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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"We The People..."

This young lady asked me an interesting set of questions in the comment box of this post. I decided to do a post on this because:a) it would make an interesting discussion and b) I need to solidify my own opinion with facts.

Do you believe the Articles of Confederation were strong enough?

The Articles of Confederation were a very decentralized set of rules. State sovereignty was paramount. I believe the Articles would have been strong enough because the government would not have been as strong as it is under the Constitution, thus more freedom for the people.

Do you believe a unifying document is needed in a government?

Definitely! I believe there should be a covenantal standard between the God, government, and the people. There is a scriptural precedence for this (II Kings 12:17).

Do you not find it necessary today to defend the Constitution?

Since this is the law of the US, then absolutely we should defend it.

If so, why do you suggest that it should not have been ratified?

The role of civil government is to "wield the sword" (i.e.-provide for the common defense). Therefore, everything else that does not forward this goal is outside of the government's jurisdiction. I don't have any problems with the organizational rules in Sec. 1-7 of Article 1. My main problem is with portions of Sec. 8, Article 1. The congress is given power to regulate trade, provide for the general welfare, and other things which do not assist the government in wielding the sword. Article 10 limits the powers of the individual states too much.

I might add that Patrick Henry
, my favorite statesman of all time, was adamantly against the ratification of the Constitution for the reasons above mentioned. He advocated the use of the Articles of Confederation. Henry probably understood better than any other American the relationship between government and tyranny.

Author's note: I am a student of the Constitution so if you read anything inaccurate, I would be obliged if you let me know!

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Blogger Son3 said...

I think I would have preferred that the Articles of Confederation stayed in place.

The causes for the change were, in my opinion, light and transient.

I find little fault with the Constitution, other than its centralist leanings, but it is the Supreme Law of the Land.

The problem is that the government completely ignores it, and makes up the rules as it goes along.

Good post, Stephen.

July 30, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

I think it is that centralist "leaning" that left the door open for tyranny. If our founding fathers had just established a (very) general standard and left the details up to the states, we probably would not have some of the problems we have today.

Although the Constitution should be obeyed by the leaders (currently, it is a broken covenant), the founding fathers should have realized, as did Patrick Henry, that if you give the government an inch, they take a mile.

I hope we all realize that man is naturally sinful and every law invented by man will be broken. It is only by the grace of God that the Constitution has not been violated more than it has.

Thanks for the comment.

July 30, 2008 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Son3 said...

I think the Founders left the role of "guardian" to the people by giving them the Second Amendment.

But Americans, in their laziness, allowed them to take that freedom away.

Have you read The Federalist Papers? Number 29 details the logic behind the creation of the Second Amendment.

July 30, 2008 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Ana Smith said...

Thank you for answering my questions! :-)

I apologize for my lack of clarification. Yes, I meant "Do you believe the Articles of Confederation would have been strong enough to hold our nation together?"

If you don't mind my continuing this discussion, I have another question:

There are realms which must be governed that fall outside of the category of "common defense." The armed forces is the sort of thing that comes to mind when I think of "common defense." I think I need another one of your wonderful definitions. :-)

Anyway, if you see common defense as the only need which civil government fulfills, then what does the organizational structure of Sections 1-7 of Article 1 provide?

What would your minimalist view of government look like? Would it take all three branches to carry out it's few duties?

[I don't know if it's a typo on your part, or a lack of comprehension on mine, but I looked up 2 Kings 12:17 and was unable to make the connection. :-)]

July 30, 2008 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

No problem!

I believe that there are three spheres of government: family, church, and state. The family is under the jurisdiction of the church and the state. The church is not under the state and the state is not under the church but both are equally answerable to God. It would be logically deduced that if the state's jurisdiction is only to wield the sword, everything else would fall under the jurisdiction of family and church. For instance, welfare is the church's jurisdiction.

In my opinion, Sec.1-7 provide a much needed standard of organization for the legislative branch. All human systems of government need checks and balances.

And, yes, I do believe that all three branches of government are needed because the role of government, while simple, is a BIG job, including everything from protecting our shores to punishing criminals.

That was my bad on the scripture reference...try 2 Kings 11:17. Sorry about that.

July 31, 2008 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...


No I have not read that issue. I must confess, I hang out in the Anti-Federalist camp more than the Federalist camp. But the Federalists do have some GREAT things to say.

July 31, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Excellent post Stephen!

I'm in absolute agreement with all the things you have stated, if the Constitution had not been ratified it might have made it nigh unto impossible for the Yankees to wage the war of Northern Agression.

But since it was ratified I think that supporting the politicians that best uphold the principles set forth by the Constitution would be the right thing to do, at least until "Our drums roll from the Capitol, O'er Potomac's fateful water!" :).

God Bless,


July 31, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thank you sir!

I cannot stress enough that without the Lord all is in vain. I believe that even if the Articles of Confederation had been in place, the War for Southern Independence would have still been fought. The cultures were just too different.

In the meantime:
"The best we ken are stalwart men, Columbiads and revolvers".

July 31, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

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