Miscellaneous Thoughts on Our Divine Constitution
"We must remember
that law is force. . . ."
— Frederic Bastiat
A this time, we will take up a few additional items of our Constitution and its amendments that are critical to the threads of freedom upon which this document dangles. Our discussion on this topic, by no means, indicates that we have exhausted the issue. On the contrary, there is still much more that could be said. However, due to time and space, and what has already been presented, what we will cover in this chapter will be sufficient for our purposes.
We will deal here with only a few words and clauses contained in the Constitution. As we do so, we must realize that the Constitution is law. And as someone once said, "Laws are word, and words have exact meaning." Thomas Jefferson had the following to write about laws:
"The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the lawmakers.
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing.
"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means. (The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 511, from Bergh, Jefferson at Monticello, 12:59, 15:450, 12:418.)
We will find, as we study the issues at hand, that lawmakers have purposely used words and phrasings that are not for the "ordinary rules of common sense." The laws seem to mean one thing to the citizen, but they really mean something entirely different to a judicature of the laws.
As we go through the document and its amendments, we will randomly select a few clauses for study. We will do this in a chronological manner.
Inhabitant (Article I, Section 2, Clause 2)
As can be seen by the defined terms below, there is a difference between an "inhabitant" and a "resident." An inhabitant is one who is permanent and has a permanent domicile or place to reside; such as a citizen of a states. Whereas, a resident is one without a permanent domicile or place to reside and is in a temporary position; such as a person who is visiting with, or without, a departure date.
"INHABITANT. One who has his domicil in a place. . . . As used in the federal jurisdiction act of 1789, it means citizen. . . . The terms ‘resident’ and ‘inhabitant’ have. . .been held not synonymous, the latter implying a more fixed and permanent abode than the former, and importing privileges and duties to which a mere resident would not be subject. . . . Where a question was to be submitted to the ‘inhabitants’ of a municipality it has been held to mean legal voters. . . . When relating to municipal rights, powers, or duties, the word inhabitant is almost universally used as signifying precisely the same as domiciled. RESIDENT. One who has his residence in a place. One is a resident of a place from which his departure is indefinite as to time, definite as to purpose; and for this purpose he has made the place his temporary home.
It is interesting to note that the word "resident" is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution of the United States. However, the word "inhabitant" is mentioned in both of these documents. Our Founding Fathers had reference to sovereign Citizens, and not aliens.
If we are asked if we are residents of the Untied States and we answer, "yes," then we are saying that we are not "Citizens" of the United States of America, when in fact we are. If we are not Citizens, then we are aliens. What we should answer is that we are inhabitants, meaning we have a fixed and permanent place to live and not an alien or transient.
Marque and Reprisal (Article, I, Section 10, Clause 1)
In this clause, it states, "No State shall . . . grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal. . . ." Bouvier’s Law Dictionary tells us what a letter of marque and reprisal is:
"LETTER OF MARQUE AND REPRISAL. A commission granted by the government to a private individual, to take the property of a foreign state, or of the citizens or subjects of such state, as a reparation for an injury committed by such state, its citizens or subjects. The prizes so captured are divided between the owners of the privateer, the captain, and the crew.
"The granting of letters of marque is not always a preliminary to war or necessarily designed to provoke it. It is a forcible measure for unredressed grievances, real or supposed. It is a means short of actual war, well recognized in international law, for terminating differences between nations. (Ibid., p. 1934.)
By the clause in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, Congress has power to grant letters of marque and reprisal. And by this clause of the document, this power is prohibited to the several states. Nevertheless, even though this power is forbidden to the states, they do give letters of marque; some of these letters are known as "traffic citations." The reprisal is the "fine" imposed.
The quote says: "to take the property of a foreign state." Remember our previous discussion on "inhabitant?" An inhabitant is a Citizen, and a "resident" is a foreigner. Are we inhabitants or residents? Are we Citizens or foreigners?
States are prohibited from such actions — but are they obeying the law? They expect us too obey it.
Bills of Credit (Article I, Section 10, Clause 1)
This clause says, "No State shall . . . emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin. . . ." What is a "Bill of Credit"? The law dictionaries tell us:
"BILL OF CREDIT. In Constitutional law. A bill or promissory note issued by the government of a state or nation, upon its faith and credit, designed to circulate in the community as money, and redeemable at a future date. (Black’s, p. 211.)
"BILL OF CREDIT. Paper issued by the authority of a state on the faith of the state, and designed to circulate as money.
"The constitution of the United States provides that no state shall emit bills of credit, or make anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts. This prohibition, it seems, does not apply to bills issued by a bank owned by the state but having a specific capital set apart . . . nor does it apply to notes issued by corporations or individuals which are not made legal tender. (Bouvier’s, p. 347.)
Paper money, bonds, and the like, fall into the category of bills of credit. Such bills of credit are promissory notes and designed to circulate and to be redeemed on the faith and credit of the nation, state, or individual at a future date. However, the current Federal Reserve banking system is a privately owned corporation and does emit bills of credit.
However, Congress has given approval to "coin" other than "gold and silver." This is an obvious fact. In 1964, all of the silver was taken out of the coins, and in 1984, the copper was taken out of our pennies. (Copper is not a precious metal anyway.) As one anonymous person expressed it: "There are three precious metals: Gold, silver, and lead — the last is to protect the first two."
Succession of the President (Article II, Section 1, Clause 6)
This clause was modified by the Twentieth and Twenty-Fifth Amendments, and by the Presidential Succession Act. These provisions provide for the Vice President to replace the President should he die in office or leave office for any other reason.
The President also has the power to appoint another as Vice President should that office fall vacant. This occurred when Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned his office in 1973, and President Richard M. Nixon appointed Gerald R. Ford to fill the vacancy.
When President Nixon resigned his office as President, Gerald Ford became President and he appointed Nelson A. Rockefeller as the new Vice President. Thus, for the first time in history, we had a President and Vice President, both who were not elected by the voting population to fill those positions. Is this what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they envisioned this government with checks and balances?
Republican Form of Government (Article IV, Section 4)
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. . . ."
This clause was not only to be a guarantee that the individual governments of each state would have a Republican form of government, but it also affirmed that the Government of the United States would be of a Republican form — this was so that the states could send their own representatives to represent those individual states.
This concept, however, was nullified with the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment which changed the allegiance of the Senate from the State Legislatures to the public voters. (See additional thoughts on this subject in the chapter entitled, "The Three Branches of Government.")
The Bill of Rights — Preamble (Declaratory and Restrictive Clauses)
In the preamble to the first set of Amendments, or the Bill of Rights, it states "that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added." The word "further" indicates that there were already other, or preceding, "declaratory and restrictive clauses." These clauses are what make up the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution "declares" that which already existed. It also made "restrictions."
Therefore, the Declaration of Independence did not establish or create independence, it only "declared" those liberties which are granted by God and were already possessed by the people, and were meant to continue. Like the Constitution, the clauses restricted the government, but not the people.
The reader must be aware, however that these "declaratory and restrictive clauses" pertain only to the first ten Amendments and not the following Articles of Amendments. Many of those that were added after the first ten put restrictions on the people, established governmental authority not previously granted, and some were not ratified appropriately. In short, they have nullified the Constitution and Bill of Rights, made the government sovereign instead of the people, made slaves of every citizen, and opened the way for the creation of an aristo-democratic government — "A form of government where the power is divided between the more powerful men of the nation and the people."
Our forefathers fought a terrible revolution to throw off the bondage that a tyrannical government had placed on them and they knew the dangers of government gone oppressive.
The 1st Amendment
The 1st Amendment: FREEDOM OF RELIGION
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . ."
The inclusion of this clause in this amendment was to prevent government from forming an official religion. It has been, however, misinterpreted to force all religion and all religious beliefs and practices out of all public (government-controlled) institutions. This misinterpretation usually includes the statement of, "Separation between Church and State," or the "Separation of Church and State."
Where do the words, "Separation between Church and State," appear? Some people will say they are in the Constitution. Some think they are in the First Amendment. However, they are not in either place. These words came from President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, as he wrote to the Danbury Baptists. The Danbury Baptists heard rumors that a national religion was going to be formed by government, and they questioned the President about their concerns. President Jefferson wrote back and explained that the First Amendment was there as a "wall of separation between Church and State," — explaining to them that the amendment was a "wall," prohibiting government’s interference in religious practices, not that such practices should be excluded from public gatherings and customs. The amendment was to protect the people from a state operated religion such as existed in England; it was not to protect the State from such religious influences, and in particular, that of the Christian religion.
There is an adage that says, "Nothing is so absurd, that if you repeat it often enough, people will start to believe it." Thus it was with Jefferson’s statement about a "Separation between Church and State." In 1947, the Supreme Court cited Jefferson’s words in a court case, Everson v. Board of Education. Since that court decision, this phrase has been used so often by the courts, and the press, that people really believe it is in the Constitution or in the First Amendment — neither of which, most people probably have never read.
This "brainwashing," if the term can be permitted here, has so influenced the Latter-day Saints in Utah that a poll taken about prayer in public schools show some interesting results. The poll question asked was: "Do you think prayer should be allowed at high school graduation ceremonies?" Of the Catholics surveyed, 75% said Yes; of the Protestants, 71% said yes; of the Other Religions, 66% said yes; and of the LDS, only 45% said they approved of prayer at graduation ceremonies. (The Salt Lake Tribune, May 16, 1991, front page.)
This provision in the First Amendment has been nullified by various court cases such as Engel v. Vital, 1962, and another far-reaching decision on June 17, 1963. With cases like Murray v. Curlett, and Abington v. Schempp (1963) the Supreme Court forbade the free exercise of prayer and Bible reading in public schools. The Stone v. Gramm ruling (1980) stated that it was illegal for students to view copies of the Ten Commandments in public schools.
When the Supreme Court removed Bible reading from public school, (Abington v. Schempp) they said, "If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be . . . psychologically harmful to the child." (School Dist. of Abington Twp. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 209 (1963); America: To Pray Or Not To Pray, p. 20.)
And when the Supreme Court forbade the display of the Ten Commandments, they wrote: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. . . ." (Stone v. Gramm, 449 U.S. 39, 42 (1980); America: To Pray Or Not To Pray, p. 20.)
Recently in New York, 21 pro-abortion groups are suing the Catholic Church and challenging their tax-exempt status because of the Church’s public morality stand against abortion. They are demanding to inspect religious documents from 19,000 local churches nation-wide. When the Catholic Church refused, Judge Robert L. Carter levied a fine of $100,000 per day, until they comply with the order. If these private lobbying groups are successful, a precedent will have been set to have all moral beliefs of any church challenged in court and the church records made public.
In Louisville, Nebraska, the Faith Baptist Church was running a private church school in which their average student consistently scored higher on achievement tests than did the average student of the state-controlled public schools. On September 3, 1982, the Faith Baptist Church was raided by local police. The building was emptied, padlocked, and its pastor, Everett Silever, arrested. No law could be cited that they had broken.
In California, a pastor was prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license because he advised his followers in the religious practice of fasting. And in Los Angeles, the Reverend Donald N. Sills was advised by authorities against having group Bible study in his own home — the meeting together of two or more people, for religious purposes, being illegal unless the group is an authorized church. A similar law has been passed by the City of Murray, Utah, where six or more meeting together for religious purposes, without a permit, could be arrested. And in 1991, some arrests were made in that city. Of course, many know of the law passed which forbid polygamy, an exercise in faith among many of the "Mormons."
After two hundred years, these injustices still occur and many more could be cited. After our Founding Fathers guaranteed that we could worship free of government interference and control, why are such religious abuses persisting?
One reason they still occur is because, at first, a seemingly small or insignificant, or unpopular, religious group is challenged, and not much is said about it by the general public — after all, they are small and insignificant, or unpopular anyway. Such was the case of the Mormons in Utah, and their practice of plural marriages. They were unpopular, as surmised, by most of Americans; therefore little was done to try and protect their religious rights by the average citizen. Such apathy usually backfires on the people. From such unchallenged beginnings, the government begins to assert more and more control, until, in the end, they have restrictions on all religious beliefs and practices, and on all the people.
The 1st Amendment (FREEDOM OF SPEECH)
"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech. . . ."
One of the laws that has annulled this clause is the "Hate Crime Bill" the President signed into law in 1990. A "hate crime" is an assault, intimidation or harassment against a minority group. Unkind words or even thoughts toward minority groups can be considered a "hate crime." Senator Jesse Helms points out that 80% of the statistics collected to support this bill, since 1985, are primarily verbal crimes — that is, calling a gay a "queer," a black a "nigger," etc. A person can be guilty of a "hate crime" for publicly speaking, or even thinking negative thoughts against homosexuals, lesbians, Mexicans, Jews, blacks, etc. Senator Helms, in the Congressional Record, said,
"Let the Senate understand that this bill is the flagship of the homosexual, lesbian legislative agenda.
"We are now considering legislation based on statistics that include name-calling at public rallies as crimes. Are we going on the school-yards of this country and when two kids get angry with each other and call each other names — what are we going to do, cart them over to the reformatory or add them to the list of ‘hate crimes’ perpetrators. This is ridiculous!
"There is no doubt in my mind where the passage of this legislation will lead us. It will be the first time that sexual orientation — and that means homosexuality — will be marked out for protected status. The radical homosexuals know this, and this legislation is simply one step in their radical revolution." (Congressional Record, 2-8-90.)
A conservative newsletter, The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, in reporting this bill said,
"Other supporters of this Hate Crime Act are rather interesting: American Bar Association, National Council of Churches, National Education Association, League of Women Voters, National Organization for Women, National Lawyers Guild, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Church and a host of gay/lesbian organizations.
"Free speech in America is now in grave danger. This legislation will be used against conservatives and Christians over the next few years as they speak out against groups who threaten our American way of life and freedom, and will be used to silence, jail, or otherwise destroy the opponents of a socialist America." (The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, July 1990, p. 7.)
The 2nd Amendment
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, provides for Congress to organize a militia. Bouvier defines a militia:
"MILITIA. A part of the military force of the nation, consisting of citizens called forth to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion. . . . The militia is essentially the people’s army and their defence and security in time of peace. . . . The militia, until mustered into the United States service, is considered as a state force." (Bouvier’s, p. 2212.)
The provision for a militia, in this amendment, has been nullified, in part, by the "Arms Control and Disarmament Act," and other such measures. This treaty includes "armaments of all kinds," including personal weapons. The act gives those in charge power over the individual who does not choose to comply — even to the possibility of employing those persons "without compensation."
The provision for "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms," IS being infringed! The Brady gun control bill, H.R. 467, passed the U.S. Senate on June 28, 1991. The Senate version calls for a seven day waiting period and bans nine semi-automatic weapons. There have been a rash of other bills for the banning or registering of privately owned guns ever since the Kennedy assassination. Some politicians on Capitol Hill (as of this writing) are advancing H.R. 3371, a nationwide ban on a list of semi-automatic guns plus any shotgun with the same configuration.
From "the Communist Rules of Revolution," we read: "Register all firearms, under any pretext, as a prelude to confiscating them." When people own guns, repressive governments tread lightly. Having the right to "keep and bear arms" is not for target shooting or hunting, it is for protection from such governments. Thomas Jefferson said, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." And George Washington had this to say:
"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizens’ firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99-99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. When firearms go, all goes — we need them every hour." (Address to the second session of the First Congress.)
The increasing tension with the British caused the Continental Congress to reorganize local militias to prepare for possible war. Because these tensions were rising, the British tried to cripple the American militia. On December 10, 1774, General Thomas Gage, commander of the British forces, issued an order that any person purchasing or storing arms would be tried for treason. But the American militias continued to stockpile arms.
During the evening of April 18, 1775, the British launched their infamous march into Concord, giving orders to seize and destroy arms and military supplies of the American militia.
British troops assembled at the Boston Common and then marched to the Charles River to be ferried across to Cambridge. The Boston Committee of Safety learned of this and immediately dispatched two of their best riders — Paul Revere and William Dawes — to alert the militia and people of Concord.
The British troops reached Lexington about 4:30 A.M. with about 700 light infantry men. They were met by Captain John Parker, with about 75 armed minutemen. British Major John Pitcairn commanded the American militia to lay down their arms and disperse. The militia started filing off of the green, without dropping their weapons. Just before dawn, on that day, April 19, 1775, the "shot heard around the world" rang out. No one knows who shot first, but when it was over, eight minutemen were dead, nine wounded, and only one Red Coat was wounded.
Though this was a small skirmish and a momentary defeat for the American militia, the world knows "the rest of the story." What began as a raid to seize the arms of the militia at Concord ended up in defeat for the British aggressors. The greatest and most well-trained army in the world was badly beaten by a band of well-armed citizens.
Because of a well-armed populace who were resisting being disarmed by a tyrannical government — the cause of liberty, in this country, was preserved. The "shot heard around the world" was not fired by a registered gun.
The 9th Amendment
"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
When a Bill of Rights was suggested for the Constitution, there were some who felt, at least at first, that by mentioning some of the rights retained by the people, many would assume that they were the only rights and it could lead to the forfeiture of other rights not mentioned. Such was the original concern of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Later, they agreed that such inclusions were appropriate, particularly with the addition of this Ninth Article of Amendment.
This was not to be a "catch-all" amendment where people could enact their own freedoms and call them rights, such as abortion, homosexuality, and other immoral acts — which are not rights at all, nor are they sanctioned by God.
In a previous chapter (Our Unalienable Rights) we discussed many more rights granted by God other than life, liberty and property. Part of the wording in this amendment states, "certain rights . . . retained by the people." This does not mean that any new rights, not authorized by God, were to be included in "Rights," but only those many "Unalienable Rights" of which they were already in possession or retaining at the time, not acquiring in the future.
The 10th Amendment
"The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
This is one of the most important clauses in the Bill of Rights and the one most often overlooked by Congress and the government in general. In it was guaranteed to each state the right to retain all powers not given to the national government. This Amendment was weakened by the passing of the Seventeenth amendment.
If the Tenth Amendment would have been honored for the purpose it was intended, we would not have such amendments that put conditions and qualifications on voting, as those prohibiting the right to vote because of race, sex, or age as does the Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-sixth Amendments.
The federal government has become involved in such things as: school bussing, aid to education, prayer in schools, abortion, saving & loan and bank bailouts, business financing, "specific and personal welfare" instead of "general welfare," transportation, highways, housing, communications, utilities, standing armies, various commercial businesses, and a host of other civic, social and cultural problems and programs. These should be a state concern and not a federal one. Such affair, even if sufficiently valid, could be served as well by leaving them on the state level, without damaging the fabric of the Constitution.
Such amendments and legal encroachments invade the right of states as guaranteed by this Tenth Amendment. The framers of the Constitution were considerate of States’ Rights and strove to protect them above all others. After all, it was the States that called the convention, not the government. In 1823, Thomas Jefferson said,
"What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body. (Quoted in CHB, p. 21.)
"I ask for no straining of words against the general government, nor yet against the states. I believe the states can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the Constitution for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to Washington." (The Making of America, p. 713, from Bergh, 15:450-451.)
The 11th Amendment
This amendment gives a state the freedom to not be sued by another state, or a citizen of another state, without its consent. This is good and safe for the state in question but it ties the hands of the citizenry. This amendment leaves the states free to perpetrate whatever they desire — and can get away with — upon the citizens of other states without the fear of libel.
The 12th Amendment
The Constitution of The United States was intended to be a document of checks and balances among the different divisions of government. However, Thomas Jefferson — due to the stress of office and possessing human weaknesses — was instrumental in having this amendment adopted.
The Vice President was an independent person, usually with differing views than the president. As president of the Senate (Article I, Section 3, Clause 4), it was another check on the powers of the President.
Now, however, both the President and the Vice President come from the same political party, having the same views on issues — making the balance of power a little more lopsided.
The 13th Amendment: SECTION 1--(SUBJECT)
The first time the word "subject" is used to tie a citizen to the United States is in this Thirteenth Amendment. Bouvier tells us:
"SUBJECT. An individual member of a nation, who is subject to the laws. This term is used in contradistinction to citizen, which is applied to the same individual when considering his political rights.
"Subject is a wider term than citizen; there are members of the state who, by reason of natural or conventional disability, do not enjoy full political rights. To a certain extent, alien residents within a state may be deemed subjects." (Bouvier’s, p. 3163.)
In this definition, the term, "natural or conventional disability," was used. A natural disability could be a physical or mental impairment, whereby an individual may have to depend on the state for support. Therefore, a citizen may become a subject because of a "natural" disability. However, a "conventional" disability is something altogether different. Again, we go to Bouvier:
"CONVENTION: In Civil Law. A general term which comprehends all kinds of contracts, treaties, pacts, or agreements." (Ibid., p. 668.)
Does the reader remember our discussion on contracts in relation to our "unalienable Rights?" By the mere fact that we involve ourselves with the obligation of contracts, we subject ourselves to the United States and we — that is, all in this contractual category — are not a free people, but are, instead, slaves.
Before this amendment, the only persons subject to the United States were those found guilty of crimes against the State. This amendment, however, reversed and nullified the original intent of the Constitution.
The Thirteenth Amendment was to free the "black" slaves, but it only gave them a new master — the Federal Government — and enslaved all the rest of the people. This sounds like a rather harsh, let alone surprising, analysis of this amendment. However, we must realize, as one astute individual said, "Law is words, and words have exact meaning."
The 13th Amendment: SECTION 2 — (CONGRESS SHALL HAVE POWER TO ENFORCE)
The clause, "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation," now gives Congress a blank check to do whatevery they wish without answering to anyone. Any time this clause is found in an Article of Amendment, it is evidence that something is wrong with the article, and that it is unconstitutional. Congress needs power to enact such an amendment, so it grants itself unlimited powers not originally granted by the Constitution.
The 14th Amendment
This amendment was called "The Reconstruction Act," and was intended to place all people on an equal footing. Equality was not intended in the Constitution, although it was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. However, when it was mentioned in that document, it only meant that "all men are Created equal," not that all men are equal. Man has "unalienable Rights," and he is meant to be free to exercise those rights. He is "created" equal, but his choices may make him otherwise.
There has been some question as to the legal ratification of this amendment. All of the Southern States, with the exception of Tennessee, did not like the Amendment. The Congressional Representatives from those states were denied their seat in the National Legislature unless it was ratified. Armed personnel were sent to each state to oversee the ratification and to make sure it passed. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified by blackmail and at the point of a gun. Why was it so disliked and had to be ratified by force? As we examine it we will find a few answers.
The 14th Amendment: SECTION 1 — (PERSON)
Because of the interpretation of this Fourteenth Amendment, the term "person," refers to not only a human individual but manmade entities such as corporations:
"PERSON. A man considered according to the rank he holds in society, with all the right to which the place he holds entitles him, and the duties which it imposes.
"The term is, however, more extensive than man. It may include artificial beings, such as corporations. . . . Corporations are "persons" as that word is used in the first clause of the XIVth Amendment." (Ibid., p. 2574.)
In some instances, people are treated as nonentities. This is due to their rights that they have contracted away to some other being. The Preamble of the Constitution says, "We the People," and refers to sovereign Citizens under "Common Law." The Fourteenth Amendment refers to us as "corporate persons," and as such are subject to "Civil Law," or contractual law — this is due to the contractual agreements we have entered into. Such contracts make us Fourteenth Amendment citizens and not Preamble Citizens.
The 14th Amendment: SECTION 1 — (SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF)
The clause,"subject to the jurisdiction thereof," along with the Thirteenth Amendment, now put us, or "We the People," into a different category than we were in before these Amendments. We are not Citizens by right and birth in the United States, as we once were, but now have become "subjects" of the "United States and state wherein [we] reside." It says "all persons born or naturalized." That means ALL! We have now been "granted" citizenship as "residents."
Do we remember the discussion on the difference between an "inhabitant" and a "resident?" We have now become subjects to the United States instead of the United States being subject to "We the People."
The Fourteenth Amendment made slaves out of "All persons born or naturalized." Again, that pretty well covers ALL of us. Therefore, we find that the American Indians, the ones "not taxed" in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, of the Constitution, are now subject to the federal government, where before this amendment, they were not subject.
The 14th Amendment: SECTION 1 — (PRIVILEGES OR IMMUNITIES)
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." It should be noted that this provision is not necessarily a repeat of a similar clause in Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution: "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." The provision in the Constitution was to help protect that which God granted and it referred to the "several States." However, the provision in this Amendment does not refer to a citizen of one state in relation to one of the "several States" but to those "privileges and immunities" granted by the United States government. The law that grants "privileges and immunities" has the power to withdraw the same.
Independent states can grant "privileges and immunities." Let us take for example, the right to travel on the public highways with an automobile. The state grants you the "privilege," if you obtain a license. The state can also withdraw that privilege. If a government grants a charter of incorporation for a particular religion, that government has the power to dictate what that religion will preach or what it will not preach — or the particular church may lose its privileges.
The 14th Amendment: SECTION 1 — (PROPERTY)
Property is not just a tangible item only; it also includes the rights and actions a person can exercise. So when we speak of the right to property, we are speaking not only of the right to hold tangible or physical substance but the right to exercise our free agency or liberty. The following definition helps point out this fact:
"PROPERTY. the right and interest which a man has in lands and chattels to the exclusion of others. . . . The sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe.
"As ordinarily used it means the things possessed, but it may include the right to use and enjoy it. The more comprehensive meaning is presumed to have been intended by the use of such a word in a constitution. . . . A vested right of action is property in the same sense that tangible things are property.
"Property, in the strict legal sense, is an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by the government, and in the ordinary sense, indicates the thing itself, rather than the rights attached to it. The term "property" embraces every species of valuable right and interest. . . .
"In a strict legal sense, land is not property, but the subject of property. The term property, although in common parlance applied to a tract of land or a chattel, in its legal signification means only the right of the owner in relation to it. It denotes a right over a determinate thing. Property is the right of any person to possess, use, enjoy, and dispose of a thing." (Ibid., p. 2750.)
The 14th Amendment: SECTION 4 — (VALIDITY OF THE PUBLIC DEBT SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED)
This section of the Fourteenth Amendment reads in part: "The validity of the public debt of the United States . . . including debts incurred for . . . suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
This clause is usually believed only to allow any person with a claim against the United States, as a consequence of the Civil War, the unquestionable right to payment. However, this clause actually authorizes the United States to stay in perpetual debt.
Note that it speaks of "public debt," and then mentions, "including debts" incurred in relationship to "insurrection or rebellion." The word, "including," lets us know that there are two kinds of debts spoken of here: those relating to the war and those other "public debts." From this clause we find that we cannot question the public debt into which we have been subjected by the government of the United States.
One of the prices the American people are paying for the adoption of this Amendment is our four-trillion-dollar debt. This clause allows for debt, but no provision for the authorization of payment for that debt. This is perpetual bondage.
The 14th Amendment: SECTION 5 — (CONGRESS SHALL HAVE POWER TO ENFORCE)
Here again, as in the Thirteenth Amendment, Congress has written themselves a "blank check" in regards to enforcing this, perhaps, the most deadly of amendments. This clause can be found in some of the remaining amendments of the Constitution. This type of a tyrannical and unlimited power our Founding Fathers threw off by fighting a bloody Revolution.
At this point, maybe we have covered enough of the Constitution and its threads of freedom. As stated before, it was not the intention of this author to cover every word of the Constitution. The intention was to make a few implications. Those implications being:
"The impulse that is given to the Government is like that of the animal creation: When they are hungry, they are impelled to eat, and to drink when they are thirsty. When this necessity presses upon them, all the sensitive powers are on the alert to search for food. All their natural impulses to action originate in the appetite: they receive them from the demands the interior of the animal makes upon the creature. It then becomes the duty of the head to search out a method to supply these demands with food suitable to the nature of the animal, which administers health, strength, vigour, growth, and beauty to the whole body." (JD, 7:10.)
Thus, we have the impulse of governments — to satisfy the appetites of the hungry, the greedy, and the proud. When we are not alert and watchful, then government can get out of control and our liberties can become lost.
This, we have been told by the Lord, is a land "choice above all other lands." It was given to "We the People," with a commandment that, ". . . whoso should possess the land should possess it unto the Lord, or they should be destroyed when they were ripened in iniquity; for upon such, saith the Lord: I will pour out the fullness of my wrath." (Ether 9:20.)
We have not only deserted God to a great extent, but we have "polluted" this choice land and government He has wisely established. We are warned in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 101, verses 97-98:
"Let not that which I have appointed be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name; For this is a very sore and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of those things which I have decreed and which are soon to befall the nations."
This has been a nation of great promise. There has never been one like it. It will remain a central figure and still fill an important role in these latter days. Nevertheless, much pollution has tainted our American system of government.