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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Rights of the American People and the Rights of the Federal Government

Life, liberty and property…three things that the Founding Fathers believed are essential to a truly free people. America was founded with the desire for everyone to have liberty of speech, liberty of religion, and control over government–something that wasn't possible with Britain. Sadly, today we no longer have the right to speak out against things that we believe to be wrong, or else get branded as "right-wing fundamentalists" or "religious bigots." Today, we no longer have the right to show our faith in public–well, actually, that's not entirely true. If you are an Muslim, or a Hindu, or an atheist, you can talk about whatever you want wherever you want. But if you are a Christian, oh no! Heaven forbid that Christians push their bigoted views on everyone else. If Christians are allowed to pray in schools, it will hurt the feelings of other students that aren't praying! We can't make people feel bad! Ask yourself this: today, who is in control of your life? Obviously we, ourselves, control what we do, but who controls your life? Who else is spending money so quickly and furiously–much of which has somehow, mysteriously "disappeared"–and then creating new taxes for you to have to pay off when you get older? Who–what, I should say–is in control of what we say, what we do, and even what we listen to and watch and learn about?
President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us." Americans, we are the government. At least, we should be. The American people have the right to choose how we are governed and who governs us. FDR continued, saying, "The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." We don't have government to rule us. The government has us to protect. The first purpose of a government is to serve the people, and thus the people's duty to create a government that will do so. We have rights. So does the government. The Constitution specifically lays out the power of the government, and doing anything more than that is breaking the law (yes, the government can break laws). Article 1, section 8 of the US Constitution says that ""The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States;"" The Constitution goes on to list specific powers that the government has:

–to regulate commerce with US states/foreign countries/Indian tribes,

–to establish "uniform rule" of becoming a natural citizen, and "uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies through the United States."

–to coin money and regulate it's value, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.

–to provide punishment for counterfeiting US money

–to establish post offices and roads

–to promote science and arts by securing (for limited times) the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries

–to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court

–to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on high seas and offenses against the law of nations

–to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal and to make rules concerning captures on land and water.

–to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years

–to provide and maintain a navy

–to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces

–to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions

–to provide for training and arming the militia and governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of America

–"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;"

–to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

In order that there wouldn't be any confusion, the Founding Fathers added the 10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the US by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." So you see, our country's government was designed so that the people would be in control. The definition for government, by the way is, "the group of people in office at a particular time; administration."

Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten this. Our government has slowly taken control, changed this definition of government as the Fathers intended it to be. I would regretfully have to say that our government is "the action or manner of controlling or regulating a nation, organization, or people." We as Americans have lost grip of that control, however, it is still ours. The government is not our king. It is a group of people in office at a particular time. Their job is to serve and protect us, the American citizens, not to steal our property and our money and use it for their own private luxuries. We must take back control of our government, Americans. Our country needs our prayers and our action. We must not let ourselves get slack with the power that we hold as citizens of the United States.

God bless America.

Isaac


4 comments:

  1. This is awesome Isaac! Thanks for posting it :)

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  2. Yes!! Totally…use anything you'd like :)

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  3. Thanks for taking your time to write this down.. even though I know you love doing this. It really got me thinking about where we are today and how we should be bolder and able to take a stand as Christians. :)

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