Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Paganization of America
Renew America ^ | 26 May 2010 | Tim Dunkin

Posted on 05/26/2010 6:10:06 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

America as we see it today is not the same nation as the America in which my parents grew up. It is certainly not the America that was founded over 230 years ago by a group of patriots who had just won a war of liberation against the most powerful monarchy in the world at that time. These changes, this degradation of America, has accelerated in the last 40 years, however, as a moral sea change swept over this land, driven by the purposeful rejection of America's Christian foundations and the system of government that was influenced and established under their auspices.

Let us make no mistake — while America was not founded as a Christian nation in the sense of the establishment of Christianity as the state religion, nevertheless America was a Christian nation at her inception. The entire warp and woof of society was permeated with the biblical worldview. Our Founders, realizing the truth of the Christian doctrine of the inherent sinfulness of man, established a government in which power was divided at the federal level between three competing, contrary branches with specifically-defined powers. Further, political power was divided between what was supposed to be a relatively weak federal government and the state governments. The intention underlying this choice was to dilute the ability of any one man or group of people from being able to exercise power, naturally corruptible, over their fellow citizens. This intention, we must understand, was a spiritual and moral one, based upon biblical understandings of the nature of man....

(Excerpt) Read more at renewamerica.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: christian; pagan
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-82 next last

1 posted on 05/26/2010 6:10:06 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

This is the secret of the great United States. I believe the Pope sees it as well in his call for a new evangelization of the West!


2 posted on 05/26/2010 6:14:27 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Our Founders, realizing the truth of the Christian doctrine of the inherent sinfulness of man, established a government in which power was divided at the federal level between three competing, contrary branches with specifically-defined powers. Further, political power was divided between what was supposed to be a relatively weak federal government and the state governments.

I'm continually amazed how many people buy this claptrap. Here's a different view:

"Where are your checks in this government? Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies. It is on a supposition that your American governors shall be honest, that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men; and, sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt...

This, sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.

Patrick Henry, June 5th, 1788


3 posted on 05/26/2010 6:16:44 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

PH’s comments weren’t specifically aimed at the constitutional separation of powers, but against the general notion that *any* government established by men could be maintained off the simple goodness and honesty of those participating in it. The “checks” described in your quote are not referring to the ones referred to in the article.


4 posted on 05/26/2010 6:20:22 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
PH’s comments weren’t specifically aimed at the constitutional separation of powers

Yes they were:

If we admit this consolidated government, it will be because we like a great, splendid one. Some way or other we must be a great and mighty empire; we must have an army, and a navy, and a number of things. When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: liberty, sir, was then the primary object. We are descended from a people whose government was founded on liberty: our glorious forefathers of Great Britain made liberty the foundation {54} of every thing. That country is become a great, mighty, and splendid nation; not because their government is strong and energetic, but, sir, because liberty is its direct end and foundation. We drew the spirit of liberty from our British ancestors: by that spirit we have triumphed over every difficulty. But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire. If you make the citizens of this country agree to become the subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together. Such a government is incompatible with the genius of republicanism. There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government. What can avail your specious, imaginary balances, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances?

Ibid


5 posted on 05/26/2010 6:25:23 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Zech 1:3


6 posted on 05/26/2010 6:28:14 AM PDT by FES0844
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Running On Empty

Marking


7 posted on 05/26/2010 6:29:20 AM PDT by Running On Empty ((The three sorriest words: "It's too late"))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

I’ve never read that before. Thanks for posting it.


8 posted on 05/26/2010 6:29:35 AM PDT by Lorica
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

I see paganism as an excellent weapon against Islamic influences in our country.


9 posted on 05/26/2010 6:31:14 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

No they weren’t, he’s addressing the character of the American people, not the reasoning behind why the Founders included the system of checks and balances which they did into the Constitution.


10 posted on 05/26/2010 6:39:01 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Lorica

My pleasure. Patrick Henry’s speeches from the Virginia Ratifiying Convention are extremely illuminating. They lift the fog of romantic attachment to the Constitution and expose it for what it was and is—a mistake.


11 posted on 05/26/2010 6:41:54 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Huck

Patrick Henry was da man!!! God bless the Commonwealth.


12 posted on 05/26/2010 6:44:28 AM PDT by Hoodat (.For the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
You're totally incorrect. Henry RAILED against the Constitution. He MOCKED the supposed "checks and balances." He argued in the strongest possible terms to reject the Constitution.

Congress, by the power of taxation, by that of raising an army, and by their control over the militia, have the sword in one hand, and the purse in the other. Shall we be safe without either? Congress have an unlimited power over both: they are entirely given up by us. Let him candidly tell me, where and when did freedom exist, when the sword and purse were given up from the people? Unless a miracle in human affairs interposed, no nation ever retained its liberty after the loss of the sword and purse...

I should be led to take that man for a lunatic, who should tell me to run into the adoption of a government avowedly defective, in hopes of having it amended afterwards. Were I about to give away the meanest particle of my own property, I should act with more prudence and discretion. My anxiety and fears are great lest America, by the adoption of this system, should be cast into a fathomless bottom.

Patrick Henry, June 9th, 1788


13 posted on 05/26/2010 6:45:49 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
He's addressing the checks and balances of the Constitution:

"There will be no checks, no real balances, in this government. What can avail your specious, imaginary balances, your rope-dancing, chain-rattling, ridiculous ideal checks and contrivances?

It's not even debatable.

We are told that this government, collectively taken, is without an example; that it is national in this part, and federal in that part, &c. We may be amused, if we please, by a treatise of political anatomy. In the brain it is national; the stamina are federal; some limbs are federal, others national. The senators are voted for by the state legislatures; so far it is federal. Individuals choose the members of the first branch; here it is national. It is federal in conferring general powers, but national in retaining them. It is not to be supported by the states; the pockets of individuals are to be searched for its maintenance. What signifies it to me that you have the most curious anatomical description of it in its creation? To all the common purposes of legislation, it is a great consolidation of government.

June 9th, 1788


14 posted on 05/26/2010 6:49:47 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

Patrick Henry was a hero. It’s sad that his views did not prevail. But I accept that as the will of Providence. All the same, I find it useful and valuable to understand what the reality of the situation is. If nothing else, it saves a lot of time and mental power. It frees one from the romantic attachment to the Constitution and this continual pining about “if only they would follow it” or “go back to the Constitution.” Now, when I hear such talk, I just shake my head. It could be worse, I suppose. But it could have been a lot better too. Such is life.


15 posted on 05/26/2010 6:53:20 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Slightly OT, but Mr Henry's phrase "...assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation..." sure caught my attention!
16 posted on 05/26/2010 6:55:24 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Henry was a hero and a patriot, but he was wrong. I'll go with Madison, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the rest.

Only a Utopian would put for the absurd assertion that man is noble and trustworthy. Man is inherenly corrupt and it is proven in the failure of the communist paradigm. Communism depends on the inherent incorruptiblity of man. It presumes that men of "good conscience" will work for their mutual benefit. History has repeatedly proven this to be naive in the extreme.

Our Founding Fathers knew this which is why Jefferson stated, when speaking of our unalienable rights, that "to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men" Governments, not men. The statement to which you object is exactly correct. It is the reason that Hamilton opposed adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution. In Federalist 84 he talks about it:
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.
We witness the actions of these "men disposed to usurp" every day in our current government.

If men were as noble as you and Patrick Henry suggest, then we would have no need for any laws. People could be trusted to behave of their own free will.
17 posted on 05/26/2010 7:17:02 AM PDT by Sudetenland (Slow to anger but terrible in vengence...such is the character of the American people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Sudetenland
You've got Henry's ideas completely backwards. The basic premise of Henry's remarks is that the Constitution, far from safeguarding the people from usurpers, created new multitudes of usurpers. That the Constitution, far from containing checks and balances, created a consolidated system that would overwhelm the states and the people and lead to a loss of liberty.

Obviously, Henry was correct.

18 posted on 05/26/2010 7:22:03 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Da&n, I need to read more carefully. You're correct in what he was saying and I misread that last sentence. He is very clearly stating that the checks and balances were insufficient in assuming that men would vote to restrain themselves. . . . My bad.

I definitely need to go in for that brain surgery I've been putting off. ;)
19 posted on 05/26/2010 7:26:54 AM PDT by Sudetenland (Slow to anger but terrible in vengence...such is the character of the American people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

This analysis is correct. We have been considering these issues for years. See our articles:

http://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and-the-culture/the-bible-and-government

http://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and-the-culture/socialism-not-compassionate


20 posted on 05/26/2010 7:30:17 AM PDT by grumpa (VP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

> The Paganization of America
Does this author actually know what paganism is and how it differs from heathen beliefs?
During the early centuries of the Roman Empire when trade with eastern cultures was cultivated. Buddhist merchants came west. Regional heathen religious system that adopted some small part of the Buddhist belief and morals system learned from these merchants and traders were referred to as pagan, taking the term Pagan from the name of the capital or seat of Buddhist influence in the city of Pagan, Burma.


21 posted on 05/26/2010 7:31:28 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Comrade O has to go; FIRE OBAMA NOW !!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

The loss of liberty is not because of the Constitution. No system of government can long protect the people from themselves. The government can not be noble when the people are corrupt.


22 posted on 05/26/2010 7:32:53 AM PDT by Truthsearcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Huck
It's not even debatable.

It IS debatable, because the article specifically says,

"Our Founders, realizing the truth of the Christian doctrine of the inherent sinfulness of man, established a government in which power was divided at the federal level between three competing, contrary branches with specifically-defined powers. Further, political power was divided between what was supposed to be a relatively weak federal government and the state governments. The intention underlying this choice was to dilute the ability of any one man or group of people from being able to exercise power, naturally corruptible, over their fellow citizens."

Notice, it speaks of intentions, not results. What is inarguable is that the Founders who crafted our Constitution instituted these checks and balances as a means of diluting power. That was their purpose with it. As such, your whole argument is a rabbit trail.

Whether Patrick Henry thought it would actually work or not is really quite irrelevant to what the article actually said.

23 posted on 05/26/2010 7:32:58 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Obviously, Henry was correct.

He was correct, but for the wrong reasons, which in this particular case, makes his correctness purely incidental.

He was correct, not in his specific argument against the Constitution, but merely because human nature being what it is, *any* governmental system (even the anti-federalist one that Henry originally favoured before he moved the federalist position later in life) will naturally be bound to degrade as unscrupulous individuals figure out ways to "work the system." Ergo, even in a system which sought to divide power among different branches, there will always be people who figure out how to suborn it, or else who just try to get around it entirely. Same thing happened with the Articles of Confederation - the men in positions of authority under the Articles were no more paragons of selfless virtue than any others.

24 posted on 05/26/2010 7:37:03 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Huck

“This, sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”

And what would you (or Patrick Henry) replace it with?
I can think of no better plan. Anytime man tries to rule himself it is always subject to the morals of man.
I just think this form of government is “less bad” than the rest.


25 posted on 05/26/2010 7:38:48 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (Where is the Black Regiment?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
No, it isn't debatable. What's not debatable? Go back and read---what is not debatable is that Patrick Henry was specifically attacking the so-called checks and balances of the Constitution. You denied it and suggested that Henry wasn't speaking specifically about the Constitutional checks and balances. I provided quotes that conclusively prove you to be incorrect on that point.

The framers and supporters of the Constitution were not limiting government--they were expanding government. They created whole new bodies and offices and powers of national government where there were none before. The "federalists" were for bigger, stronger government.

In a way, the Constitution was the first great American political boondoggle. It was created in secret. It didn't do what it was supposed to do, and once passed, it's impossible to get rid of it.

26 posted on 05/26/2010 7:40:28 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack
During the early centuries of the Roman Empire when trade with eastern cultures was cultivated. Buddhist merchants came west. Regional heathen religious system that adopted some small part of the Buddhist belief and morals system learned from these merchants and traders were referred to as pagan, taking the term Pagan from the name of the capital or seat of Buddhist influence in the city of Pagan, Burma.

Incorrect. The term "pagan" comes from the Latin paganus, which originally referred to country rustics in general, but acquired the meaning of those who adhered to the "old ways" (from a later Roman Empire perspective) of belief in the polytheistic system of the old gods, as opposed to the "new fangled" Christianity that was being institutionalised in the Empire. The people who lived in the country were the ones who clung to the old gods, as Christianity was largely an urban religion for its first three or four centuries.

27 posted on 05/26/2010 7:41:35 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: vanilla swirl

Henry advocated maintaining the federal system, and rejecting a consolidated government.


28 posted on 05/26/2010 7:42:07 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Henry was absolutely correct that the change in FORM of government, from a federal system to a consolidated national system, would result in a loss of liberty.


29 posted on 05/26/2010 7:43:59 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Huck
No, it isn't debatable. What's not debatable? Go back and read---what is not debatable is that Patrick Henry was specifically attacking the so-called checks and balances of the Constitution. You denied it and suggested that Henry wasn't speaking specifically about the Constitutional checks and balances. I provided quotes that conclusively prove you to be incorrect on that point.

Sorry, but no. None of the quotes you have provided specifically deal with the checks and balances system that is discussed in the article. Henry makes general criticism of the Constitution, but not of the division of powers as it is specifically enumerated in the document. He merely rants about "parts federal and partly national" - which is an entirely different issue. In only one quote you provided does he actually use the terms "checks" and "balances" - and again, he does so in a general way that does not address what the article specifically says.

The framers and supporters of the Constitution were not limiting government--they were expanding government. They created whole new bodies and offices and powers of national government where there were none before. The "federalists" were for bigger, stronger government.

True - but deceptively so. They were for a "bigger, stronger" government than what was provided for under the Articles of Confederation. The reason they did so was because the Articles had become a manifest failure to all after a little more than a decade. The Federalists were seeking a balance of powers that would secure liberty while also allowing the government o be able to fulfill its legitimate federative and arbitrative roles. Face it - the anti-Federalist document of choice was a failure, and if allowed to continue, would have resulted in an America that was easy pickings for the British to reclaim as state squabbled and warred against state.

In a way, the Constitution was the first great American political boondoggle. It was created in secret. It didn't do what it was supposed to do, and once passed, it's impossible to get rid of it.

I'm unsure as to how you figure it was "passed in secret" when it had to be ratified by 9 of the 13 then-existing states, and that it was common knowledge aropund Philadelphia that a ConCon was going on.

30 posted on 05/26/2010 7:50:35 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Henry was absolutely correct that the change in FORM of government, from a federal system to a consolidated national system, would result in a loss of liberty.

Well, I think you're misreading PH then, because he himself says that the Constitution still presented a federal system (which is obvious to anyone with half a brain), while instituing aspects of a national system - specifically in the area of national defence and our dealings with foreign powers. These are legitimate federative powers of a national government, and by opposing this, Henry was simply flat wrong. As great as he was, if he really thought that a system whereby some of the states could be suborned into war with others, or into neutrality in the face of a foreign invasion, was a good thing, then he was blinkered on that point.

31 posted on 05/26/2010 7:55:03 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: vanilla swirl
And what would you (or Patrick Henry) replace it with?

Henry would have kept the weak federative (or perhaps confederal is a better term) system found in the Articles of Confederation. The problem, though, is that the Articles were an abject failure, and nearly brought our infant country to ruin. They were the first great example in American history of beautiful theory failing in practice.

Further, even if the states retained vastly greater power over the federal government, this merely means that the several states would have been the primary agents of tyranny, rather than the federal government. Let us not forget that Henry's real beef was with the notion that any particular system was going to be able to completely overrule the natural proclivities of man to tyranny and oppression of his neighbours. You would have those same proclivities - and the same tyranny - even if you eliminated ALL government and went with the completely anarchic system advocated by some radical libertarians.

32 posted on 05/26/2010 8:01:31 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
These changes, this degradation of America, has accelerated in the last 40 years, however, as a moral sea change swept over this land, driven by the purposeful rejection of America's Christian foundations and the system of government that was influenced and established under their auspices.

Fact: Higher education and religious belief are inversely correlated.
That could be the result of being exposed to ever longer periods of liberal education and/or indocrination OR could be the result of being exposed to knowledge and/or scientific evidence which is incompatible with accepted religious doctrine as to how we got here.
Regardless, we can safely assume that as a greater percentage of Americans achieves higher levels of education, religious beliefs and participation will continue to decline.
Many churches will become more socially active in order to stay relevant, but the decline is inevitable.
Islam may be an exception to the trend because of higher reproductive rates in that community as well as generally lower levels of education.

33 posted on 05/26/2010 8:09:53 AM PDT by Riodacat (Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

You’ve certainly piqued my interest. I’ll have to do more reading in that direction.


34 posted on 05/26/2010 8:26:02 AM PDT by Lorica
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Well, I think you're misreading PH then, because he himself says that the Constitution still presented a federal system (which is obvious to anyone with half a brain),

Incorrect again.

We are told that this government, collectively taken, is without an example; that it is national in this part, and federal in that part, &c. We may be amused, if we please, by a treatise of political anatomy. In the brain it is national; the stamina are federal; some limbs are federal, others national. The senators are voted for by the state legislatures; so far it is federal. Individuals choose the members of the first branch; here it is national. It is federal in conferring general powers, but national in retaining them. It is not to be supported by the states; the pockets of individuals are to be searched for its maintenance. What signifies it to me that you have the most curious anatomical description of it in its creation? To all the common purposes of legislation, it is a great consolidation of government.

You are not to have the right to legislate in any but trivial cases; you are not to touch private contracts; you are not to have the right of having arms in your own defence; you cannot be trusted with dealing out justice between man and man. What shall the states have to do? Take care of the poor, repair and make highways, erect bridges, and so on, and so on? Abolish the state legislatures at once. What purposes should they be continued for? Our legislature will indeed be a ludicrous spectacle — one hundred and eighty men marching in solemn, farcical procession, exhibiting a mournful proof of the lost liberty of their country, without the power of restoring it. But, sir, we have the consolation that it is a mixed government; that is, it may work sorely on your neck, but you will have some comfort by saying, that it was a federal government in its origin.

I beg gentlemen to consider: lay aside your prejudices. Is this a federal government? Is it not a consolidated government for almost every purpose?

Henry pointing out that the constitutional system is not a federal system, as anyone can see. He rightly mocks this idea of a part-national, part-federal system. You end up with an all-national system.

35 posted on 05/26/2010 8:30:17 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; vanilla swirl
The problem, though, is that the Articles were an abject failure,

The delegates were sent to Philly to amend the articles. The topic had been much discussed and remedies for what ailed them at the time were well known and agreed upon. We'll never know what would have been had the delegates done their duty and amended the articles, because they were already plotting to form a national government before they got to Philly.

and nearly brought our infant country to ruin.

We weren't an infant country. We were a Union of 13 separate and distinct countries, who formed a confederacy of amity and shared purpose. Brothers and sisters, not one being.

Further, even if the states retained vastly greater power over the federal government, this merely means that the several states would have been the primary agents of tyranny, rather than the federal government.

You say that as if it's a bad thing. In fact, that was supposed to be the whole point. You argue for national domination. Well, you got it!

36 posted on 05/26/2010 8:35:57 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Lorica

Thanks. Just google Virginia ratification debates. Patrick Henry’s June 5th speech is seminal. Also see the antifederalist papers, especially 32-33, 39, 78-80.

virginia ratification
http://www.constitution.org/rc/rat_va_04.htm

antifed papers
http://www.wepin.com/articles/afp/

they weren’t correct about everything. but they hit enough points to impress anyone with an open mind.


37 posted on 05/26/2010 8:38:42 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
The reason they did so was because the Articles had become a manifest failure to all after a little more than a decade.

That's a straw men. The Articles were open to amendment. In fact, that's what the "framers" were tasked to do, but as we know, they had other ideas. Hamilton brilliantly used Madison as his sock puppet and got the vigorous empire he desired.

I'm unsure as to how you figure it was "passed in secret"

That's because I didn't say that. I said it was "created" in secret. Which it was.

As for your denials regarding Henry's attack on checks and balances, I can't help you if you look at 2+2 and get 5.

38 posted on 05/26/2010 8:43:23 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

In the British government there are real balances and checks: in this system there are only ideal balances. Till I am convinced that there are actual efficient checks, I will not give my assent to its establishment. The President and senators have nothing to lose. They have not that interest in the preservation of the government that the king and lords have in England. They will, therefore, be regardless of the interests of the people. The Constitution will be as safe with one body as with two. It will answer every purpose of human legislation. How was the constitution of England when only the commons had the power? I need not remark, that it was the most unfortunate era when that country returned to king, lords, and commons, without sufficient responsibility in the king. When the commons of England, in the manly language which became freemen, said to their king, You are our servant, then the temple of liberty was complete. From that noble source have we derived our liberty: that spirit of patriotic attachment to one’s country, that zeal for liberty, and that enmity to tyranny, which signalized the then champions of liberty, {166} we inherit from our British ancestors. And I am free to own that, if you cannot love a republican government, you may love the British monarchy; for, although the king is not sufficiently responsible, the responsibility of his agents, and the efficient checks interposed by the British Constitution, render it less dangerous than other monarchies, or oppressive tyrannical aristocracies. What are the checks of exposing accounts? The checks upon paper are inefficient and nugatory. Can you search your President’s closet? Is this a real check? We ought to be exceedingly cautious in giving up this life, this soul, of money, this power of taxation, to Congress. What powerful check is there here to prevent the most extravagant and profligate squandering of the public money?

Patrick Henry, June 9th, 1788


39 posted on 05/26/2010 8:48:15 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Not a federal system:

And here I would make this enquiry of those worthy characters who composed a part of the late Federal Convention. I am sure they were fully impressed with the necessity of forming a great consolidated Government, instead of a confederation. That this is a consolidated Government is demonstrably clear, and the danger of such a Government, is, to my mind, very striking. I have the highest veneration of those Gentlemen,—but, Sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We, the People. My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorised them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of a confederation. If the States be not the agents of this compact, it must be one great consolidated National Government of the people of all the States.

Patrick Henry, June 4th, 1788


40 posted on 05/26/2010 8:50:49 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Huck

Many thanks for the additional info and links.


41 posted on 05/26/2010 8:51:50 AM PDT by Lorica
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Huck

“Further, even if the states retained vastly greater power over the federal government, this merely means that the several states would have been the primary agents of tyranny, rather than the federal government.

You say that as if it’s a bad thing. In fact, that was supposed to be the whole point. You argue for national domination. Well, you got it! “

Well, ok, so if the Federal government collapses it might be a good thing?
If the dollar collapses, or whatever catastrophe happens the states apparently could remain viable governmental agencies?
Assuming that we aren’t invaded by a foreign power. Even then would the foreign power have to physically occupy all 50 states?

Just doing some free-thinking here......


42 posted on 05/26/2010 8:55:59 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (Where is the Black Regiment?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: vanilla swirl
I understand what you're saying. It's too late now. I understand that. The damage was done in 1787, and the subsequent years under this system, and it's pretty tough to see how to untangle it now. Our system may yet collapse under its own weight. That's a mess, to be sure.

I'm saying that back then, in 1787, there was a fork in the road. One side was federalism, where the states would comprise the most vigorous (and therefore dangerous) form of government the people would have to contend with.

On the other side was nationalism, where power would be consolidated, centralized, and declared supreme over all other powers.

IMO, they took the wrong path, but it's water under the bridge now. I discuss it only because I think it's valuable to understand how we got here.

43 posted on 05/26/2010 9:01:44 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Lorica; Huck; Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus; Sudetenland; Truthsearcher; vanilla swirl
Yes, the debates are enlightening, a worthy read.

The first glaring point of the debates is that neither Henry nor any anti-federalists ever offered corrections to the awful Articles of Confederation. Henry denied that there were any problems within Virginia under the Articles, a classic lawyer move.

Henry later represented wealthy anti-federalist Virginia planters who had a monetary interest in keeping alive the near anarchy under the Articles. He lost his suit in front of Chief Justice John Jay.

He also thought the British parliamentary system, the system we just revolted against, with a monarch and disproportional representation in Parliament was preferable to the Constitution.

The Articles granted authority, but no power. They lead to Shay's rebellion, talk of other confederacies and even return to allegiance to England among some states. The Articles were no more than treaties among sovereign states who could and did ignore at their will.

The Constitution put the Natural Law philosophy of our founders into practice. The most perfect governing document ever created.

By all means don't take my word or the word of others, but read the transcript of the Virginia ratifying convention.

44 posted on 05/26/2010 9:12:24 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Democrats soil institutions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Jacquerie
By all means don't take my word or the word of others, but read the transcript of the Virginia ratifying convention.

We agree on something!

45 posted on 05/26/2010 9:16:13 AM PDT by Huck (Q: How can you tell a party is in the majority? A: They're complaining about the fillibuster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Henry pointing out that the constitutional system is not a federal system, as anyone can see. He rightly mocks this idea of a part-national, part-federal system. You end up with an all-national system.

"But, sir, we have the consolation that it is a mixed government"

Mixed government. Clearly stated.

Incidentally, this brings up another question that you've been begging, which is why we should simply accept the criticisms leveled by Henry, on your or his say so?

46 posted on 05/26/2010 9:58:03 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Huck; vanilla swirl
The delegates were sent to Philly to amend the articles. The topic had been much discussed and remedies for what ailed them at the time were well known and agreed upon. We'll never know what would have been had the delegates done their duty and amended the articles, because they were already plotting to form a national government before they got to Philly.

Of course. They were plotting. Like something you'd see on Prison Planet. Sure.

They DID amend the Articles. The reason being that everybody knew the Articles were not working as advertised. There were already plans in the works - openly known - to change the articles, which is what the term "amendment" means. Ever heard of the Annapolis Convention of 1786?

We weren't an infant country. We were a Union of 13 separate and distinct countries, who formed a confederacy of amity and shared purpose. Brothers and sisters, not one being.

Well no, not exactly. The terminology you are using - "separate and distinct countries" - is not in line with what actually existed under the Articles, under which we were a "Perpetual Union" (their words, not mine). Indeed, the federal government under the Articles, also had sole authority to conduct foreign policy, declare war, operate a navy, and maintain a standing army. This alone denies that the states were "separate and distinct countries," as such terminology implies that they were completely sovereign in their affairs, which they clearly were not.

Further, your notion that the Constitution of 1787 somehow created a national system that destroyed the sovereignty of the states is spurious. It did not. The hyperbole of 18th century political partisans aside, the balance of power between the states and the federal government between the Articles and the Constitution was actually changed very little. Under both documents, the states retained whatever powers were not specifically delegated to the federal government. Under both documents, the federal government had powers over the declaration and conduct of war, foreign policy, coining money, setting weights and measures, and arbitrating disputes between states.

The major difference, indeed, was that under the Articles, the federal government had no taxing authority - it had to rely upon voluntary grants of funds from the several states, something that almost killed us during the Revolution. Even then, under the Constitution, that taxation power was limited (originally, until the 16th amendment) to direct capitation taxes, and implicitly to tariffs and the like.

You say that as if it's a bad thing. In fact, that was supposed to be the whole point.

So the whole point to the Articles was to subject the people to 13 separate tyrannical governments, which is what could just as easily happen under an Articles-type system, as it could under a "national" system?

You argue for national domination. Well, you got it!

Hoo boy, you're not going to try that "if you disagree with me, then you're a RINO!!1!!1!" nonsense, are you?

47 posted on 05/26/2010 10:43:02 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Huck; vanilla swirl
That's a straw men. The Articles were open to amendment. In fact, that's what the "framers" were tasked to do, but as we know, they had other ideas. Hamilton brilliantly used Madison as his sock puppet and got the vigorous empire he desired.

Sure. Hamilton wanted to become a dictator, and all that. Fantasies all.

It's definitely not a straw man to say that the Articles were failing, and already had shown themselves to be a failure. That is simple, unassailable fact. They HAD failed. The inability of the federal government to raise the funds to pay for troops to fight the British nearly cost us the war at several points.

Your argument would be more persuasive were it not for the fact that most of the same men who were involved with crafting the Constitution also were involved in crafting the Articles of Confederation. They, of all people, knew that their own creation wasn't working as it ought to, and the reason for that was due to the several serious and fundamental structural flaws in the way the Articles were set up. The same Founders who you accuse of plotting to set up an Empire were mostly the same men who had created the Articles. Your argument is simply complete, unmitigated feverish bunkum.

That's because I didn't say that. I said it was "created" in secret. Which it was.

Which it wasn't. The convention in Philadelphia, and the processes involved, were known. The Annapolis Convention had already been called to revise the Articles the previous year, but only five states sent delegates, so it was scrapped, and at that time, another convention was called for Philadelphia the following year. Nothing in secret. It was all known.

Further, your argument that they were called to merely "amend" the articles, with its implied meaning that they were specifically tasked with leaving the Articles nearly as they were, is spurious. "Amendment" involves any change. What happened at Philadelphia was an "amendment." When a convention is called, any and all changes that are felt to be needed by the participants are open and fair game. These men knew their own creation, the Articles, had failed because of flaws within the Articular system itself. They revised them - and really, if we're honest, in most areas a comparison between the Articles and the Constitution shows that they didn't really alter the system all that much.

As for your denials regarding Henry's attack on checks and balances, I can't help you if you look at 2+2 and get 5.

Sorry, but PH was NOT using the term in the same manner as the article posted on this thread uses it - which is what you were trying to argue against. Sorry, but you don't get to move the goalposts now that you've failed to make your original point.

48 posted on 05/26/2010 10:55:03 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Huck
Not a federal system:

That's well and fine as Mr. Henry's opinion, partisan and hyperbolic as it might have been. Why you think that this is supposed to be a convincing objective argument is not clear, however.

49 posted on 05/26/2010 10:56:37 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Huck; vanilla swirl
In the British government there are real balances and checks: in this system there are only ideal balances.

Again, quoting this does nothing to address the original point in the article that you're quibbling with - it merely expresses Patrick Henry's opinion about a document that he personally didn't like. That's not evidence, that's hearsay.

The article makes the point that the purpose of the checks and balance system in the Constitution was to serve as a brake on the accumulation of power into any one person or group's hands. That was the intention of the Founders who crafted the constitutional system, as we have it in their own words, and so far, you have completely failed to demonstrate that this is not the case.

The system worked quite well, actually, until the Constitution began to be more or less ignored, after 1865, and certainly after 1929. The failure of the system to work was not structurally inherent with the Constitution itself, but occurred because of the conscious decision of those in power to ignore and circumvent the Constitution.

50 posted on 05/26/2010 11:00:53 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-82 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson