Personhood: Why the Constitution is a Great Spiritual Doctrine

In the American Dictionary of the English Language 1828, Noah Webster defines a person as, "An individual human being consisting of body and soul..."

The term 'person' originated in Christian theologies developmental struggle to comprehend the nature and experience of the transcendent, personal Triune God:

"The derivative concept of human personhood is a gift of the Christian faith to culture…” (Stephen P. Stratton, Chapter 14, p. 247, The Self, Paul Vitz & Susan M. Felch, Editors)

Building off of this unique concept, St. Augustine (AD 354-430) affirmed that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent, personal One God in three Persons then it logically follows that each human person is a trinity of being — of soul/spirit and body (physical matter).

The noblest part of the soul is spirit (mind, conscience, will). Spirit is the unique property that distinguishes soul from the material body in which it is fully embedded. It is immortal, self-aware and can will, meaning it can freely choose to deceive or not deceive, to lie or not lie.

In Christian thought, a person is a spirit and personality is the total individuality of the spirit. Without spirit there is no person. It is on this historically unique Christian definition of person that America’s Constitutional Republic is grounded, making America’s founding documents great spiritual documents delineating the God-given spiritual property and temporal rights of “we the people.”

In affirmation,  more than eighty years ago President Calvin Coolidge said in a speech delivered on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 5, 1926:

"Democracy is Christ's government in church and state... Here was the doctrine of equality, popular sovereignty, and the substance of the theory of inalienable rights....When we take all these circumstances into consideration, it is but natural that the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence should open with a reference to Nature's God and should close...with an appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world and an assertion of a firm reliance on Divine Providence...In its main feature the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man....They have their source and roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. " (Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance No Longer Tolerates Religion, William J. Federer, pp. 270-271)

Whether the Founders were individually Christian or not, there was among them a strong Christian consensus that finds some of its greatest spiritual and moral expression in the scholarly works ofSamuel Rutherford in “Lex Rex” (1644) and in the writings of the 18th century jurist William Blackstone.

Rutherford reasoned that since all people are sinners, then no person ---whether king, prime minister, jurist, bishop, pope, pastor, president, rap artist, or diva for example---is superior to any other person. This means that no person is above the law.  All  people are subject to the law without exception, thus all individuals---Obama, Holder, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Supreme Court justices, ‘gays,’ illegals, abortionists, perverse sex-educators, and cowardly GOP insiders must recognize that they are sinners under the transcendent Law of God.

Blackstone greatly influenced early American understanding of the Triune God, the Bible, Law and nature. He taught that since the One God in three Persons is the omnipotent Creator who works and governs the affairs of men then all law should be consistent with His Revelation in the Bible. No law should be passed that is contrary to the higher law of God.

Furthermore, as all men are created spiritual equals in the eyes of God, then life, worth, dignity and other unalienable rights are conferred upon each human person at conception.   For example, freedom of religion and speech are the temporal manifestations of a person’s God-given spiritual property of conscience and reason.

In "Property," published in The National Gazette on March 29, 1792, James Madison clearly defines the meaning of a person’s God-given spiritual property, some of its’ temporal manifestations and the meaning and intent of just government as opposed to unjust government:

"He has a his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them."  "He has a his opinions and the free communication of them."  "He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them." "He has property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person."

Property is,

"....a man's land, or merchandize, or money (and)  as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties or his possessions."

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort:

"This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own." (Samuel Rutherford, Lex Rex;

Vishal Mangalwadi, India's foremost Christian scholar affirms that the Christian gift  of personhood gave birth to the "belief in the unique dignity of human beings," and this is,

"...the force that created Western civilization, where citizens do not exist for the state but the state exists for the individuals. Even kings, presidents, prime ministers, and army generals cannot be allowed to trample upon an individual and his or her rights." (Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations, pp. 12-13)

The Constitution therefore, recognizes the divine nature of man's creation, that man is a person endowed by his personal Creator with spiritual property, a divine right to life and liberty, and the means of acquiring and possessing property. Hence our Republic recognizes Law is unchangeable because the Creator of "we the people" is the eternally unchanging Lawgiver:

"It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated." (James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention, December 2, 1829)

"How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law." (Martin Luther King, Excerpts from his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, Apr. 16, 1963)

In keeping with Christian thought, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin connect personhood, virtue and self-control with individual freedom:

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." Benjamin Franklin, quoted in Born Liberal Raised Right, p. 15)

Conversely, they connect corruption, anarchy, and barbarism with man's sin nature:

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet" and "Thou shalt not steal" were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free." (John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787,

The Fall of America

Contemporary de-christianized America is no longer the 'freest, most enlightened civilization,' nor are our morally corrupt leaders and their "bought and paid for" voting constituents a God-honoring virtuous people capable of self-government.

Erwin Lutzer writes that our Constitutional Republic's Christian foundations throughout our government, education, media, and American law have been undermined by two very powerful corrosives.

First there is the evolutionary thinking, Darwinism in particular, that has swept our culture and penetrated deeply within the whole body of the Christian Church.

In destroying the foundations of Christianity, Darwinism in particular and evolutionary thinking in general, has reduced “we the people” to conscious products of evolution,  thereby destroying the unique concept of human personhood and individual spiritual property:

"Darwinism came at the desired time; Darwin's theory that man is the descendant of a lower animal destroyed the entire foundation of Christian dogma." (Anton Pannekoek, "Marxism and Darwinism," translated by Nathan Weiser. Transcribed for the Internet by Jon Muller, Chicago, Charles H. Kerr & Company Co-operative Copyright, 1912 by Charles H. Kerr & Company)

By 1870 Christopher Langdell, dean of Harvard School of Law was teaching that the nihilistic principles of evolution must be applied to the written opinion of judges. Lutzer points out that the conclusion was inescapable.   Law was no longer what the Constitution said it was but what judges said it was:

In other words, there was no longer an objective base; the absolutes dissolved along with the supposed demise of the Creator.” (pp. 65-66)

Evolutionary thinking, whether secular or theological rejects miraculous Special Creation (the six-day Genesis account ex nihilo) together with the Fall and teaches instead an inverted anti-creation account positing billions of years of evolutionary process eventuating in life arising from primordial matter, man from lower creatures and an eternally expanding cosmos.

This upside-down view leads to a philosophy of moral relativism because if men were once something else, a genderless blob of matter and then later on lizards and even later still some kind of ape-like creature, then not only are we going to become something else–maybe divine supermen, god-men, super robots or cosmic beings—-but nothing can be said about transgender, ‘gay,’ and lesbianism since all life forms ascended from a genderless blob of matter generated by a Big Bang which may or may not involve an impotent God shaped and limited by the theologians who are His creators.

With regard to soul/spirit, if life arose from chemicalsor a blob of matter and then billions of years later man evolved from lower life-forms, then his rational nature, his soul, differs not qualitatively but only quantitatively from the beasts.  Like beasts, man is not a person but a creature of the earth.  Like them he has no spirit—free will, higher mental faculties, and conscience.  He is a fleshy androgynous robot or hominid whose brain is organized by the genome and the genome shaped by natural selection.

Worse, all naturalist conceptions, whether secular atheist or theological, ultimately lack a source for life, consciousness, soul, and personhood as all are merely different expressions of anti-human nihilism which makes man equal to or lower than the nonhuman.

This serves as a license for all manner of crimes against humanity, especially the weakest, the hated, envied, despised and inconvenient.  For example, in paganized America tens of millions of unborn humans have already been liquidated, our youth and now our military sexually perverted and mind conditioned, and our Constitutional rights trashed while during the 20th century in excess of 160,000,000 human weeds, useless eaters, and human dinosaurs were brutally murdered in one way or another by two evolutionary neo-pagan regimes: the Godless pagan Soviet Union under Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin and the occult pagan National Socialist Germany under Hitler.

Today, natural science and evolutionary thinking are taken for granted throughout the college curriculum, just as it is in all aspects of modern thought and experience, especially within the progressive liberal community. Evolution not only undergirds biological and earth sciences, but also Freudian and Jungian psychology, anthropology, law, sociology, politics, economics, the media, arts, medicine, and all other academic disciplines as well as occult New Age spirituality and 'Christian' theological permutations such as evolutionary theism and the progressive creationism popularized by astronomer Hugh Ross.

Second, liberal pantheist theology and its’ primary doctrine evolution has stripped the Bible of its miraculous, historical and literal elements, thereby allowing it to be considered as one book of myths among many. No longer is it generally believed that the Bible, especially the Genesis account is the objective revelation of God, thus man is not a sinner, neither is he a person because he is not the spiritual image bearer of God. In the end, theological liberalism is nothing more than nihilistic humanism in theological dress. (ibid, p. 67)

Today, Darwin’s theory touted as 'evolutionary fact' has finally reached saturation point in American government, law, media, education, healthcare, psychiatry, and increasingly within the whole body of the Church. This is why apostasy, atheism, agnosticism, occult paganism, suicide, lawlessness, pornography, drug use, mass murder, decadence, sodomy, abortion, and euthanasia have increased exponentially throughout America and the world.

It is also why America’s depraved, power-hungry, self-worshipping left-right ruling class has nearly succeeded in leveraging itself into the position of supreme law-givers and mind-and-conscience shapers.

America's Dying Soul

"No one needs to see films such as The Wolf of Wall Street or American Hustle to know that America is amputating its soul. Those who remember post-Christian Nazi Germany are grieving. They look at America’s demoralized church and ask: Can these bones live? (Ezekiel 37).    (Vishal Mangalwadi, founder-president of BOMI/Revelation Movement, is an Indian philosopher and social reformer and author of The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization)

The soul of America is being amputated under the onslaught of neo-pagan Darwinism and theological liberalism with the following consequences:

1.The abandonment of our transcendent Triune God means abandonment of His Law together with the unique Christian definition of person and everything built upon it---spiritual property, unalienable rights, and morality---thereby turning our founding documents into useless pieces of paper.

2. Abandonment of immutable truth and absolute morality means that egoistic sinful men are the measure of all things. This is why our so-called political leadership, opinion and culture shapers, jurists, academics, bureaucracy and increasing numbers of theologians are self-righteous hypocrites, liars, crazies, and psychopaths. Many of them believe they are evolving into supermen, transcended masters and gods.

3. Abandonment of our exclusive Christian worldview has allowed our nation to disintegrate into moral and religious pluralism, otherwise known as multiculturalism. Historically, pluralism has been a sign that tectonic change is on the horizon. In this case, it presages America's transformation from its' Christian heritage to Sharia, paganism and occult pantheist New Age, known politically as Agenda 21 but really communism in a green dress.

4.  Powerful, influential occult New Agers honeycombed within the UN, non-governmental agencies, and at every level of our government, academia, entertainment, media, and elsewhere, have been working towards this sea-change for a very long time now. In their eyes, the disintegration of America not only heralds the death of the hated Old Guard but the long-awaited quantum leap in evolution, the catastrophic chaos that utterly destroy the old order and usher in the utopian 'golden age' of Aquarius.

The Way Forward

The gradual abasement of the Soul from Truth to Falsehood (is) by the abuse of her freedom of Choice." Early Church Father Athanasius

Because of the triumph of evolutionary thinking and liberal pantheist theology, vast numbers ofspiritually darkened, morally debased Americans either do not know they are God’s spiritual image-bearers or because they have embraced evolutionary materialism or pantheism and reincarnation do not want to know. Either way, this is the real source of the spiritual cancer destroying our nation and freedoms that politics absolutely cannot fix.

The Way is still open however:

"Thou hast brought forth, O Lord, my soul from hell: thou hast saved me from them that go down into the pit." Psalm 30:3

Ex-atheist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who repented and returned to the Christian faith and his personhood (spiritual being) in the Gulag, sets out a spiritual way forward:

“…the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual heart, in (its) preference for specific good or evil…this (is) the most reliable key we have. The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to realize that they are beset by numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless unless we direct our consciousness, in repentance to the Creator of all. Without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain….We must…recognize the horror perpetrated not by some outside force, not by class or national enemies, but within each of us individually, and within every society. This is especially true of a free and highly developed society, for here in particular we have surely brought everything upon ourselves, of our own free will. We ourselves, in our daily unthinking selfishness, are pulling tight the noose (and) we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our hands be directed to setting them right.” (Life Under the Lidless Eye, pp. 38-39, Lee Penn, SCP Journal, Vol. 37:1-37:2, 2013)

In his 1974 essay “Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations,” Solzhenitsyn explains that the cure begins quite simply with,

“…..repentance and the search for our own errors and sin. We must stop blaming everyone else (and) always claiming that we alone are in the right. Repentance is the first bit of firm ground underfoot, the only one from which we can go forward not to fresh hatreds but to concord. Repentance is the only starting ground for spiritual growth. For each and every individual. And every trend of social thought.” (ibid)

@Linda Kimball