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founding principles

1 petition

Update posted 8 months ago

Petition to Congressman Gary Palmer

Foundations of American Liberty Act

115th CONGRESS H. RES. 1776: “The Foundations of Liberty Act” Restoring the American Ideal of “an enlightened citizenry” IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATESMonth, Day 2017 Mr. or Ms. _____________________________________ (for himself, herself, and many others) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education RESOLUTION Reaffirming the commitment of the United States to empower “an enlightened citizenry” by promoting religious liberty within all spheres of public education. 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 is a fundamental human right of all people, expressly protected by federal law; Whereas religious liberty contributes to political stability, economic empowerment, and societies free of persecution and extremism; Whereas the United States has a long and proud history of promoting human rights, religious liberty must extend to all persons regardless of age; Whereas young Americans do not give up their religious liberty by attending the public schools funded by the American taxpayer; Whereas young Americans have been conditioned within our public schools to think it is now inappropriate, even illegal, to articulate the historical religious foundations of American Liberty; Whereas America’s Founders used religious nomenclature when crafting The Declaration of Independence, young Americans must be allowed to use the same kinds of nomenclature without penalty or marginalization within our public schools; Whereas it is vital, even essential, that we allow the still “self-evident truths” to inform, captivate, inspire, and guide our nation’s young people; 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 Patrick Henry’s strong voice 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 protecting and promoting religious liberty as a fundamental human right; (2) Reclaims the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence as the protector of our “unalienable rights:” “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;” (3) Acknowledges that America is the only nation in the history of the world that is not built upon ethnicities or any other forms of tribalism. Rather, America is founded solely upon moral propositions… still “self-evident truths.” Therefore, the founding nomenclature of America’s Founders must never be forbidden in public institutions funded by “we the people;” (4) 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;” (5) Recognizes that the citizenry has empowered government to create schools to serve 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; (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;” (7) Directs the Department of Education to articulate that individual states do not possess the right 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 directives as to the action points to be adopted on a state by state basis.  The Department of Education will chronicle, and subsequently share, the results of each state’s specific implementations; (9) Implores every public school classroom in America to display copies of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. To promote consideration and clarification of these, copies of this bill may be placed alongside America’s founding charters; (10) Declares that “The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God” require that we open the doors of Freedom within all of our nation’s public schools. Through this bill, “Reasoned Respect” is now provided to all citizens; (11) Restores genuine tolerance and inclusion to our nation’s public schools, as we embrace both 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 instruments for inspiration and empowerment of the total child... heart, mind and soul. (12) Remembers that America introduced a new way of thinking into the world... with principles based upon the authority of a Power above human power. America’s Founders realized that this was the only enduring rationale for human rights… for the powerful to relent to, and even serve, the powerless. Because of this faith and conviction, the world was wonderfully changed forever; On this day, we come together as Americans... to be “One Nation, under God, Indivisible... with Liberty and Justice for all.” Today, we recommit ourselves to creating the best schools in the world! All American public schools are now at liberty to inculcate our nation’s virtuous heritage… the historical facts as well as the moral imagination therein. Today, we hear President Lincoln's closing words echoing, “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, representatives of the citizens of the United States of America, proclaim with strong and clear voice, “Let Freedom Ring!”   Restoring our Founding Principles... One Child at a Time The "Foundations of American Liberty Act" will clearly declare and rightly restore the essential and "unalienable" rights and principles that all Americans should share as fellow citizens. "We the people" have empowered government to create schools to serve the great cause of "an enlightened citizenry."  “We the people” spend our hard-earned tax dollars to provide this opportunity to all of our young people (for 13 years). Here, hopes, dreams, and goals are shaped and refined within the collective conscience of the nation. Thus, it is both right and proper to inculcate America’s Founding Principles into the hearts, minds, and souls of coming generations! Decades ago, many Americans were hoodwinked into thinking that it was somehow out-of- bounds to deliberate upon... profoundly analyze... and even mention these Founding Principles of American Liberty! Not only is it unquestionably permissible to use the same language our Founders used when crafting The Declaration of Independence, it is absolutely essential that we do so! After all, how can children understand that their fellow citizens are equal to them if they do not know that they were "Created equal" by the hand of "their Creator?" How can they fathom the nature of "unalienable rights" if they are not permitted to know the Source of such rights? More directly, how can these rights endure? Simply put, America's Founders introduced a new way of thinking into the world... principles based upon the authority of Power above human power. The Founders realized that without "Divine Providence," there could be no rationale for the strong to ever relent to (much less actually serve) the weak. However, our Founders declared that those considered royalty have no greater worth than those who seem least among us. For above all appearances, every human being is endowed with the same rights... by the same "Creator"... One who desires to give Life, Liberty, and the opportunity for joy to all people. Because of the faith and conviction of America's Founders, the world was wonderfully changed! Their notions of freedom and equality have since swept the planet... and yet, we have forgotten where these ideas were first given birth. America is the only nation in the history of the world built upon a moral proposition... the principles of The Declaration of Independence. Why do so few know this today... especially among the young? The reason is "self-evident:"  We have abandoned our Founding Principles... we have deemed them unseemly... out-of-date... unsophisticated. However, all such judgements are just plain wrong. They literally saw off the branch upon which we all are sitting. Consider the many ills that presently surround us. These many ills surely have a first cause... just as we have a First Cause. The problem is at hand: We have forgotten who we were. We no longer realize who we are meant to be. But on this day, we choose to remember. On this day, we choose to act... to stand... to proclaim the still "self-evident truths" that are the foundation of human liberty! What has been lost can be found. In fact, these truths never left us... we left them. Today, we begin the journey to restore the virtuous principles of our great Republic. This starts by simply making it unequivocally clear that the language of our Founders is not forbidden; rather, it is vital that we know it, understand it, and use it. Further implementation of the "Foundations of American Liberty Act" will take many forms.  As always, Liberty brings a host of abundant good fruits!  The precise action points of the bill shall be adopted on a state by state basis... allowing the citizenry to best answer the call.  By chronicling the results of those states who adopt these provisions, it is believed that all states will follow their lead:  Choosing virtue over vice... Service over self... and Gratitude over arrogance.  Surely, no state will choose to remain in darkness when the Light of Liberty is brightly shining... a million points of goodness, kindness, charity... healthy, vibrant communities!  Today, we again have the opportunity to begin anew... to live out the full meaning of our creed!   Let us rise to the enduring call to be a shining city on a hill... in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” A Declaration of Reasoned Respect In 1776, a small group of revolutionaries committed an act of treason in writing and signing the Declaration of Independence. For this crime, many lost everything, including their lives. And yet, their Great Cause was supported by a hodgepodge of rag-tag soldiers willing to fight the most powerful military force in the world. They pressed on through brutal years of hardship and endured a long series of defeats. For on that infamous 4th Day of July, a new principle had been born into the world... an everlasting standard of human dignity and liberty: “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." With this abiding faith and against all odds, these despised revolutionaries and ill-equipped soldiers prevailed. The courage and commitment of a few redirected the course of history in so many magnificent ways... shining light into a dark world. Like Abraham Lincoln, we yearn for this "new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Today, upon this rock of remembrance, we return to our wellspring of Life and Liberty for the sake of our youngest citizens... those in “self-evident” need of our great legacy of moral imagination and its ability to empower the human spirit. Today, we firmly stand upon our Founding Principles! Since its first reading in 1776, countless brave and often nameless souls have fought, bled and died for these enduring principles. Dr. Martin Luther King compelled all Americans to remember our founding document and to “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” If we are going to accomplish Dr. King’s dream (particularly in the inner city), our children must first know what our creed is! Today, we restore the beacon of truth that inspires the heart, mind, and soul. Today, our children can think anew within the paradigm of possibility... and be illumined by the still "self-evident truths" that kindle vision, purpose, and abiding hope. Like our Founders, we are free to proclaim that all people are “Created equal” and are endowed with “inalienable rights” by a Power above all human power... “their Creator.” It is right and proper that we declare our allegiance and reliance upon the founding principles that gave birth to an enduring Constitutional Republic that derives her “just powers from the consent of the governed,” not the edicts of kings and tyrants. “The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God” likewise require us to open the doors of Freedom within our public schools... allowing students to stand upon the shoulders of giants... inspiring them to seize their own greatness. Today, all students are free to think and speak without intimidation or coercion. Today, the worldview of our Founders will not be disparaged or deemed out-of-bounds. Today, in all facets of the educational endeavor, "Reasoned Respect" is provided to all citizens. Today, with steadfast optimism and great anticipation, we come together as Americans... to be “One Nation, under God, Indivisible... with Liberty and Justice for all.”  Today, let us create the best schools in the world!  Today, we reclaim our duties as citizens! General Methodology:  In this pursuit, all teachers engaged in the noble goal of "an enlightened citizenry" may stand firmly upon America's Founding Principles without anxiety or fear. The First Amendment becomes operational: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In respect of our nation’s religious diversity (including no religion), teachers must stay within the parameters of our founding documents. 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.   The “inalienable” American standard provides a moral basis for terminology such as “Good” and “Bad” or “Right” and “Wrong.” These core concepts may now be used with the same degree of comfort as the relative terms of “Appropriate” and “Inappropriate.” After all, the history of the world and the light of reason verify the “Goodness” and “Rightness” of our founding principles. More directly, parents still desire that their children be “Good” and choose the “Right” path, not merely be deemed “appropriate” by a public official. When everyone is free to speak, everyone is free to think. Clearly, when everyone is thinking and expressing their thoughts, everyone has far greater opportunities to actually learn... and to know why they are learning! This is how we fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s hope for "an enlightened citizenry.”  The wonderment, hope and enduring virtue found in the transcendent truths of our great nation will enlighten a new generation! Like our Founders, students will have access to our foundations for Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Today, there is the opportunity for genuine deliberation, the refinement of one's thinking, and even the possibility of gaining clarity and conviction. Background:  Though now holding such little sway in the prevailing culture, there remains the haunting dreams of the people we once were. John Adams echoes, ”Facts are stubborn things.” It is a fact that the Declaration of Independence changed the world forever... in so many beautiful ways. Moreover, so many have paid the ultimate price to ensure that this bedrock is never forgotten. Therefore, if these founding principles still matter, our nation's schoolchildren must be able to hear, consider, and speak such thoughts without fear or intimidation. After all, there is no need to spend millions of our tax dollars protecting a piece of parchment in our National Archives Museum if we can no longer act upon what is written upon it. Closer to home, imagine your young child being told that she cannot express thoughts about our "Creator" in the classroom. For many of us, this is an easy assignment, as we have vividly experienced such scenarios. If our children can no longer speak of our "Creator," on what basis can their subsequent "Rights" be ensured? Think for a moment, this prevailing reality is irrefutable evidence that the children have already lost many of The Declaration's guarantees: being able to explore the essential essence of "Life," being able to experience energizing "Liberty," and being able to soar in personal "Pursuits." Implementation:  How would the greater purposes of the "Foundations of Liberty Act" be put into practice?" There would surely be many subsequent steps, as young citizens explore these formally unknown documents. However, the initial "action point" of the Bill is easily accomplished, as the Bill requires that copies of the vital portions of The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution be permanently exhibited in every public classroom in America. To promote consideration and clarification, the Bill also requires the “Foundations of Liberty Act” to be placed alongside America's founding charters. (The excerpts from our founding documents are attached below.) Additionally, each school’s “Code of Conduct” will contain clarifying language such that all teachers, parents, and students have clear guidelines regarding what language and subsequent methodologies of communication are permissible. Of course, such guidelines are already present in the schools “Code of Conduct.” Here is the difference. The new guidelines will be representing and serving the American citizens who fund this public endeavor rather than bowing to a cadre of lawyers and self-anointed policing organizations such as the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.   The “Foundations of Liberty Act” is a restructuring of power... a return to the order that is Constitutionally mandated and is the heartbeat of the the Great American Experiment... a power structure that rests upon the will of a free people with the full right to self-determination. So, if there are legal challenges to be made, let them come! It is high-time to fight the battle rather than merely accept verdicts that are objectively false, un-American at their core, and immoral in their imposition of tyranny in the heart of civic and community life. This is only a starting point, as all teachers will be encouraged to build upon these bedrock pillars of freedom, both historically and philosophically. Today, "we the people," proclaim with one voice, "Let Freedom Ring!" Essential Text from The Declaration of Independence: "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” “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." Essential Text from The Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." For more information: ProjectAmericanLife.com

Jamie Aiken
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