Saturday, April 4, 2015

Congress, please un-trump the US Constitution

This is commentary after The Advocate’s “Our Views: A grim Good Friday, 1865,” April 2, 2015, online at . “On Good Friday 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln was fatally wounded at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He died the next day, his martyrdom on Easter weekend providing an eerie parallel with the biblical theme of suffering and redemption.”
I appreciate The Advocate for the reminder of the enigma that was Abraham Lincoln and his tragic end. I wonder to what they apply the term “martyr.” It’s only their opinion, but I’d like to know. I could not apply it for the black-skinned people[1], for religion, or for the US Constitution; perhaps for political ambition. Lincoln sacrificed the US Constitution by trumping it with the Declaration of Independence, I speculate for political reasons. Regardless, I want Congress to reverse Lincoln’s error.

Unfortunately, Lincoln did not have the benefit of the ethics of physics to help him think clearly about the humanity of inhabitants--both slave and free--who happen to have black skin. DNA informs us that each person in 2015 came from the same couple some 200,000 years ago: Everyone knows everyone is kin. Thomas Paine knew of the kinship in 1775[2].

With extreme political ambition and frustrated with an amendable US Constitution respecting slavery, Lincoln revised interpretation of history by referencing the Declaration of Independence. He cited the claim by elite patriots in the thirteen states’ against the King of England: “all men are created equal,” to oppose the 1857 Dred Scott decision. The Supreme Court decided that a black person cannot be a citizen and therefore cannot sue in federal court. So much for Supreme Court infallibility! But Lincoln’s mistake of trumping the Constitution he claimed to defend will continue to interfere with governance of by and for a people[3] until Congress separates the Declaration from Constitutional debate.

Lincoln continued to trump the US Constitution with the Declaration of Independence throughout his presidency. His “four score and twenty years,” in the Gettysburg Address references 1776, when thirteen independent states declared war on England, not 1788 when 70% of the thirteen states ratified the US Constitution and continued its specification until 1791, adding the Bill of Rights and forming a nation.

Lincoln made his contradiction permanently codified, so far, during Nevada’s bid for statehood, the 36th admittance. Lincoln insisted that the Nevada State Constitution include the essence of the Declaration of Independence. Then he convinced Congress to pass an act requiring all new states to comply. Thus, fifteen states have such State Constitutions.[4]

After reading seven biographies, I have not noted evidence that Lincoln had a personal god, humbling as his life was. Nothing speaks better to this issue than his addendum to a review of discussions the evening before April 4, 1864 (151 years ago today) in his letter to Albert G. Hodges[5]. Paraphrasing, Lincoln said, the North’s god and the South’s god is responsible for the ruin this nation suffered; however, people will not learn from it: The people will continue to use “the justice and goodness” of their gods to alienate each other. Congress’s gods are imposed on the people today.
I wonder how history would have played out if Lincoln had not used the Declaration of Independence for Lincoln's political purposes.

I call on Congress to initiate action to clarify: that the Declaration of Independence was a document that officially alienated the thirteen independent states of 1776 from England pending the outcome of ongoing war; that winning the war for independence (thanks to France) motivated George Washington in his 1783 Farewell to the Continental Army to address citizens respecting domestic peace and justice (see his four pillars); that the 1783 Treaty of Paris’s wording respecting thirteen independent states instead of the Continental Congress proves the world did not yet recognize a nation in this country; that subsequent state squabbles and low global respect led the delegates to the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia to specify separation from central government for the states to representative governance of by and for a people to supervise both their state and their federal governments; that 70% of the states ratified the 1787 Constitution, provided that a Bill of Rights be added; that 75% of fourteen states ratified the complete Constitution of 1891; that some states in 1860 referenced the 1783 Treaty of Paris to refute their own commitments of 1777 and 1787 through 1791 and that the 1787 document nullified the King's words. For these reasons, the Declaration of Independence is null and void respecting governance of by and for a people and can no longer be used for domestic alienation: The United States Constitution is the sole document that empowers governance of by and for a people in the United States of America. If a constitutional amendment is required to undo Lincoln’s error, so be it. 
Copyright©2015 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included.

[1] Jon Swaine, “Abraham Lincoln 'wanted to deport slaves' to new colonies ,” February 11, 2011, online at .
[2] Thomas Paine, “African Slavery in America.” March 8, 1775. Online at .
[3] This paraphrases Lincoln’s poetry in the Gettysburg Address, with “the people” revised to “a people.”
[4] John Eastman, “The Declaration of Independence As Viewed From the States” March 27, 2014, online at .