How Do We Rely On The Bible To Govern The Government: Its Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! Always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your most pressing questions!

Air Date: 05/30/2019

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Greatest Political Privilege

President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”

Faith And The Culture

RICK:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! Always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your questions such as , and so much more, right here on WallBuilders Live!

I guess we are diving into the stack of questions from the audience and folks at home. If you would like to send one in, be sure to send it in to [email protected] The first one comes from John Lamb; it’s about arbitration.

He said, “I’m a daily listener of the WallBuilders podcast and love hearing about the topics you all discuss. Also, I just read David Barton’s Original Intent a while back, which was very informative {and enjoyable.}” By the way, folks at home, Original Intent is available right now at WallBuilders.com.

Original Intent

It is–maybe maybe David doesn’t like me calling it this. I call it “the Bible of the Founding Fathers,” because it really does have so many quotes. The back quarter of it is just a bibliography showing you where all of these things came from. Anyway, it’s a great way to really get to know the Founders and what they meant in the Constitution; so, check out Original Intent just like John Lamb did.

Anyway, he said, “I enjoy hearing and reading about history plus love the perspective and approach to government in culture you all bring to the table each day. My question is this: In order to use a product or service, many companies, businesses, and corporations require consumers to sign some type of agreement that all disputes and lawsuits will arise via arbitration rather than a trial by jury. Presumably, arbitration is conducted by a neutral arbitrator; but, in reality, I believe it makes it more likely to get a favorable ruling for the business rather than the consumer.

Furthermore, it creates opportunities for corruption since it also is easier to bribe one person than an entire jury. Is it constitutional–” is his question, “for businesses to be able to force their customers to agree to this in order to do business with them? I realize that technically they aren’t forcing us; we’re voluntarily agreeing to it when we use our products or services.”

He might have just answered his own question there. “I understand that we are technically free to find someone else who does not require us to agree to this; but, is there anyone else out there practically speaking? It seems to me that because all businesses can require this, virtually all of them do, leaving us with nowhere to go unless we are willing to sign away our constitutional rights.

Is Arbitration Constitutional?

“Is this system unfair to consumers? What are your thoughts on this, guys?” All right, John.

Good question, Mr. Lamb; thank you for sending that in. I’m going to toss it over to David and Tim. I have some thoughts here, guys; but, I’m just going to punt or toss this one on the table and see what you guys think.

There are a lot of questions in here.

DAVID:

Well, since you are a registered arbitrator and mediator and do this legally on a genuine, professional basis, I can’t imagine you would have any opinions on this. I’m shocked that you would want to say something on this, but knew you would.

I’ll say right upfront that John’s exactly right on this. You have a constitutional right to trial by jury. But, you also have the choice of whether or not to sign that away.

And, if you choose not to sign that away, then you don’t get to do businesses with companies that want that. I understand this from the company’s side in a very real sense. I helped run a number of 501c3 organizations, and we have had organizations without arbitration or organizations that require it.

For those that did not require it, it cost us sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle with a disgruntled employee that had no basis, that lost the legal suit. But, in the meantime, it cost us a lot of bucks to have the attorneys do all the things that are required like the depositions and everything else.

Yet, others–which, it is really easy to go in, have an arbitrator look at it; he says, “No, no, no.

“As an employee, it was an at-will employment. You got fired from not doing what was right. You can sue and go to trial by jury, but you’re clearly wrong.”

So, I have seen it save hundreds of thousands of dollars, experienced that. We see that in a lot of businesses.

Similar to Non-disclosure Agreements

TIM:

Well, guys, this also reminds me of something similar to even when companies have employees sign non-disclosure agreements, where you go, “Wait a second. You can’t take away my freedom of speech. I should be able to say whatever I want.”

Well, no, in this company there might be certain things we work with like sensitive information or data. Therefore, if you are inside the belly of the beast, so to speak, you’re not going to be able to tell people everything you saw, because of the sensitive data or sensitive information we work with. So, signing the non-disclosure agreement, it would seem like that contradicts our freedom of speech.

Well, not exactly in this scenario, because this was an at-will employment where you understood the kind of company you were getting into, signed up for this, volunteered for this. You weren’t compelled to enter into this contract an agreement. And so, to me, this is not that different from what a lot of companies do with multiple areas, whether it be with speech, with non-disclosure, with arbitration agreements.

There’s a lot of things people do. But, Dad, as you pointed out, if you’re entering into this voluntarily, then this is not something that you are being compelled to give up a constitutional right. And, remember, the Constitution was written to limit the federal government, not private businesses. Private businesses–this what the free market does and regulates.

Let the Free Market Regulate Private Businesses

If the business is doing something that is bad practice, then we trust the free market is going to vote with their dollars to prevent this business from being successful, because word of mouth is actually more powerful than most advertising campaigns. You can’t spend enough money to promote your business to be a really good business if everybody has that experience with you says, “No, they’re terrible; stay away from them.”

RICK:

That’s true.

TIM:

Well, this is where the free market kind of helps control some of those things. And so, knowing the Constitution was written to limit what the federal government can do, it really doesn’t involve itself as much with the private arena of business.

DAVID:

And, within that framework, the other thing that I think is significant with this, is that while you have a right to trial by jury, the way we do things today, the way that laws have been written to–in certain state–to really encourage lawsuits. We’re an extremely litigious society. You’re seeing commercials all the time that “If you hurt here, have a pain here, or if you ever worked in this company 43 years ago, we can get you millions.”

So, literally for years, there was a particular county in Mississippi that every class action lawsuit wanted to get there, because in that county they notoriously awarded you millions and millions and millions and millions in damages for things that may have been only worth $10,000. And, that’s why tort reform came around because of the abuse of the legal system, particularly by trial attorneys who who run advertising claiming that they can get you money. Listen, they’re not doing that for your benefit but because they get a contingency fee of up to 40 percent.

A Litigious Society

They make money by being able to sue and often sue, don’t win the lawsuits, but get the insurance companies to settle rather than go to court; because for an insurance company, it’s cheaper to pay $100,000 in a settlement somewhere than it is to go into a court in a Mississippi county and lose $6.8 million. So, there is abuse of that trial-by-jury system because of the way that we don’t limit tort reform. And, many states do not limit tort reform but encourage litigiousness.

And, when you have a litigious society with people who are motivated by money rather than justice–that’s what’s driven much of this; it’s been the abuse of the judicial system. So, while there is a right to trial by jury–and, Tim, as you pointed out, this is a private contract; it is not limiting the government. This is us individually in private businesses and sectors.

And, Rick, you’ve got the experience on this as well. What’s your perspective?

There’s No Perfect System

RICK:

Yeah, I would say I’m much more favorable to any kind of arbitration like this, mediation, or any alternative dispute resolution than Mr. Lamb is. Though, I think he may just be questioning it; maybe conceptually he’s concerned about it. I’ve seen it go both ways; there’s no perfect system.

There have been situations where the little guy fared a lot better. I’ve been in situations where they didn’t. And, the thing about most arbitration clauses is you do get the opportunity; either side can ask for more than one arbitrator.

So, one of his concerns was that it would just be one person. You know, most of these clauses do allow for you to ask for three arbitrators if you’re concerned about that. Either side can demand that.

It runs up the costs; but, both you guys, David and Tim, you all hit on the key elements here. This came about because of the high costs of litigation and it taking years and years and years for the little guy to get his day in court. Also, because of the abuse, how much it costs to win a suit that the other guy, the little guy, didn’t even have a chance at winning; they were just trying to harass.

So, all of that created this world of alternative dispute resolution. And, usually, it’s better. I encourage everyone to at least put a mediation clause in their contracts so that you’re forced to sit down with the person that you have this problem with and try to work it out in mediation.

You’re not forced to settle at the end of the day; but, you’re given that opportunity to work through things and get it done in, really, a Biblical fashion. Then, if you don’t, you can still go to court or arbitration depending on your particular contract. That’s my two cents.

Typically, it’s better and helps save costs. And, both sides are going to still get their day in court. It’s just faster and more efficient.

But, no question it can be abused, just like any other system can. There’s no perfect system. And, this is a willingly–you’re choosing to participate.

Legitimate Concerns

Now, he’s asking a lot more on the consumer side. A lot of times, we click on these “I agree to terms,” and I think you can challenge that anyway if you didn’t really know you were giving away your right to a trial by jury, a lot of the consumer stuff you can get around. But, certainly, the employee situations or if you’re doing business-to-business and signing a contract, you’re going in eyes wide open saying, “Hey, if things fall apart, we’re going to look for a faster way to settle our dispute, move on, and do something different.”

Anyway, yeah, I’m definitely more favorable. And, I think his concerns are legit to raise. But, I would much rather consumers have the option. Tim, I love what you said about how that right is supposed to prevent the government from abusing you and making sure that you have that right; it’s not at all about the free market and you being able to choose other routes.

A Christian Perspective on Arbitration

DAVID:

Rick, let me add one more thought too, because there’s a Christian perspective to this. We’re told in First Corinthians 6, “Why are you doing lawsuits against each other? Brothers, you should settle this in the Church. Don’t you have those that are judges capable among you?”

And, that was a rhetorical question; the obvious answer is “yes.” So, he said, “Don’t you know that you’re going to judge the world and angels? Can’t you judge these these incidents among you?”

And so, from a Christian standpoint, what we actually do is in every contract that we have, we require Christian arbitration, based on that First Corinthians 6 policy. There are a number of Christian firms across the nation that have Christian attorneys, Biblical principles. Therefore, every contract we do requires that, rather than go to court; because I firmly believe that as Christians, we don’t take each other to court.

The Bible says, “You’d rather be defrauded than take someone to court.” So, we require that Christian arbitration in everything we do from a Biblical standpoint. But, from a constitutional standpoint, we’ve covered it. You do have a constitutional right for this; you can waive it, but it is for government, not for you individually.

And, both sides can be abused, as Rick pointed out. But, it generally goes in the right direction on arbitration side.

RICK:

Okay, guys, we’re going to take a quick break and be right back on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. For folks at home, if you’ve got questions, email them in to [email protected]. When we come back, we’ll get to some more of those foundational questions.

The True Corrective

President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And, if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

 

Comedy and the Constitution at Front Site

Hey friends, Rick Green here. Have you ever wanted to laugh while learning? Would you like to actually have some humor included in your education about the Constitution? Well, that’s what Brad Stine and myself do in what we call Comedy and the Constitution.

We do it all over the country and can bring it to your community. But, we’re doing something we’ve never done before. We’re taking the Comedy and the Constitution Front Site in Nevada, and we’re going to combine it with the Constitutional Defense Program we’ve been doing for a couple of years.

Now, the Constitutional Defense Program is where you actually get some constitution training and some handgun training to you learn how to defend yourself and your family. You’re going to get all of it: the constitutional training; the opportunity to laugh with Brad Stine, God’s comic comedian, and you’re going to the handgun training at Front Site.

This is a one time event happening June 3rd and 4th. There’s still time to sign up; but, space is very limited. So, if you want to be on the range with us, then you’ve got to get signed up right now at RickGreen.com. Find out more; it’s going to be a great event on June 3rd and 4th. So, get signed up today at RickGreen.com.

The Bible and Common Sense

Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

RICK:

We’re back now our WallBuilders Live! Its Foundations of Freedom Thursday. We appreciate you joining us.

Also, thank you to all our listeners for sending in questions. Send them over to [email protected]

Next one comes from {Sue Lay}, and it is this: “Assuming the Founding Fathers had two things to depend on {while} creating and establishing this country: the Bible and common sense, it seems we need to be have both to keep balance in government. The question is How do we do that?” So, I guess the question is both How do we rely on the Bible in the way we run government today; and, where do we get common sense once again and plug it into the government in our culture?

DAVID:

I would say historically and, actually experientially, the more Bible you have, the more common sense you tend to have. Actually, I think Dennis Prager has maybe the best explanation of how these two things go together. One year, he was speaking to the WallBuilders ProFamily Legislators Conference, talking about the need for common sense in American, in legislation etc.

“The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of wisdom.”

He said, “It really is the Bible that provides that.” And, he quoted from Proverbs where it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” He said, “Wisdom is knowing how to apply knowledge, having the understanding to apply knowledge and make it work.”

So, he said, “The fear of the Lord is beginning of that common sense; that is common sense.” And, he’s exactly right. When you look at what we would call a “lack of common sense” today in so many policies, it generally comes from those who are much more secular than they are Biblically minded.

And, there’s a lot of Christians who do wacky things. But, the more Biblically-minded they are, the more balanced and logical they tend to be.

TIM:

Well, and common sense also is very much a reflection of human nature and how the world operates. God made both humans and the world. The Word reveals how He made those things and how those things operate.

So, as you read and study the Bible, it gives you a picture of how the world operates. You have better understanding for what you’re even seeing around you.

DAVID:

That’s right.

TIM:

Why do people do what they do? Why are they motivated that way? And well, wait a second; so, they can walk in the flesh, or they can walk in the Spirit.

Male and Female

The Bible begins to unfold and give you explanations that really, we would look and go, “Well, that’s just common sense;” but, we understand, right? For all of human history, it used to be common sense that there was male and there was female, that God made to different genders. And, this is something now, culturally, we’re incredibly confused on.

Why? Because we can’t look at the world around us and draw the obvious conclusion that is confirmed and even explained, espoused, in the Bible. But, this is where reading the Bible only affirms what you are seeing around you with the creation that God made.

And, this is where even, to answer the question that Rick initially asked, how do we get common sense and the Bible back in government or whatever capacity we’re talking about? We really have to get back to people that know the Bible, because this solves both of those problems.

God and Natural Law

DAVID:

The other thing I’d throw out is I’ve observed that people that live in a more rural life in the country tend to have more common sense. I think that goes because that is part of the revelation of God and natural law; the Founding Fathers called them the “laws of nature and nature’s God.” And, if you’re living surrounded by God’s creation on a daily basis, working in it 12 to 14 hours a day, you see all sorts of things that are just common sense, because that’s the way the world works.

And, Tim, as you mentioned, the Bible talks about and records so much of this experience. So, you can learn the experience of nature and of so many others by reading the Bible, so you get that experience. But, in the same way, when you tend to be in a more rural life, you know what happens with a chainsaw.

I can have the best wishes for a chainsaw, but it can still cut off my feet if I’m not using it right. Same thing whether I use a tractor or get on a horse. I can have the best intentions and it may seem right; but, experience tends to be fairly harsh in the country.

And, it really does bring you up to what works, what doesn’t work, and what common sense is. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are, there are laws of nature you have to deal with. That’s the other place where I see a lot of common sense, is with people who have to experience the laws of nature where it doesn’t really matter what they think about those laws of nature, there are consequences.

So, I think that the Bible and an outdoor-kin-of life where you have to live among the laws of nature, really helps establish common sense.

The Origins of Human Government and Hierarchy

TIM:

Well, in fact, our next question somewhat follows up on that; so, we’ll grab this one before the break. This one comes from Matthew. He said, “I’m interested in how you understand a core question I’d never asked or heard until recently while reading Frank Barlow’s book The Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom.

“The question was asked: What is the origins of human government and hierarchy? It’s pointed out that the first human government came with the first city in Genesis 4:17-18, and then in the tower of Babel. The argument is made that all human government is man’s attempt to rule themselves away from the presence of God.

“It is said, ‘God permits human government and even uses wicked man to bring about good; but, ultimately all human government is corrupted and unable to bring peace to the world. The government of politics is about power and to control other people.’ If you could help me answer this core question of government, I would appreciate it.”

And, just verify, I think his question is: Is all human government bad, or is there a godly purpose for human government?

The Noahide Laws

DAVID:

Well, I’ve got really several things that I would disagree with on the premise. And, it’s not his premise, it came from the book he cited. But, most agree that the first civil government actually came with the Noahide laws in Genesis 9, not back in Genesis 4. Now, you have combinations of people coming together and wanting to build a Tower of Babble, whatever they want to do; that’s that combination. But, the institution of civil government actually goes to the delivery of the first civil laws that respect how you deal with others horizontal to you, not your vertical relationship with God, but your horizontal relationship. And so, in the Noahide laws, it’s: here’s what you do to murderers; here’s what you do to thieves.

It goes through and says, “Here’s what’s right and wrong horizontally; and, here’s the penalties you have for that.” I would say that government is not necessarily a reflection of man and his sinful nature, because government is an institution ordained by God. We’re told the government is on His shoulders, and I don’t think he’s carrying a sinful institution, but it’s something He created.

Now, can it be perverted and used the wrong direction? You bet it can. The history of the world is filled with governments that did not do what God told governments they should do, and that was to punish the wicked and reward the righteous.

So, governments don’t exist just because of sinfulness of man. They also exist to reward the righteous; there is a positive side of government that I think many people don’t see.

Now, I agree government’s necessary because of the nature of man, as James Madison explained, “If all men were angels, we wouldn’t need government.”

The Government is on His Shoulders

But, that doesn’t change the fact that the government is on His shoulders. It’s a positive institution for our benefit, for our good and helps us regulate and control that which is bad. So, I don’t see it as being a reflection of a sinful institution or nature.

TIM:

Let me point out something else from Romans 13, Dad. I know you mentioned Romans 13. One of the things that strikes me as significant is Paul identifies in Romans 13, that that God is the One who created and orchestrates governments.

Government is from God; that institution is from God. So, why would Paul say that this comes from God if it was, in fact, originated by man. Presumably, Paul knows more about this, as a guy who grew up as a Pharisee, studied the Torah and probably had it memorized, because one of the requirements for guys to be a Pharisee; actually many Jewish boys even to this day memorize large portions of the Torah.

Government Did Come From God.

Paul probably knew this fairly well. And so, this is where I think sometimes we just have a faulty understanding. Sometimes somebody says something ,and it gets passed on along enough that people begin to accept it as true without really questioning, “Wait a second; how does that line up with the rest of Scripture?”

I think there’s too many other verses in Scripture that contradict this notion that Man originated government. No, in fact, government did come from God.

RICK:

We’re gonna take a quick break and be right back with our last question of the day. Stay with us; it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday here on WallBuilders Live! And, you can drive the conversation by sending the questions [email protected]

We’ll be right back.

Be At All Times Armed

Thomas Jefferson said, “The constitutions of most of our states, and of the United States, assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. That they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”

Moment From America’s History

David:

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. The teachings of God’s Word are the best friend civil government has. Because these teachings deal with the heart. Only by dealing with the heart can crime be prevented. For as Jesus explained in Matthew 5 all crime comes from the heart.

Understanding this, Daniel Webster, the great defender of the Constitution once declared, “The cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness. It inspires respect for law and order and gives strength to the whole social fabric.Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens.”

Indeed, it is not the good Christians whom the police arrest for armed robbery, gang activity, or other such crimes. Understanding this, the Founding Fathers encouraged religious instruction. For as Daniel Webster so accurately noted, “Good Christians make good citizens.” For more information on God’s hand in American history. Contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8 -REBUILD.

Greatest Political Privilege

President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”

RICK:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live! There’s time for one more question from the audience for our Foundations of Freedom Thursday program.

Lisa Tracy sends in this question, “Was President George Washington known as the Father of the Constitution? I thought he was known as the ‘Father of our Country;’ but, my granddaughter’s in kindergarten, did her first project for school, and this was part of what was written on her project presentation.” So, “Father the Constitution” or “Father the Country,” guys? George Washington.

Father of the Constitution

DAVID:

Well, I am thrilled to see somebody calling George Washington the “Father of the Constitution,” because they used to be called that. We got away from that when secular professors decided, “No, no, no, James Madison’s the only guy who knows what the Constitution means.” But, back in the day, John Marshall and others said, “Look; there is no Constitution without George Washington.”

So, you’ll find in the 1800s, they really listed between five and six guys as the Fathers of the Constitution. And, even Madison said, “there is no one single Father.” Therefore, the fact that George Washington’s getting recognition again, not only is the Father of the Country, which he is, but also as a Father of the Constitution, that’s a great move.

TIM:

Well, it’s worth pointing out one of the reasons that many of these professors you identified, these scholars professors, embraced this notion that it was Madison and not Washington–I mean, you can make an argument that Washington wasn’t the one who who wrote and drafted this. He only oversaw the whole thing. And, what professors try to point to is the fact James Madison wrote the majority of the Constitution.

Now, that’s a very faulty statement as well; he did not write the majority. In fact, the majority of his suggestions were not approved by the rest of the group that was there with the Constitution. So, the majority the Constitution did not come from him.

People say, “Well, it came from the Virginia Plan, which he was in charge of.” That’s also a very big misrepresentation. But, this is where, if you backup, as you already pointed out, the guy who brought this all together–because remember at the Constitutional Convention, there was great disagreement and dissension amongst the ranks of all these states that were sovereign states coming together to try to unite. And, almost every state had their own plan, and nobody liked any other states plans.

George Washington Held Things Together

There was great chaos and disagreement; George Washington is the one that helps hold this thing together. He’s known as the Father of the Nation; but, had he not been there at Constitution, the Constitution probably never would have happened and come together either.

So, it’s not misstated to say, “He is the Father of the Constitution.” It’s just that’s not generally how it’s reported today.

RICK:

Not either or. He’s both Father of the Country and Father of the Constitution. And, I didn’t realize; that’s pretty interesting that in the earlier days he was called the “Father of the Constitution.”

Like you said, David, I’ve always heard it as Madison, and that was something that came along later, not the Founding Era guys themselves. Very interesting and great question. And, we got a lot more questions, but just don’t have time to get to them today.

So, don’t miss Foundations of Freedom Thursday in the coming weeks. And, you can find more of our past Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs on our website right now at WallBuildersLive.com.

While you’re there, hover over for just a split second, that donate button. Then, click on it and make your one-time contribution or a monthly contribution by coming alongside us and being a part of this program. You can do that by giving of your finances.

Relying on the Bible to Govern Government & More!

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Questions of Power

Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”