When I was 12 years old, my dad installed a 15-foot flagpole in our front yard. It was my job to raise and lower the flag every day. The first thing Dad taught me was how important it was to show respect for the flag – not because it was a nice piece of colored cloth, but because it represented a glorious nation that was built upon our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Dad showed me how to fold the flag and where to store it at night. He told me to pay attention to the condition of the fabric. If the edges ever became frayed or torn, it was my job to make sure it got repaired. (I learned how to use a sewing machine when I was 8 years old.) He said that if the flag couldn’t be repaired, I was to let him know and he would replace it with a new one.
The first time Dad showed me how to attach the flag to the ropes, he told me that after I was finished raising it, I should put my hand over my heart and say the “Pledge of Allegiance.” From then on, I did exactly what he told me to do.
I suppose that in today’s sophisticated and modern world it may sound corny or old-fashioned to stand next to a flagpole every day and say the “Pledge of Allegiance,” but as I look back, I’m grateful for what my dad taught me about the flag and our country. I wonder how many 12-year-old boys (or girls) today can recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” from memory.
Whenever my grandfather talked about our country, he used the word “Union” instead of “America” or “United States.” At first I thought that was odd, but I quickly realized he was using the language of our Founding Fathers. To our Founding Fathers, the original states that adopted the Constitution (and the other states that followed) were a union of states.
A “union” is defined as a formation of separate or independent units into a single cohesive unit. The traditional definition of a marriage is that it’s a union between a man and a woman. Obviously, in a marriage the man and woman retain their own personalities and unique qualities while agreeing to cooperate with each other to form and maintain a single cohesive unit. That’s exactly what our Founding Fathers did – convinced individual states with their own personalities and unique qualities to cooperate in forming and maintaining a single cohesive unit known as the United States of America.
Prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the leaders of the original thirteen states were gravely concerned that a federal (central) government would eventually exercise excessive control over the states and their citizens. It was for this reason that the federal government was given only “limited” powers. In 1788, James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” wrote: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite.”
When I was in law school (1979-1982), one of the weekly magazines I subscribed to was TIME. Back then, there was no Internet, satellite television, or national talk radio programs. If we wanted to know what was going on around us, we had to rely on newspapers, magazines, network television (ABC, NBC, and CBS), or the only cable news television station that was in existence at the time (CNN).
To the best of my recollection, I’ve written only one letter to an editor of a magazine or newspaper. That letter was to TIME. I was a freshman in law school and I wrote the letter after I read a glowing article about then U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. He had grown up in a large Catholic family of eight children, and in 1973 he voted with four other justices to legalize abortion in the United States. The decision was 5 to 4 in favor of abortion.
To me, Brennan was a traitor to his faith and his country. He believed that it was his job to interpret the U.S. Constitution as a “living document.” He thought that it was impossible to interpret the Constitution as it was originally intended. To him, it was a judge’s responsibility to read the Constitution as a “modern American” would read it, not as it was “originally intended.”
Unfortunately, Brennan wasn’t the only person in a position of influence who felt that he was smarter than our Founding Fathers. By then, his way of thinking had also been adopted by and was being taught in most of the major universities and law schools in our country. Many of our legislators and judges had also adopted that same way of thinking.
Over the years, the very act of “interpreting” the Constitution as though it were a “living document” has destroyed its original meaning and what it stood for. It would be no different if a group of “modern American” church leaders decided to interpret the Ten Commandments as a living document. The concept of a “living” document is absurd.
When resolving a dispute between two parties who have signed a contract, a judge is required to interpret the original language of the contract as well as the original intent of the parties at the time they signed the contract. Any judge who declares that a written contract is a “living” document that has a meaning other than what was originally intended would be laughed out of the courtroom. Yet that’s exactly what a large number of modern-day legislators and judges have done with the U.S. Constitution.
Last month a majority of our Supreme Court justices discovered something in the U.S. Constitution that no other Supreme Court justice had ever found – the right of our federal government to impose a tax on us for failing to do something the government ordered us to do. The ruling of the court upheld the health care law that was passed in 2010, which requires that we purchase health insurance. The law states that if we fail to purchase insurance, we will be penalized with a tax.
Since the founding of our country, the government has never had the right to force us to pay a tax because of a failure to purchase a product or service. That changed last month. Our property (money) can now be confiscated from us any time we fail to purchase a product or service that the federal government orders us to purchase.
Here are a few examples of what we may see in the coming years: purchase and install government tracking software on your computer or you’ll be taxed; purchase a government-sponsored health club membership so you can lose weight or you’ll be taxed; purchase and install a government-issued GPS tracking device in your car or you’ll be taxed; purchase and install solar panels on the roof of your house or you’ll be taxed; enroll your pre-school child in an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) sensitivity training class or you’ll be taxed; purchase and install low-water shower-heads for your showers or you’ll be taxed; purchase and install government-approved thermostats with pre-set temperature limits for your house or you’ll be taxed.
Are you starting to get the picture of what this looks like?
The federal government has now been given the POWER to tax and regulate you into performing any action it deems appropriate and to force you into doing what it thinks is best for you. Is this what we call liberty and freedom? Make no mistake about it: We now have a gangster government that has the power to modify and control your behavior. If you don’t comply, a SWAT team of IRS agents and other assorted government thugs will eventually show up at your door to teach you a lesson.
The power to tax is the power to destroy.
In 1825, Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the president of the United States from 1801 to 1809, wrote: “The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited powers.”
We are at a point in our history where we are being told that we must submit to a government of unlimited powers. We’re back to where we started. It is again up to us (the people) to fight for and restore our freedom.
The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states: “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
It’s time for us to again declare our independence from the tyrants that rule over us.