We the People

The far right has stolen the Constitution. It is ours to take back.


| May-June 2011



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David Gothard / www.davidgothard.com

In October I spent a crisp Saturday in the windowless basement of a suburban Virginia church attending a seminar titled “The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution.” I was told that the Constitution is based on the Law of Moses; that Mosaic law was brought to the West by the ancient Anglo-Saxons, who were probably the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel; and that the Constitution restores the fifth-century kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons.

The instructor, an Arizona judge named Lester Pearce, also declared that virtually all of modern American life and government is unconstitutional. Social Security, the Federal Reserve, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, hate crime laws—all flatly violate God’s law. State governments are not required to observe the Bill of Rights, and the First Amendment establishes “the religion of America,” which is “nondenominational” Christianity.

Pearce’s brother is Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, author of the anti-immigrant law SB 1070. So it wasn’t surprising that Lester tended to digress about how he cracks down on Mexican immigrants in court. More astounding was that he had the rapt attention of 50 attendees—earnest citizens who had come to learn about their country’s Constitution.

And what they were being taught was poisonous rubbish.

 

Americans today are frightened and disoriented. In the midst of uncertainty, they are turning to the Constitution for tools to deal with crisis. The far right is responding to this demand by feeding their fellow citizens mythology and lies.

pamela jones
5/26/2011 10:32:08 PM

I am no scholar and having not paid much close attention to politics until recently, I believe I have the perspective of the frog who hasn't been sitting in the pot of boiling water while it gradually warmed up. I've taken a shocking dip into a maelstrom of insanity on both extremes. Why waste time hurling insults and focusing on the extremes that the media so loves to exploit. We are behaving like children while our way of life is drastically changing for the worse. We bounce from Democrat to Republican but think about the steady course of events irregardless of party in majority. Destruction of our currency, constant war, and the steady demise of the hard-working torch bearers of common sense of our culture--the middle class. From my perspective of working in the public health sector the past four years, my eyes have been opened and my politics changed. Please believe me when I say the Medicare system is a corrupt theft of tax monies supposed to help the needy. The layers of government and corporate bureaucracy keep growing yet cuts on services are rampant. This system DOES NOT WORK. Please look further than the cliches bounced back and forth and educate yourself as to where your tax dollars are being spent and then ask yourself what do you stand for? It is time to Really Look at Things squarely and courageously. No true change will occur until this happens on a wide scale. Things are really even worse than they seem, we don't have time to fight among ourselves.


issai chizen
5/19/2011 1:47:30 PM

This is one of the most important issues facing citizens today. Our government has been hijacked by people who do not even adequately represent the interests and views of most conservatives. I keep thinking of Justice Hugo Black. He was a social conservative from Alabama, who at one point even belonged to the Klan. He called himself a strict constructionist, by which he meant someone who took the Constitution at face value according to Luther's sensus literalis. He was an originalist, and yet he was part of the majority in some of the most important "liberal" decisions of the 20th Century, including Brown v. Board of Ed, Engel v. Vitale (outlawing formal, organized school prayer), and Miranda v. Arizona. How difficult is the document to read? Any reasonably intelligent person would be able to understand it, altghough it might require more than one quick reading to digest its implications. But our ignorance as a people of our fundamental law costs us mightily. At least three wars (and dozens of hostile military actions) have been fought in my lifetime outside the war-making provisions of the Constitution. The executive branch, in using executive orders, has expanded its power far beyond that intended by the separation of powers. It has turned the executive branch into a parallel legislature where law is made by presidential fiat. The result has been a government that is neither controlled by nor responsive to the electorate, except in the most superficial way.


bob bennett
4/22/2011 2:01:50 PM

Bad Supreme Court decisions have helped to divide this nation. The intent of the constitution, along with supporting documentation, is to prevent the government from abusing the people. Currently, abuse of the people by the government (federal, state, and local) is common. Many of these abuses are the result of bad Supreme Court decisions, even though some may appear brillant at first glance. Some abuses are the result of closed minded politicans, from both left and right, who believe select elites are entitled to greater protection under the law than the people. Miranda v. Arizona which forces counties to pay for pulic defenders for those accused of misdemeanor crimes, the first of the unfunded mandates is among the worse. At first glance it is fine, but the county paid attorneys, who are overworked, tend to believe anything a defendant says is a lie, while everything an office says is the unvarnished truth. The truth often lies in the middle somewhere, but since they don't have time to speak to defendants, all are assumed guilty and they often encouraged to admit guilt in order to get outr of jail. After more than 30 years of this going unchallenged, most urban youth believe the justice system is nothing more than a crock. Challenges to State bar associations are routinely dismissed without any investigation what so ever. Meanwhile the left argues that the people only have the rights government workers allow them to have, while the right wants the rich to rule.


shirley hodge
4/22/2011 11:06:36 AM

One pertinent point that I did not find in this article is the number of Americans who actually believe this rubbish and why. The number of activists seeking to convert the Constitution to their own ends and beliefs is relatively small. The real danger lies in the fact that the public school systems in this country are failing so badly that students graduate high school with no tools for logical or rational thinking. The so-called rationale of right-wing thinking is based on an assumption that the mythological superstitions of the belief system, Christianity is the reasoning which the writers of the Constitution used when forming our legal system and therefore the rules and regs of the aforementioned belief system are valid wnen applied to Constitutional law even to the point of overturning Constitutional law in favor of Christian thinking. To the educated mind, capable of rational, logical thinking this mishmash is obviously unadulterated crap but given a population of poorly educated victims of our public school system who are not capable of discerning the errors in the thinking of right-wing nut-cases, such purported rationales seem viable for no other reason than they are simplistic and require no logical or rational thinking to understand. From this writer's viewpoint this problem is not going to go away unless and when our schools start teaching students to actually think, make decisions based on reality and logical observation. This seems to be a pipe-dream, Alas!