Concerned Americans Turn to the Constitution

It seems altogether fitting in this month of December that as the Nation officially celebrates the birth of the Savior of mankind, we reflect on the document that guarantees to us the opportunity to do so.

It was only about 50 years after the writing of the Constitution that a young twenty-six year-old Abraham Lincoln, then a member of the Illinois General Assembly, raised a warning voice about a trend he observed by those who would sidetrack America's great experiment of freedom.

Gratitude to the Founders for the Gift of Liberty

In a speech to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, entitled, The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions , Lincoln declared:

"We find ourselves in the peaceful possession, of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them-they are a legacy bequeathed us, by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors. Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only, to transmit these, the former, unprofaned by the foot of an invader; the latter, undecayed by the lapse of time, and untorn by usurpation-to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform."

From where should we expect the approach of danger?

In our comfortable circumstances, he asked if we should ever again be in danger of losing our freedom:

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a Trial of a thousand years.

"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

Lincoln then observes, ".there is, even now, something of ill-omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country.."

Freedom may slip away while citizens aren't watchful

"I know the American People are much attached to their Government; -- I know they would suffer much for its sake; -- I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come."

Let the Constitution become the Political Religion of the Nation

Young Abraham Lincoln then gives the answer which reflects his life's work until his tragic death:

"The question recurs 'how shall we fortify against it? The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; --let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap --let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; --let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; --let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars."

Americans Returning to Their Constitutional Roots

If President Lincoln were here today, no doubt his message would be the same, but with perhaps even more urgency. The good news is that more Americans than ever are becoming interested in learning about our Constitutional roots. Their hope is that perhaps in this inspired document lies answers to America's problems.

NCCS is has seen phenomenal growth in our teaching opportunities. In 2009, we taught 74 Making of America seminars in 30 states. In 2010, the number of seminars taught reached a record 164 in 40 states and the District of Columbia. On the following page you will see where we have been and the growing urge to learn about how the Founders would solve America problems.

Seminar Growth 

State

2009 Cities

2010 Cities

AK

 

Ketchikan

AL

Huntsville

Huntsville

AR

 

Mesa, Pocahontas, Searcy

AZ

Gilbert, Maricopa, Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson

Casa Grande, Cottonwood, Gilbert, Globe, Holbrook, Lakeside, Mesa, Payson, Phoenix, Prescott, Safford

CA

Sacramento

Crescent City, Escondido, Hemet, Oceanside, Palm Springs, Porterville, Redding, Roseville, San Jose, Santee, Sonora, Yreka, Yucaipa

CO

Durango, Grand Junction, Montrose

Colorado Springs, Delta, Loveland

CT

West Haven

Guilford, Pomfret, Quaker Hill, Windsor Locks

FL

Boca Raton, Cocoa Beach, Deland, Lake City, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa

Lakeland, Port Orange, Sarasota

GA

Atlanta, Newnan

Brunswick, Calhoun, Ellijay, Loganville

IA

Altoona,

Astoria, Cedar Rapids, Marion, Osceola

ID

Coeur D'Alene, Gooding, Idaho Falls, Sandpoint

Blackfoot, Burley, Sandpoint

IL

 

Springfield

IN

Huntington, Kendallville, Wabash

Columbus, Corydon, Elkhart, Evansville

KY

Lexington, Louisville

Henderson, LaGrange, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, Shelby County

LA

 

Baton Rouge, Houma

MA

Boston

 

MD

Washington DC

Frederick, Washington DC

ME

Lewiston

New Gloucester, Old Town

MI

Cedarville, Grand Rapids

Bay City, Big Rapids, Sault St. Marie, St. Joseph

MN

 

Minneapolis, St. Paul

MO

Festus, Joplin

Branson, Springfield

MT

 

Billings, Bozeman

NC

Ashville, Charlotte

Forest City, Raleigh, Washington

NJ

Montclair, Woodbury

Woodbury

NM

Albuquerque

Edgewood, Farmington

NV

Carson City

Carson City, Elko, Reno, Yerington

NY

 

Buffalo, Rochester, Vestal

OH

Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton

Canal Winchester, Canton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Elyria, Fairfield, Fincastle, Maria Stein, Painesville, Sidney

OK

 

Tulsa

OR

Portland, Salem

Astoria, Brookings, La Grange, Medford

PA

Dimock, Franklin, Greensburg

Dimock, Franklin, Greensburg, Lancaster, New Castle, Reynoldsville

SC

Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach

Rock Hill

SD

 

Rapid City

TN

Columbia

Athens, Gallatin, Lenoir City, Pulaski

TX

Austin, El Paso, Houston, Palestine, San Angelo, Tyler

Austin, Dallas, Denton County, Highland Village, Houston, Richmond, Victoria

UT

Midvale, New Harmony, Richfield, St. George

Grantsville, Layton, Morgan

VA

Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Manassas

Chesapeake, Manassas, Moneta, Sterling, Williamsburg

WA

Maple Valley, Tacoma

Bellingham, Friday Harbor, Kennewick, Richland

WI

Marshfield

Appleton, Milwaukee, Sheboygan

WV

 

Fairmont, St. Mary's

WY

 

Casper

  Many of the places listed have had more than one seminar. It seems that one seminar breeds others and we will be back in many of those same places next year.

Past Seminar hosts have valuable tips about holding a seminar.

If you are thinking of helping to host a seminar, you may go to our website,www.nccs.net/seminars and click on the link to our calendar and actually find the contact information for the hosts of past seminars. This is a great way to ask any questions you wish about any aspect of the seminar or perhaps team up with them for the next one in your area in the coming year.

How to get involved in helping to teach?

One of the frequently asked questions at our seminar is: How can I help teach these seminars? Here is the way I answer these inquiries:

NCCS is organized quite differently than most organizations. First of all, we have no employees. All of our teachers have other means of support and volunteer their time to teach our seminars. Some can do it more often than others but we seem to be able to cover our current requests. However, as you can tell, this nation needs a lot more teachers than what any one organization can provide. The Founders' message is one that all Americans need to hear and it will take thousands of teachers to accomplish this task. That's why every American needs to, first, learn the principles the Founders taught and then, second, teach them in any setting they can-in homes, in churches, in neighborhoods, etc. And so, there are many people who have attended our seminars who are doing just that. Our materials are packaged so that the message becomes teachable for nearly everyone who sincerely attempts to do it.

Having said that, when someone asks how he can become involved in teaching this material, my reply is very simple: Learn the material and begin teaching. You do not need special permission from NCCS to do this. We will be happy to make the materials available. Hold a seminar. Invite people to come and listen. Gather them in homes, churches, any place you can and begin teaching. As Americans, we should be thinking that it doesn't take so-called trained teachers or "experts" to teach the doctrines of freedom. As Americans, we should all be teaching one another the doctrines of freedom and liberty.

As one gains experience doing this and if we have requests where we need additional teachers to fill, we may call someone we know is doing a lot of teaching and ask if he can take that assignment.

That's the way we work and it seems to work the best. Let us know how we can support you in this most important undertaking of helping to save this great nation. Our website is www.nccs.net and for the direct seminar link, add /seminars.

Abraham Lincoln is best known as the president who saved the union. He did it by teaching and upholding the Constitution. Our task seems to be much similar to his-that of preserving the union. Let us use the same tool he used-the United States Constitution.

Merry Christmas,

 

Earl Taylor, Jr.