The above words of Patrick Henry might well be equally applicable – if not today – then in due course. Patrick, dreading a potential autocracy in America, refused to attend the Constitutional Convention, saying he “smelt a rat.” Even the great Ben Franklin predicted that the government they had created “could only end in despotism.”
First, let us be thankful for our Loving God, who is allowing Covid-19 in an effort to once again awaken the lost in this deteriorating world of “it’s all about me, sex and family deterioration” calling all to repentance and salvation. Have you noticed that His wonderful Blessings rarely cause our giving thanks to Him, as we are far too busy patting ourselves on the back. Of course Covid-19 is not God’s first attention-getter – remember the Flood, Civil War, WW I, the far worse 2018-19 Flu Pandemic, WWII, 9/11, etc.? Be assured that God, wishing none to perish, will get our attention yet again, ultimately using fire. If only we could be obedient, and learn that we can choose to either fear only our Holy God – or fear everything else! “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely, He will save you from the deadly pestilence.'” (Ps 91:2-3)
In the meantime let us not fail to recognize the ongoing threat to democracy, freedom and liberty being posed in America by the progressive socialistic movement that believes the answer to human frailty is to seek greater national, and ultimately world rule. To achieve this they know that God’s rule over people must diminish, along with all of the basic freedoms and liberties of the American people.
Let’s identify these liberties for which Patrick Henry and all patriots were willing to die. The foundation for all of our freedoms is embodied in America’s Declaration of Independence, which acknowledges the people’s inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – endowed by their Creator-God – and that governments are only established by and for the people, dedicated to serving the people. Further, when government violates or deviates from its purpose it is the right, even the obligation of the people to alter and/or replace the wayward government.
However, the replacement of a deviant government is a step of last resort only, since it can only arise out of revolution, as at America’s birth. Nevertheless, it was primarily for this reason that the people insisted upon the 2ndAmendment being included among the Bill of Rights preserving the right of the people to keep and bear arms. In this regard, note well the progressive movement ‘s seeking to limit the people’s right to bear arms.
Of course, the people also required the 1st Amendment assuring the people of their freedoms of speech and religion together with their right to assemble and petition the government for redress of their grievances – examples of which we see being exercised currently. We also note the Constitution’s 4th Amendment prohibiting unlawful “searches and seizures,” which by extension could be argued along with other rights referenced herein as requiring unreasonable “home confinements.
Often overlooked is our Constitution’s 9th Amendment which reserves to the people all rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. These unenumerated rights include such rights as reasonable movement, work, providing a living, etc. Note further that a State is barred from interfering with an employee’s “inviolable right of contract” despite which we currently see State action “suspending” if not terminating employment contracts. (See Lochner vs. NY, 1905).
The 10th Amendment is also a subject of potential abuse. This Amendment reserves unenumerated powers to the States, including what has been liberally interpreted by the Supreme Court as including a “police power,” defined as the right of the State to take reasonable action to protect the health, safety and welfare of its people. Note however, that health actions must be consistent with the people’s safety and welfare, and further must not abrogate and be balanced with the people’s freedoms, including the catch-all rights of the people under the 9thAmendment.
As such, the 10th Amendment must be read together with both the 5th Amendment as to the Federal and the 14thAmendment as to the State Governments prohibiting government from depriving any person of life, liberty or property(e.g., orders of confinement and work stoppage, causing loss of money and property, etc.), and/or doing so without “due process” of law – including each and all of the previously referenced rights of citizens. One such further right is the 6thAmendment right to a jury trial for any alleged criminal or civil charges brought by the State.
We also note Article 1, Sec 8 (3) granting to Congress the power “to regulate commerce among the several States” which right has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include a State’s exercise of its 10th Amendment police power within its streams of commerce. Despite such power any broad State “shut-down” orders would be unlikely to withstand the U.S. Supreme Court’s strict scrutiny standard of review relative to protecting the people’s freedoms and liberties.
Further critical to the Constitutional construct is the Separation of Powers, requiring all State or Federal orders or actions issued by Mayors, Governors or Presidents be based on authority clearly granted by legislative action, and that such action be consistent with Constitutional authority. Additionally, the Supremacy Clause of Article VI, (2) states that “This Constitution…shall be the Supreme law of the land and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby…”
Finally, a brief comment regarding “experts” – whether actual or self-declared – be they Scientists, physicians, Legislators, Governors, Presidents, Lawyers, etc. Such experts should always be considered, but never blindly followed. Recall that 100 years ago, physician-scientists were still letting blood in the sickest of patients (a procedure which ultimately killed George Washington), and only 2,000 years ago scientists were still declaring the world flat.
In this connection God cautions people to always use their common sense:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”(2Tim. 1:7) ©2020 Wilbur McCoy Otto