As noted in the first post on this issue, it’s pretty obvious that the Constitution is not working as we are told it was intended to. We have been led to believe it was originally designed to limit our government, in turn both protecting and maximizing our personal freedom. The flag is all wrapped around it. You are considered unpatriotic if you do not embrace it as the foundations of our liberty.
However, unless you are sleepwalking through life here in America. simply, not paying attention. One can see that this intended result is pretty much a sham with no real meaning to it. Additionally, the so-called limited government is in our faces at every turn and growing ever more intrusive with every passing day.
However, even for those paying attention, there are other myths attached to the Constitution which distract us from the realization that perhaps the Constitution is not all that it is cracked up to be and has become quite possibly exactly what is was intended to be.
Perhaps if we actually saw the Constitution for what it actually is, rather than what we are told it is or supposed to be, we would begin to realize that the reasons it is not working today are buried underneath the myths attached to it.
There is this aura associated with the Constitution. I mean, the fact that I can refer to the document as “the Constitution” and that nearly all Americans and even non-Americans immediately know what I am referring to points to how deeply embedded this myth actually is. Some even go far as to claim that it was divinely inspired. Many say that it reflects the principles of the Christian culture and the Christian God of the bible that dominated the colonial period.
There are books that even refer to it as a miracle like Catherine Drinker Bowen‘s “Miracle at Philadelphia” or the popular “conservative” classic “The 5000 Year Leap” which has on the top of the cover “A Miracle That Changed the World”. Through patient study and as a reformed Constitutionalist, I beg to differ with those characterizations.
Secret meetings are usually held because they wish to cover something up. One would not expect elected public officials to be engaged in them. Perhaps you would expect a few to gather clandestinely to do something underhanded or illegal, but certainly not a large and geographically varied group. Yet, the meetings which resulted in our Constitution were conducted as such.
The “framers” of this document held closed-door meetings. They were not even permitted to disclose the contents of these meetings. The story of Ben Franklin on the steps being asked by the woman, “Well, what have we got?” who answered, “A Republic madame, if we can keep it.” confirms how little people actually knew about this meeting. Nothing to be proud of actually.
The obvious reason for this, as we now know, was that to rewrite government and create a Constitution was never the stated purpose of the Philadelphia convention in the first place. The meeting in Philadelphia invited 74 delegates, 55 showed up. (Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were not among them.) The stated purpose of the meeting was to amend the Articles of Confederation. It was NOT to construct a completely new form of government which is what the Constitution actually did.
The “Unintended” Result?
The plain fact is that the meetings in Philadelphia ultimately led to a complete abandonment of the existing form of government. Under the Articles, we operated essentially as a league of nations. The nations being each state and the league being a general association of the States for the purpose of creating mutual cooperation and agreements.
The Constitution on the other hand is a document that established a central form of government or as noted in Article 4, Section 4 a “Republican form of government“. This is altogether a new form of government.
This was not the original intended purpose of the meeting scheduled in Philadelphia. I think we can plainly see here that this is why the meetings were held in secret. (That also may be why a true Christian patriot like Patrick Henry when asked about why he declined to attend the Philadelphia meeting later remarked, “I smelt a rat.)
This also may give us the first clue as to why characterizing the results of this on-going set of meetings in Philadelphia to generate the Constitution as a “miracle”is, in fact, over the top and incorrect.
Looking back now, how is it possible to characterize the Constitution as a miracle? There is nothing miraculous about the Leviathan that our so-called Constitutional government has become. If anything, as debt and regulatory oversight of our lives continues to climb, far from being a miracle it has become a monster.
I don’t believe we can think of our Constitution as a “miracle” any more. Now, we have to wonder, why has it failed us? So let’s dispel this first myth of the Constitution. It is far from being a miracle.
Another Popular Myth
The Constitution was inspired by and reflected Christian principles. It is something akin to a sacred document. To be venerated along with the bible in fact.
Sorry to burst the bubble on this one, but sad to say that is simply not the case. Let’s begin with the fact that nowhere in the document is there any mention of God. Let me repeat that again, nowhere!
The Declaration of Independence mentioned “the Creator” and “nature’s God” but heck Deists like Thomas Jefferson (credited as its author) and even pantheists, accept a Creator and nature’s God. Deists and pantheists are certainly not Christians.
The actual reality is that the Constitution never mentions God once, anywhere!
So then where is the evidence that the Constitution was a divinely inspired, Christian oriented document? It is not in the document itself. That much is plain.
Perhaps if we read the document we can get an idea of what it actually does represent. Let’s begin with the Preamble. “We the People…..” Wait! Let’s stop there for a moment.
What is this “We the People” thingy? The meetings were held by a small minority of appointed representatives in secret. “We the People” didn’t know anything about the results of those meetings until after they had ended. The people had no input whatsoever into the document. The men who attended these secret meetings were the ones who created it not “We the People…”
So for them to begin this document with the words “We the People” is a bit disingenuous shall we say? (That’s a euphemism for “telling a lie” or as Merriam-Webster’s puts it “not truly honest or sincere : giving the false appearance of being honest or sincere.”) The people had no clue as to what the meetings produced until after they were concluded.
Wasn’t Ratification “We the People” Then?
Well, you may say, the people had access to the information during the ratification meetings didn’t they? As it turns out, only about 20 to 25% of the eligible voting population voted during the ratification process. It passed by a 5 to 3 margin on average. Taking the highest percentage of 25% voting, that means that only a little over 16% of the colonial population ever voted to ratify the Constitution. That would not have included woman and blacks of course who were not able to vote at that time. That can hardly be considered a mandate of “We the People”.
Window Dressing Only?
One could claim then, “Well they only really used that phrase “We the people” for window dressing.” That is, it was only used to produce the view that the people created this document. This would help to assist in its approval. After all, it was really FOR We the People wasn’t it? So how could it hurt to dress it up a bit and make it look more attractive?
OK, let’s suppose that were true. Well then, doesn’t that also amount to another deceptive practice? Why the need to continue to resort to subterfuge after the document was completed and put before the people? After all, the document was already put together in secret (You know, like the Bilderburger meetings are conducted). Why the need for additional deception?
What is more, “We the People” actually also constructs another God, so to speak. That is, a God substitute (since He is never mentioned anywhere in the document) called “We the People“.
Doesn’t the authority for this document then become, in place of God, “We the People“? How then can Christians claim that it was a divinely inspired, sacred document or “a miracle” when it never mentions God once, and it makes “We the People” (Not God!) the authority for the document?
Fact is, by taking the document at face value, as it is (Which is something Constitutionalists push for, claiming that if we only stuck to the limited nature of the text of the document, it would be the solution for all of government overreach.) it is a secular document! Secular meaning- not spiritual nor religious.
How then can one claim it to be a Christian document? On face value, that is, what it actually presents to us with its language- it is not!
In fact, sad to acknowledge, while it may not be quite as blatantly generous to the State as the Russian or Chinese Constitutions, it is still a secular document just like them. This is to say, it places authority for rule squarely in the hands of man and clearly outside of the laws
of the Christian God of the bible.
In actuality, there is really no specific reference to Christianity in the document anywhere, nor God, certainly not Jesus. No, the God referred to in the Constitution, if any, would be “We the People”!
Can you begin to see where this may create a problem further on down the road? Oh and by the way, it didn’t take long. Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, and James Madison, a Unitarian, wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in response to the 2nd President John Adams (a Unitarian) Alien and Sedition Acts which they (Jefferson and Madison) felt was a clear overstep of the boundaries of the Constitution and human rights.
Next on the Hit Parade
I would encourage you to do your own research on this. Check out the Constitution itself. See if you find any reference to God in it. Read the Preamble and see what is established as the authority. If you have any familiarity with the bible, read it and see if you can find the parallels to the biblical laws of God. Could this be a contributor to why the Constitution has failed to accomplish its mission of limited government and preservation of freedom?
What I would like to touch upon next is the background of the men who wrote the document. After all, since it is basically a secular document and was written in secret, who were these men really? Why would Christians construct a secular document and completely disregard anything Christian? Let’s take a further look at the Constitution by peeking at the men who wrote it to see if this can help us to understand why this so-called “miracle” has so utterly failed us.