I was called on Tuesday to speak to the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee concerning opposition to an Article V Constitutional Convention (and yes, it is a Constitutional Convention). Convention of States proponent Michael Farris was brought in to also speak to the committee. Various people from South Carolina voiced their opposition and I concur with what many of them had to say. The issue of an Article V Convention concerns many of us. Obviously, there is a concern of a runaway convention, just like in 1789, but more to the point is the fact that people actually believe they can curb tyranny with mere words on a piece of paper. This is what I sought to address.
The following is my very quick response, which because of time, I had to put together on the floor in the hallway before the meeting. I did make a few points along the way that are not contained in my notes, but I do hope they will cause people to think about how they are seeking to address tyranny in government. We will never deal with tyranny in government until we bring justice to bear on those that are tyrannical and those who are complicit in their tyranny.
When the Pilgrims arrived in America, they formed the Mayflower Compact, a mission statement of how their culture and their government was to exist. That compact stated clearly that they settled for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.
America began as an explicitly Christian nation, in culture and government. Years later, she continued to exist until the period following the Revolutionary War. At that time, she abandoned her first "constitution," the Articles of Confederation. According to the Articles of Confederation, it required unanimous consent of all 13 states in order to amend the document. However, even though delegates had instructions from their states not to do anything but amend the Articles of Confederation, they chose to go the route of rewriting in secret, without any press coverage, a new constitution, one that allowed for 3/4 of the states to ratify to become binding.
At the time of the convention, Patrick Henry, that man we love to quote as saying, "Give me liberty or give me death" declared, "I smell a rat."
He knew that centralization of government would eventually lead to tyranny and time has demonstrated it to be true here in America.
When it comes to an Article V convention, there is much to be concerned over, since it is congress that calls the convention, not the states. According to Article V, the states petition congress (they request) and congress calls the convention.
I don't seek to judge men's motives, except for those who tell me there motives. However, let me say that I believe there are indeed patriots who wish to pursue an Article V convention, people who are fed up with government overstepping its bounds into their lives. They are sick of representatives who will not stand on their principles but will compromise in order to get things done (things I might add which are often unconstitutional and infringe on the rights of the people). Yet, Americans continue to elect them.
I received an email just this week from the vice president of a large conservative outlet with many websites who told me, "Join the fight for an Article V convention to fight against federal tyranny."
I have one question for anyone who can answer: When in all of human history have words stopped tyrants?
By definition, a tyrant is a lawless man and in our case we not only have one lawless man, we have many who are complicit in his lawlessness by their silence (not one article of impeachment). This is not new, the federal government has been ignoring the constitution for well over 150 years, Abraham Lincoln being the supreme usurper of the US Constitution.
Take a look at the Bill of Rights and tell me there are numerous laws on the books in the federal government that violate every one of them.
The only way to deal with tyranny is to bring justice upon it, something we have not done.
Or consider the Parental Rights Amendment. I understand this was mainly to combat documents from the United Nations, but tell me, where are we to be funding and housing the UN in the Constitution. It seems the remedy is clear: Stop funding them and remove them from US soil. The federal government is given no authority in the Constitution for dealing in the jurisdiction of the family, so why do we want to put language in there that can be twisted in the manner of the general welfare clause or the supremacy clause by evil men?
As for term limits, it sounds good, but doesn't solve the problem of an uninformed public that votes a party line or a popular name, having no idea what the person actually believes, does or there record (Consider what many learned afterwards about Barack Obama, or what many continue to be ignorant of concerning Mitt Romney). Further, it stifles those that do serve the people well from continuing to serve. Personally, I think for the sake of the people and the representatives, the people should allow them to serve one term and then remove them through elections for both of their safety.
The rightful remedy for federal tyranny, according to Jefferson is interposition and nullification. So far, we've seen South Carolina unable to pass a bill that was not nullification (we scrapped that because we wanted to keep more big government programs like Medicaid and Medicare), but simply sought to remove parts of Obamacare. If we won't do that, why should we trust an Article V convention where a plethora of amendments are already being drawn up, even an entirely new constitution?
The problem, again, is men without Christian character and morals.
While I don't believe our founders were all Christian men, I do think that most, at least with their mouths, made some form of appeal to Christian morality.
John Adams said that our Constitution was for a religious and moral people and that it was wholly inadequate to govern any other people. At that time, we were Christian.
George Washington in his famous farewell address said that no one could rightly call themselves a patriot if they sought to remove the indispensable pillars of religion and morality. Indeed! But whose morality? Whose religion?
I contest that America has abandoned her God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and has in His place substituted the government which has grown into a tyrannical beast as part of the judgment of God. Look around and see the wickedness of our nation. That will not be solved with amendments.
It will be solved when the Church first repents of her sin and those in government, who are a part of the Church, recognize their duty to God, the protection of those that do good and the punishment of evil doers according to Romans 13:1-5.
The answer is not an Article V convention which leftists, socialists and communists have been trying to bring about for more than 5 decades. The answer, I would humbly submit, is that we return and make our actions those that conform to "one nation under God," the God of the Bible, holding up His law, His punishments, and His justice.
Then we will again know what it is to rejoice under the leadership of the righteous. For now we are a people suffering under the wicked.
We have abandoned God's law, and as William Penn rightly said:
"Men will either be ruled by god or be ruled by tyrants."
Or as G K Chesterton aptly put it:
"If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments."
I oppose an Article V convention based on the historical record that we have had an amendment convention that resulted in an entirely new constitution and abandoned the mention of Christianity explicitly, with new parameters for ratification. I oppose it because amendments are not an answer to tyranny: justice and the return to the cries of the revolutionary period of "no King but King Jesus" are.
To view my comments, you can click here and select "Thursday, May 14, 2015 Upon adjournment of the House
House Judiciary Committee -- Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee." They begin around 1:29:00. Michael Farris speaks at around 8:00.