Next Monday is Constitution Day, the 231st anniversary of the day our great United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. It should be as important a national holiday as Independence Day. Our Constitution is, really, the most unique in the world. Most Western democracies have constitutions that are lists of what government can do for individuals. Our U.S. Constitution is a document setting forth what government cannot do to individuals. It recognizes our rights derive from God – not the government. That’s the fundamental difference. And that’s why our Constitution is the fountainhead of our great liberties – religious, political, and economic.
Let’s examine some of the unique traits of our Constitution as we prepare to celebrate it next week!
Our Constitution is based on the sovereignty of the people. The Preamble identifies the source of government’s political power as “we the people,” making government the servant of the people, not our master. We have a written Constitution. That means we have a government whose powers and limitations are defined on paper. Don’t believe liberal lies: it is absolutely not a “living” document open to total judicial reinterpretation. Our Constitution created a government of limited powers. This is the unique concept — that the federal government possesses only the listed powers, with everything else remaining in the hands of the people or the states. There are some things our government cannot do even with the support of the majority of the people.
Our Constitution is also based on the Separation of Powers, so that one branch cannot become powerful enough to gobble up the others, and each branch can serve as a check on the others. Our Constitution is based on economic freedom. It protects the opportunity to engage freely in any business, trade, occupation or profession, the right to own private property, and the right to make contracts that will be enforced. And our Constitution sets up our representative government under constitutional procedures and restraints. The powers of government are exercised only by our elected representatives.
Across all of history, our American Constitution is unique. Its lasting freedom deserves to be celebrated!