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It’s the Devil, Stupid: Attacks on the Constitution

In order to grasp the spiritual significance of the birth of our nation, it must be understood that the Unites States Declaration of Independence and Constitution were the first documents of their kind in the history of mankind. Up until this time, men had always been governed by royal, papal, or tyrannical edict. The laws they followed were given them by others. The radical concept of people governing themselves was absolutely unheard of. The birth of American style freedom was an extremely spiritual thing done by spiritual men. They spent many months and went to great pains to anticipate every eventuality that could possibly befall the fledgling nation.

Navigating turbulent political waters, the Founders ingeniously avoided many pitfalls, but they drafted the documents with the clear knowledge that the greatest danger that they faced was the corruptible nature of man. It is specifically for this reason that the United States is, in the words of our first president, “A nation of laws, not of men.”

An attack on the foundation of our laws, the Constitution, is an attack on our national soul, the very essence of what makes us Americans. If one takes the single hour required to read the founding documents of the first Constitutional nation ever conceived, the entire political discourse of our day becomes maddeningly apparent.

That is correct, it wasn’t a typo, we were the first, the prototype, for the notion of modern nationalism. Though anyone who has traveled abroad has seen many stately, even ancient, buildings and cities, what he has not seen are old governments. In terms of architecture and history, we may be very junior compared to our European neighbors, but in terms of government we are the venerable forerunner of the entire modern world.

The American Constitution is the oldest written national framework of government in the world. The principles outlined in this document have guided the Constitutions of most of the, nearly two hundred, nations of our planet. When one tampers with the United States Constitution he is, in effect, tampering with the source document of the governance of the entire free world. So one must ask; where is the moral authority for such an important document?
Associate U. S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has written that:

“American politics and the American Constitution are unintelligible without the Declaration of Independence, and the Declaration is unintelligible without the notion of a higher law by which we fallible men and women can take our bearings.”

Needless to say, he was excoriated for this position. Those of us old enough to have been engaged in the Clarence Thomas Senate confirmation hearings watched in disbelief as the left tried to create a puerile case for rejecting this brilliant jurist on the basis of accusations that are, frankly, beneath the scope of this discussion. Clearly, the attack was motivated by their disdain for his adherence to both his faith and common decency. Justice Thomas is a Godly and noble man.

Unfortunately, neither attribute holds any value in the minds of his hopelessly confused attackers, who continue to ridicule both his enormous intellect and genuine honor, even today. Perhaps it is fitting that such a dignified jurist remains an object of derision for those who have no comprehension of his understated elegance. No matter how you cut it, you just can’t buy class.

So, what does all this have to do with current events? Well, the concept of Natural Law is not nearly as esoteric and distant as it may, at first, appear. In fact, the entire battle that we see being played out in the political arena on a daily basis is, in effect, being waged over the concept of whether or not civil law must recognize the concept of natural law. One need only flip the remote control between cable news networks in order to witness the battling ideologies.

In the mind of the Conservative, the government of man flows from the God given right and responsibility of society to seek natural justice. He believes that the law should provide negative remedies in order to constrain criminals from impinging on the rights of their fellow man, who should be left free to conduct the business of his “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

On the contrary, in the mind of the Progressive, law must evolve along with man, free from the constraints of such arcane concepts as good and evil, which he perceives as fungible human constructs. He recognizes no intrinsic moral rudder in the heart of man. Consequently, he feels that it is the responsibility of the government to steer humanity to its best end. He seeks not so much to restrain the criminal from that which he must not do as to coerce the law abiding man into doing that which he must. To this end, the progressive mind is constantly involved in using the law for the process of social engineering.

This is the very core of the argument over terms like, “unconstitutional” or “living document” or “strict constructionist” which seem to dominate our news cycles these days. Clearly, the founding documents are underpinned with an explicit recognition of the Judeo-Christian ethos of Western Civilization. Since this fact is unchallengeable, the progressive argument seeks to attack the relevance of the founding documents rather than their content.

—–

An excerpt from Mr. Bianco’s timely and poignant upcoming new book, It’s the Devil, Stupid.


Val Bianco is a father of ten and a grandfather of seven, soon to be ten. He and his lovely wife of 34 years, Beth, reside in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, close to where they were born and raised. A home builder and carpenter by trade, Bianco was educated at the University of Pittsburgh. He has always had an abiding interest in history, politics and religion. As the housing market slowed in recent years, Bianco found time to realize a longtime dream of writing. His first novel, Sons of Cain has been recently released. It will be followed this winter by a non fiction, entitled It's the Devil, Stupid. The sequel to Sons of Cain is expected in the spring of 2013. 

Val Bianco endeavors to write material that is family friendly. He integrates faith and action in order to invite readers to explore contemporary issues from a spiritual perspective. His work is available at Amazon in both Kindle and hard copy.

  • Bob Struble

    Sorry, Val, but the presumption in your opening paragraph is contra-factual: “The radical concept of people governing themselves was absolutely unheard of.” What about the democracies and republics of antiquity? What about the city states of Tuscany during the high Middle Ages?

    By the second paragraph, however, the essay gets on track, and is well worthy of reading.

    • The difference lies in a good kind of individualism, personalism as pope John Paul II would later call it, that may have existed from time to time under good, hence God given, leadership understanding but here for the first time was fully and officially embraced. Besides, as a recovering home builder and sometimes junk carpenter–I ask, who is a carpenter to come up with all these ideas!? :- )

  • fishman

    The constitution assume liberalism. The U.S. constitution is firmly
    rooted in protestant ideals. Not the least of which is the idea that
    freedom is ‘the ability to decide for oneself what is right and wrong
    and then act on what you decide’. That proposition being a natural
    consequence of the rule ‘by scripture alone’ , which is a common
    doctrine of our founding fathers.

    The proposition above is called classical or European liberalism and is a
    condemned heresy.

    As such you need to be careful about falling
    into the heresy of ‘Americanism’ , which is the belief the the only
    truly moral form of government is the American one.

    There is
    nothing immoral about a monarchy, or a theocracy or the clan system. We
    can have discussions about which is most effective and efficient, but
    none of them are immoral per se.

    It should be noted that the
    proposition that ‘personal property is evil’ is also a condemned heresy ,
    which i think would make the morality of a communist or strongly
    socialist government questionable.

  • Don Quixote

    Do any SCOTUS cases exist where a litigant advanced his
    claims purely under Natural Law … and won ?

    I would like to sue BSO under Natural Law but I seem to be
    the only one convinced of the wiseness of doing so.

  • Don Quixote

    Dear fellow living souls on this planet
    Earth,

    Confucious (551–479 BCE)
    stated,
    “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

    I am convinced that the State (government) wants the
    citizen / subjects to live in Fear and Ignorance…. better to keep them ‘in
    line’ and subjugated.

    Like many others I am working to distance myself from
    their treacherous ways. At law school they did not teach us how to do so. Law
    schools have become part and parcel of the State’s propaganda mechanism. Law
    schools are adept at teaching positive law, which emanates from government
    minions. This written law is extensive. Fair to say that nobody has read and
    understands even 20% of it. There are some who believe that they should follow
    all the codes and statutes written by government, but these people are quickly
    changing their mind as the legislation becomes more oppressive, ridiculous and
    self serving to the corporate interests that appear to run Amerika
    now.

    Personally, I have come to the conclusion that ‘the
    People’, when born, are free of any legal
    duty to government’s positive, written ‘laws’, which I will refer to from here
    on out as simply statutes. That changes, however, when government agents, and
    the threat of incarceration, causes many People to sign contracts that bring
    them under the purview (outside the Constitution) of corporate government
    entities…. voter ‘registration’ for example.

    What is Law, and what law applies to men and women on this
    planet Earth ? I now believe that we are only subject to Natural Law … unless one
    wants / desires to live in the Welfare State.

    Saint Thomas
    Aquinas analyzed Natural Law in his Treatise on Law.
    (not an easy read)

    Saint Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225 to 1274
    AD.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts that God has implanted
    Natural Law … in our consciences.

    His Treatise on Law consists of questions 90 thru
    114 in his work titled The Summa
    Theologica.

    Question 91 analyzes the various types
    of Law.

    In the Second Article he asks whether there is
    Natural Law.

    He mentions Romans 2:14

    Many translations here.

    I like the Phillips translation … ( red .. my additions)

    “When the Gentiles (Goyim), who have no knowledge of the Law ( do not have the Torah ), act in accordance with it by the
    light of nature, they show that they have a law in themselves, for they
    demonstrate the effect of a law operating in their own hearts. Their own
    consciences endorse the existence of such a law, for there is something which
    condemns or commends their actions.”

    Aquinas makes the following comment,
    “Although they have no written law, yet they have the natural law, whereby each
    one knows, and is conscious of, what is good and what is
    evil.”
    Only ten years before
    Thomas was born, King John affixed his seal to Magna Carta. Confronted by 40 rebellious
    barons, he consented to their demands in order to avert civil war. Just 10 weeks
    later, Pope Innocent III nullified the agreement, and England plunged into
    internal war.

    The Magna Carta was written by a group of
    13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical
    king. It is concerned with many practical matters and specific grievances
    relevant to the feudal system under which they lived. The interests of the
    common man were hardly apparent in the minds of the men who brokered the
    agreement. But there are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate
    to this day:

    “No
    freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way
    destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful
    judgment of his peers and by the law of the
    land.”

    “To
    no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or
    justice.”

    The Fifth Amendment to the
    Constitution for the People of the united states of America, which states (“no
    person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due
    process of law.”) is a direct descendent of Magna Carta’s guarantee of
    proceedings according to the “law of the land.” *** Note – It appears that the
    men who wrote the Constitution used the phrase ‘due process of law’ instead of
    ‘law of the land’.

    The Declaration of
    Independence mentions Natural Law in the first paragraph. The Declaration
    of Independence, which is the first document included in the Statutes at Large
    for the People of the united states of America, is positive law,
    IMHO.

    1700 years
    before Aquinas, Confucious stated the Golden
    Rule, “Do not impose on
    others what you yourself do not desire.” This simple concept of
    reciprocity is understood and accepted by everyone. It is the cornerstone of
    Natural Law IMHO. A primary subset would be, “Thou shalt not steal.” Exodus 20:15

    Thus when
    confronted by an agent of the State, ask, “What Natural Law are you charging me
    with ?” Am I under arrest ? No ? Then am I free to go ? No ? Then I am
    commencing my fee schedule in five minutes which should be sufficient for you to
    check the lawfulness of this arrest with your supervisor. After five minutes
    the fee schedule will begin and the fee is $100 for every minute that I am
    detained unlawfully. If you wish to arrest me I will demand that you produce
    a signed warrant or affidavit by an injured party. See Blackstone.
    As I am no threat to the community I would suggest that, instead, as encouraged
    by your own department regulations, that you issue a Notice to Appear,
    instead.

    Simple non
    ?

    For
    Truth and Justice,

    Don
    Quixote