David Barton On The 10th Amendment – At The Profamily Legislators Conference: How many pastors think the Bible applies to every area life? What should the federal government actually be doing? What should be left to the states? How did the Founders’ Biblical worldview facilitate the establishment of checks and balances, the key to our long-lasting Republic? Tune in to hear principles vital to our Republic!
Air Date: 04/01/2021
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 the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we talk about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, the culture, always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m normally here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder WallBuilders, Tim Barton, usually with US National speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. But neither of them are here.
And I’m not actually here because this is a prerecorded program. We are bringing you today from the ProFamily Legislators Conference. We did that last couple of days with Congressman Barry Loudermilk.
Today and tomorrow, it’s going to be David Barton speaking on the 10th Amendment. Do you ever get frustrated with Washington D.C. and the federal government telling us everything in our life, how we’re going to operate everything in our life, the kind of lightbulbs we’re going to have in our home, how much water has to go through our toilets, our education for our kids, the curriculum, the finance issues.
I mean, everything, seems like the federal government is into everything, and meddling in our business, micromanaging us and now, even requiring masks and all of these different things.
So the question is, what should the federal government be doing? And is what is actually left to the States? Now if you want a longer, deeper answer to that, be sure and take our constitution classes, you can get those at constitutioncoach.com, you can become a coach for free.
You can go to wallbuilders.com, and get the constitutional live DVD set if you just want to do the class by yourself. But if you’d like to host it and have friends and family over or maybe on Zoom, or in your living room or at your church, we’d love for you to do that.
And we have a new version called Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. And it’s a great way to gather with your friends and family and dive into what does it mean to be a biblical citizen? How do you live out the Bible? If you’re a follower of Christ, we’re supposed to obey all of his commands, right?
That’s the great commission to teach others, disciple others, to obey all of his commands. Well, how do we do that in our society, in our free society? And what is our responsibility as citizens? How do we live this out in any biblical way?
We answer those questions in Biblical Citizenship in Modern America that is available at biblicalcitizens.com, biblicalcitizens.com. I know I’m giving you several websites. So biblicalcitizens.com for that specific course.
Constitutioncoach.com. If you would like to become a coach, sign up others, get them to come into your living room and host classes. And then of course, wallbuilders.com for the DVD sets and things that you can begin to go through those classes yourself if you would like. But dive in, and study those things.
We’re going to study today and tomorrow with David Barton, specifically, the 10th Amendment. This is a presentation that he gave, it was a few months ago. Last fall, we had our legislators’ conference. We do a Profamily Legislators Conference every year, it’s a great opportunity for Profamily state reps and senators from across the nation to come together.
WallBuilders hosts that conference and then we have a lot of great speakers that come in, and teach and share. But then also the legislator share with each other. They share ideas, it really is an iron sharpening iron, and they sharpen the countenance of each other. It’s a phenomenal, phenomenal weekend.
And when those speakers come and we have so many great talks, we don’t want them to just go to the legislators, we want we the people to hear them as well. So we air as many of those as we can here on WallBuilders Live.
The ProFamily Legislators Conference
And we did that last couple of days, as I said with Congressman Loudermilk. Today, and tomorrow will be David Barton speaking on the 10th Amendment. Let’s head out to the Profamily Legislators Conference.
Okay, we’re going to test some things we’ve already covered to some degree. We’ll cover some more. I want to throw kind of a thought out there. You know, you heard the information that George has. And I can give you some more depressing information. It actually comes from George, with 384,000 pastors and senior churches in America.
George was calling 500 a day at one point, and found out that 72% of pastor did not agree with simple tenants of the Bible, that Jesus lived a sinless life, or that you can’t earn your way to heaven.
So 72% of pastors, which are left into the 107,000 pastors that do agree, George calls them theologically conservative. And touching those pastors again, about 500 day he’s connecting with them, and asking them, do you think the Bible what applies to every aspect of life? There were 14 different categories, as the Bible talk about sexuality, marriage and immigration and economics.
Depending on which category from 91-97% of pastors said, the Bible does talk about that. When George says, okay, have you taught about that or do you plan to teach about that? 90% of the good guys said, no, I’m not dealing with that. That’s politics. We don’t deal with politics.
Wait a minute. You just told me it was in the Bible and now you’re calling it politics? So again, this goes back to what I mentioned last night. 2 out of 3 people who leave the church said they leave because they don’t find anything relevant to it.
So what you find is that out of 384,000 senior pastors and churches in America, only 2.8% are dealing with things that are currently in the news. So that’s why you get a worldview of 6% for Christians, 4% for Millennials, 2% for Gen Xers, etc. But here’s the deal. I think knowing these stats are really, really super important, I learned something a number of years ago from Glenn Beck. Glenn will be here shortly, he’s speaking this afternoon.
Glenn, probably 15 years ago, we were doing stadium events together, arena events, we would have 20,000 or 30,000 at an arena. And he called them and it was based on 1 Corinthians 13, but it was called the American Revival, and we did sessions on faith, hope, and love. And so I would do the part on faith and then Andrew Napolitano we’d do the stuff on love.
Constitutionally Expressing Love
Because from a constitutional viewpoint, how do you express love? Well, you express it not through government? Government doesn’t express love. That’s not the government’s role. Government’s not supposed to be doing welfare, it’s the church and families and individuals. And so we were looking at constitutional ways to express love.
And then when it got to hope, what he had was, he had an economist from Cornell, and the economist David Buckner would talk about how bad the economy was, how in debt the nation was, how people were in debt and go through all the problems with that, and what that… And it was like you would think that’s a really depressing thing, but I love what Glenn said. He said look, if you go to the doctor and you have cancer and you’re talking to the doctor and you say doc, how am I? H says oh, you’re doing great. Stage four cancer, but you don’t know about it because you think you’re doing great, said that’s not good.
Alright, friends, quick break. That is David Barton you’re listening to. He’s giving a presentation on the 10th Amendment at the Profamily Legislators Conference. But we’re on radio, so we have to take our break, so we’re going to interrupt David here. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Moment from American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The year after the American war for independence ended, we begin addressing the issue of Muslim terrorists in North Africa, who were attacking American ships and killing and enslaving American seamen.
Congress dispatched John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate peace. And when they asked the Muslim ambassador the reason for the unprovoked attacks, he told them that it was written in their Quran that it was their right and duty to make war upon them whenever they can be found.
16 years of negotiations failed. And in 1801, America sent its military to crush the terrorists. When that war ended in 1805, the first American edition of the Quran was published urging Americans to read the Quran to see for themselves that this teachings were incompatible with the safety and peace of non-Muslims.
To see the first American Qur’an, and to get more information about America’s first war on Islamic terror, go to wallbuilders.com
We’re back on WallBuilders Live. You’ve been listening to David Barton speaking at the Profamily Legislators Conference on the 10th Amendment. We’re going to dive right back in where we left off before the break. Here’s David Barton.
If he looks at you and says, you know, you got stage four cancer, he said that may be hard news but it gives you hope. If you don’t know what the truth is, you can’t have hope. And hope comes from knowing the truth.
And so, one of the things that Eugene and I were just talking about this, bible says judgment begins first at the house of God, and we got to clean up our own act if we expect the nation clean up theirs. If we want Democrats to clean up their act, how about the church clean up our act?
And so in some ways we have to start confronting and pushing our church leaders. As George pointed out, most of these guys are not leaders, they’re just teachers that look for a place to teach and church is a good convenient place, so I can be pastor so I can teach. So, in some ways we’ve really got to start pushing on the church to start doing some things that it needs to do.
What Can We Do?
As George pointed out, the five measurements we use for how effective the church is, none of them are biblical. So in the sense, I just want to say that I think having some really hard hitting stuff is really good for us, because it’s like stage four cancer, you don’t want a doctor telling you you’re okay when you’re not. You want to know what you’re facing and what I need to do to get out of this.
So that’s why Glenn called it faith, hope and love, and hope was telling the truth about how bad things were, because once you know, now you can do something you can create a plan of action. So hopefully, that’s something that we get from this as well.
I want to talk about some of the things that we’ve already heard, about today. What I’m going do is, I’m going go back into government for a little bit. In the first presentation I did this morning, we talked about how we need to get separation of powers reestablished, we need checks and balances back in there separation of powers between the three branches and getting checks and balances, between those branches, and the constitutional tools of self-defense etc.
It’s interesting that these two things actually go together. Checks and balances and separation powers can’t be separated. If you do not have a check and balance, you can’t keep your power separated.
If there’s not some way to push each branch back into its cubicle, then one branch will take over the other and that’s what you saw on this quote from Founding Fathers. You’ll have a governor that starts to act like a legislature who starts to act like a Judge who will issue penalties and enforce the penalties and tell you what the policies are. You can’t have that. So it takes checks and balances to be able to create separation of powers.
And from a historical standpoint, lots and lots of governments have had three branches. I mean, that goes back to Isaiah 33:22. So we can go back 3500 years and say three branches around Israel had three branches. The difference was they did not have checks and balances then. Checks and balances was really kind of an American application that had been talked about before.
The First to Have Checks and Balances
But the Americans are the first ones to apply checks and balances. Because in Great Britain, they had three branches. You had the king, the executive, you had parliament, the legislative, and you had the Judges, the judicial, but the king ran all three branches. He told parliament what they’re going and Judges had to decide. They had three branches, that didn’t what made them great, because they didn’t have the checks and balances.
We came up with checks and balances, and that may be the single feature that has caused America to last longer than any other nation, as we’re the first republic to really do that in a serious way. And so I want to take you into how that came about, and show you why this is important.
John Adams is the guy who talked about where we got this idea of checks and balances that we did in America, so different from what the British had. The British were not doing this. We were doing this. No other nation. France wasn’t doing it. We’re the ones who started doing this. And he actually points out that it comes out of Jeremiah 17:9.
Now if you read this Bible verses, it says “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” How do you take that verse and get checks and balances out of that? This is a doctrine that is known as the depravity of man for those that are in Reformed theology, or if you’re in a Presbyterian, church, Lutheran Church, etc. you know what this is.
And it’s basically that man is not inherently good. That’s one of the questions George will ask for worldview is, do you believe man is basically good? And if you say, yes, you’ve just disagreed with the Bible, because the Bible says man does not basically good unless he has a Savior, or something that changes his heart, the Word of God, he is not basically good. He will do the wrong things.
The Depravity of Man
So depravity of man doctrine is where they got the concept that we need to have checks and balances. Because they said, you know, if we have it where maybe the president goes bad, well, if we can have Congress and the courts with the power to hold the President back, then maybe the whole nation won’t go corrupt at once. Or if Congress goes bad, the President and the courts can hold it back.
Or if the courts go bad, Congress and the President can hold it back. So that’s where they came up with the idea was on the concept on depravity of man. This is how John Adams explains it.
He quoted the verse, He said “The word of God informs us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” That is that quote, Jeremiah 17:9. He says, “There is no man so blind as not to see, that to talk of founding a government upon a supposition that nations and great bodies of men, left to themselves, will practise a course of self-denial, is either to babble like a new-born infant, or to deceive like an unprincipled impostor.”
If you think that just we’re going to do the right thing, he says, if you think that, you have no experience, you’re an infant, or you’re deceiving other people intentionally. So the concept that man is basically good, do the right thing, that’s what drove us to do checks and balances. It’s interesting.
Three other Founding Fathers talked about the same principle: depravity of man is why we came up with checks and balances. We may all think we got a really good governor, but they’re screwing it up right now.
You know, I like Greg Abbott, he’s been a friend for a long time. I’ve known him for years and years, but I think he’s messing it up right now. But that doesn’t change the fact that I think he’s still a basically good guy, decent guy. Yet at that time, we need some checks and balances
Alright, friends, it’s time for another break. Stay with us, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution, but just felt like man, the classes are boring, or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago, or I don’t know where to start? People want to know, but it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive! With David Barton and Rick Green, and it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the 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.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Let’s jump right back in with David Barton speaking on the 10th Amendment at the Profamily Legislators Conference.
Legislature needs to be able to say wait a minute, you’ve gone way overboard here. We need to pull you back in. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person.
But see, if you think that people don’t need checks and balances then, you either have no experience at all or you been deceived or you’re a deceiver trying to deceive others. And so this is the concept. Let me take you to George Washington.
What Did Washington Say?
George Washington said it this way, “A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart…” What did Jeremiah 17:9 say? The heart is desperately wicked. Well, that’s what you just heard.
“A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.” Again, the depravity of man. He says, “The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power; by dividing and distributing it into different depositories…” he says that has been established.
We got this idea of separating the powers and put it in different places as not all one, comes out of depravity of man concept. We believe that man is not basically good, that without a savior, he’s not going to be good. He’s basically going to have a depraved heart. You get the same thing from Alexander Hamilton. In Federalist 15, Alexander Hamilton says, “Why has government been instituted at all?
Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” Again, depravity of man. We’re not going to do the right thing.
Where kids learn to do the wrong thing? It comes natural, doesn’t it? I mean, that’s just the way it is. Who we were hanging out with? Well, they have been with their parents, is who they’re hanging out with it. It comes naturally.
So what happens is, that’s part of the heart. The passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint. Depravity of man. He continues. He says “The infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one.” So we take that power, and we spread it around between all the places so that if it goes bad over here, maybe these guys over here can stop it.
So this is the concept on which this unique idea of separation of powers is based. It’s a purely biblical concept. It’s actually their biblical thinking that allowed them to do that. Great Britain had been reading the Bible for a long time.
A Biblical Worldview
They didn’t get this. It was their reasoning from biblical thinking that led them to be able to do this. So this is part of the biblical worldview. Once you get it, you start understanding the scriptures even a better level.
James Madison in Federalist 51, said it this way. He said, “It may be a reflection on human nature”, which we’re just talking about, “The checks and balances should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?
Next, the depravity of man. He says, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” But we don’t have angels governing men and government is not an angel. So that’s why we have the checks and balances.
So when you take the checks and balances, this is where the concept gets developed is out of Jeremiah 17:9. However, they took that concept of checks and balances and applied it at levels that I don’t think we necessarily think about today.
So let me take you into some of those. When they did the checks and balances, we know how they did that between the three branches of government.
Horizontally, you have these three branches at the federal level. And then at the state level, you also have three branches as well. But what we don’t necessarily get today is the checks and balances they gave us between the state level and the federal level.
They gave us not only horizontal checks and balances with at the state level, we got checks and balances between the governor and the Judges and the legislature. We’ve got that at the federal level.
But they also said we need checks and balances between the feds and the state. We need something where the states can keep the feds from getting out of bounds and vice versa. So that vertical checks and balances was what’s often not seen or noticed.
What Did the Founders Say?
James Madison, Federalist 59 explained it this way. He said “There’s a difference between a federal and a national government.” He says “If the constitution were it wholly national, the supreme and ultimate authority would reside in the majority of the people of the Union; and this authority would be final at all times.”
That’s the popular vote thing the Democrats want is we want a national, we want the people deciding nationally. He said, so it’s not a national government.
He said on the other hand, “Were it wholly federal, on the other hand, the concurrence of each State in the Union would be essential to every alteration that would be binding on all.” If it were a federal, then you couldn’t do it without all the states voted on everything that goes on.
Well, we have a little bit of both. And that’s what he points out. He said “The Constitution, therefore is neither a national nor a federal constitution, but a composition of both national and federal: it’s the people and the states.”
He says in Federalist 51, he continues, he says in America, the power surrendered by the people, is first divided between the state and national governments.” So we do a check and balance between the fads in between the states.
He says, “And then the proportion allotted, each is subdivided among three distinct and separate branches. So what we did in the Constitution, we said, okay, here’s 100% of the power, we’re going to let states have 75% of it, and we’re going to let the feds have 25% of it. You know whatever percentages I just pick numbers out, whatever it is, that’s a separation of powers there.
Now up here, at this 75% that belongs to the state, now you guys need checks and balances inside that 75% and the feds need checks and balances in there 25%. So that’s what he’s describing here. He says “Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other; at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.”
Hi, friends, I know, I know, I’m sorry, I have to interrupt into these breaks. This is the last break of the day, though. We’ll be right back and you’ll get more of David Barton speaking on The 10th Amendment at the Profamily Legislators Conference.
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Moment from American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Too often today history education excludes great black heroes from the American founding, such as Lemuel Haynes. Haynes, abandoned as a baby pioneer churches across upper New England.
He became the first black American to pastor a white congregation, to receive an honorary master’s degree, and to be ordained by a mainstream Christian denomination, the Congregationalists. He was a soldier during the American Revolution.
And in his churches on George Washington’s Birthday, he regularly preached sermons honoring George Washington. Even late in his life, he expressed his willingness to go back to battle if necessary to protect America, which he called a Sacred Ark. American history is filled with numerous examples of black heroes who are largely ignored by mainstream education today.
For more information about Pastor Lemuel Haynes and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us, final segment of the day. We will not get all of David’s presentation on the 10th Amendment in today, so we’ll get it tomorrow as well. But here’s the final segment for today. Here’s David Barton at the Profamily Legislators Conference.
So the states control the feds, feds control the states and now the people in the states control them and the people at federal level control that one. So, also continuing and Federalist 45. He says “The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government.”
Now most feds would not consider that to be true today, especially those on the progressive left, they want bigger government, not less. But the states may be regarded as essential parts of the federal government. “But the State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government; but federal government is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the State governments.”
17 Enumerated Powers
Now that’s a pretty strong statement. And I think most Ds would reject that and say no, the feds are more important. No, it wasn’t. The states are the ones that are organized and by themselves and they don’t need the feds. The feds need the States. The states don’t need the feds. So that’s the way this thing was set up.
He said “The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” Those are called enumerated powers. There’s a total of 17. The Constitution says here’s the 17 things that we the states are allowing the federal government to do.
Federal government needs to state, states don’t need the federal government. So the federal government said we have all this power. We’ve been independent states, now we’re becoming a federal government. We’re going to let the federal government take 17 things that we used to do and let them do it. Those are enumerated powers.
That’s why Madison said “The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” He says “Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” So already he’s made clear that the feds will only do a few things, the states are going to do all the rest of it. You have the 17 enumerated powers. Let me take you through them. This is using the language of the Constitution. What are the 17 powers?
Well, what you find is by the end of Article 1, which is the legislative Section of the Constitution, the longest article on Constitution, seven articles, by the end of Article 1, 15 powers have been given to the federal government. So Article 1 of the Constitution is what says mostly what the federal government can do.
What you have, the 13th and 14th amendment added two additional federal powers, and then Articles 2-7, seven articles in the Constitution, 2-7 don’t give any additional federal powers to government.
What they do is they help define how to apply the first 15. For example, what you have is an Article 2, it identifies the president as commander in chief over the national military. But that’s not a new power since the Constitution already authorized Congress to provide for the common defense.
David Barton On The 10th Amendment – At The Profamily Legislators Conference
Okay, friends, be sure to tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of David Barton’s presentation on the 10th Amendment. It is so important for us to understand the proper role of the federal government, the spheres of government. What should the federal government be doing, what should the state government be doing, local government, our church, our family, all those different areas of government?
The 10th Amendment specifically in the Constitution makes it clear that the federal government can only do those things listed in the Constitution, enumerated powers, there’s a bucket of powers there, but that buckets got a lid on it. It’s locked, it’s got a key, and we the people are the ones with the key.
Unfortunately, the court has been adding powers to the federal government. The Congress has been adding powers to the federal government, they never got permission from us and that has got to change. We need to reassert the 10th Amendment. We’ll get the conclusion of David Barton’s presentation on the 10th Amendment tomorrow. If you would like to dive deeper into one of our constitutional classes, get the Constitution Alive! DVD set at wallbuilderslive.com.
Or you could go to constitutioncoach.com and become one of our coaches and actually host either Constitution Alive! Or Biblical Citizenship in Modern America, that’s our latest course. You can host those in your living room, at your home, at your church, or anywhere in your community, and you can host them for free. So check that out today. You get to be a force multiplier when you teach others this information.
Thanks so much for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.