The View From 1776

Theocracy: the Origin of American Democracy

The nature of theocracy in the New England colonies is widely misunderstood.  Few recognize that the New England town meeting, the prototype of American institutions of democratic self-government, was nothing more than the governing process of each Congregational (Puritan) church community.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/29 at 05:45 PM
  1. While it is important to understand the basis for the government of our nation, too many believe that Conservatives want to return to the laws, customs and standards of long ago. Yet, it isn't the goal of Conservatives at all, but rather to return to the process by which change would occur. From 1776 to now, the process outlined in the Constitution involved the people. We have rules for legislation, and we have rules for amending both the State and U.S. Constitution. At no time were the Courts to be the instrument of change.

    Those early democracies became more and more diverse as the nation grew. As they grew diverse, they changed the culture, the laws, the customs, the Constitutions even, in some cases. The people did it, not the Courts. It is that concept of government "by the people," we need to return to.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/29  at  07:44 PM
  2. The Old World method of measuring human value was,
    and still is, by the group. Whether tribe, clan,
    city-state, color, ethnic, or gender, the Old
    World, ancient and modern, measures by the plural
    unit. Individuals had and have no value of them-
    selves but only as they were and are part of a
    collective.

    When Y'shua Jesus died on the cross, the veil of
    the Temple at the Holy of Holies parted from the
    top down. The individual believer in the congrega-
    tion had, for the first time, a face-to-face, one-
    on-one relation with his Creator. The Creator,
    Himself, had validated each individual for the
    first time.Thus, the Individual became the corner-
    stone for later human value measuring systems:
    socio-political, philosophical, religious, educa-
    tional, economic, etc., henceforth and forever.
    Western Civilization, America, English Law, civil
    Rights, the 'democratic' process, etc., all sprang
    from that single event. (Greco-Roman 'democracies'
    were 95% slave throughout their entire histories.)
    Biblical principles are still today the foundation
    under Western Civilization and the American way of
    life.

    Many social systems attempt to borrow ideas of
    "democracy" without the basic premise in The Indi-
    vidual. Such a system is only superficially and
    temporarily 'democratic.' The cornerstone of the
    democratic process is The Individual and the
    cornerstone of the value of The Individual is
    Y'shua Jesus! It is not possible to have one with-
    out the other. There is only One Source - there is
    no other.

    It is additionally interesting to note that all
    value measuring systems are based on the single
    definitive unit of the system. Ex: Number, Time,
    Distance, Weight, Heat, Money, Angle, Volume, etc.

    Only humanism makes the abusive error of measuring
    human value by the plural unit and attempts to
    build social structures, relations, and institu-
    tions thereon. Such man-made systems can only be
    abusive and oppressive because in reality there
    are only individual persons. Groups or collectives
    are merely convenient verbalizations about indi-
    viduals. They are not reality.

    I have yet to see a 'group.' All I have ever seen
    are individuals.Have you ever seen a group - or is
    it a verbal convenience? Reality is only in the
    individual person. And, such a validation never
    derived from a human source without the initiative
    of the Creator. (The French Rationalists of the
    18th Century favored the fruit - but rejected the
    branch, tree, and root.)

    Today, wherever Y'shua Jesus is rejected, the
    group or collective is still the basic way of
    measuring human value - or human non-value.

    We thank the Lord God for revealing His validation
    of each individual person. We thank Him for creat-
    ing each person uniquely, in His image, and call-
    ing each one to a courageous ascension by Y'shua
    Jesus, who said, "I AM the Way..."

    Praise the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
    His Son of Man, Y'shua Jesus.

    Reference: Exodus 25:30,40 Hebrews 9 Matthew 27:51
    Mark 15:38 Luke 23:45 KJV
    Posted by Choicemaker  on  07/30  at  09:08 AM
  3. The courts are not meant to institute change, Jan said. It is the duty of "the people" to bring about change, the Constitution says.

    Who are the people? Aren't they represented by elected officials and Congress?

    Often times the elected officials and Congress don't institute the change people want. Then it becomes a litigious affair and the courts step in. The courts are the means of last resort. If the courts have become activists like some people don't like is because the elected officials and Congress have been to timid to initiate the change people want.

    I think it is more about the "type" of changes the courts bring about, meaning that some people are not happy with certain changes, that is really the issue here. If the courts made the "right" changes, in their favor, then certain people would not get so worked up about it. It is the liberal changes that the courts have made that real upset some people. Now, if they were conservative changes, certain people wouldn't complain.

    In the early 19th century the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were artificial individuals (I'd like to discuss this issue more). That is a change Thomas Jefferson did not like (He wanted the United States to remain and an agrarian nation). Couldn't the Congress have reversed that ruling of The Court, like it can today, with legislation? Obviously "the people" were not to unhappy with that ruling.

    If the courts didn't make some of the necessary changes they would never happen in a civilized manner because "the people", left on their own, become complacent and lazy about it, forcing less desirable means of change, like violence. The courts force the issue through litigation. As somebody once said, "litigation creates civilization".
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/30  at  02:12 PM
  4. Most conservatives don't want things the same as far as laws go either, but they want the means for change to return to the "People." I would even say that some court rulings have been viewed as good rulings by the people but that doesn't change the fact that it wasn't Constitutional. We either follow the Constitution or amend it or do away with it. We shouldn't, however, ignore it.

    Congress can only do so much because it represents the people and congress can't change what the people won't allow it to change. It is why we are seeing such a difference between the House and Senate in immigration issues. One is up for election every two years, a very short time and not long enough for voters to forget bad legislation (in the eyes of the voter). Thus, you will see the House more responsive to the people in their districts than the Senate is to the state. There is also another reason. The House is truly local elections while the senate is the whole state where both the conservative and liberal districts are blended into one majority that the election pivots on. Often the cities carry the vote in state races while many districts reflect the rural and often more conservative vote.

    That difference is reflected then in what congress can do since a bill needs to pass though both the House and the Senate but the Court does neither. Instead it was to only rule on the Constitutionality of a law, not if it is fair or not. Yet, look at how the Court ruled Segregation as Constituional and overturned Congress who had legislated a ban on segregation. Thus, segregation stood for another 80 years until a new Court ruled the earlier Court in error.

    The majority, not the Court did away with slavery.
    The majority, not the Court gave women the vote
    The majority, not the Court gave 18 yr. olds the vote

    As Jefferson said,
    "The will of the majority [is] the natural law of every society [and] is the only sure guardian of the rights of man. Perhaps even this may sometimes err. But its errors are honest, solitary and short-lived.
    ==========================
    As it says, it may err, but its errors are honest, solitary and short-lived. Not so with the Court as we saw with 80 years of unenecessary segregation after the "will of the people" to ban it was overridden. And I might add, that "will" was expressed through Congress the very institution you think can overrule the Court. It acted as empowered by the 14th Amendment and yet, the Court destroyed the good that was being carried out.

    There was good reason that the 14th didn't give the Court the power the 14th gave to Congress. That reason was the Dred Scott decision and overturning of the Missouri Compromise, again a Compromise that had come from "the people" through Congress.

    Regarding the ruling on corporations, how would you rather they were viewed by law? As an individual they are accountable (supposed to be) to the same laws, standards, ethics and morals as any person. Would you have them exempt from that? Or, are you referring to something else.

    I will certainly agree many adminstrations haven't held them to the same standards as individuals, but that doesn't change the fact they were to be held to those standards. Also, the more we move to central government corporatism, the less that "we the people" have control over them in our cities and states. Does there need to be some centralization for "interstate and international commerce" as was called for in the Constitution? Yes, of course. But at the same time the State and city were not to be ignored and to be honest, in most cases haven't been.

    There has been abuse by and for corporations and there will be in the future. But, the biggest risk of abuse comes from a centralized government.

    David, you said,
    "Often times the elected officials and Congress don
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/30  at  04:12 PM
  5. John Adams said that our system was designed for a religious people and won't work for any other kind. True.

    At least two points are being lived-out in our Country today. Laws require minimal behavior - not maximum. Ethics and morality raise standards higher than law - and must be chosen by the individual in Freedom. Self-control. Most ethic and moral principle is Judeo-Christian, in the world and in America, and is even the main source for minimal law, itself.

    Today, the people of America are rejecting historical principles of ethics & morality without supplying a viable alternative - all in the name of "freedom." Remember; law requires less. Thus, the crime rate is rising and prison population is constantly increasing.

    In view of the fact, no one can make choices better than their pre-chosen criteria, the only real solution is obvious. Otherwise, it is and will be, all down-hill.

    "They are without excuse."

    semper fidelis
    vincit veritas
    a follower of The Lion of Judah
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  05/31  at  10:19 AM
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