Sam Rohrer: Just a few days from now, September 17 to be exact, that is Constitution Day, and we’ll observe it. 232 years ago on that day, September 17, 1787, the United States constitution was signed in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The constitutional convention that ended in that process started several months before that in May of 1787 in the same building in which was the state house for the then Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This meeting of delegates there at that meeting of our early nation was but one part of a really miraculous birth of a new nation, one that William Penn referred to as a holy experiment in self-government under God.
Holy because it was based on God’s principles, experiment because it had never really been done before. Well, over time, the details and the substance of this gathering and the contents of this document called the U.S. Constitution has been recognized by many as the most inspiring, the most enduring and life changing document outside the Bible that’s been ever written. Although it’s been lost, a lot of it ignored, some cases changed slightly. We’re going to talk about some of that today, but now, the very essence of this document is under attack by every anti-God, anti-freedom ideology from Marxism to socialism to communism to Islam.
They all hate this document. Today on this program with our special and recurring guests, David New, who is a constitutional attorney, he’s an author. He’s a historian and a speaker as well, and, again, not a stranger to this program, for those of you who are listening. We’re going to step back just a bit, focus on the essentials and share some little known history of our beloved constitution. Our theme for today, celebrating the constitution. Again, we’re doing that at this point just because not too many days from now will be the day 232 years ago that this document was signed and adopted.
With that introduction, let me welcome you to Stand in the Gap today. I’m Sam Rohrer. I’ll be joined by Dr. Gary Dull in addition to our special guest, David New. Now, David, before I come and ask you to get involved, as we listen to your experience and wisdom, I want to give just a little bit of a background of this setting that really we’re reflecting back on here September 17 next week. It was at that event that a group of men in a closed meeting room signed the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution, and build upon the provisions and the vision of divine rights coming from a creator God with the necessity of a submission to God as the great judge of the universe, as was recognized and signed by 56 signers in 1776.
We call that the declaration of independence. It was Benjamin Franklin who at 81 years of age, then 11 years after the declaration of independence was signed, made the motion to sign this document called the United States Constitution. Now, as I mentioned, ladies and gentlemen, the constitution, the convention was started in May, 1787 in the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall, we call it now. During four months of deliberations, the delegates drew up a plan for a new form of Republican government to replace a weak central government that was established by the articles of confederation.
George Washington was present. He presided over this and great minds of the day that we recognize them, James Madison, James Wilson, Governor Morris, and for a while, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. They were critical in this entire process. Now, absent at the day of signing were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams. John Hancock is interesting. They were not there, but on September 17, the group met one last time to conclude the business in Philadelphia to agree on how the constitution would be sent to the Confederation of Congress there. Then start the ratification process with the states.
Now at that point in time, Franklin was the last one to sign the document, making it official. They then as a body entered in what’s called Final Sine Die. That’s a Latin word to say it’s the final session. They concluded its work. They handed the document over to future generations with the obligation to protect it, to defend it, to support the provisions that God had given of these rights now becoming a model to the world.
David, I gave a little bit of a background because this was an enormously important event. We could say a whole lot more about it, but in simple terms from a legal perspective, describe in a general sense, what is the purpose for a national constitution generally and then specifically the U.S. Constitution in terms of function, authority, the importance in law, all of that kind of thing? Put it together. Why is a constitution so important and why is our U.S. Constitution even perhaps more important?
David New: Well, I liked your introduction. I thought it was excellent. Without question outside of the authors of the Bible, except for them, the 39 people that are the most important people in the history of western civilization and positively the world are the 39 signers of the constitution. That’s how important that document is. That is an earth changing document without question. The U.S. Constitution, basically, if you were to go to a dictionary like Webster’s, it’ll say something like this, “The basic principles and laws of a nation or a state or a group that determines the powers and duties of the government, and guarantees certain rights to the people in it.”
That’s what a constitution is. It guarantees our rights. Perhaps one of the larger misconceptions about the U.S. Constitution is that it grants us rights. It does not. It only guarantees the rights that we already have. That is a very common misunderstanding about the constitution. Another misunderstanding outside of that, the constitution is about government. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about government. It’s we the people. It’s our government, but it’s basically about government.
To give an example, supposing somebody broke into your home without your permission, went into your house, took some of your personal property, some of your papers, and then left. None of your constitutional rights have been violated. Nothing, but now change one fact. Suppose a U.S. Marshall broke into your home, went through your papers and documents and took something out. He did it without a warrant, or she did it without a warrant. Then your constitutional rights have been violated, because the basic thrust of the constitution is to control, restrict and limit the powers of government.
The government is to get certain more powers, but it is still a limited government.
Sam Rohrer: David, that is excellent. Ladies and gentlemen, just keep that in mind. The constitution is about government and controlling the power and the excesses of government and enshrouding our God given rights, not any kind of rights as coming from the constitution or government. Fundamental.
Well, welcome back to Stand in the gap. I’m Sam Rohrer, accompanied today by Gary Dull and our special recurring guest, David New, who is a constitutional attorney, author, speaker and historian among other things. David, I’m being generous to you. You have a lot that you have, and we’re talking today about the constitution, our theme celebrating the constitution. We’ve decided to do this because just four days from now, next Tuesday of next week, September 17 is the day, 232 years ago when the United States Constitution was officially signed and concluded.
The group that put it together was disbanded turning that document over to the legislative process to begin functioning as the highest civil law of our nation. There was a letter to Charles Yancey that Thomas Jefferson wrote. Some of you all may remember this. He said this, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” The quote was in relation to the observation that there is no nation that can remain civilly free if the citizens don’t know the basis of freedom and that that civil freedom comes from God.
In a poll taken 10 years ago, that less than one third of American adults could recognize the bill of rights. Last year, another poll according to a survey of 2000 adults conducted by a market research One Poll, it was found that most Americans lack basic knowledge of what rights are and what rights are specifically protected in the Bill of Rights, and even how many amendments are included in what we know as the Bill of Rights. In fact, only 26% even knew how many amendments make up the Bill of Rights.
Do you know? Well, there are 10 by the way. Another astounding finding was that about half of those surveyed believed that liberty and the words, the pursuit of happiness, are specifically included in the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment. Now, think about that. 20% were not even familiar at all with the Bill of Rights, didn’t even recognize that. Based on these facts, are we in a good position to keep our freedom in America? I don’t think so. We rather are very ignorant and on a fast track, I’m going to say, to slavery.
It’s exactly what Jefferson wrote to Yancey. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be,” but the constitution that we have today, ladies and gentlemen, is a little different, in fact, than what was signed 232 years ago next Tuesday. David, I want to start right off in this segment and the next. Start taking us down this road a little bit of this journey if we could do that way from the standpoint of this.
There were in existence state constitutions that predated that constitution signed 232 years ago, such as the one in Pennsylvania where I served in the legislature here. There are a lot of similarities, but put together how those preexisting state or colony constitutions factored into what was ultimately adopted in Philadelphia in 1787
David New: Well, the first basic difference between the state constitution and the U.S. federal constitution is the kind of governments they created. In the state constitution, the government can do anything and go anywhere because the people have direct control over that constitution. It’s not limited in any way. The federal constitution is a limited government. It grants only limited powers, and whatever powers not granted to the federal government are automatically reserved to the state governments. That’s the key difference.
That’s why the U.S. constitution has a little over 40,000 words in it. The average size of the state constitution is over 30,000 words. The First Amendment religion clauses are only 16 words, 16 words. Their religion clauses in the state constitution averaged over 160 words. That’s where the power is supposed to reside in a state is in the state constitution. It is not supposed to reside in the federal government. The federal government has a limited role, limited responsibilities, and whatever’s not granted to the federal government belongs to the state.
Gary Dull: David, I’m holding in my hand right now the constitution of the United States. I keep it in this studio and often get out and read it. It’s all marked up. It’s a precious document. The longest lasting constitution, as I understand, as it relates to a federal constitution around the world. As I look at this constitution, I am reminded of the fact that there is a journey that actually led our founding fathers to this particular point. Now, a part of that journey did include, no doubt, some of the state constitutions.
Another part of that journey would have included the declaration of independence, but are there some other progressions along the way that we can go back and talk about a little bit that actually led us to where we have this constitution in our hands today?
David New: Absolutely. John Locke is very important. Montesquieu is very important. Blackstone is very important. All of these people were people that early America law schools spent a great deal of time studying and investing. They help enlighten what the U.S. Constitution means, and so the U.S. Constitution is an amazing… It’s an amazing document, and we are in great danger of losing it. In fact, in many respects, we already have lost it. The issue is not are in danger of losing the constitution. The real danger is or the real issue is how do we get it back because we’ve lost control over it to the U.S. Supreme Court?
Sam Rohrer: Well, David, that’s interesting. I want to build up further on what Gary was saying because we’re talking about progression, and you went way back to Locke and Montesque and Blackstone. As you’re saying, a lot of those principles were built into the various state constitutions. Then from that then as you’re saying, it went to the federal, the federal being very limited and limiting what the federal government could do because that was the concern of the states. Yet, the state constitutions would really allow them to do whatever those States want to do. I think that’s a big distinction.
Now, when we go into that, there have been some changes to that constitution that was adopted there on 1787. Can you identify a point in time when that constitution as compared to what we have now experienced or underwent a significant change? A little bit about it. What happened?
David New: The constitution of 1787 in a real sense of the word has already been superseded by the constitution of 1868. After the Civil War, the United States passed three amendments. The 13th amendment in 1865 ended slavery. The 14th amendment in 1868 guaranteed the civil rights of African Americans. The 15th amendment and 1870 guaranteed the right of African American men to vote. Women didn’t get it until the 19th amendment in 1920. Now, the 14th amendment is a good amendment. Four million Americans were protected from slavery and per perpetuity by the 14th amendment.
It basically reversed the Dred Scott decision. That’s what the 14th amendment does. It says that African Americans are citizens of the United States, and it reversed Dred Scott unfortunately. The 14th amendment is a milestone in Liberty, no question, but the way the Supreme Court has interpreted that amendment, the 14th amendment really is the amendment of the constitution we live under today because they have changed and reversed with the 14th amendment many of the principles in the 1787 constitution.
Sam Rohrer: Now, that’s quite a statement when you’re talking about that. I’m not going to want you to build that out, ladies and gentleman, because we are going to build that out, what David has said, the changes effected by the 14th amendment, which was a critically important amendment that reversed the whole slavery issue and gave rights to vote for African Americans and reflectively anybody who would be here from that perspective. That was a big deal, but as David was saying, it made other changes too.
Do you know what changes they made? David, just give us one here. Just right now, just touch on one right now that was [crosstalk 00:18:03].
David New: I think a very example that has… Now, everybody knows this program honors Jesus Christ. Everybody knows that all the hosts to the Stand in the Gap are individuals who are very much interested in seeing the influence of God in America far more than it is today. Let’s talk about a subject that has very little to do about religion. Take the subject of Bush v. Gore, the 2000 year case by the Supreme Court that decided the election of 2000. Under the 1868 constitution, that decision becomes possible. Under the 1787 constitution, that decision could have never occurred.
Sam Rohrer: All right, David, we’re going to have to rather than build it out, I want you to build that out a little bit more when we come into the next section.
While under a Judeo Christian world view, the truth is unchanging. We know that under that view it comes from God. It’s totally embodied within the character and nature of God manifested in the person of Jesus Christ. Now, that is truth under a biblical worldview. That aspect has been critical in the progression of human laws, and human laws have been a progression. Now, truth itself was established, but in human law, it has progressed. Here in Pennsylvania, William Penn, 1682, laid out a frame of government as he called it, which really became an integral set of principles that found its way into a lot of the early constitutions of the states and to the federal.
He said this, he said, one, he said, “There is hardly one framework of government in the world so poorly designed by its founders that in good hands could not function well enough. The history of the Romans and the Jewish dates tells us that even though in the best framework of government in bad hands, bad people in government that that government can do nothing good or anything great.” He said that submission to God’s divine law was critical for both the citizens and those in authority if freedom was to endure, and simply put, I put out there before you, that is the biggest threat to our freedoms today are ideologies that undercut that.”
David, let’s go back on that. With that as a preface, tell us more now just about the constitution prior to the 14th amendment and changes made. You started down that road, didn’t have time to build it out, but compare-contrast 1787 constitution to post-14th amendment 1868 constitution, which is really what we have before us right now.
David New: Again, the 14th amendment was passed in 1868. It is a great constitution. I want to reiterate that fact. I don’t want it reversed. I like it. It is the corruption of the 14th amendment that I oppose. The Supreme Court is using the 14th amendment as the primary tool to de-Christianize America. That’s how they’re doing it. It’s through the 14th amendment. It’s really not through the first amendment. It’s through the 14th amendment because the ticket that gives the Supreme Court to control religion in the United States is the 14th amendment hooked onto the first amendment.
Without the 14th amendment, there’s no way they can get to the states. The first amendment has nothing to do with the states. That’s why it begins where the word congress, and it does not include the word state, but the 14th amendment gives them that power by changing the first amendment to include the states. Think of it this way. There are 535 members of Congress. There are 435 in the house and 100 members in the Senate, but that’s really not true. There are actually nine more members of Congress.
There are really 544 members of Congress. Except, these people, you never get to elect him. They never show up on your ballot box in November. The Supreme Court is not just a judicial institution. It is also a legislative body. The way they interpret the 14th amendment is basically to do this. It is a transfer of power. Power is transferred from the States to the central government in Washington D.C. For example, nobody knew in 1868 we have passed a federal abortion amendment.
We found out that that’s what they did in 1868 with Roe versus Wade in 1973. Nobody knew in 1868 that the United States passed a federal gay marriage amendment. We didn’t learn that until 2015.
Sam Rohrer: David, I just want you to clarify that. That may sound a little bit confusing to those who are listening. What you’re saying is that when abortion by the Supreme Court was ruled or marriage so forth, the Supreme Court used the 14th amendment to justify what they did. Is that what you’re saying?
David New: Yes. Yes. In fact, what they’re doing is they have taken all of these issues like abortion, the issue of gay marriage, all of this stuff all belongs to the States. That’s why the States voted on gay marriage about 30 times that they voted just about every single time against it. Now, that is what the 10th amendment is supposed to do. That’s what it’s for. The Supreme Court basically has taken with the 14th amendment, they have effectively erased the 10th amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Gary Dull: This is interesting, David. I’m going down through my copy of the 14th amendment even as-
David New: Section one of this. That’s it. That’s all you need to know is section one. That’s probably the most important word in the U.S. Constitution. For social issues, homosexuality, gay marriage, religion, there’s only one word you need to know. It’s in the 14th amendment. It’s in section one. It’s in the due process clause where it says, “No state shall deprive any person-
Gary Dull: Without due process…
David New: … of life, liberty, or property. You see that word liberty? That means gay marriage. That means abortion. That means you cannot pray in the public schools. That means you cannot have religion in the public schools. You cannot read your Bible in the public schools. That’s what that word liberty means according to the Supreme Court.
Gary Dull: A lot of it goes back on even the description or I should say the application of that phrase due process, correct?
David New: Yes.
Gary Dull: Because depending upon how the due process would go would determine the outcome of something that’s being discussed based upon life, liberty, or property.
David New: Yes. The word due process simply means this. It’s a fancy way of saying there has to be a fair trial. If there’s a fair trial, the government cannot deny you your life. That’s execution, capital punishment, liberty, being put in prison, or property, that means issuing you a fine for speeding. No state can deny you any of these things without due process. There has to be a fair trial. The Supreme Court has gone crazy and take that word liberty to mean the freedom of religion, to mean gay rights, to mean abortion, and anything and everything they can come up with, whatever they dream up next.
Gary Dull: When we look at the constitution, David, we can see that sometimes changes will to the constitution strengthen it. Sometimes, they weaken the constitution, but even beyond that, they will strengthen and weaken our freedoms. Explain that just-
David New: Absolutely. They’re taking away our freedom. They’re doing it by due process of law, by having a fair trial.
Gary Dull: There you go.
David New: We have been denied the right to pray in a public school by due process of law. All you have to do, ladies and gentlemen, to know that the word liberty and the 14th amendment does not mean any of the junk the Supreme court says it means is to look at the word Liberty for which it came from in the fifth amendment. Nobody says the word liberty in the fifth amendment refers school prayer or Bible reading or gay marriage or abortion, but for some mystical reason, that word has all kinds of fanciful meetings in the 14th amendment.
Gary Dull: This is really interesting. Folks, I have in my hand here The Constitution for Beginners by David W. New. I would encourage you to get it. Maybe, Dave, you can tell us how to get it, but Sam, this is a little booklet that you probably have it. It is a tremendous booklet in helping people to understand what this constitution is all about.
Sam Rohrer: David, just quickly, 15 seconds, how can somebody get that from you?
David New: They can get it through amazon.com. I am so glad you mentioned that. Your check will be in the mail tomorrow.
Sam Rohrer: David, well, thank you for writing it. It’s very applicable. I would encourage all of you who are listening to try and get that. Again, I’ll come back. We’ll give that one more time in the next segment.
As we move now into our final segment, we’ve laid out some historical facts relative to our constitution having been signed after a process of a lot of other input from historical documents and preexisting state constitutions all leading up to what was officially adopted there on September 17th, 1787. Then going for a period of years with then having some amendments added to it, the 14th amendment having been added to it, that most significantly has changed the constitution not so much because the constitution itself has changed, but that the Supreme Court has used the 14th amendment to unconstitutionally usurp power from the people, from the legislature, and thereby making law effectively out of the court.
As David New has said, usurping their power changed the whole nature of law in this country. Nearly any social issue that you will consider today, LGBT movement, prayer in schools, Bible reading of schools, abortion, all of these things that are so critical, the Supreme Court used the 14th amendment to justify unconstitutional and I’m going to say unlawful actions. Now, that brings us to the point of, “What are we going to do about this? How do we restore our view of what the constitution is and so forth?”
I’m going to walk through that just a little bit and be asking David a question, and I’m going to be asking Gary a question. As we’ve said from the beginning, our constitution is unique because it’s based on a concept of divine moral law as recorded in the Bible. On that basis, our highest civil law has firm foundations, biblical principles, Judeo Christian. That is why the socialists, the communists, the Islamicists are all trying to undercut and attack because at the end of the day, they don’t believe in God or that rights come from God or that what is in the constitution is to be protected, because they don’t regard the basis of it.
We need to understand that a constitution, a document of that type doesn’t have the power to protect itself, right? It’s a document. It can’t rise up and defend itself. It depends on people, you and me, everybody in office, everybody, teachers in the classroom, every person who is about to take the oath of office and by that oath support and defend. That’s where it all comes. That’s why Benjamin Franklin, the last signer there in Philadelphia, 1787 then went out into the street and told the lady who said, “What have you done?”
He said, “We’ve now given you a republic, a constitutional republic if you can keep it.” That’s where it comes down. David, let me come back to you and ask you as a constitutional attorney, as a historian, focus on this area, “What can, what must attorneys or judges or those involved in the administration of law do if our freedom is to remain?” You already said it’s really a matter of how do we get it back perhaps. Answer that however you want within the context of your perspective. What should those individuals in those positions do? What can they do?
David New: If you saw in the last nomination with Judge Kavanaugh, the reason these nominations are so vicious and ugly is because what you’re really watching is an election and the elected member of Congress in a sense, in the liberal sense of the word because they know that Kevin Hall does not believe the word liberty refers to gay marriage, neither does Gorsuch nor does Roberts, nor does Thomas nor that Alito. If we can get… We’ve got a five, four majority now. If we can get one more like Judge Amy Barrett, if she can get appointed, that will be six. That will be enough in case one defects to reverse this gay marriage business and return it back to the states.
I think right now the public opinion poll there is a clear majority supporting gay marriage. I believe that support is soft. The only reason I believe it is still the way it is, is because the Supreme Court created that majority with their decision in 2015. I do believe in 10 to 15 to 20 years when we have enough kids who grow up without ever having known the tenderness of a mother, we’re going to realize we made a mistake. Vote for the next election that you find that your candidate will support the kind of judges on the Supreme Court like Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.
Sam Rohrer: All right, David, I think that’s very good. It’s well focused on that. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s why when we elect people, particularly president who’s in this case appoints the Supreme Court, but the Senate who approves, so it’s them too. It’s got to have people in there who have and understand what liberty means, freedom means, what truth means, what all of that means from a Judeo Christian world perspective. If they don’t, it goes the opposite direction.
Now, Gary, let me go to you because we’re talking about truth. The citizens of this nation were once well-informed from the pulpit as an example relative to moral law and all of these things that are basics of it. What would you say that pastors can do, should do in regard to the principles of freedom embodied in the constitution if it is to remain on, as David said, to be regained?
Gary Dull: Let me tell you, the first thing I would encourage every pastor to do is get David New’s little book on the Constitution for Beginners because it really does outline what the constitution is all about. I was thinking of this question that you’ve just asked. What can pastors do? Sam, we need to lead our people to pray for our nation. I go back to that passage in 1st Timothy where we are told to pray for those who are in authority. We need to pray. Pastors need to lead their congregation to pray for people in authority so that they might maintain the basic principles that are in the United States constitution, but then pastors need to continue to preach the whole, or if they’re not doing it, begin to preach the whole counsel of God.
As you just said, freedom and liberty comes from the scripture. James 1:25 refers to the scripture as the perfect law of liberty. If we are going to see our liberties and our freedoms maintained here in the United States of America as guaranteed in our constitution, people must understand where they come from. Those freedoms come from the word of God. It’s the word of God that must be certainly preached over the pulpits of America today.
Sam Rohrer: Well, Gary, thank you for that. Ladies and gentlemen, I said I would come back and remind you again. David has a book. Gary’s referred to it. You can pick it up on Amazon. Just search for the The Constitution for Beginners. All right, that’s the title of it. You bring it up and then you can find it. We also have a little booklet that we’d like to send to you from Stand in the Gap today. It is pocket primmer. It’s a little pocket constitution. It’s a central pocket guide that we call it. You hear it, the ad on here sometime.
If you write to us, we’ll send that to you. Include a gift of any amount, it would help us at least to cover the costs and so far for that. That would be a great thing, but either one of these kinds of things. It’s good to have it in your hands so that you understand what it is. When we hold those kinds of things with the Bible in the other, then, ladies and gentlemen, then we have the foundation firmly established. We can not only protect what we have, but we can regain what we’ve lost with God’s help.