|| September 2020 Newsletter
Having students read a selection, without insuring they digest it, is bad teaching, especially in Trinitarian Christocentric thinking, which does not occur naturally.
But asked the right questions, they will find the right answers.
Student review Q's & A's
on “The Anti-Deistic U.S. Constitution”
- (1) Authors of the U.S. Constitution were Puritan Whigs.
- (A) What made them Whigs? [They defended rights of Englishmen in the British historical constitutional tradition against lawless rulers.]
- (B) Why were they political Puritans? [They were pessimistic on human nature.]
- (2) What two Deistic principles did the authors of the Constitution reject?
[Optimism on human nature; Unitarian subordination of individuality to unity]
- (3) What are six traditional rights of Englishmen that protect free men from rulers?
[Any six of these: Taxation by consent of property owners; trial by jury of peers; presumption of innocence; due process of law before property seizure; liability for unlawful property seizure; speedy trial; no standing army in peacetime without consent; no quartering of troops in private homes in peacetime without consent; freedom of travel in peacetime; regular legislative sessions; free legislative debate; the right of the general militia (not just of the select militia) to bear arms; habeas corpus; no excessive bail or fines; no cruel or unusual punishments; the right to petition; free elections; and no martial law in peacetime]
- (4) How is the Constitution's silence on the right to secede consistent with Trinitarian shared sovereignty?
[Taking a position pro or con on the right to secede would declare at which level of government – state or federal – sovereignty ultimately lay. Since undivided sovereignty lay nowhere, the Constitution was silent on the right to secede.]
- (5) Thought question: What is the logical connection between the U.S. Constitution's pessimism on human nature, and the deity of Christ?
Hint – See Section III in the left (blue) column on our Summa Americana page.
[If man is corrupt by nature – is neither born innately good nor self-perfectible over time – Christ had to be divine to atone for sin and regenerate him.]