On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers took the initiative and with the backing of “the people” signed the “Declaration of Independence” which gave the Republic its independence from Great Britain and the British Crown (Monarchy).
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
What we learn here is that from the time of the drafting to the signing, God played a pivotal role in adopting a new form of government. A form of government which Abraham Lincoln reiterated some 87 years later when he spoke these words in his address at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863 during the civil war:
…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.
In reading the bible, it is self evident that our Founding Fathers were very religious men and held fast to their belief that God’s laws are the Supreme Laws to which all mankind will ultimately be judged.
Therefore, it was their reverence to God’s laws that guided them in the drafting of the 4 most precious documents in our nation’s history: the “Declaration of Independence”, the “Articles of Confederation”, the “Bill of Rights” and the “Constitution of the United States”.
Many Americans overlook the “Articles of Confederation” and only refer back to the “Constitution”. The Articles of Confederation were more general laws put in place until the final draft of the Constitution was finally ratified between all 13 states in 1789. Because of the tyranny that was enacted upon the people by the British Monarchy, which was the reason for the Revolutionary War, the framers of the Constitution made sure certain detailed rights were granted to the people in the way of the “Bill of Rights” so that the states and the people would have certain protections that a central government could not supersede.
Let us take a look at those rights, but first I would like you to see how many you can write down before proceeding…
Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Now that you know what your rights are, can you give examples of your daily life that pertain to these rights?
The most precious right to me is under Amendment I which gives us safe harbor from the government infringing on our religious beliefs.
Some schools have abolished the practice of prayer at special ceremonies such as graduations and they have also abolished the singing of religious songs during school concerts, and some even go as far as to disallow for prayer before meals, even when it is done silently.
There are those that would tell you that the Constitution calls for a complete separation of church and state in every aspect of our lives, however, this is not true. What the Constitution says is that there should be a separation of church and state in the legislation process so that one religion would not be allowed to get a controlling interest in laws adopted by the government that would favor a particular religion.
Last month I was blessed to be asked by our granddaughter to join her at school. She had been selected to be the “Driver” / classroom student of the week.
I got to the school in time to enjoy some recreation time with her and her classmates during recess, then we headed in for lunch. While many of the other students sat down and immediately began to eat and before I even had got completely sat down, our granddaughter said out loud: “grandma, are you ready to pray”? We were blessed to have the freedom to bow our heads and pray silently without any retribution from the other children or the school staff. I have to admit, I had forgotten just how loud a room of nearly a hundred grade school children can be. The gymnasium full of individual conversations, blending into a harmonic symphony of chatter, brought back wonderful memories of our children’s grade school days when I was a room parent.
After lunch we headed back to her room, where I had the laptop ready for her to give a picture slide show of her family and important occasions in her life, including her 1st communion. The teacher was very respectful and the classmates were very inquisitive and had lots of questions for her, which for a 3rd grader, she handled very well with little help from grandma.
In conclusion, I can not reiterate enough the well known fact that: “Children learn what they live”.
~+~+~ “My prayer is that more parents step up and start defending our 1st Amendment
right to freedom of religion; a freedom that could be lost if Christians of all faiths continue
to let those who cry discrimination, under a law that does not exist, to continue to wipe
away piece by piece, letter by letter, any existence of God from our nation, our government
and its history.”
~ James 1:25 ~ But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it ~ he will be blessed in what he does.
~ 2 Peter 2:18-19 ~ For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.
Additional learning: let’s see how many of children and parents can correctly match the word to its definition:
List of words:
Amendment, Anarchy, Authoritarian, Bureaucrat, Constitution,
Constitutional Monarchy, Democracy, Dictatorship, Election,
Government, Head of State, Monarchy, Parliament/Congress,
Political Party, Politics, President, Prime Minister, Regime,
Republic, Sovereignty, State, Theocracy, Vote
- A group of elected representatives that makes laws for a nation
- A society without government or order
- A democracy with a royal family as a symbol of the nation
- A head of state chosen by a diet, parliament, or congress
- A group that tries to control a government
- A system of government that citizens have no power to control
- The rules for the government of a nation
- A nation in which the head of state is not a monarch(not a king, queen, prince, etc.)
- A government by a single person or group, citizens have no power
- A person who is the leader, or symbol of a nation
- A system of official controls over a nation and its citizens
- A government elected by the citizens of a nation
- A process by which leaders are chosen by a group
- Independent power of a nation
- An unelected official who works in the government
- The practice and profession of ruling a nation
- A head of state elected by popular vote
- An official change to a constitution
- The leader receives power throught the familyand receives a traditional title
- The current government of a nation (this is a negative word)
- A nation and its government
- Government by religious leaders
- Making a choice
The answers can be found in this interactive crossword puzzle. Click on “show what you know”.