As you can see from the image on the left, the 226 years that have passed since Jacob Shallus put quill to animal skin, has taken its toll on the physical properties of the United States Constitution. But sadly, a heavier and much more dangerous toll has been inflicted upon what is still today our primary governing document. The toll inflicted by ignorance and wickedness among those governed by it, is threatening our Republic unlike no other time in history.
I often get push back from well meaning Christians for not respecting the President. When this happens, it makes me wonder how anyone can honestly pay attention to what the current President is doing, and what he proposes to do, and still honestly tell me they respect him...If you fall into this category...you have a serious problem. I make no secret of the fact that I have no respect whatsoever for the President. However, I have great respect for the office of the President of the United States, which makes it all the more imperative that I call him out for his statements and his actions.
Permit me to explain a little bit more in depth about this. To do that, we have to start with some basic facts about our Constitution. We are a nation of laws…the United States Constitution sets forth the Rule of Law for our nation. It establishes the parameters under which our federal government can operate, no more, no less. By its very nature, the United States Constitution or Federal Constitution as it is sometimes referred to, is a document of limited powers (ceded up by the states in order to create a limited central government) and a list of "enumerated" individual rights to be retained by all the citizenry. The framers of the document set forth the premise in Article VI that the United States Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. From this fact comes the principle that the United States Constitution is the Rule of Law. Article VI states that there is no higher law, the United States Constitution is supreme to all federal law. Consequently, all federal law enacted must be enacted “pursuant” to the Constitution. This means that federal law cannot contravene (violate) the Constitution. Article VI also states that the United States Constitution is supreme above all state Constitutions and state laws. I mention this to remind us that there is NO law, NO office, and NO individual office holder that is above the United States Constitution. Indeed all Federal Office holders swear an oath to the United States Constitution.
Law Above Men
The idea that "we need to respect the President", or any other office holder for that matter, no matter what they say or do...while it may sound moralistic and high minded…reveals very deep ignorance of the United States Constitution and how our government works. Our founders set up a system unlike no other in history...we respect law above men. The founders came from a worldview where subjects were required to respect men (a King) above law (Rex Lex), so they implicitly and intentionally set up a system from a biblical worldview wherein we respect law above men (Lex Rex). The United States Constitution is the highest law of the land, again, that’s why officials take an oath to it. Therefore you are required...and as a Christian...it is your duty to respect the highest man made Law (Constitution) above any man.
The well meaning Christians I mentioned above will frequently quote or mention the thirteenth chapter of the book of Romans for a warning to be "subject to the governing authorities”. The problem here is that the "authority" in the context of Romans 13 is not a man under our system of government...it’s the law. We have rampant ignorance of this simple but profound truth in our country today. If you hold the position that you respect the President of the United States...three things are in play...(1) you are grossly ignorant of current events, (2) you are ignorant of our Constitution and our Republic, and (3) most importantly if you’re a Christian, you are ignorant of your responsibility under God's law.
The larger question that we should be asking ourselves here is why are there so many that think this way today? How did we get to the point where so few understand this very basic information? I am reminded of an event that took place in the heat of June 1788. The place was Richmond, Virginia, the setting…the Virginia Ratification Convention for the new United States Constitution. The elected delegates from all over the commonwealth had assembled to determine whether or not Virginia would ratify the new Federal Constitution. The list of delegates is legendary, men like Patrick Henry, James Madison, John Marshall, George Mason, and James Monroe, I could go on and on…a virtual who’s who of framers and founders. Heated debate was the order of the day. On one hand the Federalists were pushing the new Constitution due to the utter failure of the Articles of Confederation, the fledgling nations first set of bylaws. On the other hand were Anti Federalists, men who feared an all too powerful central government. After much heated debate, which in one instance almost produced a duel…a man little known to us today, a man by the name of George Nicholas rose to his feet to address the raucous assembly.
George Nicholas's comment that sweltering day was simple but contained a profound message that rings powerful 226 years later… a message we need to hear loud and clear today. His statement…“An enlightened people will never suffer what was established for their security to be perverted to an act of tyranny.” Do you see the operative word in Mr. Nicholas’s statement? He said “an enlightened people”. The premise of Mr. Nicholas statement was absolutely correct...that is, if we had an enlightened citizenry. An enlightened citizenry would be needed to safeguard the Constitution against men that would ignore it, or pervert it. Today we have a completely unenlightened citizenry; therefore many of our elected leaders...not only the President...but many in the congress and the judiciary blatantly ignore the Rule of Law in carrying out the duties of their office. Ultimately we bear the responsibility for permitting them to do this without holding them accountable. But how can an unenlightened citizenry hold anyone accountable?
My friends, today instead of getting upset or agitated at my position of not respecting the President, or any other elected official for that manner…it’s time to get educated on the truth of the Rule of Law, the truth about what authority we respect above all others in our government, and the truth that we are a nation of “unenlightened” citizens. We need to become an enlightened citizenry with respect to the Rule of Law and how our government is supposed to operate under it. The Constitution of the United States is not difficult to understand. While Constitutional Law can be deep...it is not always deep. One does not have to be a Constitutional attorney in order to understand its principles and to be able to identify when it is being ignored, perverted, and violated.
Honor God for what he has given us...a Rule of Law, higher than men. No other nation on the face of the earth has this kind of Constitutional government founded and set up under God's principles. Worship Him today by using your time and opportunities to learn it. There are many ways to do this, and I would be glad to point you to my free course online to help facilitate your "enlightenment" today.