Eternal Vigilance. . . and rallies

So, I attended a rally today. . . and it was pretty wonderful. I’ve been reluctant to go….to step back into “activism” after my old Common Core fighting days, but it’s time….time to take every opportunity to make those “silent majority” voices heard. So I went out of “duty” but I left SO encouraged – dare I say inspired : )

To my very pleasant surprise, the organizers were three adorable mamas who are just fed up…who want to raise their kids in freedom, to pass on the heritage of liberty that they grew up with. The attendees: some politically active who seemed right at home, but many who I visited with didn’t know a soul and had never been to something like this before. What a great sign!

The purpose: to announce a lawsuit against the City of Jacksonville opposing the mayor’s “proclamation” regarding mandatory universal masking. Now, before you tune me out – no matter where you stand on this particular issue….please hear me out. You see, we’re facing a threat much scarier than COVID-19 . . . and that’s a runaway civil government operating FAR outside the boundaries of the US and Florida Constitutions. If we don’t put a stop to it now, we’ll face much greater infringements than universal masking in the future.

It’s time to remind ourselves - or learn ….what is the role of civil government?

America was founded on the idea of individual liberty and SELF-government. That means personal responsibility, but to be RESPONSIBLE for anything you also have to have AUTHORITY over it. So, if SELF-government is the goal…the only way that works is if you limit the powers of the CIVIL government. And that’s exactly what our founders did.

This is why….when you look at both the federal Constitution and our Florida constititution (and you should- see links in comments), you’ll find that they are LIMITING documents. The people of the newly formed thirteen states well-remembered the recent infringements of the king and Parliament and the bloodshed and destruction that ensued when the means of petitioning prescribed in English law failed to bring the king back “under the law.”

These new Americans very purposefully designed a governing document based on what’s called negative law. I know that’s not a term we’ve been taught and it sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually the best possible kind! Simply put, negative law means that ALL liberties are retained by you unless the law specifically says “NO.” One place where we see this articulated is in the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment, part of what we call the "Bill of Rights." It says: “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” Basically, they’re saying: “We’ve listed a few things in this document as powers belonging to the federal government and we’ve forbidden the States from doing a couple of things to avoid confusion (those are the “negatives” or the “NOs”) . . .but OTHER THAN THOSE THINGS – the world is your oyster!”

So again “negative law” was what was applied to “we the people” – we get ALL rights unless the Constitution or local law says “NO.” The presumption of rights in our constitutional republic is always on the side of the people. (By the way, this was exactly the system God set up in the Garden of Eden: “You may eat from every tree EXCEPT. . .”)

At the same time, what was laid out in the Constitution was “positive law” applied to the civil government. Basically, they CAN’T do anything unless it says “YES” in the document and then ONLY those things. They are a LIMITED civil government. As my students have heard many times in reference to the congressional powers spelled out in Article 1, Section 8: “If it ain’t on the list, they ain’t got the power!”

It’s a brilliant system – carefully designed for a self-governed people to maintain their liberties and keep their civil government in check! But we have not been vigilant. Instead, we were brought up thinking that if we just voted for the “right” people, they’d do their jobs and protect us. Sadly, that is