Foundations of American Liberty Act
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H. RES. 1776: The Foundations of Liberty Act ©
In the House of Representatives of the United States
Month, Day 2018
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 repeatedly conditioned to think it is inappropriate, out-of-bounds, and even illegal to explore (or even mention) the Source of our treasured Liberty;
Whereas Americans have allowed a vocal minority to marginalize generations of would-be Patriots... keeping our national charters on the periphery... such that students can no longer appreciate (nor rise to the call of) these priceless Principles for which so many gave full measure;
Whereas America’s Founders used indispensable religious nomenclature crafting the Declaration of Independence (Creator, Nature's God, Divine Providence, etc.), public school students should be able to hear and employ corresponding language without penalty or marginalization;
Whereas each day in our nation’s public schools, students, parents, teachers and administrators are intimidated (both legally and socially) from articulating, discussing, examining and applying the original American worldview (the greater meta-narrative) that is an essential prerequisite to comprehending America’s Founding Principles and her host of subsequent Rights and Duties;
Whereas for 100 years the atheistic worldview of communism has oppressed and tormented billions of lives while willfully exterminating over 100 million of its citizens. Though the stated purpose of this godless system of governance was creating a heaven on earth, communism has yielded only political repression, man-made famines, forced abortions, cruel gulags, religious persecution, and a host of mass murderers, including Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot. Nonetheless, nearly half of American millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy. Moreover, more than two-thirds have no knowledge of communism’s atrocities nor can they rightly define it;
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 the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: 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” towards being a united nation... an agent of Truth and Justice... a beacon of Light to the world;
Whereas for over 20 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. Project American Life is an enduring archetype for compelling a new generation to uphold America’s founding standards in all aspects of their lives. Each week, scores of young citizens sign “The Declaration of Dependence.”***
Whereas our Founding Fathers and their worldview are increasingly disparaged and demeaned, Patrick Henry’s clarion call 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 and/or other forms of tribalism. Rather, America is built upon moral propositions... still “self-evident truths” yielding our treasured ideas of “Created equal” and “unalienable rights.” Therefore, these 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 First Amendment become operational: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Clearly, no “religion” is “established” by using the nomenclature of our Founders. Thus, the servants of America’s future are at liberty to employ the language, embody the worldview, and amplify the dreams of America’s Founders. To these heroic ends, references to a “Creator,” “Nature's God,” and “Divine Providence,” may be used without fear or trepidation;”
(6) Recalls Dr. Martin Luther King compelling all Americans to consider The Declaration of Independence and “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” In so doing, “The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God” require that “Reasoned Respect” and “Freedom of Conscience” be guiding principles within all public schools;
(7) 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;
(8) 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;
(9) Implores all educators, government agencies, and charitable organizations to share information, host training workshops, develop pedagogy, and write new American civic and history curriculum to help in the advancement our nation’s cause of “an enlightened citizenry.”*
(10) 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, hands-on teaching tools, multimedia product lines, list of speakers, and supplemental programming options such as the proven methods of “Project American Life.”)**
(11) Provides genuine tolerance and inclusion to our nation’s public schools, as we embrace our Founding Principles and all the people they serve. Without regard to corresponding zip codes, we infuse each of our nation’s public schools with the sacred and historical instruments for inspiration and empowerment of the total child... heart, mind and soul.
(12) Declares once again the world-enlightening American Standards... transcendent ideas and Ideals that exist because of a Power above human power... our “Creator.” We recognize that our Founders built this new kind of nation with a new kind of thinking. Thus, we declare once again the rightness of these Founding Principles... the enduring foundations for human dignity and “Rights”... a guiding rationale for the powerful to relent to, and even serve, the powerless;
And so, we renew our defacto founding motto: E Pluribus Unum... out of many, one. We 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 America’s founding ideas and Ideals... the historical facts as well as the moral imagination therein. May there be "Liberty and Justice for All!"
On this day, we again reflect upon 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 115th Congress (the representatives of the citizens of these United States of America), proclaims with strong and clear voice, “Let Freedom Ring!”
© This bill was written by Jamie Aiken, a fellow citizen of our unique Republic.
* “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. God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?” - Thomas Jefferson
***“The Declaration of Dependence:” The text of this modern day “Declaration” follows. Each week, scores of young students sign their names on large parchment copies. When beholding young Americans signing their names, one can vividly imagine the boldness of John Hancock... for not even he signed with more passion than these citizens yearning to follow in his footsteps.
“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
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