Covenants, Treaties, Digital Currency, And More – On Foundations Of Freedom: Are treaties biblical? What did George Washington think about treaties, and why does it matter? Did you hear about Biden’s unconstitutional executive order concerning digital currency? Tune in to hear the answers to these questions and much more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!
Air Date: 06/16/2022
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves. And if we think they’re not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.” This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. You’ve joined us on a Foundations of Freedom Thursday. So that means today we’re diving into your questions, and hopefully in the answers diving into some foundational principles that will be applicable to the culture. It’s the way that the intersection of faith and culture works.
Our faith informs our position on every issue in the culture. The Bible has answers for everything that’s happening around us, in our families, in our business, in our homes, with our children, with our local school boards, with our county commissioners, our state legislatures, our nation, all of it. The Bible has answers for how all of that should work and we need that biblical perspective.
So here at WallBuilders, we take a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. That historical helps you to apply biblical principles in an effective way. And that constitutional perspective makes sure that we’re doing it in a proper constitutional way here in our society, as Americans.
If you liked that approach, biblical, historical and constitutional, you’re going to love today’s program. And I’m going to challenge you to share it with your friends and family. Be a force multiplier, and also make a contribution at the website today wallbuilderslive.com.
I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator and America’s constitution coach, and I’m here with David Barton and Tim Barton. David’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And all three of us appreciate you listening today and we encourage you to visit the website wallbuilderslive.com.
Alright, David and Tim, let’s dive into those questions. First one comes from Kenneth and it’s about George Washington’s Farewell Address. Here’s the setup for the letter. He said, “David, Tim and Rick, this is partly a comment and a question. I’ve been reading through the Bible cover to cover. This will be my sixth time in six years.” Well, first of all, Kenneth, congratulations.
“That is the way to go, brother. “I was reading through Exodus last month and now I’m in Leviticus, I’m going to go out on a limb here. Meaning I think I know why George Washington mentioned for us to not get entangled with other nations by treaties. When France entered into the war after our Revolutionary War, perhaps George Washington understood that we fought the Revolutionary War for a different reason than the French fought that revolution.
“But an Exodus 34:12”, Kenneth reads this and then asked the question, “take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you’re going, lest it be a snare in your midst.
Also might I be wrong, a covenant, a treaty sound very similar. George Washington knew it would be an unwise entanglement that we couldn’t afford to ally ourselves with the French in their war. Correct me if I’m wrong. I look forward to your answer.”
So thank you very much, Kenneth for sending that in. David and Tim, so a covenant that really would have been the right word, right, for what we would call a treaty today, it’s a covenant with another nation.
George Washington and the French
Yeah, what a treaty was back then was you were given your word to engage with them and fight their enemies. And you know, what he said about George Washington and the French is exactly right. The French really got ticked at us because they came and without the French, we might not have done what we did the American Revolution or at least would have been a lot harder.
But even with that, and the French, and all they did for us, we did not go help them right after the American Revolution when they wanted help. They’ve been fighting the British for 100 years and they said, now that we’ve helped you, you come help us with the British. No, no, we weren’t looking to get into another war special with the two biggest powers in the world at that time.
We didn’t even have a navy anymore. When war was over, we sent all the ships back home. We didn’t have a navy. We didn’t have our army. We’d have anything. And France was so ticked at us that they tried to get us into a war, the quasi war in 1798-99 under John Adams, and so we had all this bad stuff going on.
And that’s where they passed those Alien Sedition Acts because the French are trying to drag us into war. And if you’re criticized in America, you’re doing it to help the French. And, man it just got out of control. And so, Washington was very wise to say to do that. And I think it’s a great point. A treaty and a covenant, pretty much the same thing.
And what happens is when you get into a treaty situation or a covenant situation with a nation, you lose your own sovereignty. No longer do you do what’s best for you, you do what’s best for them. You committed yourself to them. And this is what we’re seeing now with the stuff with the treaty of the World Health Organization. Hey, we’re just going to give the World Health Organization complete control over all of our medical health care decisions.
The UN and WHO
Wait a minute, why don’t we decide what’s best for America because that might not be best for the world and the world might not agree with what America does? Or we get into the small arms treaty, the UN Small Arms Treaty. Well, wait a minute, we’ve got a second amendment that says we can’t keep in bear arms.
Are we getting all these treaties that our particular Democrat presidents tend to get us into, the climate change treaty, etc? Every time you do that, you’re losing your own sovereignty, you’re committing yourself to someone else’s agenda.
And the word covenant is really super important because covenant is really what we used to think of with covenant marriage. Once you make that commitment, that’s a lifetime, you’re bound to commitment. This is not of no fault, divorce kind of a thing. When you get into that World Health Organization stuff, you don’t just go in and out when you want to. That really is a treaty. And that is a covenant.
And today, we’re so used to being able to get out of any contract we want. And there’s always ways to break contracts and attorneys can do that. And if we don’t like our marriage, we can go no fault divorce, every state has it. That’s not what happens with treaties with other nations.
And I think Washington is extremely wise about that. And quite frankly, I think that’s a great revelation to look at the word covenant like a treaty and particularly the verse that was there in Exodus, I mean, that’s a great way of looking at why Washington would have said what he said.
And you talk about a snare, that WHO treaty would be snare for sure.
And dad, one thing to just to clarify, the suggestion that a treaty is a bad thing because it doesn’t put America first, there are some treaties you definitely want to enter into because it does strengthen the nation, it can stabilize the nation. And there are partners you want that do help benefit you as a nation. But you don’t want to enter into a treaty that’s not going to benefit you as a nation and certainly, you don’t want to lose power in the midst of a treaty.
And just to kind of clarify that notion. Not all treaties, I don’t think we would argue are bad treaties. There’s probably some very good treaties that were out there where we made some good alliances with other nations. And you definitely want some allies and friends around the world.
With that being said, I think the question was a very thoughtful question. And certainly, if you look at the Founding Fathers, they were absolutely informed based on their knowledge of the Word of God. And so certainly, by and large, the Founding Fathers as a whole were very educated people and they were very familiar with a lot of political philosophy. They were very familiar with the world history.
And so they probably could have seen a lot of the negative outcomes of nations tying themselves to other nations. And even Proverbs talks about if you’ve taken a pledge for someone and you’ve put yourself on the line for someone else, go get yourself out of that as quickly as possible.
And I think this verse even in Exodus is a great thoughts that God told the Israelites you need to protect your sovereignty. What I’ve done for you as a nation is for you as a nation, and you don’t need to get entangled in it. And so it’s a very thoughtful question, I definitely see the connection. And certainly, would argue that whether George Washington is referencing Exodus or not, certainly his position was informed by his knowledge of the Word of God.
And you know, Tim, you mentioned that some treaties can be good. And I think that’s exactly right. I was thinking about what treaty would be good. And I think the NATO Treaty that we have is probably good treaty, where that we’ve got 30 nations and if any one of those nations gets attacked, everybody goes to war against the aggressor.
Now, what that means is if Putin had done something stupid, while he was in Ukraine, other than the stupid stuff he did, Putin was doing all these evil things and attacking Ukraine, what he was doing there, but it would have been really easy for him to move right over into Poland and that was something he threatened to do. And that would have been really bad too.
But I think one of the things that stopped him was the fact that had he done so, there were 30 nations that would have descended on him like a ton of bricks, because all of them are pledged that of any one NATO nation comes under attack, Article Five, it triggers every other nation in NATO to come to their defense. And so I think that’s one of the things that held Putin back from doing something that would have been a World War, literally; we would have been in a world war at that point in time if Putin had gotten outside of Ukraine.
So I think that’s probably an example of a good treaty. And being part of that certainly helps protect those nations that love freedom, they tend to be democratically-oriented or have Republican forms of government. So I think that’s probably an example of good treaty, Tim.
Alright, guys, well, before we go to breaking and get our next question, just a quick primer for everybody. That’s listening. Since we’re always talking about the Constitution here and how treaties work. Let’s remind everybody, when we do enter into these treaties, it has to be approved by the Senate. And that’s a two-thirds vote in the Senate.
The President’s Power
Which is part of the reason this whole WHO thing that they’ve talked about these amendments and changes and instead of having a new treaty approve they try to work around that by even trying to amend an old treaty and not bring that for approval to the Senate because it’s not likely what would that be, 67 votes that would have to approve this literally given up our sovereignty. So Biden has been trying to do a workaround there.
But just as a primer so everybody knows how treaty works, does the President get to go do that on his own? And do you think that’s a proper function of the president and then the Senate having some sort of approval? Do you guys think that’s enough based on how the Constitution sets that up?
I think that’s a good check and balance. But I’ll also add in that the Constitution says that treaties become the supreme law of the land. And that’s the other problem is once you make a treaty, that becomes higher than statutory law, higher than federal law, it’s the same level as the Constitution.
The Constitution has the Supremacy Clause and then that’s the supreme law of the land. But the Constitution puts treaties at that level which is why you really, really, really need to be careful when you make treaties because you have elevated that to the level of the Constitution.
And I think that check and balance, Rick, is a really good deal, that takes it beyond partisanship. You’ve got to be bipartisan. You have to have a pretty strong consensus of the nation to be able to go that far.
And you know, in past programs, it’s been years but in past programs, we talked about the UN treaty on the Rights of the Child, we talked about the small arms treaty. There’s been several of those that we were able across the nation to keep an approval from happening, even though in Obama’s case, he wanted to enter into some of those Clinton back in the UN treaty on the Rights of the Child when they enter those, but we were able to stop them.
And just so folks know, we’re not making this up. As we go, David, I’ll just read what you’re referring to right out of Article Six, the Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land, and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
Of course, we cover that in Constitution Alive, specifically to the UN treaty on the Rights of the Child because our concern with that was this basically would trump; if they did that, it makes the seven year old in charge of the House, essentially gives them all these new rights and then state law would not be able to override that, it would be the supreme law of the land. So yeah, back to our question of the day, treaties can be extremely dangerous, they can be a snare. And it’s why that two-thirds majority on the Senate was a really wise move on the Founding Fathers part.
You know, the other thing that’s interesting is if you look across the list of treaties that have tried to be enacted over the last 20 or so years, it’s nearly always the Democrat presidents that want to give away our sovereignty to other nations and let other nations make the decisions. And so that’s why you saw Trump get out of that Paris Climate Accords, which was a treaty agreement. It wasn’t ratified.
But President Obama committed us to it. And then Trump said, no, we’re not doing that. But it’s interesting that whether it’s a small arms treaty or global warming, or whether it’s a convention on the Rights of Child, it’s been Democrat presidents that want to put us under the UN which has not been a good deal.
Yeah, guys, one thing too is we’ve heard a lot of presidents, dad, as you’re mentioning, even Democrat presidents more specifically over the last couple of decades talking about treaties they’re going to enter into. And even like the Paris Climate Accord, where President Obama said we’re entering into this Accord and it has the weight of a treaty, maybe the American people have gotten used to presidents usurping power and utilizing power that’s not at their discretion.
But if there’s not a check and balance, if Congress, if the US Supreme Court, or even the American people don’t recognize the limitations of what a president can and can’t do and what a treaty actually is, and has to go to the Senate or whatever that looks like, if we don’t know our basic rights, it’s a lot easier for those rights to be violated.
Which is why, dad, you Rick, you all did Constitution Alive years ago, Rick, while you’re doing biblical Citizenship now, helping people know what truth is and how to get activated and involved in the process to make sure we’re holding our leaders accountable.
George Washington’s Farewell Address
Now, back to the original question, this is where George Washington, the farewell address was so brilliant on what he said. And the farewell address, the reason it was considered one of the most significant political addresses ever given was because of how much wisdom was in those several pages of advice to the American people as George Washington was leaving office. So it’s something that we recommend every American go back and read the farewell address.
Great information in there, give some good context. And as was pointed out in the question, you will find some things in the farewell address it definitely represent or reflect specific teachings and values of the Bible because the Founding Fathers were, in fact, individuals who had been informed and trained in the principles of the Bible.
So, good guys. Kenneth, fantastic question, thank you for Senator that in for us. Going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. We’ve got more questions for you, folks. Be sure to send those into radio at wallbuilders.com. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton, I am interrupting the normal broadcast to bring you something pretty special. This summer, we are doing a special program for college aged students 18-25 year olds. And it’s something that is becoming more and more special based on where the climate is.
In the middle of a crazy culture, in the middle of a nation going in crazy directions and right now we’re seeing in academia where even Christian universities are promoting critical race theory, teaching the 1619 project, we want to do something to help equip young people the next generation, to know the truth, the truth of the Word of God, the truth of America, the truth of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the free market, we want to get into a lot of this.
And this is something that if you are an 18-25 year old, or if you are a parent or grandparent, if you have an 18 or 25 year old, if you’re in church 18-25 year olds, this program is something that can be life-changing for them, you want them to be a part. Go to wallbuilders.com and look for the summer institute to be part of this program.
Abraham Lincoln said “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who promote the Constitution stand on.”
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday, taking your questions today. And Patricia has got the next one, it’s on Biden’s unconstitutional executive order. She says “Article 1:1 informs us that all legislative powers have been vested in Congress, also Article 1, Section 8 Clause 5 informs us that Congress shall have the power to coin money, decide the value of it.
Constitutional Executive Orders
My question is how is it constitutional for Joe Biden to issue an executive order on developing digital assets or currency? To my understanding, an executive order is to ensure that an existing law is carried out? And if this is true, doesn’t Congress put a stop to this? Your help and clarification would be much appreciated? Thank you.”
Alright, Patricia, great question. I have not considered this. I don’t know if there’s a congressional law out there that sort of does some general thing on digital currency and leaves it up to the President. I guess in that case, it could be a constitutional executive order. But maybe there hadn’t been anything passed by Congress, guys, in which case, this would be phone in a pin, making it up as we go all through the executive. But I honestly don’t know the answer on this one.
Well, this is one first off way to go. Actually, citing Article 1, Section 1, then citing Article 1, Section 8 paragraph 5, this is great. I mean, specificity and the Constitution, this is really, really cool. So…
Hey, David, we should have said warning. You know, normally you have a warning on a show for parents, if there’s anything sensitive; we should have had a warning for any members of Congress that were listening, you might need your constitution to be able to follow along.
Yeah. And that’s a good deal where you actually have citizens quoting clauses out of the Constitution with specificity. I love it. The second thing is I don’t think that you can have any kind of a law that authorizes the president to do this because the Constitution specifically says that the power to coin money belongs to Congress, and Congress cannot give away one of its powers any more than the court can or the president can. That is specifically the power of Congress.
So why doesn’t Congress overturn it? Well, because the party of the president is in charge of both chambers. And they agree with this, you know, the Constitution is not one of their favorite documents. They certainly would not have known what clauses, much less even what articles the stuff came out of. So that’s part of the situation here.
But what happens is this is also a bigger part of control the Biden’s got going on. Because by going into cryptocurrency, it gives the government more power to control how you spend, where you spend, and it gets into programmable currency as well, opens the door there, which says, well, you know, I really don’t like Tim, and he’s a whole lot more, whatever. And so I’m going to make sure he can buy fossil fuel gas. And I’m shutting off his currency.
And so programmable currency, actually, they start modifying your behavior by what you can and can’t buy. And if you want to buy an electric car, we’ll let you do that. But if you want to buy fossil fuels, we’re not going to let you do that. It’s really a dangerous place to go.
And guys, it is worth mentioning that there is a legitimate reason and there are reasons behind why there might want to be some level of regulation on cryptocurrency. Because right now there are some guys in the Intel world who tell us that some of the major bad players in the world, some drug leaders, some cartel members, they’ll use cryptocurrency because there’s not the same level of limitations and regulations on it.
And, this is something that there are some bad players in the world using this. So it does make sense on some level that somebody would want to have boundaries on it. So there’s some level of limitation.
But dad, to your point, the problem is, anytime you give power and authority over to immoral government, they’re going to use the power and authority do immoral things with their actions and behaviors. And especially when we’re looking at a digital currency that is programmable, when you look at what’s happening with the ‘Great Reset;’ with ESG, where it’s all digital currency which there’s a movement to say everything should be digital and therefore we’re not going to have cash anymore and we won’t use gold and silver or whatever kind of assets–
It’s all going to be digital, then they might be able to say that you have a limitation on how many gallons of gas you can have a month or your credit card or your debit cards, your checking account card might only work for so many fossil fuel type things per month, whether it be credits or points or gallons of gas whatever it is. So there is some danger involved in this.
But back to the original question, as you guys already pointed out, so incredible that somebody is not only identifying this level of the part of the Constitution, the articles in the sections, the fact that somebody is familiar enough with it is super impressive, but makes a very valid point, that, dad, you iterated that this is something the President doesn’t have that power.
But because we have seen a Congress that cares much more about their side winning and this is politics in general right now, people care more about their side winning than generally doing what is right. And that’s not all people.
But this is what’s happened a lot with some of the far right, some of the far left, they care more about their side of winning. And then of course, we don’t consider ourselves middle people at all, we are definitely strong right, we’re Christians, we’re conservatives. But we care much more about defending truth and the principles of the Constitution.
And we know that there are people on both sides of the aisle that care more about winning than those principles. And because of that, that is why there are people that will cover for their side, even doing unconstitutional things if it means their side as power and their side winds and their side as control.
But to the big point question, this is not a constitutional position. President Biden does not have that power according to the Constitution.
And just like the primer on the Constitution earlier, another great time to talk principles here, that’s what we typically talk about on our Foundations of Freedom Thursday anyway, and the foundational principle you guys are pointing out is that any power in the hands of government can be abused or can be an unnecessary a good thing.
That’s why we just have to be so careful. And why our Founders wanted limited government. They wanted it spread out to as many people as possible.
The President Shouldn’t Act Alone
So even back to the original question here, part of the reason you wouldn’t want the president on his or her own to be able to make these kind of policies is wow, that’s a lot of power. In one hand, I mean, I can’t help but think of Trudeau and Canada and the truckers up there and seizing people’s money and doing the things that he did because one person was able to do those things.
And so just from the way our constitution Republicans set up, but what we’re really pointing out here is this is something that should be spread out among the branches, multiple branches involved, in this case, both the Congress and the President to have any of this regulation.
And I’m guessing even David, as you were mentioning, since Article 1, Section 8 puts that coin money responsibility in Congress’s hand, that would still be a law signed by the President, right? So it would still have both branches involved, but it’s Congress that would lead the way there and the president can just act on his own.
Yeah. And the good point is it’s hard to pass a law through Congress. And so it’s harder to implement a single person’s agenda when you have 435 involved in the house and 100 involved in the Senate, and you got to get past them and it takes 60 in the Senate to get it done. And you got to be able to convince people and people will call their congressman and raise a ruckus if they don’t like it. It means it’s a lot harder for government to move forward.
And, of course, this is what Democrats have complained about over the last three administrations since Bill Clinton, they can’t get anything done. Exactly. You can’t get your agenda done because it has to be the agenda of the people or the people won’t go with it. And right now, they have so used courts, and now we’re seeing that turned around. But they’ve so used courts in the last 20 years, and so used executive orders and agencies and bureaucracies that we’ve become a polarized nation.
It’s now the end justifies the means. Now, I’ll use my phone and my pen. And Rick, you mentioned that earlier. And you got to remember this as the vice president of the administration who’s claimed they could get anything done with the phone and a pen. And that’s really bad constitutional stuff, which really makes the opposition party, now the Republicans, rise up and fight everything. It’s harder to find middle ground when you have agenda driven stuff.
And that’s really what we’re seeing with this kind of stuff where Biden just says, I’ll do it myself. I can’t wait on Congress. No, it’s really good that we don’t have a whole bunch of laws being passed really quickly through Congress because that’s more like a democracy and you want a republic where things slow down, and you have to contemplate it and think about it.
The other thing is it’s what the founders called a mobocracy. It’s just passions that drive it. And you don’t want passions driving policy. You want thoughtful deliberation. So this is a great thing that the President can’t do this. It’s a difficult thing to get Congress on board with it. But that’s what you want; if the people are going to be bound by law, they want to be part of making that law.
Well, and as we close out for the day, I can’t help but think to what you said after the first question, you know, there is a difference. Typically, it is the Democrat Party leadership that is wanting to move us into more treaties and give away that power. In the same way I have to say it’s typically Democrats that end up trying to use singular power through the presidency at least what we’ve seen in my lifetime. I thought Trump would be like them.
Covenants, Treaties, Digital Currency, And More – On Foundations Of Freedom
I thought he would be a “conservative version” of that, do lots of things that were he really didn’t have authority to because as a businessman, he just wanted to get it done. That’s what I thought in 2016 that summer, as I was thinking about what kind of President he would be. I was shocked that he wasn’t that way and that he tried so hard, whether it was the legal advice around him or he just his instincts tried so hard to make sure that he didn’t go beyond constitutional executive orders into unconstitutional ones. That really did surprise me. And so maybe that is a party thing is as well, sort of like the one you were talking about earlier.
Well, that’s it for our time today. No more questions and no more answers. Wow! Not exactly true. We got lots more answers for you there at wallbuilderslive.com. Check out the website today. Make your one time or monthly contribution there.
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