Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Liberty Under God
The Consent of the Governed

"We the People" should
  • Remember the Biblical Basis of our Government
  • Deny our consent to illegitmate secular governments

Atheists and secularists support the myth of "separation of church and state" (which really means the separation of God and government) by appealing to the idea of "the consent of the governed," or the line in the preamble of the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The claim is that government is secular and autonomous from God, created by "the people" and not God, and not accountable to God, but only to "the people."

It doesn't take more than a few seconds of thought, to say nothing of a few minutes of history, to show how foolish this secularist idea is. Not a single person who signed the Constitution would agree with it.

If we all "consent" to make Jews our slaves, or to kill them outright, will such a law be "just?"

The Founding Fathers, and all of Anglo-American law before them, believed that just laws were those that conformed to Divine Law.

There is extraordinary irony here. Atheists and secularists try to deceive us into believing that the "consent of the governed" means that "The People" are sovereign, not God, and autonomous from His Law. By doing this, secularists deny the foundation for freedom, because a government "under God" is a government that loses its legitimacy when it governs outside of God's Law.

  • We must remember that "Consent of the Governed" is a Biblical Principle, not a secular one (see proof below on the left side of this webpage).
  • We must also remember that any group of secularists who claim to be "The State" but transgress God's Law do not have legitimacy. We must not consent to their pretended sovereignty. A "secular" government is an illegitmate criminal enterprise. We must deny our consent. See the material below on the right side of this webpage.

Romans 13 and the American Revolution
The Founding Fathers Believed Government was of God
and "The Divine Right of Kings" Must be Resisted

In practice, a government that is not "under God" is a government that thinks it IS God. By claiming to be "secular," modern governments claim the same idolatrous prerogatives as "The Divine Right of Kings." As argued elsewhere on this website, the entire concept of "government" is immoral and illegitimate, as it claims a right to steal, kidnap, take vengeance, and kill, in violation of God's Law.

Modern Christians are shocked at the idea of social order without "the government." They are just as shocked as many were when The United States of America denied the "Divine Right of Kings" and adopted an idea called "the consent of the governed." Nobody today believes in "the Divine Right of Kings." In a few hundred years, nobody will believe in the monopoly of force and violence which we call "the State."


Divine Right of Kings, ancient doctrine that sovereigns are representatives of God and derive their right to rule directly from God. The concept was formulated from the theocracies of the East. Before the Reformation, the monarch was considered God's representative in all secular matters. Following the Reformation, in Protestant countries, the ruler filled this function in religious matters also. According to the doctrine, a ruler's power is not subject to secular limitation; the ruler is responsible only to God. In the 17th century the doctrine was supported by the English Royalists against the Parliamentarians, who maintained that the exercise of political power springs from the will of the people.

Encarta 99


A political doctrine claiming that monarchy was a divinely ordained institution in which kings and queens were answerable only to God. It therefore followed that it was a sin for the subjects of even the most evil or incompetent monarchs to disobey them. The doctrine evolved in the middle ages, partly as a reaction to interference in the affairs of a nation by the pope and partly to strengthen the hand of monarchs in their dealings with parliaments. In its practical, rather than its mystical, aspects the doctrine can therefore be seen as an early form of the idea of national sovereignty and as an attempt to form a strong centralized executive. 


Divine right of kings, a name given to the patriarchal theory of government, especially to the doctrine that no misconduct and no dispossession can forfeit the right of a monarch or his heirs to the throne, and to the obedience of the people.

Benjamin Rush: My Copernican Revolution

Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876, NY: Harper & Row, 1980, p. 114-15.


Jefferson passed from the scene with a profound sense of his role as author of the Declaration of Independence; his friend Benjamin Rush lived his life with an equally profound sense of his role as a signer. For Rush, who was present in the Congress as a representative of Pennsylvania, the events surrounding the creation of the Republic marked nothing less than a turning point in the course of human history. "I was animated constantly," he reflected in later years, "by a belief that I was acting for the benefit of the whole world, and of future ages, by assisting in the formation of new means of political order and general happiness."11

         11. The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, edited by George W. Corner (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1948), p.161.

The self-justifying reminiscences of an old man, perhaps. Yet there is abundant evidence of their legitimacy, for Rush's republicanism was scarcely new in 1776. A native of Pennsylvania, he had been educated at Samuel Finley's academy at Nottingham (Finley was his uncle), then at the College of New Jersey, where he remained only briefly from the spring of 1759 through September, 1760, having been admitted to the junior class, then via an apprenticeship with Dr. John Redman of Philadelphia, during which he attended the lectures of John Morgan and William Shippen at the College of Philadelphia, and then at the University of Edinburgh, with clinical work at Middlesex and St. Thomas hospitals in London (after the fashion of John Morgan). While in Europe he was introduced to Whig radicalism, first by his fellow student John Bostock, who directed him to Locke and Sydney ("Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system"), and then by the circle around Catharine Macaulay, which included James Burgh, John Sawbridge, and Adam Ferguson. He returned from Europe to a professorship of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia -- the first formal chair of its kind in America -- and proceeded to build a thriving practice, something of an accomplishment since he was a Presbyterian Whig in a city whose middling and upper classes included large numbers of Anglican and Quaker Tories.12

         12. Ibid., p.46.

Jonathan Mayhew

George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.2, p.354
In January 1730, the still youthful Mayhew, alarmed at the menaced encroachments of power, summoned every lover of truth and of mankind to bear a part in the defensive war against 'tyranny and priestcraft." From the pulpit and through the press he reproved the impious bargain "between the sceptre and the surplice;" he preached resistance to "the first small beginnings of civil tyranny, lest it should swell to a torrent and deluge empires." "The doctrines," he cried, "of the divine right of kings and non-resistance are as fabulous and chimerical as the most absurd reveries of ancient or modern visionaries." "If those who bear the title of civil rulers do not perform the duty of civil rulers, if they injure and oppress, they have not the least pretence to be honored or obeyed. If the common safety and utility would not be promoted by submission to the government, there is no motive for submission;" disobedience becomes "lawful and glorious," "not a crime, but duty."

James Otis

George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.3, p.80

Suspecting the designs of Bernard, Otis, in July, spoke thus through the press. "The British constitution comes nearest the idea of perfection of any that has been reduced to practice. Let parliament lay what burdens they please on us, it is our duty to submit and patiently bear them till they will be pleased to relieve us. If anything fall from my pen that bears the least aspect but that of obedience, duty, and loyalty to the king and parliament, the candid will impute it to the agony of my heart.

"Government is founded not on force, as was the theory of Hobbes; nor on compact, as was the theory of Locke and of the revolution of 1688; nor on property, as was asserted by Harrington. It springs from the necessities of our nature, and has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God. Man came into the world and into society at the same instant. There must exist in every earthly society a supreme sovereign, from whose final decision there can be no appeal but directly to heaven. This supreme power is originally and ultimately in the people; and the people never did in fact freely, nor can rightfully, make an unlimited renunciation of this divine right. Kingcraft and priestcraft are a trick to gull the vulgar. The happiness of mankind demands that this grand and ancient alliance should be broken off forever.

William Jackman, History of the American Nation, Vol.1, 
Chapter 9: The Settlement of Virginia
London and Plymouth Companies—King James' Laws—The Voyage and Arrival—Jamestown—John Smith; his Character, Energy, Captivity and Release—Misery of the Colonists—New Emigrants—Lord Delaware—Sir Thomas Gates—Pocahontas; Her Capture and Marriage—Yeardley—First Legislative Assembly.

King James was enamored of what he called kingcraft. He believed that a king had a divine right to make and unmake laws at his own pleasure, and was bound by no obligation, —not even to keep his own word. In maintaining the former of these kingly rights, James sometimes found difficulty; he was more successful in exercising the latter. He took upon himself the authority and labor of framing laws for the colony about to sail. These laws are a fair specimen of his kingcraft. They did not grant a single civil privilege to the colonists, who had no vote in choosing their own magistrates, but were tobe governed by two councils, both appointed by the king,—one residing in England, the other in the colony. In religious matters, differences of opinion were forbidden; all must conform to the rites of the church of England. The Indians were to be treated kindly, and if possible, converted to Christianity.

William Jackman, History of the American Nation, Vol.2, Chapter 20: 1655-1757 Marauding Expeditions; Settlement of Louisburg, p.321 - p.322
When the indignant people of England drove the bigoted James from his throne and invited William of Orange to fill it, Louis XI took up the quarrel in behalf of James, or of legitimacy, as he termed it. He believed in the divine right of kings to rule, and denied the right of a people to change their form of government. Louis had for years greatly abused his power, and all Europe had suffered from his rapacity. Religious feeling exerted its influence in giving character to the war, and Protestant Holland joined heart and hand with Protestant England in opposing Catholic France.

Thomas Paine

Common Sense
But where, says some, is the King of America? I'll tell you. Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law OUGHT to be King; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony, be demolished, and scattered among the people whose right it is.

Russell Kirk, The Roots of American Order, p.409:
By "consent of the governed," the delegates to the Congress were affirming not so much a political philosopher's theory as an experienced institutional reality. That consent, after all, obtained in England, George III notwithstanding (the Patriots holding only that the King intended to make himself a tyrant, not that he was despotic already). Through Parliament, the consent of the governed was realized; divine-right theories of kingship virtually had been abandoned, even among the High Tories, by 1776. And as for America, from the first, in corporate colonies, proprietary colonies, and royal colonies alike, colonial assemblies had fulfilled the right of the [p.410] governed to be represented in government. "Consent of the governed," therefore, did not necessarily imply firm belief in some primitive social compact, whether the type of Locke or the type of Hobbes. The image which that phrase summoned to most Americans' minds was representative government on existing British and American models.

Jonathan Elliot, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. 2, 

The Debates in the Convention of the State of Pennsylvania on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution
Monday, November 26, 1787

Mr. WILSON. The system proposed, by the late Convention, for the government of the United States, is now before you. Of that Convention I had the honor to be a member. As I am the only member of that body who has the honor to be also a member of this, it may be expected that I should prepare the way for the deliberations of this assembly, by unfolding the difficulties which the late Convention were obliged to encounter; by pointing out the end which they proposed to accomplish; and by tracing the general principles which they have adopted for the accomplishment of that end.
Jonathan Elliot, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. 2, p.423
It is worthy of remark, and the remark may, perhaps, excite some surprise, that representation of the people is not, even at this day, the sole principle of any government in Europe. Great Britain boasts—and she may well boast—of the improvement she has made in politics by the admission of representation; for the improvement is important as far as it goes; but it by no means goes far enough. Is the executive power of Great Britain rounded on representation? This is not pretended. Before the revolution, many of the kings claimed to reign by divine right, and others by hereditary right; and even at the revolution, nothing further was effected or attempted than the recognition of certain parts of [p.424] an original contract, (Blackstone, 233,) supposed, at some former remote period, to have been made between the king and the people. A contract seems to exclude, rather than to imply, delegated power. The judges of Great Britain are appointed by the crown. The judicial authority, therefore, does not depend upon representation, even in its most remote degree. Does representation prevail in the legislative department of the British government? Even here it does not predominate, though it may serve as a check. The legislature consists of three branches—the king, the lords, and the commons. Of these, only the latter are supposed by the constitution to represent the authority of the people. This short analysis clearly shows to what a narrow corner of the British constitution the principle of representation is confined. I believe it does not extend further, if so far, in any other government in Europe. For the American states were reserved the glory and the happiness of diffusing this vital principle throughout the constituent ports of government. Representation is the chain of communication between the people and those to whom they have committed the exercise of the powers of government. This chain may consist of one or more links, but in all cases it should be sufficiently strong and discernible.


Saint Robert Bellarmine: a Moderate in a Disputatious Age
Avery Dulles, S.J.*
Crisis Magazine, December 1994, p.42
Bellarmine's bad reputation in the English-speaking world is largely due to his polemical exchanges with King James I, undertaken at the direction of Paul V (1605-1621). Against the King of England, Bellarmine defended his doctrine of the pope's "indirect power," and attacked the idea that kings rule with absolute power by divine right. Bellarmine held that civil power comes to the ruler not directly from God but through the people, who may set up any kind of regime that serves the common good. Regalists such as William Barclay and Robert Filmer, responding to Bellarmine, characterized him as the ablest defender of the doctrine they were opposing. John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison seem to have been acquainted with Bellarmine, especially through the writings of his adversaries. It has been plausibly argued that in this way Bellarmine exercised an indirect influence upon the American system of government. In any case he belonged to the general movement of thought that favored popular sovereignty.

The Conservative Lexicon

American Revolution
     The period in the nation's history (1775-1783) when colonists rejected the rule of George III, took up arms, and, after a lengthy struggle, defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown and ended British rule of the American colonies. 
     This major event is "claimed" by both conservatives and liberals alike, though each age has produced its own reinterpretation of the background and reasons for the American Revolution and its significance for later generations.
     Liberals have tended to argue that the Revolution came about as the result of the Enlightenment, when Reason replaced Faith as the guiding principle in Western society and the new more-educated class rejected the church and monarchy in favor of "free thinking" and democracy. Those holding this view cite Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin as deists and rationalists who typified the new way of looking at the world.
     On the other hand, those conservatives who emphasize individual freedom and denounce Big Government have tended to view the Revolution as an example of conservative reaction to a continuing governmental tyranny. They maintain that fiscal policy established by a remote central government lay at the heart of the colonists' dissatisfaction, but they also point out the many additional abuses cited in the Declaration of Independence—governmental intrusions that have their counterparts in current federal policy.
     A later conservative reinterpretation of the Revolution argues that the colonists in their petitions to the crown—and in the Declaration of Independence itself—were traditionalists appealing to an old and respected English political heritage of limited government—a tradition that began at least as far back as the Magna Carta, survived the Cromwellian interlude, and was reaffirmed with the Glorious Revolution, when William and Mary's acceptance of "the Bill of Rights" effectively ended the doctrine of "the divine right of kings" and ushered in the modern period of parliamentary rule.
     Scholars who hold this view quote from the writings of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin to demonstrate that these Founding Fathers were not the "free thinkers" 20th-century liberals have painted them to be. Such scholars also analyze the Declaration and other documents to show their appeal to tradition, authority, and legal precedent. This particular view of the American Revolution reconciles the views of both libertarian conservatives and those who believe in an ongoing tradition.

Modern secularists have problems understanding the American relationship between religion and government because they do not understand that the Founders believed that all governments were accountable to God. This concept of Godly Government was grounded on the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans. Revolution against unGodly government also appealed to this passage of Scripture. The Revolutionary Birth of America was based on the Bible.

The ironic thing about the use of Romans 13 in Western political science is that the passage, though clearly intended to inculcate non-resistance to the magistrates, has been most frequently cited in treatises which advocate violent revolution. Richard Gardiner, in his impressive collection of "Primary Source Documents Pertaining to Early American History, lists many sources which introduce the average Secular Humanist to the now-unknown religious foundations of American Revolution and Government.

indent.gif (90 bytes)A Short Treatise on Political Power, John Ponet, D.D. (1556) President John Adams credited this Calvinist document as being at the root of the theory of government adopted by the the Americans. According to Adams, Ponet's work contained "all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterward dilated on by Sidney and Locke" including the idea of a three-branched government. (Adams, Works, vol. 6, pg. 4). Published in Strassbourg in 1556, it is one of the first works out of the Reformation to advocate active resistance to tyrannical magistrates, with the exception of the Magdeburg Bekkentis (the Magdeburg Confession).
indent.gif (90 bytes)How Superior Powers Ought to Be Obeyed by Their Subjects, Christopher Goodman (1558). Justifying a Christian's right to resist a tyrannical ruler. Goodman indicated that he had presented the thesis of this book to John Calvin, and Calvin endorsed it.
indent.gif (90 bytes)The Right of Magistrates Over Their Subjects, Theodore Beza (1574). Expanding upon Calvin's political resistance theory set forth in the final chapters of his Institutes, this work by Calvin's successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, was published in response to the growing tensions between Protestant and Catholic in France, which culminated in the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre in 1572. This text suggests that it is the right of a Christian to revolt against a tyrannical King: a principle central to the American colonists' cause.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, or, A Vindication Against Tyrants (1579). This Calvinist document is one of the first to set forth the theory of "social contract" upon which the United States was founded. The idea was disseminated through the English Calvinists to the pen of John Locke, and eventually into the Declaration of Independence. John Adams reported the relevance of this document to the American struggle.
indent.gif (90 bytes)The Dutch Declaration of Independence (1581); This Calvinistic document served as a model for the U.S. Declaration of Independence. In his Autobiography, Jefferson indicated that the "Dutch Revolution" gave evidence and confidence to the Second Continental Congress that the American Revolution could likewise commence and succeed. Recent scholarship has has suggested that Jefferson may have consciously drawn on this document. John Adams said that the Dutch charters had "been particularly studied, admired, and imitated in every State" in America, and he stated that "the analogy between the means by which the two republics [Holland and U.S.A.] arrived at independency... will infallibly draw them together."
indent.gif (90 bytes)Lex Rex, Samuel Rutherford (1644). This treatise systematized the Calvinistic political theories which had developed over the previous century. Rutherford was a colleague of John Locke's parents. Most of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government is reflective of Lex Rex. From Rutherford and other Commonwealthmen such as George Lawson, through Locke, these theorists provided the roots of the Declaration of Independence. This page provides the list of questions Lex Rex addresses.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Lex, Rex, Samuel Rutherford (1644). This excerpt shows Rutherford's social contract theory and includes the Puritan theory of resistance to a tyrant.

Election Day Sermons

Yale Historian Harry Stout has shown the centrality of the sermon in the formation of the American Revolution and Government. Richard Gardiner's invaluable archive of links contains the following:

indent.gif (90 bytes)A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers, Jonathan Mayhew (1750) About this document, John Adams wrote, "It was read by everybody; celebrated by friends, and abused by enemies... It spread an universal alarm against the authority of Parliament. It excited a general and just apprehension, that bishops, and dioceses, and churches, and priests, and tithes, were to be imposed on us by Parliament." This sermon has been called the spark which ignited the American Revolution. This illustrates that the Revolution was not only about stamps and taxes but also about religious liberty. [Anarcho-Calvinist rebuttal]
indent.gif (90 bytes)Religion and Patriotism the Constituents of a Good Soldier, Samuel Davies (1755). Davies, a Presbyterian preacher and president of the College at Princeton, here interprets the French and Indian war as a religious war. In this excerpt from a sermon preached in Virginia, Davies rouses the anti-Catholic sentiment of his hearers to rally them to arms against the French in the Ohio country.
indent.gif (90 bytes)An Election Sermon, Daniel Shute; Delivered in Boston, Massachusetts-Bay, 26 May 1768.
indent.gif (90 bytes)An Oration on the Beauties of Liberty, Reverend John Allen (1772)
indent.gif (90 bytes)Oration Delivered at Boston, Joseph Warren (1772)
indent.gif (90 bytes)Second Oration Delivered at Boston, Joseph Warren (1772)
indent.gif (90 bytes)An Election Sermon, Simeon Howard (1773) Demonstrating that an armed war against a tyrant was a Christian's duty.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Early Virginia Religious Petitions (1774-1802)
indent.gif (90 bytes)Boston Massacre Oration, John Hancock (1774)
indent.gif (90 bytes)A Plea Before the Massachusetts Legislature, Isaac Backus (1774)
indent.gif (90 bytes)First Prayer Given in the Continental Congress, Rev. Jacob Duche (1774)
indent.gif (90 bytes)Sermon on Civil Liberty, Nathaniel Niles (1774) An example of how clergymen stoked the revolutionary spirit
indent.gif (90 bytes)Defensive War in a Just Cause Sinless, David Jones (1775). Sermon justifying the revolution.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Government Corrupted by Vice, and Recovered by Righteousness, Samuel Langdon, May 31, 1775; This sermon preached a year before Jefferson wrote his declaration, included this phrase: "By the law of nature, any body of people, destitute of order and government, may form themselves into a civil society, according to their best prudence, and so provide for their common safety and advantage."
indent.gif (90 bytes)On Civil Liberty, Passive Obedience, and Nonresistance, Jonathan Boucher (1775)
indent.gif (90 bytes)A Calm Address To Our American Colonies, John Wesley (1775)
indent.gif (90 bytes)The American Vine, Jacob Duche (1775)
indent.gif (90 bytes)The Church's Flight into the Wilderness, Samuel Sherwood, January 17, 1776; A sermon which labels British tyranny Satanic.
indent.gif (90 bytes)The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men, John Witherspoon, May 1776. This sermon was preached by a member of the Second Continental Congress during the period in which the members were deciding upon American Independence.
indent.gif (90 bytes)On the Right to Rebel against Governors, Samuel West (1776)
indent.gif (90 bytes)Divine Judgements Upon Tyrants, Jacob Cushing, April 20, 1778; a sermon on the three year anniversary of the war.
indent.gif (90 bytes)Election Sermon, Phillips Payson (1778)
indent.gif (90 bytes)Defensive Arms Vindicated (1779) A sermon vindicating the activity of General George Washington.
indent.gif (90 bytes)A Sermon on the Day of the Commencement of the Constitution, Samuel Cooper (1780)

These sermons were often preached in the state capitols before governors and legislators at the request of the governments. These legislators would then carry their obligation to be a "minister of God" into their public office. See an example in the Proclamation of March 6, 1799, by President John Adams.

indent.gif (90 bytes)Common Sense (1776) Thomas Paine agitated for revolution against Britain by appealing to the chronicle of history in Scripture. Paine on 1 Samuel 8.

The E Pluribus Unum Project

Nothing in American history suggests that the Framers of the Constitution intended the Constitution to overthrow or repudiate the idea that Government was ordained by God, or that unGodly governments should be resisted. The final nail in the coffin of the myth of "separation of church and state" can be found here.

Politics Is Prehistoric

Being that I study the ancient past, I can trace men ruling over men back to about 6400 BC. I can trace rulership that resembles ours back to about 5000 BC. I can trace bicameral assemblies (like our House of Representatives and Senate) back to about 2500 BC.

Most of that is what we commonly call the “prehistoric” era.

So, here’s my question: What else from before the Egyptian pyramids still rules the lives of women and men?

Men no longer pull plows. They no longer start fires with flint. Nor do they pull sleds or wooden-wheeled carts or rely upon animals for power. We have learned to write, to invent, to navigate, to cover immense distances, to drive, to fly, and to reach into the heavens. And yet…

And yet, this one relic of our primitive past remains. If there’s one area of life in which humans have failed to evolve, it’s politics.

Why I Stopped Spending My Time on Politics… And Why I Think You Should Too
Casey Research
November 25, 2014

The Biblical Origin of
"Consent of the Governed"

John Locke was a Christian Theocrat who said all human laws must conform to Divine Laws:

[T]he Law of Nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions must . . . be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e., to the will of God. [L]aws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.
[Two Treatises on Government, Bk II sec 135. {quoting Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity {shows Puritan influence}]

The two phrases, "the Laws of Nature" and the laws "of Nature's God," had received significant attention in Blackstone's works. Notice his definition of "the law of nature," and the laws "of Nature's God" -- or what was termed "the law of revelation":

Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. . . . And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker's will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. . . . This law of nature, being coeval [coexistent] with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original. . . . The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law and they are to be found only in the holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature. . . . Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.

Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Philadelphia: Robert Bell, Union Library, 1771) vol. I, pp. 39,41-42.

This thinking was behind all legislation, which was based on the Ten Commandments, and was certainly not repudiated by the U.S. Constitution.

For example, Blackstone's Commentaries explained:

To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the Divine. . . . If any human law should allow or enjoin us to commit it, we are bound to transgress that human law. . . . But, with regard to matters that are . . . not commanded or forbidden by those superior laws such, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the . . . legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose.
Ibid, p. 42-43.

The Founders echoed that theme:

All [laws], however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1) Divine. 2) Human. . . . But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God . . . . Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.
The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, Bird Wilson, ed., (Phila: Lorenzo Press, 1804) vol. I, pp. 103-105, "Of the General Principles of Law and Obligation."

[T]he law . . . dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.
The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C. Syrett, ed. (NY: Columbia Univ. Press, 1961), vol. I. p. 87, Feb. 23, 1775, quoting William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Phila: Robert Bell, 1771), vol. I, p, 41.

[T]he . . . law established by the Creator . . . extends over the whole globe, is everywhere and at all times binding upon mankind. . . . [This] is the law of God by which he makes his way known to man and is paramount to all human control.
The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, Charles R. King, ed., (NY: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1900), vol. VI, p. 276, to C. Gore on Feb. 17, 1820.

This proves that the modern myth of "Separation of Church and State" is false. How can you separate religion and law when all laws must be in accord with divine law? How can you separate God and government when the government must be "under God" ?

"Consent of the governed" is a Christian concept, not a secular one. It did not originate with Jefferson.

When Harold Berman delivered the Lowell Lectures at Boston Univ in 1971, he was the Joseph Story Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He noted:

As the early Christian martyrs founded the church by their disobedience to Roman Law, so the seventeenth-century Puritans, including men like Hampden, Lilburne, Udall, William Penn, and others, by their open disobedience to English law laid the foundations for the English and American law of civil rights and civil liberties as expressed in our respective Constitutions: freedom of speech and press, free exercise of religion, the privilege against self-incrimination, the independence of the jury from judicial dictation, the right not to be imprisoned without cause, and many other such rights and freedoms. We also owe to Calvinist congregationalism the religious basis of our concepts of social contract and government by the consent of the governed. This point is usually overlooked; instead, the theory of social contract is generally traced to seventeenth-century philosophers such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. But a century earlier, Calvin had asked the entire people of Geneva to accept the confession of faith and to take an oath to obey the Ten Commandments as well as to swear loyalty to the city. People were summoned in groups by the police to participate in the covenant.
(Interaction of Law and Religion, pp. 66-67, and Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. "See J.T. McNeill, The History and Character of Calvinism, (New York, 1957), p. 142. See also Chapters 2 and 12 of this study, where the theory of social contract is traced to the Papal Revolution and the formation of cities as sworn communes." )
"Consent of the governed" is seen throughout Calvinist politics, as for example, in Ponet (1556), Goodman, (1558), Beza (1574), Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos (1579), The Dutch Declaration of Independence (1581); Rutherford's Lex Rex (1644), and others who were credited by John Adams with laying the foundation for the American Revolution. See:

Links to the above documents are in the box at right.

Calvinists brought this concept of "consent of the governed" over on the Mayflower

IN THE name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

Governor Bradford makes this reference to the circumstances under which the Compact was drawn up and signed:

"This day, before we came to harbour, observing some not well affected to unity and concord, but gave some appearance of faction, it was thought good there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body, and to submit to such government and governors as we should by common consent agree to make and choose, and set our hands to this that follows, word for word…."]

George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.1, p.236
"The worke wee have in hand," these are Winthrop's words on board the Arbella during the passage, "is by a mutuall consent, through a speciall overruling Providence, and a more than ordinary approbation of the churches of Christ, to seeke out a place of cohabitation and consorteshipp under a due forme of government both civill and ecclesiastical. For this wee are entered into covenant with God; for this wee must be knitt together as one man, allways having before our eyes our commission as members of the same body. Soe shall wee keepe the unitie of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as his owne people; wee shall see much more of his wisdome, power, goodness, and truthe, than formerly wee have been acquainted with; hee shall make us a prayse and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations, 'The Lord make it likely that of New England.'"

George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.1, p.268 - p.269
The [Connecticut] constitution which, on the fourteenth of January, 1639, was adopted, was of unexampled liberality. In two successive years, a general court had been held in May; at the time of the election the committees from the towns came in and chose their magistrates, installed them, and engaged themselves to submit to their government and dispensation of justice. "The foundation of authority," said Hooker, in an election sermon preached before the general court, on the last day of May, 1638, "is laid in the free consent of the people, to whom the choice of public magistrates belongs by God's own allowance." "They who have power to appoint officers and magistrates, it is in their power, also, to set the bounds and limitations of the power and place into which they call them."

In 1644, John Winthrop, Then Deputy-Governor of the Commonwealth, wrote Arbitrary Government Described And The Government of the Massachusetts Vindicated From That Aspersion. In 1644, a dispute arose in Massachusetts between the magistrates and the deputies as to the respective powers of the two branches of the legislature, the deputies claiming judicial authority. Winthrop's opposition to this claim brought upon him and other magistrates the charge of arbitrary government; and in order to clear up the situation he drew up the following document. It is important not only for its presentation of Winthrop's personal views, but for the light it throws upon the origins of the political institutions of the Commonwealth.

ARBITRARY Government is where a people have men set over them, without their choice or allowance; who have power to govern them, and judge their causes without a rule.

God only hath this prerogative; whose sovereignty is absolute, and whose will is a perfect rule, and reason itself; so as for man to usurp such authority, is tyranny, and impiety.

Where the people have liberty to admit or reject their governors, and to require the rule by which they shall be governed and judged, this is not an arbitrary government.

The parties or members of this body politic are reduced under two kinds, Governor and Company, or Freemen: to the Governor it adds a Deputy, and eighteen Assistants: in these is the power of authority placed, under the name of the Governor (not as a person, but as a State) and in the other (which is named the Company) is placed the power of liberty:—which is not a bare passive capacity of freedom, or immunity, but such a liberty as hath power to act upon the chiefest means of its own welfare (yet in a way of liberty, not of authority) and that under two general heads, election and counsel: (I) they have liberty to elect yearly (or oftener if occasion require) all their Governors and other their general officers, viz., such as should have influence (either judicial or ministerial) into all parts of the jurisdiction; (2) they have liberty of counsel in all the General Assemblies, so as without their counsel and consent no laws, decrees, or orders, of any public nature or concernment, not any taxes, impositions, impresses, or other burdens of what kind soever, can be imposed upon them, their families or estates, by any authority in the Government: which notwithstanding remains still a distinct member, even in those General Assemblies: otherwise our state should be a mere Democratie, if all were Governors or magistrates, and none left to be an object of government, which cannot fall out in any kind of Aristocratie.
Harvard Classics (1910) Vol.43, Pg.90

[The Massachusetts "Body of Liberties," the first code of laws established in New England, was compiled by Nathaniel Ward (c. 1578-1652) a leading English Puritan minister, who had been trained as a lawyer. He came to the colony in 1634, and was for a time pastor at Ipswich. The "Liberties" were established by the Massachusetts General Court in December, 1641.]

THE free fruition of such liberties, Immunities, and priveledges as humanitie, Civilitie, and Christianitie call for as due to every man in his place and proportion, without impeachment, and infringement, hath ever bene and ever will be the tranquillitie and Stabilitie of Churches and Commonwealths. And the deniall or deprivall thereof, the disturbance if not the ruine of both.

We hould it therefore our dutie and safetie whilst we are about the further establishing of this Government to collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may concerne us, and our posteritie after us, And to ratify them with our sollemne consent.

Wee doe therefore this day religiously and unanimously decree and confirme these following Rites, liberties, and priveledges concerneing our Churches, and Civill State to be respectively, impartiallie, and inviolably enjoyed and observed throughout our Jurisdiction for ever.

Nathaniel Ward, Body Of Liberties, Harvard Classics (1910), Vol.43, p.70

George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.1, p.581 - p.582 - p.583
[I]n January, 1653, the newly appointed governor, Thomas Dongan, nephew of Tyrconnell, a Roman Catholic, was instructed to call a general assembly of all the freeholders by the persons whom they should choose to represent them. Accordingly, on the seventeenth of the following October, about seventy years after Manhattan was first occupied, about thirty years after the demand of the popular convention by the Dutch, the people of New York met in assembly, and by their first act claimed the rights of Englishmen. "Supreme legislative power," such was their further declaration, "shall for ever be and reside in the governor, council, and people, met in general assembly. Every freeholder and freeman shall vote for representation without restraint. No freeman shall suffer but by judgment of his peers; and all trials shall be by a jury of twelve men. No tax shall be assessed, on any pretence whatever, but by the consent of the assembly. No seaman or soldier shall be quartered on the inhabitants against their will. No martial law shall exist. No person, professing faith in God by Jesus Christ, shall at any time be any ways disquieted or questioned for any difference of opinion."

Henry Vane, Governor of Massachusetts, 1656.
Which convention is not properly to exercise the legislative power, but only to debate freely, and agree upon the particulars that by way of fundamental constitutions shall be laid and inviolably observed as the conditions upon which the whole body so represented doth consent to cast itself into a civil and politic incorporation, and under the visible form and administration of government therein declared, and to be by each individual member of the body subscribed in testimony of his or their particular consent given thereunto: which conditions so agreed (and among them an Act of Oblivion for one) will be without danger of being broken or departed from, considering of what it is they are the conditions, and the nature of the convention wherein they are made, which is of the people represented in their highest state of sovereignty, as they have the sword in their hands unsubjected unto the rules of civil government, but what themselves orderly assembled for that purpose do think fit to make. And the sword, upon these conditions, subjecting itself to the supreme judicature thus to be set up, how suddenly might harmony, righteousness, love, peace, and safety unto the whole body follow hereupon, as the happy fruit of such a settlement, if the Lord have any delight to be among us!
Henry Vane, A Healing Question, Harvard Classics (1910), Vol.43, p.142

Jim Powell, "William Penn—America's First Great Champion for Liberty and Peace"
The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, October 1995, Vol. 45, No. 10

Penn was most concerned about developing a legal basis for a free society. In his First Frame of Government, which Penn and initial land purchasers had adopted on April 25, 1682, he expressed ideals anticipating the Declaration of Independence: "Men being born with a title to perfect freedom and uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature…no one can be put out of his estate and subjected to the political view of another, without his consent."

Massachusetts had lent her aid to the annihilation of the tribe, but the Connecticut towns had begun the deadly work unaided. Until then Massachusetts had maintained a formal oversight, an unbroken assumption of authority among them; but now (1637), being clearly outside the Massachusetts grant, they took leave to hold a General Court of their own and assume independent powers. They had, indeed, no grant themselves, either of land or of authority, from the crown; but there were no King's officers there in the quiet wilderness, and they would not, for the present at any rate, be molested. For two years (1637-1639) they acted without even formal agreement among themselves regarding the method or organization of their government, choosing and obeying their magistrates, electing and holding their assemblies, according to their habit before they came. But in 1639 they adopted a formal constitution, which they called their "Fundamental Orders." Mr. Hooker's liberal temper showed itself very plainly in the principles by which they resolved to be governed. "The foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people," he had said, preaching to them from Deuteronomy, 1.13 ("Take you wise men,—and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you"); and it is best that it should be so, for "by a free choice the hearts of the people will be more ready to yield" obedience. This was the principle of the Fundamental Orders. Their governor was always to be a member of some approved congregation; but any man might be a freeman and voter and fill any other magistracy whose town admitted him to be a resident, without test of doctrine or church membership; and the freemen were to elect the deputies by whom the laws of the colony were to be made in General Court.
Woodrow Wilson, History of the American People, Vol.1, p.154 - p.155

William Penn's charter, like all early American charters, was explicitly Christian.

Founding Father James Otis (a leader of the Sons of Liberty and the mentor of Samuel Adams) in a 1766 work argued that the only king who had any Divine right was God Himself; beyond that, God had ordained power to rest with the people:

Has it [government] any solid foundation? any chief cornerstone. . . ? I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God, the Author of Nature whose laws never vary. . . . Government. . . . is by no means an arbitrary thing depending merely on compact or human will for its existence. . . . The power of God Almighty is the only power that can properly and strictly be called supreme and absolute. In the order of nature immediately under Him comes the power of a simple democracy, or the power of the whole over the whole. . . . [God is] the only monarch in the universe who has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent. . . . The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God, that the administrators of it were originally the whole people. [1]

[1] James Otis, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston: J. Williams 1766), pp. 11, 12, 13, 98.

The concept of government, said Otis, came from God; but God commands the people to choose their rulers.

And they should be Christian rulers, of course. Atheists were not allowed to hold office until 1961.

So the idea that "the People" are the new God is a myth.

Sam Adams, reflecting on the long tradition of self-government throughout the Christian history of America:

There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing Providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us.

Other nations have received their laws from conquerors; some are indebted for a constitution to the suffering of their ancestors through revolving centuries. The people of this country, alone,
have formally and deliberately chosen a government for themselves, and with open and uninfluenced consent bound themselves into a social compact. Here no man proclaims his birth or wealth as a title to honorable distinction, or to sanctify ignorance and vice with the name of hereditary authority. He who has most zeal and ability to promote public felicity, let him be the servant of the public. This is the only line of distinction drawn by nature. Leave the bird of night to the obscurity for which nature intended him, and expect only from the eagle to brush the clouds with his wings and look boldly in the face of the sun.

An impressive display of historical scholarship in this area is displayed by Gary Amos, in his book Defending the Declaration, chapter 5, "Government by the 'Consent of the Governed.'"

False Religions

Consent of the Governed? | The Beacon

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