28 Principles That Helped Build America – Chapter 19 – Principle #19

Efficiency and Dispatch Require Government To Operate According to the Will of the Majority, but Constitutional Provisions Must Be Made to Protect the Rights of the Minority.


Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous man is a guide to his friend, but the path of the wicked leads them astray.” (TEV version)


During the Revolutionary War some vital changes needed to be made in the Articles of Confederation, but it was also discovered that a single state could prevent the change from happening. What was discovered was that unanimity is ideal, but can be disastrous in a time of calamity, and in those circumstances majority rule becomes a necessity.


John Locke brought out how it was almost impossible to continually have “unanimous consent,” because of a number of factors – like health, family matters, business, etc. which could keep some away from the assembly where decisions are made. In times of crisis this could be disastrous.


Therefore, in the Constitution provision was incorporated in the text where it would take two thirds of the majority for a decision to be made – such as overriding a Presidential veto – but it would be considered dangerous when applied to the routine business of Congress. In other words, a small minority could seek to control the opinion of the majority by tying everything up in tedious delays, continual negotiation and end up being detrimental to the public good.


However, the Founding Fathers knew what tyrannical conduct of a Parliament can do to the rights of minorities. In his first inaugural address Thomas Jefferson said: “All, who, will bear in mind this sacred principle – that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail – that will be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possesses the equal rights, equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”


When we stop and think about it that every ethnic group in America was once a minority. We are literally a nation of minorities. It is the responsibility of the minorities themselves to learn the language, seek education and become self-sustaining in order to be an asset to the community. Those who are already well-established can help. The reputation of the United States, perhaps more than any other nation, has been generous and helpful to newcomers.


The body of Christ, especially in the Western world, has a tremendous opportunity as well as responsibility to help those who are coming into our Western civilization to adapt and become an asset to our nation. We also have the opportunity to present the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The inscription on the Statue of Liberty says: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” I believe that many who are wanting to come in want to be able to breathe free!

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