I took Mr. John Hamilton’s suggestion (June 26, Trinity Journal Opinion page) and reread the U.S. Constitution to see if I had missed its being based on “God’s plan.” It clearly stated that “We the People of the United States … do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
There is not one reference to God in the whole document. The only reference to religion is to prohibit religious tests for holding public office and to prohibit Congress from making laws establishing religion or prohibiting its free exercise. Our Founding Fathers were very aware of the abuses of power by Kings supported by the Church in both England and Europe and wanted a political document that protected “We the People” from such abuses. Our Founding Fathers established a secular form of government with three co-equal branches to ensure that power resides in those who consent to be governed.
I am sorry that Mr. Hamilton believes that “we live under more tyranny now than our forefathers.” I doubt they would agree, as they lived under the tyranny of a King who ruled by “divine” edict and allowed them no representation. We, on the other hand, have the right to elect representatives to further our interests and to remove them from office if they don’t perform to our satisfaction.
Perhaps Mr. Hamilton believes we live under more tyranny because we now have many more laws and taxes than when our country was formed. We also have an exponentially larger population, almost four times as many states, and a much more complex society, requiring regulation beyond the basic framework of our Constitution. But that, too, was anticipated by our founders by giving the House of Representatives, the People’s representatives, the power to pass laws and originate taxes and, in the 10th Amendment, reserving powers not delegated to the federal government or prohibited by it to the states, or to the people.
Although I am not a fan of all the laws that limit my freedom to do whatever I want nor of some of the ways taxes are utilized by federal, state, and local governments, I am a great fan of representative government. But it works best when people get involved to ensure it operates in a manner that is open, honest, and as fair as possible.