The only basis for sound government is based on natural law

Published 12:53 am Sunday, October 24, 2010

“The Five Thousand Year Leap – 28 Great Ideas that Changed the World,” written about thirty years ago by Dr. Cleon Scousen, has recently caught the attention of the public and, in the view of many, is likely to become a major resource for bringing about a healthier and happier America.

The first Principle for building a nation states, “The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.”

“Natural Law is God’s law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”

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The men who wrote America’s Constitution were all remarkably well read. Their writings “reflect a far broader knowledge of religious, political, historical, economic, and philosophical studies than would be found in any cross-section of American leaders today. They were also careful students of the Bible.. Nothing is more remarkable about the American leaders than the depth of knowledge concerning the essential elements of sound nation building.”

When they wrote the constitution the Founders drew from a number of great political thinkers from several periods in history. A favorite was Cicero who lived in the century before Jesus. They agreed with his basic principles for building a nation which included the following:

Honor, respect and love for the Creator by obeying his law as individuals and as a nation. Love for our fellow man; “this is the foundation of justice.”

    Teaching the Law of Nature to all.

    Understanding that Laws against Natural law are poisonous.

    Requiring that all laws must be measured against God’s law.

    Believing that Natural law is eternal and universal.

As he came to the end of his life Cicero reminded his countrymen that their final best hope was for the commonwealth to cleanse itself of their depravity and return to the Laws of the Creator. Our Founding Fathers also visualized a nation with a high level of moral and spiritual values. They used the national symbol, the eagle, to illustrate the structure of the United States. The eagle had three heads which stood for the three branches of government and two wings which symbolized the right and left political parties of the nation.

Wing one is the problem-solving wing of compassion. Sensitive to the needs of the people and devising elaborate plans to meet the unfulfilled needs of the citizens.

The assignment of Wing two is to save the nations resources and the people’s freedom. Its function is to ask two questions: Can we afford it? What will it do to the rights and freedom of the people?

The author goes on to tell what happens when either of the two wings fail to do its job properly and his description from thirty years ago is an accurate picture of the condition of the nation today. Fortunately, when one of the two wings dominates the opposite wing is usually elected to stabilize the nation.

 According to the founders America needs both wings as a system of checks and balances. In his first inaugural address Jefferson described the need for the problem-solving Democratic-Republican party to which he belonged, as well as the Federalist to which John Adams belonged, “We are all Republicans – we are all Federalists”.

The two main resources for the writing of the Constitution were the English common law and the Old Testament. The Founders were pleased to note that the systems of the English common law and the law of the ancient Israelites were virtually the same. Both systems were set up as commonwealths of freemen. Both organized their citizens into small manageable units. Problems were

generally solved on the local level by local governments. The code of justice was based on reparations to the victim rather than fines and punishment by the commonwealth. Leaders were chosen and laws were enacted with the consent and approval of the people and the accused were presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Since the Constitution was adopted, five sources have been used to interpret it: Its wording and structure, the intentions of the writers, the judicial precedents, the social, economic and political consequences and natural law which is seldom considered nowadays— even though it was basic for the Founders.

Today the Supreme Court is almost evenly divided between those who favor a historical interpretation of the Constitution and those who favor making adjustments they consider justified by changing circumstances.

In the introduction to his book Dr. Skousen points out that the Founding Fathers did not invent the 28 ideas that changed the world but they were the first to inscribe them in a document. It worked so well that just after two years as a nation George Washington was able to write: “The United States enjoy a scene of prosperity and tranquility under the new government that could hardly have been hoped for”.