The Genius of Natural Law
Most Americans have never studied Natural Law. It is a shame that our public education system does not include this topic in its curriculum as it was fundamental to our Founders’ belief. Additionally, William Blackstone, the most noted 18th Century legal scholar and author, stated that Natural Law is the only reliable basis for a stable society and as a system of justice.
The 1st Century BC Roman political writer and philosopher, Cicero, was the first to write extensively on the Natural Law. W. Cleon Skousen, the author of The Five Thousand Year Leap, noted that even though today we would consider Cicero “pagan,” he saw in nature and in the universe, the “Brilliant intelligence of a supreme Designer with an ongoing interest in both human and cosmic affairs.”
Skousen stated that “Cicero concluded that the only approach to government, justice, and human relations is in terms of the laws which the Supreme Creator has already established.” Additionally, Cicero defined Natural Law as “true law.” Cicero wrote that “true law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting.”
Skousen goes on to state, “As students of Cicero, our Founders believed the Law of Nature, also known as the Law of Nature’s God, is eternal in its basic goodness; universal in its application. It is a code of ‘right reason’ from the Creator himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. And it cannot be abandoned by Legislators!”
The Founders’ noted that Cicero’s brilliance was demonstrated by the Christian New Testament. Cicero reasoned that “the first great commandment was to love, respect, and obey the all-wise Creator.” Additionally, Cicero was neither Christian nor Jew but his great mind led him to understand the second great commandment as well. Cicero wrote, “For these virtues originate in our natural inclination to love our fellow men, and this is the foundation of justice.”
The Founders’ found Cicero’s writings stunningly similar to the teachings of Jesus. Consider what the lawyer asked Jesus in Matthew 22:36, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered in Matthew 22: 37-39, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Our Founders believed that a government could only be successful if it was subordinate to the Natural Law or what we would today call God’s Law. Jefferson had Natural Law foremost in his mind when he penned the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It may be surprising to most Americans just how much of our Constitution and our life-style is based on principles of Natural Law. The following are just a few examples of the principles our Founders included in our Constitution that originate in the Natural Law:
- Unalienable Rights
- Habeas Corpus
- Limited Government
- Separation of Powers
- Checks and Balances
- Self Defense
- Family and Institution of Marriage
- Right to Bear Arms
- No Taxation without Representation
TCG believes that it is self-evident that our current government blatantly ignores the Natural Law. We must return to our Founders’ original intent. The Natural Law cannot be altered; it cannot be repealed; and it cannot be abandoned by Legislators! We must only support candidates who respect the Constitution and who will not abandon the Natural Law.
The next principle to be discussed is that our form of government is only for a virtuous and moral people.
For greater information on this and other founding principles, please see The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen.