Constitution Alive – A Citizen Guide To The Constitution Part Two: Today is part two of a four-part series we’re bringing to you this week. This is going to be an opportunity to really dive into the Constitution and walk through it clause by clause, article by article, section by section. We’ll be looking for those areas in the Constitution that are our responsibility to do something! Tune in now for more!
Air Date: 02/27/2019
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome at the intersection of faith and politics. This is Wallbuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. Thank you so much for joining us today. You can also visit us online at WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com.
Part Two of Segment One
Today is the second in a four-part series on Constitution Alive with David Barton, Rick Green. This is actually a new program that we have just put out, and it’s a 12 hour series on the Constitution where David and I walk you through the constitution.
We do half the program at the WallBuilders library, where we pull those documents off the shelf and take you to the original intent of the Constitution.
The other half is in the room. It’s at Independence Hall where the constitution was framed, and the Declaration was signed. So it’s a great program. We had a blast doing it. We wanted to share a piece of that with you. So we’re doing segment 1 this week. We’re sharing it with you here on the radio. It’s going to take four days of our radio program to do that and today’s part two. So if you missed yesterday go to WalBuildersLive.com and you can look in the archives section to get yesterday’s program, and if for some reason you get to miss the next couple of days you can do the same there at the Website.
You can share it with your friends and family. Give them a chance to get educated on the true foundations of America. Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday with Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Greene.
If You Love Your Country
If you love your country, you’re saying I want what’s best for all my neighbors, and I’m going to work my tail off to have a good country because I want my neighbors to be prosperous and safe. I don’t want thugs and criminals overrun them to make sure we got good government. I want to make sure they can keep the money they earn. I want to make sure they got a good education where they get.
And if I love my country, I’m going to fight for those things –
So you are not just thinking to yourself not just thinking about
If it’s just me, I’ll just go off the grid somewhere. I’ll get out and just live my life the way I want. I’ll go right off the grid. Now if I love others, I’ve got to fight for my country. I’ve got to be willing to stand aside, and that’s what he says not just for the president for future generations. I want to keep these principles alive so that if the Lord tarries for 200 years from now, this country still work and still the most prosperous, the most stable, the most free in the history of the world.
But that’s what patriotism is. And that’s why I say it’s both a social and a religious duty. We owe it to God to love other people were to love one another. Well if you love them, you want the best for them, which means you want the best government you can possibly have. And that’s what they understood –
And you want to have laws that are also protecting that for the next generation. You don’t want to spend so that you are stealing from the next generation. You want to preserve the principles that have made it possible for us to be free.
Which is why we’re doing this. We want our generation to respect the next generation
John Jay – How To Stay A Unified Nation
There’s one other thing that he said that I think is worth pointing out.
And this kind of set us up on what we do, because we’ve got those six verbs from John Jay. We’re going to follow but also why should Americans be involved in government?
Why should we care? Why shouldn’t we go off the grid?
And the answer that right here in this book. This is the book that caused him to be called the father public school son of the Constitution because again he signed the Declaration ratified the Constitution. Now we’ve got 13 nations that have come together as one nation. They weren’t states, they were colonies they were nations. And he says OK now that we’re a unified nation the United States of America what are we going to teach in our schools to make sure that we stay unified nation because we’ve been thinking about ourselves all along. So what do what do we need to know how to be a nation? And so in this particular book he has a piece called ‘On the mode of education proper and a republic.’
Public Schools Have A Three-fold Objective
This is the first time anybody says, hey now that we have the Republic of America the United States of America, what mode of education do we have to have? And so this is what he covers and goes to. And it’s interesting to hear he says, the purpose of public schools primarily is a three-fold objective. It says first public schools should teach students to love and serve God.
He said second –
Public schools should teach…already we’re off of what we’re doing. I mean we’ve missed.
Well, the very next year he wrote a piece in here. This is March 10th, 1791.
He did this, and this piece gives a dozen reasons that will never take the Bible out of public schools in America. So I mean that was their mentality, and that’s why we don’t talk about it.
Yeah. No wonder he’s not a founder.
You know he’s one of the top three back in the minds and John Adams but not today. So what we have is this is our number one purpose of public schools to teach young people to love and serve God. He said number two purpose of public schools to teach young people to love and serve their country. Number three purpose and teach young people to love and serve their family.
Wait, public schools are suppose to be teaching love God, love your country and love your family.
That’s now. That’s a lot of wisdom. I don’t see you being another day.
Until The 1960s When An Activist Supreme Court Said We Are Not Doing This Anymore
No, I’m not. But look at the results we’re getting out of public school system today. We don’t get our money’s worth on anything. So that’s the objective. That’s what it was until the 1960s when an activist Supreme Court said we aren’t doing this anymore. You know what we’ve evolved past that. Well, it’s not working now so good for us. But nonetheless –
We stopped looking back at the history library, and we said we’re smarter than those guys.
We’re skipping spring training, let’s see how the baseball does. That’s what it is. Baseball team is not going to do well because there was no spring training.
So what we’ve got, and every person of faith I know today if I ask them to prioritize God family and country, they will say God first family second country third.
God First, Country Second
Benjamin Rush said God first country second. Now, why did he get it wrong? He didn’t get wrong. He says if you ever lose control of your country, it will become the great enemy of your family. And so if you really want to protect your family, like patriotism, you’ve got to get involved in the country. Make sure you get good leaders, get policies.
Make sure they follow the Constitution because then your family is going to be prosperous. But right now, it’s the government that’s one of the chief enemies of the family. It is because we don’t know our documents, and we haven’t learned what public schools used to teach; love and serve God love and serve your country love and serve your family. And that was the objectives we had.
And that’s where Benjamin Rush gets so much wisdom.
He’s so right. Man, there is so much wisdom in this room and in these books. We’ve got to come back to our next part of this of this chapter. I have to thank you for because we were actually sitting in a restaurant; I don’t know if you remember this: we were in Nashville Tennessee, we’d gone out there for you to speak to some legislators and you and Cheryl and I were sitting this restaurant, it’s that one where they have live music, remember that?
And I was telling you, hey we’ve been teaching this constitution class around. We’re going to record it again. You said, why don’t you do it at Independence Hall where the Constitution is framed. Oh, it’s a dream. There’s no way that would happen. You said, no I’ve done it. So you taught me to call them. I called them. It worked out, and we’re going to now be able to go to the very place where all of this happened. Actual room. Independence Hall. And give folks a chance to learn and study the Constitution. In the room where it happened so let’s go to Philadelphia for Constitution Alive.
Moment From America’s History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. America has a history of great patriots who love and sacrificed much for their country. One of these was John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. While President at Princeton he personally trained many who became important leaders in American government including James Madison. How could John with a spoon tell if someone really loved America? He explained, “He is the best friend to American liberty who his most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God I hesitate not to call him an enemy to his country.” Founding Father John Witherspoon believed that a true American patriot opposed profanity and immorality and promoted true and undefiled religion. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1 800 8 REBUILD.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal. We, the People of the United States in order to form a more perfect union. And secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. These United Colonies are and of Right ought to be free and independent states. In order to make our union stronger.
That they, by their Creator with certain equal rights among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Welcome to the Constitution Alive right here in Independence Hall from Philadelphia.
We are in the room where both the Constitution and the Declaration were adopted. This is exciting for me. I hope it’s exciting for you. We’re very honored to be able to be in this room.
I’m actually standing in the very spot where American giants like, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others actually had the courage to light the torch of freedom.
This is the room. These are these walls actually witness the great debates of Benjamin Franklin and Madison and Mason and Hamilton and other patriots that hashed out those details to our American Constitution. So to actually be in this room where it happened is very very exciting for me.
Those documents led to and paved the way for the greatest, most free, most amazing nation in the history of the world. This is where it all began right here. In fact, that chair behind me that you can see that’s where George Washington sat as he presided over that constitutional convention.
The Awe Of Being In The Room
So just being in this room I mean a little bit of a sense of awe. I hope you are as well and those that at home that are joining us from their webinar.
I kind of, I guess I had a reminder last night of how special it is to be in this room. We came by to check out all our equipment, make sure everything was going to work well tonight. And two Rangers here were nice enough to get us in and show us what we needed to do. In visiting with them, I found quite amazing that even after several years of working here they still had that awe.
Every time they came in the room. In fact one of them, a nice lady told me she’d been working for three years first two years she did not allow herself to come across that rail into this room where I’m standing now.
A young man has been here a year still has not allowed himself to come into this area and I didn’t say they weren’t allowed there. Park rangers they couldn’t come over here anytime but because of sense awe, a sense of respect for this place and what happened in this room, they’ve not done so.
That was a good reminder to me of just how a special this is and how blessed we are to get to be in this room tonight. Speaking of those Rangers, they’re the ones that actually not only preserve this place and protect this majestic and historic room, but they make it available for people from all over the world to come into this room and actually see where the seeds of liberty were sown, where they were planted.
I think it’s a great testament for America to be that beacon of hope around the world still. I’m really really appreciative of those Rangers that make that possible for us. There’s a few of them outside this room that can hear you, and I would appreciate it if you would thank them for what they do every day, to keep this alive.
Maybe some of them will watch the DVD later, and they’ll know that we were thanking them for what they did. I just think it’s neat to keep history alive and give people a chance to witness it and participate in it.
I don’t think I can get across to you how excited I am about this. I kind of feel like, and I use a sports analogy is a lot so forgive me for that, but I feel like that kid that has finally met their hero. And they’re about to get the autograph of their favorite ballplayer ever because being in this room is is as close as I’m ever gonna get to actually shaking the hands of the founding fathers. So this is I I’m a little bit giddy. You just had to forgive me tonight I’m more excited than I thought I would be. I knew I’d be excited, but I’m just I’m just kind of in awe of what we’re what we’re about to do.
We’re Going To Rediscover The Secret Sauce Of American Exceptionalism
So I can’t help but think as I’m coming in here tonight and I know it wasn’t a true story and I know it’s a bunch of fiction in there, but I had I was kind of thinking about National Treasure.
Remember that movie. You know Nicolas Cage is running into independents all he finds those secret spectacles of Benjamin Franklin, and they’re able to see the secret.
And you know to decode the message on the back of the Declaration of Independence, and I know we’re not going to find any secret spectacles of Benjamin Franklin we’re not going to see any secret messages on the on the back of the declaration.
But I can promise you tonight what we will find on the front side of the Declaration and the Constitution in those words that were made available for the whole world to see. We’re going to find, we’re going to rediscover the secret sauce of American exceptionalism.
We’re going to find that formula rediscover and reestablish that formula that made America so successful. So thank you for joining me tonight and being part of it. Those men that gathered in this room on those two occasions and put those documents in place.
It wasn’t enough just to write those words the words of the declaration would just be words on paper in some attic somewhere collecting dust if it hadn’t been for the men that sat in this room and were willing to stand for the things that they were saying, willing to bring the words to life by literally putting their lives on the line and as overwhelmed as I am to be in this room tonight and in the day that we live in.
They Knew They Were Putting Their Lives On The Line
I can only imagine what it would have been like to be in here in this room whenever they signed the Declaration of Independence. When they were willing to put their lives behind the words that they were saying. I know we always reading in history, it was July 4th of course, the only guys to sign those few days between the 1st and the 4th was actually Secretary Thompson and John Hancock, the president of Congress. The rest of the guys came back in here on August 2nd. There were three or four other guys that didn’t sign till later, but almost all of them came in here on August 2nd.
You can imagine that’s a little bit different date. I mean that’s a little bit different occasion. It’s one thing to vote and say hey Hancock wants to put your name on that document send it over to King George.
It’s another thing to put your name on the line knowing that King George is coming after you after you put your name there and they did that they gathered here and I love them, I love the letter that Benjamin Rush wrote to John Adams. These guys corresponded a lot after the revolution.
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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.
The Day They Signed the Declaration of Independence
And Rush describe in this letter what it was like to be in this room that day when they signed the Declaration of Independence.
And Rush reminded Adams who said you know when we came in we believed, many believe that it would be our death warrant. He said no one said a word as they were they were called for. He said it was it was totally silent, and Secretary Thompson from the front of the room started on his right over here with New Hampshire and he said Josiah Bartlett of New Hampshire. Bartlett got up. He came forward. He took the pen he dipped it in the ink, he signed in total silence the Declaration of Independence. He went back, and he sat down and one by one they came.
John Hart of New Jersey. You can just imagine as they came forward and took the pen out of that silver inkwell and dipped it in the ink and you could hear that pen scratching along the surface of the declaration when no one said anything. One by one they came and finally Elbridge Gerry got up to come forward, and the silence was broken.
Elbridge Gerry was not a well-known founding father we don’t talk much about him today at all he went on to be vice president later, but the only thing you need to know about him for this particular story is that Elbridge Gerry was the smallest of the founders. He was a little guy. He was not the towering seven foot, Thor-like figure that stands before you here speaking tonight.
Okay so all right I’m a little guy. Okay, I’m five eight with my boots on. All right, this guy was even smaller than me.
Only Words Spoken At The Signing
And he gets called forward to sign the declaration. And then this guy, Benjamin Harrison. Colonel Benjamin Harrison from over here from Virginia. Big guy. I mean he was the largest of the founders. He hollers out at Gerry just as Gerry is about to sign, and this is the most important political moment in the history of the world. It’s a serious occasion.
And the big guy from the back of the room says to the little man up front he says, Oh I shall have a great advantage over you Mr. Gerry when we’re hung for what we’re now doing by the size and great weight of my body, well I’ll be dead in a minute or two, but by the lightness of yours, you’re going to dance in the air for an hour or more before you’re finally dead. Only words spoken that well after the signing.
They do say some say that Franklin said who said here he said, you know we’d better all hang together or else will surely hang separately. So I mean they knew what they were doing when they signed the document.
I’ll tell you those two things because it’s important for us to know that those guys that were in here they knew what they were doing. They knew this was gonna be a death warrant. They knew that by putting their name on the dotted line they would have to give it all and I love the fact that when they came up and took that pen and dipped it in ink. When they signed, it was right beneath that final sentence it says in support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred honor.
They Were True Patriots
Those were true patriots. They were sinners, they were fallen, they made terrible mistakes just like all of us, but they were patriots because they don’t just get excited you know to sign the petition go home forget about it.
These guys stood by their signature; every single one of them. They did not back down. Not one of them failed to follow through on the commitment that they had made. In fact, when you think about the sacrifice that they made, all 56 of them giving of their lives their fortunes, and their sacred honor in one way or another some of them literally given their lives.
Many of them giving their entire fortunes. Some of them lost their wives, lost their sons, they sacrificed a lot – for us.
For us to be free so that generations later we could be free. I think sometimes we forget that our freedom is not free. We forget that there have been those that came before us that paid the ultimate price for us to be able to enjoy these blessings of liberty we talk so much about it. It didn’t stop in this room when these guys with that torch of freedom there were others that had to come alongside. That had to rally to the cause.
In fact, I love what happened a few months later after Washington had begun to finally get his ragtag bunch together and begin to be able to do some things and he’d freed Boston, and now a few months after the signing of the declaration in September of 1776 he’s actually in New York City. And in New York, you’ve got a situation where the British have attacked it Staten Island.
They defeated us at Long Island, and they pushed Washington back to Manhattan, and now Washington is kind of dug in there trying to figure out what to do next. He needs to know where the British are going to move next. He needs to know where their troop fortifications are, where their movements are, where they may attack next. He doesn’t know any of this, and there’s only one way he’s going to get that kind of information,
George Washington Needs A Spy
George Washington needs a spy but in 1776 as a spy was not what we think of today. I don’t know about you when I think of a spy today I think of a secret agent. I think of one of these cool guys you know like bond or Bourne or you know I’m thinking of these guys that dress cool. They got all the gadgets. They act cool, they talk cool. I mean they have gadgets that will allow them to accomplish any Mission Impossible.
I mean these guys can actually, with their gadgets, they can run down the side of a mile high building without any problem. And then even when they don’t have the gadgets, I mean you got to watch out because these guys can kill you with a paperclip, with a toothpick, a magazine. It doesn’t matter. They’re going to take care of you, and they never lose their cool. Chaos all around them and they can still ask for a martini shaken not stirred. I don’t know how they do it. All these guys – that’s not what it was like in 1776, that’s our movies.
Go back to 1776 man if you were a spy, you were the lowest of the low. You weren’t a military hero, you were a hired gun. You were not somebody that either side trusted and Washington knew that. He knew that if he sent one of those types of folks they’re going to be killed upon capture. He wasn’t even sure he’d get the right information back. What Washington wanted was he wanted one of his trusted officers to step up and volunteer for this mission, but he wasn’t about to demand it of them. He wasn’t going to demand such a demeaning and dangerous mission.
If you were killed on the battlefield, there was honor in that. If you were captured as a spy and hung, No honor in that. Your legacy was destroyed, your reputation was ruined. So Washington’s trying to figure out how to do this talk to some of his officers. One of these guys gets an idea, and he goes back to his tent, and he’s got a bunch of his officers there in his tent, and in hushed tones, Colonel Tom Knowlton is telling these guys why he needs somebody to step up and take care of what the General needs. Nobody’s willing. In fact, Knowlton finally gives up. He turns to leave. He’s gonna head back to General Washington telling me he’s failed. And as he turns to leave, this kid standing at the door had come to the meeting late. He was actually ill with a fever, so he arrived at the meeting late, and as Knowlton is about to leave, this kids stepped forward, and he says I will undertake the mission.
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 the 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 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.
They Were The Original Special Forces
Now to really understand what’s happening in this tent, you gotta understand this was not your ordinary group of officers.
This was not your ordinary soldier at the door. In fact, these men were Colonel Tom Milton’s Rangers. These were the original Special Forces.
This was the first group of army rangers. They had recently been put together by Washington. These were the guys that were the Special Forces.
Now the only way for me to wrap my head around that and living in the day that I live in and try to think about the Revolutionary Era guys especially when I got to think like this. Okay, maybe you can join me. Just think Chuck Norris with a ponytail. Okay, so that’s the only way I can get my head around that okay. So you’ve got these special forces guys, all these guys with their ponytails gathered in the tent and Knowlton is trying to find a volunteer with a guy at the door is none other than Captain Nathan Hale.
Captain Nathan Hale
He’s only 21 years old. 21 years old. This is a guy that had graduated from Yale at 18. He had studied for the ministry, went to become a teacher for a few years and he’s teaching in New London Connecticut. And while he’s teaching there, the war breaks out. Lexington and Concord happens. Now, he’s only just halfway through his 19th year when Lexington and Concord break out, so he’s still a teenager basically. But when he hears about the election in Concord, he shows up at the town hall meeting there in his hometown to discuss what’s happening. And this is 19 -year old stands up in front of his community, and he says to them, we should take up arms we should march immediately and not lay down those arms until we’ve achieved independence. Independence? Nobody uttered the word independent in his hometown yet but this young man shakes his community from that colonial submission, shakes the hands of his students, and he marches off to war.
And now here we are a year and a half later he finds himself outside this tent of Colonel Knowlton’s, and a buddy of his is actually there. He’s also an officer, a guy named William Hall. Capt. William Hall had gone to school with him at Yale.
Find Out More From WallBuildersLive.com
Well, we’re out of time for today folks. That was part two in a four-part series on Constitution Alive. This is the first segment of that entire program, twelve-hour program. We’re just giving you a taste of it this week out of segment one.
By the way, the reason we say Constitution Alive is because that document is not dead. The Constitution even though 200 years ago is not irrelevant. In fact, it is alive, and it applies to our life today.
So that don’t get that confused with the whole living, breathing document that you’ve heard from some Supreme Court justices that it changes and evolves. No, in fact, it’s exactly as the founding fathers intended it if we will apply it the way that it was intended and that’s what we have to do it to save that constitutional republic. So we’re helping to get others educated on that as well.
It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton, Rick Green. Segment one is going to take us about four days to share with you here on the radio program.
Today was part two if you missed yesterday get on our Website at WallBuildersLive.com. Click on the archives, and you can listen to yesterday’s program, and over the next two days, we’ll get the conclusion of that first segment again just giving you a taste of it.
We’re giving you a chance to get educated on these foundations of America and hopefully for you to share them with others as well.
If you’d like the entire program, you can visit our Website to find out more here at WallBuilders.com. Appreciate you listening today at WallBuilders Live with Rick Green.