W. Cleon Skousen · 337 pages
Rating: (6.2K votes)
“Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion. --Benjamin Franklin”
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fiertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." --Alexis de Tocqueville”
“Strictly enforce the scale of "fixed responsibility." The first and foremost level of responsibility is with the individual himself; the second level is the family; then the church; next the community, finally the county, and, in a disaster or emergency, the state. Under no circumstances is the federal government to become involved in public welfare. The Founders felt it would corrupt the government and also the poor. No Constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare.”
“Why the Original Constitution Will Never Be Obsolete And that is what the Constitution is all about -- providing freedom from abuse by those in authority. Anyone who says the American Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed does not understand the real genius of the Constitution. It was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change -- namely, human nature.”
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
“What they wanted to establish was a system of "People's Law," where the government is kept under the control of the people and political power is maintained at the balanced center with enough government to maintain security, justice, and good order, but not enough government to abuse the people. The”
“The object of the Founders was to discover the "balanced center" between these two extremes. They recognized that under the chaotic confusion of anarchy there is "no law," whereas at the other extreme the law is totally dominated by the ruling power and is therefore "Ruler's Law." What they wanted to establish was a system of "People's Law," where the government is kept under the control of the people and political power is maintained at the balanced center with enough government to maintain security, justice, and good order, but not enough government to abuse the people. The”
“A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.”
“Anyone who says the American Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed does not understand the real genius of the Constitution. It was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change—namely, human nature.”
“The American Founders recognized that the moment the government is authorized to start leveling the material possessions of the rich in order to have an “equal distribution of goods,” the government thereafter has the power to deprive any of the people of their “equal” rights to enjoy their lives, liberties, and property.”
“Just how difficult this task turned out to be is demonstrated in a number of problems which have arisen in our own day. The failure to use the checks and balances effectively has allowed the judiciary to create new laws (called judicial legislation) by pretending to be merely interpreting old ones. Failure to use the checks and balances has also allowed the President to make thousands of new laws, instead of Congress, by issuing executive orders. It has allowed the federal government to invade the reserved rights of the states on a massive scale. It has allowed the legislature to impose taxes on the people never contemplated by the Founders or the Constitution. The whole spectrum of checks and balances needs to be more thoroughly studied and more vigorously enforced.”
“The whole spectrum of checks and balances needs to be more thoroughly studied and more vigorously enforced. Madison appropriately anticipated that “parchment barriers” in the Constitution would not prevent usurpation. Each department of government has the responsibility to rise up and protect its prerogatives by exercising the checks and balances which have been provided. At the same time, the people have the responsibility to keep a closer watch on their representatives and elect only those who will function within Constitutional boundaries.”
“Jefferson felt it should be the goal of the whole nation to use education and every other means to stimulate and encourage those citizens who clearly exhibited a special talent for public service. He felt one of the greatest threats to the new government would be the day when the best qualified people refused to undertake the tedious, arduous, and sometimes unpleasant task of filling important public offices.”
“The Founders believed these same principles would work for any nation. The key was using the government to protect equal rights, not to provide equal things.”
“Franklin noted that “there is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government.” He said it gives people the illusion that somehow a king will establish “equality among citizens; and that they like.” Franklin’s great fear was that the states would succumb to this gravitational pull toward a strong central government symbolized by a royal establishment. He said: “I am apprehensive, therefore—perhaps too apprehensive—that the Government of these States may in future times end in a monarchy. But this catastrophe, I think, may be long delayed, if in our proposed system we do not sow the seeds of contention, faction, and tumult, by making our posts of honor places of profit.”
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
“Franklin wrote a whole essay on the subject and told one of his friends, "I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision for the poor [in England] is a very great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness. We have followed your example, and begin now to see our error, and, I hope, shall reform it." 119 A survey of Franklin's views on counter-productive compassion might be summarized as follows: 1. Compassion which gives a drunk the means to increase his drunkenness is counter-productive. 120 2. Compassion which breeds debilitating dependency and weakness is counter-productive. 121 3. Compassion which blunts the desire or necessity to work for a living is counter-productive. 122 4. Compassion which smothers the instinct”
“Legislation in Violation of God’s Natural Law Is a Scourge To Humanity”
“Why the Original Constitution Will Never Be Obsolete And that is what the Constitution is all about—providing freedom from abuse by those in authority. Anyone who says the American Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed does not understand the real genius of the Constitution. It was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change—namely, human nature.”
“Danger of Losing Constitutional Rights Furthermore, the Founders knew from experience that the loss of freedom through the gradual erosion of Constitutional principles is not always so obvious that the people can readily detect it. Madison stated: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.... This danger ought to be wisely guarded against.”5”
“The Founders also warned that the only way for the nation to prosper was to have equal protection of “rights,” and not allow the government to get involved in trying to provide equal distribution of “things.”
“The key was using the government to protect equal rights, not to provide equal things. As previously mentioned, Samuel Adams said the ideas of a welfare state were made unconstitutional: "The utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of the wealth], and a community of goods [central ownership of all the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.”
“The physical sciences capitalize on the lessons of the past, but the social sciences seldom do.”
“ "The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
“No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound?”
“Love, like fire, goes out without fuel.”
“You think you're the only one?" Theo said. "Everyone has scars. We just don't all wear them on the outside.”
“The mature response, however, is not to leave; it's to change -- ourselves.
Whenever marital dissatisfaction rears its head in my marriage -- as it does in virtually every marriage -- I simply check my focus. The times that I am happiest and most fulfilled in my marriage are the times when I am intent on drawing meaning and fulfillment from becoming a better husband rather than from demanding a "better" wife.
If you're a Christian, the reality is that, biblically speaking, you can't swap your spouse for someone else. But you can change yourself. And that change can bring the fulfillment that you mistakenly believe is found only by changing partners. In one sense, it's comical: Yes, we need a changed partner, but the partner that needs to change is not our spouse, it's us!
I don't know why this works. I don't know how you can be unsatisfied maritally, and then offer yourself to God to bring about change in your life and suddenly find yourself more satisfied with the same spouse. I don't why this works, only that it does work. It takes time, and by time I mean maybe years. But if your heart is driven by the desire to draw near to Jesus, you find joy by becoming like Jesus. You'll never find joy by doing something that offends Jesus -- such as instigating a divorce or an affair.”
“¿Cuántas veces he sido un dictador? ¿Cuántas veces un inquisidor, un censor, un carcelero? ¿Cuántas veces he prohibido, a quienes más quería, la libertad y la palabra? ¿De cuántas personas me he sentido dueño? ¿A cuántas he condenado porque cometieron el delito de no ser yo?...”
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