“Collective guilt is one of the legacies of the 1960s that is still with us. We are still seeing a guilt trip for slavery being laid on people who never owned a slave in their lives, and who would be repelled by the very idea of owning a slave. Back in the 1960s, it was considered Deep Stuff among the intelligentsia to say that American society—all of us collectively—were somehow responsible for the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Thomas Sowell. During the 1960s, the idea spread like wildfire that whatever you were lacking was someone else’s fault—society’s fault. If you were poor, whether at home or in some third-world country, you were one of the ‘dispossessed’ —even if you had never possessed anything to dispossess you of… If other people are somehow responsible for whatever is lacking in your life, lashing out at random against individuals who have done nothing to you personally can sound plausible to many people. Whether or not the latest mass killings at were a result of medically verifiable insanity, there have always been insane people but there have not always been mass killings with the frequency we have seen since 1960… Instead of banning guns, maybe we should rethink 1960s dogmas.” —
Archive for April, 2007
“Our government, under our Constitution, was established upon the principles of Federalism—that the federal government would have limited enumerated powers and the rest would be left to the states. It not only prevented tyranny, it just made good sense. States become laboratories for democracy and experiment with different kinds of laws. One state might try one welfare reform approach, for example. Another state might try another approach. One would work and the other would not… Federalism also allows for the diversity that exists among the country’s people. Citizens of our various states have different views as to how traditional state responsibilities should be handled. This way, states compete with each other to attract people and businesses—and that is a good thing. Everyone in Sen. Fred Thompsonembraces Federalism until it comes to someone’s pet project designed to appeal to the voters. Then, oftentimes, even the most ardent Federalist throws in with the ‘Washington solution’ crowd…[I]f conservatives use Federalism as a tool with which to reward our friends and strike our enemies, instead of treating it as a valued principle, we are doing a disservice to our country—as well as to the cause of conservatism.” —Former
“Judge not, lest ye be judged.” It’s notable that this text from the Bible has replaced John 3:16 as Americans’ favorite scriptural quotation — but what does it actually mean? Is this ageless admonition really a call to unmitigated tolerance over discernment between right and wrong? Is it really a biblical nod of the head to the virtues of postmodern morality and multicultural society?
Of course not. As Christ’s imperative against judgment appears in the Gospel accounts, a different picture emerges. With the Pharisees clearly in view, in the Sermon on the Mount account of Matthew 7, and again in Luke 6, “judge not” appears in the context of the proverbial man who perceives the speck that is in his brother’s eye, but not the log that is in his own. The context, then, suggests a warning against hypocrisy, not moral discernment. Indeed, the full imperative of the passage encourages righteous judgment: “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Then, in John 7:24, taking aim at the Pharisees once again, Jesus makes another extraordinary statement: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” So, does Jesus really call his followers to “judge not”? Not really. In the vocabulary of theologians, this practice of isolating and thereby misinterpreting a phrase or passage from its context is called eisegesis.
Other common examples of eisegesis — which we’ll leave to your own exegesis — include the imperative “care for orphans and widows” (James 1) to sanction a social, and thereby governmental, responsibility; “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man” (I Corinthians 11) as an affirmation of male chauvinism; and “Love keeps no record of wrongs” (I Corinthians 13) as a get-out-of-jail-free card for habitual sin.
But what, you ask, does this Bible lesson have to do with the Constitution? In truth, the same fallacies that affect biblical interpretation also affect our interpretation of the Constitution.
The belief in a Constitution subject to the evolving interpretation of the judiciary has as its origin the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, where Chief Justice John Marshall ruled, “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” All well and good if the courts would continue to interpret the law exegetically, but as history would soon show, constitutional eisegesis was lurking just around the corner.
In fact, by the early 20th century the eisegetical interpretation of the Constitution had been given a name, courtesy of Howard McBain’s 1927 book, The Living Constitution. In the decades that followed, this notion of a “living” Constitution, one subject to all manner of judicial interpretation, took hold in the federal courts. Judicial activists, who legislate from the bench by issuing rulings based on their personal interpretation of the Constitution, or at the behest of like-minded special-interest constituencies, were nominated for the federal bench and confirmed in droves.
This degradation of law was codified by the Warren Court, under the influence of Justice William Brennan, Jr., in Trop v. Dulles (1958). In that ruling, the High Court noted that the Constitution should comport with “evolving standards…that mark the progress of a maturing society.” In other words, it had now become a fully pliable document — one that Jefferson had warned us would be a “mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
By 1987, living constitutionalism had become such the norm that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall delivered a lecture, “The Constitution: A Living Document,” in which he argued that the Constitution must be interpreted to the age in which it existed, given prevailing political, moral and cultural norms.
More recently, “living” jurist Anthony Kennedy and court jesters Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens cited “national consensus” as a factor in last year’s Roper v. Simmons ruling. In doing so, they disregarded the Constitution’s prescription for federalism and republican government in the name of unmitigated democracy — and took us one step closer toward what every serious thinker since Plato has described as governance in its most degenerative form.
Just as the problem of biblical and constitutional eisegesis is essentially the same, so too is the solution. For centuries, a fundamental guiding principle has directed proper scriptural exegesis: Scripture interprets Scripture. That is to say, the primary lens for understanding a text is the text elsewhere in the Bible — thus, we interpret the Bible through what the Bible says.
With the Constitution, the concept is easily applied. The Separation Clause certainly calls Marbury into question, and the Tenth Amendment contradicts the Roper decision, not to mention Roe v. Wade and the illusory constitutional “right to privacy.” Further, the constitutional basis for Kelo v. New London is simply absent, as are our First Amendment rights under McCain-Feingold. And let’s not forget the myriad laws that infringe upon our rights guaranteed by the Second.
Just as the Bible’s New Testament may be said to interpret its Old Testament, so too is the Constitution accompanied by a binding interpretation, the Federalist Papers. Authored by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, the Federalist Papers, as the definitive explication of our Constitution’s original intent, clearly define original intent in regard to constitutional interpretation. In Federalist No. 78 Hamilton writes, “[The Judicial Branch] may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment…liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments.” In Federalist No. 81 Hamilton notes, “[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution….”
Today, more than two centuries later, Justice Antonin Scalia warns of such judicial activism: “As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.”
By contrast, the heart of the Constitution, and hence the heart of constitutional constructionism, is this: The federal government should be sovereign and strong in its constitutionally delimited competencies; in matters where the Constitution is silent, however, the states and the people, not the national government, are sovereign. This understanding transforms the debate between strong governance (the liberal position) and weak governance (the libertarian position) to one of constitutional governance (the conservative, constructionist position). In this way, the text itself — not its judicial caretakers — interprets the text. This is exegetical governance. Indeed, this is constitutional governance.
Below is a response from our good friends at The Patriot Post regarding how the left uses judicial fiat to accomplish their nefarious goals.
A “Living Constitution” for a Dying Republic
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. … Done…the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.” –George Washington and the delegates
Saturday, 17 September, is Constitution Day, in recognition of the 218th anniversary of that venerable document’s signing by our nation’s Founders. Of course, most of the federal judiciary pays no homage to that date. They are preoccupied rewriting the so-called “Living Constitution,” amending it by judicial diktat rather than its prescribed method in Article V.
For its first 150 years (with a few exceptions), our Constitution stood as our Founders, and more importantly, “the people,” intended — as is — in accordance with its original intent.
In the early 20th Century, there was still evidence of reverence for the supreme law of the land. For example, prohibitionists acknowledged that the Constitution did not include a single word about alcohol consumption and would have to be amended before the central government would have the authority to outlaw alcohol. On 16 January 1919, the 18th Amendment was ratified by the states. Within the decade the law of unintended consequences prevailed, and even ardent prohibitionists realized that enforcing the 18th Amendment had spawned a massive and violent organized-crime culture. Thus, on 5 December 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, repealing the 18th.
These two amendments were the last pertaining most directly to the authority of the central government, while the remaining five address specific modifications to the plain language of our Constitution. So how is it now that the central government has become the behemoth our Constitution expressly prohibited?
Prior to the reign of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the courts were still largely populated with originalists, who properly rendered legal interpretation based on construction of the Constitution’s “original intent.” However, FDR grossly exceeded the Constitutional limits upon the authority of his office and that of the legislature in his folly to end The Great Depression (the latter falling victim to World War II — not FDR’s social and economic engineering). FDR’s extra-constitutional exploits opened the door for the judiciary to follow the same path — to read into the Constitution what was necessary to make it conform to the demands of the prevailing political will.
In the decades that followed, the notion of a “Living Constitution,” one subject to all manner of judicial interpretation, took hold in the federal courts. Judicial activists, those who legislate from the bench by issuing rulings based on their personal interpretation of the Constitution, or at the behest of likeminded special-interest constituencies, were nominated for the federal bench and confirmed in droves.
This degradation of law was codified by the Warren Court in Trop v. Dulles (1958). In that ruling, the High Court noted that the Constitution should comport with “evolving standards…that mark the progress of a maturing society.” In other words, it had now become a fully pliable document. Indeed, the Constitution has become “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please,” as Thomas Jefferson warned, and the judiciary, in Jefferson’s words, “the Despotic Branch”.
Consequently, we now have a Constitution in exile, its having becoming little more than a straw man as the courts have become increasingly politicized. To wit, in recent decisions, judicial activists on the Supreme Court have cited “national consensus” and “international law” as factors in their decisions.
On Wednesday of this week U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in government schools constitutes a “coercive requirement to affirm God.” That, of course, is factually inaccurate (AKA “a lie”). Students may refrain, on their own or at their parents’ discretion, from repeating any or all words in the Pledge.
Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, though he could have ruled against and said he was “bound by the Constitution of these United States.” That case is on a fast track to the Supreme Court.
The Ninth Circuit’s errant ruling is based on the most insidious line of activist interpretations of our Constitution’s First Amendment invoking the so called “Wall of Separation”. As noted in this column last week, the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist said, “The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based upon bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. … The greatest injury of the ‘wall’ notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intention of the drafters of the Bill of Rights.”
This brings us to the Chief Justice nomination of Judge John Roberts to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Judge Roberts, and a yet-to-be-named nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, is taking a considerable pounding from Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. Joe Biden, who are doing everything they can to undermine support for a judge who would not do their bidding.
Just how important is it that President George Bush’s Constitutional-constructionist nominees be confirmed? It is more important than anything else this administration could hope to accomplish. The future of the Republic is riding on these confirmations.
The Federalist Papers, as the definitive explication of our Constitution’s original intent, clearly define original intent in regards to Constitutional interpretation. In Federalist No. 78 Alexander Hamilton writes, “[The Judicial Branch] may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment…liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have everything to fear from its union with either of the other departments.” In Federalist No. 81 Hamilton notes, “[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution….”
George Washington advised, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, ’till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all.”
Today, 218 years hence, Justice Antonin Scalia says of judicial activism, “As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.”
While the words “conservative” and “liberal” are ubiquitously used to describe Republicans and Democrats respectively, these words properly should describe whether one advocates for the conservation of our Constitution, as originally intended, or its liberal interpretation by judicial activists. Does one want to conserve Constitutional limits on the central government, or liberate those limits?
Our Constitution was written and ratified “in order secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” as set forth in the Declaration of Independence “endowed by their Creator.” It established a Republic intended to reflect the consent of the governed, a nation of laws, not men.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was asked if the delegates formed “a republic or a monarchy.” He responded, “A republic if you can keep it.”
We have all but lost it.
Observe Constitution Day by visiting an excellent resource on our nation’s heritage. Link to The Patriot’s Historic Documents.
In the wake of last week’s shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, some Democrats cannot resist the urge to advocate more stringent gun control. New York Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy have introduced legislation that would grant $250 million to state agencies and $125 million to state courts to pay for computer upgrades so that information such as an individual’s mental-health history could more readily be made available to the FBI. Said Schumer: “[H]ad it been in place last week, [it] may well have stopped last week’s unspeakable tragedy.” As columnist Ann Coulter quipped, “We’ve banned mass murder and that hasn’t seemed to work. So now we’re going to ban mass murderers. Yes, that will do the trick!” Any chance we could enact a ban on mentally ill senators?
I doubt that we can ban Hopolophobes, but it’s a nice thought.
For Immediate Release
April 25, 2007
From: Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
Please Forward to Your Local Newspapers, Radio
Stations, Television News Stations, Family and
Las Vegas, Nevada: Several years ago, I asked a very
pointed question in a press release sent to the
National Wire Service immediately following the
killings at Columbine High School.
A few days after the Virginia Tech Massacre, I
again asked the same very direct question.
I asked, “How many times must we experience another
Littleton, Colorado or Virginia Tech before we wake up,
study the research and adopt policies which actually reduce
crime and begin saving our children instead of leaving them
helpless victims when the next psych drug user snaps?”
After Columbine, while most journalists and lawmakers
focused on whether or not my answer to protecting
children by arming teachers was the right solution,
it seems everyone missed my understanding of the root
cause that drove these kids to commit such atrocities!
The root cause was and continues to be the
psych drugs that are being pushed on our children!
In some cases children as young as kindergarten age!
After Columbine, nobody wanted to believe the founder
and director of the nation’s largest firearms training
institute when he pointed his finger at psych drugs as the
cause of the problem. During numerous radio, TV and
newspaper interviews I would bring it up and it would fall
on deaf ears with no reaction at all.
So I spent $300,000 to create a Hollywood produced, award
winning DVD entitled Front Sight Story, Chapter One: Your
Legacy. In “Your Legacy,” I interviewed people of age who
actually experienced an America when guns were so freely
available to children and youth, that you could order them
through the mail with no ID required, no waiting period, and
literally carry them to school to place in the back of the
classroom with no problems at all.
During this time, when guns were the most accessible in our
country’s entire history, there were no school shootings,
drive by shootings, or murderous teenage rampages.
What changed? Here is what changed: Powerful psych drugs
were developed and became the profitable, prescription
answer to a wide variety of extremely questionable if not
outright fabricated mental disorder diagnosis of youth.
Little Johnny doesn’t want to go to school? Take this
pill… Little Johnny isn’t learning? Take this pill…
Little Johnny feels anxious? Take this pill… Little
Johnny is sad? Take this pill… Little Johnny is restless?
Take this pill… Little Johnny is rebellious? Take this
And once Little Johnny started taking the brightly colored
pills to handle the normal challenges of youth that every
prior generation had overcome naturally through the process
of social maturity, Little Johnny began the downward spiral
of adverse prescription drug side effects leading to
multiple prescription, psycho drug cocktails… stronger
drugs… physical and psychological dependency… and the
now infamous and reoccurring homicidal and suicidal
reactions caused by these very powerful, mind bending drugs.
There is a truism I keep posted on the wall above my
computer. It reads, “People of integrity expect to be
believed. When they are not, they let time prove them
Well, unfortunately and tragically in this case, time has
proven me right. Numerous school shootings over the last
several years ALL linked to children and teens under the
influence of powerful, prescribed psych drugs!
Psych Drugs, NOT GUNS, Are the Common Deadly Thread in
And now, instead of Dr. Ignatius Piazza, the Founder and
Director of Front Sight saying, Its Psych Drugs– Not Guns–
Doing the Killing, I am getting assistance in spreading my
message from some of the most unlikely, anti-gun sources you
could ever imagine…
See the link below to watch what Michael Moore, the Darling
of the Liberal Left, Anti-Gun Media now has to say about the
cause of Columbine.
Michael and I may never agree about the importance of an
armed society to the freedom and protection of law abiding
citizens or the fallacy of gun control, but we could be best
friends in our efforts to expose the truth about the profit
driven history of psych drug prescriptions systematically
creating homicidal and suicidal monsters out of our youth in
America. In fact, I stand ready and willing to assist
Michael Moore in any way possible on such an endeavor.
Now that people on both sides of the gun control debate
agree that psych drugs are creating suicidal and homicidal
maniacs out of our youth, the time has come to expose the
truth to all of America.
You can help save today’s youth from further psych drug
abuse and protect America’s next generation from the horrors
of psych drug prescriptions. It only takes 10% of the
population to unite, stand up and say, “No more!” for
social movements to succeed. You CAN do something about this!
Simply spread this press release far and wide to all on your
lists and ask your friends and family to do the same.
Instead of circulating the latest joke or cartoon of the
week, make the entirety of this earth-shattering truth the
next e-mail that goes ’round the world! Don’t rely on anyone
else to do what you should do. Don’t be apathetic.
Take one minute to do the right thing and you will feel
great about it for the rest of your life because the future
children you save from being shot by a psych drugged maniac
may be your own children or grandchildren…
See the links below for more irrefutable proof of the
connection between psych drugs and school shootings… It’s
Psych Drugs, Not Guns, Doing the Killing!
Michael Moore admits missing the target in his documentary
Bowling for Columbine– Psych drugs should have been the
Fox National News reporter Douglas Kennedy exposes the link
between psychiatric drugs and school shootings:
Medical Doctors and Psychiatrists Now Admit Connections
Between Psych Drugs and Homicidal and Suicidal Actions of
Children and Teens:
Experts Say Psychiatric Drugs Linked to Long List of School
Get your free DVD copy of Dr. Ignatius Piazza’s, Front Sight
Story, Chapter One: Your Legacy
For More Information on Front Sight Firearms Training
Institute and Dr. Ignatius Piazza’s free, 15 Gun Training
Reports click here:
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute