Constitution Alive, Section 5 – Part 1: What are the enumerated powers of Congress? Does it matter if they stick to their job description? Do you know the history of our wars with Islam? Our Constitution is still alive and applicable today! As citizens, we all have a duty to study the Constitution, to understand where our rights and our freedoms are laid out in that document, and how our government structure should work. The reason our government continues to overstep its boundaries is because, “we the people” don’t know what those boundaries are! Tune in now for the first part of Section Five of Constitution Alive!

Air Date: 9/13/2023

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


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


You find your way to the intersection of faith and politics. This is WallBuilders Live. Thanks so much for joining us today. Be sure and visit our websites at and

You can also send in your questions if you’d like us to address questions about the Founding Fathers or some of the founding principles or founding documents, and how those things apply today, and our culture today. Be sure and send in your questions to [email protected]. That’s [email protected].

We usually get to those on Thursdays that’s our Foundation of Freedom Thursday program. Normally on Thursdays, we will tackle some issue from the founding documents. It is our chance to dive in a little bit deeper there. So send in your questions, and we’ll get to those on Thursday.

You can also get our archives at If you missed some programs over the last few weeks, we have quite a few of those up available on the website with a lot of the great guests that we’ve had. You’re going to want to know where that button is on the website for the archives of this week, and actually the next couple of weeks.

We’ve got several special programs coming to you that are in series. In other words, they’ll take more than one of our programs. It’ll be a two or three-part series, and today is the first time we’re gonna do that.

Section 5, Constitution Alive

It’s gonna be Section 5 out of our Constitution Alive program. Many of you have already gotten educated on the Constitution by taking Constitution Alive, and opening up your home or are your Sunday school class or whatever it might be. You’ve played in those DVD where we went in the Independence Hall, in the very room where the constitution was framed. In that room, we walk through the entire constitution. Then we go back to David Barton’s library where he pulls out these amazing documents. It’s just incredible that we can actually hold those documents of the founding fathers and dive deep in what they said about those phrases in the Constitution.

All of that there in Constitution Alive. So many of you have actually done that in your homes and in your Sunday school classes and in other places and have walked through it with your friends and family and others.

For those of you that have not had a chance to do that, we want to bring you that over the airwaves here on WallBuilders Live. We’ve done a few of the sections out of Constitution Alive over the last year or so. You can go back in the archives and grab I think some of those are still available there.

The Congress

But this week we wanted to zero in specifically on Section 5 because that’s where we dive into the Congress. Each section breaks down either the Congress or the president or the courts or the Bill of Rights or other parts of the Constitution.

In Section 5, we actually dive into the specific enumerated powers of Congress. That’s in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. It’s an opportunity to walk through those very specific things that we, the people, authorize.

In other words, these are the jurisdictional lines. These are the areas that the federal government has the power to operate – that we gave them permission to operate. Now, of course, we can always take that back. That’s what the amendment process is all about. We can say we don’t want you to do that anymore. We essentially did that with alcohol. Whenever we first said that we were going to ban alcohol completely with a constitutional amendment. We came back and amended once again, and said we’re not going to ban it, but we are going to allow you to regulate it. So we can limit, we can add powers to the federal government, or we can take powers away. Ultimately, we the people that get to decide that.

But Article 1 Section 8 in the Constitution is a chance to really dive into those specifics. And so in Section 5 of Constitution Alive, we dive in a lot deeper.

The Enumerated Powers of Congress

They take actually two full sections to get through the Congress and Constitution Alive, but section 5 is more specifically to the enumerated powers.

The reason I’m getting detailed on this today, in describing what you’re about to do is that this is one of the big questions as people are going into the presidential election – which one of these candidates actually understand jurisdictions? Who actually understands the power that the Constitution gives to the federal government, and more importantly the power it does not give to the federal government?

We thought it’d be fun to dive into this part of Constitution Alive to get you familiar with some of those clauses, and phrases, and limitations that are given there as well.

You’ll find out in today’s program, even some of the specific enumerated powers that have been so distorted that we’ve allowed the federal government to do things that were they were never intended to do.

When you look at the plain language in the Constitution, it’s not complicated; it’s actually plain language, you’ll realize just how bad and out of control the federal government is. What the courts have allowed them to do so, let’s just jump right in.

This is going to be a three-part series, so we’re not going to get done today. Between today, tomorrow, and the next day those three parts put together, we’ll give you all a section 5 at a Constitutional Alive.

If you’re really enjoy it, you can visit the website, and find out how to get the DVD, and the workbooks. You can get multiple workbooks, and share them with your friends and family. Like I said earlier, bring them into your living room, and actually open it up and make a class right there in your home. That’s what patriotism is all about – is learning your job as a citizen learn; learning my job as a citizen is what we’ve each got to be willing to do, and then go take action on that.

Let’s jump right in here. Constitution Alive, section 5.

Welcome back to Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. This is sort of part two on Article 1 Section 8.

Clauses In The Constitution

We’re getting a little bit further into some of those clauses. We get a couple of the most abused clauses; commerce clause, general welfare clause. There’s a lot of clauses.

What are some of the other clauses in the Constitution we need to be aware?


You know clauses in the Constitution are really good because they tell us generally what we’re about to learn or generally what the thing is


It’s almost like a chapter heading up top


It does. If you say oh this guy’s a US Senator. Well, now you know what he does. You know something about him. And therefore you know how to talk to him about what he does or this guy is a pastor, or this is this guy is a scientist who invented whatever.

Once you get a title to something, you now have some area where you can work.

So I went through and wrote down some of the names of the clauses in the Constitution because just by naming the clause, it’s already named.

You Know What’s Coming

These are common clause names, you get an idea of what’s coming. So for example, the advice and consent clause. Well, that’s going to deal with the powers of the Senate related to the president. He gets to advise and consent on nominees.

You have the commerce clause, where you talk some of that with loopholes. You have the establishment clause which is going to come up in the Bill of Rights, the establishment clause, and there’s the free exercise clause in the Bill of Rights.

You have the exceptions clause which is going to be Article 3, which you’re going to tell you what you can take away from the courts if you want something excepted from them not ACC but EX, you can do everything except this –


Basically set aside.


That’s right now. You cannot do this. That’s an exception rather than the exceptions clause.

You have the full faith and credit clause, which is how come we accept contracts back and forth between states. So a contract you make in Montana was going to be valid in Mississippi or somewhere else in most cases. The general welfare clause.


Oh boy. We’re going to cover that again man.


It’s good for us to know what it really means so that when we hear that we can say, whoa time out. You guys are off base here. That’s not what it means some of these.


Some of these are the actual language, others are descriptions of a particular clause.


That’s right. So the Necessary and Proper Clause. That’s actual language.


We’re going to hit that one when we go back Philly too.


The Origination Clause, which this is one of the constitutional arms of self-defense that the Founding Fathers to the Constitution gave to Congress. That puts a lot of cramp on the other two branches when they get out, but nobody uses it more but the origination clause really good stuff.

The Supremacy Clause, which we will get to in Article 6 of the Constitution. The Take Care Clause that’s article 2. The president is supposed to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. This actual Congress


That’s actual language


The Takings Clause. Well, that’s the fifth amendment to the Constitution that is another one of those language clauses. The Treaty Clause.

We have the Free Exercise Clause, the Free Speech Clause, the Free Press Clause, the Free Assembly Clause. The Petition Clause, the Self-incrimination Clause, the Impeachment Clauses, and Cust Compensation Clause. These are really simple titles.

Once you learn the Constitution when somebody uses one of those titles you know exactly what they are. And that’s what we’re going to get some more of in this lesson.


So we’re gonna jump back in for more the details out of Article 1 Section 8, and we’re going to get some questions from the class when we join them back at Independence Hall.

Bring A Speaker To Your Area


Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And, as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.

And, you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there were a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at, and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And, there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.


Back To Constitutional Alive, Section 5 


So for us to do our job, we’ve got to know what’s in there. We got to know what these enumerated powers are so; commerce clause is one that has been obviously a loophole they’ve gone through.

General welfare is one that they’ve gone through. I want actually to give you a small example. This is one that it’s not a big loophole, but it really helps me to see just how far Congress has gone from plain language.

Have you ever heard anybody say the Constitution is too hard to understand? The language is just too old, we just can’t read it? Let’s just look at the plain language of the Constitution on a particular issue.

The Issue of The Progress of Science And Useful Arts

It’s gonna be the third I think a fourth from the top on page 14. If you’ll jump over there with me. This is after the post office, and post roads, and counterfeiting and that sort of thing. It’s the fourth from the top.

I’m actually gonna ask for a volunteer to get somebody to read this language. Fourth paragraph from the top that talks about to promote the progress. Who wants to be my volunteer tonight? Stand up and read this clause for me.

Man 1:

To promote the progress of science and useful arts.


Stop because there’s a period there right?

Man 1:

There is?


No? Oh, I’m sorry. There is no period there. Go ahead.

I can’t imagine why I would have thought there was a period there. We’ll come back to that. Go ahead.

Man 1:

By securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.


Interesting, so no Putin in that. If there was a period there, you could probably say Congress can do whatever it wants to promote the progress of science and useful arts. It’s a period. These guys said Congress gets to decide how they want to promote the progress. The only way they’re limited in that is they have to come home and answered us, right? We may not like them doing certain things. We vote them out if that’s the case, but it’s the power if there’s a period.

There no period there. So after that comma, it actually tells us the only constitutional way that Congress can promote the progress of science and useful arts.

What are we talking about here? Copyrights patents trademark, right? We’re talking about protecting your property. We’re talking about the best way to promote the progress of science, and useful arts is to protect the system; the general welfare.

Protect The System

We’re back to that old concept: protect the system. Provide the individual with a legal system that allows them to own their property, and protect it, and profit from it.

That’s all they’re talking about here. But today man, it’s like we’ve got a period there because they’re spending money promoting the progress of science and useful arts. There’s been 30 billion over here, and 30 billion over there.

On science, on big bird, and Ernie and Elmo…Sesame Street and NPR and all these things because they say they’re promoting the progress of science and useful arts. I’m just confused because I don’t understand how they have the power to do in the first place. It doesn’t tell them they can do it.

It says that the only thing they can do is protect the invention, and there’s a reason these guys did that. I mean you had one of the greatest inventors in American history sitting here, Benjamin Franklin.

He didn’t say, hey let’s use the government to go invent things, and fund science and all that. They said not to do that. Why? Because they understood the basic concept that a bureaucrat, a government, will not make better decisions than individuals about what is a useful art, about what is a good investment in terms of science. They understood from real life that the government couldn’t decide better than individuals. In fact, I think Congressman Bob McEwen probably has the best example I’ve ever heard.

Every Government Model Fits This Description – Price, And Quality Doesn’t Matter

If I take up a hundred dollars and I’m going to go buy me something; I’m going to be concerned about two things: price, is my money right, and quality because I’m going to use it. I’m going to be the one actually using that thing. So those two things are very important to me. But if I’m going to go out and I’m going to buy something.

Well, what’s your name ma’am? Mary?

OK, Mary let’s say I’m gonna go buy something for you, and I’m going to spend that same hundred dollars. Is the price still important to me? Yeah. Still my money right? Is quality is important to me? Sorry, Mary, you’re gonna use it not me. So quality that’s a little bit important. I don’t want Mary to think I’m a total jerk, but I’m not going to be quite as worried if I’m not the one using it.

But now here’s the kicker: What happens if – Tell me your name again, Ruth-Ann? Do you know Mary? OK, good.

Ruth-Ann, I gotta run right after we’re done with the class. I’m flying back home, and I don’t have time to go but if I give you one hundred dollars would you go by Mary something for me?

Please don’t come to ask me for a hundred dollars after this because I’m not giving it to you. This is just an example. So let’s say she’s gonna go out and spend a hundred dollars on Mary for me with my money.

Is price important to him? No, it’s my money. Is quality important to her? No, she doesn’t know Mary? She doesn’t. We’re never going to talk to Mary again.

Friends, every government transaction fits that model right there. The government takes money from one to spend on someone else, so price and quality never matter. That’s why you don’t want the government doing anything outside its jurisdiction.

You Need Government To Do Certain Things

If you want to use the phrase necessary evil, I’m not anti-government. You need the government to do certain things. Take the military. We’re going to see a ton of things here in Article 1, Section 8.

I want to be the biggest baddest nation on the planet. I want peace through strength. So if they have to spend trillions of dollars to do that, that’s OK because it’s a proper function of government. It’s in the proper jurisdiction of what they’re supposed to do.

Comedy and the Constitution at Front Site

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

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

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

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

Limited Government Means Limited Jurisdictions


Sometimes we think of limited government as a small amount of money. It’s not limited government means limited jurisdictions. It means not allowing the government to spend even one dollar outside of the jurisdiction they’re supposed to be in.

If they’re spending money on the military, that’s why you’re gonna end up with 400 dollar hammers. You’re going to because of this model right here. We try to keep it as limited, we use sunlight to be the best disinfectant. You try to make it the best you can, but you’re gonna have things like that.

But if they get outside their jurisdiction, it’s gonna be even worse. Because if the government is taking my money to spend on science or the arts, some bureaucrat is gonna think that they can decide better than me what I would support. That’s why you end up with corruption. That’s how you get us to launder. That’s how you get wasted money. That’s how you get money going into science and then…let me give an example of this.

Christmas Lights At The Smithsonian

How many of y’all enjoy going out and looking at Christmas lights. Anybody here like looking at Christmas lights? I hate looking at Christmas lights.

I don’t know why you people like I do that. I mean my wife makes me go every year. You go every year, you have the same lights folks. Nothing changes. You’re looking at the same one you saw last year. Anyway, but that’s your freedom to do that.

If you had gone to Washington DC to look at the Christmas displays not this last Christmas but the Christmas before that. Let’s say you went to the Smithsonian. Smithsonian had a Christmas display up, and the Christmas display for the Smithsonian that year you would have had the opportunity to see Jesus Christ on the cross covered in ants. You would have been able to see a poster of Ellen DeGeneres holding her breast and besides that when you would have seen some posters of what even the Smithsonian said was homoerotic art all paid for by you.

Paid for by me. Paid for with our tax dollars because some bureaucrat somewhere decided that was a useful art. Six-million dollars went to the group that put that display on. Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call that as useful art.

Even if we’re talking about the Sistine Chapel, even if we’re talking about just an incredible work of art, it is not government’s role to fund that or promote the progress of that except for protecting the inventor, protecting the author, protecting the creator. That’s the government’s role.

Stem cell Research

Probably the best example of this. Think about science. Think about stem cells. You get two kinds of stem cell research; you’ve got adult stem cell research, and you got embryonic stem cell research. Which one is getting private money, the venture capital money? Adult or embryonic? Adult. Why? Because it works.

So everybody’s going, well I’m not going to invest in embryonic, they haven’t found a single cure. They are at zero. Adult stem cell research is now over 100.

On my slides it is old, there are over a hundred different amazing cures. I mean science is amazing. It’s phenomenal what they’ve been able to do with these adult stem cells. So all the private money is going to it.

Government Money Is Going To Research That Does Not Work

Where’s the embryonic stem cell research getting its money? Herein lies the problem.

We’re paying for it through the government.

I mean my own state of Texas I forget the number, what’s it say on there? Forty-one million. New York six-hundred million. California 3-billion. Government’s funding science that doesn’t work because what’s happened is politics enters into the equation. Just like corruption.

You know what happens if I’m controlling all that money as a bureaucrat or a politician? The money is going to end up going to friends of mine, right? That’s just the nature of man. That’s what ends up happening. It’s bad deal folk.

There’s only one way to stop it. You and I have to read the Constitution, and you show me in the plain language right there where Congress has any power to spend one penny on the progress of science and useful art. They don’t.

If it took the money it took money to run the US Patent and copyright office or trademark office I can understand, but it doesn’t. That’s the only department that actually turns a profit because it’s providing a very good service to the market.

But look at the plain language, it’s very clear. We went wrong because we simply didn’t read the language, and hold our members of Congress accountable.

If we do that, we could get them back in their proper place. I’ll just skip a couple of things here and get ready to close this out on Article 1 Section 8.

Please take a note of that one you see on the screen right there. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court. We’re going to come back to that when we get over into Article 3. So here’s a power of Congress that has to do with the courts. We’ll talk about that later.

Three Different Things To Declare War

To define and punish piracy is a felony that is committed on the high seas and offenses against the laws of the nation. To declare war.

Here are three different things to declare war: grant letters of market reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.

Just a quick point on to declare war: How does it say we’ll declare war?

Doesn’t say it That’s exactly right. There’s no description, there’s no special piece of paper.

Constitution Alive

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 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

Congress Declares War Any Way They Want

Congress declares war anyway they want including spending the money on that war. So a lot of my dear friends say we’re fighting undeclared wars. I disagree. When Congress passes, a resolution says, Mr. President, go prosecute this war on terror. They have declared war. When they stand on the Capitol steps, and sing America the Beautiful and the hand that resolute, They’ve declared war. Every time they spend money on the war, they’re declaring war.

Do you know how they undeclared the war? They stop spending the money, and they’ve got the power of the purse. They can do that, and say we’re going to give you enough to bring troops home that’s it.

So declare war I think, gets distorted in our minds today. We try to complicate it. When you look at the Constitution itself, it’s not complicated. They have the power to declare war. They can do it any way they want.

Last thing on that, the section on grant letters of mark and reprisal. That might sound weird to us today. I want you to try to put yourself in these shoes, in these chairs if you will. When they did the Constitution, they were in the middle of the first war on radical Islam.

First War on Terror, 1780. 

That’s what that was happening. Started in 1780. First war on terror was a 32-year war. I don’t know that. I didn’t remember anything I learned in school about this.

I was actually sitting on a radio program, and David Barton says to me we’re talking a there was a Muslim that was elected to Congress out of Minnesota and he got sworn in on the Koran. I don’t know if you remember the picture, it was Thomas Jefferson’s friend. Jefferson had a beautiful copy of the Koran, a big two-volume set. And so Congressman Ellison was sworn in on the Koran. We were getting calls.

People saying can he do that? He can’t do that. No, of course, he can. It’s his choice. Not sure it’s a good idea when we’re at war with radical Islam but if he wants to do it, that’s his choice.

But the second question was Thomas Jefferson had a Koran? Was Jefferson Muslim? Everybody was calling in and asking.

WallBuilders Live Program


Well, friends, we’re out of time for today. You have been listening to a portion of Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green.

That’s our full program on the constitution. Just giving you a taste of it today, tomorrow, and the next day. Actually going to give you a whole chapter.

So we call it Section 5. It’s on Congress. It’s on Article 1, Congress and its enumerated powers.

So today we got to touch on that a little bit. Tomorrow, we’re just going to pick up right there in that section. Then the following day we’ll get the conclusion part of what you’re hearing is happening in the Wall Builders library where David’s incredible collection of founding fathers documents exists.

And then the other part is actually in Independence Hall with a class that we brought in there. I taught the Constitutional, section 5 class in the room where the constitution was framed. I hope you really enjoyed it.

I hope this is a special week for you to learn some things about the Constitution and the enumerated powers of Congress. Maybe you didn’t know before or maybe if you knew some of these things. Now we’re equipping you on how to educate others about them, and how to hold your public servants accountable on these issues as well.

Let’s get educated as citizens, and we can restore this constitutional republic and pass it intact to the next generation.

Don’t miss tomorrow we’ll pick up right where we left off today at a Constitution Alive. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.