The Founders, Corrupt Men, Discrimination, And Jim Crow – On Foundations Of Freedom: Did the Founders foresee the risk of corrupt elections? Did society remove the safeguards against corruption the Founders put in place? Who is Jim Crow, and why does it matter? Did the Founders believe God was involved in the forming of America? Where did the Founders obtain the wisdom and insight to establish the government that has lasted over 200 years? Should there be a shared moral standard in America, especially regarding the LGBTQ lifestyles? Tune in to hear our answers to your questions!
Air Date: 03/25/2021
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
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 pervert the Constitution.”
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. We’re talking about the hot topics of the day, from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. And we’re thankful that you’re here with us.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. I’m here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, Tim Barton with US National speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You can learn more about all three of us at our website, wallbuilderslive.com. That’s also a great place to go for programs you might have missed earlier this week or last week or even in previous months.
A lot of shows available to you there, including the Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs like what we’re going to do today. That’s where we take your questions on all kinds of topics. It might be a topic about the Founding Fathers or the Constitution, or maybe just biblical application for a particular issue of the day that’s happening in Washington, DC or in your state or community.
Anyway, send those questions in email@example.com. And if you’d like to grab some of those previous Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs, they are available right now at wallbuilderslive.com.
In addition to Good News Friday programs, interviews that we typically do Monday through Wednesday, or some of the live presentations that we do around the nation, that sometimes we bring here to the program, all of that available at wallbuilderslive.com. That is also the place we encourage you to make that one-time or monthly contribution. Thank you so much for coming alongside us and helping to amplify this voice of truth.
Alright, David, Tim, Foundations of Freedom Thursday, let’s dive into the questions. Dwayne gets the first one from, I never heard of this Lone Jack, Missouri, Lone Jack, Missouri. If anybody’s out there from Lone Jack, Missouri besides Dwayne, give him a shout out back with an email. Okay, Dwayne, here’s your questions:
The Inspiration of the Founders
“The Founders were so thorough in their insight to human deficiencies that they did seem to be inspired as they constructed our form of government. So what seems odd to me that they did not foresee the risk of having a corrupted party seize power within a state and thus control over their election process, can you please shed some light on this?”
I cannot break this into two questions, guys. First, would you address, he had quotes around inspired. And several of the Founders did say that they thought God’s hand really did move at the Constitutional Convention. And then we’ll get his question about what they didn’t foresee.
Yeah, so first of all, there were a lot of Founding Fathers that that we point to. And there’s many books that we have done highlighting this, the most recent is “The American Story”, where we go through detail the Constitutional Convention, and we point to people like Alexander Hamilton and George Washington and James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, who talked about what they accomplished could not have happened without the hand of God intervening, without the finger of God helping them along the way.
There are examples of Franklin during the middle of the convention when things are falling apart, and Franklin is looking at everything falling apart going, guys, we’ve examined every government in the history of the world, and we haven’t found something that’s suitable to us. We’ve tried all these problems and solutions and nothing is working and we’re not getting along. He says we need to take some time and we need to pray and ask for God’s help.
And this is Franklin being today consider the least religious Founding Father, encouraging other Founding Fathers, they need to take time to seek God. There are so many examples from the writings. Again, we highlight a lot of content regarding the story of the Constitution convention in our new book, “The American Story”.
There’s also things articles in The Founders’ Bible that go through a lot of this, highlighting the fact that many direct phrases from the US Constitution, a lot of very specific ideas outlined in the Constitution are things found in the Bible, ideas that came from the Bible and were very well known in that data have come from the Bible, or philosophers who outline the ideas and they base that idea on the Bible and they explain those ideas came from the Bible.
Locke, Blackstone, Montesquieu
So whether it’s a John Locke or Charles Montesquieu or William Blackstone, names that were very significant and influential in the founding era, so many examples, you can go to the WallBuilders websites, you can look up the Constitution convention and look up some of the Founding Fathers, some of their quotes about the Bible related to the Constitution or how God influence the convention. But certainly, there’s ample evidence from their own writings, contrary to what some modern professor, or modern textbook or even a textbook from the last several decades might say.
Go back to their original sources, go back to their own writings, we have links on our website. We have articles highlighting many of their quotes and letters about the convention, about that process that they identify, certainly, they were reliant on God for their ideas, and they believe the constitution could not have happened without God’s help in the whole process.
So question number one, very easy from a lot of original sources. You can find a lot of those either on the WallBuilders’ website or get the new book, “The American Story” or the Founders’ Bible, because all three of those will have lots of information.
So Rick, to jump into that second part, couldn’t the Founders with all this wisdom and this really what seems to be inspired Constitution, couldn’t they have foreseen the risk of having a corrupted party seize power in a state and control the election process? And I would say, yes, they could. And they did. And they talked about it. And let me kind of take you through a backward sequence here.
What causes corruption? Or better yet, let me just say, what causes a corrupt party? The answer is corrupt individuals in that party. What causes corrupt individuals in a party? Corrupt citizens who put the individuals there.
Hey, and let’s pause for a second and highlight too, this is not just corruption in a party. It’s not like you have a party that’s corrupt, and a party that’s not corrupt. Because there are corrupt people and we would argue that corruption is a result of sin, and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, which I think is probably where you’re getting to going from the party to the individuals in the party to the citizens that elected those individuals, but it goes to sin.
And because sin impacts everybody, you’re going to find corrupt people, you name a party, and we can find the corrupt people in that party. There’s not a perfect party. And there are not perfect people in any party. Every party has issues. But every party embraces different moral values, which is where you see distinctions in that.
Now and then this can go back to the Founders or the question about the Founders will couldn’t they have seen a level of corruption from a group of people who maybe were hungry for power, or money, or whatever the case might be? Couldn’t they have foreseen that and put something in place that could have prevented that?
So dad, I think your first point that you were getting to was that they knew that people were sinful, and because of sin, they knew this was not only a possibility, they actually thought this was probably an inevitability, if there were not certain checks and balances kept, if there were not the right kind of process and procedure and education and philosophy being taught, etc, etc. So, really, it stems from and I think this is where you’re going, it stems from the idea that there is sin, that sin is prevalent, and therefore corruption is coming, and they knew that was going to come.
Yeah, they knew it’s going to come. And that’s why I see at least two specific things they did to help prevent the American people from ever having any party that goes corrupt. And by the way, there was plenty of corrupt parties back in the 1840s, 1850s, 1860s, 1870s as well. So this is not something we’re just looking at today and saying. This is a problem with human nature, Tim, as you said.
The two things I would point to is that in government, as well as in church, they taught the doctrine of what they called future rewards and punishments. They wanted every single citizen to be aware of the fact that one day you will stand before God and answer to Him, and He is the one who determines right and wrong. It’s not by your definition. It’s not by your assignment of what you think is right and wrong. He has a standard for right and wrong, and you will answer according to His standard, not yours.
And I will tell you, quite frankly, there’s a lot of stuff I could do that I think I would never be caught for, but I am scared to death to do it because I know I’m already going to be caught for, because God will see it and hold me accountable for it. So whether anybody else in the world ever finds out certain things I’ve done, that’s not the issue for me. I know that God is going to see it.
And I don’t want to have to answer to Him for having done something wrong. So I don’t want to be corrupt, not because I’m going to get caught or not because it’s going to hurt somebody, but because it’s going to hurt me when I talk to God, I’m in a lot of trouble.
So this is why Ben Franklin in the original Pennsylvania Constitution, 1776 said you can’t hold office unless you believe in a future state of rewards and punishments. It was that belief and that conviction that would help keep you from becoming corrupt. Now, if you take away the fact that there is a God who does exist, and He cares about every one of us individually, and He does look at everything we do.
If you get to where you’re not God conscious, this is why Romans 1:20 talks about, if you’re not God conscious, your behavior changes. And anytime a party gets to the point that is not God conscious, which only comes when citizens get to a point that they’re not God conscious and elect rulers who are not God conscious, you’re going to have this problem.
The other thing is that again, from a government standpoint, as well as from a church standpoint, we taught that you really need to know the Bible, because this is a source of good morality. This is not necessarily just doctrines, we’re talking about behavior. This is why Thomas Jefferson, we can question whether he believed Christian doctrines or not, he did not question Christian morality.
And that was his book, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”. If everyone to live by the teachings of Jesus, the Good Samaritan, and turning the other cheek and forgiveness and whatever, you’ll make a great citizen.
So that moral standard, it’s interesting that when you look back to Benjamin Rush, one of the three most notable Founding Fathers, according to John Adams, he talked about how the Bible’s got to be the basis of education if you’re going to have a moral people who understand the right thing. So they really did foresee this time coming and they took steps to really avoid this, both in law and policy.
And they understood too, that with the checks and balances they put in place, as we’ve talked about many times before, with John Adams acknowledging the depravity of man and that man’s heart is basically sinful and wicked and evil referencing Jeremiah 17:9, they put checks and balances in place. And even with checks and balances, they knew that would not suffice if the American people went a different direction. It’s where John Adams says that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
How Can Government Function With Fallen People?
So the question that really we’re dealing with is, how can a government function well when you have an immoral and unbiblical people? Well, the answer is it can’t, not very well. And that’s why the Founding Fathers knew our Constitution only worked with a certain kind of people.
And this is why you had people like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, arguably the two least religious Founding Fathers, even they were promoting a biblical truth, biblical morality, the Bible in schools and encouraging people to go to church, because they knew what it would do for the nation. Because freedom only works when we have a system of morality upon which we can build our life.
This is what the Founding Fathers understood: our nation only works with a moral and a religious people, because our Constitution is built to give freedom to individuals. But the more immoral, the more ungodly we live as a nation, the less our Constitution works.
And this is where the challenge was not the Founding Fathers did not see this coming. They understood it was coming if the American people went a direction that was ungodly, unmoral unbiblical, because our Constitution only works for a moral and a religious people.
And I think this is where we’ve allowed policy to change. Go back, I think, it was 1961 Torcaso versus Watkins, I remember, it was a case where they said, hey, the Founding Fathers have a constitution here out of Maryland that says, you have to believe in God to hold office; well, we’re not going to require that anymore. And so they literally took Founding Father beliefs and said, that’s wrong and we’re going to throw those out. Well, Founding Fathers had that in there as a preventative for having corrupt government.
So that one went out the door and then we started saying, well, this thing about educating kids to believe that there is a God to whom you’re accountable, can’t do that. And so now we’ve gotten nearly 80 years of having no voluntary prayer, no reading of scriptures in schools, can’t do that.
We even now have gone 60 years saying, hey, you can’t let kids see civil laws, like don’t kill and don’t steal, because they originated in the Bible. And that’s religious teaching. So we really have just completely destroyed the two fundamental principles that they had in place. It’s only been in recent decades, relatively speaking, that that’s happened, and so now we’re seeing the results of it.
Sowing and Reaping
This is a scripture Hosea, where it says they sowed the wind and raped a tornado. And it’s kind of the sowing and reaping concept. When you sow a seed in the ground, you’re going to get hundreds of it back. Well, they sowed some wind, and they’re getting a tornado back, which is a lot of wind, a lot more intense, a whole lot more than they plan for. And that’s what we’re seeing in the nation right now.
Well, such a good question from Dwayne. I mean, it really goes to the heart of the Foundations of Freedom. That’s why we do these Thursday’s programs. We got more good questions coming up. So quick break, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live on Foundations of Freedom Thursday.
Thomas Jefferson said, “The Constitution of most of our States and of the United States assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That is their right and duty to be at all times armed, that they are entitled to freedom of person; freedom of religion; freedom of property and freedom of press.”
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.
President Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realized that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
Who Was Jim Crow?
We’re back here at WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Next question comes from Julie and it’s about the Jim Crow laws in the south. “Who was Jim Crow?” Is the first question. “What are these laws? We keep hearing about them, especially in the movie, Uncle Tom…” Which by the way, side note, great movie, everybody’s got to watch it, Larry Elder put It is fantastic. Anyway, she goes on to say
“I was educated in SoCal in the 60s, Southern California, and was never taught about them. And I’m betting many others are like me.” Julie, you’re right. Who was Jim Crow? Why did we name these laws after Jim Crow? And what are these laws that we keep talking about? David, Tim?
After the Civil War, when you had really, blacks who had been freed and given civil rights, and you still had such prejudice, and such discrimination against them in South, and so many in the south, so many leaders in South believed that they were less than human, that they didn’t have any intellect, any abilities, any competency, they looked down on them, and very derogatory, as Charles Darwin pointed out. You know, the view was they weren’t fully evolved. At some point when they get fully evolved, they’ll have light colored skin. So you had this dominant philosophy there. And so they made fun of them as people today might make fun of something less than human.
So there was an actor that toured in the south, and he as a white actor, his last name is Rice, and he would take and don blackface. He would dress up as if he were a black. And he would use what used to be called a slave dialect and he would use a really exaggerated voice. And it was really stereotypical, making blacks look really bad and less than human. And he did this routine all over the South, even went to Europe with it, and went to Great Britain with it.
And so he based it on a song he saw one time, a black man singing a song called “Jump Jim Crow”. And so that song he would use in his routine and it became associated with him that this was Jim Crow; this is the stereotypical black. And so when law started being passed in the south, they call them Jim Crow laws. And they were targeted at what they consider to be the stereotypical black.
American History in Black and White
We have a book called American History in Black and White that really covers a lot of black history, particularly in this time of reconstruction. And in the southern states, they there were about 11 different types of laws that they would use to discriminate and really to institutionalize discrimination against blacks in the south. The nation voted that blacks have the right to vote. They have equal civil rights, the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment overwhelmingly ratified across the nation, but the South objected to that.
And because the South objected to that, they said, well, okay, we have to let blacks vote, but here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to use hide and seek ballot boxes. And so you had a different place where blacks would have to go vote and every hour or two they would move the ballot box to a completely different unannounced location, and you had to go find the ballot box. Well, how many folks are actually going to get to vote? How many black folks will vote when you’re doing that?
Or another tactic they use was, they would say, well, you have to go to this side of town to vote for the sheriff, and there’s a different ballot box over here for state rep, and here’s a different one for mayor. And you might have to go to 8 or 10 or 12 different ballot boxes just to vote on that election.
Another tactic they used were called Literacy Laws. And literacy law said, well, you have to prove to us that you’re literate and can read the ballot. And here’s a 21 page test that you have to take to prove you’re literate. And it was questions like what rights do you have and a grand jury that are not given to a regular jury? And I’ll bet most attorneys can’t answer that question. So they made sure it was a test that no one was going to pass.
And so they use all of these type of laws to discriminate against black folks in the south and to keep the civil rights amendments in the Constitution, 13th, 14th, 15th amendments from actually going into force. That’s Jim Crow. Those are Jim Crow laws. It was called the Jim Crow South, also known as the Solid Democrat South.
The Democrats and Jim Crow Laws
These were laws overwhelmingly passed by Democrat legislators. I don’t recall a single Republican legislature that passed any of these Jim Crow laws. So that’s where that comes from, is Jim Crow, and the Jim Crow South and Jim Crow laws.
And it also is important to point out that some of these laws were still there into the 60s, because Democrats in the south would still have their white only primaries and some of these other things. And you talk about that in “American History in Black and White”. I mean, it was up until I mean, quite literally, just 50 years ago that some of those things were removed when Republicans started winning the legislatures or it was forced on them by the changes in the federal laws as well.
Yeah, and this is clear history. This is not trying to be partisan. This is actual factual history, which is why that book has so many footnotes in it, back to the laws, back to the people in office, back to the things they said in their speeches, etc. So if this is a side of history that’s new to you, I would encourage you to get the book American History in Black and White, it will show you a side of America that you need to know, because most black folks are aware of this side of America, most white folks are not. And this is part of what can be flamed into exacerbating racial tensions that exist today. And if you don’t know what this is, you need to.
And I would also add as we learned when you released the book and the video, there’s a great video as well where we did some you did some amazing reenactments in the video as well. But the black community doesn’t know that it was the Democrat party that did this, not the Republican Party. So there’s a lot of education in there for people of all color. Everybody in America needs to get it, “American History in Black and White: Setting the Record Straight”. It’s available at wallbuilders.com.
Quick break, guys. We’ll be back with our final question of the day. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday on WallBuilders Live,
A Moment from American History
Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man that bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Alexis de Tocqueville, a political official from France, traveled to the United States in 1831 and penned his observations in the now famous book Democracy in America. Being from France, what he found in America was completely unexpected.
He reported “Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. And the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this. In France, I’d almost always seen the spirit of religion in the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America, I found that they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.”
De Tocqueville recognized that it was biblical Christianity and the morals that produced that made America great. For more information about Alexia Tocqueville and the positive influence of Christianity in early America, go to wallbuilders.com.
Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our country and the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending against all hazards and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, Foundations of Freedom Thursday today, final question of the day. And Joe asks, “I can understand how an LGBT nondiscrimination executive order could be important to keep people from being discriminated against as far as getting a job and so on, but is allowing them into the bathroom, showers rooms, dressing rooms of the opposite sex constitutional?”
So distinction here on the question, guys, I’m not sure I agree with the first part, because I think actually having that nondiscrimination of that nice sounding word does end up discriminating against one group or another once the government starts saying churches have to hire LGBT and everything else. So I’m not so sure I agree with his premise there. But the second part also, do you guys think it’s constitutional to say that you got to allow men to go into women’s bathrooms?
Rick, I think the problem here really is what we’re seeing so much of today, and it was even back to the first question where we started. When you separate a religious and a moral foundation from law and public policy, and you try to make everything without values or without objective standards, that is, it’s a real problem.
I mean, when you have a president who writes an executive order, and here’s my value system and here’s what we’re all going to do, here’s we’re going to all follow. And another president comes and said, well, here’s my value system, you can’t have a nation that endures when you change value systems every four years.
That’s why, again, we used to have a religious and a moral foundation. We taught that there were the laws of nature, the laws of nature’s God. We had universal standards that were accepted really across the generations, across the millennia, and across so many demographics of language and nation and culture, because they were absolute rights and wrongs. And what we’re seeing now is a movement away from that.
Who Determines Right and Wrong?
Well, yeah, and this is one of the fundamental questions we should always ask in culture, of life, society, is who gets to determine right and wrong? Because of right and wrong is determined by an executive order, dad, as you mentioned, every four years, maybe every eight years, right and wrong can change, what is right and wrong?
That that is flawed on so many levels, including the fundamental basis foundation level, that’s not going to work in a society. And now we’re saying well, I understand it’s okay for us to say you can’t discriminate against businesses, but bathroom is just too far. Well, who says? Who determines that this was right, but this other thing was wrong? When we no longer have a shared common value system based on biblical morality, it’s not going to function and it’s not going to work.
And Rick, I think, even as you pointed out, I would disagree fundamentally with even the first assertion that it’s okay to say we’re not going to discriminate against people based on the sexual preference they have, because XY&Z obviously, we respect the rights of consciousness and private business that can make private decisions. And if they make poor decisions, it’s going to impact their bottom line, and they won’t be in business very long if they’re making bad decisions, unless of course, they’re big government or big tech or big industry and the government’s bailing them out right.
But generally speaking, if you make bad decisions, you will suffer the consequences that and let the free market be the ones that help determines and judge and measure that. But when you have a president by executive fiat, executive order that gets to determine what is viewed as culturally acceptable or right and wrong, that’s a flawed system to run a government.
The Founders, Corrupt Men, Discrimination, And Jim Crow – On Foundations Of Freedom
In the meantime, if you are looking for a great way to be a part of the solution, we want to encourage you to go to biblicalcitizens.com. Biblicalcitizens.com, that’s where you can sign up for free to host one of our Biblical Citizenship in Modern America classes. This is taking off like crazy across the nation.
We have almost 6,000 Constitution coaches out there now hosting this class in their home or at their church or offering it online, somehow getting other people together to have fellowship and to discuss what the Bible says about how we should operate as citizens and what our Constitution says about how to do that peaceably, how to make a difference, how to impact the culture around us, all of that in the Biblical Citizenship in Modern America course. It’s an eight week course.
Well, we recommend is you do one night a week or an afternoon. You can crash course if you want to do it all on one weekend. But typically, once a week, get together with your friends and family for about two hours and go through this course and have a great discussion together. All the tools are there.
It’s got a lot of great people in it from Kirk Cameron to Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Mat Staver, David Barton, Tim Barton, David Harris Jr., all kinds of folks. So go check that out at biblicalcitizens.com and start hosting that class today if you want to make a difference. Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
Calvin Coolidge said “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realized that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”