In remembrance of the signing of the Constitution
and in recognition of the Americans who strive to
uphold the duties and responsibilities of
citizenship, the Congress has designated September
17 as "Constitution Day" and "Citizenship Day," and
requested that the President proclaim the week
beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of
each year as "Constitution Week."
Resource: Constitution Day Package
"A More Perfect Union," DVD, depicting the Federal
Convention of 1787 ( See an online preview
Beautiful reproductions of the U.S. Constitution and
the painting depicting the Convention
30 student booklets including the founding documents
A miniature version of the 24-image Freedom Gallery.
$34.95 (reg. $140) 1-877-917-1787. Roots
2. President's Comments on the Constitution
by George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The following are excepts from the President's
2004 Citizenship Day and Constitution Week Proclamation.
Today, we marvel at the wisdom of the Framers who
toiled through a long summer of learned and
Their work produced a document that upholds high
ideals, while answering the most practical questions
of governance. The charter they crafted —
with its separate branches of Government, enumerated
powers, checks and balances, and later the specific
protections provided by our Bill of Rights —
guides our Nation and inspires others around the world.
As the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional
Convention in Philadelphia began working on what
would become the United States Constitution, they
grasped that a great democracy must be built on the
twin foundations of
National consent to a Federal Government
Respect for individual rights.
Balance of Powers
In creating our Nation's Constitutional framework,
the Convention's delegates recognized the dangers
inherent in concentrating too much power in one
person, branch, or institution.
They wisely crafted a Government that balanced the
functions and authority of a Federal system among
three separate but equal branches:
As a further check on central power, the Framers
granted citizens the right to vote, giving them the
power to express their political preferences
peacefully and thereby to effect change in the
The Convention delegates ratified the Constitution
on September 17, 1787, and submitted it to the
States for approval.
Bill of Rights
After much deliberation and discussion at the State
level, the following two concerns emerged from among
those who feared the Constitution's proposed
centralization of Federal power:
The threat of tyranny
The loss of local control.
To address these fears, our Founders amended the
Constitution by adding a Bill of Rights.
These ten amendments provided a series of clear
limits on Federal power and a litany of protective
rights to citizens.
Today, our Nation celebrates the longest-lived
written Constitution in world history.
3. Studying Our Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the
foundation of our American Government. As the
supreme law of the land, no law may be passed that
contradicts its principles, and no person or
government in the nation is exempt from following
Read, study and discuss the Constitution
Read the Constitution along
Guide to U.S. Government for Students
The First Amendment
The First Amendment to the Constitution does not
include the phrase "separation of church and state."
Nowhere does it suggest that Christianity cannot be
heard in the public square.
In fact, the first act of the United States Congress
was to authorize the printing of 20,000 Bibles for
the Indians. Read more
Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution
The subject of constitutional interpretation is a
valid and practical concern today that will reach
into many areas of our lives for years to come.
Two competing viewpoints have emerged:
To follow the original intent of the Constitution.
To allow judges to interpret the Constitution asthey will.
Related Online Resources
Tale of Two Constitutions"
by David Barton.
Read more about the problems in our judicial
4. Online Resources
Naturalization Self Test
Could your children (or you) pass the test to become
a citizen? Included are such questions as:
In what year was the Constitution written?
What do we call a change to the Constitution?
What is the Bill of Rights?
Can the Constitution be changed?
Test your knowledge of United States History and the
structure of our government on this easy-to-use online
question and answer
Read a variety of articles from Wall
on the moral, religious, and
constitutional foundation on which America was built.
The Federalist Papers Online
One of the most important works on political
5. Studying Our Government
The Teaching Home Newsletters #66-68 (which you can
read online or printed for personal use) addressed
the topic of teaching about governments in general
and the United States government in particular.
This series offers much practical information,
Internet links for further study, and application
for Christians. It would make an excellent study
for Constitution Week.
Following is an outline of what each issue contains.
#66: Introduction to Government
1. What and How To Teach
2. The Biblical Basis of Government
3. Forms of Government
#67: United States Government
1. We are a Republic, not a Democracy
2. The Constitution
3. The Three Branches of Government; Checks and
4. Distribution of Government Powers
5. How a Bill Becomes a Law
6. Our Heritage of Freedom; Our Christian Heritage
#68: Our Responsibilities in Government
1. The Spiritual Aspect of Political Action
2. Political Action
3. Guidelines for Any Lobbying Effort
6. Biblical Principles: Basis for America's Laws
Excerpted and reprinted by permission from an
article by Charles and Cindy Meek, Faith Facts.
Christians believe that the Bible offers ultimate,
objective, and absolute truth. There was a general
consensus on this point in America from the earliest
settlers until only very recently.
So it was natural for the early Americans to turn to
the Bible for guidance as to how to make civil law.
This was the standard for law beginning with the
Mayflower Compact all the way through the
constitutions of all 50 states.
For example, the first state constitution was the
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1639). Read this
The framers of this document desired that every
aspect of it be based on the Bible. This document
was a model for other constitutions including the
U.S. Constitution which followed it. (See other Preambles
to State Constitutions
Rule of Law
Another aspect of our system of government is that
it is based on the Rule of Law. This concept is a
direct descendant of Hebrew law and the Ten
Together with the concept of inalienable rights from
God, these concepts helped ensure a way of life that
respected the dignity of every individual.
The True Nature of Man
Another important aspect of America's constitution
is that it has as its basis the distinctly Christian
idea that man is basically sinful. Every one of our
founding fathers understood this truth. The result
was that the founders built into the Constitution an
elaborate system of checks and balances.
This is evident in the horizontal plane of
executive, legislative, and judicial branches of
government. It is also evident in the vertical plane
of federalism — states' powers versus federal
See a chart
of the influence of Biblical thought on America's
legal system with Bible references.
7. More Resources
Civics Education Courses from Home School Legal
Defense Association, including: Founding Fathers,
Introduction to Constitutional Law, The Federalist
Papers, Declaration of Independence. www.hslda.org
video clearly sets forth the
beliefs of many of the famous Founding Fathers
concerning the proper role of Christian principles
in education, in government, and in the public
affairs of the nation.
, A Chronicle of Americas
Providential Heritage" DVD is the true story of how
Gods sovereign hand guided the founders of America.