Tag Archives: Politics

America’s Dependence on and Accountability to the Creator

With regard to the principles of all sound religion which we discussed in the last principle of liberty, the Founders were in harmony with the thinking of John Locke as expressed in his famous  Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In it Locke pointed out that it defies the most elementary aspects of reason and experience to presuppose that everything in existence developed as a result of an accident or chance of nature. The mind, for example, will not accept the proposition that the forces of nature, churning about among themselves, would ever produce a watch, or even a  lead pencil, let alone the marvelous intricacies of the human eye, the ear, or even the simplest of the organisms found in nature. All these are the product of intelligent design and high-precision engineering. Locke felt that a person who calls himself an “atheist” is merely confessing that he has never dealt with the issue of the Creator’s existence. Therefore, to Locke an atheist would be to that extent “irrational,” and out of touch with reality; in fact, out of touch with the most important and fundamental reality.

Those of us who teach the Founders’ formula for freedom in America are sometimes asked the question: “If, as you claim, the Founders really believed in God, why doesn’t the Constitution spell out that belief clearly or at least mention God?”  The answer to that question would surprise some Americans.

Indeed it was the very fact that the Founders were so religious and held religious freedom to be, next to life itself, the most precious of all of man’s unalienable rights that they wanted to keep the ever-tempting power of the federal government far away from this most valuable right. They had both experience and knowledge from studies of what happens to a people in a nation when its government meddles in the subject of religion and they wanted no part of it. To them religion was very personal and any regulation of it had to be very close to the people so that any abuse could be easily and efficiently dealt with and corrected in order to ensure the maximum freedom to believe according to the dictates of one’s conscience.

They Excluded the Federal Government out of Belief not Unbelief

With regard to the subject of religion in the powers of Congress there is not one iota of delegated authority mentioned. To emphasize the Founders position on this they soon adopted the First Amendment prohibition on Congress with respect to anything dealing with religion. Once again, it was not out of unbelief in God that this prohibition took place but, quite to the contrary, out of their overwhelming desire to protect their precious freedom to believe in God as they chose. Justice Joseph Story explained it this way:

“In some of the states, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in others, Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in others, Quakers; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. The only security was in extirpating the power. But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion, and a prohibition (as we have seen) of all religious tests. Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions.” (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 3rd ed,, 2 vols. Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1858, 2:666-667, art. 1879)

In the Kentucky Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson also made it clear that not only Congress but also the federal judicial system was likewise prohibited from intermeddling with religious matters within the states. He wrote:

“Special provision has been made by one of the amendments to the Constitution, which expressly declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …’, thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press, insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others; and that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally with heresy and false religions, are withheld from the cognizance of federal tribunals.” (Mortimer J. Adler et al., eds., The Annals of America, 18 vols., Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago, 1968, 4:63)

The Founders Actively Participated in Local and State Government

But the Founders did not just leave it to the states to protect the freedom of religion, they took an active part in local governments. Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and of those participating in the Ratification Conventions in the states, nearly all had been strong participants in local and state government: Governors, state legislators, court magistrates, etc. They knew the value of keeping government close to the people, and the more sensitive and delicate a given unalienable right was, the closer to the people it needed to be for protection from abuse.  So it was natural to carefully enumerate the few powers given to the national government and to provide powerful checks on the use of them. Hence, as James Madison explained:

“The powers delegated… to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Because the Founders believed that state and local government can more precisely reflect the feelings and heart-felt beliefs of the people in those states, the drafters of the state constitutions felt uninhibited to express themselves. It is from these documents that we can get a more accurate idea of the Founders dependence on, and accountability to, the Creator.

Universal Recognition of Almighty God in State Constitutions

Nearly all of the fifty states recognize God in the Preambles or the Declaration of Rights of their state constitutions in one or more of the following phrases:

  • “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God”
  • “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”
  • “grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land”
  • “grateful to Almighty God for our liberties”
  • “grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government; for our civil and religious liberty”
  • “with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe”“acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government”
  • “Through Divine goodness, all men have by nature the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences”
  • “being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty”
  • “relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God”
  • “grateful for Divine Guidance”
  • “grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our endeavors”
  • “grateful to ALMIGHTY GOD for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government”
  • “grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings”
  • “acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God’s aid and direction in its accomplishment”
  • “acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design”
  • “grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work”
  • “with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness”
  • “grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains”
  • “grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations”
  • “grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity”
  • “grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance”
  • “grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations”
  • “Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty….”

Oath Taking – A Recognition of Man’s Duty to God

Nearly every state requires public officials to take an oath upon entering their term of service. To the Founders, oath taking was very special. They knew one does not take an oath to people. The oath is taken to God, hence, in nearly every state constitution the words “so help me God” are required at the end of the oath.

Furthermore, some state constitutions deny elective office to anyone who does not believe in God, recognizing the situation that if a person who doesn’t belief in the existence of God is required to take an oath to God, it would be meaningless and of no binding effect upon the man’s conscience. Some states constitutions also forbid a non-believer from giving testimony in court, realizing that his oath to God “to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” would have no binding effect. In other words his testimony could not be relied upon for the truth. The following words are examples found in some state constitutions. Note that, to the Founders, these words were not in conflict with the prohibition of a religious test found in Article VI of the U. S. Constitution which was meant only to prohibit a sectarian or denominational test.

It is also interesting to note that many states were adopting constitutions at a time when modern anti-Creator theories were being perpetrated from the likes of Karl Marx and Charles Darwin. It seems the authors of state constitutions wanted it clearly known that they, with America’s Founders, knew the source of their freedoms and liberties and that all public officials must have a belief in a Supreme Being to whom they feel accountable. Hear their words in their state constitutions:

  • “No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.”
  • “The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the General Assembly the most solemn appeal to God.”
  • “That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God”
  • “The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.”
  • “No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.”

“In God We Trust”

Even though the phrase “In God We Trust” was later officially adopted by Congress as the nation’s motto, original histories of the United States are filled with accounts affirming the Founders’ belief that all things were created by God and that upon Him are all mankind equally dependent and to Him they are equally responsible.
Sincerely,
Earl Taylor, Jr.

"The Religion of All Mankind"

Having established that freedom and liberty cannot be maintained without the people being moral and virtuous, and that morality and virtue, in order to be stable and consistent, must have roots in religion (the subject of our newsletter in March), the next logical question must be, then, “What religion must we embrace in order to have this freedom and morality?” As with so many questions on the minds of many people, the Founders had an answer to this one too. Americans of the twenty-first century often fail to realize the supreme importance which the Founding Fathers originally attached to the role of religion in the structure of the unique civilization which they hoped would emerge as the first free people in modern times. Many Americans also fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own day as it was in theirs.

The General Principles in All Religions

Is it possible to find universal, basic principles that run through all religions and beliefs, which, if taught in public schools for example, would not offend another’s religious beliefs? Once again, we turn to the Founders.

Samuel Adams said that this group of basic beliefs which constitute “the religion of America is the religion of all mankind.”  In other words, these fundamental beliefs belong to all world faiths and could therefore be taught without being offensive to any sect or denomination as indicated in the Virginia bill for establishing elementary schools.

John Adams called these basic beliefs the “general principles” on which the American civilization had been founded.
Thomas Jefferson called these basic beliefs the principles “in which God has united us all.”

From these statements it is obvious how significantly the Founders looked upon the fundamental precepts of religion and morality as the cornerstones of a free government. This gives additional importance to the warning of Washington when he said in his Farewell Address:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable  supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…. Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Identifying the Basic Beliefs of All Religions

Several of the Founders have left us with descriptions of their basic religious beliefs, and Benjamin Franklin summarized those which he felt were the “fundamental points in all sound religion.” This is the way he said it in a letter to Ezra Stiles, president of Yale University:

“Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be  the fundamental points in all sound religion.”

The five points of fundamental religious belief expressed or implied in Franklin’s statement are these:

  1. There exists a Creator who made all things, and mankind should recognize and worship Him.
  2. The Creator has revealed a moral code of behavior for happy living which distinguishes right from wrong.
  3. The Creator holds mankind responsible for the way they treat each other.
  4. All mankind live beyond this life.
  5. In the next life mankind are judged for their conduct in this one.

All five of these tenets run through practically all of the Founders’ writings. These are the beliefs which the Founders sometimes referred to as the “religion of America,” and they felt these Fundamentals were essential in providing “good government and the happiness of mankind.”

The Religion of all mankind should be taught in the schools

In 1787, the very year the Constitution was written and approved by Congress, that same Congress passed the famous Northwest Ordinance. In it they emphasized the essential need to teach religion and morality in the schools. Here is the way they said it:

“Article 3: Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Notice that formal education was to include among its responsibilities the teaching of three important subjects:

  1. Religion, which might be defined as a “fundamental system of beliefs concerning man’s origin and relationship to the cosmic universe as well as his relationship with his fellowmen.”
  2. Morality, which may be described as “a standard of behavior distinguishing right from wrong.”
  3. Knowledge, which is “an intellectual awareness and understanding of established facts relating to any field of human experience or inquiry (i.e., history, geography, science, etc.).”

Leaving the teaching of the specific tenets which separate the different denominations to the home and church, wouldn’t a people who know that freedom and liberty depend on the rising generation learning virtue and morality want their children to be taught these general principles in the schools, where teachers have the attention of their children for a longer period of time than most any other teacher, including at church? For example:

  • Wouldn’t a moral people want school teachers to reinforce to their children that life is not an accident of nature—that there is a Creator who established an order which can be observed in all creation and that there is a purpose for life?
  • Wouldn’t a moral people want school teachers to reinforce to their children that there is a basic code of conduct given from the beginning of mankind to help us to know right from wrong?
  • Wouldn’t a moral people want school teachers to reinforce to their children that the greatest good we can do is to be kind and helpful to our fellow men?
  • Wouldn’t a moral people want school teachers to reinforce to their children that there is a next life and that in that life we will be held accountable for what we have done in this life, even if no one in this life has seen everything we do?

The Impact of Religion in America

A French jurist by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville powerfully brought this point home.  After his visit to United States in 1831, he returned home and wrote a book on the American culture and Constitutional system of Government.  In it he had this to say concerning religion in America.

“On my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.

“Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions….  I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion – for who can search the human heart? – but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republic institutions.  This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.

“The philosophers of the eighteenth century explained in a very simple manner the gradual decay of religious faith.  Religious zeal, said they, must necessarily fail the more generally liberty is established and knowledge diffused.  Unfortunately, the facts by no means accord with their theory.  There are certain populations in Europe whose unbelief is only equaled by their ignorance and debasement; while in America, one of the freest and most enlightened nations in the world, the people fulfill with fervor all the outward duties of religion.”

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.  Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.  America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.  (The 5000 Year Leap, p. 80, 84)

Leave the subject of religion to the states and local governments

The Founders gave no authority to the federal government to involve itself in education and religion. Their warning was to leave these most sensitive areas to the states and local jurisdictions where the teachings in the school can reflect the will and desires of parents and local authorities. As a result there is absolutely no Constitutional authority for the federal government to pass any law or for any federal court to take any jurisdiction in matters relating to education and religion within the states. All that has been done in our day by the national government is without any authority from the people.

In fact it has been clearly shown from the time that the federal courts have prevented the teaching of the principles of religion of all mankind in the public schools, crime rates among our youth have risen, rates of births to unwed mothers have risen, divorce rates have risen, rates of sexually-transmitted diseases have risen, and student SAT scores have dramatically fallen. It is interesting that public officials have become so alarmed at these statistics that programs have been developed to give “Character lessons” to youth in school. These programs have largely been failures because they do not include religion. It seems nothing short of the original formula of teaching principles of “the religion of all mankind” will solve our growing problems in America.

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

The Law of Nature and of Nature’s God

Do you know how many new laws you’re expected to obey in 2015?

Whatever the number, when we combine all lawmaking activities at the federal, state, and local levels, we can see that every U.S. citizen is bound by literally hundreds of new government mandates each year. As business owners and others can attest, it’s becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to comply with these constantly changing legal requirements-or even to keep track of them all!

To Be Just, the Law Must Be Limited

Sadly, this is the very situation our Founding Fathers warned us against. In 1788 James Madison wrote: “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they… undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

Since law is force, it should be restricted to the one purpose for which individuals may legitimately use force–to protect our natural rights. As Thomas Jefferson put it, the law should “restrain men from injuring one another” but “leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits.”

Therefore, whenever a new bill comes before a legislative body, each member ought to ask himself.. “Do I have the right to use force against my neighbor to achieve this goal? Would I be willing to forcibly take his property, lock him in jail, or (in some cases) put him to death for failing to obey this law?” If a legislator isn’t certain it would be just to do so, he should vote against the bill.

Natural Law: The Basis of Proper Government

America’s founders knew that the only reliable basis on which to found a government was on a foundation that never changes. They called it “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”

What is Natural Law?

First of all, Cicero defines Natural Law as “true law.” Then he says:

“True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions…. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.”

 It can also be defined as “the rules of moral conduct implanted by nature in the human mind, forming the proper basis for and being superior to all written laws; the will of God revealed to man through his conscience.”

Natural law was central to American thought even before the Revolution. For example, here’s what Massachusetts patriot James Otis wrote in 1764 to oppose an unjust revenue act passed by the British Parliament:  “The supreme power in a state is jus dicere [to declare the law only: jus dare [to give the law, strictly speaking, belongs alone to God…. There must be in every instance a higher authority, [namely,] God. Should an act of Parliament be against any of His natural laws, which are immutably true, their declaration would be contrary to eternal truth, equity, and justice, and consequently void.”

When the U.S. Constitution was completed, its framers looked upon it as an expression of this higher law. According to Madison, it was a product of “the transcendent law of nature.” Alexander Hamilton called it “a fundamental law” and concluded that “no legislative act… contrary to the Constitution can be valid.”

Who Taught the Founders About This?

Where did the Founders learn about natural law? In their historical and political studies, it was a familiar thread that ran through the Greek and Roman philosophers (such as Aristotle, Demosthenes, Seneca, and especially Cicero); the Anglo-Saxon tradition of common law; and many of the European and English political philosophers (such as Sir Edward Coke, John Locke, Baron Charles de Montesquieu, and Sir William Blackstone).

This passage from Blackstone is representative of what they encountered in their reading:

“Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator…. These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such, among others, are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to everyone his due…. This law of nature… is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”

The Bible and Natural Law

But the most ancient and most influential source from which the Founders drew their understanding of natural law was the Holy Bible, which they had studied from their childhood.  “I will give thee… a law,” the Lord declared to Moses, and He inscribed it on stone tablets to govern the house of Israel. When they vowed to obey this law, God accepted their covenant and promised that if they remained faithful He would make them “high above all nations … an holy people unto the Lord.”

The Israelites were forbidden to alter the words received by Moses, for “the law of the Lord is perfect.” “Great peace have they which love [the] law,” their leaders taught.

“He that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The lord also revealed to the prophet Jeremiah that in the last days He would “make a new covenant with the house of Israel,… I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

In the New Testament, Jesus proclaimed that the two greatest commandments are to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” and to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” and that “on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. ” The Apostle James spoke of Christ’s gospel as “the perfect law of liberty.”

Biblical teachings had a powerful impact on America’s founders. In fact, between the years 1760 and 1805, the Bible was the most frequently cited source in American political writings. John Adams, who regarded politics as “the divine science,” once said: “Suppose a nation… should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited   What a paradise would this region be!”

America Was Built on Natural Law

As our forefathers sought to build “one nation under God,” they purposely established their legal codes on the foundation of natural law. They believed that societies should be governed, as Jefferson put it, by “the moral law to which man has been subjected by his Creator, and of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him. The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature accompany them into a state of society,… their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation.”

Throughout the first century of US. history, natural law was upheld as a key principle of government by the American people and their leader-not only by Presidents and the Congress, but also by the Supreme Court.

In the view of the Court, its members were to decide cases by exercising “that understanding which Providence has bestowed upon them.” Since the laws they adjudicated were based on “the preexisting and higher authority of the laws of nature,” they relied less on judicial precedent than on “eternal justice as it comes from intelligence and ….. . to guide the conscience of the Court.”

So What Happened in the Twentieth Century?

In the 1900s, however, the Court began to depart from the original American philosophy. By 1947, Justice Hugo Black (following the earlier reasoning of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes) was urging that “the ‘natural law’ formula … should be abandoned”; he even argued that it was “a violation of our Constitution!” The other branches of the federal government have also succumbed to this new line of thinking.

Today, the United States has all but severed its connection to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” We’ve sold our birthright for a “mess of pottage,” and we now find ourselves harvesting the fruits of that decision. In the recent words of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith H. Jones, our country has plunged into a profound moral crisis “because we have lost the sense of a God who takes interest in what we do.” As a result, she says, we have come to tolerate violence, immorality, and the disintegration of our families-and “are only now beginning to reap the whirlwind consequences” of these evils.

We are reminded of this sober admonition from the Old Testament: “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land…. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, … seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:1, 6)

We Must Return to the “Freedom and Unity” Formula

More than ever before, America needs moral, God-fearing statesmen who have the knowledge, integrity, and determination to lead us back to the inspired principles on which this nation was founded. Among the most important of these is natural law. Only by adhering to this law, which is the will of our Creator revealed through the scriptures and through the conscience of every person, can our society enjoy lasting peace, stability, and happiness.

In modern times, many people have accepted the notion that all “truth” is relative and thus every opinion is equally valid, even in life’s most crucial issues. Such a philosophy inevitably tends toward confusion, corruption, and social discord. But absolute, eternal truth-the very substance of natural law-provides a sure standard for consensus by which we can “form a more perfect union” without violating the free will of any citizen.

In fact, we may say that revealed truth is the very center of America’s original “freedom and unity ” formula. Thomas Jefferson pointed out that the divine truths implanted in us by heaven are “those principles … in which God has united us all.” Ironically, they not only unify us but also liberate us, as our Savior assured His disciples. “Ye shall know the truth,” He said, “and the truth shall make you free.”

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

US Constitution & the Bible (Continued)

Parallel Concepts between the U.S. Constitution & the Bible (Continued)

As we continue to show some biblical concepts that were reflected in the Constitution of the United Sates, we quote again from John Adams:

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God…. What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

Rather than attempt to explain these scriptural passages in our words, we prefer to let them stand on their own. As the student of history studies these references and tries to understand the spirit in which they were given, he will, no doubt, come to see that same spirit in the ideas of the Founders as they structured the American nation. No other source gave to the Founders the ingredients they sought for the establishment of a free people better than the Bible. No writings of ancient philosophers, which the Founders also studied, established the pathway to freedom so powerfully as did the Bible.

As these scriptures are read, it is hoped that insights will distill upon the reader as they did upon the Founders. It will soon become apparent to the honest seeker of truth that, as George Washington testified many times, the Hand of Providence was in this work.

Article I, Section 3 “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state…”

Numbers 11:16

And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

Article I, Section 7 “If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted)…”

Exodus 20:8 – 11

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Article I, Section 8 – “The Congress shall have the power…”

“To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court;”

Exodus 18:22 – 26

“And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.”

“To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;”

Deuteronomy 4:6 – 8

“Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

“To provide for calling forth the militia;…To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia,”

Proverbs 24:6

For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Exodus 1:10

Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

Exodus 14:14

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Deuteronomy 1:42

And the LORD said unto me, Say unto them, Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.

Article I, Section 10: “No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation;”

1 Kings 8:53

“For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.”

Article II, Section 1: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President”

Deuteronomy 1:13

“Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.”

Article III, Section 1: “The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior”

Deuteronomy 16:18 – 19

“Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.”

Article IV, Section 4: “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government”

Deuteronomy 1:15

“So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.”

Article VI, Section 1: “All debts contracted and engagements entered into before the adoption of this Constitution shall be as valid against the United States”

2 Corinthians 8:20 – 21

“Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

Article VI, Section 3: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution;”

Numbers 30:2

“If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”

After Article VII: “…the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven,”

Isaiah 61:2

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

1 Corinthians 10:29

“Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?”
Fifth Amendment: “…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

John 7:50 – 51

“Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?”

Thirteenth Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Galatians 5:1

“STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Eighteenth Amendment: “The manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.”

Numbers 6:3

“He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.”

In this and last month’s newsletter, we have quoted 28 provisions of the Constitution, each with one or more biblical scriptures that seem to express a parallel concept. There are probably others you may be able to find. In the study of world governments, it may be truly said that outside of the government of Ancient Israel itself, there is perhaps no government that has so many similar institutes to the Bible as does the Constitution of the Unites States of America.
Truly, it must be concluded, with John Adams and other Founders, that:

Psalms 19:7

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

Should we Teach True History in our Schools?

Should we Teach True History or
Revised History in our Nation’s Schools?

As some of you are aware, in addition to my work with NCCS, I am also the founder of one of Arizona’s first charter high schools nearly twenty years ago. A charter school is a public school supported by public state funds and, as such, is obligated to follow state laws in the operation of the school. As the teacher of the state-required class on the U. S. Government, I have been using NCCS’s The 5000 Year Leap as part of our curriculum. As many of you know, this book is the best book we know of which tells, in the Founder’s own words, the source of their great ideas and principles.

After nineteen years, a challenge comes demanding that we stop using this book

In December, 2013, an organization called American United for the Separation of Church and State sent a complaint to our school and to the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, our sponsoring organization, containing the following:

We have received a complaint regarding Heritage Academy’s use of a book entitled ‘The 5000 Year Leap,’ by W. Cleon Skousen, in its History curriculum. Heritage requires senior students to read the book, which argues that the United States was founded and should be governed based upon religious teachings and laws. Example chapter titles include: “Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained”; “All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to him they are equally responsible”; “To protect human rights, God has revealed a code of divine law”; and “The United States has a manifest destiny to eventually become a glorious example of God’s law under a restored Constitution that will inspire the entire human race.” See National Center for Constitutional Studies, The 5000 Year Leap – A Miracle that Changed the World, at http://www.nccs.net/products/books/the-5000-year-leap-a-miracle-that-changed-the-world.php (last visited Nov. 21, 2013). Moreover, the book’s text extensively quotes the Bible as truth. The endorsement and promotion of religious views and ideologies in a public-school classroom violates both the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article XI, § 7 of the Arizona Constitution. We therefore ask that you remove this book from the curriculum.”

The complainant then launches into what appears to be a cookie-cutter description of court cases which prohibit teaching creationism alongside evolution in public schools, Bible reading and prayers in public schools, distributing Bible pamphlets and requiring Bible-owning teachers to keep it out of sight of students, and refraining from reading the Bible silently during school hours—all apparently implying that we do such activities at our school, which we do not.

The complainant continues:

The Arizona Constitution contains a prohibition on religious instruction in the public schools that is stronger even than that of the federal Establishment Clause. Article XI, Section 7 of the Arizona Constitution provides, in relevant part, that “[n]o sectarian instruction shall be imparted in any school or State educational institution that may be established under this Constitution. The use of The 5000 Year Leap in an Arizona public school cannot stand under the plain language of the Arizona Constitution.

For these reasons, we ask you to remove The 5000 Year Leap from Heritage Academy’s curriculum.” (Italics added)

My reply to the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools

All charter schools are required to answer any complaint filed with the State Board. My response included the following:

In reply to the complaint filed with you, dated December 4, 2013, by the “Americans United” organization, I submit the following.

Our Government class, which is required of all seniors, conforms to the following State of Arizona requirements/laws/declarations:

From the Constitution of the State of Arizona: Preamble:

“We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.”

Article 2, Section 1: “A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government.”

Article 11, Section 7: “No sectarian instruction shall be imparted in any school or state educational institution that may be established under this Constitution, and no religious or political test or qualification shall ever be required as a condition of admission into any public educational institution of the state, as teacher, student, or pupil; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to justify practices or conduct inconsistent with the good order, peace, morality, or safety of the state, or with the rights of others.

From the Arizona Revised Statutes:

ARS 15-710 “Instruction in state and federal constitutions, American institutions and history of Arizona

All schools shall give instruction in the essentials, sources and history of the Constitutions of the United States….”

ARS 15-717 15-717 “American history and heritage

A teacher or administrator in any school in this state may read or post in any school building copies or excerpts of the following materials:

      1. The national motto.
      2. The national anthem.
      3. The pledge of allegiance.
      4. The preamble to the constitution of this state.
      5. The declaration of independence.
      6. The Mayflower compact.
      7. Writings, speeches, documents and proclamations of the founding fathers and the presidents of the United States.
      8. Published decisions of the United States Supreme Court.
      9. Acts of the United States Congress.”

ARS15-508 “Dismissal for failure to comply with certain laws

Wilful neglect or failure on the part of a school superintendent, principal, teacher or other officer of a school to observe and carry out the requirements of section…15-710 is sufficient cause for dismissal or removal of such person from his position, and the superintendent of public instruction shall make necessary arrangements for carrying out the provisions of this section.”

Arizona State Board of Education rule for high school graduation:

R7-2-302.02 (1) (b) (iii). One-half credit of American government, including Arizona government;

The 5000 Year Leap is a book used in our class on Government and the Constitution which identifies twenty-eight principles or concepts that are found in or reflected in the writings of America’s Founders and which form the basis of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Numerous quotations from America’s Founders are included in the book to show the source of their ideas.

The complainant correctly cited three of the twenty-eight chapter titles as having to do with the moral and religious basis for a free society, which is reflected in numerous quotes of the Founders contained in the book. The complainant incorrectly gave another chapter title as “The United States has a manifest destiny to eventually become a glorious example of God’s Law under a restored Constitution that will inspire the entire human race”, seemingly to bolster the allegation that we are inappropriately teaching religion. The correct title of the chapter in the book reads, “The United States has a Manifest Destiny to be an example and a Blessing to the Entire Human Race.” The Founders quotes in this chapter reflect this concept.

Any honest student/teacher of American History must acknowledge the influence of religion in the history of the American nation. Even some organizations which reject and attempt to minimize any religious influence in society today admit that one cannot properly teach the history of America without teaching the influence of religion.

The complainant has listed a number of court cases relative to the teaching of religion, implying that Heritage Academy is participating in such prohibited activities. Please know that we intend to follow the law which allows and even requires the proper teaching of history and also has certain prohibitions. These legal requirements are reflected in our policies, which include:

    1. We do not endorse or require students to embrace any religion or denomination.
    2. We respect the right of all students to believe or not believe according to their own conscience.
    3. We have had students enrolled and/or graduated who held many differing religious views (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) or with no religious belief at all.
    4. We do not forbid any student from expressing his or her religious belief.
    5. We do not teach “creationism” in our science classes.
    6. We do not teach sectarian or denominational doctrine in any class. We do not require the reading of the Bible or any other religious text at this school.
    7. We do not require prayer at this school.
    8. We do teach the influence of religion in America’s founding, using the words of the Founders themselves.
    9. We do not require that students believe what the Founders believed, but we do require that students know what the Founders believed that made them act the way they did in founding this country, thus fulfilling state law which requires a “frequent recurrence to fundamental principles” and the “instruction in the essentials, sources, and history of the Constitutions of the United States.”

It is interesting to note that of the twenty-eight principles of government outlined in The 5000 Year Leap, those referred to by the complainant are only three or four that specifically mention religion. There are many more principles, such as the separation of powers, checks and balances, limited and delegated powers, strong local self-government, avoiding entangling alliances, etc., making a total of twenty-eight.

No other book outlines so clearly the ingredients which the Founders incorporated into their formula for freedom as does The 5000 Year Leap. It is the simplest and clearest explanation of what the Founders believed, supported by their own words, as they built the first free people in modern times. It is not associated with any sect or denomination. It is one of the best books written to help our students fulfill our school’s mission statement to understand the ideals and values of those who founded the American nation. (end of reply)

State Charter Board Determines Heritage Academy is within the law

The Charter Board’s responses included the following statements:

  1. The documentation you [the complainant] submitted and the school’s response have been reviewed…and the complaint is now closed.”
  2. “…while the complainant provided some examples of content from the two books in question, the complainant has not provided any evidence that the school utilizes the content in a manner that violates the law.”

This month Heritage Academy will begin its twentieth year of operation and teaching history the way it really happened. It is evident, however, that there is a real effort underway to force a revisionist account of our nation’s history, to which, sadly, many schools have succumbed.

George Washington wishes all Americans would remember and teach our true history

Near the beginning of Washington’s First Inaugural Address to the people of the United States he expressed the hope that we would not forget what really happened and what he personally experienced in the founding of our nation. Said he:

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station; it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United Government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most Governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free Government can more auspiciously commence.”

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

Freedom of Religion

The Freedom of Religion

“The Very Origin of Existence of the United States”

Even though the Framers of the Constitution were very careful to give only a few delegated powers to each of the three branches of government, that is, about twenty powers to congress, six areas of power to the president, and only eleven kinds of cases assigned to the federal courts, still there were some who were not satisfied that enough protection had been provided to the people and the states in the Constitution. They therefore let it be known that a Bill of Rights had to be included in order to receive their endorsement. This was the reason the Bill of Rights was nearly the first item of business taken up by the new government.

When a Bill of Rights was suggested at the last minute in the convention, some of the Framers said they did not think it was necessary because they had not given the national government enough power to trample on the rights of the people. Some of the wiser observers of history, like George Mason, however, knew human nature and he would not be satisfied until the protection of a Bill of Rights was added.

It is interesting that the Bill of Rights includes a Preamble, which most Americans have never read because it is not included in most printings. It reflects the importance the Founders placed on the protection of some very special rights mentioned in the Bill of Rights:

“The Conventions of a number of states, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses be added; and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution, [be it] resolved….”

Freedom of Religion:
The Most Important of the Rights Listed

The freedoms of speech and press are guaranteed in the very first amendment to the Constitution and thereby prevent the federal government from any action dealing with these two sacred rights of citizens. If any laws were needed in these areas they were to be left to the states’ jurisdiction. It would seem then that that was all that was needed to keep the national government in check, since the freedom to say and write whatever one wishes would give one complete freedom of conscience to also believe whatever one wishes. But the Founders knew something more was needed. Constitutional scholar Dallin H. Oakes explains that the freedom to practice one’s religious beliefs should receive an even greater position than the freedom of speech and press in the First Amendment. Said he:

“Religious belief and preaching must be protected against government action…. But unless the guarantee of free exercise of religion gives a religious actor greater protection against government prohibitions than are already guaranteed to all actors by other provisions of the Constitution (like freedom of speech), what is the special value of religious freedom? Surely the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion was intended to grant more freedom to religious preaching and action than to other kinds of speech and action. Treating actions based on religious belief the same as actions based on other systems of belief should not be enough to satisfy the special place of religion in the United States Constitution.” (Dallin H. Oakes, “Fundamentals of Our Constitutions,” Utah’s Constitution Day Celebration, September 17, 2010, emphasis in original)

It should also be remember that Thomas Jefferson placed religious freedom on the highest pedestal when he wrote his own tombstone inscription. He did not even mention the fact that he had been twice elected to the presidency of the United States. Instead, he included as one of his accomplishments, by which he wished to be remembered, that he was the author of the “Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom.” Jefferson’s philosophy that the number one protection that government can give individuals, is also reflected in the inscription which encircles the inside of the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D. C.:

“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

President Jefferson was insistent that the right of conscience of individuals was completely outside the purview of government:

“No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority. It has not left the religion of its citizens under the power of its public functionaries.” (Bergh 16:332, 1809. Quoted in The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 605 )

President George Washington was equally emphatic that one only need answer to God and not to government for his religious opinions and mode of worship:

“I have often expressed my sentiments that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.” (To the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia. Fitzpatrick 30:321n, (1789. Quoted in The Real George Washington, p. 764 )

Congress itself, in its code of laws, has consistently held that:

  1. “The right to freedom of religion undergirds the very origin and existence of the United States.” And that:
  2. “Freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and fundamental freedom…” (22 U.S. Code § 6401)

“Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The Founders knew that beliefs drive actions. History is full of such examples. Without the ability to act on ones’ beliefs, the beliefs are really not fully protected as sacred. For this reason, the Founders included not only the prohibition on the federal government from telling people what they must believe (establishing a religion), but also a prohibition against the federal government from preventing citizens to freely exercise their religious beliefs (prohibiting the free exercise thereof). In America, citizens were free to show by their actions what they believed in their hearts. The Bible is filled with examples, parables, and doctrines to the effect that unless a person’s actions reflect a person’s belief, he is a hypocrite, a whited sepulchre, or as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal. Actions must follow beliefs if humanity is to rise above the natural man. It would seem then that any government which prevents its citizens from acting on their beliefs is reflecting the tool of tyrants and is using an age-old technique to gain master over its citizenry.

Should there be any limits on the exercise of one’s religion?

Does freedom of religion, then, mean one can do anything he wants to do in the name of religion? The Founders said not exactly. Like any other freedom, it must be held within the restraints of morality and reason. But freedom of religion, as well as speech and press, are such sensitive issues, the Founders felt that any limits on these must be established by state and local governments, where abuses can be more easily detected and corrected and where differences can be allowed from one place to another. Hence, the prohibitions in the First Amendment are directed toward the federal government and are absolute. Not even the federal courts were to take on such cases. The states were left free to establish any regulations in these matters.

Thomas Jefferson explains that even the freedom to exercise one’s religion has its limitation when it comes violating another’s unalienable rights. One cannot commit a crime and justify it on the basis of religion:

“Whatsoever is lawful in the commonwealth or permitted to the subject in the ordinary way cannot be forbidden to him for religious uses; and whatsoever is prejudicial to the commonwealth in their ordinary uses, and therefore prohibited by the laws, ought not to be permitted to churches in their sacred rites. For instance, it is unlawful in the ordinary course of things, or in a private house, to murder a child. It should not be permitted any sect, then, to sacrifice children. It is ordinarily lawful (or temporarily lawful) to kill calves and lambs. They may, therefore, be religiously sacrificed. But if the good of the state required a temporary suspension of killing lambs, as during a siege, sacrifices of them may then be rightfully suspended also. This is the true extent of toleration.” (Ford 2:102. Quoted in The Real Thomas Jefferson, p.603)

In other words, government has a legitimate role in protecting the life, liberty, and property of its citizens from those who would infringe on them, even for so-called religious reasons.

But what happens when government officials begin to think they can and should regulate the way people operate their businesses and begin to demand that they do things that violate the people’s conscience and their religious beliefs in areas that have nothing to do with protecting unalienable rights?

The encroachment of government on the exercise of religion today

In a recent interview, Hannah Smith, senior counsel for The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, gave this summary of the intrusion of the federal government on the exercise of religious freedom:

“I think we’re currently seeing increased threats to religious autonomy, which is eroding our right to religious freedom. Certainly, in the context of colleges and universities, we’re seeing more and more policies that are being set that would require religious student organizations to have leaders that are nonbelievers and these policies are forcing these religious student groups off campus. There are also threats to religious individuals in their professions and not being coerced to acting in a way that’s contrary to their religious beliefs. So, for example, Christian pharmacists who object to dispensing abortion-inducing drugs and state regulations that would force them to dispense these drugs even when the state can very easily permit them to refer these customers elsewhere, yet they are forcing them to do so against their religious convictions. Another example is photographers or innkeepers who would be forced by regulations to provide commercial services to those whose behavior is censured by their religious teachings. For example, a Christian wedding photographer was fined because she refused to photograph a ceremony that violated her religious teachings on the family. Freedom of conscience is the right to not be forced to do something that violates the truth that God has spoken to your heart. And so it’s that freedom of conscience that undergirds the freedom of religion.”

This intrusion of government into the exercise of religious is fueled by a misapplication of the word “discrimination.” Americans have been fed such a steady diet of anti-discrimination propaganda that many now think that any kind of discrimination is wrong even in our own affairs. But all of us discriminate all the time and every day in what we wear, what we eat, our daily activities, what we chose for leisure, with whom we associate, where we live, and in a hundred other ways. Truly free people are a discriminating people, but, of course, there should be no discrimination in the application of law (all laws should be made for all the people), before the bar of justice (protecting equal rights), or in the use of the public funds for public purposes (equal benefit of legitimate tax-payer dollars).

When governments begin to mandate that a person must perform an act which directly contradicts the way a person choses to exercise his religious beliefs, it is an affront to the Founders, to the American way of life, and to the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. This is especially egregious when the federal government does so because, under the Founders’ formula for freedom, it is strictly prohibited from involving itself in such matters, as before noted. It is opening the door wide to tyranny over the most precious American freedoms and, hence, to all our freedoms. Restricting our exercise of religious beliefs is, in effect, denying us religious freedom, the most precious of all our rights.

Hopefully, the time is coming when enough Americans will awaken to a sense of our awful situation.

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

US Constitution & the Bible

Parallel Concepts between the U.S. Constitution & the Bible

Our last three monthly newsletters have shown the amazing correlation between Biblical concepts and the Principles of Liberty established by the Founders for freedom, prosperity, and peace, and how they were reflected in the Declaration of Independence.

This month we will show how many of those same concepts are also reflected in our structure of government as established by the Constitution of the United States. These reflections should not surprise the honest student of American History. Scholarly studies have shown that the Bible was the most quoted source, by far, in all the Founders’ speeches and writings.

The reverence which the Founders showed toward Biblical concepts in both the Old and New Testaments was reflected by John Adams when he said:

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God…. What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

When reading the Biblical law of government as proclaimed by Moses, it must be remembered that ancient Israel was a unitary republic of one nationality and one faith. The American Founders knew they must establish a government for a pluralistic society. It was John Adams who took these same functions of government from the Old Testament record (Isaiah 33:22) and, following the advice of Polybius and Montesquieu, pushed for a separation of powers into three branches.

Rather than attempt to explain these scriptural passages in our words, we prefer to let them stand on their own. As the student of history studies these references and tries to understand the spirit in which they were given, he will, no doubt, come to see that same spirit in the ideas of the Founders as they structured the American nation. No other source gave to the Founders the ingredients they sought for the establishment of a free people better than the Bible. No writings of ancient philosophers, which the Founders also studied, established the pathway to freedom so powerfully as did the Bible.

As these scriptures are read, it is hoped that insights will distill upon the reader as they did upon the Founders. It will soon become apparent to the honest seeker of truth that, as George Washington testified many times, the Hand of Providence was in this work.

From the Preamble to the United States Constitution:

“We the People…”

Exodus 24:3 – And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.
Deuteronomy 31:12-13 – Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known anything, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

1 Samuel 8:10-18 – And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

“In order to form a more perfect union…”

Genesis 2:24 – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:6 – What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Psalms 133:1 BEHOLD, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

“Establish justice…”

Psalms 82:3 – Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Proverbs 1:3 – To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

Proverbs 21:3 – To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Ezekiel 45:9 – Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.

Acts 10:34 – Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

“Ensure domestic tranquility…”

Leviticus 26:6 – And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

“Promote the general welfare…”

1 Chronicles 22:13 – Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Proverbs 31:20 – She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

“Provide for the common defense…”

Hebrews 11:32- 34 – And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Luke 14:31-32 – Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

“Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…”

Genesis 45:7 – And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

Daniel 2:44 – 45 – And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Galatians 5:1 – STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Article I of the United States Constitution

“All legislative power shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…”

Exodus 19:7-8 – And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

1 Samuel 8:10-18 – And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

“…which shall consist of a Senate…”

Numbers 11:16-17 – And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

“…and a House of Representatives.”

Deuteronomy 1:12-16 – How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.

Article I, Section 8
“The Congress shall have the power to…”

“… lay and collect taxes…but all…shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

Leviticus 27:30-33 – And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD. And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.

Malachi 3:8-10 – Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

“…to coin money…and fix the standard of weights and measures;”

Leviticus 19:35-36 – Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

More to come next month. Just a reminder:

Psalms 19:7 – The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

Biblical Roots of the Declaration of Independence

Biblical Roots of the Declaration of Independence

America’s Founders studied the Bible. Evidence is plentiful that political speeches and sermons of their day were filled with stories, examples, and quotes from the Bible which supported and affirmed their political beliefs. Given below are the main paragraphs from the Declaration of Independence followed by Biblical scripture which coincide with the emphasized ideas in the document. It is hoped that today’s Americans will familiarize themselves with the full Biblical accounts referred to below, to get a feel for what beliefs motivated the Founders to create the first free people in modern times.

“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.”

Deuteronomy 32:8 – When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

Ezra 6:21 – And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,

Romans 2:14 – 16 – For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Psalm 19:7 – The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
1 Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

“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.”

Psalms 19:1 THE heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Leviticus 24:22 – Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God.

Romans 2:11 – For there is no respect of persons with God.

Genesis 9:6 – Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Exodus 20:15 – Thou shalt not steal.

Exodus 21:16 – And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Psalms 128:2 – For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 – And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Leviticus 25:10 – And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

In John Wycliffe’s first English Bible (1384), the General Prologue states this purpose:

“This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.”

Exodus 19:7 – 8 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

Deuteronomy 16:18 – 19 – Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
Galatians 5:1- STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Isaiah 9:6 – 7 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
“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.”

Leviticus 25:10 – And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Psalms 133:1 – Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Jeremiah 34:15 – 17 – And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

Philippians 2:2-4 – Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

“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.”

Matthew 22:20 – 21 – And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Cæsar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Titus 3:1 – 2 – PUT them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

“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….”

Isaiah 61:1 – 3 – THE Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

“…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Deuteronomy 3:2 – 3 – And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.

Judges 7:7 – 9 – And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 32:20 – 22 – And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.

It is understandable, then, why John Adam felt that:

“Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

Merry Christmas,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

Biblical Basis for the Principles in The 5000 Year Leap (continued)

Biblical Basis for the Principles in The 5000 Year Leap (Continued)

Several years ago, a young student, Kari Hayes, completed our one-semester course on the 28 Principles of Liberty entitled “American Government and Constitution, Part I.” Feeling the excitement and truthfulness of these ideas, she wrote, “Armed with a pink highlighter, I began to mark verses in my Bible that correlated with the Principles of Liberty.”  Kari sent me a copy of her project which she entitled, A Scriptural Index to The Five Thousand Year Leap. While I was teaching a seminar in Georgia, Kari showed up, eager to learn more. We have developed a warm friendship and she recently married and is now known as Kari Wentworth.

I am grateful to this young freedom-loving patriot for her untiring work and her love of correct principles. The following, which is mostly Kari’s work, is an indication of how the Founders’ principles, explained in The Five Thousand Year Leap, indeed have their roots in the Holy Scriptures.

This is a continuation of the Scriptural Index to the 28 Principles of Liberty. Last month we gave Biblical scripture supporting principles 1-14. Here are the remaining 14 Principles with their suggested Biblical supportive scriptures:

Principle 15. The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and minimum of government regulations.

Leviticus 25:10 – And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Leviticus 25:14 – And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another:

Deuteronomy 25:15But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Principle 16. The government should be separated into three branches – legislative, executive, and judicial.

Isaiah 33:22 – For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

Principle 17. – A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power.

2 Chronicles 26:16-21 – But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.  And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several [separate] house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.

Principle 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution.

Exodus 31:18 – And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Deuteronomy 11:20 – And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

Deuteronomy 27:8 – And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.

Nehemiah 9:38 – And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.

Principle 19.    Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people.

Deuteronomy 17:15 – 20 – Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Principle 20.    Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.

Exodus 23:2 – Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Deuteronomy 27:19 – Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow.  And all the people shall say, Amen.

Principle 21.    Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.

Exodus 18:22 – 23 – And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.

Principle 22.    A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.

Leviticus 24:22 – Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

Numbers 15:15 – 16 – One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

Principle 23.    A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.

Exodus 18:20 – And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

Deuteronomy 6:6 – 7 – And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Proverbs 9:9 – Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Isaiah 28:10 – For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Principle 24.    A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.

Deuteronomy 20:5 – 8 – And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it?  let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it?  let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her?  let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted?  let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.

Luke 14:31 – 32 – Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

Principle 25.     “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”

Exodus 23:32 – Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  and what communion hath light with darkness?

Principle 26.    The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity.

Genesis 2:24 – Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Exodus 20:12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Proverbs 20:20 – Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

Matthew 5:27 – 28 – Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Ephesians 6:1 – 4 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Principle 27.    The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest.

Proverbs 22:7 – The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

Romans 13:8 – Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Principle 28.    The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.

Psalms 33:8 – 12 – Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Acts 17:26 – 27 – And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

After reviewing the 28 Principles of Liberty in terms of the Holy Scriptures, we are brought to proclaim with the Psalmist:

 Psalms 19:7 – 11- The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Sincerely,

Earl Taylor, Jr.

 

Biblical Basis for the Principles in The 5000 Year Leap

Biblical Basis for the Principles in The 5000 Year Leap

Several years ago, a young student, Kari Hayes, completed our one-semester course on the 28 Principles of Liberty entitled “American Government and Constitution, Part I.” Feeling the excitement and truthfulness of these ideas, she wrote, “Armed with a pink highlighter, I began to mark verses in my Bible that correlated with the Principles of Liberty.” Kari sent me a copy of her project which she entitled, A Scriptural Index to The 5000 Year Leap. While I was teaching a seminar in Georgia, Kari showed up, eager to learn more. We have developed a warm friendship and she recently married and is now known as Kari Wentworth.

I am grateful to this young freedom-loving patriot for her untiring work and her love of correct principles. The following, which is mostly Kari’s work, is an indication of how the Founders’ principles, explained in The 5000 Year Leap, indeed have their roots in the Holy Scriptures.

Principle 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.

Leviticus 24:22 – Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 30: 11-14 – For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

Psalm 19:7 – The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Principle 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.

Leviticus 18:26-28 – Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

John 8:31-32 – Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Principle 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally stable people is to elect virtuous leaders.

Exodus 18:21 – Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

Job 34:30 – That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

Principle 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.

Genesis 4:8-12 – And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Principle 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible.

Psalms 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork

Malachi 2:11 – Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Revelations 20:12 – And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Principle 6. All men are created equal.

Exodus 30:12-15 – When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.

Leviticus 24:22 – Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God.

Numbers 15:15-16 – One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance forever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

Deuteronomy 16:19 – Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

Romans 2:11 – For there is no respect of persons with God.

Principle 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.

Exodus 20:15 – Thou shalt not steal.

Exodus 20:17 – Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Principle 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

Genesis 9:6 – Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Exodus 20:15 – Thou shalt not steal.

Leviticus 25:10 – And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Principle 9. To protect man’s rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.

Exodus 20:1-17 – AND God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

2 Titus 3:16-17 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Principle 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.

Exodus 24:3 – And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

Principle 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.

Psalms 133:1 – Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Philippians 2:2-4 – Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Principle 12. The United States of America shall be a republic.

Exodus 18:21 – Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

Principle 13. A Constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers.

Exodus 23:8 – And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 17: 18-20. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Principle 14. Life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.

Genesis 1: 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Deuteronomy 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Psalms 8:4-8 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

Next month we will cover the remaining 14 Principles of Liberty and their Biblical roots. We have listed just a few of the many references that could be cited. If you have a favorite scripture that supports one of these principles, please feel free to share it with us.

Earl Taylor, Jr