Teton Valley Tea Party

Washington_as_Statesman_at_the_Constitutional_Convention_by_Junius_Brutus_Stearns.jpg - 101052 Bytes
Washington as Statesman at the Constitutional Convention by Junius Brutus Stearns

The Constitution
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The Constitution http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

constitution.jpg - 4312 BytesThe Constitution of the United States is an amazing document. It was amazing when it was first written and continues to be amazing. Not too many people know this about the constitution because they've never learned about it and have never read it. Many people, if they were ask what was in it would probably say that it's filled with flowery words expressing the beauty of freedom and liberty. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's a document stating what the federal government can and can not do, stated in very precise terms. The constitution rules the government.

In our day politicians have made a mockery of it in many instances. Their pledge to uphold and protect the Constitution during their swearing in as federal officers is largely ignored. They twist it to mean anything they want, ignoring the founding father's intent. They follow it only when it suits their goals. And because the constitution has been so weakened there is no one to stop them. They wrongfully argue that the Constitution was made for a different people in different circumstances and that it has little relevance today. Over the last 50 years, there have been a multitude of attacks against the founding fathers in an effort to make them look like bumbling idiots. But what is the truth regarding these things?

Many Christian churches firmly believe that the US Constitution was divinely given to our founding fathers. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a unique perspective on this. In some of their writings they consider sacred it says, "(DC 101:77:) According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
78 That every man act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I have raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."

From these four verses we learn many things:

  • The concepts put forth in the US Constitution were not just for the freedom of the early inhabitants of America, but for the "rights and protection of all flesh." To me, that means for all the nations of the earth in all times.
  • It contains "just and holy principles"
  • It was established in order for freedom to prevail so man could have an environment to choose good or evil for himself and to "be accountable for his own sins."
  • The men who wrote the Constitution were "wise men."
  • Who knows but that the founding fathers were sent to earth intentionally by God and "were raised up for this very purpose," to write the Constitution of the United States and set up a government founded on liberty.
Now, I'd like to make just a couple of points I think are important that are found inside the constitution. Certainly, there are many others not enumerated here that are just as important.

  • Freedom and liberty come from God and not from the government. If the government can give you a right, it can just as easily take it away. It's verbalized in this way in the constitution, "Congress shall make no law..." These rights are God given and can not be revoked.

  • We take for granted our first amendment rights to gather into groups and have meetings, say what we want as long as it's not libelous, go to whatever church we want and let the news people say whatever they want on TV or in the magazines and newspapers. It even gives us the freedom to assemble and tell the federal government what we think. Yes, we take this for granted but there are still many people in other countries that do not have these basic freedoms.

  • The second amendment has it's own section within these pages.

  • The government can't arrest you, lock you up and then throw away the key just because you are causing them trouble.

  • If the government isn't specifically given the authority in the Constitution, they can't start making a bunch of laws taking your freedoms away. This is the 9th amendment and has pretty much been ignored for the last few decades.

  • The same goes for the states. The founding fathers intended the states to keep a huge amount of governmental power. This is called 'states rights.' This, the 10th amendment, has also been totally ignored by the federal government. I think it was FDR who said, "I can do anything except what the Constitution specifically says I can't do," which has the opposite meaning. (That's not an exact quote but the meaning's the same.) The states were to be more powerful than the federal government. Think of it. If California wanted to be socialist, let them. Just don't ask me in Wyoming to pay for it!

  • The 16th amendment permits the graduated income tax. The people pushing it through made a bunch of outrageous promises such as it would never be more than 2 or 3% of annual income and only the filthy rich would ever have to pay. The little guy voted for it thinking it would never hurt him. These arguments seem strangely familiar, don't they. We need to repeal the 16th amendment. I'm all for a flat tax. How about you? This amendment passed in 1913.

  • The 17th amendment was also passed in 1913. (Yu know, 1913 was not a good year for the Constitution.) This amendment stated that senators would be nominated by the popular vote of the state. Before this, the senators were nominated by their respective state legislatures. This was a bad amendment because it took a huge amount of power away from the state legislatures. I have to ask you, would we be in even half the pickle we now find ourselves in if the state legislatures were sending up two of their own people? The answer is a resounding "NO." The passing of this amendment was a big Good-by to states rights.

  • The 22nd amendment sets term limits on the president. It would be a good idea, I think, if we did the same for all those representatives elected to the house and senate. I could go on a long time about this but I won't.

  • In Article 1, section 8, the Congress is given the responsibility of taking care of the country's money supply. The founding fathers were very leery of banks and this is why they did this. But not too much time had gone by before the congress had already turned this responsibility over to a bank, the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed is really not controllable by anyone nor do they answer to anyone. We as a nation can't audit them, nor can we see what they are up to. They also set up a lot of our monetary policy. Congress needs to take this responsibility back.

  • Talking about Article 1, section 8, this section of the constitution enumerates and limits the federal government to 17 powers. The government now far exceeds it's constitutional powers.

  • The General Welfare Clause in the introduction of the Constitution meant something very different to the founding fathers than what it does today. The founding fathers intended it to mean that all citizens had to be treated equally. In 1937, FDR, during the great depression changed all that. It was about that same time that our national debt started going through the roof.

    Davy Crockett, (read the full story) in 1884 was in the federal house of representatives when a bill came up for argument about the widow of a military officer who was penniless and needed help. The bill was to give her a sizeable amount of money. Many great speeches were given as to why this was a very nice thing to do. Finally, Colonel Crockett got up and told them there was no provision in the constitution to give the widow any money. They couldn't constitutionally do it. But, he said, I feel as badly for the widow as you do. "Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks," Colonel Crockett said.

    Recapping, Davy Crockett told them they didn't have the authority to give the people's money away. Needless to say, the bill didn't pass, nor did they give the widow any of their personal money. This is one of the early instances of where the federal legislature was willing to give away the people's money, but none of their own. Bottom line: The founding fathers never intended the United States government to be a great granny state taking care of everyone and everything.

  • "Few Americans realize that up until 1937 the Congress of the United States conducted its business within the boundaries of seventeen enumerated powers granted under Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution," says constitutionalawareness.org. The founding fathers intended the federal government to provide international security and maintain freedom at home so prosperity could reign. If there was to be a nanny state it was to be found on the state or local level. This is another part of states rights.

  • The fallacy of the modern term, "Living Constitution." It has such a nice ring to it, doesn't it. But it's anything but nice. Those who wish to find things in the constitution that were never there use this term to find them. The founding fathers intended it's meaning to be inviolable, meaning we shouldn't be twisting it's meaning. Now, because of the idea of "The Living Constitution," the constitution has come to mean practically nothing.

    Sometimes it's difficult to determine the original intent of the founding fathers because we use words differently now than they did over 200 years ago. The 2nd amendment is a great example: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State...". The word 'militia' has been interpreted 20 different ways in our times. What did the founding fathers mean? They meant that every single man was part of the 'militia.' It meant everybody.

  • The three enumerated unalienable rights found in the Declaration of Independence are, Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness. I want to talk about that 'happiness' word. The founders meant this to mean the right to private property. Government can't take your property without due process of law.

    Last year I remember reading in the National Geographic of a little farmer somewhere in the African desert. He got this great idea to plant a special kind of tree. He planted them, then over the years watered and pruned them as they grew until they started producing for him. As everyone else in the local village saw this newly created wealth, they passed a law that his orchard be broken up and given to the different families in the village which they did, leaving the farmer with his equal share of it. End of story - this is what the founding fathers were talking about. When you talk about property, you have to talk also about taxation as well. Taxation is the taking of property; your money.

  • One of the definitions of socialism is, "Government ownership or control." What value is your property if you can't control it? And if you can't do with it as you will, do you really own it? But adding insult to injury, the government still expects you to pay your taxes on it.
I have only scratched the surface about what you need to know in regards to the constitution. Back on the home page towards the bottom you will find many references to help you learn about this wonderful document and the principles of liberty.

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thomas-jefferson.jpg - 1764 BytesIf the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power of money should be taken from banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money, are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

alexander-hamilton.jpg - 1706 Bytes"If it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws." Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804)

abraham-lincoln.jpg - 1742 BytesOur safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it, inviolable. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)