American History house of reps

Published on March 21st, 2012 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon

39

The Original First Amendment

You know the First Amendment, right? It’s the one about free speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion, right?

Nope. I am talking about the First Amendment. That is, the original First Amendment. And it was not about these freedoms—vital as they are—but rather about adequate representation in Congress.

A primary concern among some of the framers was that we would have enough people in the House to speak for the number of people they represented as adequately as possible. For, the larger a body of people to speak for, the less one person truly represents them. This means, therefore, that if we desire more accurate representation, we should have smaller constituencies. This means more districts and more representatives.

Sure enough, under the original First Amendment, instead of only 435 Representatives in Congress—as it has been since the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929—we would have as many as 6,000. This is because the original First Amendment in the original Bill of Rights allowed for one Representative for every 50,000 people in the population ad infinitum.

Here’s the way that Amendment read:

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than one hundred representatives, nor less than one representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred representatives, nor more than one representative for every fifty thousand.(1)

This is one of two proposed amendments in the original proposed Bill of Rights which were not adopted by enough of the States to come into effect.

So, granted, this “Amendment” cannot technically be called the First Amendment since it never passed. It was merely the First proposed Amendment. But the issue it addresses is highly important, and the fact that it fell only one State short of ratification shows that most of the early framers felt it was important as well. (In fact, only two of fourteen States—Delaware and Pennsylvania—actually refused it. Eight agreed to it, and four States simply did not return the call for any Amendments at all).

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In fact, the constitutional standard we got was 1 for every 30,000, which would mean up to 10,000 representatives! This, of course, was also trumped by the 1929 Act.

Granted, it is a valid concern whether it is desirable to have another 5,565—let alone 9,565—federal-level politicians running around, but the principle of adequate representation is vital to freedom. It was this principle that the proposed amendment sought to protect, and for this reason it is worth reviewing this original proposal: 1) it raises our awareness as to how vital the principle of adequate representation is, and 2) it forces us to question whether our relatively meager (in numbers) representative House is much more than the oligarchy so many of the framers predicted.

Oligarchy, Mobocracy, or Freedom?

What will come of this discussion is the contrast between two inevitable problems of a large centralized government as opposed to better representation under a decentralized political system. The framers abandoned the latter type of system, then spent their time arguing over which of the two problematic versions was best for the nation.

Oligarchy

The issue of representation, and in particular the dangers of oligarchy or aristocracy, formed a central objection for the anti-federalist opponents of the Constitution. For example, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia called the legislature under the Constitution “dangerously oligarchic.” He argued that “smallness of number and great comparative disparity of power, renders that house of little effect to promote common good, or restrain bad government.” The proposed Constitution, said he, provided for “a mere shred or rag of representation.”(2)

The Federal Farmer explained the principle clearly: “full and equal representation, is that which possesses the same interests, feelings, opinions, and views the people themselves would were they all assembled.”(3) He thought the proposed arrangement in the constitution lacking in this regard since it centralized too great a nation under one small legislature: “it would be impossible to collect a representation of the parts of the country five, six, or seven hundred miles from the seat of government.”(4)

The Federal Farmer goes on to argue that truer representation would exist at the State and local levels, leaving the federal government few and far removed in that regard. And yet, “as to powers, the general government will have all essential ones, at least on paper, and those of the states a mere shadow of power.” He called this “an unnatural separation of these powers from the substantial representation of the people.”(5)

And therefore, unless the people shall make some great exertions to restore to the state governments their powers in matters of internal police; as the powers to lay and collect, exclusively, internal taxes, to govern the militia, and to hold the decisions of their own judicial courts upon their own lands final, the balance cannot possibly continue long; but the state governments must be annihilated, or continue to exist for no purpose.(6)

And of course, when only a few offices are available among millions of people, and gaining those offices depends upon commanding the attention and votes of those masses, then naturally the wealthiest members of society would have the advantage in gaming the system. Thus, the Antifederalists virtually equated oligarchy—the rule of the few—with Aristocracy—the rule of the wealthy.

Thus we hear various cries against the Constitution for setting up an inevitable Aristocracy. Melancton Smith of New York argued that “the influence of the great will generally enable them to succeed in elections.” Thus, a man stood little chance unless he had “military, popular, civil or legal talents.”(7)

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Partisan politics would develop and make the masses easy to control:

The common people will divide, and their divisions will be promoted by others. There will be scarcely a chance of their uniting, in any other but a great man, unless in some popular demagogue, who will probably be destitute of principle. . . .

From these remarks it appears that the government will fall into the hands of the few and the great. This will be a government of oppression.(8)

Thus the Antifederalists warned of strong centralized government, especially for a legislature, and instead promoted the idea of leaving most power at local levels where smaller constituencies would be better represented.

George Washington, also, was on the side of smaller constituencies while at the Convention, but only because he thought it would “lessen the people’s objections to the Constitution.”(9) Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts made a motion on constituency size for the very purpose “of lessening objections to the Constitution.” In his lone comment on the actual substance of the Constitution during the Convention, Washington himself agreed:

When the President rose, for the purpose of putting the question, he said that although his situation had hitherto restrained him from offering his sentiments on questions depending in the House, and it might be thought, ought now to impose silence on him, yet he could not forbear expressing his wish that the alteration proposed might take place. It was much to be desired that the objections to the plan recommended might be made as few as possible— The smallness of the proportion of Representatives had been considered by many members of the Convention, an insufficient security for the rights & interests of the people. He acknowledged that it had always appeared to himself among the exceptionable parts of the plan; and late as the present moment was for admitting amendments, he thought this of so much consequence that it would give much satisfaction to see it adopted.

The editor makes a footnote here: “This was the only occasion on which the President entered at all into the discussions of the Convention.”(10) It must have been pretty important to him, then, at least just to get the thing passed.

Demo/Mobocracy

The problem on the other hand, however, is the problem of democracy properly so-called. In a pure democracy, the voice of the majority wins, despite how partisan or mad it may be. But people tend to congregate in the cities. Thus, a large jurisdiction may come to be dominated by a single densely-populated city. Whereas the people living in the countryside may simply want to be free and left alone, the urban area will dominate the State’s politics. Thus, the population centers rule the world. It’s called democracy, but it’s really just organized mobocracy.

This is true for the nation as well, and the framers understood the problem. It was Luther Martin, a delegate from Maryland, who reported how if representation was too accurately proportional to State population it would allow some States “undue influence” over others. He calculated that in some cases, just a few States would be sufficient to constitute a whole quorum and thus create a national legislative faction that could control the majority of the other States.(11) Being right next door to the most populous State, Virginia, Martin was rightly sensitive to being sucked into the power of its legislative vortex.

With the Constitution’s “one for every thirty Thousand” standard, this is eventually what happened. It was the problem that eventually led to the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929. The government’s website says, “Gradually, however, the method for calculating apportionment caused smaller rural states to lose representation to larger urbanized states.”

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Decentralization

The solution to both of these extremes is to have decentralized government like I have discussed in my essays on “County Rights” (here, here, and here). The essential powers of government need to be taken from Washington and deposited back at the local level where they belong—and better at the county or local levels than at the State, with the State serving as a buffer between the feds and the locals.

Oddly enough, it was on this principle of decentralization, very likely, that Pennsylvania rejected the original proposed First Amendment as it did (leading to its demise). It was not that they thought fewer representatives could speak adequately for larger contingencies of people. It was rather that they supposed the Federal legislature was not so constituted as to be getting involved in the type of legislation that touched directly on individuals’ lives to begin with. Thus, the local populations would not really need large numbers of representatives at the fedeeral level, but only at the level of the State legislatures.

This was the reasoning, anyway, of James Wilson as he argued during the Pennsylvania ratifying Convention:

Permit me to add a further observation on the numbers–that a large number is not so necessary in this case as in the cases of state legislatures. In them there ought to be a representation sufficient to declare the situation of every county, town and district, and if of every individual, so much the better, because their legislative powers extend to the particular interest and convenience of each; but in the general government its objects are enumerated, and are not confined in their causes or operations to a county, or even to a single state. No one power is of such a nature as to require the minute knowledge of situations and circumstances necessary in state governments possessed of general legislative authority.(12)

Wilson was right about how the principle should work, but wrong (or lying) to assume that the nationalists and the Constitution would really function in the way he state. And of course, history—both immediately and up until today—have proven he should not have trusted them.

Conclusion

The original proposed First Amendment sought to address the problem of inadequate representation in the Constitution. Many writers rightly saw the Constitution flawed in this principle and leading to aristocracy and oligarchy. But the proposed amendment itself was fundamentally flawed as it would have led to widespread mobocracies which were no better.

We can only begin to solve the issue when we see these two problems as two sides of the same fundamental problem: centralized power on such a large scale to begin with.

And deal with this problem we must, if we are ever to be as free as we claim to be. This issue of representation was the primary concern—number one on the list—of the men who wrote the original bill of rights. Of course they held the rights of speech, assembly, and religion as high as anything, but the issue of representation was the issue of the structure of power—and that would determine how well all those other rights would be protected into the future. And for this reason, it appears, they placed representation at the head of their list to consider.

I think we should, too. But I think it is not addressed by one more top-down, centralizing amendment. We need to rethink the fundamental structure of power and law in society altogether.

(For further study on the subject, there is a website dedicate to it. I have not covered the whole site, so I am not sure I can vouch for it all, but the basic info I have seen is certainly worth studying: http://www.thirty-thousand.org/)Endnotes:

  1. Proposed Amendments and Ratification 1789,” in The Founders’ Constitution, 5 vol., eds. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1987), 5:40. ()
  2. The Complete Antifederalist, 7 vols., ed. Herbert J. Storing (Chicago: The University of Chicago, 1981), 5:114.()
  3. Storing, 2:230.()
  4. Storing, 2:230.()
  5. Storing, 2:232–3.()
  6. Storing, 2:233.()
  7. Storing, 6:158.()
  8. Storing, 6:158.()
  9. Clair W. Keller, “The Failure to Provide a Constitutional Guarantee on Representation,” Journal of the Early Republic 13/1 (Spring 1993): 23.()
  10. Farrand’s Records, 2:643–644. Keller incorrectly notes that this is on pages 443–444.()
  11. Farrand, 3:197–199.()
  12. Farrand, 3:160.()
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About the Author

Dr. Joel McDurmon

Joel McDurmon, Ph.D. in Theology from Pretoria University, is the Director of Research for American Vision. He has authored seven books and also serves as a lecturer and regular contributor to the American Vision website. He joined American Vision's staff in the June of 2008. Joel and his wife and four sons live in Dallas, Georgia.



39 Responses to The Original First Amendment

  1. I don’t even understand how I stopped up right here, however I believed this post used to be good. I don’t realize who you are but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already. Cheers!

  2. Now I know that the only thing I can do to gain eternal life is to meet Mr. Reimer and personally kiss his rear end.

    • Ooops. Mispelled his last name. Sorry, it’s so complicated and the lecture was so holy that for a second I actually thought it was G-d Himself speaking to me on the internet through Mr. R. himself. Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! x 1 million!!!!

      • Arrow says:

        It appears that you have some sort of mental block. Speaking for myself, I come here for thoughtful discourse, and it is a waste of my valuable time to have to sort out the rubbish that you post. If you could either post intelligent ideas or leave, I think things would be better. But it’s not my website so you can ignore me if you wish.

      • Hey there Arrow.

        Have you ever thought that this very site is a WASTE of your time, muchless whatever I post!?

      • Arrow says:

        No.

  3. Blair Colquhoun says:

    Very interesting. I didn’t know that and I’m a history buff.

  4. Scirel says:

    Yet another good, thought provoking article, Joel. And you are right about the mobocracy issue – all those western red states that get at least 3 electoral votes because of the 2 senators would basically be diluted into triviality in presidential elections.

    This makes me wonder (my math mind kicking in here) whether there is a natural limit to the population of a national government for free people. I looked it up – in 1790 the population of the nation was just short of 4 million. The founders obviously saw the growth of that, but could they really have envisioned over 300 million, which has only been realistically possible because of new farm machines, oil, and infrastructure developments that the founders probably couldn’t anticipate. I’ll have to think about that a bit. Perhaps the national government is simply mathematically INCAPABLE of guarding the freedom of its citizenry, even if everyone believed like we do.

  5. Robert Baxter says:

    Ted, after being struck with the penetrating force of your logic that the establishing of laws over a land by people who identify themselves as such is nothing less than a direct affront to the Kingship of God, I feel it prudent to alert you to the fact that many so-called “Christian” denominations use such things as are commonly called “confessions,” or “creeds.” These, you will tear your clothes upon learning, are summaries describing the doctrinal standards and beliefs of said denominations…written by human authors! Obviously this is an explicitly Satanic attack against the authority of the Bible, and I caution you to beware the false prophets peddling their use.

    Yours cordially, Robert

    • Robert, thanks for your thoughts, concerns, and warning. While I’m not a member of any denomination that uses creeds or confessions, I have a difficult time equating the Constitution, which makes no claims to being scriptural in any sense, and the confessions or creeds of denominations as explanations of what they believe to be the best interpretation of the Scriptures.

      Although there are interpretations in all creeds and confessions where I would find disagreement, there are also places where I would undoubtedly agree, as I suspect you would as well. Therefore, in the case of denominational confessions and creeds, I believe Paul’s instructions should apply:

      “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

  6. napensnake says:

    Article I Section 2 of the Constitution reads, in part, “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand.” This puts a cap on the number of representatives, not a minimum number.

    The framers had concerns about too many representatives including the idea that the more representatives, the more likely the uninformed or ignorant will be elected. I don’t recall offhand which of the Federalist papers discusses this but it is in there.

    The question of the number of representatives per capita is a question of whether we want our representatives to represent our wishes and bring home the pork, or whether we want our representatives to represent us in determining the appropriate actions of the national government. If we want our representatives to be trustees, they don’t need to know all of the ins and outs of the lives of all of their constituents. If, on the other hand, we want them to be delegates, one representative per 30,000 population is not enough. This also comes from the Federalist Papers.

  7. That’s all we need is another 5,565 nincompoops, incompetents, and criminals like the ones presently in office (not to mention their Executive and Judicial counterparts)! And there is NOTHING that would stop them from being just that! Why? Among other reasons, because the Constitution nowhere provides (it doesn’t even recognize) the immutable standard of Yahweh’s morality as found in His commandments, statutes, and judgments. In fact, Article 6′s ban of Christian test oaths all but eliminates the Biblical requirements of federal leaders and, therefore, all but guarantees nincompoops, incompetents, and criminals “representing” Americans.

    With this said and knowing that you (Joel) are an anti-Constitutionalist, why (without meaning to sound critical) are you (an alleged pronomian) working from what appears to be a pro-Constitution paradigm? As true pronomians (who believer literally Psalm 19:7-11), EVERY issue needs to be evaluated from Yahweh’s perfect law and altogether righteous judgment. To do otherwise, is to elevate the authors of any set of laws not Yahweh’s (in this instance, WE THE PEOPLE’s) over Yahweh as god and sovereign.

  8. @Raymond – You stated ” I have no idea what your education level is Mr. Smith, However, I recommend that you start cracking a few history books….” You may want to apply that same logic to yourself in relation to Joel and the rest of the people who represent American Vision as to their views on Calvinism. You’re either misrepresenting them as “hyper-Calvinists,” or you’re simply ignorant of what that term even means.

    If we’re going to give criticism of others, let’s at least make sure it’s honest and true…and let’s go a step further and make it constructive. I’m not sure if you’re a professing Christian or not, but if you are, I encourage you to submit to the teaching of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 429, which states:

    “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

    If you are not a Christian, then it is of no surprise that you use one standard for others and yet another for yourself. Though Christians are not immune to such error (both in terms of logical error and moral error), we are acting contrary to Scripture’s clear teachings regarding such hypocrisy when we fall into his kind of error, and we are commanded to accept correction of such error when such correction is offered. Non-Christians, however, have no outside authority – at least in their own minds – that is binding upon their consciences, and which emplores such correction be heeded.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

    • Thanks for the “rebuttal” if that is what it is supposed to be. Actually I take it as a self righteous lecture of exactly the kind I expect to hear from the devoted followers and Joel and Gary. At least you people are consistent and predictable. Any criticism of AV is quickly put down with either patronizing lectures or demonization of whoever it is who dares to criticize your precious organization. Thanks again for confirming what I already knew. Nice posting with you ace.

  9. aCultureWarrior says:

    Don’t be overly concerned about a few limp wristed Christian Libertarians from American Vision Raymond, it’s Christian conservatism that is on the rise here in America. In other words, people like me are your worst nightmare.

    • Arrow says:

      People like you are, in the long run, inconsequential. Real ideas, on both sides, are where the battle is. You have nothing buy your own opinion.

    • Since you are my “worst nightemare” is there any medication that you can recommend to get me through the night? Let’s face it, religious fanatics really upset me, and since you are one, you would know best what the remedies are. Right?!

  10. William Cole says:

    Great article, Joel! What is your view about the 17th Amendment to the Constitution? I see it as an early stride towards mobacracy. The original Constitution was framed with checks and balances to thwart takeover attempts by factions. I see the 17th Amendment as eliminating one of those balances by bereaving states of representation.

    • Brother of the King says:

      Without the 17th amendment, we had government by oligarchy, the worst form of tyranny: the Senate, chosen by the states, decides treaties, judicial, Cabinet, ambassadorial appointments, and serves as jury in federal impeachment trials. And don’t forget, the 11th amendment could never have been passed if the hadn’t been controlled by the states.

      “I see the 17th Amendment as eliminating one of those balances by bereaving states of representation.”

      Is government there to represent the people or to represent government? If government is there to represent government, then why don’t we have federal representatives in state legislatures? On the other hand, if government is to represent the people, then you don’t need government (federal or state) “representatives” anywhere, because, what is the first goal of any “representative” of a government? To expand the powers of that government.

      • Arrow says:

        The states created the federal government for reasons of defense and a few other things. Therefore the federal government is (was) (is supposed to be) subservient to the states. The US Senate was to keep this relationship in place. The House, with the most representatives, was to directly represent the people. It was a well balanced system.

      • Brother of the King says:

        “The states created the federal government”

        Please show me how and why. In almost all the 13 states the Constitution was ratified by constitutional conventions whose delegates were elected by popular vote. So, no, the states did not “create” the federal government.

        “Therefore the federal government is (was) (is supposed to be) subservient to the states.”

        Please read Article VI of the Constitution. If the federal government is supposed to be subservient to the states, why is it that constitutional federal law is declared the supreme law of land “and the judges in every state are bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding”?

        “It was a well balanced system.”

        Please show me what is well-balanced about a system that throws out of balance powers within the legislative branch, giving a good majority of the important powers to a political body whose members were chosen by other politicians?

      • Arrow says:

        In these points it is important to remember who the citizens were in the colonial days. If you asked them, they would not have answered “Americans”. They would have answered “Virginians”, “Pennsylvanians”, etc.

        That is why we are called the “United States”…think about it. America is a union of states.

        With that as a backdrop, consider:

        1. It WAS a balance. Executive, judicial, and legislative, with legislative bodies to represent both the interests of people and the states as a whole.

        2. The states created the federal government and put severe limits on its powers. In acting on those limited and defined powers, the federal government acts with power independent of the states. But outside those limited and defined areas the states are supreme. It’s as though you told your child that he could pick what was for dinner tonight. It doesn’t make him boss over anything other than what you defined.

        3. I cannot see how one can conclude that the federal government was formed by anything other than the states. There was no other human authority in existence that was involved. If you read the federalist papers (which I have only in part) I think this is clear.

  11. Brother of the King says:

    This is one good article on the Constitution, Joel, despite the localist part of it. I have one question, though:

    You said, “Thus the Antifederalists warned of strong centralized government, especially for a legislature.” Could you please explain then why every single government created in the US that has been “Anti-Federalist” in nature, has had the legislature as its most powerful branch and sometimes, the only ruling branch?

    Examples:
    - The Articles of Confederation government
    - The Confederate government
    - The state government of South Carolina antebellum, the governor was elected by the legislature and was almost completely under its control: http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/twiki/pub/AmLegalHist/TheEstablishedChurchInSouthCarolina/S.C._Constitution_of_1790.pdf
    - Many of the colonial governments during the Revolutionary War had governors who were only puppets that enforced the resolutions and laws “passed” by the legislatures of the colonial governments.

  12. John McGrew says:

    Mr. McDurmon,
    Aristocracy is supposed to be government of the best, plutocracy is government of the wealthy. Plutocracy is supposed to be a degraded form of aristocracy.
    John McGrew

  13. Errico Malatesta says:

    AmericanVision is a hate group.

    • Michael Earl Riemer says:

      Yes it is. We hate sin, corruption, false prophecy teachers (not the teachers, but their false teachings), and we strive to cast down all reasonings and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. II Corinthians

      And to raymond.l.sifdol.civ@mail.mil, does that bore you, building up God’s Kingdom? The teachings of Joel, while he may not always be correct, and maybe he is somewhat off base, as are all of us at times, he is striving to do, as we all should, to bring into captivity every thought and everything (that would include government) to the obedience to Christ.

      • Spoken like a true fan of Joel. I like the feeble attempt at reverse psychology telling me why Joel is so Godly and righteous and all that. Anyway, loyalty is a fine thing and I’m sure that Mr. M. appreciates your devotion.

      • So, Mr. Riemer, how about this?: 435 “Christian” Members of Congress (Representatives) and 100 “Christian” Senators all representing umpteen “Christian” denominations. Anything from Anabaptists to Orthodox Presbyterians, Pentecostals, and everything (and it will be a lot of denominations), to include all those who regard themselves as “Christians” such as the Mormons (Latter-day Saints), Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seven day Adventists. All attempting to run the country with umpteen different and conflicting and contradictory theologies and probably despising each other more than they do the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists.

    • Not really a “hate group” Mr. Malatesta. Just a bunch of hyper Calvinists who dream of setting up a Genevan dictatorship just like old Calvin himself did a few centuries ago before people realized what having a religious dictatorship of any kind really means. But I have to say that AV does an excellent job of superimposing extreme right wing (Southern Fried) politics on a very toxic brand of Christianity, which is not Christianity at all, but Facism posing as Christianity. They can also manipulate you by superimposing religion on politics when it is expedient for them to do so.

      • Michael Earl Riemer says:

        A true fan of Joel, well, the only true fan that I am, is of the Lord Jesus Christ. I do however, like the attempts of those like Gary DeMar, Joel and others at American Vision to make this world a better place.

        How about this, 435 Peter’s or Paul’s representing Christ’s kingdom in Congress? Or how about William Carey, as a member of Congress. He was a missionary to India. Carey’s life, what a wonderful expression of love and what the kingdom of God looks like when put into practice. That is what I would love to see. I will follow Paul, Peter and Carey as they followed Christ.

        I do not despise Christian Scientists or any of the other groups you listed. Nor, if I would speak for Joel or DeMar, do they despise any on your “list.”

        “Not really a “hate group” Mr. Malatesta. Just a bunch of hyper Calvinists who dream of setting up a Genevan dictatorship just like old Calvin himself did a few centuries ago before people realized what having a religious dictatorship of any kind really means.”

        As I stated before, the kingdom of God was expressed so wonderfully in the life of William Carey and a thousand other missionary’s of the past, that my friend, is what I long to see, the kingdom of God put into practice (as did Carey) in everyone’s life. And I would think, that that is also what those at American Vision are striving to do, put into practice, the kingdom of God.

  14. Joel,

    Why don’t you quit boring us on this site and run for Congress where you can bore us even more?!

    • Erik says:

      While I don’t agree with the “boring us” part, it actually might not be a bad idea for you to run for Congress. We could definitely use more people that have a knowledge of history, government, and how God’s Law-Word applies.

  15. David Smith says:

    It is becoming ever clearer that we have become far too large and disparate in this consolidated union. In the first republic (1776 – 1860) a state was sovereign and, at its best, more akin to an extended family in its interests and representation. E Pluribus Unum, at least as it is now thought of, is chimerical. We’re as good as a oligarchy or a dictatorship now!

    • I have no idea what your education level is Mr. Smith, However, I recommend that you start cracking a few history books before you come out with statements like “one big extended family” and all that claptrap, bumwad, drivel and hogwash you are spouting as an opinion and attempting to pass off as fact on this hyper Calvinist website. Get a life, or an education!!!!

      • David Smith says:

        Mr. Sifdol:

        You have every right to disagree with me; however, nothing I have written – nor anything anyone else has written here – has earned such uncivil and malevolent responses such as you have left on this thread. Be comforted in knowing that, other than this response, I will address no further messages to you, and I will in turn assiduously avoid reading any correspondence you have for me.

        Sincerely,
        David Smith

      • Looks like Mr. Smith got his feelings hurt.

        “Mr. Smith got his feelings hurt, doo dah, doo dah. Mr. Smith got his feelings hurt, oh doo dah day”. Boo hoo!! Boo hoo!!

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