The Fourth of July is a date that commemorates the first of America’s three founding documents, the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were both written after our successful War of Independence followed by the failure of our first national government under the Articles of Confederation. While each document has a specific purpose and unique content, all three must be read and studied as a single unit to understand the philosophy of our nation and our founders’ vision for America’s future.
The Declaration of Independence is a statement of our founders’ belief in government based on Natural Law Rights, a definitive moral code, and the dignity and value of each human life.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governedDeclaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
This excerpt from the Declaration clearly defines their belief system that each individual, fundamentally equal in value, possesses divine rights that cannot be altered, amended, or abolished by acts of man. Moreover, it is the duty and function of government to protect and secure those rights in order to earn the consent of those it intends to govern.
The consent of the governed is clearly linked to protecting and securing the natural law rights of the citizens. Not everyone will agree with every decision made by governmental bodies. As long as those decisions do not abolish or diminish constitutionally guaranteed rights, however, redress of grievances should be satisfied by petition or the election of different representatives.
The body of the Constitution is the basic “owners’ manual” for the federal government. It outlines the relationship among the branches of government and sets out their limitations of power and responsibility. Ideally, the federal government was designed to balance popular power, state power, executive power, all kept in check by an unbiased judiciary. Over the past one hundred years, many of these mechanisms have been abolished or corrupted and the checks and balances eliminated as part of the collectivist agenda to establish one world socialist governance.
For you and me, however, the Bill of Rights is where the rubber meets the road. This is the part of our Constitution that establishes the relationship between the Federal Government and We the People as individuals. It requires the federal government to protect and secure the rights that keep us free and maintain the power of states to act in the best interests of its citizens. The enumerated protections are based, in part, on actual abuses of power by the British soldiers occupying the colonies under King George. In a more general sense, the Bill of Rights is a list of the Natural Law Rights that our founders knew had to be protected to ensure the survival of our nation.
Most of us are willing to tolerate a wide range of behaviors and differences in our national population. The essence of tolerance and freedom is simply “live and let live” and The Golden Rule. The answer to the question, “Why can’t we all get along?” is really simple: “Stop trying to take away my rights as a free individual, stop making me pay for your world view, and we will get along just fine. Coexistence is a two way street.”
Adherence to the Bill of Rights is the foundation of that argument. It is with that goal, that the County Commission of Cherokee County, North Carolina, declared itself a Bill of Rights Sanctuary County with the following resolution passed on Monday June 28, 2021:
A Resolution Declaring Cherokee County, North Carolina, a Bill of Rights Sanctuary County
On behalf of the citizens of Cherokee County, North Carolina, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners affirm and accept the following as true:
1. The Declaration of Independence states that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, . . . to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men . . . deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed“
2. The Constitution of the United States is the Supreme Law of our nation
3. The North Carolina Constitution, Article I, Section 5, states: “Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force”
4. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Section 1, states: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
5. In Article IV, the Constitution requires the Federal Government to guarantee to each State a Republican Form of Government, not a Democracy, whereby the authority of government is derived from Consent of the Governed, each state has equal power as part of the whole, and the rights of the minority are protected against the tyranny of the majority.
6. A study of history demonstrates that it is the natural tendency of civil government to expand beyond the limits of its rightful Constitutional authority and to usurp powers which have not been given to it through the delegated consent of the governed.
7. Whenever the uses of government are perverted, individual sovereignty is overtly endangered or threatened, and all other means of redress are ineffective, the People may, and in fact ought to, force the reestablishment of the original constitutional limits of government.
8. Resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is the obligation of every individual. Moreover, it is the duty of the People of Cherokee County, through the actions of their lesser magistrates and local elected county officials to challenge the civil government when and where it exceeds or threatens to exceed the limits of its authority as required by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
9. Criminals do not obey laws. The criminal behavior of some individuals must not be used to justify curtailing or abolishing the unalienable, constitutionally-guaranteed rights of law abiding citizens. The last protectors of the US Constitution are We the People of the United States. Our ability to fulfill that role successfully rests on our Natural Law Rights and the written words and guarantees in our Constitution and The Bill of Rights.
10. Free individuals consent to be governed as long as the government protects and secures those unalienable rights guaranteed to each of us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
11. As written in The Bill of Rights:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in a militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
THEREFORE, the Board of Commissioners of Cherokee County, North Carolina resolve that Cherokee County, North Carolina, is hereby designated a
“Bill of Rights Sanctuary County”
in order to protect and preserve the Individual Rights of the Citizens of Cherokee County, as listed in The Bill of Rights, and to allow them to decide for themselves as free and sovereign individuals about matters which concern their lives, liberty, and property.
The U.S. Supreme Court found in Printz v. United States (1997) that the Federal government cannot compel law enforcement officers of the states to enforce federal laws as it would increase the power of the federal government far beyond that which the Constitution intends.
Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Cherokee County Government not to authorize the expenditure of or the appropriation of local government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of implementing or assisting in the enforcement of any federal acts, laws, orders, mandates, rules or regulations, that infringe on the rights of the people as enumerated and ratified in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.This resolution was assembled and written by Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, Chairman, Cherokee County Commission, using constitutional law references and is based in part on similar ordinances and resolutions from Scott County, Arkansas
As we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday weekend with family and friends, take a moment to remember and honor the founders of our nation who, with great hope for the future, gave us their plan for a constitutional republic based on a respect for and protection of the rights of each citizen against the tyranny of the majority.
Resist Tyranny and Trust in Freedom!