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America Constitutional or Militarist

"Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government."

~ Interview John O. Edwards, NewsMax.com Friday, Nov. 21, 2003

The day the United States of America discards the Constitution, America ceases to be America. The militarization of America would betray every American and any public figure that does not condemn it flirts with treason. True citizens of the land of the free and the home of the brave must resist the hubris of generals and politicians that would steal the liberties they are sworn and paid to defend. But do Americans understand the meaning of liberty and justice for all? When the twenty-first century American cries FREEDOM he may sound like Mel in plaid but only because he experienced it in the theatre not because of his understanding of and passion for the inestimable right of self-government. Traditional Americans that understand will stand up for real American liberty and oppose a military government as un-American.

Tradition

When a traditional American cries, "FREEDOM" he cries out consistent with the founder's original intent of liberty under God, an idea that is virtually unknown to his modernist counterpart. The traditionalist knows America is not presently functioning as the constitutional republic designed by the framers but he will never give up that ideal to statists. The traditionalist stands for noble principles based on unchanging truth inherited from his fathers while the modernist seeks to guard his material comfort without regard to this inheritance. The modern American whimpers for defense of his personal peace and prosperity and will purchase it with his freedom. No matter how much testosterone is pumping while a modern screams for militarization he is not thinking or behaving as an American.

The framers of the American republic understood from historical figures like Augustine what kind of country would be necessary for the preservation of liberty. When Augustine explained the nature of a country to Roman readers of the fifth century in City of God he explained that for a people to become a civil body beyond a family they must develop concord or unity. A country is not simply a political-geographic boundary circumscribing whatever and whoever dwells therein. Rome became Rome when each family took its individual family god and figuratively placed it in a pantheon with the gods of other families thereby producing a sort of religious concord or at least a form of religion and agreement beyond the family hearth. Later Rome literally gathered all the gods of conquered peoples into The Pantheon in Rome. They sought to enforce concord through an artificial polytheistic religion held commonly by all Romans. In addition to shared gods they commonly held a set of folk values later referred to as civil virtues. Livy popularized these in his moral histories. Rome had achieved a form of concord no matter how imperfect. The framers sought to establish union in the light of the Augustinian idea of concord.

However, Augustine further posited that in order to have true concord a civil body politic must have justice. Rome could have defined justice in terms of its civic virtues during the height of the Republic. However even under the Republic a large portion of Rome consisted of slaves and was ruled by an aristocracy consumed by its self-interest. After the Republic fell justice was defined in terms of the Emperor. Even under Marcus Aurelius, the last of the "good emperors," Christians were brutally persecuted and the slaves were oppressed. Rome never did define justice in terms of written constitutional law. Augustine concluded that Rome was never a City because it never really exercised justice in the biblical sense. The American framers understood the need for justice to enjoy unity.

The United States of America

The American Constitution defines the United States of America as union for the purpose of establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense and preserving liberty for its people and their posterity. The traditionalist interprets the goals or principles of the American republic in terms of the original definitions or original intent of the Constitution. The commentary offered below is consistent with that intent and describes unifying principles of concord worth defending to the death. If America would return to these founding principles not only would she reject a military form of government, but she would bind herself with cords so tight no enemy could tear them apart.

The Constitution of the United States of America

We the People of the United States, in order to:

  1. form a more perfect union

    The Americans that framed the Constitution designed a union or concord more perfected than that under the Articles of Confederation. They did not mean a powerful centralized nation-state but rather a union of free states under God with a federal government with strictly enumerated and limited powers. They agreed the federal government was designed to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare to secure the blessings of liberty under God. This limited constitutional republic was to leave all other functions to the states and the people as clarified in the Bill of Rights in the tenth amendment. Over time modernists have redefined perfect union to mean an absolute centralized nation-state. The framers sought most ardently to avoid such centralization after grinding under the absolute and totalitarian monarchy of George. Union based on concord over certain limited governing needs was to provide a land of exceptional liberty. I wonder if General Franks would surrender this kind of a Constitutional government. A military form of government must be resisted in our public discourse to defend America no matter who advocates such a monstrous idea.

  1. establish justice
  2. Apparently the framers understood justice in the Augustinian sense since it followed union or concord as the second purpose of the United States Constitution just as it followed concord in City of God. But Justice must be understood in the language of the day to motivate Americans to defend it against those that forfeit it to militarize the state.

    Justice is "The virtue which consists in giving to every one what is his due; practical conformity to the laws and to principles of rectitude in the dealings of men with each other; honesty; integrity in commerce or mutual intercourse. Justice is distributive or commutative. Distributive justice belongs to magistrates or rulers, and consists in distributing to every man that right or equity which the laws and the principles of equity require; or in deciding controversies according to the laws and to principles of equity. Commutative justice consists in fair dealing in trade and mutual intercourse between man and man." (Webster's 1828)

    This justice precluded arbitrary judgments by the Federal government against the states and the people. It precluded the federal government from confiscating from some (excessive taxation) in order to redistribute arbitrarily to others while creating a privileged class inconsistent with the principles of equity. Nor would Justice permit forced common support of ventures requiring unjust acts by the agents of the state in foreign lands. If justice can be redefined then the powers of the state can be redefined as well. Today justice might be defined in terms of central commercial or political priorities rather than equity for the states and the people. True Justice is worth defending so a military state and its advocates must be resisted to defend America.

  3. insure domestic tranquility
  4. Under the Constitution the federal government is required to prevent states or factions from warring against or committing criminal acts against another state, faction, business or person thus trampling their liberties. This provision did not envision and does not allow for a centralized state to encroach on the rights or within the jurisdiction of an individual state or section. Alexander Hamilton clearly argued that individual rights should be protected by the individual's state. Even so, Patrick Henry argued for a Bill of Rights to protect individual rights from the historic impulse of government encroachment.

    However, now in many parts of America our own citizens fear to walk the streets of our cities because of a lack of domestic tranquility. The innocents are killed daily without protection because a Federal court overrode state laws against abortion. Naturally born or naturalized citizens should expect the shores and borders of the USA to be secured. Instead of securing our geographic border the federal government has used the US military to extend and defend limitless commercial borders for the profit of limited mostly corporate and global business interests. The US does need domestic tranquility so our wives and daughters and the weak and the unborn can live in the land of the free while protected in the home of the brave. A military form of government is not needed to accomplish this purpose. Rather, America needs a government that comes home and does it job as articulated in the Constitution rather than squandering its inheritance in limitless actions abroad.

  5. provide for the common defense
  6. COMMON, adj 2. Belonging to the public; having no separate owner. The right to a highway is common. 3. General; serving for the use of all; as the common prayer. (Webster's 1828)

    DEFENSE, n. 1. Any thing that opposes attack, violence, danger or injury; any thing that secures the person, the rights or the possessions of men; fortification; guard; protection; security. A wall, a parapet, a ditch, or a garrison, is the defense of a city or fortress. The Almighty is the defense of the righteous. Ps. 1ix. (Webster's 1828)

    The states needed and still need to bind themselves together to defend the union or even a state or section within that union from outside attack from nation states or from terrorists. The perspectives of the age would have hearkened to the Augustinian concept of Just War for a doctrine of defense. This concept of defensive warfare prevents the federal government from waging offensive or preemptive war, conquering or occupying and controlling foreign nations, interfering in civil wars and disputes of foreign nations or focusing her military might on defending the commercial interests of some while exposing the whole USA and its descending generations to the ire of billions. The Federal government is rather required to provide for the preservation or defense of the union as a whole. It does mean to control the shores and borders from illegal penetration and immigration. It does mean to provide an effective defense from the attack of foreign powers. It does mean to assure the peace of its states and its citizens. The American military must be redesigned as the finest defensive military organization in the world rather than the most threatening offensive military ever seen in the history of warfare. Our resources must be used to defend ourselves from other nation-states and terrorists, while closing our borders from illegal permeation, and insuring domestic tranquility for our own citizens. If this is accomplished a military form of government would never be considered. We need a major realignment of the purpose of the military or that military might be used against us and become the state itself as described by General Franks.

  7. promote the general welfare
  8. Promoting the general welfare did not and does not mean favoritism for a particular state or section or promotion of a particular industry, ethnicity, group or individual over others but that welfare general to all the states as a union that allows the people in those states to enjoy the blessings of liberty. The general welfare does not give license to create an elitist welfare super-state through unjust taxation and redistribution of wealth for purposes defined by a few. If the tax-and-spend democrats and republicans would back off and allow Americans to control their own wealth rather than spend it for us American would regain the inestimable right to self-government intrinsic to its original purpose.

  9. and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

The blessings of liberty are best defined in terms of the original intent of the word and its limited enumeration in the Bill of Rights.

LIB’ERTY, n. [L. libertas, from liber, free.]

1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.

The liberty of one depends not so much on the removal of all restraint from him, as on the due restraint upon the liberty of others.

In this sentence, the latter word liberty denotes natural liberty.

4. Political liberty is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty. But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation. Hence we often speak of the political liberties of Europe, or the nations of Europe.

5. Religious liberty, is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control. (Webster's 1828)

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now that is the definition of an America and American liberty worth fighting to defend to the very last breath. We bear the responsibility to rescue and defend civil and religious liberties so that we can pass them on as an inheritance to our children. John Adams said that he understood he had to behave like a soldier so that his sons could secure the liberty for their sons to enjoy art and culture. Now this liberty seems be defined as the profligate life of dissipation that produces men so insipid they would give up the liberty of their posterity for peace and prosperity in their own day.

What is America Today?

America stands for something much different today. The thin folk life of Americans pursues personal peace and prosperity for all, while its elite seek economic domination. Both lead to the absolute rule of the central nation-state. This is not your forefather's America but it is the one we live in today.

  1. Personal peace and prosperity. True liberty is easily forfeited by those inclined to make a commitment to such a thin dogma as the temporary pleasures of consumerism. To the materialist or hedonist consumer this time-space world is prime reality. Death brings only the cessation of personality not eternal bliss in the presence of the Father who is the judge of all. So why not die with the most toys or less competitively simply enjoy the pleasures of the moment. The unthinking evangelical just passing through this world waiting to be plucked out before things really get bad has no more reason to stand for the principles of liberty than the secular materialist or the hedonist. Therefore eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Never mind how the next generation will live. After all, a people characterized by the murder of the unborn, covenant breaking in marriage and commercial life and hedonism of all kinds does not care about the next generation. They will donate their minds to the state and use the money saved for the pleasure of a boat or a ski trip now. They will incur unfathomable personal and national debt leaving it rather than the blessings of liberty to their posterity. They will fight war abroad where people of a different race or creed can die rather than defending American shores where the insipid consumer would quickly cave rather than stand and fight. Standing for such chivalrous principles as those articulated in the preamble above does not fit the new American profile. Americans will easily forfeit civil and religious liberty of the sort defended by our forefathers because they are a completely different people. In the end these new Americans are not Americans. They are gladly the tax paying pawns of others that benefit from their cowardice.
  2. Socio-political and economic domination to profit those holding the reigns of power and controlling the markets drives an elite. However, true liberty will also be forfeited by those able to benefit from the temporary abuse of power. The ethos of true liberty does not live for self. Eventually even the elite who control the reigns of power for selfish ends will also be devoured by the monstrous nation-state they have created for temporal benefit.
  3. The powerful supra-national-state. While the powerful state defends American consumerism and the temporary control of elitists the absolute state may become an end in itself. As it has been said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The history of the world is replete with examples of absolute states that no longer existed for the benefit of the people. Whether one looks to Rome where the cult of the emperor superceded even The Pantheon or corrupted absolute monarchies, or the totalitarian régimes of the twentieth century the perceptive will realize this truth. This state will not secure the blessings of liberty because it redefines liberty in terms of its own preservation. Only where a free people under God govern themselves can the impulse for growth of the super state be thwarted. Those were the first American and they are the true Americans today.

Those forfeiting true liberty for a state-preserved personal peace and prosperity or to support powerful multinational businesses for temporal gain are too blinded by their own desires to see that their new god cannot protect them any more than Brutus and Cassius could save the Republic. It was too late to preserve the Republic because the people and the institutions that built that Republic no longer held its virtues. They had long since become rotten apples fallen from the tree good for nothing but the cider press. Most Americans are no different.

However in the aftermath of Rome's fall Christendom arose and therein lays another and better chapter for us. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. The education of our posterity in the principles of liberty for the glory of God and the good of mankind will produce servants of God to continue such vigilance. Our best days lie ahead. Now that's worth living for. That's also worth dying for.

March 12, 2004