Foundations of Freedom “ Selective Incorporation, Loaded Guns, and More: Was the Bill of Rights to protect individuals or groups and states? What is the historical context of the Second Amendment? Tune in to learn the answers to these questions, as well as why “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”
Air Date:Â 02/27/2020
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â 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.
Faith and the Culture
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution 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 is their right and duty to be at all times armed that they are entitled the freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. WallBuilders Live, we’re talking about today’s hottest topics here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And with us is also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. All three of us, you can find out more at our website, wallbuilderslive.com.
And you can also go there to get archives of the program. If you’ve missed any shows last few weeks, you get it all right there at the website. And that’s also the place where you want to click on the contribute button, make that one-time or monthly contribution. And in so doing, you come alongside us, you become a partner of this program. That means you’re locking shields with us, you’re going into this culture war, some people call it that, in some ways it is very much a battle and to win a battle to win a culture, to influence and to change minds in the right direction and to get good policies, all those things, that takes dollars. Anytime you go to war, it takes a finance, structure in place, it takes someone willing to contribute to that cause, whether you go back to the Revolutionary War, any kind of battle like that.
Engage in the Culture War
And in this culture war, we need finances, to be able to do programs like this, to get on more stations, to get the information out there, to do training programs with young people and pastors and legislators. All of those things takes finances. And that means we got to give of our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. And we hope you’ll consider doing just a small piece of that today wallbuilderslive.com.
Today is a Thursday, so we call it Foundations of Freedom Thursday around here, WallBuilders, it’s a chance for you to ask questions about some of those founding principles, about a biblical application of those principles, how do you apply certain areas of the Constitution today? Whatever your question might be. Send it into firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s email@example.com.
Okay guys, we’re going to dive into some of the questions from, I feel like a, you know, it’s like a grab bag. We just reach in and get all these questions that folks have sent in and see what we got. This one is on individual rights. Okay, here’s the question. “Aren”t the Bill of Rights about individual rights, not collective rights, has the incorporation doctrine directed them away from individual rights to collective rights? And doesn’t that make the rights of the individual States collectives over individuality as the Bill of Rights were intended to be? Okay, so that question is from David. So basically, I think he’s asking if the 14th Amendment applying some of the Bill of Rights to the States has changed whether or not those are protecting your specific individual right and made it like a group right for everybody in that State. I think that’s a correct summation of the question. David, what do you think?
Selective Incorporation Doctrine
Yeah, there’s a couple aspects here. First, He raises the Selective Incorporation Doctrine. What that means is it goes back to something the court started doing the early 1900s, where it was really the process by which the US Supreme Court federalized the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights originally applied only to limiting the federal government not to limiting States. And so by Selective Incorporation, what the feds did, was said, well, we think we”ll be in charge of the Bill of Rights. We think will tell the States what they can and can”t do with it.
So Selective Incorporation didn’t really deal with individuals, it dealt with really the jurisdiction that was over that or the jurisdiction that applied to it, over it’s not the right word. But the jurisdiction, originally, the Bill of Rights was written to limit the federal government’s interference with individual rights. Well, the feds turned around through Selective Incorporation, said, we think will tell the States what they can and can’t do with these rights. And instead of us limiting our powers, we’re going to limit the State’s powers. And so it really was more about 10th Amendment kind of issues than it was about individual rights. So that that’s the first thing I would say about Selective Incorporation.
The collective aspect of it were that the Bill of Rights is really about groups more than individuals. That really didn’t come from the Bill of Rights or the Selective Incorporation Doctrine, anything else. That came from Law School, so as much as anything. It’s the progressive mentality of the 1920s that broke us into groups.
Individuals or Groups?
This goes back to the late 1800s. But the Robert Ingersoll and the [inaudible 04:29] and the Woodrow Wilson’s, those guys that regressives said, hey, it’s not about individuals, it’s about groups, are you from this group? And so immigration became group conscious, rather than just having good character and you know, health and etc. He said, well, we want somebody from this nation and somebody from this nation. And so where we are this progressives? It really is a matter what you are as an individual. It’s more important to know whether you’re gay or straight, whether you’re liberal or conservative, whether you’re black or white, whether you’re a senior millennial. We’re all about groups.
And so what really, just really infuriated me, and particularly in the Supreme Court decisions that we saw in the 80s and 90s and early 2000s, we had a number of Justices who actually wrote that the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect the minority from the majority. Now, that’s a group mentality. And here’s my question. Wait a minute. Based on what you just said, that really bothered me because when you look at me, I’m a white guy, and in this nation under the politics right now, they say that makes you a majority. Well, I’m also a male in this nation, under the politics right now, they say, oh males are majority. Well, really, we’re not. We’re 48%, women are 52%.
Is the Bill of Rights to Protect the Majority or the Minority?
But nonetheless, from a legal standpoint, I’m in a double majority as a white Anglo male. So does that mean that if I get accused of a crime, I don’t have the right to trial by Jury, because the Bill of Rights is to protect the minority from the majority? Do I lose the right of free speech? Do I lose the right of self-defense simply because I’m part of the wrong group? No. But that’s what the court started saying in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. And that’s not based on what the Bill of Rights does or doesn’t do.
So to take back to what the Bill of Rights was, when you go to the founding philosophy, the Founding Fathers said, here’s the deal. There is a God, a Creator God in heaven, that Creator God gives to every individual person certain rights and is the responsibility of government to defend those rights. Now, how do we know what those rights are? Well, the founders said they”re what are called natural rights or inalienable rights, the right of self-defense. That’s a right that God gives every single individuals. It’s a right given in nature. Every species in nature will defend its own life, the life of its young, its own property. You have the right of self-defense, that’s natural law.
So we’re going to put that in the Bill of Rights to say that government can’t interfere with your right of self-defense. You have the right to acknowledge God according the dictates of your conscience. Quakers do it one way .Catholics do it one way. Baptists do it one way. Presbyterians do it one way. Jews do it one way.
Individual, God-given Rights
We’re not going to let the federal government interfere with your right to acknowledge God according the dictates of your conscience. And by the way, you have a right to be protected in your home. And doesn’t matter what State your homes in, we’re not going to let the feds get involved in your home.
So every one of the Bill of Rights was to protect individual God given rights. And so the purpose the Bill of Rights was to keep the federal government from saying nobody can have a gun unless they’re registered and whatever or nobody can pray unless you pray this way. That’s what it was designed to do. And it wasn’t about that the State’s being in control or the feds being in control. It was about government being out of control. We don’t want the government controlling any of those rights, it’s out of their jurisdiction. And it wasn’t about minorities, majorities. So it was about individuals. Every individual has these God given rights. So that’s really kind of the right way to look at the Bill of Rights and all the other stuff that’s twisted off in the last century. It’s taken away from original intent, original intent really was good the way the Founders laid it out.
Well, individual rights is what most people think our Constitution protects. But like you said, it has been indoctrination in the Law Schools in the 1920s. Just think of our parents are having their kids go to these colleges today, that 99% of them teach this same kind of thing throughout the education. So that’s why there’s a change in the perception of what the constitution was intended to do. That’s the reason we do this program.
Send InÂ Your Questions
And we encourage people to share today’s program and other programs with your friends and family. You can do that at wallbuilderslive.com. Grab those links, send them out to folks and get them educated on these issues as well. More of your questions when we return from the break. And be sure and send in your questions if you haven’t sent one yet. You’ve been thinking about something in dealing with the Founding Fathers, Constitution, applying biblical principles to our society today, all of those things, send it into firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Elections are approaching, yet many Christians find involvement in civil government to be a distraction. After all, there’s so many demands on our time. There’s our careers and homes and families and especially our children. However, the Founding Fathers did not believe that involvement in civil government was a distraction from our families. In fact, they believe just the opposite. As Samuel Adams explained, “Every citizen will see and I hope be deeply impressed with a sense of it, how exceedingly important it is to himself and how intimately the welfare of his children is connected with it, that those who are to make the laws should be men of singular wisdom and integrity. By being involved in civil government and electing wise leaders, we actually secure a better life for our children.” Therefore, for your children’s sake, be actively involved in this year’s elections.
For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD
Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that bind him down for mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us Foundation of Freedom Thursday today. And the next question says, “I don’t know what your take will be on this issue. But being that I value all of your analysis on current events, thought I would ask.” I love that attitude, folks out there, be sure and send those questions, whether you think we’re going to agree with you or not. “I recently learned that the Senate Judiciary Committee blocked a bill that would have made it a felony to leave a gun loaded and unsecure citing that it would have the effect of punishing law abiding gun owners.” Law abiding gun owners would not have a gun out in the open and loaded in my point of view. “Is this the true effect of the bill they rejected? And I mean, the governor of Virginia did endorse it and we know how radical his views are or is this the bills full effect being reported in accurately? I’d appreciate it in-depth analysis. Thanks for all you do.”
Alright, we’re going to do the best we can for in-depth in our short program. But I think guys what this question is saying is, you know, if this build is making it illegal to have a gun loaded and quote- unquote unsecured, which that could mean hidden in your truck, but you know, not necessarily in a particular type of locked case. Is that person not a law abiding citizen? You know, what do you guys think?
Will New Legislation Eliminate Negligence?
Well, one of the things we do so often in society is we want to take somebody’s poor decision, and then we want to legislate it. Right? We want to pass a law because somebody was negligent and whatever said case was, and all of a sudden passing a law doesn’t make people smart. And if somebody was negligent in the beginning, they’re not going to go, oh, you know what, I thought this was really smart to leave loaded guns out for my kids to play with. But if the law says I can, I better not. No. Right? That’s utterly ridiculous that we would imagine that all of a sudden people will no longer be negligent if we just pass a law. Right?
If my wife has a hair dryer and we put on the hair dryer, right, a little sticker that says do not use in the shower. Oh, okay, now we got it. We are so interested in trying to legislate and micromanage people’s lives. And there could be some really good things, right, a good heart behind some piece of legislation where, hey, we’re trying to help this situation. But the question always is, is it the federal government’s job to do X, Y or Z, whatever the situation we’re talking about? And certainly, anytime that somebody is going to legislate where I can and cannot have a loaded gun, that’s going to be something that I’m going to be primarily against, because I think it goes against the Second Amendment, it goes against ultimately would argue the laws of nature, because the laws of nature teach about self-defense and animals can defend themselves whenever they find themselves threatened. And if that’s the situation, then I need to be able to defend myself whenever I find myself threatened.
The Federal Government Can’t Make Gun Owners Responsible
But it’s one thing to say we need to be responsible gun over owners, it’s something else for the federal government to say and here’s how I will make you a responsible gun owner. That’s not really their job in that same scenario as the way that I would perceive some of this.
And there’s a couple of fallacies even in the thinking to have a loaded gun secured away. Hey, if I need a gun, I need a quick. If somebody comes through my front door, I can’t say, wait a minute, I got to go open my lockbox, get the gun so I can shoot you. I need that thing available right then in a quick response.
And one of the challenges even with some of the wording is that there’s a level of subjectivity. And some of the wording says, right, you have having a secure location. Who defines secure location?
Because right now, guys, we are pretty much all packing as we are here and I would argue that my gun right now on my belt is in a secure location. That’s not what some people specifically, right some of the anti-gun crowd, they wouldn’t say, oh no, you shouldn’t have that, blah, blah. So who determines what is secure?
They want you to have it in a locked case inside your belt. Right?
With the trigger guard and a chain on top
Yeah, make sure it’s unloaded and then you’ll put your mag in and then you rack around and it, right?
Oh, no wait, your ammo and your mag need to be in the trunk of your car. So you have to leave the studio, go to the car, get that out of your trunk, come back and then hopefully by then you can stop the [crosstalk 14:06]. Go ahead.
Well, let me, I’ll give you another scenario where this is illogical. At our ranch, inside the front door of our ranch, we have three rifles standing right there. They’re all loaded, they’re all ready to go. Because when we see a Varma going across the ground, we don’t have time to do anything, except grab a gun and take it out.
Last year on the ranch, we shot more than 50 poisonous snakes on the ranch. When we see one, we grab a gun, we take it out. We don’t say, wait a minute, go unlock it, go get in the safe, go. We need them right there.
Now, anytime that the kids or grandkids are coming over, we are responsible gun owners and we say, hey, let’s change to what we do. But also we make sure we work with the grandkids to say, okay, now guys, these are loaded guns, these are not toys, these are not for you to play with. We do a lot of gun instruction, but we keep it in a very safe environment. But again, this is the problem is, you don’t need to legislate somebody’s negligence. If somebody negligent, they need better training. But again, we confuse the role of the federal government. The federal government’s job, primarily the Founding Fathers said, was to protect inalienable rights.
Or by the way, State government, in this case because it’s a Virginia legislature, we’re talking about.
The Purpose of Government
Oh, absolutely. But right, where the Founding Fathers in the Declaration talk about the purpose of government is to protect our God given rights. So whatever level of government, their job is protect our rights. One of those is the right of self-defense. So I totally support, let’s get better gun training, right, go in schools. Let’s teach kids gun safety. I absolutely support better education. I do not support levels of legislation to restrict gun owners use of their own firearms.
Okay, guys, we’re going to take a quick break. We got another Second Amendment question coming up. In fact, we got a whole mailbag full of those, but we’ve picked a few that we’re going to get to today, we’ll see how many we get to next week. Here we go. Stay with us, folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Share Your Vet’s Story
Hey, friends, have you been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long and all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifices they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories. Here on WallBuilders Live, once in a while, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines, that have made incredible sacrifices, have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.
One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War Two veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live from folks that were in the band of brothers to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived being Indianapolis, to so many other great stories you’ve heard on WallBuilders Live. You have friends and family that also serve.
If you have World War Two veterans in your family that you would like to have their stories shared here on WallBuilders Live, please email us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live.
The Greatest Political priviledge
Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realized 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 recorded to the human race.”
We’re back here on wall WallBuilders Live, it”s foundations of Freedom Thursday and couple of questions along the Second Amendment line today. This next one is from Tamra in Kansas, says in my understanding, the Second Amendment is for the protection of the citizens of the USA. When the Constitution was written, the wise men put this into place in case the government outgrew their britches.” I like the way she put that. “Now, in biblical understanding, God placed government into place to deal with justice on this side of heaven. This is a very surface Statement, but all of this to ask. What is our places Christians and citizens when our government tries to destroy us?”
The Purpose of the Second Amendment
So a good question and really ties it back to the Second Amendment. And I do want to say, David and Tim, before you answer this, there is a book on wallbuilders.com that is specifically about the Second Amendment, it has quote after quote after quote from the Founding Fathers, from judicial opinions and really answers this question in-depth in terms of the purpose of the Second Amendment and lays it out. And it’s a quick read, it’s a great tool, so encourage people check that out at wallbuilders.com. Today, David, Tim, Second Amendment and the idea of keeping that tyrannical government at bay, what is our place as Christians and citizens when the government turns on us?
Guys, one of the noted sermons in the founding era, you know, we’ve all read it. It talked about how that it was the position of Christians to reject tyrannical rule and this is where the phrase, “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God originated”. Benjamin Franklin suggested that should be the American motto, because it wasn’t that they were throwing off government, they were throwing off tyrannical government. Because the Declaration they even explained, we believe that if government does not operate the way that we think is a biblical position, that they acknowledge God, God given rights, that they protect those rights, that they have a fixed moral law, that they give people options to consider the government, as they said in the Declaration, if that ever fails to happen, it’s the right of the people to alter or to abolish or throw off and to form a new government.
So these were not anarchists, but they were people who did not support unbiblical positions of government and part of how they believed you could protect against that was the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment was written specifically to stop the oppression and tyranny of people in powers where they could oppress you with their tyranny. And the idea of the Second Amendment largely, and actually, Rick, you mentioned the book on wallBuilders.com, there’s so many things in that book that even going to State laws. And now in certain States, in certain towns, you were required by rule to have a gun in case there was attacks, right from another government, from another nation, from an Indian tribe, you had to be prepared.
And this is something certainly as we look at the Second Amendment, we lose perspective for getting the historical context that the Second Amendment absolutely was about protecting, guarding defending your family, the community. Because at that time, the towns were small communities and you knew everybody and you rallied together. And so it absolutely was about defending you, your friends, your family from oppression, from tyranny, from injustice, right, from the robbers, the murderers, whatever the case might be.
And so kind of context behind it. That was the idea and as Christians, to say that we support the Second Amendment is not an unchristian position. Because certainly, I would argue that as the head of my home, it is my job to help protect and defend my wife and our daughter. That is my job as the head of the home. And certainly, I’m not looking to get in fights, I’m trying to avoid every negative situation as much as possible.
But the reason I train with guns, the reason I carry guns, the reason I go to Front Sight with Rick and the family is because I want to make sure if evil ever comes, right, if tyranny ever comes, then I am prepared to defend my wife and my daughter, ultimately, right as we’re trying to grow our family, we have more kids, I want to defend my family, because they’re important to me and I believe God’s and trusted them to me. And part of my job as the head of my home is to be the defender, the protector, provider for my home.
And this is where absolutely the Second Amendment allows us the freedom to protect our family, our community and really, it’s a deterrent to other people who might want to be oppressive. Which actually, if you go back to World War Two, the Japanese, it was reported that they didn’t want to do a land invasion. They said, because if you invade America, behind every blade of grass, there will be a gun pointed at you because all the Americans are armed and know how to use it. Guns really can be deterrent to people who want to do bad things, including other nations.
And including our own nation, right. I mean, that was the thing that kind of keeps the politicians honest, quote-unquote, at least keeps them from trying to attack. And the Founders said that. This will this will keep them in check and give us a benefit that most nations in Europe don’t enjoy it.
Alright guys, we got another question coming at you when we come back from the break. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live, it is Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution, but just felt like, man, the classes are boring, or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know, but it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green and it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall, in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life, to teach the original intent of our founding fathers.
We call it the Quick Start Guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizen”s guide to America’s Constitution. You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic. It’s fun, it’s entertaining and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s Called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at wallbuilders.com
True Corrective of Abuses Â
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.”
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, Foundations of Freedom Thursday today and time for one last quick question. This one comes from Scott. He said, “When I go to a VA facility, I see a sign that says, no firearms or weapons allowed on this property, just because it’s a law doesn’t mean it’s constitutional. What say you? Thank you so much in advance and love what you guys do.” That one’s from Scott in Idaho. Guys, what say you is the way you put it?
Absolutely, right. Just because it’s law doesn’t mean it’s constitutional. There’s a lot of laws that are passed today that are not constitutional. We talked about many on this program. Not the least of which is the fact that abortion is legal. There’s nowhere in the constitution that ever mentions abortion, much less that it’s legal to take someone’s life. The Constitution talks about actually linked to, but right we defend the right to life in this nation. That’s part of constitutional law is the right to life reference from the declaration. It’s one of the inalienable rights enumerated for individuals. But just because abortion is legal doesn’t make it constitutional. Although today, people would argue, no, if the laws passed, that makes it constitutional. It’s not really how that works. It’s just that a lot of these things have not been challenged or they might not be according to original intent.
The idea of the Second Amendment was not that you carry your gun with you until you went to certain buildings and you have to leave your gun somewhere else. No, the idea was that you could be armed to protect yourself whenever was needed, which is one of the things that we’re super happy to see. There are some military decisions being made, where now that there are some soldiers who can have their personal side arms with them on a base so that if there is an active shooter situation, you don’t have a bunch of unarmed victims who are waiting to be injured, you have people who are armed who can deal with the situation. But that statement is absolutely correct. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s constitutional, especially not an original intent.
Foundations of Freedom “ Selective Incorporation, Loaded Guns, and More
But that’s why we do these Thursday program is to dive into that original intent to make sure we have the right foundations upon which our nation was built. And we continue those foundations. We make sure we preserve this freedom for future generations. Thank you very much for listening today. Thanks for all the questions that were sent in. Be sure to send yours into email@example.com. And also go to wallbuilderslive.com today, consider making a contribution. Check out those archives where you can listen to programs from the last few weeks.
And also check out some of the links. You can become a Constitution coach. You can take Foundations of Freedom and the TV program that we have and use that in your Sunday school class. There”s so many different things you can do to help educate, equip and inspire the people in your community right there around you, even your friends and family. In fact, take today’s program and share it. You can use your show social media tools to influence what’s going on in the culture. And in doing so, you become a force multiplier, you become a part of the solution. We appreciate you being a part of it. We appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
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.”