Tag Archives: constitution

The More Things Change, . . . .

28 Mar

“How easily men satisfy themselves that the Constitution is exactly what they wish it to be.”

— Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1845

If he could only see us now.  Treading on the Constitution is not a new phenomenon, just one that seems to be gaining momentum.

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Drip, Drip, Drip . . . The Sound of Freedom Slowly Being Lost — and It’s Our Own Fault

5 Mar

From a Dr. Thomas Sowell column titled “Freedom Is Not Free”, warning us against a government that continually pushes the Constitution aside to achieve ideological goals.  The full column can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/freedom-is-not-free.html

Excerpt: [bracketed material is mine]

It doesn’t matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States, if the government can punish you for exercising those rights [through IRS, FCC, and NSA targeting, indoctrination through Common Core, through nitpicking prosecutions of opposition, etc].

And it doesn’t matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials’ power, if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences [as in effectively making and changing laws within the Executive Branch].

In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you, if you don’t protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped.

As long as millions of Americans vote on the basis of who gives them free stuff, look for their freedom — and all our freedom — to be eroded away, bit by bit. Our children and grandchildren may yet come to see the Constitution as just some quaint words from the past that people once took seriously.

[End of excerpt]

Cling to Basic Truths . . .

15 Jan

In May of 1963, C. S. Lewis was interviewed by a representative of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  Among other interesting questions and responses was the following:

Mr. Wirt:  Do you feel, then, that modern culture is being de-Christianized?

Lewis:  I cannot speak to the political aspects of the question, but I have some definite views about the de-Christianizing of the church.  I believe that there are many accommodating preachers, and too many practitioners in the church who are not believers.  Jesus Christ did not say “Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right.”  The gospel is something completely different.  In fact, it is directly opposed to the world.

The case against Christianity that is made out in the world is quite strong.  Every war, every shipwreck, every cancer case, every calamity contributes to making a prima facie case against Christianity.  It is not easy to be a believer in the face of this surface evidence.  It calls for a strong faith in Jesus Christ.

[End of excerpt]

Not only does this response seem to me to be true in the context of this question — and as true today as it was 50 years ago – but by extension we might apply this same general line of reasoning to the entire conservative movement, perhaps especially to the attempted dismantling of the Constitution.  There are basic truths to which a successful culture, as well as a successful religion, must adhere in order to ensure continuing success.

Of course, the flip side is that Islamic fundamentalists could assert the same reasons for maintaining their radical positions in the face of substantial opposition.

Nothing is straightforward, is it?

[The interview in its entirety can be found in God in the Dock, an item titled “Cross- Examination”]

“That’s Unconstitutional!” Do We Care?

9 Nov

Walter Williams recently wrote a column titled “Our Deviant Society” that I thought was really good.  He gives several examples of presidential “lawlessness”, but I have included his closing remarks below.  You can see the entire column at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/our-deviant-society.html

At the end of this essay, speaking about some of the unconstitutional actions this president has taken:

“Whether [or not] the president’s actions were good or bad ideas . . .is irrelevant. What’s relevant is whether we want to establish a precedent whereby a president, who has no constitutional authority to repeal parts of congressional legislation, can grant special favors and rule by presidential decree like Third World tyrants.

“I don’t hold President Obama completely responsible for his unconstitutional actions. It’s the American people who are to blame, for it is we who have lost our morality and our love, knowledge and respect for our Constitution, laying the foundation for Washington tyranny. It is all part and parcel of “defining deviancy down,” which is the term former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined in 1993 to describe how we’ve switched from moral absolutes to situational morality and from strict constitutional interpretation to the Constitution’s being a “living document.” Constitutional principles that do not allow one American to live at the expense of another American are to be held in contempt. Today’s Americans have betrayed the values that made us a great nation, and that does not bode well for future generations.”

[End of excerpt]

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

I particularly love the phrase “defining deviancy down” attributed to Patrick Moynihan.  Isn’t it so true?  Couldn’t we each come up with a dozen (or more?) areas where this has occurred?  Not all change is bad, of course, but who cannot see that a slide toward moral relativity undermines the very traits that made this country great, powerful, prosperous, generous, and a symbol for freedom-loving people throughout the world?

“Random Thoughts” from Thomas Sowell

23 Oct

Every now and then, Thomas Sowell publishes a “Random Thoughts” column.  Some of his thoughts from his latest follow, in case you haven’t seen it.  The entire column can be found at http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/random-thoughts-12-10-16.html

Excerpts:

1.  Economist Edward Lazear has cut through all of Barack Obama’s claims about “creating jobs” with one plain and inescapable fact — “there hasn’t been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President Bush left office.” Whatever number of jobs were created during the Obama administration, more have been lost.

2.  How are children supposed to learn to act like adults, when so much of what they see on television shows adults acting like children?

3.  Whenever you hear people talking about “a living Constitution,” almost invariably they are people who are in the process of slowly killing it by “interpreting” its restrictions on government out of existence.

4.  Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many countries during the 20th century set out to “spread the wealth” — and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts.

5.  People who complain about “negative” campaign ads miss the point. It is perfectly legitimate to criticize your opponent. The question is whether the ads are about serious things that matter to the future of this country, and whether they are telling the truth or lying.

6.  I have never known a word to become absolute dogma, without a speck of evidence, the way “diversity” has.