Home > Uncategorized > The Founders & Constitutional Restraint

The Founders & Constitutional Restraint

Because our Founding Fathers shared a biblical understanding of human nature, they were well aware of the sinful tendencies resident in fallen human beings and made every effort to protect themselves from the tyranny and oppression which inevitably result. In The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton cautioned his readers to never forget that men are “ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious.” Because of this governments are instituted because “the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without restraint.” In fact, he observes that “momentary passions and immediate interest” often guide the decisions of our leaders rather than what is truly in the best interest of the people.

Thomas Jefferson added that “…it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights…”

Jefferson understood that even the best of men will not always do what is right when placed in a position of power. Therefore, he cautions us not to place our ultimate confidence in fallen, human beings.

This is why our Founding Fathers developed a written Constitution. Jefferson further explains:

“…it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited Constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which no further our confidence should go…In questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

We must elect those who honor, respect and submit to our Constitution as a necessary “chain” on the selfish tendencies found in even the best of our leaders.

  1. Kerry Drake
    September 21st, 2011 at 03:17 | #1

    It can be stated that our founding fathers did not even trust themselves to always make correct decisions that were beneficial to the American people. They knew that their positions as leaders of a great nation would present privilege and power and would ultimately corrupt without a constraining document which would be a guideline to protect the common man in his freedom from them. They were human, they made mistakes in moral decisions, they knew the dangers of the position of authority they had, yet they showed great restraint in using that power, and only with the help of an all knowing God who guided them through the founding of our country because they had the foresight of knowing it would be a house of cards without God placed squarely in the center of that document to build it upon. Therefore, they sought Him in every step to do it right. Omissions and mistakes were made but God, fortunately, knew there would need to be amendments so provision was made. The question today is if those we place into the offices over us to make those decisions affecting our freedoms are seeking Him first?

  1. No trackbacks yet.