LINCOLN said: “Study the Constitution!”
“Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislatures,
and enforced in courts of justice.” (Citizen’s Rulebook)
Most Americans, if any, learn anything about ancient historical figures that helped to shape our modern world, politics, and government type. Neither do we learn anything these days of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” This makes it difficult to grasp, sometimes, the convictions of our Founders.
“The Declaration of Independence is a document with its roots in the law of God. Perhaps the best place to begin understanding how the Declaration serves in this capacity is to discern how the framers understood and applied its principles to the creation and formation of civil government. If we can understand how they took the Declaration’s principles and applied them to the formation of constitutions, then we too should be able to apply those same principles to any other legal difficulties that our constitutional governments may face.
The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence sets the stage for the American revolution and its indispensable reliance on the laws of God, the Creator. It declares:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with one 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 entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“The signers of the Declaration of Independence were a profoundly intelligent, religious and ethically-minded group. Four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were current or former full-time preachers, and many more were the sons of clergymen. Other professions held by signers include lawyers, merchants, doctors and educators. These individuals, too, were for the most part active churchgoers and many contributed significantly to their churches both with contributions as well as their service as lay leaders. The signers were members of religious denominations at a rate that was significantly higher than average for the American Colonies during the late 1700s.”
“By invoking the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” the 56 signers of the Declaration incorporated a legal standard of freedom into the forms of government that would follow. The theory of freedom adopted was simply that God’s law was supreme and gave freedom. The phrase “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” referred to the laws that God in his capacity as the Creator of the universe had established for the governance of people, nations and nature. These laws are variously described as the laws of Creation, God’s Creation laws or as the framers elected to refer to them, as the laws of nature and of nature’s God. This body of law, whatever it is called, can be ascertained by people through an examination of God’s creation, the text of the Bible, and to a certain degree, instinct or reason.
“The decision to expressly rely upon God’s law of creation was not a superficial one, but ably debated for many years before and after the Declaration was drafted.27 Thomas Jefferson, for instance, reflecting on the Declaration of Independence, wrote in 1825 that its essential point was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject.”28 For the common sense of the subject, the framers turned to the laws of creation. They gave the principles of that law expression in the Declaration. The American Revolution was the context in which the Declaration’s principles were discerned and expressed for all the world to hear and consider anew.29″
“The Declaration articulated five derivative principles of the laws of nature and of nature’s God. They are, first, that people are all created by God, and that by virtue of this circumstance are therefore entitled to be treated equally before the law. Second, all people are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights. Third, the people are also endowed with the right to govern themselves according to their written consent. Fourth, the people retain the right to alter or abolish an unlawful form of government as an exercise of self-government. Fifth, the people are free to organize the civil government’s powers in such a way as to secure their happiness.” (from The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God: The True Foundation of American Law, (references on site)
Our Founders understood a spectrum of government that stretched from Tyranny on one side to anarchy on the opposite. They sought to mimic Nature’s Law in establishing People’s Law as a balance between the two extremes.
The collection of articulate, passionate, and honorable men known as our Founding Fathers established our government upon a dream, a philosophy of liberty they found in the Bible and in nature. “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” cited in our Declaration of Independence are the basis of our unprecedented freedom and prosperity as a nation, yet many Americans today are unfamiliar with these values, so decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, subjectively, as to what government should and should not do, and this has resulted in the disintegration of liberty. This was not the intention of our Founders.
The very definition of the Law of nature is that it is visible to the human eye, logical to our understanding, obvious and immutable. These laws that govern nature have not changed essentially throughout history.
“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 it 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 at 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 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.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero, Great Political Thinkers, p. 133.)
What does this say about America today? What does it say about our present course? I’d say, clearly, an adjustment is necessary, even as sailing ships must correct their course from time to time, so this mighty, benevolent nation must correct her course or SELF-DESTRUCT.
Please read “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” Part 1