Discussing the 14th Amendment debt ceiling and Althusius’ Federalism are fundamental in understanding the Fight against the present Convention of States movement and the justification for Christian Nationalism.
I am not going to spend a lot of time writing a lot of detail content for this program. There are references that you can dig into for those details. I will give you several quick highlights in the following subheadings.
14th Amendment Debt Ceiling
In my studies of the 14th Amendment, it was easy to conclude that over the last 100 plus years, the original intent of this amendment was hijacked by nefarious and idealogical miscreants. I focus on Section 4 which states:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
I’m giving the quick analysis of this but as you read it over a number of times, you should be asking: how can the executive branch use the first sentence in justifying the raising of the debt ceiling? Second, as a teaser for future discussions, how does the last sentence allow for reparations?
I studied Althusius in detail when I wrote my book on the Constitution. He is the Reformer who can be identified as the Patriarch of Reformed Biblical Principles of Federalism. I walk you through how many countries including Israel look at Althusius quantification of federalism such that their societies have been built on them. As you will hear me discuss and or you can read reference #7 of Dr. Daniel Elazar detailing Althusius’ Federalism.
Yes, the Puritan American founding utilized Althusius’ principles.
TO RICHARD HENRY LEE
[MS , Lee Papers, American Philosophical Society, a draft is in the Samuel Adams Papers, Lenox Library , a text is in W. V Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, vol. in , pp. 251-253]
BOSTON Decr 3d 1787
I confess, as I enter the Building I stumble at the Threshold. I meet with a National Government, instead of a Federal Union of Sovereign States. I am not able to conceive why the Wisdom of the Convention led them to give the Preference to the former before the latter. If the several States in the Union are to become one entire Nation, under one Legislature, the Powers of which shall extend to every Subject of Legislation, and its Laws be supreme & controul the whole, the Idea of Sovereignty in these States must be lost. Indeed I think, upon such a Supposition, those Sovereignties ought to be eradicated from the Mind; for they would be Imperia in Imperio justly deemd a Solecism in Politicks, & they would be highly dangerous, and destructive of the Peace Union and Safety of the Nation. And can this National Legislature be competent to make Laws for the free internal Government of one People, living in Climates so remote and whose “Habits & particular Interests” are and probably always will be so different. Is it to be expected that General Laws can be adapted to the Feelings of the more Eastern and the more Southern Parts of so extensive a Nation? It appears to me difficult if practicable. Hence then may we not look for Discontent, Mistrust, Disaffection to Government and frequent Insurrections, which will require standing Armies to suppress them in one Place & another where they may happen to arise. Or if Laws could be made, adapted to the local Habits, Feelings, Views & Interests of those distant Parts, would they not cause Jealousies of Partiality in Government which would excite Envy and other malignant Passions productive of Wars and fighting. But should we continue distinct sovereign States, confederated for the Purposes of mutual Safety and Happiness, each contributing to the federal Head such a Part of its Sovereignty as would render the Government fully adequate to those Purposes and no more, the People would govern themselves more easily, the Laws of each State being well adapted to its own Genius & Circumstances, and the Liberties of the United States would be more secure than they can be, as I humbly conceive, under the proposed new Constitution. You are sensible, Sir, that the Seeds of Aristocracy began to spring even before the Conclusion of our Struggle for the natural Rights of Men, Seeds which like a Canker Worm lie at the Root of free Governments. So great is the Wickedness of some Men, & the stupid Servility of others, that one would be almost inclined to conclude that Communities cannot be free. The few haughty Families, think They must govern. The Body of the People tamely consent & submit to be their Slaves. This unravels the Mystery of Millions being enslaved by the few! But I must desist—My weak hand prevents my proceeding further at present. I will send you my poor Opinion of the political Structure at another Time….
2. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), BY JOSEPH L. STORY, BOOK 3, CHAPTER 15, POWER TO BORROW MONEY AND REGULATE COMMERCE
3. Impact of the 14th Amendment on the Bill of Rights, BY HERBERT W. TITUS
4. The Incorporation Doctrine: A Legal and Historical Fallacy, BY BRYAN KEITH MORRIS
5. Rules of Interpretation Abandoned and Perverted, BY BRYAN KEITH MORRIS
7. Althusius and Federalism as Grand Design, by Daniel J. Elazar
8. Your Own Personal Christian Nationalism by Jonathan F. Dean
1. Biden ‘Considering’ Using 14th Amendment To End Debt Ceiling Standoff Without Congressional Action by Nicholas Reimann, Forbes Staff