Letter: Constitutional interpretation differs
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Debbie Higley’s Oct. 6 letter, “Founding documents are inspired,” concerned “entangling foreign alliances” and the allegation that the U.S. Constitution speaks against them. I would agree with her that the Constitution is “law,” and in fact the founding and defining legal document of our Republic.
But my main argument with her letter is her statement that the Constitution “speaks against entangling foreign alliances.” A reading of my home copy of the Constitution shows that the words “entangling alliances” are not present. Therefore, engaging in “entangling foreign alliances” is not forbidden by United States law, nor is it mentioned in Holy Writ anyplace. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that the USA may not engage in any entangling foreign alliances, including with the state of Israel, if it so chooses.
The only place one will find a statement against “entangling alliances” is in the inaugural address of President Thomas Jefferson given on March 4, 1801. It was Jefferson who mentioned it, and I don’t think anyone has ever claimed Jefferson to be a “prophet of God.”
The lesson to be learned is to first read any document you quote from and make sure of what you say. Stoutly and defiantly defending a nonexistent directive is always a losing cause.
Robert R. Ames