Our Founding Fathers

John Adams Declaration

Benjamin Franklin – John Adams – Thomas Jefferson Writing the Declaration in 1776 by Jean L G Ferris

     What if YOU could start a country?  How would YOU design it?  Our Founding Fathers studied the ancient civilizations of Israel, Greece, Rome and the Anglo-Saxons to learn what works and what doesn’t work in “the affairs of men.”  They called these principles “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.”  Can you explain these laws to your friends?  The first step to restoring our Country must be to learn what they learned and to see what they saw.  Knowing these elementary truths will help you understand why so many of our modern laws don’t work today.  Why, after 50 years of the War on Poverty and trillions of dollars spent do we have a higher percentage of poor than we have ever had before?  The following essay will introduce you in the briefest of fashions to the basic elements of their wisdom.  For a downloadable copy of this essay in a tri-fold brochure format that you can keep in your briefcase or share with your friends, click here.  Put the Ancient Wisdom at your finger tips!

  The American Experiment is faltering and we may have only a short time to keep it alive.  To do so, we must return to the Formula our Founding Fathers developed that led to greater personal prosperity and human rights progress than ever before in recorded history.  This Formula is based on the presupposition that just as there are physical laws that govern the physical world, so there are social laws that govern Civil Society and preserve the family.  In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called these laws the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” but most Americans no longer know what they are or how to activate them. The statutes that legislators pass must cooperate with these fundamental truths or they will be unsuccessful in the long term.  We have woefully strayed from these eternal principles and they must be restored for social order and prosperity to return to our nation. (cf. Jeremiah 6:16 NASV)

George Washing Kneeling in Prayer

George Washington said it this way: “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”

  Additionally, Jefferson described these laws as: “self-evident.”   That means they are readily apparent to anyone with basic common sense who will take the time to look at the world around them.  We cannot violate these principles and expect a different outcome any more than we can walk off the Empire State Building and expect not to fall or we can plant corn and expect to get beans.  The civil Laws of Nature don’t necessarily resolve themselves immediately like the law of gravity does, but over time, they are surely tied to the law of sowing and reaping which says that all seeds reproduce after their own kind. (cf. Gen 1:34)

  Many of these principles are financial.  We all know instinctively the universal truths attributed to Abraham Lincoln:*

1.  You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

3.  You cannot help the poor by robbing the rich.

4.  You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

5.  You cannot avoid fiscal failure by spending more than you take in.

6.  You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

7.  You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

Some of the other Laws of Nature that were discovered by our Founders are not so obvious today.  The Cornerstone Truth is this:

1. Mankind’s inalienable rights do not come from our government but from our Creator.

     The government does not grant them and cannot legitimately take them away.  If they try, the people have a duty to resist.  The purpose of government is to protect these rights not abuse them.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

 

Thomas Jefferson: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are… the gift of God? …Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”  Notes on the State of Virginia, 1853

 

2. The authority to govern flows from the bottom up not from the top down.

     This law is underscored in our Declaration which says governments derive their just powers from the “consent of the governed.”

John Locke: “Whenever the legislature shall transgress this fundamental rule of society, and either by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavor to grasp (for) themselves… an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands…”  Second Treatise on Civil Government, 1690

This should begin at the precinct level of county government and percolate up throughout all agencies and offices above it.  See: (Precinct Patriots)

 

3. Elected officials must be chosen from leaders of verifiable, proven character.

Samuel Adams

 

Samuel Adams: “He is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who… will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”  Essay published in The Advertiser (1748)

Training and experience are valuable but not more so than virtue which functions as a rudder on a ship or compass to reveal the right direction.  Or as Jethro told Moses…

 Jethro & Moses19 Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you… teach them (the people) the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. 21 Furthermore, select out of all the people able men who fear God, men who love truth, those who hate dishonest gain (KJV= covetousness) and place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. ”  Exodus 18:19-21

 

4. Protecting innocent life and the nuclear family is crucial to a Civil Society.

Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin: “Marriage is… is the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness. Your reasons against entering into it at present appear to me not well founded.  It is the man and woman united that make the complete human being.  Separate, she wants his force of body and strength of reason; he, her softness, sensibility, and acute discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the world.  A single man has not nearly the value he would have in that state of union. He is an incomplete animal.  He resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.  If you get a prudent, healthy wife, your industry in your profession, with her good economy, will be a fortune sufficient.”  Letter to Dissuade a Young Man from Taking a Mistress, 1783

     Properly structured families ensure the lowest financial cost to society and help maintain our culture’s stability.

 

5. Life and Liberty are secure only if the right to property is secure.

John AdamsJohn Adams: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and that there is not a force of law… to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secure or liberty cannot exist.” A Defense of the American Constitution, 1787

   We have forsaken the sanctity of private property in America and we must re-establish it as one of our most prominent pillars.

 

6. Government’s proper role is to ensure equal opportunity not provide an equal outcome.  

Samuel AdamsSamuel  Adams: “The utopian schemes of leveling (redistribution of the wealth), and a community of goods (central ownership of the means of production and distribution), are  as visionary and impracticable as those that vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.  Now what property can the colonists be conceived to have, if their money can be granted away by others, without their consent?” Letter on behalf of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to the colony’s agent in London, 1768

     Equal opportunity also means that our laws are applied equally to all people.  One application of this means that if people must show a valid birth certificate to obtain a driver’s license from the DMV, candidates for office should have to do the same to stand for election. Otherwise, our application of the law has become grossly unjust.

 

7. To be free, the people must remain virtuous and morally strong.

James MadisonJames Madison: “I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom.  If there be not, we are in a wretched situation… To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical (vainly conceived) idea.” Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788.

Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.  As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” 1787, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin: Volume 9, compiled by Albert Henry Smyth.

   This is why we must regulate certain immoral activities and prevent them from running rampant throughout our communities.  Some would say that we cannot legislate morality, but it is more correct to realize that all law is the imposition of someone’s moral code. Then the question becomes, whose moral code will we honor and follow?

 

8. Peace can only be secured by strength. 

If virtuous people are unable to protect themselves, evil bullies will subdue them.

Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard

Ben Franklin as “Poor Richard”: “Make yourselves sheep & the wolves will eat you.” Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1733

George Washington in Front of Canon

 

George Washington: “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined” Speech to Congress, 1790

    In more modern times, someone has said, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” This, too, is a Law of Nature.

 

9.The borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

Benjamin Franklin BillFranklin: “Think what you do when you run into debt; you give another power over your liberty.  If you cannot pay at the time, you will be ashamed to speak to your creditor, you will be in fear when you speak to him; you will make poor, pitiful sneaking excuses, and by degrees come to lose your veracity; and sink into base downright lying.” The Way to Wealth, 1757

Uncle Sam Wants You PosterGeorge Washington: “There is no practice more dangerous than that of borrowing money, for when money can be had in this way, repayment is seldom thought of in time; the interest becomes a moth; exertions to raise it by dint of industry cease; it comes easily and is spent freely, and many things indulged in that would never be thought of, if to be purchased by the sweat of the brow; in the meantime, debt is accumulating like a snowball rolling.” Letter to Samuel Washington, 1797Thomas Jefferson Poster

Jefferson: “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. …I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”  “I trust… that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity (children) with our debts, and morally bound to pay them off ourselves…” Letter to John Taylor, 1798

     Borrowing must be done only in true national emergencies and must not be more than can be paid off by the generation that incurred the debt or, surely, we will become enslaved to our creditors in time. 

 

10. People spend their own money more carefully than they spend someone else’s.

This explains why “social welfare” must be LOCAL and VOLUNTARY or it will divide the people between entitlement thinking on one hand and resentment on the other eventually leading to civil war.

Benjamin Franklin Folded Arms

Franklin: “…if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and Nature, who perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for… idleness and extravagance?  Whenever we attempt to amend the scheme of Providence, and to interfere with the government of the world, we had need be very circumspect, lest we do more harm than good.” Franklin’s letter to Peter Collinson, 1753

     The Founders believed it is immoral to practice charity with another person’s property.  They called this “legal plunder” and said that theft by majority rule is no different than a gang mugging a victim in a back alley.  When charity is forced or offered with other people’s money, it ceases to be charity at all. When it is removed from the local community, it will not be managed as efficiently or fairly and be much more apt to create dependency.

 

11. Taxes must be fair to all, simple to calculate, and easy to collect or the people will feel exploited and rebel.  

Jefferson: “I think it an object of great importance…to simplify our system of finance… We might hope to see the finances of the Union as clear and intelligible as a merchant’s books, so that every member of Congress, and every man of any mind in the Union, should be able to comprehend them, to investigate them, and consequently to control them.” Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1802

   There is no better rationale for eliminating our current income tax code and replacing it with a consumption tax.  Our present system is squandering trillions of dollars & must be reformed.  Go to www.FairTax.org to learn how such a tax on new retail sales establishes fairness, simplicity, and transparency for all, while:

  • Untaxing basic necessities for all people.
  • Eliminating the IRS w/all forms and record keeping.
  • Collecting taxes from the underground cash economy (including  illegals and drug dealers).
  • Creating an economic boom that will increase government revenues and     alleviate the debt crisis we have imposed on our children.

James MadisonPublius*: “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choosing if the laws become so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated (implemented), or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.”  (*James Madison in Federalist 62)

12. Good government cannot exist without an educated electorate.

     We must re-establish these foundational pillars in the hearts of our adults and in the classrooms of our children or our political house will surely collapse.

Jefferson Feather with Pen

Jefferson: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free… it expects what never was and never will be. We must educate and inform the whole mass of the people; they are our only sure reliance for the preservation of liberty.” Letter to Charles Yancey, 1816

George Washington Addressing

Washington:  “Our primary object…should be the education of our youth in the SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT.  In a Republic what species of knowledge can be equally important?” Eighth Annual Message, 1796

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln: “Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular the laws of the country, and never to tolerate their violation by others.  As the patriots of ’76 did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and the laws [of God], let every American pledge his life, his property and his sacred honour; let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample upon the blood of his fathers and to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty.  Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap.  Let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges.  Let it be written in primers, spelling books, and almanacs.  Let it be preached from the pulpits, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice.  In short, let it become the POLITICAL RELIGION of the nation.”  Address to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, IL, 1837

 How to Restore the Lost Formula

 These are just a few of the elementary principles that our Founding Fathers said are crucial to the success of any nation.  But “We the People” have not required our leaders to abide by them.  We have before us what may be our final chance to restore the Republic that was handed down to us.  As we look toward the future elections, we must use the time ahead to learn these principles ourselves and determine which candidates for office will truly honor them.  The best way I know to begin this process is a thorough study of the book by W. Cleon Skousen called “The 5000 Year Leap” who explains more fully 28 of these “secrets” to America’s past success.  This book is available at The National Center for Constitutional Studies (www.nccs.net),  at www.Amazon.com, and at in Joplin, MO at The Software Center (7th & Florida).

As we consider laws proposed during the next legislative session, we must pass only bills that cooperate with these timeless truths. As we recruit and support candidates for office, we must look for men & women with the virtue of George Washington and vote for those who will voluntarily submit themselves to the limits of the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8 and the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution and who will seek first to protect state sovereignty rather than their own re-election.  And as citizens, we must pledge ourselves with firm reliance on Divine Providence to the same oath that every US soldier and public servant takes when he or she enters the service of our country.  This is the same oath every member of Congress swears upon taking office but all too often forgets as soon as they get into power:  “I do solemnly swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign or domestic, SO HELP ME GOD!”

 Step Two

Step two in “getting grounded” is to complete the online, pre-recorded Making of America Seminar available at the National Center for Constitutional Studies website.  Download the Seminar Guidebook and start the Recorded Videos by clicking here.  Another great resource is the video coursework available from Hillsdale College from this link: Constitution 101.

*These quotes were published in 1942 by William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister.  He released a pamphlet titled Lincoln On Limitations, which did include a Lincoln quote, but also added 10 statements written by Boetcker himself. People who got the pamphlet thought the 10 statements were written by Lincoln and they have been distributed widely under Lincoln’s name. Source: www.truthorfiction.com 

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