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“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”
~ Genesis, chapter 6, verse 5
By Mr. Curmudgeon:
The Constitution of the United States is a religious statement of faith. I know this is a bold statement in light of what our Progressive betters insist is a secular document. However, underlying the parchment’s 4,606 words rests its central Judeo-Christian premise: that mans’ evil must be restrained – not in his liberty, but the malevolence he can unleash upon his neighbor. It describes a government, comprised of corruptible men, limited by enumerated powers. That its authority is divided among various branches of government to prevent a concentration of power, allowing the greatest amount of freedom, under the rule of law, for the greater number of people. This is what the Founder’s meant by “ordered liberty.” That order, the law, restrains the evil in us (the government and the governed) allowing the “better angels of our nature” to flourish in freedom.
Secular Progressivism, on the other hand, believes man is essentially good and can be made better by, well, better men. This group of exceptional, incorruptibles (self-appointed, of course) is driven by a desire to mold mere lumps of clay (us) into the new Adam. However, forging new Adams requires the kind of authority restricted by enumerated powers. The Judeo-Christian understanding of man’s evil, as expressed through a restraining Constitution, stymies the growth of this religious ideology … Progressivism, which does not believe in evil and whose one, true god is unrestrained power.
“Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse,” wrote professor Louis Seidman of Georgetown University in a New York Times Op-Ed, “Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.”
Seidman, who teaches constitutional law, asserts, “Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.”
And what, exactly, assures that our unalienable rights will be respected? His assumption is that the mob, through the democratic process, will do the right thing by electing exceptional, incorruptibles to rule and not abuse them. The German people availed themselves of that opportunity when in 1933 they elected a large number of Nazi candidates to their national legislature. That expression of democratic will resulted in Hitler. Human nature, unleashed, is not likely to respect “life, liberty or property” when free of its “obligation” for restraint under the law.
James Madison (disparaged by professor Seidman) said in Federalist #51, “What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
The preamble to the Constitution reads: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Understanding that men – in or out of government – are not to be trusted, the established justice of the Constitution created an equilibrium of shared power to insure that no one may endanger the rights of others. Though imperfect, that man-made arrangement restrains mortal man in anticipation of a perfect justice administered by a supreme, omniscient and incorruptible judge.