Tag Archives: Thomas Jefferson

Bill Lockwood: May Christians be Engaged in Politics?

by Bill Lockwood

“Politics” is one of those words that has taken on ugly connotations in almost every context in which it is used. It has the air of manipulating people for some personal gain. Indeed, one of the definitions of “politic” is “shrewd, crafty, unscrupulous.” If we leave it right there, then the issue of Christian involvement settles itself.

However, political science refers to the methods and principles of governing. When used in this sense, it is more statecraft, which is “the art of managing state affairs.” Used in this way the entire issue of Christian participation takes on a different color. Let’s back up to some basics.

Genesis Account

God created man in his own image (Gen. 1:26). Only mankind (humanity) was created by God with this “image.” This apparently refers to the capacity of humans to exercise free will; to have moral sensitivity; to manage rational behavior. The point, however, is that humankind only, of all of God’s creation, has intrinsic value. 

An extension of this value is liberty—freedom of movement and choice. This is man’s endowment from God because man cannot sustain himself without labor or work. Man is to utilize (subdue, have dominion over, Gen. 1:28) the creation to that end. The original order from the Creator was to work or labor in order to eat (Gen. 2:15-16). God’s design therefore implies liberty in order to accomplish this.  

At the same time, private property is an extension of my labor, an extension of myself. “Thou shalt not steal” implies private ownership of property. Even the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the same in 1972 in Lynch v. Household Finance. Property rights are “fundamental civil rights.” Further, the right to property is inseparable from the right to liberty. One cannot exist without the other.

What is Law?

“Law” is simply “rule of action.” Frederic Bastiat, in his classic essay The Law, wrote it best. “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” Are Christians banned from crafting laws by which to protect their God-endowed rights? Surely not.

Law then, as Bastiat breaks it down, is defined as “the common force that protects this collective right [and it] cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.” That is to say, law is the common force of a number of people and only has the authority of those individuals in defense of life, liberty, and property. 

We ask: Is it right to defend my life with force? If yes, then, I may do it collectively as well with a “common force.” Is it right to defend my liberty with force? My property? “Thou shalt not steal” is again, good law—but it is meaningless without an enforcement mechanism. Empty words without teeth. Remember, even the apostles carried swords (Luke 22:38).

If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then we might ask how was it that God Himself so provided for those things in the Old Testament? Defense of any of these is certainly not inherently wrong. The “common force” is nothing less than government. If a Christian may engage in defense of life, liberty or property as an individual, he or she may do so as part of government.

Is it possible that a “common force” (government) can be used for nefarious ends? Of course. But it is also possible for the collective force or governing authority to do right. This is the basis of Romans 13:1-7.

The New Testament

Let’s check our answer with the New Testament. The apostle Paul was arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 23). Kept in a Roman prison, he discovered that a plot had been laid for his life by the Jews. This conspiracy (23:12) was made known to Paul by his nephew while visiting the apostle. Paul instructed the young lad to take the information to the commandant. The commandant considered the news credible and prepared almost 500 armed soldiers—acting as a police force and deterrent to the murderous plot of the Jews—to transport Paul to Caesarea.

Here is a case of an apostle, utilizing the lethal force of government to protect his life and ensure a miscarriage of justice did not occur. It is certainly right to use violence for self-preservation. If it is right for Paul to use it, it is right for another Christian to participate in the governing authority that Paul used.

It seems less than satisfactory for one to respond, “Well, the Roman soldiers and governing authorities are going to hell anyway, so let them to the killing.” By that lack of rationale one would hope that conversions among the military or police or state officials would not occur so that we may protect ourselves with the devil’s population!

It seems clear that a Christian may engage in statecraft—organizing laws and regulations for a community based upon Christian standards, including enforcement mechanisms. The only issue therefore, is: What kind of governance is it by which we can best maintain the liberties granted to us by God? The perfect answer is provided succinctly by the one and only Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson

In a letter to Gideon Granger in 1800 Jefferson explained how centralization of government would lead to despotism and loss of freedom.

Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens, and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite the public agents to corruption, plunder and waste. And I do verily believe, that if the principle were to prevail, of a common law being force in the United States, … it would become the most corrupt government on the earth.

If you wish to maintain your liberties, keep the governing powers local. With words that are so accurate they ring prophetic, he continued,

What an augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating, plundering, office-building and office-hunting would be produced by an assumption of all the State powers into the hands of the General Government. The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the States are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the General Government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our General Government may be reduced to a very simple organization and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants.

Bill Lockwood: Good-bye American Heritage?

by Bill Lockwood

The inspiring ideals enshrined in the founding documents of our nation include a limited government that allows maximum personal freedom, equality of opportunity, and equal justice under the law. These are founded upon the pillars of inalienable rights, including the fact that all men are created by God as equal. But we have gone about “as far left” as socialist policies can take us if the Democratic debates are an indication of where America will be tomorrow.

“Our job,” Bernie Sanders spouted in the Iowa debate, “is to build the United Nations.” Not surprising from a socialist who has been photographed enjoying toasts with the leader of the old Soviet Union’s gulag communistic state. But frightening that he maintains substantial support in the Democratic Party.

The United Nations has been from its inception a design for socialistic world government. In its most recent COP 25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain, Executive Director Stuart Scott called for the UN to implement drastic population-control policies and “family planning” such as control the Chinese. Other plans include a massive transfer of wealth from “western countries” (read, “United States”) to third world poorer nations in the form of “climate reparations.” The UN is a world dictators’ dream. This is what Bernie Sanders favors. National Socialism is not brave enough—we need International socialism.

It is inescapable, however, that we have already lost so many of our freedoms that have made America the envy of the world. Whether due to taxes, to regulations on our businesses, farms, homes, cars, to our activities, to our speech, and to our abilities to exercise without government interference our religious liberty—our American heritage has dwindled.

So the issue is whether we will preserve even the semblance of our once-cherished ideals of limited government, the sovereignty of the States, the protection of life and property that is so nobly enshrined in our founding documents? Will we maintain any semblance of our freedom over our own health care or will we capitulate to the totalitarian proposals of the Democrats by which the government becomes a monopoly funded 100% by the American taxpayer? Will we continue the path to a more limited government under president Donald Trump or listen to the siren song of socialists?

Samuel Padover edited Thomas Jefferson’s letters in Thomas Jefferson on Democracy. He refers to Jefferson as “the St. Paul of American democracy.” Padover completes his introduction;

“The modern trend is in the direction of greater concentration of power in the hands of government. The problem of individual freedom within the framework of a more or less regulated economy will have to be fought out in our age, just as the question of political liberty and the free market were the issues in Jefferson’s day. … Jefferson felt that without liberty, life was not worth living. …In the difficult years that undoubtedly lie ahead, Americans will have to gather all their moral forces for the preservation of their way of life, their liberties, and their opportunities.”

These words were written in 1939.

E.W. Jackson & Jerome Corsi: The Impeachment Show Trial

by E.W. Jackson & Jerome Corsi

Representatives Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler set a very dangerous precedent when they refused to conduct impeachment hearings according to constitutional due process standards. Democrats are so desperate for power that they would overturn the election of a President of the United States based on their biased and partisan interpretation of his telephone conversation with a foreign leader.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was initially reluctant to risk the electoral backlash of impeachment. She finally bowed to far-left pressure, ignoring the President’s astounding economic and foreign policy successes. Her worst nightmare is coming true — rising approval for President Trump and rising disapproval for the Democrat Party and their presidential candidates.

This is because the impeachment process we are witnessing is decidedly un-American. Using secretive, totalitarian-style, one-party interrogations is not due process and is unworthy of a constitutional republic.

Democrats ignored the constitutional standard for impeachment to remove a president:  “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”  No unbiased  adjudicator could conclude that President Trump’s telephone discussion with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky is an impeachable offense. Far from a “high crime,” the President was carrying out his duty to the people of the United States. He was guarding our treasure and protecting our national integrity. Ukraine has been one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and he was right to request an investigation. If taxpayer funded aide was used as leverage to enrich the former vice president’s son, the American people should know.

Instead of thanking the President for his diligence, Democrats in Congress had the temerity to accuse him of committing an “abuse of power.” The Executive Branch of the United States government is separate and co-equal. George Washington University law professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley told the House Judiciary Committee that it would be Congress abusing power if they try to stop the President from exercising his constitutional prerogatives. Schiff, Nader and Pelosi ignored that unbiased counsel.

They have chosen instead to drag the country through an impeachment process while trampling the constitutional and due process rights of a sitting President. If they ignore his rights, why would they respect those of the average citizen?

Due process rules are not reserved to criminal trials alone. They are essentially the same in regulatory and administrative hearings. Those rules reach even to private entities operating under “color of law.” To suggest that a proceeding as grave as a presidential impeachment need not follow the same basic procedural rules of fairness is ludicrous on its face.

Hearsay is excluded from evidence in court proceedings because it is notoriously unreliable. Yet Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor were called before the House Intelligence Committee with great pomp and ceremony to offer only hearsay. Defendants always have a right to confront their accusers, yet the “whistleblower” remains an anonymous figure.

Adam Schiff went beyond hearsay to outright falsehood. Speaking on the floor of Congress, he reported that President Trump said to President Zelensky, “I want you to dig up dirt on my opponent and lots of it.” The President said nothing of the kind. Schiff later claimed it was a parody.”  This is the same Adam Schiff who said he had incontrovertible evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia. The only conclusion supported by evidence is that Adam Schiff is a pathological liar.

Democrats also violated the principle that the accused has a right to a vigorous defense. The earliest hearings were closed to Republicans. Information from those inquiries was selectively leaked to the press. Depositions were taken in secret. Rep. Andy Biggs, Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, compared the sessions to Soviet secret hearings. He proposed a resolution on the House floor to condemn and censure Schiff, but of course House Democrats tabled the proposal.

Long gone is the Democratic Party of President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senators Scoop Jackson and Sam Nunn. It is now a party of hardcore leftists, more aligned with Karl Marx than Thomas Jefferson. They are now completely driven by extreme leftist ideology.  Lacking evidence that President Trump committed any crime or even did anything morally wrong, they recklessly passed articles of impeachment, with no regard to the great damage they are doing to our Republic. The Democratic Party once had statesmen, but it is now the refuge of demagogues.

Their Stalinist impeachment show trial demonstrated gross disrespect for our elections and the peaceful transition of power. This has been nothing less than an attempted coup d’etat, but these de facto communist revolutionaries will face the wrath of the American voter. Tuesday, November 3, 2020 will be a day of reckoning.

AT: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/12/the_impeachment_show_trial.html


Bishop E.W. Jackson, retired attorney and Dr. Jerome Corsi, author and journalist are members of the STAND Against Communism Political Action Committee. www.standagainstcommunism.com

 

Bill Lockwood: Why Do Christians Support Donald Trump?

by Bill Lockwood

Not presuming to speak for all Christians, I do, however, wish to offer a few observations regarding the general support of Donald J. Trump by Christians and Constitutionalists. This is timely seeing that so many on the socialistic/Democratic side of the political spectrum love to harangue Trump-supporting Christians about the past personal behavior of Trump. They seem to delight in pointing out his multiple marriages, his infidelities, his foul language, or other personal indiscretions, always with a view to shaming Christians for their support.

What Shall We Say to These Things?

First, no Christian of which I am aware excuses Trump’s personal sins. But this is a far cry from an elected official such as Bill Clinton using his powerful position as the chief executive to assault women in the oval office. On a broader scale, if an angry press would devote itself to scouring all public officials with the scrutiny they have applied to Donald Trump, I doubt there would be many officials to escape unscathed. So, what does this mean? Stop participating in the election process because those whom we elect have soiled lives? I suspect that is what the left really desires.

Second, I readily confess that the ideal is as stated by John Adams. “He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries the most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”

Thomas Jefferson agreed. “For promoting the public happiness, those persons whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue … should be able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens …” But where are we as a society?

It is needless to point out here that our entire culture for the past 75 years has been more reflective of Sodom and Gomorrah than the “shining city on a hill” that John Winthrop paraphrased from the words of our Savior. There is without question a deep-dyed wickedness in the populace that is corroding the nation’s soul. Finding a virtuous and godly person that will fill the position of a “natural aristocracy,” as Jefferson worded it, and willing to put themselves into the grinding mill of the political arena, is nearly an impossible task.

Third, with the above in mind, many Christians primarily have relied upon the simple principle of how best to secure our God-given liberties? Since the entire history of civilization is nothing but the story of suffering peoples at the hands of their own governments, which candidate will support the kinds of Constitutional principles that more positively reflect that? Or, more pointedly, do Donald Trump’s policies lessen the vice-grip of government, or do the Democratic policies? To ask the question is to answer it.

One must recognize that political power always, without fail, gravitates toward centralization and that this movement always erodes and destroys the liberty of people by removing the decision-making processes and transferring them to that central government. Christians therefore, have wisely resisted the growth of government. And it is only Donald J. Trump, even with his brass-knuckle less-than-genteel approach, who can drain the swamp that threatens to drown us all.

An Illustration

The Jews in the time of Christ did not enjoy even a modicum of the liberty that we now have as Christians in America. As a matter of fact, Israel’s sovereignty had been removed from the period of the Assyrian Empire in the Old Testament (8th century B.C.) and was never regained. The mighty Roman empire controlled Palestine during the birth of our Lord, and the Jewish people suffered beneath the local rule of one wicked Procurator after another.

So, when a Quirinius, the Legate of Syria (Luke 2:1-3), would order a census in Palestine with a view to taxation, the Jews submitted even though despising it. So also other governors of Syria such as Coponius, Marcus Ambivius, and Valerius Gratus, who followed Quirinius. Other various fiscal oppressions of a grievous sort were practiced by Romans against the Jewish people. All of these the Jews loathed, but tolerated.

This was because these governors generally respected the religious feelings of the Jews and gave wide latitude to Jewish practices and scruples. We know, for example, that they removed the image of the Emperor from the standards of Roman soldiers before marching them into Jerusalem, so as to avoid the appearance of a cultus of the Caesars (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, vol. I, p. 242).

But all of that was far different from a Pontius Pilate who forced the hated emblem on the Jews and defied all of their most sacred feelings.

Today

This is not unlike the political scene today. A secular society continues to dominate our culture, which Christians decry. Christians tolerate, probably too much, the unconstitutional and ungodly measures in our country. But this is completely different from a Democratic leader such as Barack Obama who publicly mocks the Bible, engineers the redefinition of marriage, rubs Christian noses in the murder of the unborn, and parades to the world that we are not a Christian nation.

Added to that is the fact that in the end, not only has President Trump boldly stood for a more biblical stance in public policy, but has sought to massively de-regulate the unconstitutional super-state in which we live. A report by the Council of Economic Advisors in June, 2019 estimates that after 5-10 years of the new de-regulatory approach of the Federal Government household incomes will have been raised by $3,100 per household per year.

Casey Mulligan, the chief economist for the CEA, explained that “The deregulatory efforts of the Trump Administration have … removed mandates from employers, especially smaller businesses, and have removed burdens that would have eliminated many small bank lenders from the marketplace. These deregulatory actions are raising real incomes by increasing competition, productivity, and wages.”

In the end, however, it is not merely economic prosperity that many Christians desire. It is to secure our God-given liberties by rolling back the unconstitutional government in which we live. Donald J. Trump seems to be the only person with enough back-bone to attempt this daunting task. I suspect that the radical left realizes this fact which explains their mindless hatred and opposition.

Bill Lockwood: The Evil of Socialism

by Bill Lockwood

Socialism in its original form was defined as “government ownership of the means of production.” This is why the Soviet Union confiscated all business, factories, and farms while murdering millions of dissenters and resistors in the process.  However, aside from that classical definition, socialism has always referred to the redistribution of income and properties in the pursuit of equality—whether through the progressive income tax or various institutions of the welfare state.

Our Founding Fathers were well aware of socialistic redistribution and the collectivist drift toward the left by growing government. They all warned against it as an evil that burdens society. Samuel Adams, for example, pointed out that the founders had done everything in their power to make socialism unconstitutional.

The Utopian schemes of leveling [re-distribution of wealth] and a community of goods [central ownership of the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.

Thomas Jefferson warned against our modern welfare state. “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” Jefferson rightly pointed out the immorality of it simply in the fact that it is unjust for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debt to the next generation. Our current debt of about $20 trillion is almost entirely owing to our socialistic quagmire of government taking care of people.

Jefferson added, “…we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority.” Plainly, to pass on debt to the next generation, which is part and parcel of socialism, is itself immoral.

In Jefferson’s second inaugural address in 1805, he observed that the redistribution of wealth was a violation of the basic and fundamental right of mankind. “Our wish … is that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good,…equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers.”

In other words, there never will be financial equality among members of a society because wealth and the accumulation of goods is the direct result of one’s own industry—or that of his fathers, as Jefferson put it.

He went on to point out that:

to take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to everyone of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.

Such things as the income tax and the infamous “death tax” come to mind as examples of violations which the sage of Monticello had in mind.

Benjamin Franklin wrote on this topic at length. He told one of his friends in England why America would not adopt a welfare state. “I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision for the poor is a very great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness. We have followed your example, and begin now to see our error, and I hope, shall reform it.”

A summary of Franklin’s views on welfare is as follows: (1) Compassion which gives a drunk the means to increase his drunkenness is counterproductive. (2) Compassion which breeds debilitating dependency and weakness is counterproductive. (3) Compassion which blunts the desire or necessity to work for a living is counterproductive. (4) Compassion which smothers the instinct to strive and excel is counterproductive.

Providing the means to increase immoral actions; breeding debilitating dependency; blunting the desire or necessity to work; smothering the instinct to excel—sadly, this is an apt description of America today. Such is the destructive nature of socialism. Franklin added:

To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity; it is godlike; but, if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of, idleness and extravagance? Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.

Would that America had paid closer attention, not only to the advice from our founders, but to the structure and prohibitions of the law of the land—the Constitution—which made wealth redistribution illegal. But who studies the Constitution today? Certainly very little in public schools, if at all. And who reads the founders any more?


2 W. Cleon Skousen’s summary in The Making of America, p. 219.

Birthright Citizenship, the Fourteenth Amendment and The Immigration Invasion

by Bill Lockwood

Some estimate the number of Central American citizens marching northward through Mexico to the United States to be upward of 14,000. Eighty percent of these immigrants are men younger than 35 years old. President Trump has issued a state of emergency and U.S. troops are being deployed to the Mexican border.

In the wake of this looming invasion of the sovereignty of the United States, several issues are being pushed to the forefront of national attention. The most notable is the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and its so-called Citizenship Clause. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Many cultural leaders and Constitutional commentators insist that these clauses mean that the children born of parents temporarily in the country as students, or children born of illegal aliens who are unlawfully residing within our geographical boundaries automatically become U.S. citizens. This is known as “Birthright citizenship.”

This, however, is not what the text of the Constitution says or means, in spite of the fact that many people think that it does. For example, a recent article in the Chicago Tribune argues for birthright citizenship.

Chicago Tribune

“Trump eyes order to end birthright citizenship. Legal experts say that would violate Constitution,” blares the  headline.

President Donald Trump is vowing to sign an executive order that would seek to end the right to U.S. citizenship for children born in the United States to non-citizens, a move most legal experts say runs afoul of the Constitution and that was dismissed Tuesday by the top House Republican.”

John Wagner, a writer for The Washington Post and author of the above lines, adds that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) dismissed the idea in a recent radio interview, explaining that Trump’s proposal is not consistent with the Constitution. Ryan explained that not only can Trump not end “birthright citizenship” with an executive order, but that Republicans did not like it when Barack Obama changed immigration policy by executive action.

At the risk of taking on the Establishment legal experts but having confidence in the fact that the Constitution was written for all to understand, these “legal experts”, including Paul Ryan, are flat wrong. As a matter of fact, one of the “choke points” designed to minimize the likelihood “that an arguably unconstitutional federal law would pass and take effect” is the plain supposition that the Constitution speaks “not merely to federal judges, but rather to all branches and ultimately to the people themselves” (Akhil Reed Amar, America’s Constitution: A Biography, p. 62-63).

The Civil War Amendments

The Fourteenth Amendment was the second of three amendments to the Constitution that was adopted in post-Civil War America. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment defined citizenship and guaranteed the rights of former slaves; and the Fifteenth Amendment granted the vote to African-American men.

The point of today’s conflict resides in the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, which actually reads: “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are citizens of the United States. Those who advocate birthright citizenship ignore the qualifying phrase.

What is the Meaning of the 14th Amendment?

First, consider Original Intent of the Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson pointed out the obvious, that “original intent” is the only legitimate interpretation.

On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

This canon of interpretation is obvious, but Jefferson knew there were and would be forces which twist the meaning of written laws to make the Constitution conform to their desires.

James Madison agreed.

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution … What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.

James Wilson wrote that “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.” And modern-day Justice Clarence Thomas underscored the point. If we are not interested in the “original intent” the Constitution has no more value than the latest football scores.

All such interpretive methodologies that speak of “various contexts” of the clauses of the Constitution, or that the text actually morphs over time and clime partake is nothing less than existential nonsense designed to free persons from the constraints of law.

Second, consider the original meaning of the 14th Amendment, specifically the qualifying phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

The 13th Amendment which abolished slavery within all the territories of the United States. It was adopted in December, 1865, only months after the conclusion of the Civil War. However, the 13th Amendment was found not to be enough.

Former slaves were forbidden to appear in “the towns in any other character than menial servants” and were required to reside upon and cultivate the land “without the right to purchase or own it.” They were excluded from many occupations of gain and were “not permitted to give testimony in the courts where a white man was a party” (Thomas Norton, The Constitution of the United States: Its Sources and Its Application).

These and other similar circumstances brought about the 14th Amendment, which was adopted in July, 1868. The chief architect of the Amendment was Ohio politician John Bingham. However, it was Senator Jacob Howard who was the author of the Citizenship Clause in question.

During debate over the clause he assured his colleagues in the Senate that the language “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was not intended to make Indians citizens of the United States because, although born in the geographical boundaries of our nation, were not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Instead, they owed allegiance to their tribes.

One of Howard’s colleagues, Senator Lyman Trumball, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued in exactly the same manner. He explained to the Senate that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” meant “not owing allegiance to anybody else and being subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States.”

“Not owing allegiance to anybody else.” That is as plain as it can be. Who can misread this? Illegal border crossers are not included in subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

It is for this reason the children of foreign diplomats do not automatically become citizens of the United States, although perhaps born on U.S. soil. There is no birthright citizenship.

Modern Constitutional writer Hons von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese Center, explains further:

The fact that a tourist or illegal alien is subject to our laws and our courts if they violate our laws does not place them within the political “jurisdiction” of the United States as that phrase was defined by the framers of the 14th Amendment.

Liberals prefer to believe that anyone present in the United States is “subject to the jurisdiction” of America. That is false, as a plain reading of the 14th Amendment shows, as well as the intention of its framers. Foreigners who jump our borders owe allegiance to other nations and are not only not citizens, neither are their children, though they may be born on this soil.

The above being the case, how did Americans, even lawmakers, come to adopt the position that “birthright citizenship” is the law of the land? Only by bureaucratic overstepping the boundaries of the Constitution. This is a perfect illustration of how governing authorities stretch the meaning of the Constitution to unlawful lengths, then assert their unauthorized position so frequently that the idea becomes settled as if it really is the law of the land.

Americans should be thankful for a president like Donald Trump who is bold enough to take on the establishment and its pretended authority to tell us what the Constitution means. The current crisis in immigration is caused solely by Big Government bureaucrats who have twisted the Constitution into their own mold and a complaisant citizenry which allows them to do so.

Tom DeWeese: Will Brett Kavanaugh Stand for Property Rights?

Will Brett Kavanaugh Stand for Property Rights?-“The homeowner came under greater pressure to sell.”

by Tom DeWeese

There’s lots of talk about where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stands on the Roe v Wade abortion decision and if he would vote to rescind it. There is another very controversial Supreme Court decision made just few years ago, supported by the Anthony Kennedy, the justice he seeks to replace. That is the Kelo decision that basically obliterated private property rights in America. So, where does Brett Kananaugh stand on protection of private property rights? With Kennedy or the Constitution?

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down an opinion that shocked the nation. It was the case of Susette Kelo, et al. v City of New London, Connecticut, et al. The issue: “Does the government taking of property from one private owner to give to another private entity for economic development constitutes a permissible ‘public use’ under the Fifth Amendment?”

In 2000, the city of New London saw a chance to rake in big bucks through tax revenues for a new downtown development project that was to be anchored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The company announced a plan to build a $270 million dollar global research facility in the city. The local government jumped at the chance to transform 90 acres of an area right next to the proposed research facility. Their plans called for the creation of the Fort Trumbull development project which would provide hotels, housing and shopping areas for the expected influx of Pfizer employees. There were going to be jobs and revenues A-Go-Go in New London. Just one obstacle stood in the way of these grand plans. There were private homes in that space.

No muss – no fuss. The city fathers had a valuable tool in their favor. They would just issue an edict that they were taking the land by eminent domain. The city created a private development corporation to lead the project. First priority for the new corporation was to obtain the needed property.

Purchase Tom’s latest book “Sustainable: The WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property and Individuals”.

In July, 1997, Susette Kelo bought a nice little pink house in a quiet fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London. Little did she imagine that warm, comfy place would soon become the center of a firestorm.

She had no intention of selling. She’d spent a considerable amount of money and time fixing up her little pink house, a home with a beautiful view of the waterfront that she could afford. She planted flowers in the yard, braided her own rugs for the floors, filled the rooms with antiques and created the home she wanted.

Less than a year later, the trouble started. A real estate broker suddenly showed up at her door representing an unknown client. Susette said she wasn’t interested in selling. The realtor’s demeanor then changed, warning that the property was going to be condemned by the city. One year later, on the day before Thanksgiving, the sheriff taped a letter to Kelo’s door, stating that her home had been condemned by the City of New London.

Then the pressure began. A notice came in the mail telling her that the city intended to take her land. An offer of compensation was made, but it was below the market price. The explanation given was that, since the government was going to take the land, it was no longer worth the old market price, therefore the lower price was “just compensation,” as called for in the Fifth Amendment. It was a “fair price,” Kelo and the homeowners were told over and over.

Some neighbors quickly gave up, took the money and moved away. With the loss of each one, the pressure mounted. Visits from government agents became routine. They knocked on the door at all hours, demanding she sell. Newspaper articles depicted her as unreasonably holding up community progress. They called her greedy. Finally, the bulldozers moved in on the properties already sold. As they crushed down the houses, the neighborhood became unlivable. It looked like a war zone.

In Susette Kelo’s neighborhood, the imposing bulldozer was sadistically parked in front of a house, waiting. The homeowner came under greater pressure to sell. More phone calls, threatening letters, visits by city officials at all hours demanding they sign the contract to sell. It just didn’t stop. Finally the intimidation began to break down the most dedicated homeowners’ resolve. In tears, they gave in and sold. Amazingly, once they sold, the homeowners were then classified as “willing sellers!”

Immediately, as each house was bulldozed, the monster machine was moved to the next house, sitting there like a huffing, puffing dragon, ready to strike.

Finally Susette’s little pink house stood nearly alone in the middle of a destruction site. Over 80 homes were gone: seven remained. As if under attack by a conquering army, she was finally surrounded, with no place to run but to the courts. Under any circumstances the actions of the New London government and its sham development corporation should have been considered criminal behavior. It used to be. If city officials were caught padding their own pockets, or those of their friends, it was considered graft. That’s why RICO laws were created.

The United States was built on the very premise of the protection of private property rights. How could a government possibly be allowed to take anyone’s home for private gain? Surely justice would finally prevail.

The city was backed in its appeal by the National League of Cities, one of the largest proponents of eminent domain use, saying the policy was critical to spurring urban renewal with development projects. However, the Supreme Court had always stood with the founders of the nation on the vital importance of private property. There was precedent after precedent to back up the optimism that they would do so again.

Finally, her case was heard by the highest court in the land. It was such an obvious case of government overreach against private property owners that no one considered there was a chance of New London winning. That’s why it was a shock to nearly everyone involved that private property rights sustained a near-death blow that day.

This time, five black robes named Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer shocked the nation by ruling that officials who had behaved like Tony Soprano were in the right and Susette Kelo had no ground to stand on, literally or figuratively.

These four men and one woman ruled that the United States Constitution is meaningless as a tool to protect individuals against the wants and desires of government. Their ruling in the Kelo case declared that Americans own nothing. After deciding that any property is subject to the whim of a government official, it was just a short trip to declaring that government could now confiscate anything we own, anything we create, anything we’ve worked for – in the name of an undefined common good.

Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, who opposed the Court’s decision, vigorously rebutted the Majority’s argument, as she wrote in dissent of the majority opinion, “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing a Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”

Justice Clarence Thomas issued his own rebuttal to the decision, specifically attacking the argument that this was a case about “public use.” He accused the Majority of replacing the Fifth Amendment’s “Public Use” clause with a very different “Public Purpose” test. Said Justice Thomas “This deferential shift in phraseology enables the Court to hold against all common sense, that a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation, is for a public use.

Astonishingly the members of the Supreme Court have no other job but to protect the Constitution and defend it from bad legislation. They sit in their lofty ivory tower, with their lifetime appointments, never actually having to worry about job security or the need to answer to political pressure. Yet, these five black robes obviously missed finding a single copy of the Federalist Papers, which were written by many of the Founders to explain to the American people how they envisioned the new government was to work. In addition, they apparently missed the collected writings of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and George Washington, just to mention a very few. It’s obvious because otherwise, there is simply no way they could have reached this decision.

So, in a five to four vote, the Supreme Court said that it was okay for a community to use eminent domain to take land, shut down a business, or destroy and reorganize an entire neighborhood, if it benefited the community in a positive way. Specifically, “positive” meant unquestioned government control and more tax dollars.

The Institute for Justice, the group that defended Susette Kelo before the Supreme Court, reported that it found 10,000 cases in which condemnation was used or threatened for the benefit of private developers. These cases were all within a five-year period after the Kelo decision. Today, that figure is dwarfed as there is seemingly no limit on government takings of private property.

The Kelo decision changed the rules. The precedent was set. Land can now be taken anytime at the whim of a power elite. So again, the question must be asked: if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, will he stand to protect private property rights against massive overreach by local, state, and federal governments? Will he support an effort to overturn the Kelo Decision?

APC: https://americanpolicy.org/2018/07/17/will-brett-kavanaugh-stand-for-property-rights/

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

Natural Law

Natural Law– “All humans have impressed upon them from the beginning of creation the principles of Natural Law…”

by Bill Lockwood

Sir William Blackstone was an English jurist, judge and politician of eighteenth century England. His Commentaries on the Laws of England were a profound study of natural law and the founders of our nation carried Blackstone with them as a reference and guide. Even Abraham Lincoln loved Blackstone and studied him copiously.

One paramount principle which our founders loved was Blackstone’s explanation of Natural Law. Blackstone wrote in 1765:

This natural law, being as old as mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, from this original.

Note the following: (1) These laws are dictated by God himself. (2) They are binding to all men everywhere. (3) No human law that violates natural law is of any validity. One can hear echoes of this in the Declaration of Independence. Again, from Blackstone:

Thus when the Supreme Being formed the universe, and created matter out of nothing, He impressed certain principles upon that matter, from which it can never depart, and without which it would cease to be. When He put the matter into motion, He established certain laws of motion, to which all movable bodies must conform. And, to descend from the greatest operations to the smallest, when a workman forms a clock, or other piece of mechanism, he establishes at his own pleasure certain arbitrary laws for its direction; as that the hand shall describe a given space in a given time; to which law as long as the work conforms, so long it continues in perfection, and answers the end of its formation.

All humans have impressed upon them from the beginning of creation the principles of Natural Law—reasoning ability concerning right and wrong.

Even Cicero, whose full name was Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), the greatest orator of the ancient Roman Republic, and was raised in a pagan society, recognized true law imbedded within the heart of each person to which each is responsible.

True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions….It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.

One can hear in this echoes of Jefferson’s famous lines “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” Based upon this clear principle of natural law our founders disobeyed the unjust laws of King George.

Romans

Paul writes essentially the same thing in Romans 2:14-16, except Paul was inspired of God.

For when the Gentiles, that have not the law, do by nature the things of the law [OT revealed law, bl], these, not having the law, are a law unto themselves, in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their thoughts, one with another, accusing or else excusing them …

Here the apostle shows clearly that those without God’s written law have knowledge of the existence of a law within themselves. All humans instinctively have within them the understanding that some things will always be right and other things wrong.

For example, ABORTION. The forcible taking of innocent human life is wrong. The Roe v. Wade (1973) decision at the Supreme Court does not change this and one-half of our nation rightly continues to recognize it as murder. The depth of America’s sin can easily be gauged by this horrific transgression. Because our nation has been adrift for at least fifty to a hundred years or more does not mitigate our guilt.

Another illustration is, HOMOSEXUALITY. It matters not that the Supreme Court Obergefell (2015) decision dictates to states that same-sex couples may marry—it is still sinful activity and godly Americans will not simply accept it and move along. Nor should we. As Blackstone rightly said, these types of human laws “have no validity” before God nor with those who honor Him.

Brainwashing Americans on the Founders and Slavery

Brainwashing Americans on the Founders and Slavery“The opinion of the Founders as a whole was that slavery was an evil to be eradicated.”

by Bill Lockwood

Those familiar with the techniques consistently used by Communist and/or socialist nations know that brainwashing has been a major factor in controlling people. By methods of thought control via propaganda totalitarian regimes are able to indoctrinate citizens by inculcating beliefs that are helpful to massive population control measures. This is precisely what is occurring in our halls of learning today.

Destructive behavior among students is being bred and fed against America itself by a constant drum-beat of ill-informed, even sinister, castigation of the Founding generation. The chief charge is that the Founders were slave-owners. With that snippet of information student firebrands are enlisting in communist Antifa groups and pouring onto the streets to destroy our free society.

Consider the fact that every single leading “founding father” acknowledged that slavery was wrong. “Slavery was legal and practiced in every state in 1776; by the end of the founding era, more than a hundred thousand slaves had been freed by the outlawing of slavery in seven of the original thirteen states or by individual acts of manumission, especially in the South” (Thomas G. West, Vindicating the Founders, xiii).

Most importantly, the Founders themselves laid the groundwork for the eventual abolition of slavery. This was done by their dedication to the “equality principle” as well as written directly into the Constitution. This was unlike any nation in the history of the world.

Article 1.9 of the Constitution became what has been called the “first milestone” on the long road back from slavery. This compromise provision delayed the prohibition against the importation of slaves by twenty years. Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina were thereby insured to come into the union by this measure. The program of the Founders was that slavery was to phase out.

Liberals and enviro-fascists today who despise the Founders understand this perfectly. For example, many of them harangue against the oil-based industry upon which our economy is built, going so far to categorize America’s use of coal and gas as “unethical” and a “rape of the environment.” Nevertheless, these same pontificators do no suggest the shutting down in one day the entire oil industry, but instead work to transfer us to more “clean energy” sources. As misguided as they are, they know the wisdom of a slow and gradual change in an economy.

Thomas Jefferson

When Jefferson was only twenty-five years old he was elected to the Virginia legislature. His very first legislative effort was to emancipate slaves. Though a slave-owner, Jefferson recognized the evil of the system. The failure of this measure was due to the fact that Virginia was a British colony which disallowed the manumission of slaves.

Later, Jefferson wrote right into the Declaration of Independence the following commentary on “all men are created equal.”

He [the king of Britain] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere … Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

All men are created equal” included blacks. Jefferson’s subsequent career included proposing laws for the emancipation of slavery in Virginia (1779); proposed a law to outlaw slavery in the Northwest Territories (1784); he penned “the most eloquent denunciation of slavery written by anyone in the founding era” in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1787); he publicly supported the abolition of the slave trade as president (1807); and throughout his life expressed his fervent opposition to slavery (Woods, 3).

The entire founding generation was so opposed to slavery that historian Thomas Woods characterizes the Revolution as an “antislavery movement.” The opinion of the Founders as a whole was that slavery was an evil to be eradicated. In keeping with this sentiment the adoption by various states of emancipation laws they directly tied to the principles of the Declaration of Independence.

Due to the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 cotton was made king in the South and changed the trajectory that the Founders had mapped out for the abolition of slavery. Cotton and slavery ruled while the principles of the Constitution were ignored. Nevertheless, the Founders themselves cannot be blamed for this course.

Inscribed on Panel 3 of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. is this compendium of Jefferson’s own words regarding slavery. They are compiled from his A Summary View of the Rights of British America and his Notes on the State of Virginia, “Query 18.” That he speaks for the founders, generally, cannot be denied by the fair-minded.

God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish a law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state and on a general plan.

Because of the greatness of the Founding generation of principled men who based their system of belief upon biblical values, America became a leader in the western world in the emancipation of slaves. Today’s general and growing disdain for the founding generation by young radicals who parrot prejudiced professorships about early American slavery illustrates only one thing. There is a homegrown hate of our own nation begin incubated in the halls of learning. By this methodology mobs are being indoctrinated to destroy our culture.

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