Foundations of Liberty Act
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The Foundations of Liberty Act ©
A Joint Resolution...
... of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States:
Month, Day 2020
“We can succeed only by concert. It is not “can any of us imagine better?” but, “can we all do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise ~ with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
Our founding standards of “self-evident truths” have been dismissed in favor of the gods of one’s own creation. Most assuredly, apologies are owed to the ancient Israelites who have long been castigated regarding the golden calf they made in the wilderness. At least they had some rationale for their lack of faith. Postmodernism has taken things to new levels of hubris ~ rejecting the demands of human reason and abolishing the sovereignty of God altogether. Nonetheless, like the proverbial Balm of Gilead, there remains good news ~ what has been lost can be found! Those who have experienced the ultimate adventure of PAL are witnesses to the transformative power of these still “self-evident truths.” Our news from the front lines is both clear and decisive: America’s Founding Principles are winning! Project American Life is… “Building the City on a Hill… One Child at a Time.”
Remember watching “I'm Just a Bill” from Schoolhouse Rock? Its message inspired me to write the “Foundations of Liberty Act.” This isn’t unique to America’s history; citizens used to do such things routinely. Tragically, the initial drafts of bills these days are often written by lobbyists. If We the People desire our nation to be better... lamenting, cursing, blaming, slandering, marginalizing, etc. is not going to accomplish the goal. Instead, we must reclaim what is ours... the opportunities and duties of citizenship. We must rise... we must speak... we must debate... we must clarify... and let the best ideas prevail. This is how America is supposed to work! So, on this day… upon this solid rock… we will restore our nation’s Founding Principles from sea to shining sea! After all, this is America; we are Americans!
Without allegiance to any politician or political party, I offer the following bill... to be introduced on the floor of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Of course, we need actual Representatives and Senators to accomplish this… but maybe it is time for them to listen to We the People instead of lobbyists. When we rise, the Congress will hear us; they are still OUR representatives. Can we still imagine a nation wherein the coming generations are Free to think, Free to believe, Free to soar?! We must press onward until this bill is passed in Congress and signed into law by the President.... and our nation has a new birth of Freedom! “Let Freedom Ring!”
Mr. or Ms. _____________________________________ (for himself, herself, and many others) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education.
Today, we reaffirm the commitment of the United States to create “an enlightened citizenry”* by advancing religious liberty and the “Great Cause” of America within our nation’s public schools:
Whereas, according to the latest Pew Research Center’s Study of Global Restrictions on Religion, an estimated 79 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where religious liberty is highly restricted, either by the government or social conventions;
Whereas religious liberty contributes to political stability, economic empowerment, and healthy societies free of persecution and extremism;
Whereas the United States has long declared religious liberty to be a fundamental human right (expressly declared in both the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution);
Whereas the United States has a proud history of actively promoting religious liberty around the world, this foundational human right must clearly extend to our own citizens... regardless of age;
Whereas young Americans do not give up their religious liberty by attending the public schools funded by the American taxpayer;
Whereas public school students are often conditioned (including unintentionally) to think it out-of-bounds, inappropriate or even illegal to make mention of the Source of our treasured Liberty;
Whereas Americans have allowed a vocal minority to marginalize generations of citizens by keeping our national charters on the periphery... such that students are unable to appreciate or follow these priceless Principles for which so many gave full measure;
Whereas America’s Founders used indispensable religious nomenclature in crafting The Declaration of Independence (Creator, Nature's God, Divine Providence), public school students should be able to hear and employ the same language without penalty or persecution;
Whereas each day in our nation’s public schools, students, parents, teachers and administrators are intimidated (legally and socially) from articulating, discussing, examining and applying America’s Founding Principles… prerequisites to performing subsequent Duties of Citizenship;
Whereas for 100 years, the worldview of communism has oppressed billions and willfully exterminated over 100 million of its citizens. Though the mission of this godless governance was creating a “worker’s paradise,” communism has yielded torment, famines, forced abortions, cruel gulags, religious persecution, and a host of mass murderers, including Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and Fidel Castro. Nonetheless, over half of American millennials say they would rather live in a socialist democracy than a capitalist Republic. Moreover, more than two-thirds have no knowledge of communism’s atrocities, nor can they even rightly define the terms;
Whereas the primary author of The Constitution (James Madison) clarifies the demands of religious liberty in his Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments: “It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”
Whereas religious liberty is essential for preserving our nation’s ideals, the highest aspirations of mankind, and America herself, it is our sacred duty to cultivate the still “self-evident truths” that have long informed, captivated, inspired, and guided We the People;
Whereas for over 25 years Project American Life** has rekindled America’s Founding Principles within America’s youngest citizens... inspiring them to understand and appreciate our Founders’ noble ideals, sacred honor, and ultimate sacrifices. PAL is an enduring and efficacious archetype for compelling new generations to “rise up and live out the true meaning of (their) creed;”
Whereas our Founders and their worldview are increasingly disparaged, Patrick Henry’s clarion call still echoes, “Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, the House—
(1) Reaffirms the commitment of the United States to creating “an enlightened citizenry”* by protecting and advancing religious liberty and the “Great Cause” of America;
(2) Acknowledges that America is the only nation in history not constructed of ethnicities or other forms of tribalism. Rather, America is built upon moral propositions... still “self-evident truths” yielding treasured ideas such as “Created equal” and “unalienable rights.” Therefore, our Founding Principles must not be forbidden, or even restrained, within our public institutions;
3) Reclaims the Founding Principles of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness;”
(4) Recognizes that the citizenry has empowered government to use tax revenue to create schools serving the cause of “an enlightened citizenry.”* Thus, it is both right and proper to inculcate America’s Founding Principles into the hearts, minds, and souls of coming generations;
(5) Demands that The Constitution’s 1st Amendment be operational: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Clearly, no “religion” is “established” by using our Founders’ language, as no “religion” is even mentioned;
(6) Supports schoolteachers in reclaiming our Founding Liberty to employ the language, embody the worldview, and amplify the dream of America. To these heroic ends, references to a Creator, Nature's God, Divine Providence, etc. may be exercised without fear or trepidation;”
(7) Recalls Dr. Martin Luther King’s use of the Declaration of Independence (our promissory note) in achieving our most noble goal to “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed;”
(8) Instructs the Department of Education to clarify that individual states do not possess the authority to violate the moral demands of The Declaration of Independence or the legal demands of the 1st Amendment of The Constitution by restraining religious liberty within public schools;
(9) Empowers the Department of Education to provide clarifications in legal applications as well as directives in policy. The DOE will encourage and assist states in providing large copies of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution for display in all American classrooms;
(10) Implores all educators, government agencies, and charitable organizations to share information, host training workshops, develop pedagogy, and teach American civic and history curriculum that helps in the advancement of “an enlightened citizenry;”*
(11) Directs the Department of Education to compile and disseminate a database of supplemental resources in the service of this resolution (e.g., copies of this resolution, a list of speakers, and supplemental programming options such as the proven methods of Project American Life**);
(12) Provides comprehensive tolerance and inclusion in our nation’s public schools, as we embrace our Founding Principles and ALL the people they serve. Without regard to zip codes, we infuse each of our nation’s public schools with the sacred truths of our noble heritage… instruments of inspiration and empowerment of the total child: heart, mind and soul;
(13) Declares the American Standards that have illumined the world… the transcendent ideas and Ideals constructed from a Divine Intentionality. We again recognize these still “self-evident truths”… the enduring foundations for human dignity and human “Rights”... the guiding rationale for societies built upon what is forever Good, not a brute calculus of the present might;
And so, on this new day, we renew our founding slogan: E Pluribus Unum... out of many, one. We again come together to be “One Nation, under God, Indivisible” such that we might be true to our PRESENT motto: “In God we Trust!” Today, we recommit ourselves to creating the best schools in the world... where everyone is free to discover and explore the historical facts as well as the moral imagination therein. May we strive anew for “Liberty and Justice for All!”
Today, we reach for President Lincoln's infamous words, “That we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Today, this Congress (the representatives of the citizens of these United States of America), proclaims with strong and clear voice, “Let Freedom Ring!”
© This bill has been written by Jamie Aiken, a fellow citizen.
* “An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self- government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight. It is therefore imperative that the nation see to it that a suitable education be provided for all its citizens.”
*** "The Declaration of Dependence:" The text of this modern day Declaration follows. Each week, scores of students sign their names on large parchment copies. When beholding these young Americans signing their names, one can vividly picture the boldness of John Hancock. More stunningly, not even John Hancock signed with more passion than these young citizens!
“The Declaration of Dependence”
On July 4, 1776, our nation’s Founders gave us the priceless gift of The Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We have heard these words before but have never understood their full meaning. These words uncovered a truth that had always been available, but no society had ever completely comprehended. The world has never been the same.
Our nation will never be perfect as it can only be made up of imperfect people. Thankfully, The Declaration remains a renewing wellspring of strength and inspiration. In a world that has known so much darkness, America has been a brilliant beacon of light. We have certainly had more than our share of heroes to guide us. Today, we choose to join this “shining city on a hill” that we might continue to declare these founding principles. Though many say that these ideals are merely matters of personal opinion, we resoundingly reject this cowardly notion. These truths are still self-evident to all who are willing to see!
Today, there is much in the world to make us feel hopeless and helpless: fear, ignorance, apathy, and a profound sense of meaninglessness. Today, we must choose, and our choice is clear; we will seize the timeless standard of The Declaration. Right now, we recognize the precious gifts we were given. We honor those who lived and even died for these principles. We reflect upon who our forefathers were so we can best become who we really are. We yearn to be the person we were meant to be. We shout for joy, as abiding hope is within our grasp!
As we are all Created equal, we must respect the sanctity of human life. We are neither a random accident nor a muddle of genetic traits; rather, each of us is an essential treasure. When something is created, it is done so for a purpose. We commit ourselves to seeking, and ultimately finding, this special purpose. Amidst the noise of the world, a still, small voice is calling our names. As our Founders understood, there will be consequences for genuine valor, but we will be brave. With an unwavering faith in our founding principles, we stand up!
In doing what is right, we will always have a majority of one. Together, we will fight the good fight with a host of warriors. Their names echo in the wind: Washington, Jefferson, Adams... and so many, many more. Hand-in- hand we feel the longing of many hearts: a mother hugging her son as he goes off to join other young patriots, a farmer steadfastly working his field as he hungers for amber waves of grain, a merchant risking all of his savings to open a small country store, a teacher taking extra time with her students so that their minds might be opened to the great ideas of literature. On July 8, 1776, a former slave heard a loud clanging of bells from the tower of Independence Hall. He ran to see what was taking place, arriving just in time to hear the first public reading of The Declaration. The words brought tears to his eyes, joy to his heart, and enduring resolve to his soul. He was, and is, the embodiment of the American Dream. That bell of liberty is now cracked and silent, but its message forever rings!
Our struggles are never in vain; goodness is never wasted. Truth will always prevail because we are not alone. In closing their majestic document, The Founders declared, “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” Today, we join the cause of our Founders. With faith and conviction, we solemnly sign our names.
©2001 Jamie Aiken
“The palace of my soul yearns for God. It burns as if it’s in a fiery furnace. I discover that God loves me. He wants to recover my soul. I sometimes let horrible things into my life. I swallow as I drink the blood of God. I sometimes disturb Him with my sins. As the turbulent storm in my soul rages on, the ancient Lord still loves me. I explore the meaning of His love.”
~ Matthew, inner-city 5th Grader after attending PAL
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