Change Government – Know What Officials Swear to Uphold

Change Government
Know What Officials Swear to Uphold

By Bob Strodtbeck

The Covenant News ~ July 1, 2008

Only one Biblical moral principle applies to the constitutional offices throughout America’s government. That principle is found in the Old Testament book, Deuteronomy, in chapter 23: 21-23, “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you. However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you. You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God, what you have promised.”

Article VI of the US Constitution requires, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution;…” The Presidential oath requires, “…I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

For the respect of the secularist among us, Article VI also states, “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Consequently the judgment that God places upon one who violates a vow is a matter acceptance of Christian orthodoxy, and since all government officials in the US are required to vow to support the constitution, any Christian who violates the constitutional oath believes he/she is calling forth Divine judgment upon his/her loathsome soul.

Someone should tell the president.

Someone should also tell Dr. James Dobson.

Dr. Dobson recently challenged Democrat presidential nominee, Barrak Obama, for misapplying scripture and having a, “a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.” As for the scripture part, Dr. Dobson would have a hared time finding any American politician who has ever applied the Bible properly, and if Dr. Dobson is going to challenge Obama for his interpretation of the Constitution, he would do well to assault the entire Democrat-Republican political system—with the exception of Ron Paul.

Politically active Christians seem more preoccupied with using the power of government to enact their various agendas than they are with restoring the proper balance of powers that restrain illegitimate absorption of power. They have forgotten that the original temptation was that both Adam and Eve would have the knowledge and power of God if they ate of the tree of knowledge. Consequently, 21st century Christians have learned little more than first week humans.

America’s federal government, as established in the US Constitution, manages a union of states from which power to control or veto the federal government’s actions resides within the will of the state legislatures to do so. Consider that when the Constitution was ratified the state legislatures chose the Senate (Article I, Section 3). Through the Senate, the states subsequently held influence over impeachment (ibid.), ratification of treaties and trade agreements with foreign countries, approval of presidential appointees, and passage on the establishment of federal courts (Article II, Section 2).

Congressional districts and the rules for electing representatives are to be set by state legislatures. The Constitution even puts the state legislatures in control over how electors to the Electoral College are to be chosen (Article II, Section 1). Note need be taken, especially as Dr. Dobson is wringing his hands over the theological and constitutional views of Mr. Obama, that America has a President of the United States, not a President of the Citizens of the United States. Maybe the two year duration of the presidential campaign would be dramatically reduced if the state legislatures reasserted their control over the selection of electors to the Electoral College.

In fact, until 1909 the federal government operating revenues from state legislatures (leaving tariffs on imported goods the only source of direct taxation by the federal government), but then the 16th Amendment allowed the federal government to bypass our state capitals to take up residence in our pockets through the income tax.

Except for changes in the selection of the Senate, which came in 1913 by the 17th Amendment, and the adoption of the income tax, state legislatures can still hold a great amount of influence over what comes out of the federal government.

The quadrennial fear mongering over how either the next Republican or Democrat president is going to destroy the republic really pales in comparison with the real damage caused by the abject ignorance with which the voting public understands the law that is designed to restrict the power of government. With all due respect to Dr. Dobson, he could devote quite a bit of time informing his supporters and listeners to the text of the US Constitution and how the balance of powers between the states and federal government could help to limit the damage one individual president could cause to the nation and its culture.

Instead, it seems, anyone with a following uses their influence to support a bipolar political system that has converted a union of free states into little more than a populace to be fattened for a political slaughter every four years.

Dr. Dobson has done much to bring attention to the importance of marriage and families to the stability of this country, and his efforts are supported here. The strength of a marriage is no greater than the honor of husbands and wives for their vows—just as the commitment to public service of an American government officials is no better than their vow to, “…preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

I know that Dr. Dobson would not advocate that a couple enter into marriage without proper counseling on the commitment so involved. However his eagerness to critique the constitutional insight of one candidate without doing the same of the entire political system and eschew an in depth review of the Constitutional institutions and principles is akin to presiding over a wedding while allowing the groom to keep his mistress waiting in the parking lot with her engine running.

Bob Strodtbeck has been writing commentaries for a news weekly circulated in a community 10 miles north of Orlando, since 1993. He currently lives in Orlando. He may be reached for comment here.

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