Our Constitution Today

Thinking of the future of America we tend to conceive of it in light of the past. Today that is impossible to do in that fundamentals are missing. In our past our nation was guided and governed according to our Constitution. Today that vital document is being ignored or circumvented. Our Federal government is engaging in activities never authorized by our Constitution. Some are even in conflict with our Constitution.
President John Quincy Adams delivered an address entitled “The Jubilee of the Constitution: A Discourse.” The occasion was the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington, April 30, 1839. Therein Adams spoke of the condition of the country which in ways mirrors our’s today and the intended purpose of the Constitution:
“The nation fell into an atrophy. The Union languished to the point of death. A torpid numbness seized upon all its faculties. A chilling cold indifference crept from its extremities to the center. The system was about to dissolve in its own imbecility – impotence in negotiation abroad – domestic insurrection at home, were on the point of bearing to a dishonorable grave the proclamation of a government founded on the rights of man, when a convention of delegates from eleven of the thirteen states, with George Washington at their head, sent forth to the people, an act to be made their own, speaking in their name and in the first person, thus: ‘We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.’”
Regarding the emergence of the Union Adams spoke of the people appealing to “the omnipotence of the God of battles.”
That is another variable making foreseeing what is ahead for America more difficult. Adams like presidents before him and the populace in general had a God orientation. They were not all Christians by any means but with rare exception they had a biblical world view. Today even the phrase “the God of Nature and (of) Nature’s God” is railed against.
John Adams, Washington’s successor wrote, “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the governing of any other.”
There is another variable. By no means can the moral climate of America be described as “a moral and religious people.”
John Adams was a man of faith who strongly considered becoming a minister. He devoted time four days a week to the study of Scripture. He was more than a tinkling symbol when he wrote Thomas Jefferson on October 7, 1818, a warning that needs to be heeded today: “Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?And without virtue, there can be no political liberty.”
Virtue has been vanquished and political expediency enthroned. Not by all but obviously by the majority.
The variables noted here are: a change of regard for Constitutional government, change in regard to a God orientation,
our general classification can no longer be considered as a moral and religious people, and a diminution of virtue.
These changes in our culture make it impossible to predict our future based on our past.
Or as a frightful afterthought perhaps they can.