As we begin a new year, it’s time for some reflections and corrections. Please know how grateful I am for all of you who read, interact, or have subscribed to the weekly newsletter. One post, in particular, generated a lot of interest. (“The Concept of Three Branches of Government and Why It Matters.”) https://civicsandcitizenship.org/three-branches-of-government-and-why-it-matters/
Let’s Clear Up Some Misunderstandings
There is a lot to learn from misunderstandings. Here are a few for your consideration:
-Are we a democracy? No. We are a Constitutional Republic.
A Republic is a philosophy of government whereby the citizens elect officials to represent them. The United States is governed as a republic by a written Constitution. Our Constitutional Republic allows for debate on differing sides of issues. On the other hand, a democracy is a simple majority. Some of our Founders thought it to be “mob rule.” It requires no discussion and relies more on spontaneity (and emotion).
More Reflections and Corrections
-How many branches of government are there? The Constitution sets up three branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. However, there are occasional mentions of a fourth branch. Some call the media a fourth branch of government. Others refer to the jury as a type of fourth branch, as it is its duty to judge a case’s law and facts. However, the Constitution only lists three branches of government (see Articles I, II, III)
Next, someone brought into our discussion Isaiah 33:22 and said that the Three Branches of Government were derived specifically from this passage of scripture. I see this verse reflected more in the Declaration of Independence and teach it as such:
“The laws of nature and nature’s God”-Lawgiver
“Their Creator”- King
“Supreme Judge:- Judge
-What about a Creator? Our Founders believed that there is a God, our rights come from Him, and the purpose of civil government is to protect our God-given rights. The Founders did not say or write that you had to believe there is a God. In fact, they gave us freedom of religion- to worship or not to worship. Understand that the Founders had enough of earthly kings and fallen humanity being their “lords” to know that humans are ultimately responsible and accountable to their Creator for their actions. This is not meant to offend. The Founders understood human nature. Other philosophies of government have been tried and found wanting.
Finally, I teach the Founding American Documents as a certified instructor with the Institute on the Constitution. You may not agree or may have a different interpretation. Continue to search for the original intent of the Founders. You will find your time well spent reflecting on our Founding American Documents and correcting any misinterpretations that conflict with original intent. I know I sure have!
Wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸
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