Our Declaration of Independence says the Creator God endowed us with Rights and that the purpose of government is to “secure” the Rights God gave us.
What does this mean? How does a government go about “securing” God given Rights? I will show you.
The miracle of our federal Constitution was that the States created a federal government, which, by means of exercising the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution, was enabled to “secure” our God given Rights in specific ways.
It is not the federal government’s job to secure our God given Rights in ALL ways, only in the ways appropriate for the national government of a Federation. Our Rights are to be secured in other ways by State governments. 1
The federal government is supposed to secure our right to LIFE by:
• Military defense (Art. I, § 8, cl. 11-16);
• Laws against piracy and other felonies on the high seas (Art. I, § 8, cl. 10);
• Prosecuting traitors (Art III, § 3);
• Protecting us from invasion (Art IV, § 4); &
• Restricting immigration (Art. I, § 9, cl. 1).
It is supposed to secure our right to LIBERTY by:
• Laws against slavery (13th Amendment); 2
• Providing fair trials in federal courts (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments); and by
• Obeying the Constitution! The reason our Constitution so strictly limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government is to secure our basic right to be left alone to live our lives free from tyrants, bullies, thieves, and from meddlesome, interfering do-gooders.
And it is supposed to secure our PROPERTY rights by:
• Establishing a money system based on gold & silver and by establishing uniform weights & measures (Art I, § 8, cl 5);
• Punishing counterfeiters (Art I, § 8, cl 6);
• Establishing bankruptcy courts (Art I, § 8, cl 4);
• Issuing patents & copyrights (Art I, § 8, cl 8); and by
• Regulating trade & commerce so we can produce, sell, & prosper (Art. I, § 8, cl.3). The original intent of the interstate commerce clause was to prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tariffs on articles of commerce as they were transported thru the States for purposes of buying & selling. For proof, see here.
THIS is how our federal Constitution implements that glorious Founding Principle that the purpose of government is to secure Rights God gave us – and this is a list of most of the enumerated powers!
By exercising these enumerated (limited) powers, the federal government protects us from those who seek to take our Rights from us.
The federal government is never supposed to “secure” our Right to Life by giving us what we need to live. For it would require the federal government to take other peoples’ God given Property Rights away from them.
When a government secures God given Rights by protecting us from those who seek to take our rights away, we are never put in conflict with each other because no one has his hand in anyone else’s pocket.
THIS is why our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were a miracle.
But we abandoned this miracle long ago when we allowed the federal government to pervert our Constitution and abuse its power in order to benefit some at the expense of others. This is what turned us against each other.
So, what should we do? Reclaim and restore the Constitution our Framers gave us! This is how we do it:
• Citizen involvement every day of the year-not just at election time–is essential for maintaining liberty in our Republic. Ben Franklin said, “We have given you a Republic, IF YOU can keep it.” The people’s duty is to keep the federal government under control by enforcing the clear boundaries set forth in our Constitution.
• Citizen education is essential. It is not optional, nor is it difficult. Even a school child can know and understand our Constitution and the Framers’ intent- and for almost two hundred years, were required to do so.
• Stop electing candidates who don’t know the Constitution, the list of enumerated powers, or understand the Framers’ intent. Hold candidate exams before the election and test the candidates. They must take an oath of office. 3 How can they swear to uphold the Constitution if they do not know what’s in it? Insist they know it and understand the Framers’ intent!
For example, how can a county commissioner understand and respect private property rights if they do not understand the Framers’ intent for securing property rights or their oath of office to uphold this principle? And how can the commissioner be held accountable for violating these rights if the citizens do not understand their property rights and take appropriate action to correct the commissioner?
The FEDERALIST PAPERS, which explain the Framers’ intent, is a MUST READ for every citizen and especially for every candidate. Mary E. Webster has done an excellent job rewriting them into modern 12th grade and 10th grade English. Coupled with a copy of the U.S. Constitution, this would make a great summer reading project for anyone.
1 State governments are to secure our God given Rights in other ways: E.g., they secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, drunk drivers, and outlawing abortion & euthanasia; they secure our rights to our own persons by prosecuting rapists & kidnappers; and they secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers, thieves & defrauders. They provide courts for peaceful resolution of private civil disputes. The Framers intentionally reserved more areas of control by the states and the people in order to restrain a large tyrannical centralized government.
2 Our Declaration of Independence states, as one of our Founding Principles, that “all men are created equal.” We were faithful to this Principle when we outlawed titles of nobility (Article I, §§ 9 & 10). But we violated this Principle when we permitted hereditary black slavery to continue.
3 Tennessee’s oath of office for county officials includes the following: “…I do solemnly swear to support the constitutions of Tennessee and the United States and to faithfully perform the duties of the office… “