Concerning Trends in the United States of America
By Andrew and Berit Kjos, July 2020
On July 4, 1776, thirteen states unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. It is a unique document which sets out certain facts and principles that must be observed as follows:
1. All men are created equal.
2. All people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or well being.
3. Governments derive their powers from the consent of the people who they govern.
4. It is the right of the people to alter or abolish any form of government if it fails to serve the people and to institute a new government providing for their safety and happiness or well-being.
The Constitution of the United States of America was adopted in 1787. Its purpose is to implement the facts and principles set out in the Declaration of Independence. In 1789, the Constitution was amended by Congress to clarify and to prevent misconstruction or abuse of the powers granted in the Constitution. These ten amendments were ratified by the states and became effective on December 15, 1791. They are known as the Bill of Rights.
The federal government and the states governments are all subject to the Constitution, its Bill of Rights, and all the subsequently adopted amendments.
The unique aspect to this government is that it is subject to its citizens, who receive their rights from their Creator. These rights connot be taken from the people by the government. This principle means that unlike the other governments that grant rights or revoke rights that were earlier granted, neither the federal government nor the state and local governments can revoke a person's rights. They are God-given rights and cannot be tampered with.
This means we Americans have certain rights that result in freedom to speak and act in ways that are not available to citizens of most other nations. The result has been one of creativity, entrepreneurship, and generosity. Our government has been limited to allow Americans to express themselves in many imaginative ways resulting in an energetic population.
From our point of view, the key item is that we have a God who has provided for us with directions coming from His Scripture. Over the years, the teaching as set out in the Bible provided standards of thought and conduct. Our laws reflected those standards, and almost everyone in the country abided with the laws and ethics according to their standards. Whether one was a Christian or not, that person abided by the laws, ethics, and traditions that flowed from Christ's teaching.
Now things have been changing. Life is much more complex. New rules and standards are being brought forward. A new bureaucracy has been developing to administer many laws that have been passed. The various departments and agencies that are designed to administer the laws have adopted many regulations to further their regulation. Congress and the state legislatures have allowed the bureaucracy to author, interpret and enforce both laws and regulations. This approach has encouraged greater government control resulting in arbitrary and unjust actions. There are no reasonable limits placed on some government entities. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) has failed to provide fairness in many proceedings of government entities.
Corruption has increased in many areas. The administration of law and order is a key example. The U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and the judiciary all agree on certain principles when a person is charged with a crime and is tried as set out in the forward to Sidney Powell's book, "Licensed to Lie" by Judge Alex Kozinski, as follows:
1. The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
2. The defendant is entitled to a speedy trial.
3. There are rules governing the collection and presentation of evidence so that the defendant can receive a fair trial.
4. The Supreme Court has said that prosecutors have a particularly strong duty to act fairly because they are representatives "not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done." Kozinski quoted defense lawyer Brendan Sullivan, "if the government is not honest, it can trump even the best efforts of those of us who work in the system."
5. "Another important responsibility of prosecutors is to disclose to the defense any exculpatory information of which the government is aware. The Supreme Court announced this as a constitutional requirement in the 1963 case of Brady v. Maryland, and it has confirmed its underlying principles many times since. It may not be obvious to the lay reader why the government must provide the defendant with evidence that may undermine the prosecution, so it's worth a brief explanation. Most fundamental is the fact that the government is not an ordinary litigant whose interest lies in winning at all costs. Rather, the government's legitimate interest lies in convicting only those defendants who are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the government has evidence that casts doubt on the defendant's guilt, it has every interest in producing that evidence for the jury to consider in reaching its decision. As the Supreme Court noted in Brady, "an inscription on the walls of the Department of Justine states that proposition candidly for the federal domain: 'The United States wins its point whenever justice is done its citizens in the courts.'"
In her book" Licensed to Lie," Sydney Powell sets out various situations where the system failed, and in some instances, was corrected by an appellate court: United States v. Theodore F. Stevens, Arthur Anderson LLP v. United States, and a number of cases involving the Enron prosecutions.
The case of General Michael Flynn, the investigation by Robert Mueller, the statements by Congressman Adam Schiff, and the protests and riots of this summer are further examples of the challenges that jeopardize the rule of law under the Constitution.
Further updates with examples and links to pertinent writings:
1. The apparent politicization of our judicial system by the decision of the federal appeals court to continue the prosecution of General Flynn.
2. The continuing violence and killings taking place in U.S. cities with local government officials refusing to provide law and order for their residents. How can any responsible public official justify allowing the shootings and destruction of property that is continuing? The first obligation of our elected officials is to provide law and order.
3. The coverups of the corruption in the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of State, and other agencies. We are awaiting John Durham's report.
4. The treatment received by Justice Kavanaugh over unsubstantiated claims presented at his confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee was shameful. Likewise, the lack of respect shown to Attorney General Barr by members of the House Judiciary Committee was disgraceful.
5. Please see the Letter to an Anti-Trump Christian Friend by Professor Wayne Grudem, dated August 5, 2020. In this letter, Professor Grudem argues that the policies set out by President Trump override Trump's character flaws because the alternatives presented by the Democratic Party are so dangerous to our country.
6. Please see Our House Divided: Multiculturalism vs. America, a 2018 essay by Thomas D. Klingenstein, president of the Claremont Institute. In this article, Thomas Klingenstein provides a summary of how our country has changed over the past 60 years.
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