The Constitution, Liberty, and Apples of Gold in Trays of Silver

As I write this yesterday, September 17, 2017 was Constitution Day, officially recognized by Congress commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

It, like Independence Day and Presidents Day, commemorates our American heritage.

But did the newspapers in your area make mention of it yesterday?  Here, where I live in Southeast Texas, I did not see anything in the Houston Chronicle.  How about other media?

Strange.  Very strange.

Constitutional liberty is the bedrock of our nation’s freedom and prosperity.

And yet, compared to other “news”, hardly a word spoken.

As Americans and for those aspiring to be American citizens we would do well to know our United States Constitution.

And recognize that the U.S. Constitution is integrally connected to another historic document, the Declaration of Independence, two documents which are to function as one unit providing the guiding principles for our nation in the Declaration and the structure or means for carrying out those guiding principles in the U.S. Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln understood this relationship. Alluding to words of King Solomon as found in Proverbs 25:11 that “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver,” Lincoln saw the transcendent principles of the Declaration as the apples, the Constitution as the setting of silver and asserted, “The picture was made for the apple – not the apple for the picture.”

Those timeless truths and the legal document designed to put those timeless truths into action, the U.S. Constitution, are both under attack, sometime subtly, other times overtly.  Reputedly, upon coming out of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government was determined and responded, “a republic, if you can keep it.”

Stay tuned as we look further at the apple of gold, the setting of silver, and our need to be watchfully attentive and active in the century long battle to forge a “new republic” transforming our constitutional republic unless we can keep it.  As an aphorism wisely warns, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Peter Johnston is the Scholar in Residence for the Chesapeake Energy School of Business. Peter serves as president of The Joseph Group providing research and consulting services in law, education and public policy. He is an adjunct faculty member for Oklahoma Wesleyan University including course development and both graduate and undergraduate online instruction. As past president of Texas Center for Family Rights, he was instrumental in forming the 501(c)(3) public interest organization which served to promote, protect, and preserve the Texas family through research, education, and public policy. Peter currently also serves as a Colson Fellow with the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Cornell University, a Bachelor of Biblical Studies from The Way College of Emporia, a Juris Doctor from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, and a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma Wesleyan. His passion to help train and equip 21st century leaders to respectfully and effectively engage culture with the truth of God’s Word and Lordship of Jesus Christ, his work experience, and academic background make him uniquely qualified to serve with the Chesapeake Energy School of Business and the Keating Center.

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