
We deny that Christian belief, character, or conduct can be dictated by any other authority, and we deny that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching. We further deny that competency to teach on any biblical issue comes from any qualification for spiritual people other than clear understanding and simple communication of what is revealed in Scripture.
We Affirm that God created every person equally in his own image. As divine image-bearers, all people have inestimable value and dignity before God and deserve honor, respect and protection. Everyone has been created by God and for God.
We deny that God-given roles, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, sex or physical condition or any other property of a person either negates or contributes to that individual’s worth as an image-bearer of God.
We affirm that since he is holy, righteous, and just, God requires those who bear his image to live justly in the world. This includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due. We affirm that societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.
We deny that true justice can be culturally defined or that standards of justice that are merely socially constructed can be imposed with the same authority as those that are derived from Scripture. We further deny that Christians can live justly in the world under any principles other than the biblical standard of righteousness. Relativism, socially-constructed standards of truth or morality, and notions of virtue and vice that are constantly in flux cannot result in authentic justice.
We affirm that God’s law, as summarized in the ten commandments, more succinctly summarized in the two great commandments, and manifested in Jesus Christ, is the only standard of unchanging righteousness. Violation of that law is what constitutes sin.
We deny that any obligation that does not arise from God’s commandments can be legitimately imposed on Christians as a prescription for righteous living. We further deny the legitimacy of any charge of sin or call to repentance that does not arise from a violation of God’s commandments.
We affirm that all people are connected to Adam both naturally and federally. Therefore, because of original sin everyone is born under the curse of God’s law and all break his commandments through sin. There is no difference in the condition of sinners due to age, ethnicity, or sex. All are depraved in all their faculties and all stand condemned before God’s law. All human relationships, systems, and institutions have been affected by sin.
We deny that, other than the previously stated connection to Adam, any person is morally culpable for another person’s sin. Although families, groups, and nations can sin collectively, and cultures can be predisposed to particular sins, subsequent generations share the collective guilt of their ancestors only if they approve and embrace (or attempt to justify) those sins. Before God each person must repent and confess his or her own sins in order to receive forgiveness. We further deny that one’s ethnicity establishes any necessary connection to any particular sin.
Scripture: Genesis 2:16, 17, 3:12,13-15; Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 25:7, 60:2-3; Jeremiah 31:27-34; Ezekiel 18:1-9, 14-18; Matthew 23:29-36; Romans 1:16-17, 3:23, 5:12, 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:3-11; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 1:6-9; Titus 1:12, 13; Revelation 13:8
We affirm that the gospel is the divinely-revealed message concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ—especially his virgin birth, righteous life, substitutionary sacrifice, atoning death, and bodily resurrection—revealing who he is and what he has done with the promise that he will save anyone and everyone who turns from sin by trusting him as Lord.
We deny that anything else, whether works to be performed or opinions to be held, can be added to the gospel without perverting it into another gospel. This also means that implications and applications of the gospel, such as the obligation to live justly in the world, though legitimate and important in their own right, are not definitional components of the gospel.
We affirm that salvation is granted by God’s grace alone received through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Every believer is united to Christ, justified before God, and adopted into his family. Thus, in God’s eyes there is no difference in spiritual value or worth among those who are in Christ. Further, all who are united to Christ are also united to one another regardless of age, ethnicity, or sex. All believers are being conformed to the image of Christ. By God’s regenerating and sanctifying grace all believers will be brought to a final glorified, sinless state of perfection in the day of Jesus Christ.
We deny that salvation can be received in any other way. We also deny that salvation renders any Christian free from all remaining sin or immune from even grievous sin in this life. We further deny that ethnicity excludes anyone from understanding the gospel, nor does anyone’s ethnic or cultural heritage mitigate or remove the duty to repent and believe.
We Affirm that the primary role of the church is to worship God through the preaching of his word, teaching sound doctrine, observing baptism and the Lord’s Supper, refuting those who contradict, equipping the saints, and evangelizing the lost. We affirm that when the primacy of the gospel is maintained that this often has a positive effect on the culture in which various societal ills are mollified. We affirm that, under the lordship of Christ, we are to obey the governing authorities established by God and pray for civil leaders.
We Deny that political or social activism should be viewed as integral components of the gospel or primary to the mission of the church. Though believers can and should utilize all lawful means that God has providentially established to have some effect on the laws of a society, we deny that these activities are either evidence of saving faith or constitute a central part of the church’s mission given to her by Jesus Christ, her head. We deny that laws or regulations possess any inherent power to change sinful hearts.
We affirm that heresy is a denial of or departure from a doctrine that is essential to the Christian faith. We further affirm that heresy often involves the replacement of key, essential truths with variant concepts, or the elevation of non-essentials to the status of essentials. To embrace heresy is to depart from the faith once delivered to the saints and thus to be on a path toward spiritual destruction. We affirm that the accusation of heresy should be reserved for those departures from Christian truth that destroy the weight-bearing doctrines of the redemptive core of Scripture. We affirm that accusations of heresy should be accompanied with clear evidence of such destructive beliefs.
We deny that the charge of heresy can be legitimately brought against every failure to achieve perfect conformity to all that is implied in sincere faith in the gospel.
Sexuality and Marriage
We Affirm that God created mankind male and female and that this divinely determined distinction is good, proper, and to be celebrated. Maleness and femaleness are biologically determined at conception and are not subject to change. The curse of sin results in sinful, disordered affections that manifest in some people as same-sex attraction. Salvation grants sanctifying power to renounce such dishonorable affections as sinful and to mortify them by the Spirit. We further affirm that God’s design for marriage is that one woman and one man live in a one-flesh, covenantal, sexual relationship until separated by death. Those who lack the desire or opportunity for marriage are called to serve God in singleness and chastity. This is as noble a calling as marriage.
We deny that human sexuality is a socially constructed concept. We also deny that one’s sex can be fluid. We reject “gay Christian” as a legitimate biblical category. We further deny that any kind of partnership or union can properly be called marriage other than one man and one woman in lifelong covenant together. We further deny that people should be identified as “sexual minorities”—which serves as a cultural classification rather than one that honors the image-bearing character of human sexuality as created by God.
We affirm that God created mankind both male and female with inherent biological and personal distinctions between them and that these created differences are good, proper, and beautiful. Though there is no difference between men and women before God’s law or as recipients of his saving grace, we affirm that God has designed men and women with distinct traits and to fulfill distinct roles. These differences are most clearly defined in marriage and the church, but are not irrelevant in other spheres of life. In marriage the husband is to lead, love, and safeguard his wife and the wife is to respect and be submissive to her husband in all things lawful. In the church, qualified men alone are to lead as pastors/elders/bishops and preach to and teach the whole congregation. We further affirm that the image of God is expressed most fully and beautifully in human society when men and women walk in obedience to their God-ordained roles and serve according to their God-given gifts.
We deny that the God-ordained differences in men’s and women’s roles disparage the inherent spiritual worth or value of one over the other, nor do those differences in any way inhibit either men or women from flourishing for the glory of God.
Race / Ethnicity
We affirm God made all people from one man. Though people often can be distinguished by different ethnicities and nationalities, they are ontological equals before God in both creation and redemption. “Race” is not a biblical category, but rather a social construct that often has been used to classify groups of people in terms of inferiority and superiority. All that is good, honest, just, and beautiful in various ethnic backgrounds and experiences can be celebrated as the fruit of God’s grace. All sinful actions and their results (including evils perpetrated between and upon ethnic groups by others) are to be confessed as sinful, repented of, and repudiated.
We deny that Christians should segregate themselves into racial groups or regard racial identity above, or even equal to, their identity in Christ. We deny that any divisions between people groups (from an unstated attitude of superiority to an overt spirit of resentment) have any legitimate place in the fellowship of the redeemed. We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression. While we are to weep with those who weep, we deny that a person’s feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression, or prejudice.
We affirm that some cultures operate on assumptions that are inherently better than those of other cultures because of the biblical truths that inform those worldviews that have produced these distinct assumptions. Those elements of a given culture that reflect divine revelation should be celebrated and promoted. But the various cultures out of which we have been called all have features that are worldly and sinful—and therefore those sinful features should be repudiated for the honor of Christ. We affirm that whatever evil influences to which we have been subjected via our culture can be—and must be—overcome through conversion and the training of both mind and heart through biblical truth.
We deny that individuals and sub-groups in any culture are unable, by God’s grace, to rise above whatever moral defects or spiritual deficiencies have been engendered or encouraged by their respective cultures.
We affirm that racism is a sin rooted in pride and malice which must be condemned and renounced by all who would honor the image of God in all people. Such racial sin can subtly or overtly manifest itself as racial animosity or racial vainglory. Such sinful prejudice or partiality falls short of God’s revealed will and violates the royal law of love. We affirm that virtually all cultures, including our own, at times contain laws and systems that foster racist attitudes and policies.
We deny that treating people with sinful partiality or prejudice is consistent with biblical Christianity. We deny that only those in positions of power are capable of racism, or that individuals of any particular ethnic groups are incapable of racism. We deny that systemic racism is in any way compatible with the core principles of historic evangelical convictions. We deny that the Bible can be legitimately used to foster or justify partiality, prejudice, or contempt toward other ethnicities. We deny that the contemporary evangelical movement has any deliberate agenda to elevate one ethnic group and subjugate another. And we emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture. Historically, such things tend to become distractions that inevitably lead to departures from the gospel.
For more detailed consideration of some of the issues raised in this statement, we recommend the following two documents:
Beyond Ridiculous To The Absurd
Obama recently went on the campaign trail attacking President Trump. Common to all the false liberal propaganda are the lies and deceptions that ignore the truth of history and science. In a recent speech at the University of Illinois, ridiculously claiming that he set the stage and enabled the economic recovery that Trump brought about, he also stated the importance that the Oval Office has in determining foreign and domestic policy. Ignoring his own abject failure at both, from the 2008 unconstitutional bank / financial institution bailout and economic collapse to Benghazi, he lauds, without any evidence, the performance of past Democratic administrations.
William J. Federer in his American Minute looks at history without political bias. Addressing the history of Muslim past and ongoing atrocities in Europe and the Mid East, he looks at how Bill Clinton aided and abetted them. Focusing on domestic policy, he recalls how Mother Theresa addressed the Democratic platform advocating abortion. Whether proclaiming the lie of any human capacity to control global warming wasting billions of dollars of taxpayer money and costing thousands of jobs, liberals in the personage of the Democratic Party must ignore the reality of science and history to sustain the attack on America.
The following article by Mr. Federer in his American Minute, looking only at indisputable recorded history counters liberal Democratic false propaganda.
William J. Federer
A century after the Kings of Assyria carried away the ten Northern Tribes of Israel into captivity, on the other side of the Mediterranean, Greeks settled the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea in the 7th century BC.
One of their major cities was Epidamnos ( Dyrrhachium), founded in 625 BC, located in modern-day Albania. It was there in 48 BC, that Caesar defeated Pompey at the Battle of Dyrrhachium. Caesar Augustus began incorporating the area, known as the Balkan Peninsula, into the Roman Empire.
The Roman road, Via Egnatia, stretched from Dyrrhachium on the Adriatic Sea to Constantinople, Byzantium, on the Aegean Sea. The Balkan Peninsula today includes the countries of: Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Romania, Greece, to the borders of Turkey.
When the western Roman Empire fell to barbarians in 476 AD, the Balkan Peninsula survived, resisting the siege of Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great in 481 AD. In 840, the northern Balkan Peninsula became part of the Christian Bulgarian Empire, which included the area of Albania.
In 1190, Albania became a province in the Christian Byzantine Empire, with its major city of Dyrrhachion on the Adriatic Sea
In the 1400s, the Ottoman Turkish army crossed the Bosporus and invaded west. They attacked Constantinople, Serbia, Morea, Black Sea, Wallachia, Bosnia, Vienna, Karaman, Akkoyunlu, Moldavia, Crimea, and the Balkan Peninsula. Albania was conquered in 1431, with the local nobility being killed and replaced with Muslim landowners, who imposed exorbitant taxes on the Christian population. This was followed by periodic massacres of Albanians. Ottomans led crusades against the Albanian people, with stories of forced conversions and Christian boys taken and forcibly indoctrinated into being Islamic soldiers, or used for pederasty.
Eastern European countries had brave leaders who resisted Islamic invasion: -Hungary’s John Hunyadi (1406-1456); -Poland’s Wladyslaw III (1424-1444); -Moldova’s Stephen the Great (1433-1504); -Romania’s Vlad III (1428-1477); -Bulgaria’s Prince Fruzhin (c.1393-1444). In 1443, the Christian Albanian hero was George Castriot, called “Iskander” or “Scanderbeg,” who led a revolt against the Ottoman Muslims. American Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized him in the “Poem of Skanderberg”:
“… Anon (soon) from the castle walls The crescent banner falls, And the crowd beholds instead, Like a portent in the sky, Iskander’s banner fly,
The Black Eagle with double head; And a shout ascends on high, For men’s souls are tired of the Turks, And their wicked ways and works, “That have made of Ak-Hissar A city of the plague; And the loud, exultant cry That echoes wide and far Is: ‘ Long live Skanderbeg!'”
For 25 years, Skanderbeg struck fear into the heart of the Ottoman armies. His 10,000 braves soldiers, often outnumbered in battle, consistently won against larger and better supplied Muslim armies. Considered a model of Christian resistance, Skanderbeg fought in the Venetian-Ottoman War.
When Skanderbeg died in1468, the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed the Conqueror, exclaimed: “At last Europe and Asia are mine! Woe to Christendom! It has lost its sword and its shield.”
For the next five centuries, Albania was under Ottoman rule, till Sultan Abdul Hamid II – the 99th caliph of Islam – was deposed in 1909.
There was enthusiasm that Turkey would set up a democratic form of government. Unfortunately, the joy was short-lived as fundamentalist leaders, called the Young Turks, seized control. They promoted the idea of re-establishing the caliphate through “Ottomanization” – creating a homogeneous Turkey of one race, one language, and one belief. The brotherhood of the Young Turks began a genocidal expulsion and extermination of non-Muslim ethnic minorities, including millions of: Albanians, Armenians, Syrians, Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgarians. In the upheaval of World War I, Albania briefly gained independence in 1912. It had a few short-lived monarchies, then a republic.
During World War II, Albania was occupied by Fascist Italy, followed by Germany’s National Socialist Workers Party (Nazi).
Albania was a communist State, 1944-1992, during which time it became an officially atheist country.
In 1992, the Republic of Albania was founded. Many ethnic Albanians lived in the nearby area of Kosovo, the historic center of Christian Serbia and Montenegro. As Muslims immigrated and increased in number, they took over neighborhoods, and eventually decided to take over the whole region, erupting into the Kosovo War, 1998-1999.
At this same time, in the United States, the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal was breaking, and President Bill Clinton decided to support the Muslim Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) as it drove out over one million ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, leaving the tiny new country with a 96 percent Muslim population.
A statue of Clinton was erected on Bill Clinton Boulevard in the capital of Pristina, Kosovo.
One of the most famous Albanians was the daughter of an Albanian grocer. Born in 1910, she joined a Catholic religious order at age 18 and began working in the slums of Calcutta, India. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979. This was Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Malcolm Muggeridge, a British Journalist who had converted to Christianity, wrote in “The Human Holocaust,” (Human Life Review, 1980):
“Mother Teresa … in Calcutta, goes to great trouble to have brought into her Home for Dying Derelicts, castaways left to die in the streets.
They may survive for no more than a quarter of an hour, but in that quarter of an hour, instead of feeling themselves rejected and abandoned, they meet with Christian love and care … Mother Teresa’s … love and compassion reach out to the afflicted without any other consideration than their immediate need, just as our Lord does when He tells us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked.
She gives all she has to give at once, and then finds she has more to give … Something of God’s love has rubbed off on Mother Teresa.”
Phyllis Schlafly wrote in The Power of the Positive Woman (NY: Arlington House Publishers, 1978): “Few women in history have ever known the career fulfillment that Mother Teresa has known. She is the Albanian nun who has made it her mission to minister to the poor and dying in Calcutta, India … She has become a living legend, acclaimed throughout the world-a career success and a happy woman by any standard. And Mother Teresa has said that men could never equal women in love and compassion.”
Mother Teresa explained: “Many people mistake our work for our vocation. Our vocation is the love of Jesus. God hasn’t called me to be successful. He’s called me to be faithful. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Ronald Reagan wrote in “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation,” (Human Life Review, 1983): “The revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that ‘the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children’ … We can echo the always-practical woman of faith, Mother Teresa, when she says, ‘If you don’t want the little child, that unborn child, give him to me.'”
On February 3, 1994, frail 83-year-old Mother Teresa addressed the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., before an audience of 3,000, including President and Mrs. Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore:
“Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us – to save us from our selfishness in sin … The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself, and if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?
The Old Testament version of abortion was sacrificing innocent children to pagan gods. Proverbs 6:16-17 “The Lord hates … hands that shed innocent blood.” God is just, and though patient and long-suffering, He will eventually judge individuals and nations who shed innocent blood, unless they repent.
2 Kings 21: “King Manasseh did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites … He sacrificed his own son in the fire (to Moloch) … The Lord said through his servants the prophets: “Manasseh … has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him … Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle … Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end.” 2 Kings 24:2-4: “The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders … to destroy Judah … because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive.
… By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.”
Mother Teresa continued:
“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good.
… But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers … We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: ‘Please don’t destroy the child; we will take the child.’ So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: ‘Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child.'”
Mother Teresa spoke further:
“And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child … Jesus said, ‘Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me.’ By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus. Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child.
… I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child. From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortion …”
Mother Teresa concluded:
“If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world.
From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak – the unborn child – must go out to the world.
… If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!”
Declaring January 22, 2018, National Sanctity of Human Life Day, President Trump stated:
“We focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves … Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation. Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children … It dispels the notion that our worth depends on the extent to which we are planned for or wanted.
… Science continues to support and build the case for life. Medical technologies allow us to see images of the unborn children moving their newly formed fingers and toes, yawning, and even smiling. Those images present us with irrefutable evidence that babies are growing within their mothers’ wombs – precious, unique lives, each deserving a future filled with promise and hope.”
On September 5, 1997, just five days after Princess Diana was killed, Mother Teresa died. On September 4, 2016, Pope Francis recognized her as a saint in the Catholic Church. Albanian Mother Teresa shared what motivated her: “I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.”
The Committee for the Constitution has repeatedly published on the Constitutional intention to limit the power of the judiciary. Keeping company with the Framers’ and Founders’ fear of the public majority and preeminent expressed desire to limit the power and cancer of government, particularly the Federal government, many foresaw the potential for the abusive overreach of judiciary.
Their foresight and concerns have been realized in the attack on America by “enemies, foreign and domestic”. Whether seeking to wrongfully influence the public majority by the propaganda of lies and deceptions spewing from the contaminated toxic sewers of the liberal media, foreign governments covertly trying to influence elections, or traitors such as Soros funding political disruption and the anarchy of protestors, the attack on America has taken on forms never anticipated in 1787.
The ever expanding tumors of the administrative state, at every level of government, funded by legislative bodies of every size and composition across America, consume the just earnings of working Americans while birthing and enabling unbridled capitalism. Shackled by corporations, both public and private, unrestrained by Congress and betrayed by those they elect, working Americans have been forced into bondage joining the undeserved welfare recipients enslaved by government handouts.
Most egregiously, Congress and legislatures have failed to hold those robed in black on the benches of injustice accountable to the supreme order of law in every jurisdiction giving them authority. The following discussion by Stephen and John McDowell of the Providence Foundation discusses some remedies already available according to the Framers’ original intention. Drawing from our preview of the soon to be published Set My People Free by the author of the The Attack on America and Beyond Reason, this Committee for the Constitution’s articles addressing judicial tyranny suggest other actions that Congress can enact to halt the attack on the Constitution by these traitors. This tyranny and injustice by what was intended to be the weakest branch of government tasked only to interpret the original intention of the makers of the law according to the historical record has moved from the Dred Scott decision and the ensuing holocaust tragedy of the great Civil War to the atrocity of killing the unborn fully capable of life outside the womb to permitting the unquestioned perversion of the natural order.
All those Senators voting against the confirmation of any judge holding to the strict original intention of the makers of the “supreme law of the land” fail in their oath of office and must be removed!
 Set My People Free, Freedom Press, in process of publication
“We the People” or “We the Judges”?
Stephen McDowell & John McDowell
Abraham Lincoln once asked, “How many legs does a dog have if we call the tail a leg?” According to modern courts the answer may well be five. Following a string of Federal district courts, the Supreme Court recently ruled that a man and a man, or a woman and woman, is a family. They can call it so; however, just like declaring a dog has five legs, that declaration does not make it so.
In response to abusive actions of the British government, James Otis, a leader in America’s independence movement, wrote:
To say the Parliament is absolute and arbitrary is a contradiction. The Parliament cannot make 2 and 2, 5: Omnipotency cannot do it. The supreme power in a state … belongs alone to God. Parliaments are in all cases to declare what is for the good of the whole; but it is not the declaration of Parliament that makes it so: There must be in every instance a higher authority, viz. 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.
The Supreme Court, like the British Parliament, has made numerous declarations regarding matters of life, family, liberty, and property. Many Americans seem to think the declarations of a majority of judges are the final word. However, they can declare all they want, but such a declaration does not make it true.
Two plus two is always four, regardless of man’s contrary view. A dog’s tail is never a leg. There are negative consequences to violating the immutable laws of God. In building a house or sending a man to the moon, saying 2+2=5 will result in trouble. Likewise, any act of man that is contrary to God’s natural laws will result in harm. However, if a few rulers make such declarations, who will hold them accountable? According to our founding governmental principles and the U.S. Constitution, it is “we the people.”
“We the people” is one fundamental component of American constitutionalism. Unlike most nations in history, America was not ruled by an elite few. All citizens had a voice in how they were governed. We did not live under rulers’ law, where an enlightened few made the laws and imposed them on the ignorant masses. Rather, a moral, self-governed citizenry formulated their own laws under the higher law of God and willingly chose to obey them. In America, “the people made the laws.” This concept of self-government is one reason America was exceptional.
This historically unique aspect of government – Christian self-government – is sadly being replaced by the age-old pagan concept of “rulers’ law.” Over the past few decades, activist judges have assumed the place of unelected law-makers. With little resistance or outcry from either the Congress or the general populace, we have embraced what is likely the most absurd idea in modern American polity, viz., that a handful of men and women sitting on the Supreme Court will decide for 320 million citizens what is lawful, right, and acceptable behavior. These few have decided the value and origin of life, the meaning of private property, the role religion plays in public affairs, the place of religious convictions in business, and they just decided what constitutes a family. Most of their decisions regarding these matters have been contrary to the decrees of the Creator, Who, according to the Declaration of Independence – our founding covenant document – is the source of our life, liberty, and rights.
We are moving from a representative republic to an oligarchy, one becoming more and more oppressive, especially for those who believe in Creator-endowed rights. Most of the Founders could never envision runaway courts. Alexander Hamilton wrote, “the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution… [T]he judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power… [and] the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter.”
If the courts ever attempted to usurp legislative or executive authority, the Founders believed the Congress would rein them in, as the United States Constitution clearly gives the legislative branch (which represents and are elected by the people) the primary power in the Federal government. Just compare the length and content of Article 1 of the Constitution, which delineates the powers of Congress, with Article 3, which presents the powers of the Supreme Court: 255 lines of copy deal with the powers of Congress, 114 with the powers of the President, and only 44 with the Courts.
James Madison declared that “the legislative authority necessarily predominates.” Legitimate power is derived from the people and the people only. The Founders understood the tendency of man to abuse power, therefore they separated it among three branches of government and invested most power in the people through their elected representatives. Due to ignorance, apathy, and bad education we are gradually embracing the idea of judicial supremacy, where judges not only interpret, but also make and enforce law. This is in stark contrast to the Founders view of Constitutional supremacy.
Insightfully, Thomas Jefferson did warn of potential abuse of courts, writing:
The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow,) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre 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.
Jefferson did not charge all judges with “willful and ill-intentional error” when their rulings worked to consolidate all power in the federal judiciary and to undermine the rule of the people under law, but he wrote that “honest error must be arrested where its toleration leads to public ruin.” How was this to be done? One way, he wrote, was through the Constitutional provision of impeachment (though he lamented a supermajority of two-thirds was needed): “Judges should be withdrawn from their benches whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may, indeed, injure them in fame or in fortune; but it saves the Republic, which is the first and supreme law.”
A more practical fix from Jefferson, and one we should institute today, was: “Let the future appointments of judges be for four or six years, and renewable by the President and Senate. This will bring their conduct, at regular periods, under revision and probation.”
Given that most Americans profess democratic ideals, you would think everyone – liberals and conservatives – would agree on curbing the aristocratic concept of judicial rule. But alas, many folks, thinking their immoral values would more easily gain ascendency through aggressively positioning a few people on the courts rather than winning the battle of ideas in the general public, oppose restricting the judiciary. They posit various scenarios of checking the rule of the majority via enlightened judges, like asking, “What if the majority wants slavery? How would we stop this?” Yet, the more frightening (and likely) scenario is, “What if five judges want slavery?” It is much easier to get five men to embrace wrong ideas than 160 million. Moreover, it would require more than the consent of the majority to change the Constitution.
America is a Federal Republic, where certain God-given inalienable rights are guaranteed by our Constitution. Thus for slavery, or anything contrary to “the laws of nature and nature’s God” to be established, it would require three-fourths of the states to approve such a measure. A three-fourths majority is significantly more difficult to obtain than the decision of five judges. Some say that the Supreme Court will never exhibit such drastic behavior or enact such rulings. But in fact it has. In the Dred Scott decision of 1857 the Supreme Court denied the personhood of blacks, and in Roe v Wade (1973) it denied the personhood of unborn children.
The courts have made numerous unconstitutional decisions (according to the intent of the Framers), especially in modern times, that have violated the will of the majority of citizens and more importantly the will of God. It has been primarily through the courts, with the rulings of a very small number of people, that a new definition of the family has been imposed upon the American people.
Recently, judges have ruled that business owners must provide services to customers even though such actions violate their strongly held religious beliefs. Florists, bakers, and photographers have been ordered to accommodate same-sex weddings or else face fines or worse. Many have chosen to close their businesses rather than violate the Christian convictions.
Homosexual activists and misguided liberals have claimed “victory,” but the rulings by these judges are both dangerous and unconstitutional. These citizens’ First Amendment freedoms of religion and speech were stripped away by a single judge. Giving such power to the judiciary puts all our God-given and constitutionally secured rights in jeopardy. What is next? Our right to life, or fair trial, or public protest? Will judges rule that you cannot run for office and even vote if you oppose homosexuality or same-sex marriage? For the liberal thinker, what if a judge ruled only regenerated Christian believers could run for office, own property, and vote? Why would anyone, liberals included, want to trust their inalienable rights to a few judges? The people as a whole are a much better security.
With the current system of an unaccountable activist federal judiciary, many other unjust decisions will surely take place. When such rulings occur what should we do? Abraham Lincoln criticized the Supreme Court Dred Scot decision for its denial of the laws of nature and nature’s God which assert the inalienable liberty of every individual. Lincoln believed that if that court decision was the absolute law of the land, then “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.” It is the task of “we the people” to keep any such declarations from being incorporated into the law of the land. Most especially, we must keep a few judges (no matter how educated and “enlightened”) from imposing their morality upon the nation. But how?
Restricting Activist Judges
The Constitution provides numerous ways that Congress – the representative of “we the people” – can check activist judges. These include:
- Impeachment – Judges can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors (Art. II. Sec. 4). In the past, judges have been removed for public drunkenness and even bad rulings.
- Restrict jurisdiction – Congress can regulate much of the jurisdiction of the federal courts (Art. III, Sec. 2).
- Reorganize the courts – Congress can establish and reorganize a system of inferior Federal Courts (Art. III, Sec. 1).
- Cut off money – All bills raising revenue originate in the House of Representatives (Art. 1. Sec. 7, 8), hence Congress can use this power to restrict a run-away judiciary.
It would be best for competent judges to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and hence, use of the above means would not be necessary. Yet, even the best of judges need to be held accountable, and the current Constitutional provisions to do so have not worked well. We should heed the advice of Jefferson and change their terms to 4 or 6 years, with re-approval needed for continued service.
Jefferson said that “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy…. The Constitution has erected no such tribunal.” In fact, the United States Constitution sprang from “we the people,” not from “we the elite few rulers.” It is time to return to the liberating idea of self-government. And … let’s also stop calling the tail a leg.
 James Otis, “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved,” Sources of Our Liberties, Richard L. Perry, editor, New York: American Bar Foundation, 1952, pp. 264-265
 Historian David Gregg, quoted in Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell, America’s Providential History, Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 1989, p. 115.
 Early Americans could form good and godly laws and constrain themselves to obey them because, according to Gregg, “the churches made the people.” The churches imparted the Biblical wisdom necessary to construct good laws, as well as the Biblical character necessary to live under them.
 Thomas Jefferson said it this way:”That there should be public functionaries independent of the nation, whatever may be their demerit, is a solecism in a republic, of the first order of absurdity and inconsistency.” Letter to William T. Barry, July 2, 1822, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor, Washington, DC: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903, 15:389.
 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist, A Commentary on the Constitution of the United States, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1898, No. 78, pp. 518-519.
 Ibid., No. 51, p. 345.
 Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to Charles Hammond, Aug. 18, 1821,” The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 15:331-332. Jefferson said requiring two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove a judge must be changed, writing that this percentage is “a vote so impossible, where any defense is made before men of ordinary prejudices and passions, that our judges are effectually independent of the nation.” He wrote that this ought not to be and suggested that for our government to continue that judges “should be submitted to some practical and impartial control; and that this, to be impartial, must be compounded of a mixture of state and federal authorities.” (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 1:120) Jefferson’s Autobiography (1821), in Writings, 1:120-122. Letter to William T. Barry, July 2, 1822, Writings, 15:389.This phrase in the Declaration of Independence had a well established meaning. The laws of nature are the general revelation of God in creation and the conscience of man, and the laws of nature’s God are the specific revelation of God in the Holy Scriptures (see Stephen McDowell, American a Christian Nation, Charlottesville: Providence Foundation, 2004, p. 7-12). Beliles and McDowell, p. 261. Judge Pickering of New Hampshire was impeached as a “habitual and maniac drunkard.” (See Thomas Jefferson’s Autobiography, in Writings, 1:121.) See David Barton, Impeachment, Restraining an Overactive Judiciary, Aledo, TX: WallBuilders, 1996. To prepare competent judges we must change the philosophy and content of what is taught in colleges and law schools. Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to William Charles Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 15:277.
Aug 20, 2018
The common narrative today is that after decades of globalism, hard-hearted Americans now seek to close the nation’s borders to new immigrants. But the truth is that the United States maintains the most generous immigration policies in the world. However, as Michelle Malkin explains, a few ill-conceived immigration policies are threatening to destroy the American Dream for Americans and aspiring Americans alike.
Transcript of “A Nation of Immigrants”
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
These poetic lines, engraved on a bronze plaque beneath the Statue of Liberty, speak to who we are: a nation of immigrants. Until now . . .
As Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer lamented, “Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty.” We’ve turned our backs on those huddled masses. Closed our borders. Separated families. Hardened our hearts.
Or so you would think if you only read the headlines or watch TV news. Just one problem: It’s not true.
The United States still maintains the most generous immigration policies in the world. Generous to a fault…because the overwhelming numbers have stymied our ability to assimilate the huddled masses. 50 million residents of America are foreign-born. In fact, today the United States has more immigrants as a percentage of its total population than at any time since 1890. That’s why, to give one illustration, 176 different languages are spoken among students in the New York City school system.
How did we get here? For starters, America grants permanent residence to a million people every single year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because of something you’ve probably heard referred to as “chain migration.” Chain migration allows immigrants to sponsor not only their immediate family—parents, spouses and children under age 21, but much of their extended family once they gain citizenship: unmarried adult children and any children they might have, married adult children and their children, and brothers and sisters and their children. Princeton University researchers, using the most recently available data, found that immigrants sponsored an average of 3.45 additional relatives each.
So, the one million immigrants granted permanent residence each year potentially adds, over time, another three and a half million.
In addition, an estimated 100,000 refugees and asylum-seekers — people who claim to be fleeing political or personal strife abroad — enter the country annually. From 2008 to 2017, the U.S. gave green cards to well over a million people for humanitarian reasons, allowing them to live and work here permanently. After five years, they can apply for full citizenship.
We’re not done yet. In that same time frame, nearly half a million more people came to America through the diversity visa lottery—a program designed to admit more people from “underrepresented” countries into the U.S.
Diversity visa applicants don’t need a high school education, job skills — or pretty much anything. And, thanks again to chain migration, spouses and unmarried children under 21 of visa lottery winners also get to come to America.
This non-stop flow of new legal immigrants — based on family ties instead of skills, abilities, and allegiance to American values — has, of course, been supplemented by millions who enter the country illegally and stay illegally.
Dominant media outlets use the euphemism “undocumented,” but the official U.S. government term used in federal statutes is “illegal alien”: an unlawful entrant who came without permission and stays in open defiance of our laws. The number of illegal aliens in the country is usually given as 11 million, but have you noticed that number never seems to change? Common sense suggests it’s higher—much higher. And though illegal aliens themselves don’t qualify for welfare, they receive free health care in our clinics and hospitals, and through their American-born children they can expect to receive all manner of benefits—cash aid, food stamps, and housing vouchers. Their children are entitled to a free education in public schools.
Building a high-tech border barrier would certainly help stem this flow. Ending chain migration is another obvious remedy. E-Verify, the national database that allows employers to check workers’ immigration status, is also essential. So is a fully-functioning entry-exit system to track visa overstayers.
But all solutions will ultimately fail unless we get control of the numbers and enforce our laws consistently. It’s Sovereignty 101: This is our home and we have not only the right, but the responsibility, to determine who comes in, how many come in, and what qualities and qualifications they bring.
The truth is, we let in millions. And, of course, millions more want to come. Who can blame them? But it’s simply not possible or desirable to let in everyone. And it’s not hateful to say so.
It’s not hateful to protect our borders. It’s not hateful to protect our citizens. It’s not hateful to protect our values.
Lady Liberty may be shedding tears—not because we’ve stopped welcoming immigrants, but because our ill-conceived immigration policies are threatening the American Dream.
I’m Michelle Malkin, CRTV host and author of Invasion and Sold Out
The Framers and Founders established America on the rule and order of immutable Law. It was law made aware by the validation of true science and unblemished uncorrupted history. Resulting in what many historians regard as Divinely inspired, the Constitution of the United States of America addresses and acknowledges the repetitive constant failure of humanity to hold to and be guided by Truth.
In a speech given before the Young America’s Foundation, Dinesh D’Souza ties historical truth to the current political, financial, and moral attack on America. It needs to be heard and disseminated by all loyal to the original intention of the Constitution.
President Donald Trump attends a rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Tampa, FL
(James Borchuck/Tampa Bay Times via AP) more
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
A “feeling as though the world is going to end.” That could describe what millions of people could have experienced in the last 100 years. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sept. 11, the ISIS rampage throughout the world, all not only understandably evoked fear of the world ending, but all revolved around madness, war and genocide.
But today that feeling is brought to liberals simply because their favorite lost an election. And strangely enough, it seems compounded with every good piece of news about the economy and the national security of the United States. Weird, no?
Today’s “feeling as though the world is going to end” is now a hallmark of those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, a term meant to identify and mock people back from the edge of a mass hysteria assigning everything horrible in the history of humanity to a guy who was simply better and smarter at campaigning, and liked the American people more than his opponent.
Now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Canada alerts us to psychologists in the United States treating patients with what some in the field are terming “Trump Anxiety Disorder.” Yes, that would be TAD for short.
Forget about facing Soviet missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida, or al Qaeda working to get its hands on a nuclear device. No, today’s distraught don’t like the man elected president of the United States and are subjected to various Obama and Clinton henchmen (and women) constantly telling them that there’s treason, racism and Nazis, oh my!
They have been goaded by a Democratic member of Congress to confront Trump supporters; a former Obama official compared border enforcement to the Holocaust; and we hear that people are going to die because of whatever the day’s Trump Armageddon happens to be.
“‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’ may not be an official diagnosis, but therapists know the symptoms,” the CBC tells us.
” ‘Is he gonna blow us all up?’ So inquired one of [a psychologist’s] patients recently, fretting out loud about the volatility of U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions during a therapy session at her Washington practice …,” continued the CBC report. The psychologist “refers to it as a ‘collective anxiety’ among patients who feel on edge about how potentially dire the president’s decisions could be. ‘There is a fear of the world ending,’ she said. ‘It’s very disorienting and constantly unsettling.’ “
In all fairness, Mr. Trump has blown up a lot. Like unemployment, which is now at historic lows. He also blew up ISIS. A few are scrambling around, but like the cockroaches they are, we’ll get the stragglers. He’s figuratively blowing up MS-13, the transnational terrorist gang also responsible for a nationwide sex trafficking ring.
Yet, the CBC reports, “In a 2017 essay for a book co-edited by psychiatrists from Harvard Medical School and the Yale School of Medicine, clinical psychologist Jennifer Panning of Evanston, Ill., called the condition ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder,’ distinguishing it from a generalized anxiety disorder because ‘symptoms were specific to the election of Trump and the resultant unpredictable sociopolitical climate,’ reported the network. “Though not an official diagnosis, the symptoms include feeling a loss of control and helplessness, and fretting about what’s happening in the country and spending excessive time on social media, she said.”
One clinical psychologist in the report noted it was the consumption of “media coverage” of the president that was making anxiety about the president worse.
There are so-called journalists and Democratic leadership in the news every day telling people that the sky is falling; that literally Armageddon is upon us; that Mr. Trump and most working with him are committing treason; that a foreign nation is in control of the country; and that ethnic cleansing is unfolding at the border.
All of these claims are as demonstrably unhinged as the lunatic “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that insisted Hillary Clinton and John Podesta were running a sex-trafficking pedophile ring from the basement of a pizza shop in Washington, D.C.
Here are the facts of the matter: Because of Mr. Trump’s policies, liberals like everyone else, have more money in their pocketbooks, are keeping more of the money they earn, are earning higher wages, are safer from domestic and international threats and have reason to be optimistic about the future.
We had 4.1 GDP growth in the second quarter of this year and the trade deficit dropped by more than $50 billion. This week consumer confidence was near an 18-year high. We have added 3.7 million new jobs since the election. We are in the midst of the longest positive job-growth streak in history. 95 percent of American manufacturers are optimistic about their company’s outlook, the highest level in history. More than 3.5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps.
But … Armageddon.
Certain psychologists and academics may want to assign a “disorder” to the those responding to the hysteria coming from Democratic party leadership and media, as though their anxiety-ridden reaction is beyond their control, and perhaps even Mr. Trump’s fault. It’s not. Unsurprisingly, many Democrats are tired of being misled, manipulated and abused by people like Rep. Maxine Waters, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and even Mrs. Clinton herself, and have decided to walk away from the party.
Liberal and leftist politicians want their own base to be depressed, afraid and paranoid about Mr. Trump. After all, when you’re consumed with conspiracy theories about Trumphitler, you don’t have any time to ask yourself about the disastrous failures of liberal leadership, and why Mr. Trump is making things exponentially better while Democrats made things worse.
- Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.
The Insanity of Socialism
1 August, 2018
The belief in socialism takes a certain degree of insanity as defined by Einstein, who remarked that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In socialist Venezuela, the people can’t even find toilet paper, so what is the solution? Try a rebranded package of socialism.
Socialism has failed to deliver throughout history. Tens of millions of people have died or starved in its wake, including the Pilgrims. Capitalism, not socialism, is responsible for the great advances in human history that has allowed people to lead more productive and healthier lives. What do you think the healthcare is like in Venezuela?
Why would anyone think socialism would work any better this time around?
31 July 2018 Tweet © AFP/File | Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro says he wants “solutions” and “no more whining” CARACAS (AFP) – Under-fire Venezuela President…
July/August 2018 • Volume 47, Number 7/8 • Edward J. Erler
Edward J. Erler
Co-Author, The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration
President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossers has provoked a hysterical reaction from Democrats, establishment Republicans, the progressive-liberal media, Hollywood radicals, and the deep state. What particularly motivated the ire of these Trump-haters was the fact that the zero-tolerance policy would require the separation of parents and children at the border. The hysteria was, of course, completely insincere and fabricated, given that the policy of separating children and parents was nothing new—it had been a policy of the Obama and Bush administrations as well.
Furthermore, where is the compassion for the thousands of American children who are separated from their parents every year as a result of arrests and convictions for non-violent crimes? Many of those arrested are single mothers whose infants become wards of the government until their mothers complete their sentences. No hysteria or effusive compassion is elicited by these separations, confirming that the object of the hysteria surrounding illegal border crossers is to force open borders on the nation under the guise of compassion for children.
President Trump’s preferred solution for ending the influx of illegal immigrants and providing border security is a wall; it is also the preferred solution of the American people. Zero tolerance is an interim policy that—if enforced—will help deter illegal crossers. The hysteria provoked by zero tolerance could have been predicted, but its magnitude and sheer insanity are almost breathtaking. Some prominent constitutional scholars have gone so far as to argue that the government has no constitutional authority to control the border. And this, which seems almost beyond hysteria, from the elite intellectual class that should be most immune to hysteria!
In the meantime, a Federal District Court judge in Southern California has discovered a substantive due process right guaranteeing the right to “family integrity” lurking in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and has ordered all children reunited with their illegal immigrant parents. Obviously the judge expects the parents to be released from incarceration to join their children, but the Trump administration seems determined to keep parents and children together in detention centers until legal proceedings determine their fate.
More than a century ago, the Supreme Court announced what was considered the settled sense of the matter when it remarked: “It is an accepted maxim of international law . . . and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within [a sovereign nation’s] dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.” This view was reaffirmed in the recent Supreme Court decision, handed down on June 26, that upheld Trump’s travel ban on foreign nationals from eight countries, six of which have majority Muslim populations.
Part of the complaint against the ban was that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because Trump had displayed “animus” against Muslims in speeches before and after the 2016 election. The plaintiffs argued that the national security reasons for the ban were merely pretexts for Trump’s thinly disguised contempt for the Muslim religion. Although the Court agreed that individual injury could be alleged under the Establishment Clause, the travel ban on its face was neutral with respect to religion, and it was therefore possible to decide the issue on statutory rather than constitutional grounds.
The dissenting opinion in this case would have invalidated the ban on constitutional grounds, based on the idea that the President’s campaign statements and those of his advisers proved that animus against Islam was the real and pervasive motivation for the travel ban. Had this dissenting opinion prevailed, it would have created an anomaly in constitutional jurisprudence. Conceding that the plain language of the travel ban was neutral and therefore constitutional, what rendered the travel ban unconstitutional was Trump’s purported display of animus in his public speeches. If signed by any president other than Trump, there would therefore be no constitutional objections. In other words, in the minds of the dissenters, psychoanalysis of Trump’s motives held greater constitutional significance than the intent of the law expressed in its plain language.
In any case, the majority opinion held that “by its plain language” the Immigration and Naturalization Act “grants the President broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States. The President lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings . . . that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest.” Few limits have ever been placed on the President’s broad authority to act under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, especially when national security and foreign relations are involved.
In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump appealed to the importance of citizens and borders. In other words, Trump took his stand on behalf of the nation-state and citizenship against the idea of a homogeneous world-state populated by “universal persons.” In appealing directly to the people, Trump succeeded in defeating both political parties, the media, political professionals, pollsters, academics, and the bureaucratic class. All these groups formed part of the bi-partisan cartel that had represented the entrenched interests of the Washington establishment for many years. Although defeated in the election, the cartel has not given up. It is fighting a desperate battle to maintain its power.
Historically, constitutional government has been found only in the nation-state, where the people share a common good and are dedicated to the same principles and purposes. The homogeneous world-state—the European Union on a global scale—will not be a constitutional democracy; it will be the administration of “universal personhood” without the inconvenience of having to rely on the consent of the governed. It will be government by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, much like the burgeoning administrative state that is today expanding its reach and magnifying its power in the United States. “Universal persons” will not be citizens; they will be clients or subjects. Rights will be superfluous because the collective welfare of the community—determined by the bureaucrats—will have superseded the rights of individuals.
Progressive liberalism no longer views self-preservation as a rational goal of the nation-state. Rather, it insists that self-preservation and national security must be subordinate to openness and diversity. America’s immigration policies, we are told, should demonstrate our commitment to diversity because an important part of the American character is openness, and our commitment to diversity is an affirmation of “who we are as Americans.” If this carries a risk to our security, it is a small price to pay. Indeed, the willing assumption of risk adds authenticity to our commitment.
In support of all this, we are asked to believe something incredible: that the American character is defined only by its unlimited acceptance of diversity. A defined American character—devotion to republican principles, republican virtue, the habits and manners of free citizens, self-reliance—would in that case be impermissibly exclusive, and thus impermissibly American. The homogeneous world-state recognizes only openness, devotion to diversity, and acceptance as virtues. It must therefore condemn exclusivity as its greatest vice. It is the nation-state that insists on exclusive citizenship and immigration policies that impose various kinds of restrictions.
Our progressive politicians and opinion leaders proclaim their commitment to diversity almost daily, chanting the same refrain: “Diversity is our strength.” This is the gospel according to political correctness. But how does diversity strengthen us? Is it a force for unity and cohesiveness? Or is it a source of division and contention? Does it promote the common good and the friendship that rests at the heart of citizenship? Or does it promote racial and ethnic division and something resembling the tribalism that prevents most of the world from making constitutional government a success? When is the last time we heard anyone in Washington talk about the common good? We are used to hearing talk about the various stakeholders and group interests, but not much about what the nation has in common.
This should not be surprising. Greater diversity means inevitably that we have less in common, and the more we encourage diversity the less we honor the common good. Any honest and clear-sighted observer should be able to see that diversity is a solvent that dissolves the unity and cohesiveness of a nation—and we should not be deceived into believing that its proponents do not understand the full impact of their advocacy!
Diversity, of course, marches under the banner of tolerance, but is a bastion of intolerance. It enforces its ideological liberalism with an iron fist that is driven by political correctness, the most ingenious (and insidious) device for suppressing freedom of speech and political dissent ever invented.
Political correctness could have been stopped dead in its tracks over three decades ago, but Republicans refused to kill it when they had the opportunity. In the presidential election campaign of 1980, Ronald Reagan promised to end affirmative action with the stroke of a pen by rescinding the executive order, issued by Lyndon Johnson, that created it. This promise was warmly received by the electorate in that election. But President Reagan failed to deliver his promised repeal. Too many Republicans had become convinced that they could use affirmative action to their advantage—that the largesse associated with racial class entitlements would attract minorities to the Republican Party. By signing on to this regime of political correctness, Republicans were never able to mount an effective opposition to its seemingly irresistible advance.
Today, any Republican charged or implicated with racism—however tendentious, outrageous, implausible, exaggerated, or false the charge or implication may be—will quickly surrender, often preemptively. This applies equally to other violations of political correctness: homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and a host of other so-called irrational prejudices. After all, there is no rational defense against an “irrational fear,” which presumably is what the “phobias” are. Republicans have rendered themselves defenseless against political correctness, and the establishment wing of the party doesn’t seem overly concerned, as they frequently join the chorus of Democrats in denouncing Trump’s violations of political correctness. Only President Trump seems undeterred by the tyrannous threat that rests at the core of political correctness.
In addition to the Affirmative Action Executive Order in 1965, there were other actions taken during the Great Society that were meant to transform America. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was sound legislation, authorized by the Fourteenth Amendment and designed to abolish racial discrimination in employment. But the administrative agencies, with the full cooperation of the courts, quickly transformed its laudable goals into mandates that required racial discrimination to achieve racial proportionality in hiring and promotion.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 similarly sought to ban racial discrimination in voting. It too was transmogrified into an act that required racial discrimination in order to achieve proportional results in elections. Proportional results were touted by a palpable fiction as the only reliable evidence of free and fair elections.
The Immigration Act of 1965 was a kind of affirmative action plan to provide remedies for those races or ethnic groups that had been discriminated against in the past. Caucasian immigrants from European nations had been given preference in past years; now it was time to diversify the immigrant population by changing the focus to Third World nations, primarily nations in Latin America and Asia. The goal, as some scholars have slowly come to realize, was to diversify the demographic composition of the American population from majority white to a majority of people of color. There was also some anticipation that those coming from these Third World countries were more likely to need the ministrations of the welfare state and therefore more likely to be captured by the Democratic Party, the party promoting the welfare state.
White middle-class Americans in the 1960s and 70s were often referred to as selfish because their principal interests were improving their own lives, educating their own children, and contributing to their own communities. They showed no inclination to support diversity and the kind of authentic commitment to the new openness that was being advocated by progressive-liberalism. They stood as a constant roadblock to the administrative state, stubbornly resisting higher taxes, increased immigration, and expansion of the welfare state. Once they were no longer a majority, they would be powerless to resist. Demographers say that sometime around 2040 is the day of reckoning when whites will no longer be a majority and will sometime thereafter have to endure the fate they have inflicted on others for so many years. This radical demographic change will be due almost entirely to the immigration reform that was put into motion by the Immigration Act of 1965.
Of course, it is entirely a fiction that the American political system has produced monolithic white majorities that rule at the expense of so-called “discrete and insular minorities.” Whites as a class have never constituted a majority faction in the nation, and the Constitution was explicitly written to prevent such majorities from forming. The fact that, among a host of other considerations, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by a supposed “monolithic white majority” to promote the equal protection rights of minorities belies the idea that it was a majority faction ruling in its own racial class interest.
President George W. Bush, no less than President Obama, was an advocate of a “borderless world.” A supporter of amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, he frequently stated that “family values don’t stop at the border” and embraced the idea that “universal values” transcend a nation’s sovereignty. He called himself a “compassionate conservative,” and said on several occasions that we should be more compassionate to our less fortunate neighbors to the south.
President Reagan used this same kind of rhetoric when he signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which provided amnesty for three million illegal aliens. This was touted by Reagan as a way of “humanely” dealing with the issue of illegal immigration. In his signing statement, he said the Act “is both generous to the alien and fair to the countless thousands of people throughout the world who seek legally to come to America.” The Act was supposed to be a one-time-only amnesty in exchange for stronger border control, but only the most naive in Washington believed that the promise of border control would be honored. In fact, illegal immigration continued unabated. The Act also fueled expectations—even demands—for additional amnesties, and delays in implementing new amnesties have been proffered as evidence by immigration activists (including Jeb Bush) that the American people lack compassion.
Any clear-thinking observer, however, can see that compassion is not a sound basis either for foreign policy or immigration policy. Compassion is more likely to lead to contempt than gratitude in both policy areas. The failure of the 1986 amnesty should be a clear reminder of the useful Machiavellian adage that in the world of realpolitik it is better to be feared than loved. Fear is more likely to engender respect, whereas love or compassion is more likely to be regarded as a contemptible sign of weakness. In 1984 Reagan received 37 percent of the Hispanic vote, but after the 1986 amnesty George H.W. Bush received a significantly lower 30 percent. Granted, Bush was no Reagan, but such ingratitude seemed to puzzle Republicans.
Republicans and Democrats alike are reluctant to consider serious measures to control illegal immigration. Republicans want to continue the steady supply of cheap and exploitable labor, and Democrats want future voters. Republicans are thinking only in the short term—they are not thinking politically. Democrats always think politically. President Trump wants to stop chain migration and the diversity lottery. Those who win in the diversity lottery also begin chain migration, as do all legal immigrants. Since 2005, more than nine million foreign nationals have arrived in the U.S. by chain migration, and when they become voting citizens, in all likelihood, two-thirds of them will vote Democrat. Trump knows how to think politically!
Birthright citizenship contributes to a borderless world. Any woman who comes to the United States as a legal or illegal alien and gives birth confers the boon of American citizenship on her child. In these instances, America has no control over who becomes a citizen. Constitutional law experts say it is a settled issue that the Constitution adopted the English common law of birthright citizenship. William Blackstone is cited as the authority for this proposition, having written the authoritative Commentaries on the Laws of England—a work that was well known to our nation’s Founders. What the proponents of birthright citizenship seem to ignore is that Blackstone always refers to “birthright subjects” and “birthright subjectship,” never mentioning citizens or citizenship in his four volume work. Under the common law, anyone born under the protection of the king owed “perpetual allegiance” to the king in return. Blackstone freely admitted that birthright subjectship was an inheritance from the feudal system, which defined the relations of master and servant. Under the English common law there were no citizens—only subjects.
The Declaration of Independence, however, proclaims that the American people “are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown.” Thus, it is clear that the American people rejected the common law as a basis for citizenship. What is substituted in place of “perpetual allegiance” to a king is “the consent of the governed,” with the clear implication that no individual can be ruled without his consent. Consent—not the accident of birth—is the basis for American citizenship.
James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration and the Constitution and later a member of the Supreme Court, perfectly expressed the matter when he wrote: “In America there are citizens, but no subjects.” Is it plausible—is it even remotely credible—that the Founders, after fighting a revolutionary war to reject the feudal relic of “perpetual allegiance,” would have adopted that same feudal relic as the ground of citizenship for the new American regime?
The American people can, of course, consent to allow others to join the compact that created the American nation, but they have the sovereign right to specify the terms and conditions for granting entry and the qualifications for citizenship. Presumably the qualifications for entry and naturalization will be whether those who wish to enter demonstrate a capacity to adopt the habits, manners, independence, and self-reliance of republican citizens and devotion to the principles that unite the American people. Furthermore, it would be unreasonable not to expect that potential immigrants should possess useful skills that will ensure that they will not become victims of the welfare state.
Immigration policies should serve the interests of the American people and of the nation—they should not be viewed as acts of charity to the world. Putting America first is a rational goal. It is the essence of sovereignty. And the sovereign nation-state is the only home of citizenship—as it is the only home of constitutional government.
The preceding article was adapted from a speech delivered on April 11, 2018, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Colorado Springs.
Edward J. Erler is professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino. He earned his B.A. from San Jose State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. He has published numerous articles on constitutional topics in journals such as Interpretation, the Notre Dame Journal of Law, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He was a member of the California Advisory Commission on Civil Rights from 1988-2006 and served on the California Constitutional Revision Commission in 1996. He is the author of The American Polity and co-author of The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration.
David Harsanyi / @davidharsanyi / July 13, 2018
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is among the Democrats who have spoken out against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Photo: Ron Sachs/picture alliance / Consolidated/Newscom)
Sure, some of the anger aimed at President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is partisan bluster meant to placate the activist base.
Still, most Democrats were going to get hysterical about any pick, because any conservative pick was going to take the Constitution far too literally for their liking.
For those who rely on the administrative state and coercion as a policy tool—forcing people to join political organizations, forcing them to support abortion, forcing them to subsidize socially progressive sacraments, forcing them to create products that undermine their faith, and so on—that’s a big problem.
Some, such as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, indulged in the histrionic rhetoric we’ve come to expect in the Trump era, claiming that Kavanaugh would “threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come.” But almost none of the objections coming from leading Democrats have been even ostensibly about Kavanaugh’s qualifications as a jurist or, for that matter, his interpretation of the Constitution.
“Specifically,” prospective presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., argued, “as a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy, his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.” Surely, the former attorney general of California comprehends that “health care” is not a constitutional right but rather a policy concern whose contours are still being debated by lawmakers—and probably will be for decades.
What Harris probably meant is that Kavanaugh is an existential threat to the practice of forcing Americans to buy products in the private marketplace against their will. Kavanaugh, incidentally, upheld Obamacare as an appellate judge for jurisdictional reasons even though it displeased him on policy grounds. (He wrote that the law is without “principled limit.”) He did this because he has far more reverence for the law than Harris does.
Leading presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., whose collectivist doctrine clashes directly with the Constitution’s goal of restraining the state and empowering the individual, worries about “workers’ rights, health care, climate change, environmental protection, and gun safety.” He should.
Kavanaugh, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, is a critic of Chevron deference, the practice that allows administrative agencies to ignore their legal charge and have free rein to interpret statutory authority in virtually any way they please. Few things undermine the socialist agenda more than limiting our regulatory agencies’ ability to lord over the economic decisions of Americans.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, another potential presidential hopeful, said Kavanaugh “can’t be trusted to safeguard rights for women, workers, or to end the flow of corporate money to campaigns.”
To “safeguard” the rights of women means keeping abortion legal on the federal level, without any genuine restrictions. For Gillibrand and others, invented rights are sacramental, whereas other precedents, such as stopping the “flow of corporate money”—which is to say, the right of free expression codified by the Citizens United decision—should be conveniently discarded.
There is absolutely no guiding principle to any of this other than political preference.
It seems to me that with another originalist justice, we inch closer to a time when the majority of the left will simply dismiss the court as an antiquated impediment to progress. We already see this happening—not only from progressives but from supposed moderates. It’s why flip-flopping partisans such as Ezra Klein are now lamenting the “anti-democratic” position of the court.
By “anti-democratic,” he doesn’t mean the court legalized abortion or same-sex marriage without the consent of states; he means it has recently stopped the federal government from compelling individuals to act in ways he and many others approve of.
Normalizing the idea that the Constitution should be subservient to the fleeting will of politics and progressive conceptions of “justice” goes back to President Barack Obama, who promised in 2008 to nominate justices sharing “one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.”
The left hailed this position as proof of a thoughtful and moral temperament, when in reality it’s an ideological position that allows judges to arbitrarily create law and subordinate their constitutional duty to their personal worldview.
Of course, there are a number of legitimate debates about how we should interpret the Constitution. And all justices aren’t political on all issues. Nor are all conservatives pure. But it’s the left that now embraces relativistic arguments about the intent and purpose of the Constitution.
I wish the Supreme Court were less important. But right now, it’s one of the only institutions preserving constitutional order. And that’s why the left is about to go nuts again.