Tag Archives: Patrick Henry

Bill Lockwood: America a Christian Nation 4 (1)

by Bill Lockwood

When our Founding Fathers referred to this nation, as “Christian Nation,” as did John Jay, one of authors of Federalist Papers, they did not intend that this be understood in the sense that an official church had been established, or that a “Theocracy” was in place, but rather that the principles upon which our republic rests were Christian in origin. Benjamin Morris, a second-generation American, in surveying the mass of material on this topic, summarized:

“Christianity is the principle and all-pervading element, the deepest and most solid foundation, of all our civil institutions. It is the religion of the people—the national religion; but we have neither an established church nor an established religion.”

Some of founders even referred to America as a “Christian Republic.” That generation demonstrated this by the fact that they Morris adorned public buildings with biblical symbols such as Moses crossing Red Sea; or Moses holding tablets of stone carved on the building of the Supreme Court; or the even state papers of the Continental Congress that are filled with Christianity.

One of the formative laws of the United States is the Declaration of Independence, which reads more like a theological statement to the secularists of today. Our republic posited that rights come from God and that the single role of government is to protect what God gave us, inclusive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Republic itself is an outgrowth of Christian principles.

Roger Sherman, from Connecticut, one of the most influential of the founders, having signed not only the Declaration of Independence, but the Articles of Confederation as well as the
Constitution. He wrote to Samuel Baldwin in 1790 that “his faith in the new republic was largely because he felt it was founded on Christianity as he understood it.”

Joseph Story, a jurist who served on the Supreme Court during the founding era and wrote the first lengthy Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, commented as follows:

Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal sentiment was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

The Supreme Court in numerous cases has referred to this as “A Christian Nation.” Most notable is the 1892 case entitled The Church of the Holy Trinity v. The United States. Here the Court packed its decision with a litany of precedents from American history to establish “this is a religious people, … this is a Christian Nation.”

Now it is Different

When speaking of the Bible, one denominational church manual reads, “Now it is different.” Sadly, so it is in the teaching of the founding of America, the Constitution itself, and American civics in general.

Modern Americans have become so ill-educated and misinformed on the subject at hand that even universities and professorships, endowed with tax dollars, argue vehemently against America being conceived as a “Christian nation.” They trumpet loudly that this is a “secular state” and has been from the beginning.

In 2009, for example, the church of Christ where I preach hosted a “Christianity and the Constitution” public seminar, featuring various speakers, establishing that America was designed as a “Christian nation.” Objections by letters to the editor appeared in the local paper, The Times Record News of Wichita Falls. One woman wrote:

…the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution were clearly written as secular documents, with not a single mention of Jesus or the word Christian … [I]t is a fact that the major players in the production of the federal documents were steeped in the Enlightenment: deists, humanists, Masons, and skeptics … [emp. added]

She went on to say that we had “presented discredited information” and “tortured” history to establish the claim that America was a Christian nation.

In answer to that letter, I included the following:

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (cited in the US Supreme Court case [of 1892, mentioned above] said that “Christianity is and always has been a part of the common law.” … The Supreme Court of 1844 (Vidal) said, “It is unnecessary for us, … to consider the establishment of a school for college for the propagation of Judaism or Deism or any other form of infidelity. Such a case is not to be presumed to exist in a Christian country.”

It was also noted in response that Noah Webster, who helped ratify our Constitution, wrote that the source of our republican principles “is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or Christian religion.”

Concluding, I added that regarding to “deists” by whom our nation was supposedly founded, that at the time of the Constitutional Convention deists were not even allowed to hold public office! An actual listing of the religious preferences of the delegates to the Constitutional convention of 1787 shows that 55 declared themselves Christians while only 3 called themselves deists. That is about 5%.

Nathan Jun of MSU

After the above exchange in the paper, Dr. Nathan Jun of Midwestern State University came in to help out the secular cause. He wrote:

In response to Bill Lockwood’s April 21 letter: The First Amendment of the Constitution states that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …’ Both conventional approaches to interpreting the ‘establishment clause’ – the first as well as the more conservative accommodationist approach—strictly preclude any implicit or explicit religious preferences on the part of the Constitution or Congress.

The United States of America is most certainly not a ‘Christian’ nation, and this is a basic and uncontroversial principle of constitutional law. Whether or not a preponderance of the founders of this country were Christians, moreover, is wholly irrelevant. The government they founded is and has been secular in principle, if not always in spirit. The antiquated, anti-Semitic Supreme Court decision that Mr. Lockwood cited (instead of, say, the Constitution) says nothing about the fundamental character of our system of government. It does, however, say an awful lot about Mr. Lockwood and, perhaps, about his particular brand of Christianity—at least to this non-Christian.

The errors in Dr. Jun’s statement are so numerous that it is only possible to note the highlights, which I did in a following letter to the editor.

Dr. Jun: sir, your philosophy is woefully misinformed. The 1st Amendment, according to James Madison, merely forbids the federal government from establishing a ‘national church.’ No one then, nor do I, wish to have an official state church. However, that is far different from speaking of our Christian nation in the sense of recognizing Christian principles being imbedded within its framework and forming the underpinning of our society. As Patrick Henry put it, this nation ‘was founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Joseph Story, appointed by Madison to the Supreme Court, said, ‘we do not attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity … an attempt to level all religions and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference would have created universal disapprobation …’

I suppose that these men are too antiquated to know what they are talking about land need modernists from Universities to straighten them out. Not a Christian nation? ‘Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege … of our Christian nation to select Christians as their rulers’ (John Jay, 1st chief justice of the Supreme Court).

Next, I only mentioned that the Founders were Christians in answer to another letter which opined that this country was founded by a bunch of deists and secular humanists—not as proof of a Christian nation. You missed that point as well.

Third, to cavalierly dismiss as ‘anti-Semitic’ the 1892 Supreme Court decision which identified us as a Christian nation bespeaks of dep-seated prejudice by Dr. Jun and a fundamental lack of understanding about the roots of America. It is extremely sad that our tax dollars support this type of radical expression.

In truth, the fact that this was established as a Christian nation infuriates the secularists in our country. Perhaps they ought to be thankful that the only “accommodation” that America made was to the irreligious, allowing them to live freely in a Christian nation without forcing them to support a state-sponsored church.

I am certain that if these professors, of which Dr. Nathan Jun is only one, who personally publishes an “Abolish the Police” signature on his Facebook page, were to live in a Muslim country, they might have a different perspective.

After the above public exchange, I contacted Dr. Jun by email in an effort to engage in a public discussion on Christianity in general. But his contempt for Christianity apparently knows no bounds as he tartly replied, “do not ever contact me again.”

So much for a free society where ideas can be exchanged openly in gentlemanly fashion.

Bill Lockwood: Biden, The Second Amendment, and God’s Gift of Life 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden made a campaign stop this week at an auto factory in Michigan. When asked about “eroding” the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, Biden exploded and told the worker he was “full of ___.” The former VP was at the same time “shushing” his handlers who saw he was going off into the danger zone and were trying to stop him.

Elitist Biden then referred to the AR-15 as an “AR-14” and claims he supports the 2nd Amendment. Then he said the “AR-14” is a “machine gun” and declared it illegal in the United States and questioned why anyone wanted 100 rounds of ammunition.

There are so many things wrong with Biden’s position, it is difficult to summarize within a short piece.

First, the 2nd Amendment states to the federal government: “Shall not infringe.” The entire Bill of Rights is a ban on the federal government from touching the rights which Americans consider sacred. Really, the Bill of Rights is really not a “declaration of rights” at all. Instead, it is a specific list of prohibitions against the Federal Government. The Founders believed, and rightly so, that federal intrusions into the affairs of the people were the most ominous threats to the happiness and welfare of society. Therefore, regardless of the “wisdom” that elitist Biden thinks he may have if elected President, the Founders already barred him from touching the right of the people to keep and bear arms—whatever those arms may be.

Secondly, the 2nd Amendment includes every American, not simply a “national guard.” Modern liberals, who apparently know nothing of the real history of America and the Constitution, all claim that the 2nd Amendment applies only to the organized “National Guard.” Anyone who cares to actually read what the Framers of the Constitution themselves said on the topic will recognize at once this mistake.

Richard Henry Lee stated that “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” The men who crafted the Bill of Rights spoke with one accord regarding what they meant by “militia.” Samuel Adams observed, “The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to … prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Another, Patrick Henry, was quite adamant. “The great object is that every man be armed … Everyone who is able may have a gun.”

It is sheer nonsense to suppose that the 2nd Amendment authorized only an organized “national guard.’ A United States Senate Subcommittee in 1982, after thoroughly examining the founders’ intent on the Second Amendment, concluded: “The framers of the Bill of Rights consistently use the words ‘right of the people’ to reflect individual rights… the ‘militia’ itself referred to a concept of universally armed people, not to any specifically organized unit.”

Further, to prove that the National Guard is NOT the “militia” referred to in the 2nd Amendment, the subcommittee stated boldly that “Congress has organized the National Guard under its power to ‘raise and support armies’ … The modern National Guard was specifically intended to avoid status as the constitutional militia, a distinction recognized by 10 U.S.C. #311 (a).” Thus, even the United States code recognizes that the “militia” does not refer to the National Guard, but to all the people.

Third, the 2nd Amendment is tantamount to valuation of life and liberty. Jeffrey Snyder is an attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C. In a publication entitled The Public Interest, under “Nation of Cowards,” Snyder makes the following observations regarding the right to keep and bear arms enjoyed by Americans.

“Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA.”

“Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e. exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social ‘re-education’ is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s famous characterization of gun owners as ‘hunters who drink beer, don’t vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend.”

Snyder points out too that the late Sen. Kennedy characterized gun owners as the “pusher’s best friend.” And who can forget Barak Obama’s picture of the ignorant masses who cling to their “bibles and their guns.”

In the end, Snyder observes that gun controllers routinely are those who devalue life, and we might add, liberty. The notion that defending oneself with lethal force is not somehow “civilized” “arises from the view that violence is always wrong, or the view that each human being is of such intrinsic worth that it is wrong to kill anyone under any circumstances. The necessary implication of these propositions, however, is that life is not worth defending.”

The above explains why the left not only do not wish for Americans to defend themselves against tyrannical governments, but are happily for the murder of the unborn. Life has little value to them. “One who believes it wrong to arm himself against criminal violence shows contempt of God’s gift of life …”

The same can be said regarding our ability to defend against tyranny and God’s gift of freedom. Biden does not value life nor liberty.

Bill Lockwood: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

With the recent shootings in America liberal politicians have proposed curtailing the God-given unalienable right to keep and bear arms as a method to stem the violence. From presidential hopeful Joe Biden recently telling Anderson Cooper, “Bingo” when asked about the government coming for “guns” to Kamala Harris’ proposal that if she is elected president she will enact “executive orders” to confiscate “assault weapons” when Congress fails to act, the Second Amendment needs to be re-asserted.

It is a historical fact that in nations where political leaders wish to remove properties and freedoms of the citizenry, they always begin by disarming the populace. This normally begins by requiring registration of firearms and imposing penalties when they do not. This is followed in many cases by federal governments deliberately provoking rioting and violence which is then used as an excuse to confiscate firearms.

The Second Amendment—A Prohibition

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” The first thing to be noted is that the 2d Amendment is a strict prohibition against the federal government. It is not a declaration of rights, period. The right to keep arms was assumed to be God-given by the founders, but they added the Amendments to ensure that the national government would not touch these freedoms.

The Bill of Rights opens with this bold statement, “Congress shall make NO LAW …” What Joe Biden and his Democrat cohorts propose is unconstitutional on its very surface. Federal government has no say so in the matter. Making “no law” is pretty clear.

Second, there is a popular view today, though erroneous, that the 2d Amendment means that the National Guard should be able to keep and bear arms, but that the guarantee does not extend to ordinary citizens. Those who advance such an argument either have not read the Founders themselves who wrote the 2d Amendment, or hope you do not—or both.

The concern has always been, from the time of the creation of America until today, that a centralized federal government would evolve into a dictatorship or totalitarian state. The framers, with one voice, stated that the only counter measure to such gravitational pull over time was the populace itself. Alexander Hamilton, for example, in The Federalist Papers, asserted that liberty would always be ensured as long as the people were allowed to be “properly armed and equipped.”

James Madison, who authored the 2d Amendment, wrote that under the Constitution “the ultimate authority …resides in the people alone [due to the] advantage of being armed which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.” Joseph Story, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (8112-1845), a foremost Constitutional authority, wrote:

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary powers of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, noted that

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence….From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable…the very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference—they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.

Sam Adams, introduced in the Massachusetts convention the call to ratify the Constitution. In it he said that the “Constitution never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own guns.”

Sir William Blackstone (1725-80), though not a founder of this nation, was one of the top four quoted authorities on Common Law. Lawyers in America until the time of Abraham Lincoln normally carried Blackstone with them. Of the right to keep and bear arms, Blackstone said,

“Of the absolute rights of individuals: the fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject … is that of having arms for their defense …”

He explained that the basis for this right is the “natural right of resistance and self-preservation when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression” (Alan Gottlieb, The Rights of Gun Owners, 1983, p. 6). It is as if Blackstone was mirroring current day America and the push of Democratic and Socialist lawmakers to open our borders to the entire third world, turning our streets into combat zones in some cases.

State Militia

Still, some cling to the wording of the 2d Amendment which states a “well-regulated militia” is necessary for the security of a free people to insist that this right to keep and bear arms be reserved for a specialized unit which one must join. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most Americans do not realize that they themselves belong to the state militia where they reside. Title 10, section 31 of the U.S. Code defines the militia of each state as “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are or have [made] a declaration of intent to become citizens” (W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, p. 694).

The United States Congress has weighed in on this topic as well. In 1982 a Senate subcommittee on the Constitution carefully documented the 2d Amendment understanding in a public report. After lengthy pages of history, it noted that in various states after the War for Independence many proposals called it a general duty for all citizens to be armed. Richard Henry Lee, for instance, observed that “to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them …”

George Mason of Virginia, drafter of the Virginia Bill of Rights, accused the British of having plotted to “disarm the people—that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.” Patrick Henry said that the “great object is that every man be armed and everyone who is able may have a gun.”

St. George Tucker, one of the earliest commentators on the Constitution and Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, published in 1803 his annotations. He followed Blackstone’s citations (noted above) and pointed out regarding the 2d Amendment that it is “without any qualification.” So also, William Rawle’s “View of the Constitution” published in 1825. He emphasized that,

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by a rule of construction be conceived to give Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.”

The 1982 Congress summarized some of the above material. First, subsequent legislation in the Second Congress “supports the interpretation of the Second Amendment that creates an individual right. In the Militia Act of 1792, the second Congress defined ‘militia of the United States’ to include almost every free adult male in the United States.”

They went on to add that these persons “were obligated by the law to possess a firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment.” “There can be little doubt from this that when the Congress … spoke of a ‘militia’, they had reference to the traditional concept of the entire populace capable of bearing arms, and not to any formal group such as what is today called the National Guard.” (Skousen, p. 699).

Second, the prohibition is strict and broad against the federal government or its officers from being able to address the issue of firearms or weaponry in the hands of its citizens. The reason is clear. As Joseph Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution put it this way: the right to keep and bear arms is “the palladium of the liberties of the republic.” This is a natural deterrent to tyranny.

So, whether it is Elizabeth Warren, who wants to have the federal government involve themselves in background checks, or Kamala Harris, who has dictatorship-style plans to move unilaterally on guns if elected president, or Joe Biden, who plans to implement bans on “assault weapons” at the federal level, or Bernie Sanders, who promises some type of executive action on firearms—all of these are theorizing in unconstitutional territory. If the federal government can step into this arena—no matter how small a role—history shows that this foot-in-the-door will expand to larger roles as Constitutionally illiterate people pouring out of the colleges demand more federal control. Voters, beware.

 

Freedom and Firearms 0 (0)

Freedom and Firearms– “…governing authorities therefore do not have any inherent right in themselves to rule the rest of us.”

by Bill Lockwood

This is about self-government. Do we have an inalienable right before God to determine our own government? To organize our own governing principles by which we live? The foundational platform of our entire system of political rule is the concept that human beings, all persons, have been created in the image of God and due to that inherent individual value in each one of us, we have a right to manage our own political future. From that single point of reference–the very core of our governing values–that we have a right to manage our own affairs– we have delegated to certain representatives which we call government. Government owns no more authority than we have delegated to it.

The opposite side of this coin is that governing authorities therefore do not have any inherent right in themselves to rule the rest of us. Their rule is delegated to them by us and goes so far as we allow. This is why we vote. They must have our approval. If this be not true, then let’s have a king to decide who gets what and who doesn’t. Who lives and who does not.

This also means that legislators, law enforcement, as well as the military have duties and responsibilities that inherently belong to ‘we the people.’ We have simply “delegated” to them the power that they have for protection of an orderly society and to fight enemies, foreign and domestic. We cannot delegate that which we do not have.

What does this mean to firearms? The 2d Amendment was not written in order to “give” us the right to anything. It is a part of self-determination and self-government. We the people composed it to remind governing authorities that they could not touch this sacred right, nor any of the others that are mentioned or not even mentioned (9th and 10th Amendments). These rights are God-bestowed and belong to us by nature.

To suggest therefore, that “we the people” do not have a right to own firearms is to suggest we have no more right to self-government. We no longer have a right to determine our own destiny. Instead, it is to say that we must have managers set over us to determine our course. It is to state that “we the people” have no right to rule ourselves.

John Paul Stevens

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for a repeal of the 2d Amendment. In a column last Tuesday in The New York Times, Stevens admonished Americans to “respect” the demonstrations for Gun Control. Added to that he encouraged “the demonstrators” to “demand a repeal of the 2d Amendment.” That amendment, he added, “is a relic of the 18th century.”

Justice Stevens shows exactly what is wrong with America. He does not believe we have an inherent right to govern ourselves. What’s more: this abysmal ignorance of the fundamentals of American governance sat on the Supreme Court and helped decide the course of our nation. Adding to the insulting statements he made in which he basically denied our right to self-government, he indicated that during the years that Warren Burger served as chief justice from 1969 to 1986, no judge, “as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment.” So the Supreme Court itself does not believe “we the people” have an inherent right to self-government.

Shocking, but not so. Exactly what Constitutionalists have been complaining about for decades. We have been crammed into a progressive top-down government-control system unheard of in the halls of freedom. Progressive lies have turned the Constitution on its head and up-ended the very foundation of liberty before God. Socialistic thinking has become the cancer on our society.

Justice Stevens should have been reading the Founding Fathers who crafted the 2d Amendment instead of the liberal law professors who filled him with progressive lies. Every single Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments) was designed to demonstrate the limited ability of government to manage, not the limited ability of people to enjoy their freedoms. It is a “thou shalt not” touch list. If Stevens does not understand that, he does not understand the building blocks of our system.

Richard Henry Lee of VA stated, “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” Note that Lee connected firearms to freedom. Power rests with the people; not to elitists who suppose they are above us.

Samuel Adams: “The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress … to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Why this? Because daddy government allows people to have firearms? Absolutely not. Because I have a right to determine my own destiny, to protect my freedom and my family—even if by force against an all-powerful out-of-control government. God gave me this right.

Patrick Henry added, “The great object is that every man be armed … Everyone who is able may have a gun.” George Mason, also of Virginia, drafter of the Virginia Bill of Rights, accused the British government of having a plot to “disarm the people.” Why? As Mason stated, that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.” This is still true.

Justice Joseph Story served on the Supreme Court from 1811 until 1845. He published his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States in 1833. In these he considered the right to keep and bear arms as “the palladium of the liberties of the Republic” which deterred tyranny and enabled the citizens of our nation to overthrow dictatorial powers should that ever occur. This is why the Second Amendment reminds us that every law-abiding individual has the right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment is a “relic of the 18th century”, as Stevens stated, only if freedom is also such a relic. Apparently, it is with the Supreme Court of his day as well as with many who are pouring into the streets stupidly to protest our right to self-government. The lines are being drawn.