Utah People's Party

…proclain liberty through out all the land….(Leviticus 25:10)

Morality and Constitutionality

on October 5, 2012

Keeping the distinction clear between morality and constitutionality helps each to fill its proper place in our lives.

We have already spoken repeatedly of moral standards. We have quoted the words of the Roman, inspired teacher, Marcus Tullius Cicero, to show that these standards are eternal, universal and objective. “…the God of transcendent power” approved these standards or principles. Because God decreed that these standards bind mortal man before any one lived on this Earth, neither elected representatives nor the citizens themselves can alter the moral principles. When they attempt to do so, their act is void. The Founding Fathers of the United States asserted one of these moral principles in the Declaration of Independence when they wrote that men “… are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…” and that “…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…..” Years later when the citizens ratified the Constitution they were acting on the principle that governments derive their just powers from the people’s consent. Once the citizens approve a constitution, that document becomes the formal, official statement of the powers the people have chosen to let their government have.

Thus moral principles are not based on the will of any person or group and no person or group can change those principles, but a constitution is based on the people’s will and they can make whatever changes they wish, whenever they wish. Morality matters because the happiness of each person both during mortality and during the eternity that follows depends on obedience to moral principles. Constitutionality matters because any exercise of political power beyond the limits the constitution sets is illegitimate. In order to learn what is moral, a wise person studies Holy Writ and his own conscience. In contrast, to learn what is constitutional, a wise person studies the Constitution. A person who does not study the constitution properly can be greatly mistaken in his assessment of what is constitutional, no matter how righteous his personal life.

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