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The U.S.

By David C. Gibbs III
The United States Constitution begins with these words: We the people . . .
The population of 314 million or so individuals who represent we the people is
richly diverse. Every race or religion walks the same roads and enjoys the same
One intent of this document, the U.S. Constitution, is to secure the blessings of
liberty. Liberty is a concept for which many have died, suffered, and sacrificed, yet
one that we do not clearly understand or, indeed, appreciate. Many Americans have
never read this short document, the blueprint by which our government is to be
operated, and most have an erroneous view of what it says!
In fact, a recent survey found that while 22% of Americans could name all five
family members of the irreverent cartoon TV show, The Simpsons, only one in
1,000 (one-tenth of one percent) could name all five of the freedoms guaranteed in
the First Amendment. Only one in four Americans was able to name even one of
these five important freedoms (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and
petition for redress of grievances)!
When given a list of possible rights to choose from, the people surveyed did not do
much better. One in five thought the right to own a pet was a protected First
Amendment right! Thirty-eight percent believed the right against self-incrimination
was in the First Amendment (actually in the Fifth Amendment).
These appalling results demonstrate a tragically widespread ignorance of our basic
American freedoms.
This column, We the People, is not intended to be a detailed legal analysis of the
U.S. Constitution. It is intended to be a basic introduction to this most important of
U.S. documents, concentrating on those constitutional provisions that affect
Christian liberty. For example, many Christians today believe that the Constitution
requires the separation of church and state, yet these words do not appear in the
Constitution or its amendments!
Every citizen of the United States, and especially every Christian citizen in the U.S.,
should be aware of what the Constitution actually says. However, as a nation, the
United States can never be saved by the Constitution. Our nation can avoid Gods
judgment only if Christians will heed the call of II Chronicles 7:14: If my people,
which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my
face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will
forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Christians have a Biblical duty to participate in their government and to pray for
their elected leaders. First Timothy 2:14 states: I exhort therefore, that, first of
all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all
men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the
sight of God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth. This passage of Scripture explains why we should pray.

Our knowledge of our protected constitutional rights and duties will tell us what we
should pray for.
As good citizens and good Christians, we should become familiar with the laws of
our nation. We are commanded in Scripture to obey the law. The Bible commands
us to be subject unto the higher powers (Romans 13:1). In fact, I Peter 2:1316
makes it quite clear that our submission to government is the will of God and an
important aspect of our testimony: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man
for the Lords sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as
unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise
of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to
silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak
of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
How can we obey the law or participate fully in our government if we do not know
what the law actually says? This column is intended to be a blessing and an
encouragement to Christians who want to learn more about the Constitution and its
protection of our religious liberties.
Prior generations studied a course in civics in high school. Civics was defined by
Websters New World Dictionary as the study of the civic affairs and the duties and
rights of citizenship. If we understood the concept of civic affairs, we could begin
to understand why the Founding Fathers set up the United States as a republic
instead of a democracy, and perhaps we also could better understand the debate
between the need for a big government and the push for a limited, small
Next, civics typically encompassed understanding the duties and rights of
citizenship. If we truly understood the right to free speech, we would understand
why an individual is free to burn the U.S. flag, however distasteful that may be. If
we truly grasped our constitutional rights, we would understand why a social
worker at your door demanding entry to your home is such an egregious
Finally, if we understand our rights and duties, we will be better voters, no matter
what our political persuasion. With some background knowledge of the
Constitution, you will be better able to examine the claims and arguments of
politicians. As you learn to love and understand liberty, you will be better equipped
to protect that liberty.
The time may come when the religious liberties with which the Lord has blessed our
nation will no longer exist in the U.S., and Christians may be forced to decide
whether to obey their government or to obey their Lord. Choosing to disobey
government should always be a last resort, however, taken only after every attempt
to reconcile mans law with Gods law has failed. Until that time comes in a
Christians life, he is required by Scripture to submit even to despotic and immoral
governments. When he has no other choice under Gods laws but to disobey mans
laws, his disobedience must be carried out within the narrow boundaries set by
The best guarantee that our constitutional freedoms will continue to be protected in
the U.S. is to make certain that all citizens clearly understand both what those

freedoms are and Who has granted us those freedoms. After all, our government
does not grant us freedom; God is the Grantor of freedom.
Governments are established by men, as our Declaration of Independence
proclaims, in order to recognize and protect the freedom that has already been
given to every person on the face of the earth by God Almighty, the Creator God of
the Bible, Who was recognized by all of the United States Founding Fathers.
What can you expect in We the People each month? My prayer is that you will learn
to love and cherish liberty and be energized to preserve and protect it for future
Attorney David C. Gibbs III has represented Americans across the country in issues
of life and liberty. For twenty years he served as general counsel at the Christian
Law Association and is the current president of the National Center for Life and
Liberty (www.ncll.org and www.homeschoollegaladvantage.com), with offices in
Texas, Florida, and Washington, D.C. Mr. Gibbs is the father of four children and
husband to Mrs. Carin Gibbs.
Copyright 2013, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally
appeared in the January 2013 issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, the family
education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it
on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine
on your mobile devices.