They even went so far as to swear an oath not to release any of their notes until after the last one died. It kind of makes you wonder what they were up to, doesn't it.
That was before the days of "freedom of the press." The First Amendment didn't arrive for another year or so.
Well today we've got the full story. All of their notes have been compiled into four volumes. They'll occupy almost six inches on your book shelf. Anybody can read them at the nearest library.
So what was the big deal? Scanning through the notes it all seems fairly mundane. But in those days it was actually quite radical.
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 produced the political foundation on which the civil government of the United States of America rests. It is the underpinning on which our society has been constructed. Until recently, Americans have enjoyed a long period of prosperity and ostensible freedom under the Constitution.
Many glowing accolades have been used to describe the United States Constitution. J. Edgar Hoover portrayed it as “rooted in wisdom, in common sense, and in stern practicality ... our most priceless inheritance – our bulwark against encroaching tyranny...strong, durable, marvelously workable.” Some have even gone so far as to describe the Constitution as possessing the marks of divine inspiration or “that Divinely-inspired constitutional document.”
The Federalist Argument
How did it all start? The Federalist leaders sought a consolidation of power in a unitary national government. Like Israel of old they yearned "to be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles" (I Sam. 8:20). According to the Federalists, the new nation had very nearly floundered in its experimentation with the two extremes in civil government – democracy and monarchy.
During much of the Revolutionary period from 1776 to 1787, the thirteen colonies were governed under the Articles of Confederation. The Federalists believed that the Articles lacked the necessary authority to effectively govern the nation.
For example, they complained that there was no executive branch under the Articles of Confederation. Furthermore, they pointed out the absence of a taxing power meant that General George Washington was constantly plagued with shortages of supplies and payroll for the Continental Army. These hindrances to Washington’s ability to field an effective fighting force almost cost the Americans the war.
The Federalists claimed that the colonies bickered constantly and erected trade barriers and tariffs, which further aggravated prices. They insisted that this perilous state of confusion and anarchy required a revision of the Articles of Confederation.
The AntiFederalist Argument
On the other side, the AntiFederalist impulse resisted any centralization of power at the national level. They claimed that the crisis was contrived to justify the consolidation of power. Admittedly, the Articles of Confederation may be weak. However, the colonies had just emerged after seven long, bloody years from the tyranny of an abusive monarchy. Consequently, they were very jealous of their newly won freedom and extremely hesitant to surrender any of it to a central government in a Constitutional Convention.
If the Articles were to be amended, the challenge was to strike a balance that would preserve state sovereignty, yet grant adequate power at the federal level to permit unified and coordinated action. The Constitution attempted to walk this delicate tightrope apart from God and His Word.
Instead, it became a model of John Locke's social contract. The social contract is a mere agreement among men to give up certain rights in order to allegedly protect other rights. Of infinitely greater importance than the structure of the document was the manner in which the new nation would now define its relationship to Jesus Christ – the King of kings.
The records clearly demonstrate that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were completely remiss in their obligation to Christ. Other than Franklin's request for daily prayer -- which was ignored by the Convention -- neither Christ nor the Bible are ever mentioned.
Neither had any bearing whatsoever on their deliberations nor on the product that they produced. Neither is mentioned in the Constitution, the 4-volume set of notes from the Constitutional Convention, nor in the Federalist Papers.
Led by James Madison, the Constitutional Convention presumptuously replaced the sacred covenant of their fathers with a secularized, social contract. "We the People", rather than God are the sovereign grantors of governing authority.
Beginning with the
American Civil War,
their descendants continue to pay the high price of neglecting God in the affairs of state. A nation neglects God at its peril. God will not be mocked. Click here for detailed analysis of the
American Civil War.
Patrick Henry had the oratory, but James Madison had the organization, and thus the votes. An eight vote margin to be precise. The Virginia Convention was decisive. Although it was not altogether obvious at the time, the Constitutional Convention drove the first nail in the coffin of American liberty.
Liberty under the law of God would now become increasingly an unrestrained, licentious "liberty of conscience." If the conscience is not informed by the Word of God it is just as evil as every other part of man's fallen nature.
The Bible does not coerce belief, nor permit civil government to do so. But under the new definition of liberty "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." And as we learn from the book of Judges, under this arrangement of unrestrained liberty anarchy eventually prevails.
The conflict was felt almost immediately in the party spirit of
With the religious test oath abolished by the Constitutional Convention, there was no fixed standard of righteousness on which the legal system could develop. Eventually, the
general welfare clause
was turned on its head and new
amendments neutered states' rights.
This is a form of historicism, from which the American civil religion is derived. Civil religion is the fusion of disparate belief systems under the “benevolent” power of the state on the assumption of a mutual obligation to natural law.
You Be The Founding Father
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What Other "Delegates" Have Said
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Amendment To The "No ReligiousTest" Clause
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