Celebrating the Bill of Rights, Part Two: Join us as we celebrate Bill of Rights Day! September 25th is the day when Congress proposed the Bill of Rights, so we’re going to be learning some specifics about the Bill of Rights today! We’ll be talking about what things we believe the federal government can never touch, why they can’t touch those things, and more!
Air Date: 09/26/2018
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.
Faith And The Culture
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 from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re actually picking up today where we left off yesterday, celebrating the Bill of Rights Day. Yesterday was September 25th. That’s when the Bill of Rights was proposed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. We’re celebrating a second day of that because we didn’t get through the entire Bill of Rights yesterday. We’re here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us, he’s a national speaker, pastor, and president here at WallBuilders, and my name’s Rick Green, a former Texas legislator.
You can find out more at WallBuildersLive.com, our radio station listing is there. You can also get archives of the program, including yesterday’s program, which you definitely want to listen to if you missed that. That’s the beginning of this Bill of Rights celebration and education.
Also go to WallBuilders.com. I’d always recommend that you go to WallBuilders.com for some great tools to equip yourself and your family and inspire you, but I’m specifically going to encourage you to go today to get Constitution Alive, so that you can dive further into the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution. In that program we actually take you into Independence Hall, the very room where the Constitution was framed. It’s where the Declaration was done. In that room we teach all the way through the Constitution.
We go to David’s library and we pull out all kinds of cool stuff off the shelves like documents, photographs, and cool things to learn about the history of the Constitution. So check out Constitution Alive.
Then lastly, if you’d like to host a Constitution class in your church or your community, you can use our Constitution Alive DVDs, you can bring us in to teach on the Constitution, or give a presentation to start that off. You can find out more at RickGreen.com. Sign up for that email list.
If you have any questions about how to host that class we’d love to help you.
Alright David, Tim we are-
Constitution Alive in Action
By the way, before you do that, let me say something.
I just got back from Idaho. I was speaking at an event there. Great event, great people there from all across the region. Rural part of Idaho. I cannot tell you how many people came up to me and said, “Hey we are currently teaching the Constitution Alive course”, I had pastors come up and tell me that.
I find this just all over the country. Every time I turn around, somebody is teaching that course. That is such a healthy thing for the future of the country, to get people to know the Constitution, know the Bill of Rights, and know what it says. That’s when you can start defending your rights, asserting them, protecting them, or keeping government limited the way it’s supposed to be.
So that really is a good deal, and I would really encourage people to start this in your own group somehow. If you’ve got a group of folks or a group of neighbors, or you want to do a Thursday night meet up at your house or whatever it is, become an instructor and facilitate a Constitution Alive. It is a cool course, it’s got some written curriculum that goes with it and that is something that’s really good for every citizen.
Now David, some of these groups that have been hosted have gone in and, for their last class or something, I’ve actually been in town and been able to go over and visit with them. One of the things that I’ve loved seeing is the sense of community, because they come together and go, “ Man, I’m not the only one that’s been concerned about this,” and they kind of sharpened each other’s countenance and get excited and say, “Hey, we need to do a voter guide, we need to do registration drives in our church,” or whatever it is.
That Constitution class gets them educated and equipped and all of a sudden you’re going, “You know what, my gut was right on these things. We are losing some of these freedoms. We do need to be involved.”
They get to be around other folks that are concerned about those things, but also that are happy warriors and joyful about being able to bring these truths to the culture. So some of our listeners out there may be the ones that can help create that, and host that in their particular community. We’d love to see that happen. Maybe a Bill of Rights Day celebration here can be a kind of inspiration for starting that this fall, or maybe next spring.
A Quick Recap
Yesterday we laid the foundation. We talked a lot about the history of the Bill of Rights and why that happened, the controversy among the founding fathers, of whether or not to do a Bill of Rights and put that in the Constitution, (of course it did happen!) and we very quickly, at the end of yesterday’s program, ran through the First Amendment.
How about we repeat those five freedoms in the First Amendment real quick before we go into 2nd through 10th?
Yeah, the five freedoms protected in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: You have the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, assembly, and petition. These are the five freedoms of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Those are the first things in the Bill of Rights, which was a listing of rights we believe the federal government could never infringe on.
Freedom to Assemble… Peaceably
Let me ask you, does that cover the right of Antifa to gather the way they do and hold their meetings the way they do?
It does protect their right to peaceably assemble.
There you go. There’s the keyword.
But if they do not peaceably assemble, it is not protected. It is not the right of protesters to go to the city of Baltimore and destroy the city of Baltimore. It doesn’t protect the right of protesters in a city, be it Detroit, or Dallas, or anywhere you want, you have to peaceably assemble.
However, backup to the civil rights, when you had so many black leaders in early America with Martin Luther King Jr. as they’re assembling, and you have towns coming against them, turning on hydrants, you had hoses (they were spraying them) and they’re losing the dogs and saying, “You can’t be here.”
They were peaceably assembling. You have the right. federal government cannot come in and tell you you cannot peaceably assemble. However, we’re also talking about the limitations of federal governments. So if someone came to one of your office buildings and they begin to protest outside, the federal government can’t make them stop.
Private Property is not Under Federal Control
However, if they’re violating and trespassing on private property, you can call the police and local police can say, “Hey you can’t be on private property.”
“No I have the right to peaceably assemble.”
“Well, not on someone else’s private property.”
And that happened. We’ve seen recently as cabinet members and administration officials, people are going to their homes in protesting around their homes saying, “We have the right to protest!”
No, this is private property. This is private property, and private property doesn’t have that guarantee. It is the guarantee of the Bill of Rights that the federal government can’t stop this from being done at the federal level, but on private property… Tim, that’s a great distinction. That’s a whole different game.
All right, quick reminder: we’re going to cover 2 through 10 through the rest of the program. We did lay a much deeper foundation on all of this yesterday, so if you’re just tuning in with us here in the middle of a program make sure you check out yesterday’s program. It’s available right now at WallBuildersLive.com.
This has been David and Tim Barton, we’re going to jump into to detail when we come back we’ll take a quick break. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Join Us In Israel!
Hey guys what are you doing January 28th through February 7th? If you said you don’t know, let me give you an idea. We are going to Israel. Rick Green, my dad, David Barton, Tim Barton, our families are going and we would love for you to go with us. We are going to the Holy Land if you’ve ever been to Israel this is something as a Christian that will make you forever read your bible differently.
To see where Jesus walked, where He lived, where He did miracles, where so much of the Bible took place. If you’ve ever read through the Bible and you’ve given it a mental picture, the mental picture will not do justice of what happens when you’re actually on the ground. If you’ve ever thought about the story of David and Goliath and you’ve envisioned what it looks like, we’re going to go to the actual field where it took place.
There are so many things that you will see that literally makes the Bible come to life. In fact, that’s the name of the tour group we’re going with is The Bible Comes to Life. Go to CMJacksboro.com. You can click on the link, it has an Israel itinerary, all kinds of details. Hope to see you on this trip this coming year.
The Second Amendment
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us on this special day.
We’re celebrating Bill of Rights Day, which was yesterday, we just couldn’t get through all ten of them in one day. So we’re picking up where we left off yesterday. We covered the First Amendment yesterday.
Guys, let’s hit the Second Amendment. Every Texan’s favorite amendment. Hopefully Idahoans and Arizonans, and frankly people all over the country that understand the importance of the right to keep and bear arms.
The Second Amendment guarantees your right to individual self-defence and to corporate self-defence.
You can defend yourself, or you can assemble in groups to defend your state, your community, whatever. So it’s a double right of self-defence, the individual right and the corporate right. It says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
We individuals can keep and bear arms for ourselves or for the security of a free state. Individual and corporate self-defence.
Additional Information on the Second Amendment
Of course, obviously, we could spend all day on this. We talk about this one a lot on the program, and are ready to encourage people to go study Constitution Alive, there’s some great PragerU videos on it. We will have material always coming out, this a debated topic, and we’ll have more and more materials to make sure that the original intent of this is still known. David, you’ve got a booklet on this as well that’s kind of a primer on the Second Amendment. That’ll be a great tool for people to learn more.
Yeah, it’s loaded up with quotes of the Founding Fathers on what they intended this protection to be. It’s really good for people to know that and keep their own state governments under control.
And it shows in a lot of the early laws as well as early state Constitutions. It does show not just their statements on it, but how they actually enacted it in their states and many of their state Constitutions have wording very similar to the US Constitution, which also gives some indication of what they were thinking.
A Civilian Army, Not the Police
In fact, I think we even have some of the proposals from states for what we know as the Second Amendment when they propose what that wording should be. It really does provide clarity of what they were thinking when some people today would argue, “Wait a second, the Second Amendment means we should have a military and a police force. It doesn’t mean people should have guns.”
Well, if you actually read what they discussed and what their proposals were, it does give a lot of clarity because they believe, “No. Actually, every individual should be the one to own a gun because every individual is what makes up their local militia, and if all the people were armed, their community is safer etc.” But it does have a lot of those quotes in there and so it helps give great context and understanding to the Second Amendment.
And if anybody wants to dive further into that one and actually apply the Second Amendment as well, you ought to join Tim and me. We just got back from Front Sight doing a class out there and teaching on the Second Amendment.
Headed back in October, we got about one a month coming up, and we do specials for a WallBuilders Live supporters. So make sure you go to WallBuilders.com. Make sure that you become one of our ongoing donors to WallBuilders, and if you do that we’ll give you some really good specials to come with us out to Front Sight and get some Second Amendment training both educationally. We’ll give you that educational intellectual ammunition, but you also will be able to put some real ammunition in your weapon and learn how to fire it really well and protect your family. So check that out at WallBuilders.com, you can also go to RickGreen.com to find out when the classes are taking place.
But first, go to WallBuilders and become one of our monthly donors. All right, so guys, we can spend all day on the Second Amendment, and I know all three of us would love to do that, but we’ve got to get to 3 through 10. We’ll take a quick break. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
This Precarious Moment Book
This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment, Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.
Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.
These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.
The Third Amendment
Welcome back and thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. We’re celebrating the Bill of Rights today for a second day.
Yesterday was actually the anniversary of the Bill of Rights being proposed.
David, Tim, we’ve gotten through one and two. So let’s jump into the Third Amendment. I’ll just read it real quick, then you guys can comment on it.
“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
What this is, deals with is the concept the Founding Fathers did not like: standing militaries. They wanted the military to be under civilian control. They did not want to see military coups going on in the nation, and this is one of the ways they limited the power of the military from ever getting above the civilian power.
A Response to the British
They also put limitations because, going back to the American Revolution, the British were forcing Americans to house and provide for the troops during their time in America. They said, “Look, we’re not going to let our military come and say, ‘Hey family, you are required to house this many soldiers and you have to feed them while they’re there and take care of them.’”
That’s not the job of the family, to provide for a government dictating this military presence in your own home. It was part of the protection of your own property.
Military restrictions protected your own private property, but it certainly has its roots going back to the Declaration. This was one of the grievances listed. This is where you see the solution to that grievance from the Declaration.
Sanctity of the Home
Yeah. This is this is part of the concept that the sanctity of the home is important and your home is sacrosanct. That’s part of the Second Amendment, your home is your castle, the castle doctrine. This is another one emphasizing the sanctity of home from government interference.
The Fourth Amendment
All right guys, our next few amendments are packed full of very important rights to be protected, so we’ll see how much we get in here. The Fourth Amendment, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
This goes back to the sanctity of the home, because the British government was coming into homes looking for things they thought might be illegal. They would search whatever they wanted, and if they found something, then they would write you up for it. So it’s an open ended search warrant and the founders said, “No way. If you’re coming into our homes you’re gonna tell us specifically what you’re looking for, and you’re going to have someone who can give oath or affirmation that there is evidence that it is here, and you’re going to list that in a search warrant, and you’re going to get a judge to prove it.” So the government does not have the right to come in and do audits like it does on a regular basis, because they don’t come with the judicial warrant.
They don’t tell you what checks they’re looking for in your IRS audit. They just come looking to see if you’ve done anything wrong. That’s the kind of stuff they were trying to stop. They were trying to keep the government limited, not the government powerful. So the Fourth Amendment search and seizure is a powerful, powerful amendment.
We just don’t know much about it today.
This is where you have to be given a warrant
This is part of the due process too, where if the government’s going to do something, there’s a process where it has to follow. This is where you have to be given a warrant. There has to be substantial reason for the warrant, and this is where there are so many debates happening in Congress with what police officers are doing or the federal government is doing and some of the oversight and overwatch in the NSA in these groups.
Well, you don’t just have to have probable cause, per se. Many occasions you have to have the legal approval, which is a warrant. This is that protection of the individual’s private property, due process.
All of that is wrapped up right here in the Fourth Amendment.
Due Process Amendments
The Fourth through the Eighth Amendments are called the due process amendments. So everything that we’re going to cover from the Fourth to the eighth, deals with the due process, how government can get involved in your life, and what rules it has to follow to do so, and what it can’t do in your life.
The Fifth Amendment
And this next one is kind of like the fourth. It’s chock full of great stuff. People typically know the phrase, “I plead the Fifth.” So we typically think of the Fifth Amendment as only being, “I don’t have to testify against myself”, but there’s a lot more in here. I’ll read it quickly and you guys can pick out something to comment on.
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; or shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
A lot of good stuff in there, you got to pick something, you can’t do at all.
The Concept of Private Property
Yeah between eminent domain and double jeopardy and self incrimination, it really is about protecting the rights of the individual from an overreaching government. So recognizing the value of individual rights, which again is part of the due process clause, the Government can’t overreach. But Rick, you’re right. There are so many things we can talk a lot about recognizing the rights of the individual.
I love this recurring theme of the concept of private property. First, in terms of conscience being your property in your mind. Now we’re talking physical property, your person, as, David, you were saying, your papers all those different things, that’s a recurring theme is there.
The Government Can’t Penalize Without a Jury
Well, even your personal liberty. We kind of blow by it, but the concept is that you can’t be indicted for a crime except through a Grand Jury. That means the government can’t accuse you of a crime. Your peers have to accuse you of a crime. The government can go to a Grand Jury, which is a jury of your peers, and say, “Here’s what we think you have done.” And they look at it and say, “You’re crazy. We’re not going to indict him for that.”
So the government can’t even come after you unless your peers have said they can do so.
Well, they can come after you, but they can’t penalize unless it’s approved by your peers.
They bypass the grand juries now by doing it through regulatory law letters to Grand Jury right.
They can come after you, but they cannot penalize you unless a jury of your peers recognizes, “Oh no, what he did was totally wrong.”
It can’t just be the heavy hand of government coming and penalizing you. Although, as you mentioned, right now there are a lot of regulatory agencies and regulations it seems like government by themselves is doing a lot of penalizing.
The Sixth Amendment
And a lot of times they’ll do it just through the investigation process before they even get to the Grand Jury, I’m not going to name a particular investigator, Mueller, I’m not. Ok, this is the Sixth Amendment:
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”
All right. Pick one, guys.
Why it Exists
So this was an important part of the judicial process. One of the things that can happen under a king is, especially if you’re living in America and you were convicted of a crime, or charged even with a crime not even convicted yet, they could actually take you from America back over to England where you don’t have witnesses that are there in your favor. You don’t even get to face up against the person that’s accused you, and so you’re in this foreign place with people that don’t know you and they said, “Wait a second. In America we’re going to let you stand before the place where this crime you’re accused of actually happened. You get to call witnesses on your behalf.”
People that could testify on the fact of, maybe, you are a person of high character and you wouldn’t have done this, and you get to confront your accuser. So a person says you did this, and you talked to him, and you say you weren’t even there when it happened. So the fact that you get to have the opportunity for justice, this really is upholding the rights of a judicial protection of your individual rights. Where you see so often historically, especially under a king, the oppression of the individual rights when it comes to justice. Where they just kind of railroad you through this thing, saying this, is making sure we’ve protected the rights of the individual when it comes to the judicial process.
No Anonymous Accusations
This also goes to the aspect of justice in the sense that this eliminates anonymous accusations. You have to be able to confront the person making it. You can have all sorts of things like, “I got a letter,” and, “I got an anonymous tip and they told me this,” it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to be able to confront those people, look at them, and say if that’s actually there.
I can put out a long list of people who will tell me how bad Rick Green is, but Rick Green gets to pull in all the people and tell me how good he is. So you get to compel witnesses in your favor. The government can line up people to make it look like you’re a criminal, but you get to line up all the people who say, “No, that’s not true. Rick is a really good guy.”
Derived from the Bible
And so that aspect of justice is what it’s after. Without that, the government determines what’s right and wrong. But with this, you get actual justice, and this is a really, really important amendment. I’ll point out that the federal practice and procedure says that all of these things we’re covering right now in the Fourth through Eighth amendments are derived from protections in the Bible, “Compelling witnesses on behalf,” Proverbs 18:17. “Getting to confront your accuser,” John 8. These are biblical protections that the Founding Fathers incorporated in the Bill of Rights.
That’s such an important point. So important that I am afraid that the list you would have of people saying I was a bad guy might be longer than the one that I can get saying I’m a good guy.
I could get you a whole lot of guys saying how good of a guy you are too. That’s why the government doesn’t get to get the final word on this. The people get the final word
The Seventh Amendment
I guess. Well, let’s go and jump into the Seventh Amendment, this one has to do with civil due process. It says:
“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”
That’s an interesting amendment, especially in modern interpretation, in the sense that every single trial is going to exceed 20 dollars based on anything we do today. So you have the opportunity to be heard by a jury of your peers, which again would give you the best case for justice because you’re not having to step before a judge appointed by a king who’s going to uphold the judge’s standards. So you have a jury, and then whatever the jury says cannot just be automatically thrown out. You have to announce it before a new jury, that they again the king was going to pick. So really, it’s protections against a tyrannic, oppressive, government, where often a king would appoint judges, governors, and whoever else that would not ensure justice to the accused.
The Eighth Amendment
All right, Eighth Amendment:
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
It’s real simple. This again limits the government. This is all about the rights of the people to be free from oppressive government. The Government’s been looking for a reason to get Tim thrown in jail, and they found that he ran a red light. So they put him in jail for running a red light, and they’ve given him a bail of four million dollars.
That’s not right, we’ll say that’s excessive bail. They’re trying to use bail to hold him. They don’t have anything to hold him on, but they want him off the circulation. This is all about the freedom of the people and restraining an overreaching government.
God Given Freedoms
That’s why the next two amendments are so significant on this, because what we’ve covered here, Rick, is about 15 or 16 freedoms that are God given freedoms, that come to every individual.
The founding fathers actually had more than that. They had about two dozen inalienable rights they listed. One that’s not here is the right of expatriation. That’s one that they talked about, Franklin and Jefferson and others.
Ninth and Tenth Amendments
That’s not in the Bill of Rights. So there are other rights that are there, and that’s what we get in the 9th and the the 10th amendments when they say:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
There are other rights for individuals in addition to the ones we’ve mentioned, other inalienable rights. Then the 10th amendment says:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In other words, federal government does not get to be the only government. The states have a huge role and their power is to be retained as well.
The Rights of the States
Therefore, the 10th Amendment is one that is so often forgotten today, that states do have rights. In fact, if we back up Constitutionally, the reason we had U.S Senators was to protect the rights of the state, or to represent the states.
And in the 17th amendment is when we started electing them, before they were appointed by the states.
Correct. But they are there, and their primary purpose and job was to look out for the best interests of the state. What we’ve done is forgotten that states have a level of sovereignty, and whatever was not explicitly given to the federal government was reserved for the states. Similar as you mentioned in adding the Ninth Amendment, there are rights that we know individuals have, from the freedom of religion or the freedom of speech to the right of self-defence.
There are rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but there’s even more rights in that. We know we’ve explicitly stated and ratified the federal government can never touch these rights. But there’s many more rights. We’d forget about the fact that the rights of individuals and states are outlined in the Constitution. We just don’t always do a very good job of defending those rights.
The Constitution at a Glance
Ten very, very important amendments protecting our rights. This is a celebration of the Bill of Rights. Yesterday, the 25th, we started with this celebration because that was the day that Congress proposed these amendments. We really encourage you to go to WallBuilders.com today and get Constitution Alive so you can dive further into this.
I’m just going to quickly read a review of the 10 Amendments because this is in Constitution Alive, I would call it Constitution at a glance. It’s a one pager where you can see the entire Constitution and what’s there, and here’s what it says.
First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
Second Amendment: right to bear arms.
Third Amendment: quartering of soldiers.
Fourth Amendment: searches and seizures.
Fifth Amendment: Grand Jury, double jeopardy, self incrimination, due process, private property takings clause.
Sixth Amendment: speedy public jury trial, witnesses, and an attorney.
Seventh Amendment: civil jury trial.
Eighth Amendment: excessive fines and bail, cruel and unusual punishment.
Ninth Amendment: individual rights are not enumerated.
Tenth Amendment: federal rights are limited and enumerated.
Bill of Rights, for More Information…
Go into more detail folks, study these things. Constitution Alive is available right now at WallBuilders.com. We very much encourage you to host a Constitution Alive class. You’d be the coach. You lead your community in studying the Constitution. Go to RickGreen.com to find out more about how to become a Constitution coach.
We sure appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.