Defending the Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & the American Constitution
Friday September 19th 2014

Self-Educated Man

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Federalist 58 by James Madison. 1. Under the proposed Constitution whose interests were represented by the U.S. Senate? Is it so today? If not, how might it be remedied & by what means? 2. How did the Constitution provide for updating representation in Congress? 3. Madison credits the U.S Constitution with assigning the greatest power, that of the “purse strings” to the U.S. House. In your opinion, how might the House assert that power to reduce the size & cost of government today? 4. Explain in your own words Madison’s warning against too many men serving in the House. How might his warning be applied today as calls abound for a more direct democracy & for scrapping the electoral college system? 5. Is democracy the form of government our Founders gave us or was it a republican form? Explain the difference.

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Should the President authorize Thanksgiving?


(1st) In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General [national] Government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it, but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of the church or state authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.
(2nd) … every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.

Sources: (1st)  SecondInaugural Address, March 4, 1805
                   (2nd) To Rev. Samuel Miller, 1808

Patrick Lee’s Explanation

Careful leaders respect the limits on their authority.

A national day of thanksgiving implies religious or spiritual roots. The Constitution’s 1st  Amendment specifically prohibited Congress from  making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the the free exercise thereof.”  Thus, there would be no such “official” day from President Jefferson.  But his reasoning here wasn’t so much the 1st Amendment as it was the 10th, that the Constitution gives any such authority to the states alone.

When he was Governor of Virginia in 1779, the Continental Congress asked all the state executives to adopt a “day of Thanksgiving and Prayer” on December 9. He sent that request to the House of Burgesses. They wrote it and adopted it. Jefferson signed it.  This was years before the Constitution, and Jefferson was acting as a state executive, not a national one. Here is the full text of that proclamation.

You will be thankful you invited Mr. Jefferson to speak at your meeting!
Call Patrick Lee to schedule a presentation, 573-657-2739.

The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.

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