We Have Two Constitutions, Not Just One

 

by Robert Arvay

 

“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more Perfect Union…”

These words open what many of us believe is, aside from God’s direct revealed Word, the most important document in the history of the world. It has led, directly or otherwise, to more freedom for more people than any other political system ever devised by man. Much blood has been shed in its defense. As precious as is every drop of that blood, it has been a price worth paying. Because, using those same opening words, it has enabled us to “… secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …”

However, before we had a written Constitution, we also had an unwritten one.

Make no mistake; the written Constitution is the vital heart of our nation, the very breath of our freedom. Nothing I say will decrease my ardor for, or my emphatic support of, those written words. I affirmatively reject the liberal view that the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted according to the whim of the moment, or the fad of today. That’s why the Constitution incorporates an amendment process. There, and only there, should the Constitution be changed. Period.

Our Constitution did not arise out of thin air. It was preceded by, and can be viewed as the product of, a long and deep history rooted in Mosaic Law, and in the Athenian democracy. Its spirit was already alive – in its nascent form – in the Magna Carta, in the Declaration of Independence, and in the Articles of Confederation.

Indeed, it is in the Declaration of Independence that we find those powerful words upon which our Constitution is based:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Despite the Declaration’s official homage to our Creator, many people have pointed out that the United States Constitution makes no mention of God, and that its only mentions of religion are to forbid religion being used as a qualification for public office, and that otherwise, the government must place neither support for, nor prohibitions of, the free exercise of it.

They have claimed, therefore, that the Constitution is a secular document.

But there are serious flaws in that claim. First, the context of these mentions of religion are that in the Colonies, the Church of England had been the official religion of the tyrant. Taxes were collected from all and sundry for the establishment of this religion, regardless of whether those taxed believed in the Church or not. It is this injustice, not religion itself, religious values or God, that the Constitution rejects. It is the misuse of religion as a force for tyranny that the Constitution opposes. One finds that the theological underpinnings of the Constitution are manifest throughout our history.

Second, if anyone doubts these assertions of context, consider that the Constitutional Convention (in which the document was forged) opened each session with prayer to God. No, the prayer was not made at the altar of the Church of England, at the door of a Baptist church, at the rail of a Catholic cathedral nor in the sanctuary of an Assembly of God, but here is the crucial and vital fact:  the prayer was made to the same God who revealed the Ten Commandments. The Founders prayed to the Creator, who alone is the source and provider of all of our rights, rights which are unalienable by any government of free men.

Am I saying then, that our unwritten Constitution is the religious tradition beginning with the prophet Abraham? Am I saying that only the Judeo-Christian religious tradition has any validity?

Yes, in light of our democratic traditions, there can be no doubt of it.

I also mentioned the Athenian democracy which espoused the concept of representative government and the idea that the people rule themselves through their elected representatives. Those precious traditions are traced back to Greece, then to Rome; two ancient nations ruled by men who worshipped pagan gods. We owe to them much of what makes us free. So, while our traditions are Judeo-Christian, we guarantee freedom of religion for all.

Then, what exactly am I saying?

I have already said it: our written Constitution is the physical embodiment of an unwritten Constitution. Neither of them stands alone. Without the rich traditions of Western Civilization, our Constitution would never have been put to words and without our written Constitution, those traditions themselves would soon disappear from the world of men.

Look about you, if you disbelieve that claim. It is the decline of our values that is accompanying the rise of anti-Constitutional forces both within our nation and outside of it. You’ve heard the vacuous expression, spoken by so many learned judges and politicians, that the written Constitution is only a “living, breathing” document, subject to so many frivolous interpretations that those tearing it down must resort to “emanations of penumbrances,” and to “walls of separation.” These are terms found nowhere in any of our founding documents, much less the Constitution. In other words, to its opponents, the words mean nothing. To them, the Constitution itself means nothing. Whenever it gets in the way of what they intend to do, they ignore it, or worse, distort it.

This would never have happened if we had not lost touch with the values embraced by our Founders. Those values were not the touchy feely “sensitivity” values which dominate much of current progressive thinking. The Founders were men of great personal charity, but not of government largesse at taxpayer expense. They were men who viewed government as a necessary evil, not as a god to be worshipped, nor as a tyrant to be obeyed by docile subjects of a crown. They were men who viewed freedom as a responsibility to do good, not a license to do evil.

Today, both Constitutions are under attack; the written and the unwritten. Our culture is eroding. Political free speech is increasingly restricted, while obscenity is increasingly promoted – exactly the opposite of what the Founders clearly intended.

We have actually had at least one Supreme Court Justice (O’Connor) declare that “for
eign law” can be consulted in deciding cases in American courts. These are laws that are enacted entirely without the consent of the governed, the governed in this case being the American people. This precedent is insidiously anti-Constitutional.

And that was not the end of it. Now, there are serious efforts being made to infiltrate American (and British) society with Sharia law. Ironically, those who are the most fiercely opposed to any mention of the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition are those who are most likely to endorse Sharia law. There is no doubt that Sharia Islamic law is precisely, exactly, the very sort of religious law which the Constitution expressly prohibits. Islam considers itself superior to, and immune from, any non-Islamic law.

The Constitution could never have arisen in Imperial China, Buddhist Japan, Hindu India or in Moslem Arabia. No emperor’s government would ever have recognized the “… Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government …”

No Moslem caliph would ever have declared that an Islamic government “… shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

That would not only never have happened, it still cannot happen in those countries today, because in those countries governed by Islamic traditions, the state religion is Islam, and all other religions are officially considered inferior, at best.

Islamist Muslims do not share our traditions, our values and our religious heritage.

Sadly, neither do an increasing number of people in America. It is not only the Muslim immigrants. It is a generation of men and women born here, raised here and taught in unionized schools that our Founders were evil men, slave holders, plunderers, sexist, and genocidal killers. Ironically, while condemning our Founders for their certainly deep flaws as human beings, these same critics cannot bring themselves to call a terrorist a terrorist, or an illegal alien a– well—an illegal alien.

In the sixties and seventies, college hippies chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Western Civ has got to go.”

They’re getting their wish. Western Civilization is all but gone and in its place will come chaos and tyranny – the same exact evils which plagued so much of the world for so much of its history.

There is one hope. You. We are the last living Americans who have the opportunity to restore America to its foundational principles, to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. If we fail, a darkness will descend upon the world that may well last centuries – centuries in which if we are remembered at all, we will be cursed for having squandered the precious gift of freedom.

We must not fail to “… secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …”

The American Revolution did not end at Yorktown. We must fight on.

Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Patriot’s Notepad

 

The Bold Pursuit® 

 

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4 thoughts on “We Have Two Constitutions, Not Just One

  1. A flaw in your argument is easily found by reading not only the documents mentioned, but the public and personal writings of the principal authors of those documents. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samual Adams and even George Washington were theist, what today might be called agnostic. When the Constitution was being written, a motion was made to include phrasing similar to "Judeo Christian tradition" it was voted down immediately. What keeps America from having an equivalent of Sharia law is that "wall of separation" that you apparently failed to notice if you have, indeed read these documents.

  2. The Author's Reply to Mr. Gas:Robert Arvay:Since your comments are so frequently rebutted elsewhere in public discourse, I did not include them specifically in my piece, although I did do so in general.But please allow me to focus on your objections.Deism is a religious philosophy, not an agnostic one, that acknowledges the existence of God as Creator.It differs from the Judeo-Christian tradition in important theological respects, but not in its primary political implication, which is that human rights are authored not by governments, but by God. Without that assertion, liberty is soon negotiated away. For many of the Founders, if not all of them, the Bible was the predominant literary work which shaped their lifelong political thinking. Examples from our first three presidents should suffice. George Washington wrote: "…we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." John Adams wrote: "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity." Thomas Jefferson wrote: "God who gave us life [also] gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?" Are these words the product of atheism or agnosticism? Do they come to us from the Buddhist tradition? Is individual liberty, including religious freedom, the central political goal of Islam? My commentary makes it clear that the Constitution is not a sectarian manifesto, and wisely so. But it is most certainly a product of, and in accordance with, the historic ideals of Western Civilization, a tradition which has its roots both in pagan Greece, and in Christian Europe. That tradition was the binding mortar which unified our nation and gave rise to our written Constitution. Greek political democracy, not its pagan religion, influenced the Founders. However, the religious element from Christianity is at the core of our founding philosophy. If one would remove this religious element, the specifically Christian element, then one would eviscerate the Western tradition, leaving behind the socialist shell that is today's Europe, but certainly not the America that our Founders envisaged. If you attempt to remove that element, and replace it with either agnosticism or Eastern religion, you get an entirely different result from the ideals of representative democracy. You get the false god of big government socialism, leading inevitably to tyranny, but not the individual liberty of a free society. We are a nation not only of an officially written Constitution, but of an equally important unwritten Constitution, a tradition in which the Judeo-Christian faith is indispensable. I aver that our very survival depends upon its restoration to the public arena.

  3. Publisher's Note: We moderate ALL comments made on The Bold Pursuit; we welcome our reader's opinions, but ask that they first read our Site Standards regarding appropriate behavior on our site.Commentators are free to disagree (or support) our authors commentaries, but must keep their comments relevant to the material presented. The first comment made by Mr. Gas was only partially compliant with TBP's high standards; his last sentence was insulting and inappropriate:" … What keeps America from having an equivalent of Sharia law is that "wall of separation" that you apparently failed to notice if you have, indeed read these documents.."Mr. Gas, our blogger, Mr. Arvay, didn't deserve your snarky assertion and I believe he very ably exposed your own ignorance in this matter. If you wish to comment on other posts on our site, please keep your comments relevant and respectful; we have no paid authors or staff at The Bold Pursuit. We all present our best efforts out of a deep respect and love for our country and in the hope that our words will inform, inspire and educate our readers. Our authors deserve respect for their selfless efforts.

  4. Dear Mr. Arvay,Frankly, I was quite impressed with your accuracy, and truth. Even more so with how much you agree with the many of us older Americans, who cannot express ourselves as aptly as you did, yet you stated how we feel. We do need more people who truly understand the very things you pointed out, to do so and to keep doing so, until our younger generations finally get it. Freedom is something that goes hand in hand with God's Holy Word and the Constitution of the United States of America. I pray continually for our Nation, for its citizens, and thank our Holy God for all.Sincerely,One Old American

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