Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 10:11

The Committee

Written by 

 The committee

The notes from the committee that met before the final draft of the constitution can be found at James Madison's notes give us a picture of the minds of those who formed the draft of the constitution and in some cases the minds of who sent them, the people they represented. For example: from the Friday night discussion of September the 14th 1787; “Mr. KING. The States will be prejudiced and divided into parties by it. In Philada. & New York, It will be referred to the establishment of a Bank, which has been a subject of contention in those Cities. In other places it will be referred to mercantile monopolies.” ***

Reading Madison's notes is much like hearing the conversations of a committee that writes or rewrites a church's or non profit's by-laws. They meet discuss, edit, agree and disagree and then bring a draft for voting to the congregation or group. As our members consider the nature of the by-laws they think about how the church or organization is going to run, the agreements and objections some members might have, models of other by-laws, what is right and not right, and how to protect the organization and the members structurally. Protection from within and externally. This comparison points to the nature of the constitution being a document of structure; how the country will operate, how the philosophy of representational democracy will be enacted, and how there is built into the very structure protections of the State in relation to the Federal government, protections of the individual from both the State and Federal government, protections from the different subgroups that make up the whole.

One thing you will not find in the Constitution are protections for the Earth. Yet indirectly they are there: When as the Declaration of Independence declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, ....... laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Our unalienable Rights, the right of “Life, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, Safety and Happiness,” require a healthy Earth to be actualized. One day these Rights might be more directly in the laws of our land in the form of: Every component of the Earth community has three rights: the right to be, the right to habitat, and the right to fulfill its role in the ever-renewing processes of the Earth community. We are on our way but not there yet. I wonder what the formation committee conversation would be like to include these rights in our Constitution?




 ***We are particularly interested in Friday night September the 14th as it deals with incorporation and who will mange the corporations the Federal government or the State. We know that in 1819 John Marshall brings the Federal government into the managing of contracts and corporations under the federal government's authority, a shift, I believe, from the intention of the constitution. And it honored a charter signed by King George in the 1750's against the people of New Hampshire. I thought King George's rule was one of the reasons for the revolutionary war. A decision by the New Hampshire State legislature was invalidated and the signature of King George once again ruled the people of the USA. ** Whose side are they on anyway?

**Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 518 (1819), was a landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court dealing with the application of the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution to private corporations. The case arose when the president of Dartmouth College was deposed by its trustees, leading to the New Hampshire legislature attempting to force the college to become a public institution and thereby place the ability to appoint trustees in the hands of the governor. The Supreme Court upheld the sanctity of the original charter of the college, which pre-dated the creation of the State. The decision settled the nature of public versus private charters and resulted in the rise of the American business corporation and the free American enterprise system.


Rev. Gregory Wilson



Last modified on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 10:26
Greg Wilson

Ask Gregory

A progressive advice column must deal with at least two areas of life. One is the interaction of relationships, the every day moving about of families and couples, individual growth and the struggles we all go through as we pass through time. The second area is how culture, laws, religion, and social constructs affect our daily living. For example, “How do I deal with my Christian fundamentalist brother?” or “How do I introduce my family to my partner of four years knowing they supported Amendment Two?” Some of the issues we deal with are unique and I hope in this column our community finds a place to deal with that uniqueness. There have been moments in my life where a word, a comment from some one at the right time made a difference in how I saw a situation and the decisions I made. The older I become the more I realize the wisdom in listening. Decisions that seem important, or seem unimportant, can influence years of a persons life.

Dr. Gregory Wilson’s D. Min. is in Pastoral Psychotherapy


Login to post comments
You are here: Home Articles The Committee