In Defense of the US Constitution

US flagWith the 4th of July landing on Monday, instead of my usual posting of #MVPbuzzChat interviews, I thought I’d post a few words about this important US holiday. It’s been a quiet day at home (still recovering from some jet lag from London last week) which has given me time to sit and think and read on the topic and listen to a few podcasts. As some of you know, I don’t post much about politics, and I am not a member of either major party: I am a small “I” independent, and consider myself to be a “religious constitutionalist.” I believe that the United States Constitution was divinely inspired – which does not mean it is perfect in its writing, nor in its execution. However, it contains guiding principles that are true, it has proven to be a beacon of light to the world, and it should be defended at all costs.

In an April 2021 speech, Dallin H. Oaks outlined five divinely inspired principles within the Constitution. For those not familiar with Oaks, he was a long-time attorney who clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren at the US Supreme Court, served as president of BYU and on the Utah Supreme Court, and was considered by both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan for the US Supreme Court. He now serves as the 1st Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here’s what he said about the Constitution:

First is the principle that the source of government power is the people. In a time when sovereign power was universally assumed to come from the divine right of kings or from military power, attributing sovereign power to the people was revolutionary. Philosophers had advocated this, but the United States Constitution was the first to apply it. Sovereign power in the people does not mean that mobs or other groups of people can intervene to intimidate or force government action. The Constitution established a constitutional democratic republic, where the people exercise their power through their elected representatives.

A second inspired principle is the division of delegated power between the nation and its subsidiary states. In our federal system, this unprecedented principle has sometimes been altered by inspired amendments, such as those abolishing slavery and extending voting rights to women, mentioned earlier. Significantly, the United States Constitution limits the national government to the exercise of powers granted expressly or by implication, and it reserves all other government powers β€œto the States respectively, or to the people.”5

Another inspired principle is the separation of powers. Well over a century before our 1787 Constitutional Convention, the English Parliament pioneered the separation of legislative and executive authority when they wrested certain powers from the king. The inspiration in the American convention was to delegate independent executive, legislative, and judicial powers so these three branches could exercise checks upon one another.

A fourth inspired principle is in the cluster of vital guarantees of individual rights and specific limits on government authority in the Bill of Rights, adopted by amendment just three years after the Constitution went into force. A Bill of Rights was not new. Here the inspiration was in the practical implementation of principles pioneered in England, beginning with the Magna Carta. The writers of the Constitution were familiar with these because some of the colonial charters had such guarantees.

Fifth and finally, I see divine inspiration in the vital purpose of the entire Constitution. We are to be governed by law and not by individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any office holder. In this way, all persons are to be equal before the law. These principles block the autocratic ambitions that have corrupted democracy in some countries. They also mean that none of the three branches of government should be dominant over the others or prevent the others from performing their proper constitutional functions to check one another. (Defending Our Divinely Inspired Constitution)

I love this description of the importance of the Constitution. While our nation has not always lived up to the standards that it sets, our goal should always be to attempt to live up to it. We live in a time of extreme political turmoil, but I am grateful for the laws and principles and guidance that the Constitution and our Bill of Rights provide. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.

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  1. August 2, 2022

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