Last year, the conservatives of Oklahoma were deeply split over the issue of reforming the US Constitution through a Convention Of States. Many conservative groups strongly condemned the risky maneuver. Steve Byas, of the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper, even punished legislators who supported the joint resolution by docking their Conservative Index score. OCPAC, the John Birch Society, and many other grassroots groups also condemned the move.
Some observers offered the explanation that conservative groups somewhat revere the 2nd Constitution as an anointed document and inspired by the almighty God. It only follows that they see it as akin to sacrilege for us to make our own changes.
The first constitutional document of the 13 states was known as the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Some were frustrated that the confederation left the sovereign states with too much independence, making military defense quite impossible to maintain. Even then, a massive PR campaign was launched, to sell the new (1787) constitution. It was seen as a liberal "big government" idea. the citizenry of the 13 states refused to accept it. this led to several promises made by the delegates. There were 12 specific demands made. They were published as a "Bill of Rights". As soon as the new congress was seated, they took up the matter and 10 of those 12 became amendments.
An Inferiority Complex
I therefore beg leave to move -- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service."
Our current legislative bodies still maintain this practice, calling on the clergy to set an example, and taking heart that GOD CAN STILL USE US!
Sure, it's a matter of applied faith. It requires us to pray for each other. Even our political opponents. I can assure my readers that we are harmed when we declare ourselves and our fellow man inept to be used of God in civic matters. This is how the divine right of kings became a standard doctrine of man for centuries and worldwide. America was destined to be different. And the USA was destined to be full of a citizenry willing to rise up to the duty of keeping this liberty flame burning.
The great conservative intellectual, William F. Buckley once said;
"I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."
In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats.
Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects & great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends, on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of the Government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress & confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to the means of having it well administred.
On the whole, Sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument." - Ben Franklin, 1787