Has the Substance of the Constitution Been Lost?
APN NEWS UPDATE:
Sept. 17, marks Constitution Day—a time when Americans should look back on the history of the founding document to the nation.
But many, have forgotten what the Constitution means to the fabric of America.
Last week on the daily and popular APN radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on several hundred stations nationwide, APN President and host Sam Rohrer outlined the importance of knowing—and keeping—the Constitution.
“This Tuesday, we will mark 232 years since the U.S. Constitution was signed in Independence Hall in Philadelphia,” Rohrer said during the program. “This meeting of delegates was but one part of a miraculous birth of a new nation. Over time, the details, the substance of this gathering and the contents of this document, recognized by many as the most inspiring, enduring and life-changing document outside the Bible, have been lost, ignored or rewritten. Now the very essence of this document is under attack by every anti-God and anti-freedom ideology from Marxism, socialism, communism to Islam. All Americans must step back, focus on the essentials and reacquaint themselves with the history of our Constitution—and celebrate it.”
On September 17, 1787, a group of men gathered in a closed meeting room to sign the greatest vision of human freedom in history. Built upon the provisions and vision of divine rights from a Creator God and a submission to God as the Great Judge of the Universe in the Declaration of Independence, signed by 56 in 1776, it was Benjamin Franklin, who at 81 years old, made the motion to sign the guarantor of these rights in a document called the U.S. Constitution.
Rohrer informed radio listeners that George Washington presided over this convention, which featured many of the great minds of the day—Franklin, James Madison, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, Alexander Hamilton and the most important regional leaders in the United States. Notably absent in this final signing meeting were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and John Hancock, among others. The group met to agree how the Constitution would be sent to the Confederation Congress to start the ratification process with the states.
According to James Madison’s notes, the Constitution was first read to the group, there was some debate, and Benjamin Franklin signed the document last, making it official. Upon adoption, the gathering declared a final sini die session, concluding its work and handing over the document to future generations with the obligation to protect, defend and support the provisions of this great guarantor of God-given rights and becoming the model to the world.
“In a letter to Charles Yancey, Thomas Jefferson wrote, ‘If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be,’” Rohrer noted. “This quote was in relation to the observation that no nation can remain free if the citizens don’t know the basis of freedom—and that true civil freedom comes from God. Last year, a survey of 2,000 adults found that most Americans lack basic knowledge of what rights are specifically protected in the Bill of Rights. As a matter of fact, just 26 percent even know how many amendments make up the Bill of Rights. Another astounding finding was that about half of those surveyed believed ‘liberty’ and the ‘pursuit of happiness’ are included in the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment; these are actually part of the Declaration of Independence.
“So based on these facts, we are not in a good position to keep our freedom in America,” Rohrer added. “We are ignorant. The U.S. Constitution did not automatically appear in one day, nor has it remained the same until this day. While under a Judeo-Christian worldview, truth is unchanging, comes from God, is totally embodied within the character and nature of God, and is manifested in Jesus Christ. The development of human laws has been a progression. The U.S. was, in reality, a ‘holy experiment in self-government under God,’ according to Pennsylvania’s William Penn and described in his Frame of Government of 1682.”
“There is hardly one framework of government in the world so poorly designed by its founders that, in good hands, would not function well enough, and the history of the Romans and Jewish states tells us that even with the best framework of government, that in bad hands can do nothing good or great,” Penn had said. That submission to God’s Divine law is necessary for both the citizens and those in authority for freedom to endure.
“It is the broad ignorance or rejection of these simple observations that so imperils freedom in America today,” Rohrer added. “Like all truth—be it divine moral law, as recorded in the Bible, or the highest civil law, our Constitutions, which are based on biblical principles—the documents themselves can neither force themselves on others or defend themselves. That responsibility to know and defend God’s truth and the corresponding civil truth is the duty of every person, regardless of their station in life. That duty to defend and use the truth of God’s Word, for example, is a choice of every person, every parent, every pastor, every politician. The duty to defend and advance the principles of freedom as it relates to our republic is the duty of every member of government, which is why the oath of office exists. But there is more. After the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 1787, Ben Franklin stated that future Americans had been given ‘a republic—if you can keep it.’ Every American must know what that means and how, indeed, we do ‘keep it.’”
For the program marking Constitution Day, “Stand in the Gap Today” hosts were joined by David New, constitutional attorney, author, speaker. Listen to the program here.
Photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash
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