Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Constitution as a Living Document?

My thoughts today turn to both the past and the future as I contemplate the many blessings of living in the United States of America. It is no accident that I include the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in my list of blessings as I consider them to be inspired documents which provide a means of accomplishing divinely planned purposes. Without the Declaration of Independence there would have been no need for any of the other documents because we would have continued in direct servitude to the King of England, nothing more.

I have heard so many intellectuals carry on that while the Declaration of Independence is a well written document, one that expressed necessary and fundamental issues relevant to the dissolution of political and national bindings, that there is no reason to include divinity as a functionary or inclusive part of the process. To that I can only say, poppycock; other terms come to mind which are crude and so poppycock will suffice.

The same has been said regarding the Constitution as a means of establishing our form of government. Nothing could be further from the truth. The history leading up to the formation of the document we call the Constitution is nothing short of a miracle. Those folks involved in the wording of each and every aspect of the Constitution were strong willed and highly volatile individuals with varied reasons for desiring any union, much less one which compromised so much power from their home state’s powers. The fact remains that there were several compromises worked out, eventually forming what we have accepted as the Constitution.

Have we accepted it as a foundation for government, one that is solid and worth keeping or have we altered our language to such an extent as to render it meaningless? What is meant when I hear that the Constitution is a living breathing document, something which serves only as a guide, not written in stone? I read a statement, one written quite a long time ago which might be worth considering.

“We cannot brook the thought of it (the Constitution) being torn into shreds, or destroyed, or trampled under foot and ignored by men. We cannot tolerate the sentiment, at one time expressed, by a man high in authority in the nation. He said: "The constitution be damned; the popular sentiment of the people is the constitution!" That is the sentiment of anarchism, and has spread to a certain extent, and is spreading over "the land of liberty and the home of the brave."

Joseph F. Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a talk given in 1939 criticized such as he addressed the issue, “…the popular sentiment of the people is the constitution!”, isn’t that the same as claiming that the Constitution is a flexible document, a living breathing work in progress? I have to hand it to Joseph F. Smith, a man who could barely contain his outrage at hearing the words of anarchy when spoken, a direct assault on the “land of liberty” which he loved and which he also knew to be a gift from God.

I have entered into this discussion in the past, that being whether or not the United States of America was the result of divine intervention, whether or not Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are gifts from God or did they simply address some sectarian notion of right and wrong. It is my belief that we humans are made in the image of our Creator, that same Creator who has granted unto his children certain unalienable rights; those being Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. For us to deny the Author of Rights ( link via title bar) is to abandon claim to them.

I invite you to read from the Book of Mormon, specifically the book of 2nd Nephi chapter 10 where the promises of the Lord are made unto a faithful people. The whole chapter is devoted to the promise of a land of inheritance, this particular “isle of the sea” being what we now call North America.

“And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.” (2 Nep 10:11 )

I cannot accept the arguments which eliminate God and the promises of His blessings from the working government of the United States of America. History has been written and then rewritten to accommodate those changes necessary to complete such an abomination of expressed thought. There is a huge difference between separation of church and state, a fantasy worked out to accommodate a particular agenda, and separation of truth from fiction.

Anyone with a rudimentary ability to explore the history of our nation should be able to uncover those attempts to remove and destroy all concepts which link our relationship to the Judeo/Christian God, the same God mentioned in the Bible as being Alpha and Omega, the Prince of Peace or any of the established names by which He is acknowledged and then make the connection that He is also responsible for establishing this particular piece of land as promised for a specific purpose; that being the land where Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness could prevail. “We cannot brook the thought of it”, covers it so well.

This is my entry for this coming Tuesday's Carnival of Liberty. This is a great place to take the pulse of the blogging community on a wide range of subjects. Stephen Littau will host the Carnival at Fearless Philosophy (

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