Sacred Honor: Our Oath to Support and Defend
In 1776, an extraordinary group of men signed a document that affirmed their God-given right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” By attaching their signatures to our great Declaration of Independence, they, in effect, were signing their death warrants.
Indeed, the last line of our Declaration reads, “For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Many of these men, and many of their countrymen, the first generation of American Patriots, would die fighting for American liberty.
A decade later, their liberty having been won at great cost, our Founders further codified their independence and interdependence by instituting yet another historic document, our Constitution.
Our Constitution, as written and ratified, stipulates in its preface that it is “ordained and established” by the people to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” To that end, it established a Republic, not a popular democracy, which is to say it affirmed the primacy of Rule of Law over rule of men.
Accordingly, the first order of business for those elected to national office is that they be bound by oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution under which they were duly elected.
For those elected to the presidency, Article II, Section 1, which specifies: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Likewise Article VI, clause three specifies: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…
Commissioned and enlisted military personnel are also required by statute to “solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”, though the officer's oath doesn't include any provision that they obey orders.
Against all enemies, foreign and domestic…
Notably, all these oaths mandate the preservation, protection, support and defense of our Constitution as ratified, not the so-called “living constitution” as amended by judicial activists populating what Thomas Jefferson predicted would become “the despotic branch.”
While uniformed Americans serving our nation defend our Constitution with their lives, most elected officials debase it with all manner of extra-constitutional empowerment of the central government, not the least of which is the forced redistribution of income to benefit their constituency groups which, in turn, dutifully re-elect them.
Military service personnel who violate the Constitution are remanded for courts-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, while politicians who violate the Constitution are remanded for – re-election.
On that note, the latest crop of Leftists on their way to Washington under the supervision of President-elect Barack Obama are destined to make a greater mockery of our Constitution than any administration in history. Clearly, Obama and his ilk have no history of honoring, or intention to honor, their oaths and, in fact, have no context for such honor.
A small cadre of liberals who believe themselves to be “patriots” have asked, “Can't I be a bona fide Patriot and support Barack Obama?”
In a word … NO, unless in a state of solemn repentance.
In the spirit of charity, perhaps Obama supporters, who self-identify as patriots, are just grossly misinformed about our Constitution, our history and their own civic duty. Of course, they would likewise be grossly deluded about their identity, but perhaps the delusion is temporary.
I would suggest that Obama “patriots” are nothing more than “sunshine patriots,” as Thomas Paine wrote, who “will in crisis, shrink from the service of his country.”
At its core, the word “patriot” has direct lineage to those who fought for American independence and established our constitutional republic. That lineage has descended most directly through our history with those who have been entrusted “to support and defend” our Constitution – more specifically, those who have been faithful to, and have abided by, that oath. As previously noted, by “our Constitution,” I am referring to the United States Constitution, not the adulterated vestigial remains that liberals call “the living constitution.”
I have taken oaths nine times in the service of my community, my state and my country. But I did not have to take an oath to understand my obligations as a citizen “to support and defend” our Constitution.
So, does the title of “Patriot” apply to an individual who votes for a man who has not honored his public oaths of office previously, and has given no indication he intends to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same” as president – a man who subscribes to the errant notion of a “living constitution” which, in his own words, “breaks free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution”?
No authentic Patriot would support those who violate their sacred oaths.
Unfortunately, in this most recent election, we saw even a handful of flag-rank military officers who have no more reverence for their oaths than Obama. However, they are the exception, not the rule.
Obama's mantra, “change,” is a euphemism for constitutional abrogation – an incremental encroachment on liberty until, at last, liberty is lost.
Our nation's second president, John Adams, warned, “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
As for Obama's deception about his own patriotic pedigree, I commend the words of our nation's first president, George Washington: “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. …[W]here is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths…?”
Regarding the Presidential Oath of Office, Justice Joseph Story wrote: “[T]he duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will 'preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.' The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose.” He wrote further that if the president does not honor his oath, his office “will be utterly worthless for … the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people.”
Of course, Barack Obama proposes to further constrain the rights of the people by advancing centralized government control by way of economic regulation and forced income redistribution, all in the name of “happiness, good order, and safety of the people,” but in direct violation of his oath.
Some have suggested that since the election is over and Obama is the victor, we should accord him the honor due his office. But if he does not honor his constitutional oath, why would anyone extend him the honor of its highest constitutional office? Indeed, anyone having take that oath would be in direct violation of its mandate to “support and defend THE Constitution” should they support extra-Constitutional orders from superiors who do not honor their sacred oath.