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I will be speaking about my book In God We Trusted: Mississippi's Constitution and the Restoration of America at the Pass Christian Historical Society luncheon. Come join us on March 23, 2015 at noon.  Visit www.passhistory.org to register and get ditrections.

February is Black History month. While many bad things have happened in America's past concerning people whose ancestry goes back to slavery, American history is what it is and it includes both the good and the bad. Today all we hear is the bad when it comes citizens of African descent.

First of all, prior to 1776, we were subjects of Great Britain and not free to make our own laws without repeal from a king 3,000 miles away. Slavery was a British institution. The South Seas Trading Company held a grant from Parliament for a monopoly on the slave trade, i.e. crony capitalism. In return for this monopoly, SSTC paid Parliament £250,000 annually which was used to pay Britain's enormous debt. 

Thomas Jefferson in 1768 drafted and passed a bill in Virginia for the abolishment of the slave trade in that colony. This bill was unanimous and was signed by George Washington. Consequently, King George III instantly vetoed the bill. Most of the other colonies passed similar acts with the same results. The veto against ending the slave trade in America was one of the causes of separation in the Declaration of Independence.

Mindful of the slavery issue, the signers of the Declaration of Independence used the phrase "pursuit of Happiness" instead of "property" as a God given right. Slavery was also the source of the first reason for separation, "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

Our nation's Founders were well aware of the problems posed by the slavery issue. We can look back and blame them for its being part of America's origins. The truth of the matter was that they did everything possible to end its existence from the beginning. Succeeding generations failed to follow the "original intent" of the Founders and we are well aware of the cost in blood that it took to end an institution that was contrary to the Declaration of Independence.

Today we face many challenges of our own. Thank God that slavery is no longer one of them. Every American now has the freedom and responsibility to make the most of that freedom that was so dearly purchased by those who have gone before us. Freedom is not cheap or easy but it is worth the challenge. Freedom is an individual responsibility. It requires as in the words of George Washington "the great American experiment is whether man can truly govern himself."

The purpose of Bill of Rights is to insure that the legislature cannot bring these issues up for debate.  They are specified rights that are limited to the States, Federal Bill of Rights, or to the people themselves, State Bill of Rights. Yet we are bombarded every day on gun "control" by our elected officials.  Therefore it has become necessary for us to continue to fight for these rights against unauthorized acts of our legislatures.  Why should we ever have to petition any legislator to put pressure on him/her to simply honor their oath of office?  The problem is simple.  We continue to elect individuals whose positions we do not know before we send them to office.  Personal protection is the first law of nature.  It is a God given right and responsibility and should never be "infringed" i.e. limited in any way.

We constantly here pundits say that there is no provision in the US Constitution for anything dealing with education.  Article IV Sec. 3 gives Congress the authority to regulate American territories and the rules for a territory to become a new state in union with the original 13.  This set of requirements is contained in a document called the Northwest Ordinance.  Originally drafted by Thomas Jefferson, it was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1787 and readopted by the first session of the US Congress under the Constitution. Essentially it required any new state to continue "the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and constitutions are erected." Sec. 14. It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid, That the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact between the original States and the people and States in the said territory and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit: ... Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
Read that carefully.  States are to teach "religion, morality and knowledge" in their schools or that state cannot be admitted into the union of the original 13. Why? The fundamental principles that the original states had fought and won a revolution to establish were to "remain unalterable" and were "necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind." We must ask the question every time we speak about education, are we doing what is constitutionaly required?  Do we have good government and are our people happy?  The answer is simple.  Instead of being a requirement in education, religion and morality, are forbidden from our public schools.  It was in direct opposition to the Progressive thinking taking hold in America in the late 1800s that Mississippi amemnded its Bill of Rights to include, Art. 3 Sec. 18, that we would not "exclude the Holy Bible from use in any public school of this State."  That folks is why modern "Common Core" should be totally scrapped and the constitutional mandate of "religion, morality and knowlege" must be returned to our classrooms.  It is a constitutional requirement.  Our elected officials swear an oath to defend it yet they continue to ignore it. If these things were not plainly written in our Constitution, I would not know to fight for them the way I do. Until repealed by the people of MS, the law strands as written. Time to elect people who understand and take their oath seriously, "so help me God."