In what country do you live?
Dear Friends of Liberty and LEXREX.com,
Please help me to expand this teaching effort to as many
as have eyes to see and ears to hear.
The battle for Liberty will not be won or lost on a "technicality." It will be won by the side that best understands and practices the fundamentals. Don't make the mistake of thinking of the text we will be discussing as just a book for children. The "children" of America in 1828 knew more than most of us do today.
In my experience I have made efforts to get the Constitution Party to teach the Constitution [lately they seem to be showing more interest]. I have admonished the Tax Reform people to read the tax code. And I have encouraged all Oath Takers to read the Constitution at least once. I have also encouraged military personnel to study the difference between a lawful and an unlawful order - Before the fact.
The task of teaching and learning is unending. But it is indispensable as ever - and I need your help.
We need to start some brushfires:
does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority
keen to set brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." - Samuel
Adams, Father of the American Revolution
The lights seem to go on one at a time. But they do go on
with great regularity when an honest person is exposed to enough primary
source documentation. As a good friend of mine often says, "It's impossible
to Unring a bell."
let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean is it's an opportunity to do
things you couldn't do before." - Rahm
Millions were offended and alarmed by the White House Chief of Staff's statement [or Freudian slip] above. I would parody it as:
"Never let an obvious encroachment on Liberty go unnoticed.
But use it to alarm, awaken, inspire and educate your fellow citizens."
are the days when we had to listen carefully to know government was out of
mean to kill, steal and destroy - and their plans
are mostly on the table for all to see at this point.
NOTE to ALL EDUCATORS: If your civics, government, or law curricula are not critical of present government entities and personalities, and/or policies, you are irrelevant or you are part of the problem. Almost all popular curricula make themselves trivial in this respect. There is a battle going on right now for the heart and soul of the Republic. Things are all the more alarming as we consider the so-called Mainstream Media who are acting less and less as a watchdog - and more and more as a propaganda arm for unlawful government activities and crimes against the People.
most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers [or
the controlled Media in general]...
[A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters
[add to that educators and media who are too afraid or lack the integrity
to go after corruption in government] who, without any regard to truth or
to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever
might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who
have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a
Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632
"Jefferson on the Net" - Click Here
Try this experiment: Work on your own Q&A approach to
help educate your family and friends, your co-workers, other citizens, groups
you belong to, or even strangers. You can practice on almost anyone who will
hold still. Prepare your answers ahead of time by studying the primary source
documents - and gently use your knowledge to improve the results of the many
teachable moments we all come across in our daily affairs. Don't be a know-it-all.
Always be ready to refer to trustworthy authorities and Reason. Realize the
other person has been as well "educated" as we all were. If the subject is
ready for more, you may want to tell him about the 1828 Catechism or some
other material you are studying. Our studies of many disciplines have been
reduced to a "Trivial Pursuits." While rote learning methodologies like flash
cards are great for memorizing times tables and many other well organized
essential facts, it can be disastrous in terms of our understanding of political
science, economics and history to name only three. If you shrink an important
element or concept enough it becomes easier for it to be taken out of context
or confused. Example: In our area we see ads for a company called "Liberty
Tax Services." ???
Sam Adams wisely advised us not to ignore our ancestors "supposed mistakes" until they are proven to be mistakes.
Are we to be ruled by aristocrats and demagogues; an ignorant angry majority, or will we rule ourselves as free men and women?
Will we be stupid enough to ignore history - or wise enough to learn what we can from it through diligent study?
From what we know about Jefferson, Madison, and others, not only did they value education, they left us some explicit instructions. More about that later...
I have decided to take the 1828 Catechism on the Constitution apart and put it back together again. We have enjoyed using it as a teaching tool for more than 20 years - now it's time for reexamining it to determine how it can be made all the more useful and incisive.
Why tear apart a book I have promoted for 20 years?
We knew the book was incomplete and contained some errors
in the beginning. In the first couple of revisions I added a few footnotes
and supplemental material. Later I compiled a complementary text: "The
Bill of Rights - EXPOSED!" to provide even more context. Finally,
after all of my experiences and exposure to more and better information I
have decided that we can use the questions as springboards for many new adventures
into deeper and deeper knowledge of Liberty and a more comprehensive understanding
of the tools, not only to understand, but perhaps, with God's help, begin
to heal and rebuild.
Realize I am
going to disagree with Stansbury on major points. The Federalists had already
gone too far by his time. And their advances may partly have been caused
by the fact that the general public had no knowledge of the discussions
that had formed the Constitution. Also note that a "Federalist" is not necessarily
one whose conduct is consonant with the "Federalist
Papers." We need to read the "Anti-Federalist
Papers" as well. We will also refer to Madison's
Notes from time to time - so please familiarize yourselves with
Once we have thoroughly gone over Stansbury I think we
will value the questions more than his answers. And certainly we will
be better prepared to offer well-thought-out questions to add to our own
lists. With due respect to Stansbury, some of his questions and answers
were brief. Many were not large issues in his time. But we do have the
ability and the obligation to go back and review the history that has
brought us to where we are today. If Stansbury were here today perhaps
he would like to expound more on many of his earlier points. But, as Jefferson
put it, the world belongs to the living:
"This principle, that the earth belongs
to the living and
not to the dead,... will exclude... the ruinous and contagious errors...
which have armed despots with means which nature does not sanction, for
binding in chains their fellow-men." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison,
1789. ME 7:460
Q: What is a Catechism? A: Answer I will hope to touch on information that is helpful to every level - so please forward this discussion to everyone you know who needs to understand the rule of law - or the way things ought to be - from the early grades to advanced law students and honest judges [both of them]. Home educators are most welcome.
We have 332 questions and answers. So let's get started.
In 1828, as far as we know, the population of the States united was far more literate and politically astute. Many had not yet been connected to Cable TV or Facebook. We should not think of the original author Stansbury as naive. He was just living in a country that had thrown off tyranny and made a new start. The Feds had flexed some dangerous muscles during the Whiskey Rebellion - and George Washington had made some good money in the Whiskey business.
Knowing what we know now I would be cautious about equating "country" with "United States of America."
"My Country 'tis of Thee
- Sweet Land of Liberty."
"Where there is liberty - there is my country." [attributed to Ben Franklin but apparently not fully documented}
My country is not a team, a fraternity, a gang or even a democratic mob or a political consensus. And it is certainly not an Empire.
More than anything, my "country" is a liberty saturated state of mind - so consistent that every counterfeit is immediately recognized. When this state of mind is shared with a true neighbor we enjoy a small parcel of the free land.
The idea of consolidating jurisdictions is also foreign to Americanism. Jurisdictions must be maintained as separate and distinct.
The "one nation under God, INDIVISIBLE," notion is something
that came along much later with all of the collective ISMS. No ISM is
Lawful if it uses the majority to destroy the rights of the minority -
or the individual. See
"The Majority - Limited for Liberty."
in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is
in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable;
that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must
protect, and to violate would be oppression." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st
Inaugural, 1801. ME 3:318
The States cannot lawfully cede their Sovereignty to the
Federal Government. There is no Federal Supremacy Clause in the Constitution.
existence of a right to interpose, will generally prevent the necessity
of exerting it." -
from Federalist #43 - Now you know why Madison is turning over in his grave.
I think it is safe to say that we have achieved a level of polity lower
than Madison and the other Framers could have imagined.
Just as the creature cannot have authority over the Creator - the Federal Government must be one of powers limited by delegation and amenable or answerable to the States and the People under the Rule of Law at all times. If there is no legal remedy to encroachments on Liberty, Tyranny will run rampant.
The government receives its just powers from the [informed]
consent of the governed. Its other "powers" come from sophistry, subterfuge,
Sedition, or as Sam Adams might put it...
men through fear, fraud or mistake, should in
and give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and
the great end of society, would absolutely vacate such renunciation;
the right to freedom being the
God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and
voluntarily become a slave--- (Emphasis per original.)
According to Sam you are refusing a gift from the Almighty if you willing to give up your God-given Liberty. Note: Sam equates Liberty and Freedom - unlike many of our present demagogues. Liberty, fully realized, is much more than the absence of incarceration in a penal institution. And it is not some hybrid of a house arrest with a GPS ankle bracelet attached.
When must a person of conscience withdraw his support of the "country?"
He must withdraw it when his country violates his conscience or betrays his trust - and to whatever degree is necessary as a corrective or preventive measure. Otherwise he must withdraw from his own conscience - as many have.
Notice, when Sam speaks of
"essential natural rights" he is speaking of things that Cannot be given
up. It would follow that any government that violates these rights is a
vile and unlawful government and worthy of dissolution if it does not contain
corrective features that can be easily accessed by the meanest beggar. Put
simply, you ought to be able to obtain justice through reasonable and accessible
means. It is tyranny that must be rendered inconvenient.
"When a long train of abuses and usurpations evinces itself..."
I could go on about question number one. But let me give you a resource so you can keep answering the question "What country do you live in?" for yourself. The American Ideal is free for the reading at LEXREX.com I will be referring to it often as we discuss the catechism. Please make yourself familiar with it. Take any present problem regarding politics or government and find the solutions in it that are consistent with the Founder's and Framer's Ideals. There are many more resources out there - but this is the best compendium I have found so far.
Our "country" is a work in progress. And our liberties are more in peril if we maintain our present levels of ignorance.
Please use these tools to educate yourselves, your children, your parents, and all of your countrymen.
Read until you are inspired. There are treasures throughout the pages of LEXREX.com - enjoy exploring them - and let us know how we can improve the site and make more information more accessible and more understandable.
If you want to read ahead a little bit, here are the first 10 Q&As from the text of the 1828 work.
A. Because it is made up of a number of States which were once separate, but afterwards agreed to unite together.
Q4. Had then the different States which united together, each a government of its own?
A. Certainly; without it nobody would be safe: not only our property, but our lives would be in danger.
A. If every man was perfectly virtuous, and knew what would be best for himself and others, they might. But this is far from being the case; and therefore the people of every country are and must be governed.
A. They are made in different ways, under different governments. In some countries a single man makes the laws according to his own pleasure.
A. A Despotism, or absolute monarchy: and the person who thus rules is a Despot, or absolute monarch. In other states a certain number of persons belonging to ancient or wealthy families make the laws.
Click here to get your own copy of "The Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States" - Stansbury/Huff 1828/1993
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention." - Sir Francis Bacon