American Principle Five: Liberty from Oppression of Big Governments Militants
“. . . unalienable Rights, that among these are . . . Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” ~ Declaration of Independence
Liberty–from oppression by big government and nongovernment authoritarians–is vital. “Liberty and life are the gratuitous gifts of heaven. I shall certainly be excused from adducing any formal arguments to evince, that life, and whatever is necessary for the safest of life, are the natural rights of man. Some things are so difficult; others are so plain, that they cannot be proved” (Supreme Court Justice James Wilson Lectures, delivered at the College of Philadelphia, 1790-1791; Volume II, Part II, Chapter 1, Lorenzo Press, 1804).
Liberty and self-reliance for independence are God’s gifts for man to claim. Liberty in the context of the Declaration of Independence and Preamble to the Constitution means freedom from government activity that would undermine the development of citizen self-reliance. Accepting promises of politicians who use the public treasury to provide things that replace personal responsibility is a trap. Paternalistic government services attract and enlarge an irresponsible voting block, that when reduced to dependence, cannot be reversed. Helping those who are incapable for reasons beyond their control is, of course, man’s duty and beneficial to all.
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever” (Thomas Jefferson: signer and principle author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, Notes on Virginia Q.XVIII, 1782, ME 2:227).
American Principle Six: The Constitution is a Tool for Upholding the Creator-based Natural Law Sovereignty of the People Under God Over Government—
Governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” ~ Declaration of Independence
The concluding paragraph of the Constitution for Delegate signatures reads: “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the [Declaration of] Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.” The first signature was that of George Washington, Deputy from Virginia.
The Declaration of Independence, referred to in the Constitution, reads in part, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The tool to be used to achieve the goals found in the Preamble… the PEOPLE. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare [meaning common needs that do not conflict with or hamper the development of the work ethic and personal self-reliance], and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
We, the people, have as our guide God-honoring principles for directing the use of government power. When, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln dedicated the field where thousands gave their lives at Gettysburg, he concluded, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” (The Gettysburg Address, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863).
Americans established government when covenanting to share a small portion of their God-given rights to use force and keep thieves out of the corncrib. It is the tax revenues provided by the people that give government its power.
~ David Norris