Monday, September 13, 2010

States' Rights - If the Founders saw the Fed

The United States of America was founded slightly over 200 years ago. In the temporal space of those 200 years, much has changed. Technology has advanced, wars have been fought, generations have come and gone, and worldviews and perceptions of Truth have shifted greatly. If the men who founded these United States could visit their progeny today, there would be many things that would astonish them. Some things would no doubt please them. Overall, however, they would be disappointed. This great republican experiment of theirs has forsaken their vision. Corruption and abuse of power now permeate the American political sphere. The founding fathers wrote the United States Constitution to limit the federal government. As the Constitution itself says, "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people." Thomas Jefferson, after quoting this, continues to say that "To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, [no] longer susceptible of any definition." The founding fathers would be saddened to see that the federal government, contrary to their intent, is now its own entity, not only no longer subject to the states, but encroaching upon them.

When the federal government tries to pass "hate crimes" legislation, it is far overstepping its constitutional bounds. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the jurisdiction over the speech, let alone the thoughts of American citizens. To the contrary, the oft-quoted First Amendment ensures the right of the people to speak freely. If there was to be a law against "hate speech," it should certainly not be a federal law. This is not an area of power given to the federal government, therefore it remains in the province of the States and the people. Furthermore, The Law of God as expressed in The Old Testament only justifies punishment for specific physical crimes. Since the Founding Fathers came from a distinctly Biblical point of view, this is an important consideration. That the Founding Fathers came from this worldview is made clear by Patrick Henry, when he says that "It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ." Therefore, The Holy Bible may be seen as a very informative document into the minds of America's forefathers. From both a Biblical and a constitutional perspective, the federal government has no place in legislating against "hate crimes." It would sadden the founders to see this establishment try.

The "healthcare reform" that may soon be mandated to the American people is another example of a top-heavy federal government that is violating the rights of the people and the jurisdiction of the states. While the brutally abused welfare clause of the Constitution might be used to justify this heinous legislation, an honest reading of that same document as a whole, bearing in mind the spirit and history of the times, shows that the "nanny-state" was not our founders' intent. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist No. 32, stresses that "…the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States." The United States are nowhere granted any power in the Constitution even remotely respecting something like healthcare, and to by mandate force the people to subscribe to this "care" is far more blatantly tyrannous. Furthermore, while this welfare clause might at first glance seem to relate to the health of the citizens of the States, the welfare clause specifically applies to the States themselves. Combine this with the Biblical principle that government's role is to bear the sword, and not to give charity, and it becomes clear that the founders would not approve of the federal healthcare legislation that is being planned today.

The founders would also be displeased with the way that the concept of the militia has been almost entirely erased from the modern American's vocabulary, while all of the nation's military might is centralized and under federal control. The Second Amendment to the United States constitution not only makes clear that the people have a right to keep and bear arms, but also that a "well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is an important protection of that and other rights. Yet this necessary ingredient to the security of a free state is not in any way practiced today. Webster, in his 1828 dictionary, defines the militia as "The body of soldiers in a state enrolled for discipline, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies…." This militia structure would give the States much more power, and would put weight behind the demands of the several states. A centralized, federal, standing military is arguably unconstitutional, but it is not arguable that it gives the few in Washington much power, and more so when the States are so rendered impotent by not having an armed and enlightened citizenry. This would not please the founders.

Because of these and many other grievances committed by the federal government against the states and the people, the founding fathers would be disappointed, were they to visit the United States today. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the freedom of their children. Surely they would be displeased to see that their children had apathetically or ignorantly given away to the federal government the liberties that these men worked so hard to ensure. O America, take heed. May the blood and toil of our fathers not be wasted on their sons.

1 comment:

Glandias the Fox said...

I thought it said in the Constitution that the Goverment was to maintain a navy, but not an Army. And since then Airforce was brought up. Aren't both of those to be maintained?