Foundations Of Freedom – The Bible And Civil Justice – The Conclusion – Join us today for the conclusion of this series! We have a special program today with Michele Bachmann and Dr. Carol Swain on the Bible and civil justice. Who was the father of religious freedom? What is the President’s true role? Why is the Constitution and Declaration of Independence so important? Tune in to learn the answers to these questions and more today!

Air Date: 05/09/2022

Guest: Michele Bachmann and Dr. Carol Swain

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


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live, hitting the topics of policy and faith and the culture from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. This week, we’ve got a special series for you. We’re sharing with you some of the television program, Foundations of Freedom. Today, we’re going to pick up the conclusion of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and David Barton on Foundations of Law. And then we’re going to dive into another program with Dr. Carol Swain on the Bible and civil justice. But first, we’re going to pick up where we left off with Michelle Bachman and David Barton talking about the Foundations of Law.

FOUNDATIONS OF FREEDOM

Michele:

Think of what that means, separation of church and state, what did it look like to our early fathers and mothers?

David:

It was keeping God in the middle of everything. But you did not allow the leaders of the civil government to tell you what church to attend, what your conscience beliefs were, what you would be penalized. I actually have…

Michele:

Because penalty was the key. That was your key word. Because now civil government would penalize me because I didn’t believe the way they wanted me to. And guess what, that is not civil government’s jurisdiction, only God.

David:

Only God. And let’s roll it for 300 years. They objected to the government telling you what words you could and couldn’t use when you prayed. They objected to the government telling you what your beliefs of conscience would and wouldn’t be and what you would do as following this. They objected to government saying you can’t do these religious exercises in public. You have to do them in private. All the things that are happening today that government’s doing and government is now coercing conscience. Those are religious decision.

Michele:

That’s right. Because what you’ve just done, David, is you tied what’s happened here in America in the last few months with what the founders foresaw in the Declaration of Independence. Because the Declaration of Independence made it very, very clear that governments are instituted among men. Why? To secure for you and me and all of our posterity my inalienable rights; in other words, government doesn’t have the jurisdiction to give me the right of my conscience.

David:

Well, let’s go back to Jefferson because Jefferson got the letter, as you said, from the Danbury Baptists. Now, why is it significant that from the Baptist? Because Jefferson lived in a state of Virginia that had a state established church, that’s the Anglican Church, the same official church in Great Britain.

Michele:

This is before we became America a nation. The different states had their own religion. A lot of people don’t realized that as religion.

David:

And in Virginia, you had the Anglicans jailing and killing and imprisoning Baptist and Presbyterians and Methodists and Quakers because you aren’t doing the Anglican thing.

Michele:

And yet you were forced to pay for that and violate your conscience.

David:

That’s right. And Jefferson is the guy who stepped in and said, no, all denominations are equal in Virginia. And so in 1776…

Michele:

And that’s so huge, that Jefferson said on his tombstone, I mean, think what you want on your tombstone, what I want on my tombstone, he said rather than putting on that he was president of the United States, he wanted written on his tombstone that he was the one who was involved with religious liberty, to secure religious liberty every man and woman.

David:

It’s not a secular move. He wasn’t making things secular. He was saying government leave them alone. And so when he becomes president of the United States, the Danbury Baptists are in a state that still has a state established denomination even at that point, while he’s president, Connecticut did not disestablished their denomination till 1818. So we’re talking 1801, the Danbury Baptists wrote Jefferson said, we’re really concerned. I mean, we are guaranteed our free exercise of religion. But that’s a government guarantee. And it’s not supposed to be. That guarantee came from God, not from government.

Michele:

Recently, this has been a big, big issue.

David:

Let’s take that because God establishes jurisdictions and God comes…

Michele:

Areas of authority.

David:

Areas of authorities. He said, here’s what the family does, here’s what the church does, here’s what civil government does. Now, within civil government, these are the areas that civil government can do. So in that area, the people become the authority in that area. God’s already established defenses. Now how things are going to run inside that fence, we determine. So we come up with the Constitution, we the people, and it says federal government, there’s a lot of governments out here. We got local governments. We got school board governments. We got city governments. We got state governments. We got federal governments.

Here’s the deal. We’re telling you federal government, there’s 17 things you can do. Out of all the tens of millions of claims, we’re giving you a Constitution, that Constitution says you can do 17 things and nothing else. Everything else belongs to us.

Michele:

Okay, now, that’s a really big point. That’s a really big point because now government has arrogated to itself, so much more than that limitation. So again, I think we’d want to encourage all of your viewers to pick up a copy of the Constitution, pick up a copy of the Declaration, you will be floored when you see the president is only told to faithfully execute the laws on the books.

David:

Who makes the laws?

Michele:

Congress.

David:

Oh!

Michele:

I am one of the privileged 435 members of the House of Representatives. We make the laws, because that’s what our Constitution said.

David:

We the people told you, you guys made the laws.

Michele:

So let’s rightfully understand our government. It begins from an understanding of a holy God. Then it begins with that understanding of a God and people. The people of this country wrote down in a constitution for our protection. The limits of what our government can do is written in that document.

David:

And by the way, let me just that for just a minute. Why did we write it down? Because that was not what they did in Great Britain. To this day, they still didn’t have the written Constitution there. But you had all these Bible-minded people that came to America. And so as you look at the earliest sermons, for example, Thomas Hooker, one of the founders of Connecticut preached a great sermon on this, why don’t we write everything down? By the way, Reverend Nathaniel Ward gave them the first written Bill of Rights. 100 rights are protected from government. Why’d they do that?

Michele:

Why not? Otherwise, you don’t know.

David:

Well, but see, the reason they did was because that’s the Bible. When God says, hey, I’ve got a nation. I’m writing the laws of my own finger. And then Moses wrote down the laws of Moses; and then every king of Israel after that, when they were anointed would to write down with their own hand every law, and then that way, we get something to go back to. And so we have a written constitution so that every individual citizen can go back to it and say, whoa, this is your jurisdiction, it’s written down. Right here, Article 1, Section 8, paragraph A, this is what you can do…

Michele:

And that’s why you have lawyers who go in and contend over one word or one comma, because it has meaning. And that’s why there’s this whole postmodern idea called deconstruction, that words are meaningless. That’s the whole philosophy of relativism. We aren’t about relativism. We’re about a fixed moral absolutes. Because if you want success, you need to have a fixed moral absolute. For instance, if you and I make a contract together, it pre-meets us, it has to be fixed. Whereas you lose the most important thing you have: your liberty, your ability to be able to construct contracts, property law, tort law, whatever it is, you lose that benefit of certainty.

So you have a God who is the example of law. Then you have a written constitution. And then under our Constitution you have an executive who enforces the law, the legislative who writes the law, creates it, and then the judicial that interprets it. But the judicial can’t be the legislative. The legislative can’t be the judicial. Legislative can’t be Executive. Executive can’t be judicial.

And we see that problem where just one example, we’ve heard that our president may decide that he by himself is going to change all of America’s immigration law by himself. In other words, he will write the law himself by his pronouncement, but jurisdiction won’t let him. And that’s a denial of Article II, which says to the President, you must faithfully execute the laws on the books. Well, if the law is not on the books, you can’t execute it and you can make it.

But if there are laws, like for instance, marriage is between a man and a woman, and the President said, I’m not going to execute that law. I don’t think it’s constitutional. Well, he is not. The Supreme Court. The court is the court. They’re the ones who need to decide if marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s what people wrote it as. You see, it impacts every person watching this show. Every person’s life is impacted by jurisdiction, what’s your area of authority. Because when somebody overstepped their bounds, you lose. And that’s why the founders said, this is everything. This is everything.

David:

You know, I want to go into the chamber where you serve because in your chamber…

Michele:

The House of Representatives in Washington DC in the US Capitol.

David:

… around the top, 23 law givers are honored because that is the place where the law comes out of the house. So you have 23 law givers and they’re all side profile views except for one. And that’s?

Michele:

Moses. And can I just say? I have literally had tears come to my eyes. I’ve given speeches on this on the House floor. I stand in that chamber surrounded by the greatest law givers in history, Solon, Sulamani, Justinian, Innocent III, Hammurabi, all of the law givers of history, like you said, in their side profile, but above the main double doors, the doors that the President United States enters when he’s going to give the State of the Union address, that door is the door above that has a full on full face view of only one law giver, and that’s of Moses.

AMERICAN STORY

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.

And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.

Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.

Michele:

Because we know a holy God gave to Moses the moral law, the 10 Commandments, the law upon which every other law has descended, and upon which no other law if it violates that moral law could stand, because that is the ultimate law. How interesting the face of Moses looks down upon the Speaker of the House. The Speaker stands at the Dyess and looks up at Moses. So too, the President of the United States, when He delivers his address to the nation and to the members of Congress in the Supreme Court, and the ambassadors and all the heads of state, this is a very important moment in the United States when our president does that. He looks directly into the face of Moses. Because we understand in this country that we are a nation of laws, not men.

David:

But when you become secular, you ignore jurisdictions, those jurisdictions given by the law, giver of the Bible, given by Moses through God. And it’s…

Michele:

And it’s so sad be because it degrades us as a nation. It degrades our liberties and it degrades the greatness of a nation. And that’s what God understood. From Old Testament times, the greatness of a nation is built up by His law.

David:

This is the 10 Commandments. This is what we saved Moses, the great law giver. He gave lots of laws, 613, but also the 10 Commandments, God gave it to him. This particular copy is the copy that went to the US Supreme Court case in 1980, called Stone v. Graham. This is the case in which the Supreme Court said oh, you can’t let kids see this…

Michele:

This is the one?

David:

This is the one. You can’t let kids see this. They might obey things like don’t kill and don’t steal, and don’t purge yourself. The court said if kids were to see this, they might obey it. Now, what’s interesting is Moses gave this in 1440 BC. There’s one other law giver in the chamber there that’s precedes Moses and that is Hammurabi, and he’s 1772 BC. Now, this case that went through Stone v. Graham, we were involved in a lot of the 10 Commandments cases that was a really popular thing 20-25 years ago. And as these were hanging in court houses…

Michele:

Because the effort was to remove them. Remember the CLU and other organizations, their goal was to strip out of the United States a sense from all Americans, especially children, to not understand the moral law, the basis of American law

David:

That’s right. And it’s interesting, in America, it was always easier to find the 10 Commandments hanging in a courthouse than a church house because this is the basis of civil law.

Michele:

That’s true. It’s true.

David:

Inside the US Supreme Court is more than 59 depictions of the 10 Commandments inside the Supreme Court and the rule. So with all this, as we’re going through these cases, Hammurabi, the court said, you know, we could let you leave the 10 Commandments up if you surrounded it with other documents that influenced American law. And they said, for example, if you were to put up the 10 Commandments and the code of Hammurabi and Justinian’s code, then we could leave it. Well, first off, that told me they knew nothing about history because they think this is too religious.

The code of Justinian, Justinian is one of the law givers in the House. The code of Justinian begins with the phrase “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And you got trouble with this and you’re telling me hey, Justinian! And then they say, oh, it’s got to be documents that influenced American history like Hammurabi’s code because he’s 350 years before Moses. Timeout. They didn’t discover how Hammurabi’s code till 1901. It was not translated till 1904. I don’t think that had much influence.

And see, what’s interesting is why did the code of Hammurabi not survive and the code of Moses, why did it survive?

Michele:

Tell us.

David:

It’s really easy. There’s 282 laws in his code. It says law number two, “If anyone bring an accusation against a man and the accused go to the river and leap in the river, if he sink in the river, his accusers will take possession of his house. But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaked it to the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to the accuser. See, that’s why the code of Hammurabi did not survive.

Michele:

And where in the world ever in United States laws, do we ever see any of this replicated? It’s nonsense.

David:

This is what we use and we say, oh, we can’t acknowledge. See, this establishes jurisdictions. And this is part of God’s law. And this is universal. I don’t care what age you live in. I don’t care how far you think you’ve evolved. This applies 6,000 years ago. It applies now. It applies 6000 years from now.

Michele:

And tell me which parent wants their child to steal or wants them to kill or wants them to go and lie about people or desire something that belongs to somebody else so much you go and steal?

David:

But that’s religion, separation church and state.

Michele:

But what’s amazing is it this is our key for happiness. It has been for all time and it is today. And again, it comes down to jurisdiction areas of authority. There isn’t one person that’s watching this interaction between us that doesn’t have an area of jurisdiction. Because God in His love for each individual, again, it goes back to how God doesn’t see us in groups, think of how amazing a God is that He loves each one of us so much that we have dignity and worth and a voice. And in a system of government like the United States, He has given the maximum amount of voice to the individual and yet allowed us to be able to live together at peace among all men. What a beautiful thing and why we must contend for this, we can’t let it go.

David:

Well, that’s our action items. Because if you’re going to understand jurisdictions, you have to understand God’s the one who established them. Then if you want to understand how they work, read the Constitution. That’s where it lays out, so many of those jurisdictions, and it tells us what the jurisdictions are. I mean, that’s the starting point…

Michele:

It’s black and white. It’s as clear as it could possibly be. Article I, Article II, Article III, how long would it take someone to read it?

David:

20 minutes, maybe.

Michele:

Okay, 20 minutes. Everybody can do that. Absolutely, everybody has time to do that. But before you do that, take what, 10 minutes and read the Declaration of Independence. That’s kind of the whole philosophy behind the constitution. You got to read that first the Declaration…

David:

If you don’t Declaration, you don’t get the foundation. You got to get that.

Michele:

Because then it puts meat on the bones of jurisdiction, area of authority. But there’s something that even backs up before the Declaration before the Constitution. And that is?

David:

Well, it’s actually the Bible, because in that jurisdiction that’s there in the Constitution, you have like the three branches of government you ever mentioned. That comes directly out of the Bible

Michele:

What’s that Scripture?

David:

It’s Isaiah 33:22.

Michele:

Okay. So everybody has to read Isaiah 33:22.

David:

It says the Lord our God is our Law giver, our Judge and our King. That sounds like judiciary, legislative and executive. And interestingly enough, John Adams himself said, well, not only that, but the reason that we separated the powers when we have checks and balances is Jeremiah 17:9. What? Most folks have never read that. The Founders’ Bibles got all these explanation from Founders in Bible verses they use. So you start read the Constitution, read the Declaration, read the Bible, which includes the 10 Commandments. Learn these things. Get to where you know these.

Michele:

Something tells me we’re going to be talking a little more about separation of powers. I think that’ll be very important. This is so great. This has been a great, great time. Thank you so much.

David:

Well, these are the documents that are part of our Foundation to Freedom, and that’s exactly what we want to learn and know.

Michele:

I think we got our work to do and we’re going to do it.

AMERICAN HISTORY

Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Guest:

America’s founders designed a justice system unlike any the world had ever seen. They valued and protected the rights of the individual, even over government agenda. Where did these principles come from? What influenced their distinct ideas on civil justice? Where do they fit in the world today? Join historian, David Barton, with special guests, Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and more, as they explore the America our founding fathers envisioned. What if America’s story is bolder, more colorful and more compelling than you ever imagined? This is Foundations of Freedom.

FOUNDATIONS OF FREEDOM

David:

Welcome the Foundations of Freedom, where we look back at important aspects of our common heritage about which most folks today have been told absolutely nothing. Joining me today is Dr. Carol Swain. Dr. Swain has remarkable story, having come from poverty and a high school dropout, to now being at Vanderbilt University, a professor of political science and law. She previously taught at Princeton University. She has a number of bestselling books. She also has been cited numerous times that the US Supreme Court. And I love this book, “Be the People”;  like we’re the people, it’s be the people. Dr. Swain, thank you for being with us today. We appreciate it.

Swain:

It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m so excited about the opportunity today to discuss the Bible and civil justice. A lot of people probably don’t know that the Bible has a lot to say about civil justice. And so today we’re going to unpack that song.

David:

But you’re right. Most folks have no clue. They think the Bible is just a spiritual book. They have no clue that it built most of the institutions that we enjoy and experience in America today.

Swain:

It speaks to every aspect of our lives. And it looks like we have a question from a viewer here.

Guest:

Day, from what I see on the news, it just seems like the United States has such a greater court system than any other country. But since our system was built by European settlers and customs, how did we end up with a better model?

Swain:

Great question.

David:

Great question. And it’s because we saw the abuses of those European courts that we didn’t want to copy them in America. They had so many bad types of courts and bad experiences, that when they came to America, they didn’t want that. And it’s significant, that even though we are descendants of the British colonies, in the Declaration of Independence, so we’re often taught in schools that the reason we separated was taxation without representation. That’s what we’re hear.

Swain:

Yes. Right.

David:

The problem is, there’s 27 grievances there. And of the 27, 4 of the grievances deal with judicial abuses. Four times more often than taxation at representation, they said we don’t like the courts being out of control and doing the wrong thing. And in Europe, they weren’t after protecting the rights of individuals. Both church courts and state courts protected the government and they were government agenda arms, they were political arms. In America, we said no, we want justice. We want the rights of the individuals. And so therefore, in our Bill of Rights, we said we’re going to do our judiciary right.

And so in the due process clauses from the Fourth of the Eighth Amendment, we gave all sorts of things to make it really hard for government to knock off an individual. You can’t use self-incrimination. And you have the right to an attorney and you have the right to compel witnesses to come in your way. I mean, all these things to make it hard for government and make sure we protected individual rights.

Swain:

You know, one of the things that I noticed about Americans, being a political science professor and talking with various people, is that too many of us don’t know the Bill of Rights.

David:

You’re right. And that is our protection. The founding fathers, when they gave us the Bill of Rights, they said that was the Palladium is what they called it, that is the Palladium to which every citizen can resort for protection.

Swain:

And in fact that, the anti-Federalists, they fought to have the Bill of Rights included. And so it was necessary to amend the Constitution early on to get those individual protections.

David:

And the mentality of those anti-Federalists is government is okay. But government can become too big and do the wrong thing.

Swain:

I mean, like now?

David:

Like now, exactly, right. That’s exactly where I was headed. Because the Bill of Rights is to limit the government. And the courts have taken it today and says, oh, under the Bill of Rights, kid you can’t say God at graduation. No, no, no. The Bill of Rights was to keep the government from telling you, you couldn’t say God at graduation. It was to protect individual rights. And so the Bill of Rights has now become a limitation on the people rather than a limitation on government. And that’s a reverse to what it was designed and intended to be.

Swain:

So David, how can we the people turn that around?

David:

You know, part of it is we have to go back to knowing our history and where the sources and ideas came from. Psalms 11:3 says if the foundations be destroyed, what do the righteous do?

Rick:

We’re out of time for today, folks, you’ve been listening to Foundations of Freedom with David Barton. That guest that you were just listening to was Dr. Carol Swain. Earlier in the program today, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, all of it available right now at wallbuilderslive.com. We’ll pick up tomorrow with the conclusion with Dr. Carol Swain and David Barton on the Bible and civil justice. You’re listening to Foundations of Freedom here on WallBuilders Live.