Constitutional Convention Simulated Last Weekend
Last weekend while the nation awaited the first televised debate Monday evening between the two presidential candidates, a group of U.S. citizens representing each state in this nation convened themselves in quaint colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Their mission—to simulate a “convention of states” (as provided for in Article V of the United States Constitution) for the purpose of amending the Constitution. According to the sponsor of this event’s website, “Rather than calling a convention for a specific amendment, Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG) has launched the Convention of the States Project to urge state legislatures to properly use Article V to call a convention for a particular subject—reducing the power of Washington, D.C. . . . A convention of states needs to be called to ensure that we are able to debate and impose a complete package of restraints on the misuse of power by all branches of the federal government” (www.cosaction.com/strategy).
In last weekend’s event, grassroots representatives from all fifty states essentially went through “a dry run” of what they hope will one day be a formal constitutional convention called by two-thirds of the state legislatures of this nation (as stipulated by Article V). In their simulated convention the representatives “voted” six amendments, including requiring the states to approve any increase in the national debt, term limits on Congress, and granting the states (by a 3/5ths vote) the power to abrogate any federal law, regulation or executive order (September 25, 2016, email from firstname.lastname@example.org).
Setting aside their political agenda (and the presidential candidate they are backing), what reason do we have to care at all about last weekend’s mock convention? One of the dramatic shifts in this season of national and global politics is the emergence or resurgence of ordinary, grassroots, blue collar, non-elite citizen activists. The Brexit surprise by the voters of the United Kingdom—over-riding the counsel of their political and government leaders by voting the UK out of the European Union—stunned the media elite on both sides of the Pond. The just as dramatic emergence of Donald Trump in this election season is attributed to the same ordinary, grassroots, blue collar, non-elite citizen activists. The point? The heretofore unnoticed masses are demonstrating new electoral muscle. And their prevailing mood seems to be to politically upset the apple cart.
For the follower of Christ and for this apocalyptic movement, Brexit and the presidential election, in and of themselves, are immaterial. But we cannot ignore the power of collective anger in masses tired of submitting to the will and whims of the political aristocracy. True—our mission is radically a spiritual one. Nevertheless we will not be immune to the effects of the widening socio-economic, racial, ideological, and eventually religious divide nationally and globally. One day an angry grassroots movement (perhaps in a time of crisis or deep national schism) may find the will to abrogate the Constitution of its basic rights and cherished freedoms we once considered inviolable. One hastily convened constitutional convention could undo even the most revered liberties.
Hope Trending: A Crash Course on How to Live without Fear begins in two weeks. Live to the world (via www.hopetrending.org) and live to this continent (via HOPE TV), Hope Trending will communicate the compelling portrait of the only Being who can yet save this civilization from its own self-destruction—the God of love manifested in the life and death, the resurrection and soon-coming of the Messiah Creator. “We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10 TEV).
It is the right time to share the Good News with our friends, our classmates, our neighbors, our colleagues. The Hope Trending invitation card is available for you at our greeting stations here at Pioneer. (Need more—go online and print off as many as you wish.) Two weeks. Time to pray. Time to invite. And not too late to intercede before God on behalf of our troubled and divided nation.
One last reminder from history—the truth about God has always shined brightest when it was darkest. It’s time to let it shine again!