Today in History
pledge allegiance to the flag and to the... you hear the word every day,
"democracy." What is being referred to? Our form of government?
So, when did our country become a "democracy"?
so, what do we mean by democracy? The word itself is a combination
of two Greek words: "demos"-people; and "chrateow"-
to govern. A democracy, then, is a government for the people, by the
people. Webster defines it as follows:
form of government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands
of the people collectively, or in which people exercise the power of
legislation. Such was the government of Athens. (Emphasis mine.
No elected representatives chosen by the people act for them. Rather, the people themselves enforce the laws.
This is government
"by the people, for the people." When was the last time
you wrote and enacted any of the laws of our country? And do we
punish law-breakers with out "due process"? Do we not choose men
to represent us for these things? Do not we pride ourselves on
having a representative form of government?
may then, say, "We have a democracy
but not a pure democracy." Is not that saying we have something
different? If it is not "pure," it must be different.
Lincoln (quoting 13th century John Wycliff) spoke of our government
as being, "Of the people, by the people, and for the people,
..." Of the people, adds a new element. It is not merely by and
for (as in a democracy), but of or from among- representatives
chosen from among us, a representative form of government.
new dimension has been added for, having others represent us, it
follows that, first, those men chosen by the people are acting only
under delegated authority. They are servants (oftentimes referred to
as civil servants). Delegated authority is always delegated down and
is never as extensive as that vested in those who delegated the
authority. Our representatives in congress, in our state assemblies,
or in local civil government do not exercise the authority of a
father, corporation president, chairman of the board, an elder of a
church, etc. No, their delegated authority is carefully defined and
confined to specific areas by those
who delegate it.
the people adopted guidelines which our delegated authorities must
follow: one, a constitution and, two, bylaws. The constitution gives
the purpose for organizing and the kinds of officers, their duties,
and their limits. Ours is a government of law: chosen men, acting
under delegated authority, regulated by the laws of the Constitution
of the United States of America. Our Founders created, as Benjamin
Franklin stated, " A republic, if you can keep it."
Skelton - Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance
Question: "...(T)he very
definition of a republic is ' an empire of laws, and not of men.
..' [and] that form of government which is best contrived to
secure an impartial and exact execution of the laws. is the best
of republics." He who said this "was a great writer and
debater on matters of civil government as well as a great
Christian statesman who was never self-conscious about this, he
was a strong defender of
Biblical principles of government in the years before the
Revolutionary War, appointed by the Continental Congress as
Ambassador to France and Holland, helped negotiate our Peace
Treaty with Gr. Britain, was our first Vice President and our
second President." "...A letter written in 1776 became,
as a result of its popularity and well thought out ideas on civil
government, a pamphlet, ‘Thoughts on Government’" by John
Adams defining a republic. Quoted in Peabody, James Griffith, John
Adams-A Biography in His Own Words, Newsweek, 1973, p. 183
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