restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


The America I Love

 David Alan Black

The Constitution of the United States is an exceedingly precious document. It is intended to be read and followed by all Americans. It is the basic body of beliefs and principles upon which our government rests. It is the foundation stone of our society—sturdy, stable, and rooted deeply in the soil of freedom.

The underlying principles of American government, which today are being assaulted in unprecedented ways, are the following:

  1. Governments in the United States were established to aid and protect the people. It is the people who count, and government exists only to further their well-being. The national government was never intended to be all-powerful, as it is today. The Constitution grants only a few enumerated powers to the national government while reserving all other powers to the states and to the people. This ideal differs from the concept of the all-powerful government in fascist and communist countries, where the individual exists only to strengthen the power of the state.
  2. The Constitution also guaranteed to the people certain rights, acting as limitations upon the exercise of governmental power. These rights were protected against government interference through the national Constitution as well as through the various state Constitutions. The first ten amendments to the federal Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, contain the bulk of our God-given rights. These rights pertain primarily to personal liberty and personal property. They guarantee freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly; the right to indictment by grand jury, trial by jury, and the right to counsel; dues process of law; and just compensation and uniform taxation.
  3. The Founders were careful to assign certain authority to specific officers or agencies of the government. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the Congress was given lawmaking powers, the president was given executive powers, and the judicial branch was given judicial powers. Within the legislative branch, bicameralism provided for a legislature with two separate but equal bodies or houses. Such a separation of powers was considered necessary in order to safeguard the liberties of the people. Theoretically, one branch of government may not exercise the powers that have been granted to another branch.
  4. The Founders also gave each branch of government some degree of control over the other branches. Under the principle of checks and balances, one branch would be prevented from overpowering another branch. Thus, for example, the president could check the legislature by vetoing a certain measure, while the legislature could override the veto by an extraordinary vote.
  5. Above all, the Founders provided us with the principle of federalism, which simply means that there is a division of governmental power between the national government and state governments. The national government possesses some powers (such as those pertaining to foreign commerce), while the states possess other powers (such as those pertaining to marriage and divorce). It was the clear intent of the Founders to establish within the Constitution a national government of enumerated and strictly limited powers, a principle reaffirmed by the addition of the Tenth Amendment, which states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.”

You will notice that America was never intended to be a democracy. A true democracy exists when people directly control and exercise the powers of government. New England towns practiced this type of democracy long ago. The United States, however, is a representative democracy, that is, the people choose representatives— presidents, governors, congressmen, state legislators—and instruct these people to act for them in the enactment of laws and in policy-making. This is called a republican form of government.

This is the America I love. This is the nation I long to see reestablished. That our form of government has departed from its foundations is readily apparent. I will cite but one example, though many others could be given. Section 8, Clause 11, of the United States Constitution states that Congress alone has the power to transform the United States from a state of peace to a state of war. That is, only Congress can authorize the United States to go to war. Our Founders believed that this power should not be given to one person. So they placed it in the hands of the Congress as representatives of the people. Recent actions of George W. Bush with respect to hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, where no formal declaration of war was made by Congress, have raised serious constitutional questions. Although the president is Commander-in-Chief, he does not possess unlimited control over the armed forces.

Friends, it is time to return to biblical and constitutional principles in our nation. This is the heartbeat of Dave Black Online. To that end we publish articles that are intended to inform and encourage you. These include:

True Patriotism

Christians Must Choose Whether They Will Serve God or the State

The Constitution Party: New Conscience of Conservative America

Finally, a True Conservative Who Will Fight for the Constitution

Why I Keep Fighting for America

Back to the Constitution!

The State Is Not Our Savior!

Mr. President: We Are a Republic, Not a Democracy!

Christians in Politics Must Stop Ignoring the Constitution!

It’s Time to Face Our Insane and Unconstitutional Budget Policies

If Liberty Mattered, We Wouldn’t Even Be Talking About School Vouchers

Isn’t It the Job of Government?

Defenders of the U.S. Constitution—Then and Now

There's a (New) World (Order) of Difference between Patriotism and Nationalism

Our Magnificent Constitution

The Right to Homeschool Comes from God, Not Government!

The Best Welfare Reform? Abolish It Altogether!

Our Next President

A New Senate for America

As I said, the Constitution of the United States is a precious document. It is intended to be studied and understood by all Americans. It is the foundation of our government. But it will not remain that sturdy rock unless we defend it and—more importantly—live by it. 

April 1, 2004

David Alan Black is the editor of His latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, will be released this year.

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