“We the People”
with Comments Closed
“We the People!” We hear these words daily to the extent that they almost become trite. Yet it is worth considering just how profound these three little words really are. In the 1600’s when the world was ruled by Kings, Queens, and other monarchs, these three little words, and the great concepts they represented, were unimaginable. For thousands of years there had been two classes of people. The elite were at the top, with the serfs and slaves at the bottom. This wasn’t necessarily what the masses wanted, but it was just the way things were and had been for thousands of years. This came to an end with the discovery of the “New World.”
Although not uttered at the time, the concept of “We the People” was brought to the New World by a very special breed of people. It was as much a contributing factor in populating the New World as were the early settlers who had risked all in a 3,000 mile voyage in small boats to reach these “shores of freedom.” To them the new land represented a new life. It was not an easy life and many died during the voyage or shortly after arriving. But, still they came by the thousands. Not the elite or governing class, but very ordinary people who sought but one thing for their life; Freedom! For this one simple cause they left family, country, and security and combined their efforts to carve a nation out of a wilderness. Through the efforts of “We the People” America expanded from “sea to shining sea.”
“We the People” first arrived in 1607, to be followed by thousands more in the next 23 years. They were able to bring little more than their clothes and a few tools. But they brought something far more important than the few possessions they were able to pack aboard the small boats. They brought a vision of a land of freedom and a willingness to do whatever was necessary to make their dreams become a reality. It was “We the People” who tilled the ground, raised the crops, and manned the shops that sprung up to service the needs of the settlers. The Bible principal of “no work, no eat,” was embedded in their culture as firmly as was their attitude of rugged individualism. These were a very exceptional people who would establish a very exceptional nation.
They brought something else with them, something that was the key to their success, and a pattern for life in the New World. It was a book called the Bible. Two things were considered absolute necessities for every family in this untamed land. A gun and a Bible. They formed communities and enacted self-governing laws based on the concepts found in the Holy Scriptures. Their founding attitude was best summed up by a preacher named John Winthrop who would become the governor of Massachusetts. While still on board the Arbella he delivered a sermon to the small group of passengers. His sermon was taken in part from Matthew 5:14 which states, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” The part of his sermon which has endured for almost 400 years states:
“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken…we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God…We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us til we be consumed out of the good land whether we are a-going.”
One hundred and fifty years later God brought together a very special group of “We the People” who would establish a nation unique in the annals of human history. They have been referred to as “Uncommon geniuses touched by divine inspiration.” Only God could have brought together such men, at such a time, and such a place, with such a purpose. They would establish a nation based on a concept unknown in the world of their day. One of these men, Thomas Jefferson, put the concept into words.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The government established by “We the People” would be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Not only did the words “We the People” become the opening words of our Constitution, they became the governing concept upon which our nation would be built. It would not be kings or elite who would build this nation as a beacon of freedom to the world, but the ordinary men and women who comprised “We the People.” This would be a land of immigrants who would arrive by the tens of thousands with but one wish. That wish was to become “Americans,” and as such to have access to the “American Dream.” Only in America could ones labor take him from rags to riches. Every man’s status would be determined by his willingness to work and his desire to succeed, not by his birth.
In 1776 a rag tag group of “We the People” formed an army who opposed and defeated the mightiest military force of their day. They did it again in the War of 1812, in Texas in 1836, and in the Spanish American War. Their descents would carry the flag of the United States of America on the battle fields of France, the beaches of Normandy, and the waters of the South Pacific. Wherever there was the need, “We the People” sent our sons and daughters to fight and die, not just for our freedom, but for the freedom of other nations and people as well. By 1960 this nation had become a byword for freedom and a great melting pot for all those souls fleeing tyranny and slavery. They dropped the name of their previous land and nationality to be known simply as Americans. “We the People” became a nation of various cultures, religions, and races all rolled into one nation and defined by the simple phrase, “We the People.” In America, all people were entitled to, and received, the fruits of their own labor. These exceptional people had come together over a period of more than four hundred years to establish a nation of exceptionalism unknown anywhere else in the world.
However, Winthrop’s prophetic words became true in 1960’s when God and His concepts were challenged by a small but vocal minority, who were successful in changing the complexion of this land. The great culture of the “melting pot,” which had unified us as a nation, was replaced by the divisive culture known as the “salad bowl.” God was removed from the schools, the halls of government and the public square. Diversity replaced unity, and the greatness of the nation was slowly undermined as good men and women stood silent.
Today we stand in the shoes of our founding fathers. The winds blowing from Washington smell of evil, corruption, and tyranny. We, like them, are faced with a government seeking to take away our cherished freedoms and God given rights. We, like them, have no representation in the halls of government. The hallowed halls of congress, once walked by statesmen dedicated to serving the interests of the people, are now occupied by power hungry politicians who only hear the voices of the special interests who purchased them. No longer listening to the will of the people, they walk in lockstep with congressional leaders to do the bidding of Obama, their great proponent of socialism.
Socialism has become the byword of those who want to benefit from the labor of others and share in their prosperity without putting in the effort required to achieve it. It can be easily seen in unions, particularly those who wear the label of “public service unions.” This name in and of itself is a contradiction in terms. One can be a public servant, or one can be a part of a self-serving union, but one cannot be both. Only about 12% of Americans have chosen to set themselves apart as unions demanding special privileges not available to the other 88%. Through their efforts socialism has become a part of our public school system. Those who would claim to teach, and have concern for our children, are instead more concerned with their pay and fringe benefits. Bad teachers are protected while good teachers are under awarded. The unions have set themselves apart and against “We the People,” considering themselves to be worth a special status.
“We the People” face a great national financial crises resulting from unconstitutional, and in some cases illegal, actions taken by those who profess to be our leaders. These so called “public servants” are now demanding that they be exempted from the sacrifices necessary to save our nation. Through threat and intimidation they seek to impose their will on others, exempting themselves, rather than supporting the changes necessary to save this great “land of freedom.” They show no concern for the future of the children of America. This attitude of selfishness is totally foreign to the concepts which have led to our national greatness. Ronald Reagan’s words can still speak to us, even from the grave.
“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.”
Future generations will either live in the “land of the free,” or be sentenced to a world of tyranny under a One World Government. Their fate will be determined by the decisions our leaders make today.
May God guide their thinking and their efforts, just as He did our founders, and may He continue to bless this land, the home of “We the People.”