We Were Warned About the Despotic Ruling Class

Ramon Arias | March 24, 2014

The concern is growing on how the Constitution is being ignored for the most part by the majority of government officials and judges who legislate from the bench.

The three branches of government were created as checks and balances to restrain power. It has not worked, not because it is not clear in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights what the law should be and what it should do.  It is out of control because the majority of elected and appointed officials have determined to shred the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in order to legislate according to the interests that go against the spirit of the law for the well-being of a healthy society.  What is worse is that people who elected them have allowed this to happen and now we have to fight for the soul of the nation.

When we are specifically informed about anything that could go wrong and we ignore it, are apathetic toward it or plainly refuse to heed the warnings we have no one to blame but ourselves.  Even if someone disagrees, this does not change the outcome because the social cultural results speak for themselves—such is the tragic and hurtful situation of America today.

One generation after another buried the wisdom found in the warnings given to and by the generation who saw the birth of the nation. We are coming up on 227 years since the dangers of a despotic government were clearly stated. The only ones who do not suffer the wrath of the ruling and cultural elite in a despotic form of government are those who are well connected to them. I did not make that one up just check history—it’s a fact!

Who warned us of the dangers of such an atrocious government and why? None other than the man who contributed much to society through his scientific discoveries; his intellectual prowess to solve many social and international problems; his exemplary commitment to public life; his involvement in drafting of the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance, the Treaty of Goodwill and Commerce with France (1778), the U.S. Constitution (1787), and negotiated the Treaty of Paris in 1783 which ended the Revolutionary War.  This 81 year old and physically weak man was Benjamin Franklin. The day of the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, unable to stand, he was carried into the Convention hall where he wanted to give a speech before the signing of the final draft of the Constitution and asked his Pennsylvanian friend James Wilson to deliver the speech for him.

I will mention small portions of the speech with the hope you will analyze the rest of the speech in depth:

“I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others….

In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Franklin acknowledged there were several parts to the Constitution he did not approve of, nonetheless he encouraged the delegates to sign it. Contrary to the opinion of so many Americans, Benjamin Franklin did not believe the Constitution was a “sacred document” but one that was needed at the time to conform a civil government that had never existed in human history. He knew that not all of the Founding Fathers agreed upon the best form of government to bring all the independent states under one central federal government. He was well aware of all the disagreements, conflicts, different understandings and vision for the future of the new nation between the Federalists (those in favor of a strong central or federal government) and anti-Federalists (those who wanted a small central government so it would not encroach on the rights of individuals to govern themselves).

Franklin was not blinded by the historical moment and he emphasized that civil government can only be a blessing to the people if well administered; failure to do so would only end in despotism. He made reference to other forms of government and societies of the past that became very corrupted and in need of a despotic government because people become incapable of producing anything better than who they are.

Eleven years before Franklin’s speech to the members of the Convention his close friend John Witherspoon, who was a prominent Founding Father, educator and mentor to several of America’s Founders, and a renowned theologian from Scotland said:

“Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction. A good form of government may hold the rotten materials together for some time, but beyond a certain pitch, even the best constitution will be ineffectual, and slavery must ensue.” – 1776

The signers of the Constitution had strong Christian convictions; this is not to say they were without mistakes, this includes the well-known ones and beloved of the Founding Fathers that became presidents and contradicted their beliefs with some of their decisions while serving in government.  Franklin was aware of their Christian convictions but was not so much interested in promoting anyone’s denomination other than acknowledging God’s providence and involvement in the making of a nation. This idea can best be described at the beginnings of the Constitutional Convention June 28, 1787 when the delegates could not find common ground in coming up with a document, in those critical moments he told them, according to James Madison’s notes: 

“Mr. President

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other-our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service”

And they did just that—every morning they had their prayer meeting. We must not ignore the fact that the delegates to the Convention were well aware of God’s divine intervention throughout the war with Britain when they diligently sought Him out and prayed to Him and asked for His knowledge to establish a nation with a foundation that would secure posterity and not collapse as so many great nations and empires in the past had done becoming a laughingstock.   

On August 21, 1789, the House of Representatives adopted the Bill of Rights consisting of Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution. James Madison is credited along with others who made them possible. These amendments were included to protect God-given rights of the people from government interference. These are rights that belong to the people such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to have a trial by jury, the right to not incriminate oneself and many other rights.

Notice the importance of the order in the amendments: the first was about religion and free speech, RELIGION is mentioned first. The Founding Fathers did not forget the reason the forefathers left England to expand the Kingdom of God in all areas of life and society (this includes politics as part of God’s plan of redemption) and leave behind religious and politically oppressive central forms of government and state church. 

Benjamin Franklin was unsuccessful when proposing the American Great Seal that had Pharaoh being swallowed by the Red Sea along with the words: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” We desperately needed that seal with those words.  It is a shame that those who rejected the proposal were so narrow minded, even though they called themselves Christians. What a powerful daily reminder that could have been for all Americans and the nations to be on guard against any segment of civil government attempting to take God Almighty’s place in society. That declaration would have left no room for wrong philosophies or religions to dominate culture. Now we have to battle humanist dominion that seeks to silence the Biblical Faith that built the early colonies and nation.    

Is America on the brink of dying or resetting her story? Those who profess to be on God’s side by living reformed lives, having reformed homes and social institutions will determine that. They will take to heart the warning that a despotic ruling class can only be sustained by a despotic society.  To ignore the warning constitutes you as part of that despotic society.

This present generation of Christians has a responsibility no less than those who resisted living under an oppressive State and Church in 1620 and 1776.  Each one of us has the responsibility to know the condition of the Union, Church, society and the world and resolve in their hearts to reform and heal culture with the Gospel of the Kingdom. 

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers,” Psalm 1:1-3.

“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:10.