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Posts tagged “Thomas Jefferson

JAN. 16 – Religious Freedom Day ‘- Almighty God hath created the mind free’ Thomas Jefferson

 

American Minute by Bill Federer
“Each year on JANUARY 16, we celebrate Religious Freedom Day in commemoration of the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom,”-wrote President George W. Bush in his 2003 Proclamation.

Passed in 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted by Thomas Jefferson and commemorated on his tombstone.

Did Jefferson intend to limit the public religious expression of students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, schools, organizations and communities?


In his original 1777 draft of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, Jefferson wrote:

“Almighty God hath created the mind free, and…all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments…tend only to begat habits of hypocrisy and meanness,

and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone….”

President Thomas Jefferson explained in his Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805:

“In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General Government.

I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercise suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state and church authorities by the several religious societies.”

Jefferson explained to Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808:

“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from inter-meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises…

This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States [10th Amendment]…”

Jefferson continued:

“Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General government…

I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines…

Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets.”

In 1776, a year before Jefferson drafted his Statute, another Virginian, George Mason, drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was later revised by James Madison and referred to in his Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785:

“Religion, or the duty we owe to our CREATOR, and manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence;

and, therefore, that all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience,

and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity toward each other.”

James Madison made a journal entry, June 12, 1788:

“There is not a shadow of right in the general government to inter-meddle with religion…The subject is, for the honor of America, perfectly free and unshackled. The government has no jurisdiction over it.”

On June 7, 1789, James Madison introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress with the wording:

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship.”

James Madison appointed to the Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.


Justice Joseph Story wrote in hisCommentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833, Chapter XLIV, “Amendments to the Constitution,” Section 991:

“The real object of the First Amendment was, not to countenance, much less advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.”

Samuel Chase, who had been appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington, wrote in the Maryland case of Runkel v. Winemiller, 1799:

“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.”

FOR A SHORT HISTORY OF THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT, READ BELOW:

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens admitted in Wallace v. Jaffree, 1985:

“At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith.”

When the country began, religious liberty was under each individual Colony’s jurisdiction.

In the decision Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote:

“Groups which had most strenuously opposed the established Church of England…passed laws making their own religion the official religion of their respective colonies.”

Like dropping a pebble in a pond and the ripples go out, States began to expand religious liberty from the particular Christian denomination that founded each colony to all Protestants, then to Catholics, then to liberal Christian denominations, then to Jews, then to monotheists, then to polytheists.

This process was then continued by the Federal Government to expand “religious” liberty to atheists, pagans, occultic, and eventually to religions which historically have been violently ANTI-Judeo-Christian.

After the Constitution, the States ratified the First Amendment, as well as all Ten Amendments, specifically to limit the new Federal government’s power:

“CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF…”

The word “Congress” meant the Federal Congress.

“Shall make no law” meant the Federal Congress could not introduce, debate, vote on or send to the President any bill respecting an establishment of religion.

The word “respecting” meant “concerning” or “pertaining to.”

It was simply telling the Federal government “HANDS OFF” all religious issues.

When anything regarding religion came before the Federal government, the response was to be that it had no jurisdiction to decide anything on that issue, neither for nor against.

“Establishment” did not mean “acknowledgment.”

“Establishment” did not mean believing in Christianity or believing in God.

Establishment was a clearly understood term.

It meant setting up one particular Christian denomination as the official denomination.

With varying levels of official state endorsement and favoritism, countries typically had some kind of established Church:

England had established the Anglican Church;
Sweden had established the Lutheran Church;
Scotland had established the Church of Scotland;
Holland had established the Dutch Reformed Church;
Russia had established the Russian Orthodox Church;
Serbia had established the Serbian Orthodox Church;
Romania had established the Romanian Orthodox Church;
Greece had established the Greek Orthodox Church;
Bulgaria had established the Bulgarian Orthodox Church;
Finland had established the Finnish Orthodox Church;
Ethiopia had established the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church;
Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Austria, Mexico, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Vatican City had established the Roman Catholic Church; and
Switzerland had established Calvin’s Ecclesiastical Ordinances.

The attitude of the original 13 States was that they did not want the new Federal Government to follow the pattern of most Western nations and pick one denomination with its headquarters in the Capitol.

Allegorically, they did not want a Federal Walmart Church to come into town and put out of business their individual State “mom & pop department store” denominations.

To make the purpose of the First Amendment unquestionably clear, they went on to state that the Federal Congress could not make a law which prohibited “THE FREE EXERCISE” of religion.

Ronald Reagan stated in a Radio Address, 1982:

“Founding Fathers…enshrined the principle of freedom of religion in the First Amendment…

The purpose of that Amendment was to protect religion from the interference of government and to guarantee, in its own words, ‘the free exercise of religion.'”

Like dealing a deck of cards in a card game, the States dealt to the Federal Government jurisdiction over a few things, like providing for the common defense and regulating interstate commerce, but the rest of the cards were held by the States.

Justice Joseph Story wrote in hisCommentaries on the Constitution, 1833:

“The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State Governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions.”

Just as today some States allow minors to consume alcohol and other States do not;
some States allow the selling of marijuana and others do not;
some States have smoking bans and others do not;
some States allow gambling and others do not, and
some States allow prostitution (Nevada and formerly Rhode Island) and the rest do not;
at the time the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified some States allowed more religious freedom, such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and other States, such as Connecticut and Massachusetts, did not.

But it was up to the people in each State to decide.

Congressman James Meacham of Vermont gave a House Judiciary Committee report, March 27, 1854:

“At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State – certainly ten of the thirteen – provided as regularly for the support of the Church as for the support of the Government.”

When did things change?

Charles Darwin theorized that species could evolve.

This inspired a political theorist named Herbert Spencer to suggest that laws could evolve.

This influenced Harvard Law Dean Christopher Columbus Langdell to develop the case precedent method of practicing law, which influenced his student, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

The 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 with the original intent to guarantee rights to freed slaves in the Democrat South.

Activist Justices quickly began to use the 14th Amendment very creatively to take jurisdiction away from the States over issues such as unions, strikes, railroads, polygamy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly.

The freedom of religion was still under each individual State’s jurisdiction until Franklin D. Roosevelt.

FDR was elected President four times, which led to the 22nd Amendment being passed to limit all future Presidents to only two terms.

During his 12 years in office, FDR concentrated power in the Federal Government to an unprecedented degree.

Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Justice Hugo Black to the Supreme Court in 1937.

Justice Hugo Black concentrated power in the Federal government by taking jurisdiction over religion away from each State.

He did this by simply inserting the phrase “Neither a State” in his 1947 Everson v Board of Education decision:

“The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a State nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another.”

He conveniently ignored innumerable references to and requirements in the various State Constitutions regarding religion.

In a word, he took the handcuffs off the Federal government and placed them on the States.

After this, Federal Courts began evolving the definition of “religion” away from that originally used by George Mason and James Madison in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776:

“Religion…the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it.”

This progression can be seen in several cases.

“ETHICAL” = RELIGION

In 1957, the IRS denied tax-exempt status to an “ethical society” stating it did not qualify as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt “church” or “religious society.”

The case went to the Supreme Court, where Justice Warren Burger wrote in Washington Ethical Society v. District of Columbia (1957):

“We hold on this record and under the controlling statutory language petitioner [The Washington Ethical Society] qualifies as ‘a religious corporation or society’…

It is incumbent upon Congress to utilize this broad definition of religion in all its legislative actions bearing on the support or non-support of religion, within the context of the ‘no-establishment’ clause of the First Amendment.”

“SECULAR HUMANISM” = RELIGION

In 1961, Roy Torcaso wanted to be a notary public in Maryland, but did not want to make “a declaration of belief in the existence of God,” as required by Maryland’s State Constitution, Article 37.

In the Supreme Court case Torcaso v Watkins (1961), Justice Hugo Black included a footnote which has been cited authoritatively in subsequent cases:

“Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.”

Justice Scalia wrote in Edwards v. Aguillard(1987):

“In Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495, n. 11 (1961), we did indeed refer to ‘SECULAR HUMANISM’ as a ‘religio[n].'”

“A SINCERE AND MEANINGFUL BELIEF” = RELIGION

During the Vietnam War, Mr. Seeger said he could not affirm or deny the existence of a Supreme Being and wanted to be a draft-dodger, claiming to be a conscientious objector under the Universal Military Training and Service Act, Section 6(j) that allowed exemptions for “religious training and belief.”

In United States v Seeger, (1965), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark stated:

“The test of religious belief within the meaning in Section 6(j) is whether it is a sincere and meaningful belief occupying in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those admittedly qualified for the exemption.”

“BELIEFS ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG” = RELIGION

Another draft-dodger case involved Elliot Welsh. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Welsh v. United States (1970), decided that belief in a “deity” is not necessary to be “religious”:

“Having decided that all religious conscientious objectors were entitled to the exemption, we faced the more serious problem of determining which beliefs were ‘religious’ within the meaning of the statute…

Determining whether the registrant’s beliefs are religious is whether these beliefs play the role of religion and function as a religion in the registrant’s life…

Because his beliefs function as a religion in his life, such an individual is as much entitled to a ‘religious’ conscientious objector exemption under Section 6(j) as is someone who derives his conscientious opposition to the war from traditional religious convictions…

We think it clear that the beliefs which prompted his objection occupy the same place in his life as the belief in a traditional deity holds in the lives of his friends, the Quakers…

A registrant’s conscientious objection to all war is ‘religious’ within the meaning Section 6(j) if this opposition stems from the registrant’s moral, ethical, or religious beliefs about what is right and wrong and these beliefs are held with the strength of traditional religious convictions.”

“ATHEISM” = RELIGION

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, (W.D. WI) decision inKaufman v. McCaughtry, August 19, 2005, stated:

“A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being…Atheism may be considered…religion… ‘Atheism is indeed a form of religion…’

The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a ‘religion’ for purposes of the First Amendment…

The Court has adopted a broad definition of ‘religion’ that includes non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as theistic ones…

Atheism is Kaufman’s religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being.”

Overlooking that the Constitution is only to be changed by Amendments voted in by the majority of the people, the Supreme Court admitted in Wallace v Jaffree (472 U.S. 38, 1985) that the original meaning of the First Amendment was modified “in the crucible of litigation,” a term not mentioned in the Constitution:

“At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the consciences of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism.

But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.”

The Federal Courts gradually gave the word “religion” a new definition which included “ethical,” “secular humanism,” “a sincere and meaningful belief,”  “beliefs about right and wrong,” and “atheism.”

Under this new definition, so as not to prefer one “religion” over another, Federal Courts have prohibited God, which, ironically, has effectively established the religion of atheism in the exact the way the First Amendment was intended to prohibit.

This was warned against by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in his dissent in Abington Township v. Schempp, 1963:

“The state may not establish a ‘religion of secularism’ in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus ‘preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe’…

Refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

Ronald Reagan referred to this decision in a radio address, February 25, 1984:

“Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted if religious exercises are held to be impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage.

Permission for such exercises for those who want them is necessary if the schools are truly to be neutral in the matter of religion. And a refusal to permit them is seen not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

U.S. District Court, Crockett v. Sorenson, W.D. Va,. 1983:

“The First Amendment was never intended to insulate our public institutions from any mention of God, the Bible or religion. When such insulation occurs, another religion, such as secular humanism, is effectively established.”

Ronald Reagan stated in a Q & A Session, October 13, 1983:

“The First Amendment has been twisted to the point that freedom of religion is in danger of becoming freedom from religion.”

Ronald Reagan stated in a Ceremony for Prayer in Schools, September 25, 1982:

“In the last two decades we’ve experienced an onslaught of such twisted logic that if Alice were visiting America, she might think she’d never left Wonderland.

We’re told that it somehow violates the rights of others to permit students in school who desire to pray to do so. Clearly, this infringes on the freedom of those who choose to pray…

To prevent those who believe in God from expressing their faith is an outrage.”

Is it just a coincidence that the ACLU’s agenda is similar to the Communist agenda read into the Congressional Record, January 10, 1963 by Congressman Albert S. Herlong, Jr., of Florida (Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34-A35):

“Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of ‘separation of church and state.'”

Ronald Reagan stated in a Radio Address, 1982:

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”

Judge Richard Suhrheinrich stated inACLU v Mercer County, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 20, 2005:

“The ACLU makes repeated reference to ‘the separation of church and state.’ This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome.

The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. Our nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some case, accommodation of religion.”

The Supreme Court stated in Lynch v Donnelly, 1984:

“The Constitution does not ‘require complete separation of church and state.'”

Associate Justice William Rehnquist wrote in the U.S. Supreme Court caseWallace v. Jafree, 1985, dissent, 472 U. S., 38, 99:

“The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.

It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of Constitutional history…The establishment clause had been expressly freighted with Jefferson’s misleading metaphor for nearly forty years…

There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation…Recent court decisions are in no way based on either the language or intent of the framers…

But the greatest injury of the ‘wall’ notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in Engle v Vitale, 1962, dissent:

“The Court…is not aided…by the…invocation of metaphors like the ‘wall of separation,’ a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution.”

In the U.S. Supreme Court decision, McCullum v Board of Education, it stated:

“Rule of law should not be drawn from a figure of speech.”

Justice William O’Douglas wrote inZorach v Clausen, 1952:

“The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State…

We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence…

We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.”

Ronald Reagan told the Annual Convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, January 30, 1984:

“I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the ACLU severely criticized me for doing that. Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor.”

Are anti-faith groups using the evolved interpretation of the First Amendment to take away the liberties which the original First Amendment was intended to guarantee?

Dwight Eisenhower is quoted in the TIME Magazine article, “Eisenhower on Communism,” October 13, 1952:

“The Bill of Rights contains no grant of privilege for a group of people to destroy the Bill of Rights.

A group – like the Communist conspiracy – dedicated to the ultimate destruction of all civil liberties, cannot be allowed to claim civil liberties as its privileged sanctuary from which to carry on subversion of the Government.”

Ronald Reagan worded it differently on the National Day of Prayer, May 6, 1982:

“Well-meaning Americans in the name of freedom have taken freedom away. For the sake of religious tolerance, they’ve forbidden religious practice.”

Ronald Reagan stated at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast, August 23, 1984:

“The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance and freedom and open-mindedness. Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion?”

Did Jefferson intend to outlaw the acknowledgment of God and limit students, teachers, coaches, chaplains, schools, organizations, and communities from public religious expression?

In light of mandates in President’s Healthcare law which forces individuals to violate their religious beliefs or be subject to “temporal punishments” for non-compliance, it is incumbent upon Americans to read again the words of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom:

“Almighty God hath created the mind free, and…all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion…

That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical…

That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity…unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which…he has a natural right…

That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion…is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own…

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man…shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief,

but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.”

Ronald Reagan addressed the Alabama State Legislature, March 15, 1982:

“The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”

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‘The creature, Frankenstein-like, is determined to destroy the creators.’-Eisenhower

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American Minute by Bill Federer
The thirteen States were afraid that the new Government they created might become too powerful, as King George’s government had been.They insisted handcuffs be placed on the power of the Federal Government.

These were the First Ten Amendments or Bill of Rights, ratified DECEMBER 15, 1791.

The Preamble of the Bill of Rights stated:

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“The States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…

RESOLVED…that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States…”

The Amendments did not limit States or citizens, but the Federal Congress:

CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,

or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

or abridging the freedom of speech,

or of the press;

or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,

and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Regarding this, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808:

“I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.

This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the U.S.

Jefferson continued:

“Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets.”

The Constitution of the United States of America-Analysis and Interpretation, prepared by the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress (Edward S. Corwin, editor, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1953, p. 758), stated:

“In his Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833, Justice Joseph Story asserted that the purpose of the First Amendment was not to discredit the then existing State establishments of religion,

but rather ‘to exclude from the National Government all power to act on the subject.'”

John Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, published in Philadelphia by the J.B. Lippincott Company, 1889, stated in its definition of Religion:

“The Constitution of the United States provides that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’

This provision and that relating to religious tests are limitations upon the power of the Congress only

The Christian religion is, of course, recognized by the government, yet…the preservation of religious liberty is left to the States.”

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story explained in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833:

“The whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions.”

Mercy Otis Warren wrote inObservations on the new Constitution, and on the Federal and State Conventions, 1788:

“The origin of all power is in the people, and they have an incontestable right to check the creatures of their own creation.”

President Dwight Eisenhower stated at a Governors’ Conference, June 24, 1957:

“The national government was itself the creature of the States…Yet today it is often made to appear thatthe creature, Frankenstein-like, is determined to destroy the creators.”

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FORGOTTEN THANKSGVINGS you have probably never heard about!

American Minute By Bill Federer
After the victory of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, November 1, 1777:”The grateful feeling of their hearts… join the penitent confession of their manifold sins… that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance…

and… under the providence of Almighty God… secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”


After John Paul Jones, commanding theBonhomme Richard, captured the British ship HMS Serapis, the Continental Congress declared a Day of Thanksgiving, which Governor Thomas Jefferson chose to proclaim for Virginia, November 11, 1779:


“Congress… hath thought proper… to recommend to the several States… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for his mercies, and of Prayer, for the continuance of his favour…

That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory;

That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel;

That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth…

I do therefore… issue this proclamation… appointing… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God… Given under by hand… this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779… Thomas Jefferson.”

After traitor Benedict Arnold’s plot to betray West Point was thwarted, the Continental Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, October 18, 1780:

“In the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution…


it is therefore recommended… a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer… to confess our unworthiness… and to offer fervent supplications to the God of all grace… to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.”


After British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Congress proclaimed aDay of Thanksgiving, October 11, 1782:

“It being the indispensable duty of all nations… to offer up their supplications to Almighty God…

the United States in Congress assembled… do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe… the last Thursday… of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”

After the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, John Hancock, the former President of the Continental Congress now Governor of Massachusetts, proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, November 8, 1783:

“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and
Gratitude to the God of their salvation… I do… appoint… the 11th day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer,

that all the people may then assemble to celebrate… that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel…

That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish… and to fill the world with his glory.”

After the U.S. Congress passed the First Amendment, it requested President George Washington issue a National Day of Thanksgiving, which he did, October 3, 1789:

“Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me

‘to recommend to the People of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness;’


Now, therefore, I do recommend…Thursday, the 26TH DAY of NOVEMBER … to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be…

That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere andhumble Thanks… for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government…

particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”

After the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812, President James Madison proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, March 4, 1815:

“The Senate and House of Representatives…signified their desire that a day may…be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity as a Day of Thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness manifested in restoring to them the blessing of peace.

No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States.


His kind Providence originally conducted them to one of the best portions of the dwelling place allotted for the great family of the human race.

He protected…them under all the difficulties and trials to which they were exposed in their early days…

In the arduous struggle…they were distinguished by multiplied tokens of His benign interposition…

He…enabled them to assert their national rights and to enhance their national character in another arduous conflict, which is now so happily terminated by a peace and reconciliation with those who have been our enemies.

And to the same Divine Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land…

I now recommend…a Day on which the people of every religious denomination may in their solemn assemblies unite their hearts and their voices in a freewill offering to their Heavenly Benefactor of their homage of Thanksgiving and of their songs of praise.

Given…in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen… James Madison.”

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Does Absolute Power Corrupt Absolutely? via American Minute

By Bill FedererOn OCTOBER 15, 1788, James Madison warned:

“As the courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them, by refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character.This makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper.”
On OCTOBER 15, 1991, the U.S. Senate confirmed Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court Justice. During the hearings, in reply to Senator Thurmond, Clarence Thomas replied:”The role of a judge is a limited one. It is to…interpret the Constitution, where called upon, but at no point to impose his or her will or…opinion in that process.” 

Thomas Jefferson wrote to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804:

“Nothing in the Constitution has given them (judges) a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them…

The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional… not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive…would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”

Webster’s Dictionary defined “despot” as:

“Absolute and arbitrary authority power… independent of the control of men.”


Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Jarvis, September 28, 1820:

“You seem…to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions;a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy...”

Jefferson continued:

“Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so….and their power (is) the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible  , as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.

The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal,knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.”

In his 1841 Inaugural Address, PresidentWilliam Henry Harrison warned:

“The great danger to our institutions does…appear to me to be…theaccumulation in one of the departments of that which was assigned to others.

Limited as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been granted to constitute a despotism if concentrated in one of the departments.”

In 1857, Democrat appointed JusticeRoger Taney gave the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision that slaves were not citizens, but property.

Lincoln alluded to this decision in his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861:”I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court…


The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made…the people will have ceased to be their own rulers,

having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of the eminent tribunal.

Thomas Jefferson warned Mr. Hammond in 1821:

“The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in…the federal judiciary;

an irresponsible body…working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States.”

Jefferson wrote September 6, 1819:

“The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”

Thomas Jefferson explained to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson, June 12, 1823:”On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates,and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

 

Baron Montesquieu, the most frequently quoted writer by the Framers of the Constitution, warned of the dangers of uncontrolled judicial power in his Spirit of the Laws, 1748:”Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power.If it were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislator.

If it were joined to executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor.

All would be lost if the same…body of principal men… exercised these three powers.”

 Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, 1835, warned:

“The President, who exercises a limited power, may err without causing great mischief in the State.

Congress may decide amiss without destroying the Union, because the electoral body in which Congress originates may cause it to retract its decision

by changing its members.But if the Supreme Court is ever composed of imprudent men or bad citizens, the Union may be plunged into anarchy or civil war.” 

Colonial leader John Cotton stated:

“For whatever transcendent power is given, will certainly over-run those that give it…It is necessary therefore, that all power that is on earth be limited.”

   


James Madison
stated at the Constitutional Convention, 1787:

“All men having power ought to be distrusted.”


George Washington stated in his Farewell Address, September 17, 1796:

“And of fatal tendency…to put, in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party – often a small but artful and enterprising minority…

They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government;

destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”


President Andrew Jackson,
 July 10, 1832, Bank Renewal Bill Veto:

“It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.

Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority, and should not be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power.”


James Madison sums up the current dilemma in Federalist Paper #51:

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this:

you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”


Andrew Jackson
 stated in his Seventh Annual Message, December 7, 1835:

“All history tells us that a free people should be watchful of delegated power,

and should never acquiesce in a practice which will diminish their control over it.”

Lord Acton wrote to Bishop Mandell Creighton. April 5, 1881:“All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
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‘The power to tax is the power to destroy’ -Chief Justice John Marshall via American Minute

by Bill Federer
“The power to tax is the power to destroy,” wrote John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, who was born SEPTEMBER 24, 1755.No one had a greater impact on Constitutional Law than John Marshall.Home schooled as a youth, he served with the Culpeper Minutemen at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Marshall joined the Continental Army and served as a captain in Virginia Regiment under General George Washington, enduring the freezing winter at Valley Forge.

John Marshall later described George Washington:

“Without making ostentatious professions of religion, he was a sincere believer in the Christian faith, and a truly devout man.”

John Marshall then studied law under Chancellor George Wythe at the College of William and Mary.

He as a U.S. Congressman from Virginia, and became Secretary of State under President John Adams, who then nominated him to the Supreme Court.

John Marshall swore in as Chief Justice on February 4, 1801, and served 34 years.

Every Supreme Court session opens with the invocation:

“God save the United States and this Honorable Court.”

John Marshall helped write over 1,000 decisions, usually favoring the Federal Government, which put him at odds with President Thomas Jefferson who championed State Governments.

John Marshall decided in favor of the Cherokee Indian nation to stay in Georgia against the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which was hurriedly pushed through Congress by Democrat President Andrew Jackson.

Ignoring John Marshall’s decision, the Federal Government removed over 46,000 Native Americans from their homes and relocated them west, leaving vacant 25 million acres open to the expansion of slavery.

Chief Justice John Marshall commented May 9, 1833, on the pamphlet The Relation of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States written by Rev. Jasper Adams, President of the College of Charleston, South Carolina (The Papers of John Marshall, ed. Charles Hobson, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006, p, 278):

“No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion to the
happiness of man even during his existence in this world…

The American population is entirely Christian, and with us, Christianity and religion are identified.

It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and express relations with it.”

According to tradition, the Liberty Bell cracked while tolling at John Marshall’s funeral, July 8, 1835.


A hundred years after John Marshall’s death, the Supreme Court Building was completed in 1935, with Herman A. MacNeil’s marble relief above the east portico featuring Moses with two stone tablets.

Inside the Supreme Court chamber are Adolph A. Weinman’s marble friezes depicting lawgivers throughout history, including Moses holding the Ten Commandments, and John Marshall.

A story was originally published in the Winchester Republicannewspaper, and recounted in Henry Howe’s Historical Collections of Virginia (Charleston, South Carolina, 1845, p. 275-276; Albert J. Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall, Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1919, Vol. 4, The Building of the Nation, 1815-1835):

“There is, too, a legend about an astonishing flash of eloquence from Marshall – ‘a streak of vivid lightning’ – at a tavern, on the subject of religion.

The impression said to have been made by Marshall on this occasion was heightened by his appearance when he arrived at the inn.

The shafts of his ancient gig were broken and ‘held together by switches formed from the bark of a hickory sapling'; he was negligently dressed, his knee buckles loosened.

In the tavern a discussion arose among some young men concerning ‘the merits of the Christian religion.’

The debate grew warm and lasted ‘from six o’clock until eleven.’

No one knew Marshall, who sat quietly listening.

Finally one of the youthful combatants turned to him and said:

‘Well, my old gentleman, what think you of these things?’

Marshall responded with a ‘most eloquent and unanswerable appeal.’

He talked for an hour, answering ‘every argument urged against the teachings of Jesus.’

‘In the whole lecture, there was so much simplicity and energy, pathos and sublimity, that not another word was uttered.’

The listeners wondered who the old man could be.

Some thought him a preacher; and great was their surprise when they learned afterwards that he was the Chief Justice of the United States.”

Albert J. Beveridge wrote in The Life of John Marshall(Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1919, Vol. IV, The Building of the Nation, 1815-1835, p. 70):

“John Marshall’s daughter makes this statement regarding her father’s religious views:

‘He told me that he believed in the truth of the Christian
Revelation…during the last months of his life he read Alexander Keith on Prophecy, where our Saviour’s divinity is incidentally treated, and was convinced by this work, and the fuller investigation to which it led, of the supreme divinity of our Saviour.

He determined to apply to the communion of our Church, objecting to communion in private, because he thought it his duty to make a public confession of the Saviour.'”

Albert J. Beveridge continued in The Life of John Marshall(referencing Bishop William Meade’s Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, 2 Vols., Richmond, 1910, Vol. 2, p. 221-222):

“He attended (Episcopal) services. Bishop William Meade informs us, not only because ‘he was a sincere friend of religion,’ but also because he wished ‘to set an example.’

The Bishop bears this testimony: ‘I can never forget how he would prostrate his tall form before the rude low benches, without backs, at Coolspring Meeting-House (Leeds Parish, near Oakhill, Fauquier County) in the midst of his children and grandchildren and his old neighbors.’

When in Richmond, Marshall attended the Monumental Church where, says Bishop Meade, ‘he was much incommoded by the narrowness of the pews…

Not finding room enough for his whole body within the pew, he used to take his seat nearest the door of the pew, and, throwing it open, let his legs stretch a little into the aisle.'”

John F. Dillon wrote in John Marshall-Life, Character and Judicial Services-As Portrayed in the Centenary and Memorial Addresses and Proceedings Throughout the United States on John Marshall Day, 1901(Chicago: Callaghan & Company, 1903):

“John Marshall Day, February 4, 1901, was appropriately observed by exercises held in the hall of the House of Representatives, and attended by the President, the members of the Cabinet, the Justices of the Supreme and District courts, the Senate and House of Representatives, and the members of the Bar of the District of
Columbia…

The program, prepared by a Congressional committee acting in conjunction with committees of the American Bar Association and the Bar Association of this District, was characterized by a dignity and simplicity befitting the life of the great Chief Justice…”

After an invocation delivered by John Marshall’s great-grandson, Rev. Dr. William Strother Jones of Trenton, N.J., Chief Justice Fuller made introductory remarks:

“The August Term of the year of our Lord eighteen hundred of the Supreme Court of the United States had adjourned at Philadelphia… However, it was not until Wednesday, February 4th, when John Marshall…took his seat upon the Bench…”

U.S. Attorney General Wayne MacVeagh then stated:

“The centennial anniversary of the entrance by John Marshall into the office of Chief Justice of the United States…

Under his forming hand, instead of becoming a dissoluble confederacy of discordant States, became a great and indissoluble nation, endowed with…the divine purpose for the education of the world…securing to the whole American continent ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people’…

Venerating the Constitution…as ‘a sacred instrument’…we have lived to see…such generous measures of political equality, of social freedom, and of physical comfort and well-being as were never dreamed of on the earth before…

Let us, on this day of all days…acknowledge that nations cannot live by bread alone…

We have heretofore cherished, the Christian ideal of true national greatness; and our fidelity to that ideal, however imperfect it has been, entitled us in some measure to the divine blessing, for having offered an example to the world for more than an entire generation of how a nation could marvelously increase in wealth and strength and all material prosperity while living in peace with all mankind…

We all believe that the true glory of America and her true mission in the new century…is what a great prelate of the Catholic Church has recently declared it to be: to stand fast by Christ and his Gospel; to cultivate not the Moslem virtues of war, of slaughter, of rapine, and of conquest, but the Christian virtues of self-denial and kindness and brotherly love…

Then we may some day hear the benediction: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me’…

The true mission of nations as of men is to promote righteousness on earth…

and taking abundant care that every human creature beneath her starry flag, of every color and condition, is as secure of liberty, of justice and of peace as in the Republic of God.

In cherishing these aspirations…we are wholly in the spirit of the great Chief Justice; and…so effectually honor his memory.” (Dillon, Vol. 1, p. 7-42)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray gave an address the same day in Virginia:

“Gentlemen of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and of the City of Richmond: One hundred years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States, after sitting for a few years in Philadelphia, met for the first time in Washington, the permanent capital of the Nation; and John Marshall, a citizen of Virginia, having his home in Richmond, and a member of this bar, took his seat as Chief Justice of the United States…

Chief Justice Marshall was a steadfast believer in the truth of Christianity as revealed in the Bible. He was brought up in the Episcopal Church; and Bishop Meade, who knew him well, tells us that he was a constant and reverent worshipper in that church, and contributed liberally to its support, although he never became a communicant.

All else that we know of his personal religion is derived from the statements (as handed down by the good bishop) of a daughter of the Chief Justice, who was much with him during the last months of his life.

She said that her father told her he never went to bed without concluding his prayer by repeating the Lord’s Prayer and the verse beginning, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep,’ which his mother had taught him when he was a child;

and that the reason why he had never been a communicant was that it was but recently that he had become fully convinced of the divinity of Christ, and he then ‘determined to apply for admission to the communion of our church objected to commune in private, because he thought it his duty to make a public confession of the Saviour and, while waiting for improved health to enable him to go to the church for that purpose, he grew worse and died, without ever communing.'” (Dillon, Vol. 1, p. 42, 47, 88)

New Hampshire Supreme Court Judge Jeremiah Smith gave an address:

“And this brings us to what is…the great distinguishing feature in Marshall s life; the real secret of his extraordinary success…that is his high personal character…

John Marshall was pre-eminently single minded. His whole life was pervaded by an overpowering sense of duty and by strong religious principle. A firm believer in the Christian religion, his life was in accord with his belief.” (Dillon, Vol. 1, p. 162)

Charles E. Perkins, nephew of Harriet Beecher Stowe and President of the Connecticut Bar Association stated:

“As a man, Marshall appears to have been as near perfection in disposition, habits, and conduct as it is possible for a mortal man to be…He had no vices and, I may almost say, no weaknesses.

In spite of his eminent talents, his high positions, and his great reputation, there was no tinge of conceit…

His charities were constant and great. He bore no malice toward those who offended or injured him.

He was a sincere Christian and believed in and obeyed the commands of the Bible.” (Dillon, Vol. 1, p. 330)

U.S. Rep. William Bourke Cockran addressed the Erie County Bar Association, Buffalo, New York:

“Aside from the establishment of Christianity, the foundation of this republic was the most memorable event in the history of man…

And if the foundation of this government be the most momentous human achievement of all the centuries, then clearly the appointment of John Marshall to the Chief Justiceship of the United States was the first event of the last century no less in the magnitude of its importance than in the order of its occurrence.” (Dillon, Vol. 1, p. 404-405)

U.S. Senator and former Maryland Governor William Pinkney Whyte stated:

“Would you not call a man religious who said the Lord’s Prayer every day? And the prayer he learned at his mother’s knee went down with him to the grave.

He was a constant and liberal contributor to the support of the Episcopal Church.

He never doubted the fact of the Christian revelation, but he was not convinced of the fact of the divinity of Christ till late in life.

Then, after refusing privately to commune, he expressed a desire to do so publicly, and was ready and willing to do so when opportunity should be had. The circumstances of his death only forbade it…

He was never professedly Unitarian, and he had no place in his heart for either an ancient or a modern agnosticism.” (Dillon, Vol. 2, p. 2-3)

U.S. Rep. Horace Binney of Pennsylvania stated that Marshall:

“…was a Christian, believed in the gospel, and practiced its tenets.” (Dillon, Vol. 3, p. 325)

Nathan Sargent, former Commissioner of Customs, wrote inPublic Men and Events from 1817 to 1853 (Philadelphia, 1875, Vol. 1, p. 299), that Marshall’s “name has become a household word with the American people implying greatness, purity, honesty, and all the Christian virtues.”

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Andrew Jackson and THE BANK WAR via American Minute

Bill Federer

Over the objections of Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton helped create the nation’s first centralized bank in 1791, the Bank of the United States.

By 1822, the rechartered second Bank of the United States was run by Nicholas Biddle, who boasted of having more personal power than the President, as he set interest rates and reserve requirements.

Biddle bought influence, paid to elect politicians and owned newspapers which he used to sway voters during elections.

On JULY 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson vetoed the renewal of the charter of Nicholas Biddle’s Bank of the United States, stating:

“Some of powers and privileges possessed by the existing Bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive to the rights of the States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people…

It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people…

Their power would be great whenever they might choose to exert it…to influence elections or control the affairs of the nation.

But if any private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers or prevent a renewal of its privileges, it cannot be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence…”

Andrew Jackson continued:

“Controlling our currency, receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would be more formidable and dangerous than the naval and military power of the enemy.”

On September 18, 1833, President Andrew Jackson decided to remove all Federal money out of Nicholas Biddle’s Bank of the United States:

“The Bank is thus converted into a vast electioneering engine, with means to embroil the country in deadly feuds, and…extend its corruption through all the ramifications of society…

The President would feel that he was…an accomplice in a conspiracy against that Government… if he did not take every step within his constitutional and legal power…to…putting an end to these enormities…

Was it expected when the moneys of the United States were directed to be placed in that Bank that they would be put under the control of one man…?

This corporation now holds in its hands the happiness and prosperity of the American people, it is high time to take the alarm.

If the despotism be already upon us and our only safety is in the mercy of the despot…how necessary it is to shake it off…

One of the most serious objections to the Bank of the United States is the power which it concentrates.”

On December 3, 1833, in his 5th Annual Message, President Andrew Jackson stated:

“This great and powerful institution had been actively engaged in attempting to influence the elections of the public officers by means of its money…

It being thus established by unquestionable proof that the Bank of the United States was converted into a permanent electioneering engine…

The efforts of the Bank to control public opinion, through the distresses of some and the fears of others…

Through presses known to have been sustained by its money it attempts by unfounded alarms to create a panic in all.”

President Andrew Jackson, whose wife died right before he took office, stated in a Protest message to the Senate, April 15, 1834:

“The Bank of the United States, a great moneyed monopoly, had attempted to obtain a renewal of its charter by controlling the elections of the people…to control public opinion and force the Government to yield to its demands…

The only ambition I can feel is to acquit myself to Him to whom I must soon render an account of my stewardship…to persuade my countrymen, so far as I may, that it is not in a…government supported by powerful monopolies…that they will find happiness…but in a plain system, void of pomp, protecting all and granting favors to none, dispensing its blessings, like the dews of Heaven.”

On December 1, 1834, in his 6th Annual Message, President Andrew Jackson stated:

“Events have satisfied my mind, and I think the minds of the American people, that the mischief and dangers which flow from a national Bank far overbalance all its advantages.

The bold effort the present Bank has made to control the Government, the distresses it has wantonly produced, the violence of which it has been the occasion in one of our cities famed for its observance of law and order, are but premonitions of the fate which awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.”

On January 30, 1835, in the midst of the “Bank War,” President Andrew Jackson survived an assassination attempt when a bearded man, Richard Lawrence, fired two pistols at him at point blank range.

For some reason the guns misfired. Davy Crockett, who was with the President, wrestled the assailant down and disarmed him.

When King William IV of England heard of the incident, he wrote expressing his concern. President Jackson wrote back:

“A kind of Providence had been pleased to shield me against the recent attempt upon my life, and irresistibly carried many minds to the belief in a superintending Providence.”

On December 7, 1835, in his 7th Annual Message, President Andrew Jackson stated:

“We have felt but one class of these dangers exhibited in the contest waged by the Bank of the United States…

The Bank is, in fact, but one of the fruits of a system at war with the genius of all our institutions,…whose great ultimate object and inevitable result…is the consolidation of all power in our system in one central government.

Lavish public disbursements and corporations with exclusive privileges would be its substitutes for the original…checks and balances of the Constitution…

Wherever this spirit has effected an alliance with political power, tyranny and despotism have been the fruit…It has to be incessantly watched, or it corrupts…

All history tells us that a free people should be watchful of delegated power, and should never acquiesce in a practice which will diminish their control over it.”

On December 5, 1836, in his 8th Annual Message, President Andrew Jackson stated:

“It was in view of these evils, together with the dangerous power wielded by the Bank of the United States and its repugnance to our Constitution, that I was induced to exert the power conferred upon me by the American people to prevent the continuance of that institution…

The lessons taught by the Bank of the United States cannot well be lost upon the American people. They will take care never again to place so tremendous a power in irresponsible hands.”

On March 4, 1837, in his Farewell Address, President Jackson stated:

“The distress and alarm which pervaded and agitated the whole country when the Bank of the United States waged war upon the people in order to compel them to submit to its demands cannot yet be forgotten…

The Government would have passed from the hands of the many to the hands of the few, and this organized money power from its secret conclave would have dictated the choice of your highest officers and compelled you to make peace or war, as best suited their own wishes.

The forms of your Government might for a time have remained, but its living spirit would have departed from it.”

Jackson continued:

“The distress… inflicted on the people by the Bank are some of the fruits of that system of policy which is continually striving to enlarge the authority of the Federal Government beyond the limits fixed by the Constitution…

The power which moneyed interest can exercise, when concentrated under a single head and with our present system of currency, was sufficiently demonstrated in the struggle made by the Bank of the United States…

The paper-money system and its natural associations – monopoly and exclusive privileges – have already struck their root too deep in the soil, and it will require all your efforts to check its further growth and to eradicate the evil.”

Andrew Jackson continued:

“The men who profit by the abuses and desire to perpetuate them will continue to besiege the halls of legislation in the General Government…and will seek by every artifice to mislead and deceive the public servants…

You have no longer any cause to fear danger from abroad; your strength and power are well known throughout the civilized world…

It is from within, among yourselves – from cupidity, from corruption…and inordinate thirst for power – that factions will be formed and liberty endangered.

It is against such designs, whatever disguise the actors may assume, that you have especially to guard yourselves…

Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race.

May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations, make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed, and enable you, with pure hearts and hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time, the great charge He has committed to your keeping.”

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They both died on the same day… via American Minute

Bill Federer

Both served in the Continental Congress and both signed the Declaration of Independence.Both served as U.S. Ministers in France.

One was elected the 2nd President and the other the 3rd.Once political enemies, they became close friends in later life.


An awe swept America when they both died on the same day, JULY 4, 1826, exactly 50 years since they signed the Declaration of Independence.

Their names were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

John Quincy Adams, son ofJohn Adams, was the 6th President at the time and told Congress, December 5, 1826:

“Since your last meeting at this place, the 50th anniversary of the day when our independence was declared…

two of the principal actors in that solemn scene – the HAND that penned the ever-memorable Declaration and the VOICE that sustained it in debate -

were by one summons, at the distance of 700 miles from each other, called before the Judge of All to account for their deeds done upon earth.”

John Quincy Adams wrote in an Executive Order, July 11, 1826:

“A coincidence…so wonderful gives confidence…that the patriotic efforts of these…men were Heaven directed, and furnishes a new…hope that the prosperity of these States is under the special protection of a kind Providence.”

Jefferson described Adamsas: “the pillar of the Declaration’s support on the floor of Congress, its ablest advocate and defender.”

Defending the Declaration,John Adams told the Continental Congress, July 1, 1776:

“Before God, I believe the hour has come…

All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it…

Live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration.

It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and Independence for ever!”

John Adams stated, June 21, 1776:

“Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.

The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People…they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.”

Inscribed on theJefferson Memorial on the south banks of Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin, are Jefferson’swords:

“Almighty God hath created the mind free…

All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…

No man…shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion…


God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?

Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

In the last letter Jefferson wrote, he told Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826:

“The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them.”

The last words of John Adams were:

“Thank God, Jefferson lives!”

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Declaration of Independence – What price did Signers pay? via American Minute

Bill Federer

The Declaration of Independence was approved JULY 4, 1776.It listed abuses of King George III, age 38, such as:

“He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone…

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies…

To subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution…

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us…

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury…

For…establishing…an Arbitrary government…

For…altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments…

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny…

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions…”

33-year-old Thomas Jefferson’s original rough draft of the Declaration contained a line condemning slavery:

“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself…in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither…

suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce determining to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold.”

A few delegates objected, and as the Declaration needed to pass unanimously and time was running short with the British invading New York, the line condemning slavery was unfortunately omitted.


John Hancock, the 39-year-old President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration first, reportedly saying “the price on my head has just doubled.”

Next to sign was Secretary, Charles Thomson, age 47.


70-year-old Benjamin Franklin said:

“We must hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.

The Declaration referred to God:

“Laws of Nature and ofNature’s God

All Men are created equal, that they are endowed by theirCreator with certain unalienable Rights…

Appealing to theSupreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions…”

“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.”

Many of the 56 signers sacrificed their prosperity for their posterity.

Of the Signers:

17 served in the military,
11 had their homes destroyed;
5 were hunted and captured; and
9 died during the war.

27-year-old George Walton signed, and at the Battle of Savannah was wounded and captured.

Signers Edward Rutledge, age 27, Thomas Heyward, Jr., age 30, and Arthur Middleton, age 34, were made prisoners at the Siege of Charleston.

38-year-old signer Thomas Nelson had his home used as British headquarters during the siege of Yorktown. Nelson reportedly offered five guineas to the first man to hit his house.

Signer Carter Braxton, age 40, lost his fortune during the war.

42-year-old signer Thomas McKean wrote that he was “hunted like a fox by the enemy, compelled to remove my family five times in three month.”

46-year-old Richard Stockton signed and was dragged from his bed at night and jailed.

50-year-old signer Lewis Morris had his home taken and used as a barracks.

50-year-old signer Abraham Clark had two sons tortured and imprisoned on the British starving ship Jersey.

More Americans died on British starving ships than died in battle during the Revolution.

53-year-old signer John Witherspoon’s son, James, was killed in the Battle of Germantown.

60-year-old signer Philip Livingston lost several properties to British occupation and died before the war ended.

63-year-old signer Francis Lewis had his wife imprisoned and treated so harshly, she died shortly after her release.

65-year-old signer John Hart had his home looted and had to remain in hiding, dying before the war ended.

41-year-old John Adams wrote of the Declaration:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary Festival.

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

John Adams continued:

“You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not.

I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.

Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.

And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

When 54-year-old Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said:

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

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‘Don’t Give Up the Ship’ – Captain James Lawrence via American Minute

 Bill Federer

When Jefferson became President, the Muslim Pasha of Tripoli demanded $225,000 in tribute or else he would attack American ships.When Jefferson refused and the Pasha declared war.

Jefferson stated in his First Annual Message, December 8, 1801:

“Tripoli…of the Barbary States…permitted itself to (announce) war on our failure to comply…

The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean…

We are bound with peculiar gratitude to be thankful to Him that our own peace has been preserved through a perilous season.”

Jefferson had previously met with Tripoli’s ambassador in 1786 and asked what America had done to offend Muslims. Jefferson recorded his response:

“The ambassador answered us that it was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.”

Jefferson arranged for John Paul Jones to fight for Catherine the Great of Russia against the Muslim Ottoman navy in 1788.

When the U.S.S. Philadelphia was captured by Tripoli in 1803, Jefferson sent in the Navy and the Marines, led by Commander Edward Preble, General William Eaton, Lieut. Stephen Decatur, and Lieut. Presley O’Bannon.

Captain James Lawrence fought Muslim Barbary pirates in 1804.

These victories are remembered in the Marine hymn “…to the shores of Tripoli.”

Later, during the War of 1812, Captain James Lawrence commanded the U.S.S. Hornet and captured the privateer Dolphin and theH.M.S. Peacock.

President James Madison wrote May 25, 1813:

“The brilliant achievements of our infant Navy, a signal triumph has been gained by Captain Lawrence…in the Hornet sloop of war…

The contest in which the United States are engaged appeals…to the sacred obligation of transmitting…to future generations that…which is held…by the present from the goodness of Divine Providence.”

On JUNE 1, 1813, 31-year-old Captain James Lawrence sailed his 38-gun frigate U.S.S. Chesapeake out of Boston’s Harbor.

His ship was suddenly attacked by the British ship Shannon.

For over an hour, the 38-gun Chesapeake fired away, hitting the Shannon 158 times, but the Shannon hit theChesapeake 362 times, killing nearly every American officer.

As Captain James Lawrence lay dying on the deck theChesapeake, his last words were “Don’t Give Up The Ship!”

Theodore Roosevelt wrote in Hero Tales from American History, 1895:

“Lawrence, dying with the words on his lips, ‘Don’t give up the ship’ and Perry…with the same words blazoned on his banner…won glory in desperate conflicts and left a reputation hardly dimmed.”

Captain Oliver Hazard Perry was so inspired by this display of courage that he named his flagship on Lake ErieU.S.S. Lawrence.

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White Slaves-Muslim Masters & Barbary Wars

American Minute with Bill FedererFEB. 16 – White Slaves-Muslim Masters & the Barbary Wars
  
“The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco,” stated President Obama in Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009.
Explaining this, Governor William Bradford wrote that in 1625, a Pilgrim ship was returning to England with dried fish and 800 lbs of beaver skins to trade for supplies:
“They…were well within the England channel, almost in sight of Plymouth. But…there she was unhapply taken by a Turkish man-
of-war and carried off to Morocco where the captain and crew were made slaves.”
Muslim pirates of Morocco raided European coasts and carried away over a million to the North African slave markets, where also they sold tens of millions of Africans into slavery.
In 1627, Algerian Muslim pirates, led by Murat Reis the Younger, raided Iceland, and carried 400 into slavery.
One captured girl, who had been made a slave concubine in Algeria, was rescued back by King Christian IV of Denmark.
On June 20, 1631, the entire village of Baltimore, Ireland, “The Stolen Village,” was captured by Muslim pirates.
Only two ever returned. Thomas Osborne Davis wrote in his poem, “The Sack of Baltimore” (1895):
“The yell of ‘Allah!’ breaks above the shriek and roar;
O’blessed God! the Algerine is lord of Baltimore.”
Kidnapped Englishman Francis Knight wrote:
“I arrived in Algiers, that city fatal to all Christians and the butchery of mankind.”
Moroccan Sultan Moulay Ismail had 500 wives and forced 25,000 white slaves to build his palace at Meknes. He was witnessed to have killed an African slave just to try out a new hatchet he was given.
The Catholic Order “Trinitarians” collected alms to ransom slaves.
In 1785, Morocco recognized the new country of the United States by capturing two American ships and demanding tribute.
Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Jay, 1787:
“There is an order of priests called the Mathurins, the object of whose institution is to beg alms for the redemption of captives.
They keep members always in Barbary, searching out the captives of their country, and redeem, I believe, on better terms than any other body, public or private.
It occurred to me, that their agency might be obtained for the redemption of our prisoners at Algiers.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Carmichael, 1786:
“Mr. Adams and I had conferences with a Tripoline ambassador, named Abdrahaman. He asked us thirty thousand guineas for a peace with his court.”
Jefferson reported to John Jay,” March 28, 1786:
“The Ambassador answered us that it was…written in their Qur’an, that all nations who should not have acknowledged Islam’s authority were sinners, that it was their…duty to make war upon them…and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners.”
Jefferson purchased a Qur’an to understand the enemy.
Despite paying nearly 20 percent of the U.S. Federal budget as extortion payments, the Muslims continued their piracy.
When Jefferson became President, he finally sent in the U.S. Marines to stop Morocco’s Barbary pirates.
In his First Annual Message, December 8, 1801, Thomas Jefferson stated:
“Tripoli…of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to (announce) war on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer.
I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean, with assurances to that power of our sincere desire to remain in peace, but with orders to protect our commerce against the threatened attack. “
On December 29, 1803, the new 36-gun USS Philadelphia ran aground on Morocco’s shallow coast and Muslim pirates captured and imprisoned Captain William Bainbridge and his 307 man crew for 18 months.
To prevent the ship from being used by the Muslim Barbary pirates, Lieut. Stephen Decatur, FEBRUARY 16, 1804, sailed his ship, the Intrepid, into the pirate harbor of Tripoli, burned the captured U.S. frigate “Philadelphia” and escaped amidst enemy fire. British
Admiral Horatio Nelson called it the “most bold and daring act of the age,”
The Marines later captured Tripoli and forced the Pasha to make peace on U.S. terms.
Frederick Leiner wrote in The End of the Barbary Terror-America’s 1815 War Against the Pirates of North Africa (Oxford University Press):
“Commodore Stephen Decatur and diplomat William Shaler withdrew to consult in private…The Algerians were believed to be masters of duplicity, willing to make agreements and break them as they found convenient.”
The annotated John Quincy Adams-A Bibliography, compiled by Lynn H. Parsons (Westport, CT, 1993, p. 41, entry#194), contains “Unsigned essays dealing with the Russo-Turkish War and on Greece,” published in The American Annual Register for 1827-28-29 (NY: 1830):
“Our gallant Commodore Stephen Decatur had chastised the pirate of Algiers…The Dey (Omar Bashaw)…disdained to conceal his intentions;
 Get the book, What Every American Needs to Know About the Qur’an-A History of Islam & the United States
‘My power,’ said he, ‘has been wrested from my hands; draw ye the treaty at your pleasure, and I will sign it; but beware of the moment, when I shall recover my power, for with that moment, your treaty shall be waste paper.'”
America’s war with the Muslim Barbary Pirates was the country’s first war after the Revolution, giving rise to the Marine Anthem:
“From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.”
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