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Understanding the Constitution

A site for learning and understanding the Constitution

Location: United States of America
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Latest Activity: Oct 16, 2013

28 Principles of Liberty

Not long ago I ordered a box of pocket constitutions to hand out. I thought it a novel ideal that really made a point that struck home with most people. The website I ordered these from was some kind of National Constitutional something or other, actually they were some kind of non-profit organization that teaches classes on the constitution. Along with the pocket constitutions they sent me a DVD with some of their classes on it. The class structure follows the book the 5000 year leap. In case you havn't heard of it, I suggest you get it and read it. It was one of the books Glenn Beck read before he wrote "Common Sense". It's main premise is that because of the constitution and the Freedoms and Liberties it gave the United States, we went from a country and people who rode in Ox Carts to walking on the moon in less than 200 years. Hence the 5000 year leap. Technology and people had not changed in 5000 years until the constitution freed us up and gave us the individual freedom to think and produce more than we ever thought was possible. Anyway you would have to read the book to get the whole jest of what they are saying. One part of the 5000 year leap though, are the 28 principles of Liberty. According to the classes I watched last night if you memorize these and know them, you'll be able to read any bill presented to Congress or the Senate, listen to any politicians ideas, and be able to relate them to one of the principles and know imediatly if the bill follows the constitution and the founding fathers ideas of what this country is supposed to be. That will be the guide for the classes we'll have here. Once we have a good group I'll post a schedule so we can all meet here for the class and get on chat to discuss what we have learned. I really can't wait to hear from everyone and see what wonderful ideas we can come up with. So here are the principles:

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

Natural law is God's law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God."

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

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." - Benjamin Franklin

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

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who ... will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man." - Samuel Adams

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

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." – George Washington

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

The American Founding Fathers considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truth. They felt a person who boasted he or she was an atheist had just simply failed to apply his or her divine capacity for reason and observation.

Principle 6 - All mankind were created equal.

The Founders knew that in these three ways, all mankind are theoretically treated as:

1. Equal before God.
2. Equal before the law.
3. Equal in their rights.

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

The Founders recognized that the people cannot delegate to their government any power except that which they have the lawful right to exercise themselves.

Principle 8 - Mankind are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights.

"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal [or state] laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner [of the right] shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture." – William Blackstone

Principle 9 - To protect human rights, God has revealed a code of divine law.

"The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found by comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man's felicity." – William Blackstone

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

"The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legislative authority." - Alexander Hamilton

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

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes ... but when a long train of abuses and usurpations ... 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." - Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence

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

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands...."

Principle 13 – A Constitution should protect the people from the frailties of their rulers.

"If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.... [But lacking these] you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." – James Madison

Principle 14 - Life and liberty are secure only so long as the rights of property are secure .

John Locke reasoned that God gave the earth and everything in it to the whole human family as a gift. Therefore the land, the sea, the acorns in the forest, the deer feeding in the meadow belong to everyone "in common." However, the moment someone takes the trouble to change something from its original state of nature, that person has added his ingenuity or labor to make that change. Herein lies the secret to the origin of "property rights."

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

Prosperity depends upon a climate of wholesome stimulation with four basic freedoms in operation:

1. The Freedom to try.
2. The Freedom to buy.
3. The Freedom to sell.
4. The Freedom to fail.

Principle 16 - The government should be separated into three branches .

"I call you to witness that I was the first member of the Congress who ventured to come out in public, as I did in January 1776, in my Thoughts on Government ... in favor of a government with three branches and an independent judiciary. This pamphlet, you know, was very unpopular. No man appeared in public to support it but yourself." - John Adams

Principle 17 - A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power by the different branches of government.

"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it." - James Madison

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.

The structure of the American system is set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the only weaknesses which have appeared are those which were allowed to creep in despite the Constitution.

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

The Tenth Amendment is the most widely violated provision of the bill of rights. If it had been respected and enforced America would be an amazingly different country than it is today. This amendment provides:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

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

"Every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded [bound] by it." – John Locke

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

"The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent [to perform best]. - Thomas Jefferson

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

"The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence of others, which cannot be where there is no law." – John Locke

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

"They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to a heavy penalty. So that the education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern. The consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day [written in 1765]. A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare ... as a comet or an earthquake.” John Adams

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

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." – George Washington

Principle 25 - "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none."- Thomas Jefferson, given in his first inaugural address.

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

"There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.” Alexis de Tocqueville

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

"We are bound to defray expenses [of the war] within our own time, and are unauthorized to burden posterity with them.... We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them ourselves and consequently within the life [expectancy] of the majority." – Thomas Jefferson

Principle 28 - 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.

The Founders sensed from the very beginning that they were on a divine mission. Their great disappointment was that it didn't all come to pass in their day, but they knew that someday it would. John Adams wrote:

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

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Comment by Joan Sperry on September 6, 2009 at 6:23pm
Conrad you are so right,I have been trying to be as short as possible when I am asking questions of them and you know it works.But they are stupid when it comes to our Constitution,because I had one that said they could do whatever they want as long as it does not interfere with our Constitution but he is wrong,they should go by our Constitution to a tee.Emails are great too but so is phone calls.The saddest thing about emails is they can delete but I have found that when I do email one of them I post the letters and I let them know I will be posting them and they do respond to me then.I have found we have some of the dumbest politicians in there too.
Comment by Dorothy on September 6, 2009 at 4:57pm
I just purchased the 5000 Leap Year book plus Citizens' Rule book and pocket Constitution on eBay for $16.95 with no shipping and handling. There are three book combinations left at libertybooktree. Consequently one might want to check out eBay to purchase the book.
Comment by Conrad C Gabbard on September 6, 2009 at 12:17pm
One of the most serious Constitutional problems that remain's unaddressed is incompetent and politically-motivated Federal Judges. The Senate has almost NEVER provided the proper oversight, calling offending judges before the Judicial Committee to make them justify questionable rulings (majority OR minority votes), submit their resignations, or face impeachment for incompetence and/or judicial activism. That's part of the Senate's job - AND WE NEED TO REMIND THEM - especially when they have confirmed Affirmative Action "wise" candidates who barely squeaked through our education system - with coaching!
Comment by Rick Perry on September 6, 2009 at 6:05am
Krystine,
I cannot agree with you more, the level of corruption just in the Czars Obama has appointed is staggering. We have admitted communists actually making policy for the country. I contact my reps at least once a week, either by email, phone, or snail mail. I also contact other reps that vote the correct way. I emailed 9 democrats that voted no on the initial Health Bill and told them concratulations, for voting for the People instead of the Government. More of us need to be involved that is for sure. We need to attend town hall meetings, tea parties, the march on DC. We also have to start working locally to find honest, god fearing people with morals and put them in our local government offices. Starting with your city, county, and state offices. This will cause a trickle up effect. Once we get local politicians that will follow the constitution, it will be no trouble doing the same with the Washington crowd. We have start acting now though, I am very worried that Obama will try to create another crises and try to take over that way. He is a very dangerous man.
Comment by Krystine Pavlisko on September 5, 2009 at 10:39pm
At this time we have a pack of unelected union bosses, nudgers, people who don’t respect life, and czars trying to force, coerce, organize and strong arm Chicago style a huge change in our health care system.
We blindly stood by with our mouths agape and said nothing while they rammed a “simulous bill” through our duly elected officials that has done nothing more than prevent farmers in CA from getting the water they need to grow our food, which will cause food shortages, and provide that “minorities” should get most of the green jobs, jobs that it is reported they simply can’t do, even though they are getting paid to do the work by mandate from our President.
Why can’t we encourage any of our elected officials who will listen and care to FIRST investigate this shadow government of unelected, unapproved, unvetted czars.
Shouldn’t we know the character of who is deciding that our health care bill will force doctors to be able to harvest our organs even if we didn’t volunteer for it? Doesn’t it matter that our future doctors will be picked by their minority status, not by their brain, intelligence or even their basic adaption to caring about the sick, injured, new borns, and elderly.
Can we please all make some phone calls, emails, letters, petitions to any elected official that will listen to the will of “we the people” and investigate who is really making policy that is going to fundamentally change our nation to a Chavez and Castro style socialism. Is it officials duly elected by the people or some shadow government that is the puppet master to our President?
Our Constitution is clear about governance, and what is going on is not as set forth with the safe guards put in place by our founding fathers. Can we get try to get these people investigated before it is too late?
Comment by Monica on September 5, 2009 at 10:08pm
thanks to jolee for the invite to join...

i didn't see this posted anywhere (but might have missed it). i believe the website u were talking about re getting the bulk orders of constitutions is the national center for constitutional studies (NCCS). the website is: http://www.nccs.net/ not only can u buy the bulk orders of the constitution (100 for $30), u can buy a variety of educational materials (5000 year leap is one; the american classic series [the real george washington; the real thomas jefferson; and the real benjamin franklin] is another; and they have a large variety of books, videos, study courses and homeschool items).

i bought the glenn beck special which included the 4 books (5000 year leap & american classic series), the dvd and a pocket constitution for $50. if the 5000 year leap is the only book u r interested in, the amazon price is probably the best.
Comment by Rick Perry on September 5, 2009 at 5:59am
I believe that Conrad is right on being short and to the point on any communication with congress or the senate. We have to remember the caliber of people we have put there. I also think the question we need to ask on everything that is going on is what by what authority gives you the right to pass these bills, where do you believe you got that authority and who do you believe gave it to you? This is the problem we have not given them the authority to pass many of the laws they have already passed, because we don't have the authority to give them, hence they don't have the authority. I would say, making most of what they do pass unconstitutional laws, but reading Freedoms post earlier I notice that is an impossible oxymoron. So I'll just say making most of what they pass unconstitutional. Keep up the discussions everyone. For Thomas Jefferson said: Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
Comment by Conrad C Gabbard on September 5, 2009 at 1:55am
Joan,
I took no offense, and meant what I said. We have a lot of really bright and dedicated people in these groups and most of us have some special strengths and/or insights that we can share as necessary, giving these groups greater potential than the sum of the parts (so to speak) could ever hope to achieve independently.
Better than simply talking among ourselves, is taking the rational messages we craft here to people outside these groups: educate ourselves and become teachers to the uninformed.

One of the ladies here bought a supply of postcards to mail to elected officials. That was very wise, as a postcard allows enough room to ask a pointed question or short questions and comments on one subject. These are more likely to get a positive response than any lengthy letter we send - and they cost less to mail. One question that often needs asking: "What constitutional authority have you to try to pass ........ bill into law, forcing ......... on me and mine??" What do you think?
Comment by Joan Sperry on September 5, 2009 at 1:33am
Thank you Conrad and I am sorry I misunderstood what you was saying before.I know I am getting tired of them not doing something about this evil man and for them allowing him to go against our Constitution too.It just seems like something major has to happen to get them to respond to what they should be doing and I am praying that does not go that far too.I guess in a way I am angry but I am also afraid for all of us if they keep dragging their feet and ignoring what we are saying to them.
Comment by Conrad C Gabbard on September 5, 2009 at 1:25am
Joan,
I read what you wrote; twice. Your intent was my concern, not grammar, spelling, or verbiage. You're righteously angry, as are growing numbers of Americans - me among them. I'm proud of you and everyone who has joined this necessary fight. Someone once said, “You are not truly alive until you find something that you are willing to die for.” I've found that to be true on more than one occasion. But in the process of struggle we must not give our opponents too much warning or ammunition to turn against us. They've already disparaged those led to believe Obama was not American born by labeling them "birthers," comparable to "flat earthers." I see no merit in the birth-certificate argument, but to stand with you, I become a "birther" as well. It's a price I'm willing to pay, as I want you and your passion for the fight among us, but I'd rather not have to. It's nearing payback time for our elected officials, and to quote Star Trek's Spock: "Vengeance is a dish best served cold."
 

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