Every citizen of Virginia is subject to two constitutions, the Constitution of Virginia and The United States Constitution. The people who wrote these constitutions designed these documents to protect our rights. How do they work? Each constitution states the powers of our leaders. If our leaders go beyond the powers stated in each document, they violate their constitutional powers and their oath of office (Both documents require elected officials to take an oath of office.).
Both documents recognize the role of our Creator. Virginia’s Bill of Rights (Article 1 in the Constitution of Virginia), dates back to 1776. Then it was called The Virginia Declaration of Rights. Section 16 provided this protection for Freedom of Religion.
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.
The United States Constitution, on the other hand, does not specifically mention God or our Creator. Nonetheless, the same man who wrote The Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason, is rightly called the ”Father of the Bill of Rights.” That is, Mason also fathered the Bill of Rights in the The United States Constitution. Therefore, the Bill of Rights in both the Constitution of Virginia and The United States Constitution owe their origins to the ideas of the same man.
The Constitution of Virginia dates from July 1, 1971. The forward in this explains the history of revisions.
The 1971 Constitution is the fifth complete revision of Virginia’s fundamental law since 1776–other complete revisions having been effective in 1830, 1851, 1870, and 1902.
Thus, the Constitution of Virginia originated at the time of our nation’s founding. What the document does is explain how government works in Virginia. It explains our rights, the responsibilities of the commonwealth to protect those rights and how both state and local governments operate.
You want a job description for Virginia’s elected officials? Look in the Constitution of Virginia. The document is less than 50 pages long. If you can read this blog, you can read the Constitution of Virginia.
The United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation, our nation’s first constitution. When the Articles of Confederation failed to produce a functional government, the Founders did not give up. They tried again.
What The United States Constitution does is describe the powers and responsibilities of each branch of government, legislative, executive, and judicial. In addition, the Constitution explains relationship between the Federal Government and State Governments.
What Does It Mean To Vote For Constitutional Government?
Before we go to the polls, we must try understand how each of candidates regards constitutional government. If a candidate does not see a constitution as a document that would place definite boundaries on his powers, he is unqualified for public office. That is because he cannot be trusted. He is too likely to do what our current leadership has done, abused the rights of the People.
We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it. All men are by nature born equally free and independent. To protect the weaker from the injuries and insults of the stronger were societies first formed; when men entered into compacts to give up some of their natural rights, that by union and mutual assistance they might secure the rest; but they gave up no more than the nature of the thing required. Every society, all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed to this sole end; and whenever any power or authority whatever extends further, or is of longer duration than is in its nature necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it Is in fact oppression. — George Mason, Remarks on Annual Elections for the Fairfax Independent Company, ca. 17-26 April 1775
Vote Biblically on November 2nd. See also: