Children Knew Our Constitution Better Than Many Lawyers Do Today
When I was in law school, the Constitution of the United States was not required reading. To be sure, it was highly recommended that we read it, but there was no requirement placed upon me to do so.
I did have to read a lot ABOUT the Constitution. I had to read about how it was formed, and what great human minds told us that it said. I had to read court cases that were decided because of arguments over our Constitution. So, I did a lot of Constitutional reading and research, and in doing so I read a lot of the Constitution.
I am not saying all law schools are this way, but to my knowledge, in my law school, to sit down and read the Constitution of the United States itself, as a document, was not required reading.
The Constitution Used to be Required Reading
I don’t think the Constitution itself is required reading in most elementary, or high schools. I could not locate the source, but I recall reading a report about this sometime around 1980, or about 10 years after I had graduated. I can only assume the report was accurate.
This was not the case during the 1800s in our nation.
As I said in my writing on education, our educational system in America was second to none in the world during the 1800s. It wasn’t until about 1900-1920 that our administrative educators began manipulating and changing our education system, and succeeded in making it very poor. By 1950-1960, education in America dropped to visibly low standards.
It has only gone further downhill since then.
The point is that our Constitution was required reading in our grade schools up until around 1900-1920. The fact is that there was even a special course about the Constitution. It was called Catechism on the Constitution, which was published in 1828. As the title of this article says, during the 1800s, children knew more about our Constitution than most lawyers do today.
Populist Party Changes in the 1890s
Leaders and politicians in America have always been bent toward changing things, just for the sake of change, I guess. This is basically where liberal politics was born. Conservative politics always says, “Keep the status quo unless it is necessary to change it.” But liberal politics always wants to change things.
Their motto seems to be, “Let’s try to fix what ain’t broke.”
The populist party, created during the 1890s is what began a lot of changes in America – changes to our detriment, not for our benefit. About this time a movement started to help farmers with falling crop prices and poor credit. It might be considered to be the first ‘bail-out,’ which we’ve seen so much of in recent years.
The populist party also wanted to increase our currency circulation by printing more money, and by putting no limits on coining silver. They promoted and campaigned for an increasingly graduated income tax, as well as government ownership of things like railroads.
They also promoted the direct election of U.S. Senators, which some claim is what helped perpetuate the changing of our nation from a republic to a democracy. If you remember the John Wayne movie about the battle of ‘The Alamo’ in 1836, he portrayed Davy Crockett who made a big point in saying that our nation was a republic, not a democracy.
Today, few Americans have any understanding of the difference between a republic and a democracy, but our founding fathers had warned us not to change to a democracy or it would begin our downfall.
Our Constitution is based on us being a republic. Today we’re a democracy.
Spiritual Values Became Eliminated
Our nation was born as ‘One Nation Under God.’ Our money reads, ‘In God We Trust.’ Most of our state constitutions have spiritual language in them, and references to being guided by God. In forming our Constitution, our leaders would often stop their debates to take time to pray to God. The Bible was used as a principle source of truth for the forming of our nation, even if leaders disagreed on spiritual beliefs that were largely formed from the Bible. Most of our leaders were professing Christians.
By 1900-1920 this was changed. God was either minimized or eliminated from all politics.
We know in the 1960s-1970s, prayer was taken out of most schools, as well as the pledge of allegiance to the United States. Our nation became an almost totally secular society. And since then there have been no morals, ethics, or right and wrong teaching. So today we even have frequent shootings and mass killings in our schools – and other public places. Suicides among youth are staggering.
We began as a hope-filled nation. Today, hope is fleeting to non-existent.
But then, this is what a lot of leaders desire. Where there is no hope, we have greater need – a greater need for more powerful leaders and stronger government controls. (Sic) I think the vast majority of us know we are on a slippery slide headed downhill.
But a lot of this started when we divorced ourselves from God.
There Were Two Trees in the Garden of Eden
You probably recall these two trees: (1) The Tree of Life (what I call The Tree of God), and (2) The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (what I call The Tree of Self). This second tree was forbidden to man, and it is still forbidden today. However, we still live from The Tree of Self today, which only compounds all of the problems we see in our great nation. Psychology says we live in a narcissistic nation.
Other Changes Have Occurred: 1900-1920
Commercial and business competition has been legislated more and more, and the federal government has taken a stronger hold on, and has become more involved in free enterprise business. Of course this means that there is less and less FREE enterprise, and more LAWS.
A Supreme Court Justice said, “We now have over 10 million laws to enforce the 10 commandments.”
Many of our leaders have been accused of endorsing socialism in America – and some have even been accused of promoting communism. Especially during the 1950s and 1960s, there was a lot of accusation of this, and of what I read is correct, much of it was well-founded.
In 1983, our own federal government published a book: A Nation at Risk. This says a real mouthful if you think about it. This is not an outsider taking potshots – it is inside revelation. According to reports, things are much, much worse the past 30+ years.
One 1983 report said that 23 million Americans are functionally illiterate.
Getting Back to the Constitution
The fact is we have been going downhill since the 1900-1920 time frame.
It was during this time that the required reading of the Constitution was eliminated in our schools. The elimination of morals and ethics, and any sense of right-and-wrong quickly followed. God was dismissed 50 years later.
All we have left is the forbidden ‘Tree of Self,’ and it is dominated by our national leaders.
What is the result? Alcoholism. Drugs. Promiscuity. Adultery. Divorce. Obscenity. Pornography. Murders. Molestation. Terrorism. Exploitation.
America, it’s time to get back to the basics. If it’s not already too late.