SOVEREIGNTY resides in THE PEOPLE

Constitution 03American Minute with Bill Federer

Saint Ambrose was the pastor in Milan, Italy, between 374-397 AD.

Who attended his church but the KING – the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

Imagine what it must have been like for a Pastor to have the Emperor sitting in his church pews. Yet that is exactly what is the case in America.

Who is the KING in America?

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defined “KING” as:

“KING, n. 1. The chief or SOVEREIGN of a nation; a man invested with supreme authority over a nation, tribe or country; a monarch. Kings are absolute.”

Romans 13: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”

In America, THE PEOPLE are the ultimate “governing authority.”

THE PEOPLE, according to the Gallup Poll, 2012, identify themselves as 77 percent Christian, attending some church.

Signer of the Constitution Gouverneur Morris stated:

“This magistrate is not the king. The PEOPLE are the KING.”

John Jay, the First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in Chisholm v. Georgia, 1793:

“The PEOPLE are the SOVEREIGN of this country.”

Signer of Constitution James Wilson stated at the Pennsylvania Convention to ratify the U.S. Constitution:

“SOVEREIGNTY resides in THE PEOPLE; they have not parted with it.”

James Wilson wrote in his Lectures on Law, 1790-91:

“In a free country, EVERY CITIZEN forms a part of the SOVEREIGN POWER: he possesses a vote.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote to William Johnson, 1823:

“But the Chief Justice says, ‘There must be an ULTIMATE ARBITER somewhere.’ True, there must… The ULTIMATE ARBITER is THE PEOPLE.”

President Andrew Jackson wrote to William B. Lewis, August 19, 1841:

“THE PEOPLE are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the government, the SOVEREIGN POWER.”

President James K. Polk stated December 7, 1847:

“The PEOPLE are the only SOVEREIGNS recognized by our Constitution…

The success of our admirable system is a conclusive refutation of the theories of those in other countries who maintain that a ‘favored few’ are born to rule and that the mass of mankind must be governed by force.”

President Grover Cleveland stated of the United States, July 13, 1887:

“The SOVEREIGNTY of SIXTY MILLIONS of FREE PEOPLE, is…the working out…of the divine right of man to govern himself and a manifestation of God’s plan concerning the human race.”

General Omar Bradley stated in 1948:

“In the United States it is the PEOPLE who are SOVEREIGN… The Government is theirs to speak their voice and to voice their will.”

President Gerald Ford stated at Southern Methodist University, September 13, 1975:

“Never forget that in America our SOVEREIGN is the CITIZEN…

The State is a servant of the individual. It must never become an anonymous monstrosity that masters everyone.”

Ronald Reagan opened the John Ashbrook Center in 1983, stating of America’s founders:

“The Founding Fathers understood that only by making government the servant, not the master, only by positing SOVEREIGNTY in THE PEOPLE and not the state can we hope to protect freedom.”

When someone steps on the American flag, what they are saying is that they no longer want to be the king. The flag represents “the republic for which it stand.” A republic is where the people rule through their representatives. If people no longer want to rule, they will get another king to rule over them.

The Pew Religious Landscape Survey 2007 reports that the majority of America’s population is Christian, 78.4 percent.

That means that in America, the “the KING-the PEOPLE” sit every Sunday in the pews of America’s Pastors.

America’s Pastors are, in a sense, counselors to the KING.

With that in mind, a scene from the movie The Lord of the Rings is appropriate.

King Theodon’s kingdom was on the verge of destruction as he had been asleep – under a spell.

Beside King Theodon was the wicked counselor, Wormtongue, whispering in his ear not to wake up.

Gandalf, as a good counselor, broke the spell.

King Theodon dramatically woke up and took his sword.

This scene demonstrates the two different kinds of Pastors:

-one kind of Pastor are those who whisper in the ears of “the KING-the PEOPLE” to stay asleep as their kingdom faces destruction; and

-the other kind of Pastor are those who want “the KING-the PEOPLE” to wake up and assume the responsibility to rule – a responsibility for which they will be held accountable before God.

How do the PEOPLE rule?

Through voting.

The PEOPLE hire and fire their ‘public servants’ in elections.

One of the first instances of this was Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18:21:

“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

On of America’s first elections occurred in Woburn, Massachusetts, which was founded in 1642 by Captain Edward Johnson, a contemporary of Governor John Winthrop.

Captain Edward Johnson described the town’s original election in Wonder-Working Providences of Sion’s Saviour in New England, 1654:

“The number of faithful people of Christ…gather into a church…

Having fasted and prayed… they joined together in a holy Covenant with the Lord and with one another…

Those who are chosen to a place in government, must be men truly fearing God, wise and learned in the truths of Christ…

Neither will any Christian of a sound judgment vote for any, but those who earnestly contend for the faith.”

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of elections in Democracy in America, 1835:

“If a political character attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him;

but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone…

Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity.”

President Calvin Coolidge commented on elections in a Radio Address, NOVEMBER 3, 1924:

“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party,

that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship,

that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding all appeals to passion and prejudice, dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country…”

Calvin Coolidge ended:

“When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed Congress after the 911 Islamic terrorist attack:

“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists… They hate our freedoms – our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, OUR FREEDOM TO VOTE.”

Consider an illustration:

Imagine traveling through a kingdom to visit a KING, and on the way, you witness the KING’s servants committing every kind of corruption and crime.

As you enter the KING’s chamber, he reluctantly asks, “Did you see all the corruption and crime as you came in here… I wish someone would fix this mess.”

You tap the KING on shoulder and remind him that HE is the KING, that it is HIS servants who are out of line, and that it is HIS responsibility to fix this mess.

This is like someone in America watching television and seeing politicians committing every kind of corruption and crime, saying, “I wish someone would fix this mess.”

A finger should reach through the TV tube and tap that person on the shoulder reminding them, “In America, you are the KING. You are responsible to fix this mess.”

Voting is not just a privilege, but a responsibility for which God will hold each American accountable.

President Calvin Coolidge stated in 1924:

“The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely…rule of force held in the HANDS OF A FEW.

Under our Constitution, America committed itself to power in the HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.”

President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1903:

“In NO other place and at NO other time has the experiment of government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country.”

Ronald Reagan stated in 1961:

“In this country of ours took place the GREATEST REVOLUTION that has ever taken place IN THE WORLD’S HISTORY…

Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another…

Here for the first time in all the THOUSANDS OF YEARS of man’s relation to man…

the founding fathers established the idea that YOU and I had WITHIN OURSELVES the GOD-GIVEN RIGHT and ABILITY TO DETERMINE OUR OWN DESTINY.”

On November 6, 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in Hyde Park, NY:

“Tomorrow…the people of the United States again vote as free men and women, with full freedom of choice – with no secret police watching over your shoulders.

And for generations to come Americans will continue to prove their faith in free elections…”

FDR added:

“In the midst of fighting…our soldiers and sailors and airmen will not forget election day back home.

Millions of these men have already cast their own ballots, and they will be wondering about the outcome of the election, and what it will mean to them in their future lives…for the cause of decency and freedom and civilization…”

FDR concluded:

“We need strength and wisdom which is greater than is bequeathed to mere mortals. We need Divine help and guidance…

People of America have ever had a deep well of religious strength, far back to the days of the Pilgrim Fathers.

You will find it fitting that I read a prayer..

‘Almighty God…Thou hast gathered our people out of many lands and races into a great Nation.

We commend to Thy overruling providence the men and women of our forces by sea, by land, and in the air…

Enable us to guard for the least among us the freedom we covet for ourselves…

Preserve our union against all the divisions of race and class which threaten it…

May the blessing of God Almighty rest upon this whole land;

May He give us light to guide us, courage to support us, charity to unite us.'”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.


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