Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I thank you for visiting my blog page and pray that you will find my blogs helpful and a blessing. I blog about my faith and beliefs and how I use them in everyday life. I am also on twitter at http://twitter.com/oktomcat
Thursday, September 6, 2012
The Constitution: Powers of the Federal Government
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. How are y'all doing? Things are going good out here. I am currently delivering at Alco in Wilburton, OK. Not much new going on since my last post.
Let me ask y'all something. Do you believe that America was founded on Christian principles? Not that all the founding fathers were Christian, but that God used our founding fathers to make a great country. A country where people would have the freedom to worship Him and to do His will? I do. The reason I do is cause in reading many of the founding fathers writings, I see that they used the same ideas that God told us is fact. Ideas like: "No man can govern another man perfectly." "All men have hate in their hearts (in the form of greed)." "If given unrestrained power, man will abuse that power to take away other peoples rights."
It doesn't matter who you are, what your skin color is, or how you were raised. You are human and you have greed. Look at both Biblical history and resent history. Even Gods greatest people fell, didn't they? Even the smartest man in the world, Soloman, fell. Look at King David. God proves to us time and time again that NO MAN ... NONE ... is a good leader. The founding fathers knew this and have written many papers about it. This is why they formed a Republic. Think about it. Our founding fathers could have made any type of government they wanted. They were starting with a clean slate and they had to have known that they would be in government. They could have followed their human nature and formed an Oligarchy and been the rulers of America. They could have said, "We will not be greedy, we will be good leaders." In fact, some of them did want to make George Washington a king. But, by forming a Republic, they were tying their own hands. Isn't that something? They were saying, "No man can be trusted. Not even us." That isn't human nature, that is God nature.
The constitution is amazing. It has two parts to it. A part that restricts the Federal Government by limiting its powers and then a part that restricts the local governments by listing things it can't do. This actually gives local governments more freedom then the federal government. Why? Well, the people were not afraid of their local government. They feared having a federal government. When the constitution was written up, local governments were already established. Every state had a government and its own constitution. People were happy with this. The founding fathers had to assure people that the new federal government would have just enough power to save America (the current federal government was very weak and America wasn't going to survive) but it wouldn't have so much power that it would take away the states rights. So, what happened is that the states said what powers THEY WOULD GIVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and they wanted a way to make sure that the federal government wouldn't take any more power then the ones given to it. You can find this list of powers in Articles 1, 2, and 3. The agreement that the federal government wouldn't take more power is found in the 10th Amendment.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The powers given to the Executive Branch (President) are to grant reprieves and pardons (except in impeachment cases). Appoint Ambassadors (again with the consent of senate). Appoints public ministers and consuls (with the consent of senate). Can reject or accept the judges of the supreme court (with the consent of senate). Can appoint basically any officer that is ranked below him with the consent of the senate. Can fill up vacancies during the recess of the senate. He signs or vetoes laws submitted by Congress. He is also the Commander in Chief and has control of troop movement (must have authorization by congress before going to war).
The Supreme Court has a simple role. They only interpret law. That is it.
Now, some people say that the constitution can be changed. That the founding fathers knew that times would change and therefor left it open for it to be changed with time. This is where the "living breathing document" comes from. Well, that is kinda true but they knew better then to let the federal government have the power to change the constitution anytime it pleased and to let the federal government change it to what ever it wants. Think about it. Would you sign a contract giving someone that much power of you? To be able to change a contract you signed anytime they wanted without your agreeing to it? What makes you think the states agreed to do it? There is a way to change the constitution. It is called "Amending the Constitution" and the last time this was done was in 1992. You can find this in Article 5 of the Constitution. It isn't an easy process at all. Amending the constitution requires a two-thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate followed by a ratification of three-fourths of the various state legislatures. This is why lots of elected officials just ignore the constitution. They know that laws they want (which would give them more power then the constitution gives them) will not pass such vote. Especially if the law would take away the states rights. But this is very important. Think about it. The constitution limits government power so that you have more freedom. Changing the constitution always carries a risk. A risk that your rights will be taken away. And since the Constitution is the law of the land, once it has been Amended, it is law. The Supreme Court will have no power to have it removed because the Supreme Courts only job is to INTERPRET THE CONSTITUTION not change it. They can rule government laws unconstitutional, but they can't rule the constitution unconstitutional (lol). So, the founding fathers were very smart to make changing the constitution extremely difficult.
Our federal government has been operating outside its given powers for a long time. Slowly, it has been growing and our rights have been taken away. Unfortuntly, many people are ignorant when it comes to the constitution and the dangers of human nature. People today have a lot of faith in government. They are willing to give the government unlimited power for financial security and protection. This is very dangerous. Any person in government should not be trusted with the power they have. Their power must be limited and the people should make sure that our elected leaders are following the law (the Constitution). It is up to the people to make sure that these laws are followed. It doesn't matter what political party is in office. ALL MEN HAVE GREED. If you do not know what is in the constitution, you can download the constitution by going to http://www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf. You will then have it on your computer and be able to read it at any time. You can also take a free constitutional class at Hillsdale. They have three courses (introduction to the constitution, Constitution 101, and Constitution 201). Hillsdale is a great collage that specializes in Government. They don't take any taxpayers money. These courses are free and you take them at your pace. These are the same courses taught at the collage to the students that attend the collage. Simply goto http://constitution.hillsdale.edu/ if you want to learn more about the Constitution.
Our founding fathers were guided by God when forming our government. They knew that it isn't government that keeps people free. It is law that keeps people free. A law that restrict government and that government has to follow. Without that law, government is free to do whatever it wants. Having a government without law is very dangerous because man is dangerous when it is given unlimited power and resources. Now, no man will restrict himself. Every person needs someone to make sure they follow the law. Likewise, government will not restrict itself. It is up to us, the people to be educated and to make sure that the government is following the law. Take care and God Bless.