American Minute with Bill Federer
Plato was a Greek philosopher who lived in the city-state of Athens.
In 380 BC, Plato wrote The Republic, where he described in Books 8 and 9:
"States are as the men are; they grow out of human characters."
"Like State, like man."
The Republic is written as a collection of conversations of Plato's teacher Socrates. It gives insights into human behavior which is amazingly similar to today.
Plato described government going through FIVE STAGES:
"The constitutions of States are five."
The FIVE STAGES are:
"We count as one Royal and Aristocratical..."
Plato's FIRST stage was called "Royal" or "Aristocracy ... whom we rightly call just and good."
This is a government led by hard-working, virtuous LOVERS OF "TRUTH" and "WISDOM."
These are responsible individuals who know how to successfully run businesses, farms, and entrepreneurial enterprises, leaving them ideally equipped with the skills to successfully run a city government.
"A ruler considers ... always what is for the interest of his subject ... and that alone he considers in everything which he says and does."
How Democracies & Republics Rise & Fall: Crash Course on Plato's Republic
Jarrett Stepman | October 5, 2018
In America, we celebrate democracy and are justifiably proud that this nation was founded on the idea that the people should rule. That’s why it is so important that Americans be informed about their government. They are partakers in it. In fact, they control it. Under tyrannical systems, it matters little if the people are informed about political life. Autocrats make decisions for the people whether they like it or not. But in our republic, we rely on the informed decision-making of citizens to judge policies and the leaders who will implement them. Unfortunately, we are not very well-informed.
According to a recently released survey, Americans are woefully uneducated about the most basic facts of our history, to the point where most couldn’t even pass a basic citizenship test.
A study by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only 1 in 3 Americans can actually pass the U.S. citizenship test, which asks the most basic questions about our history and how our system of government works.
Passing the test requires answering 60 percent of questions correctly, but a majority of those participating in the survey couldn’t even do that.
“With voters heading to the polls next month, an informed and engaged citizenry is essential,” Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, said.
“Unfortunately, this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America’s history and incapable of passing the U.S. citizenship test. It would be an error to view these findings as merely an embarrassment. Knowledge of the history of our country is fundamental to maintaining a democratic society, which is imperiled today.”
The survey listed some of the embarrassing answers given on the test.
-Seventy-two percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure which states comprised the original 13 colonies;
-Only 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb;
-Only 24 percent knew the correct answer as to why the colonists fought the British;
-Twelve percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War, while 6 percent thought he was a Vietnam War general;
-While most knew the cause of the Cold War, 2 percent said it was climate change.
Young people performed worst on the test. Out of all test-takers under the age of 45, only 19 percent passed.
Given these numbers, it’s no wonder why so many young Americans say they would rather live under socialism than capitalism, and have little understanding of what that would mean in reality.
On the one hand, there is a case for forgetting history. Many cultures cling to historical grievances to the point where history becomes a major impediment to future success. Treated wrongly, historical memory can be toxic rather than helpful.
We don’t want to become trapped by the past, but we do want to learn from it in order to avoid repeating past mistakes and build a better future. As citizens, knowledge of the past and of civics is crucial. Lacking such knowledge is unhealthy for a free country, and even dangerous, given how bad political life can become.
One of our biggest problems today is that we often focus on tearing down our history rather than learning from it. That needs to change.
If these sobering test results tell us anything, it’s that we need to consider a fundamental change in how we approach education in the United States. And despite what some voices say, education funding is not the problem.
The U.S. ranks, globally, near the top in spending on elementary and secondary education, yet we don’t appear to be getting much bang for the buck. Perhaps it’s time we take a harder look at the public school monopoly that’s failing students and leaving generations of Americans without a basic understanding of our past.
More generally, we’ve failed to uphold Ronald Reagan’s call for an informed patriotism and more civic ritual—necessary qualities for the maintenance of a free country—in favor of negative and ideologically narrow accounts of America’s past now en vogue in our schools.
This is a recipe for a dark future and needs to change.
Same week Congress approved First Amendment, it requested Washington declare Nation's first National Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God
The First Amendment, together with the first Ten Amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were passed in the First Session of Congress, which was meeting in New York City.
These Amendments were intended to be "handcuffs" or limitations on the power of the new Federal Government.
The Bill of Rights were signed by two individuals in the U.S. Congress: Vice-President John Adams, as President of the Senate, and Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, as the First Speaker of the House, who was also an ordained Lutheran minster.
America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations
The PREAMBLE to the Bill of Rights reveals the intent of the States to prevent the Federal Government from an "abuse of its powers," insisting "restrictive clauses" should be placed on it:
"The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to PREVENT misconstruction or ABUSE OF ITS POWERS, that further declaratory and RESTRICTIVE CLAUSES should be added ... as amendments to the Constitution of the United States."
The First Amendment began:
"CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Websters 1828 Dictionary defined "respecting" as: "regarding," "concerning," or "relating to."
In other words, when the subject of "an establishment of religion" came before the Federal Government, their response was to be "hands off," as religion was under each individual State's jurisdiction.
In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833, Justice Joseph Story stated:
"In some of the States, Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in other, Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in others, Quakers ...
It was impossible that there should not arise ... jealousy ... if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment.
The only security was in the abolishing the power ... But this alone would have been an imperfect security, if it had not been followed up by a declaration of the right of the free exercise of religion ...
Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the State governments."
BACKFIRED-A Nation Founded for Religious Tolerance No Longer Tolerates the Religion of Its Founders
In the First Amendment, the states also limited the Federal Congress from:
"... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Congress was the only branch of government that made laws, so it was the focus of the restrictions.
If the founders could have seen into the future that the Supreme Court would make laws from the bench, or thatPresidents would make laws through executive orders and regulations, they might have worded the First Amendment:
"CONGRESS, the SUPREME COURT and the PRESIDENT shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF."
The Bill of Rights were passed by Congress on September 25, 1789, and sent to the States for ratification.
The same week Congress approved the First Amendment, they requested President George Washington to declare the United States' First National Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God.
President Washington declared on OCTOBER 3, 1789:
"Whereas it is the DUTY of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of ALMIGHTY GOD, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and
Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me
'to recommend to the People of the United States A DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of ALMIGHTY GOD, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to ESTABLISH A FORM OF GOVERNMENT for their safety and happiness;'
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that GREAT AND GLORIOUS BEING, who is the BENEFICENT AUTHOR of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;
That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks,
for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation;
for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of HIS PROVIDENCE, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war;
for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed,
for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to ESTABLISH CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT for our safety and happiness, and PARTICULARLY THE NATIONAL ONE NOW LATELY INSTITUTED,
for the CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;
and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to THE GREAT LORD AND RULER OF NATIONS, and beseech Him
to pardon our national and other transgressions,
to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;
to render OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT a blessing to all the People, by constantly being A GOVERNMENT OF WISE, JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;
to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord;
TO PROMOTE THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF TRUE RELIGION AND VIRTUE, and the increase of science among them and us;
and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd of October, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. -George Washington."
DVD The Real Intent of Jefferson on Separation of Church and State
Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger stated in the case of Marsh v. Chambers (675 F. 2d 228, 233; 8th Cir. 1982; review allowed, 463 U.S. 783; 1982):
"The men who wrote the First Amendment religion clause did not view paid legislative chaplainsand opening prayers as a violation of that amendment ...
The practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress ...
It can hardly be thought that in the SAME WEEK the members of the first Congress VOTED to appoint and pay a CHAPLAIN for each House and also VOTED to approve the draft of the FIRST AMENDMENT ... (that) they intended to forbid what they had just declared ACCEPTABLE."
In the Supreme Court case of Town of Greece, NY, v. Galloway et al, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the decision, May 5, 2014:
"Respondents maintain that prayer must be nonsectarian ... and they fault the town for permitting guest chaplains to deliver prayers that 'use overtly Christian terms' or 'invoke specifics of Christian theology' ...
An insistence on nonsectarian or ecumenical prayer as a single, fixed standard is not consistent with the tradition of legislative prayer ...
The Congress that drafted the First Amendment would have been accustomed to invocations containing explicitly religious themes of the sort respondents find objectionable.
One of the Senate's first chaplains, the Rev. William White, gave prayers in a series that included the Lord's Prayer, the Collect for Ash Wednesday, prayers for peace and grace, a general thanksgiving, St. Chrysostom's Prayer, and a prayer seeking 'the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c ...'"
Justice Kennedy continued in Greece v. Galloway:
"The decidedly Christian nature of these prayers must not be dismissed as the relic of a time when our Nation was less pluralistic than it is today.
Congress continues to permit its appointed and visiting chaplains to express themselves in a religious idiom ...
To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures ... and the courts ... to act as ... censors of religious speech...
Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy ..."
"Respondents argue, in effect, that legislative prayer may be addressed only to a generic God.
The law and the Court could not draw this line for each specific prayer or seek to require ministers to set aside their nuanced and deeply personal beliefs for vague and artificial ones.
There is doubt, in any event, that consensus might be reached as to what qualifies as generic or nonsectarian ..."
"While these prayers vary in their degree of religiosity, they often seek peace for the Nation, wisdom for its lawmakers, and justice for its people, values that count as universal and that are embodied not only in religious traditions, but in our founding documents and laws ...
The first prayer delivered to the Continental Congress by the Rev. Jacob Duché on Sept. 7, 1774, provides an example:
'Be Thou present O God of Wisdom and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly;
enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations;
that the scene of blood may be speedily closed;
that Order, Harmony, and Peace be effectually restored, and the Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people.
Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come.
All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen ...'"
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy concluded the Greece v. Galloway decision, May 5, 2014::
"From the earliest days of the Nation, these invocations have been addressed to assemblies comprising many different creeds ...
Our tradition assumes that adult citizens, firm in their own beliefs, can tolerate and perhaps appreciate a ceremonial prayer delivered by a person of a different faith."
DVD The Real Intent of Jefferson on Separation of Church and State
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