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Constitution Alive: Part One, Day Three – A Citizen’s Guide To The Constitution: Can we keep and preserve our freedom by doing nothing? Does the fate of the free world really depend on America? Tune in to hear part three of a four-part series we’re bringing to you this week–an opportunity to really dive into the Constitution and walk through it clause by clause, article by article, section by section!
Air Date: 07/20/2022
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
Welcome to the intersection of faith and politics. This is WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find us online at our websites; WallBuilders.com is our main website.
You can go there if you’re a pastor and find out about our pastors’briefings throughout the year. If you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker, you can click on the link there for booking and a speaker and having a WallBuilders presentation come to your community. If you’d just like some great information, there are a wealth of articles right there on the website that you can download; there’s great news on the homepage of the website. And then, if you’d like to get some of the great materials that WallBuilders has put out over the years educating folks about the Founding Fathers, it’s all available there at WallBuilders.com.
Then, there’s also WallBuildersLive.com. Many of you are actually listening through the website. If you’re not listening to one of our 200 stations around the country, perhaps you’re listening through our website.
And, if you’ve never been to the website, then we encourage you to check it. See what other stations are carrying the program in your area. Get more information about our archives and past programs.
And, speaking of those past programs, if you’re tuning in today for the first time this week, you’re actually going to hear part three of a four-part series. And, if you want to listen to Part 1 and Part 2, you can easily go to WallBuildersLive.com and click on the archives to get the last couple of days. But, here’s what the series is about.
It’s called “Constitution Alive! With David Barton and Rick Green,” and this is actually a program that we recorded part of it in the WallBuilders library where all the original documents are and were able to pull those things off the shelf and actually show them to you and talk about them and walk through them. David shares so much information there about the foundations of America. And then, the other part of the program is recorded in Philadelphia at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed and in the very room where the Declaration was signed.
And, the reason we did that, we wanted to take you back to the original history. So, “Constitution Alive!” is about bringing back the foundation and restoring those original principles upon which our nation was built. When we say “Constitution Alive!” we’re not talking about that living, breathing document some of the justices like to use in order to morph the Constitution to what they want it to be.
It is not something that should be, as Jefferson said, “wax in their hands.” The Constitution is alive today because it’s not a dead document. The things that they said and put into our Constitution, the principles they founded the country upon, are just as applicable and strong today; they’re just as true today.
And, that’s what we bring you in “Constitution Alive!” We bring that truth back and show where we really came from as a nation and give you specific tools on how to be a part of saving our nation and restoring our Constitutional Republic. So, without any further ado, let’s pick up where we left off yesterday with “Constitution Alive!” with David Barton and Rick Green.
The Honorable Captain Hale
Rick:[Hole] is trying to talk Captain Hale out of this. He’s saying, “You’re never going to succeed at this. There’s no way you’ll accomplish the mission.” He said, “First of all, Hale, you’re too honest; there’s no way you’re going to be a good spy because you can’t lie. You’regoing to fail on the mission.
“Secondly, this an impossible mission; there’s no way you’re going to achieve. And, even,” he said, “even if you succeed, your reputation and legacy are ruined. Don’t do it.
“There’s no honor in it,” he said.
Well, Captain Hale said, “There is honor in any mission necessary for the cause of freedom. I will do my duty.” He takes off and dresses, once again, as a teacher.
He gets across enemy lines and acts like he’s a teacher looking for work. So, he goes around New York there; and, for about a week, he’s he’s mapping out the locations of the British troops. He gets all of their their fortifications and their movements all down on paper then stuffs it in his shoe.
Then, he’ssneaking back across enemy lines and he’scaptured. Well, evidence is right there on his person; there is no denying what he’s there for. So, literally, that night they sent him to hang the next morning.
And so, that night he’s kind of contemplating his fate and saying, “Look; I failed: the mission, the General, the cause I love so much. What can I possibly do?”
Well, he asked for a member of the clergy and was denied. Then he asked for a Bible; he’s denied. He finally gets a couple of pieces of paper and is able to write a couple of letters.
And Impassioned Speech on the American Cause of Liberty
As he’s writing these letters, he purposes within his heart to do the only thing left that that he can do to help the cause. So, the next morning they’re marching him out, and the crowd has begun to gather to witness the hanging. And, they give him a chance to say a few last words, and a lot of different people wrote different things about what he said.
Apparently, he gave a pretty long speech. , this 21-year-old actually gave an impassioned speech about freedom and what the American cause of liberty was all about. And, he’s reaching back into kind of the days of college where he was a great oratory; he’s reaching back into the rhetoric and some of the things that he had read then, including right here Joseph Addison’s “Cato” had been a big influence on Washington and the others, and Hale had read that in college.
And so, here he is he’s giving this speech, and these British soldiers are heckling and mocking saying, “You’re wasting your life and throwing it away on a worthless cause. You cannot succeed; you’re wasting your life.” Then, of course, Nathan Hale said those words that we’ve heard over and over and over again: “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand. See the things they did.”
I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.
Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our WallBuilders Library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites. Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.
“One Life to Give”
“One life to give,” he accomplished more in that moment than he ever could have with all that intelligence he was bringing back, because those words would be repeated over and over again among the American ranks. They would encourage those that were thinking about not re-upping to re-up and stay; they inspired others to get in and fight. And, for generations we’ve used those words to inspire generations to be willing to give of themselves for others and sometimes to pay the ultimate price in sacrifice. “One life to give.”
We all have but one life to give, don’t we? That’s all we get. The question is For what will we give our one life?
We’re blessed in America that in every generation it seems there’s enough that are willing to be involved and participate and sacrifice, not just give their life on the battlefield–which is huge of course–but also, to live their life and live out the freedom that the others paid for.
And, as I think back to these guys in this room, to Nathan Hale and those throughout the Revolutionary Period, fast forward to even now, guys like Michael Murphy, the Navy SEAL that received the Medal of Honor after giving his life. And, so many of these guys–and really, when you look back over America’s history, you think about all of those that sacrificed, the millions that served, the 1.2 million that gave it all. They gave their one life for you and me, for us to be able to enjoy this room tonight.
“For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
You know, the Good Book says, “There’s no greater love that any man has than he lay down his life for his friends,” for, in this case, for his country. And, those that serve in our military, and our first responders, and on the frontlines here in America as well, they are willing to give their one life for us. And, I think about that book that James Bradley wrote about his dad, The Flags of Our Fathers, from Iwo Jima.
My wife’s grandfather got a Purple Heart at Iwo Jima; and, it really struck me when he talked about that makeshift monument there at Iwo Jima. It said, “When you go home, tell them for us and say, “For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”” “We gave our one life so you could be free.”
I don’t know about you but I’ve always struggled with how to honor those that came before me. I’ve always struggled with how to obey that the Biblical commands says, “Render honor unto whom honor is due.” But, I think those that sacrifice and give of themselves for us, they deserve our honor.
But, I’ve always wondered How? How do you? When I meet a veteran, I always say, “Thank you for your service;” but, it seems so empty, like I’m not.
Saving Private Ryan
How do I honor that they were willing to give their life for me? And, I had kind of an epiphany moment, if you will, when I was sitting in a movie theater several years ago. You might have seen the movie Saving Private Ryan.
You remember the storyline, right? This kid has lost all his brothers. He’s 19 years old; his brothers have all been killed in action.
The Army figures it’s out; they want to get him out of the theater and get him home. This was the policy after the Sullivan Brothers, and actual true story. And so, they’re trying to get him home to his family as the last surviving son; but, they can’t find him.
And so, Tom Hanks’ character is Captain Miller; and, his job is to get in there with his team, find 19-year-old Private Ryan, and get him home to his family. So, throughout the movie, these guys on Captain Miller’s team keep getting knocked off; their they’re giving their lives, sacrificing for this one kid, Private Ryan.
And so, throughout the movie, you keep seeing all these guys sacrifice their life. And, then at the end of the movie, Captain Miller finds Private Ryan. They’re just about to get him out, and Captain Miller gets shot. He dies.
But, just before he dies, he grabs this kid, this 19-year-old that they had all given their lives for. He pulls him in real close. And, he said two words, not just to Private Ryan but, I think, to every one of us in this room and all of you at home watching.
He said, “Earn this.” “Earn this.” They had given their lives for him and they’re saying to him, “Earn this;” earn freedom that we’ve sacrificed for.
And only as Hollywood can do it, they morphed from that that young 19-year-old Private Ryan to 50 or 60 years later. An elderly Private Ryan has come back and is visiting the grave of Captain Miller. And, I remember him kneeling down and saying to Captain Miller, “Tell me I’ve lived a good life; tell me I’ve lived a life worthy of the sacrifice that you made for me.”
“Earn this.” I think it’s time for us to earn the freedom. Some of you that have joined me tonight have put your lives on the line and sacrificed for my freedom. You were willing to give your life.
Many that are at home watching have been willing to do that. We want to earn the freedom that we’ve been given. How do we do that?
How? “Increased Devotion”
I think Abraham Lincoln probably said it better than anybody. He said, “It is from these honored dead that we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and the government “of the people, by the people, for the people” shall not perish from the earth.”
He’ssaying, “The way we honor those that came before us is we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion,” the cause that started right here in this room. The cause of liberty, the cause of a freedom, we increase our devotion to that cause; that’s how we honor what they did for us. And that’s why we’re here tonight.
We’re here to honor them and to say, “Look; they gave their one life for us. What can we do?” What can we as citizens do? How do we give our lives, live our lives if you will, in a way that honors the sacrifice that came before?
Well, we start right here by saying, “What was it that these guys put together? What was this secret sauce, this formula that made our nation so free and so successful?” And then, what’s our job?
Hey, all your patriots out there that would like to see more Americans study the Constitution and understand the source of their freedom. How do you get people to pay attention to patriotism, the Constitution, the importance of being good citizens. Well, the answer is two words: Brad Stine. You make it fun, you make it fun to learn.
My friends, this is Rick Green from WallBuilders live, and Brad and I are bringing the comedy and constitution tour to you. We’re doing a live stream across the nation on March 23rd, 2019. Visit ConstitutionCoach.com, and you can sign up to bring this program to your church. You can stream it into your home or your local club. However you’d like to bring it. It’s an opportunity for you to bring the Comedy Constitution to your community, which will fire people up to study the Constitution. It’ll educate, entertain, equip, and inspire folks to accept protect and purposely pass the torch of freedom. Check it out today at ConstitutionCoach.com.
What can we do to help preserve it for future generations? I don’t want you to leave this class saying, “All that was kind of neat. we got to come in and see where it all began;” or, “we learned some stories about the Founders we didn’t know,” and then go home and forget about it.
The Fate of the Free World Depends on You
I don’t want anybody watching these DVDs and just saying, “Okay, that was kind of neat. We did that in our in our living room, or our Sunday School class or wherever; we watched it,” and then go home–no, no. I want–my prayer is that you guys and ladies leave tonight, that those watching at home and those on the webinar tonight, that when this is over, you have a burden. I want you to have a sense of responsibility that it is up to you to preserve this freedom for the next generation.
In fact, I am going to make a statement to you that you may think is a little bit overblown. My wife would probably say it’s cheesy; she calls me “the King of Velveeta” sometimes. She just thinks I’m cheesy sometimes.
But, I think it’s absolutely true; it’s this: the fate of the free world depends on you. You might say, “Rick, you’reexaggerating; that’s overblown.” How many of you would agree the fate of the free world depends on America; would you agree with me on that?
How many of you understand that if the fate of America depends upon her constitutional principles being upheld and preserved and protected? And, how many would agree that the fate of her constitutional principles being upheld and preserved and protected depends upon the first three words of the Constitution, which are what?
“We the people”
“We the people”
So, if the fate of the free world depends on America, America depends upon our constitutional principles, if our constitutional principles depend upon “We the people,” then, friends, the fate of the free world depends on you.
And so, we’re here to challenge ourselves to dig deep into these documents to say, “Okay, what’s my job? What do I go do as a citizen to preserve freedom?”
And I tell you; I’m seeing more of this than I’ve ever seen in my life. , I’ve been doing this for 15 years; but, I’ve never seen the level of activity in our nation or so many people coming out to say, “Hey, I want to learn about the Founding Fathers and know what freedom’s all about and learn what the Constitution says.”
Read the Constitution
How many of you have you seen all these bumper stickers? , driven by cars with bumper stickers that say, “Read the Constitution.” Anybody seen one of those?
Okay, a guy like me sees that bumper sticker; I’m honking. Okay, I’m sorry. I just get excited when I see that.
But, what we’ve all said that for years: “Read the Constitution. Everybody needs to read the Constitution.” But, we we don’t usually do it.
Most people never actually pick it up. I didn’t, even at law school and then as a legislator. I hadn’t read through the Constitution back then.
In fact, I’ll tell you what really got me fired up about actually studying the founding documents. I was sitting in my my capital office back in Austin, Texas when I was a legislator.
And, I’m sitting in my office reading this poll; and, the poll says–it was a Texas poll. So, if you’re not from Texas, you don’t have to feel bad about this poll. But, I’m betting your numbers in your state weren’t any better.
Here’s what the polls said that half of Texans–half–could not name one freedom out of the First Amendment, not even one. There’s five there that we love and hold dear; we cherish and would fight for or die for.
But, half of Texans couldn’t even name one of them. Ninety-five percent could not name two of the five. I was appalled.
Then I tried to name them. Then it was me. I couldn’t name them.
And I thought, Wow, I’m a legislator and lawyer, a political junkie, man. I live, breathe, and eat this stuff. I’m doing it all.
And, I couldn’t name one. I thought What a shame. If I don’t know what my freedoms are and where they are, how am I going to defend them or teach my kids these things if I don’t know myself.
House Bill 1776
So, that actually spurred a piece of legislation I did back then called the “Celebrate Freedom Week;” and what it did–we actually numbered it too, House Bill 1776. I just love saying that in this room; I don’t know what.
So, I had to stand in line to be able to get that number for the bill. So, House Bill 1776, what it did say that every kid in Texas has to spend time studying these guys, studying the Declaration and the Constitution, studying the men that gave them and the ideas that went behind them and studying our military the sacrifices made. And, we’re not gonna just gloss over it once in fifth or 11th grade and forget about it.
We’re going to teach it every single year so that we can pound it into the minds of our young people and put it in their hearts and souls so that they’ll appreciate the freedom they’ve been given and be able to defend and protect it for future generations. So, we pass that bill and now we’ve got several other states that have passed it. We’ve got a an effort happening all across the nation.
And, if you’re at home tonight watching on the webinar or you’re watching this DVD, go to my website at RickGreen.com, click on “Celebrate Freedom Week,” and pull up the page there. And, it’ll tell you what’s happening in your state. You can click on your state, and it’ll tell you the action steps you can take to help make this happen in your home state. It’s a great way to make sure every kids study in these wonderful documents that came out of this room right here.
Can you imagine how much better our country would be if every kid in America was studying the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Just imagine every single year. I hope you’ll help us make it happen; be sure and take that down as one of your action steps hopefully after this class is over.
So, let me give you a quick overview of our purpose here and kind of the approach that we’re going to take, because this is gonna be a little bit different than maybe some courses that you have taken or that you’re considering taking in the future.
I love reading John Jay; I love this quote that he gave us. Jay is, of course, our first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court; but, he’s also one of the three guys that did the Federalist Papers. So, he he did sort of the instruction manual for us to kind of understand what these guys were doing, he and two other guys, Madison and Hamilton.
But, but Jay gave us a little bit of a warning. And, if you will, this quote here, follow me on this quote, because this is going to sort of guide everything we do throughout this class. This is our goal: to accomplish what John J told us.
He said that every member of the state; and, let me just stop right there. Because, that means I can’t get off the hook by saying that I’m not a teacher or a preacher or whoever else might be. It means all of us, right?
Every single citizen, that means young and old. That means all of us; “Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study.” So, not just read the Constitution, but to study the Constitution.
Why? He tells us: “So that we can teach the rising generation to be free;” so we can pass the torch intact to the next generation. And, then he tells us: “…so that we’ll know our rights and then we’ll sooner perceive when they’ve been violated, and we’ll be the better prepared to defend and assert them.”
That’s our goal.
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.” 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 QuickStart 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.
Preserving Freedom for Future Generations
To know our rights, perceive when they’ve been violated, and be the better prepared to defend and assert them in a constitutional, peaceable way; that’s one of the most important things of what we want to do in this class is say, “Okay, if we see something going wrong in our government or in our Constitution, we don’t want anarchy or violence.” The document actually gives us the tools, the means, to peaceably participate in our government so that we can save that government and save that freedom for future generations. So, that’s what we’re gonna do throughout the whole class.
And in our approach, let me just give you three or four setup things about the way we’re gonna do this. Let me just first say, folks, I’m no guru. I’m so blessed to get to work with some guys I think are our gurus, guys like Ed Meese and David Barton and other guys like that, Matt Staver. I get to learn at their feet.
And, all I’m doing is I’m here with you as a fellow citizen. We’re gonna sharpen each other’s countenance tonight and help each other open these documents and study them. So, you will have questions all night; feel free to ask questions. We’ll probably do them at the end of each section.
You’re gonna stump me before the night’s over, and it’ll be fun. All right, let’s just have a good time together learning to be better citizens. And the other thing about the class is that we’re not an exhaustive study.
A Quick-Start Guide
This is not a year-long program. In fact, the best analogy I think of is–how many of you have ever bought a computer or monitor or big TV or something and it came with a quick-start guide, the nice, glossy thing you could flip out? Just something like this. “Hey, I just want to know where to plug everything in,” right?
I just want to get this thing working. I don’t want to read the big, thick manual that came with it. I’m never gonna read it; Iwant the quick-start guide, so I can make this thing work.
That’s what we’re doing tonight. We’re gonna do the quick-start guide to the Constitution. Why? So that we as citizens can get plugged in and can make sure the pieces of our government are properly plugged in and working correctly, and so that we can make corrections on it if we need it. If you look at my books back here, these are all the things that I’m trying to study to be able to do the quick-start guide.
So, these are the big manuals and everything. I’m trying, and you guys can help me distill this thing down to where citizens all over the country–and, you guys have traveled here from all over the nations. So, you love this.
You’re willing to read the big, thick manuals, and many of you probably already have. But, most people back home aren’t gonna do it. Are they?
Join Us Tomorrow for the Next Part of Constitution Alive!
Rick in studio:
Well, we’re out of time for today, folks. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!
And, what we’re airing this week is a four-day series called “Constitution Alive! With David Barton and Rick Green.”
It’s an opportunity to walk through the entire Constitution and learn a lot of great things about our foundation and how to restore our Constitutional Republic. More information can be found about the entire program. It’s a little over 12 hours of information available to you on DVD in the workbook; you can find out more about that at our website WallBuilders.com.
But, if you’d like to listen to the rest of the series, tomorrow will be the conclusion. So, if for some reason you tuned in in the middle the program today and missed the first two parts to this four-part series, you can go to our website at WallBuildersLive.com, click on the archives, and listen to those first two programs anytime that you like.
You can also share them with your friends and family. And, we encourage you to do so, so that they can get educated about our Constitution as well. And then, tomorrow we’ll have the conclusion.
So, it’s a four-part series. It’s called “Constitution Alive! With David Barton and Rick Green.” And, what we’re airing in this four-part series is only segment one out of the entire “Constitution Alive!” program; But, at least it gives you a taste, a chance to start getting educated on these things and to share them with your friends and family.
We appreciate you listening today. Join us tomorrow for the conclusion of “Constitution Alive! With David Barton Rick Green.” You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!