Repeal the Fourteenth Amendment

Repeal the Fourteenth Amendment

Perhaps the greatest threat to the United States of America is not some foreign power, or even ideological systems within the nation. Perhaps the greatest threat to the United States is something hidden within our own Constitution. Perhaps it is something that may have seemed like a good idea to a lot of people, at the time it was done, but turned out to be disastrous in the century and a half that followed. I’m talking about the Fourteenth Amendment.

Originally designed as a punishment against the Southern states, following the “War of the Rebellion” (the official name) in 1861-1865, colloquially called the “Civil War” (in the U.S.) and the “War of Secession” (in Europe), the Fourteenth Amendment gives the federal government sweeping powers never imagined by America’s Founding Fathers. It is the constitutional amendment that empowers the federal court system, especially the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to override state laws, state constitutions and any other exercise of states rights, under the guise of “equal protection.” It’s the amendment that defines citizenship by birth in the United States, creating the modern phenomena of “anchor babies” used by illegal aliens to acquire a permanent foothold in this nation. It is the amendment that allows the federal government to impose the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause” on all fifty states, thus prohibiting the establishment of state churches (a common practice before 1868), religious displays of any sort and prayer in public schools. The Fourteenth Amendment, combined with the Supreme Court decision in Everson v. Board of Education (1947), is what officially changed the United States from a Christian nation into a Secular nation, kicking off the anti-religion reign of terror by the courts.

It is the amendment that allows the federal government to strip the rights of any citizen it deems to be a “rebel,” or an “insurrectionist,” whether accurate or not. In other words, it is the amendment of the U.S. Constitution that has empowered the federal government more than any other.

I think the time has come to ask two questions. (1) Has anything “good” come from the Fourteenth Amendment in recent memory? And (2) is it time to repeal it?

I propose the time is past due. This is because the Fourteenth Amendment has, for far too long, created a one-size-fits-all atmosphere in the American Union, making it into a uniformity instead of a unity. To clarify, a unity (or a union) is when many different things come together to make one thing, while retaining their different character and makeup. Whereas a uniformity is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when many different things come together, and their differences obliterated, to make one uniform thing with no distinction between them at all. We must ask ourselves: is the United States of America a unity or a uniformity? Is it a union or an empire?

I propose the Fourteenth Amendment is gradually turning the United States into an empire, and dragging us far away from the union our nation’s Founding Father’s created. I propose it is time for the Fourteenth Amendment to be repealed, in its entirety, and replaced with nothing. Such things as American citizenship, and equal protection, can be settled with simple legislation, and the states can be consulted on this, to consider their unique and individual needs.

In recent years there has been much talk of another “civil war” boiling beneath the surface. Along with such talk has come proposals of state secession, yet again, coming from both red states like Texas and blue states like Vermont and California. If we look at our history, we can see that the last round of secessions (1860-1865) occurred mainly because of a credible threat of national uniformity posed by the incoming Lincoln Administration. It was a threat that may have never materialized without the war, but most certainly did because of it. Today, however, we don’t have the threat of uniformity, but rather that actual realization of it in our daily lives. Interiorly, we all know that one size does not fit all, but practically in the daily application of federal law, that is exactly how things operate. Our generation is not as strong-headed as that which existed in the 1860s, and thus not as easily prone to rise to arms, but as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence…

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Declaration of Independence, 1776

That long train of abuses and usurpations has manifested itself once again, this time in the form of interference in state matters by the SCOTUS, as well as mandates in federal law, and the increasing prevalence of imperialistic executive orders, making us wonder if the romanesque appearance of federal buildings in Washington D.C. is more than just stylistic coincidence. Does the federal government truly propose to rule over us as ancient Rome once ruled over its empire? Is the President of the United States becoming another Caesar? Indeed, from ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment up till now, it seems very little has stood in the way.

Today, we wait for the Supreme Court to give us a meager pittance of liberty, hoping and praying that it will “allow” the states to once again regulate their own affairs on the matter of abortion/infanticide. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this? We must applaud the Pro-Life Movement for their four decades of effort in getting enough justices on the Supreme Court to even consider this, but what does that say of a so-called “union” where such a national movement is even necessary? That’s no “union” at all. That is an empire, and the Pro-Life Movement has spent the greater part of half a century appealing to Caesar. So that Caesar may give us imperial judges favorable enough to its cause that it might allow some states to curb a genocide in progress. Many states already had laws against abortion/infanticide until the Supreme Court took them away in 1973. Without the Fourteenth Amendment, such a draconian and ungodly decision would not even be possible. With the Fourteenth Amendment this injustice became “constitutional law.”

Without the Fourteenth Amendment we could see the restoration of autonomous states, with laws that reflect the values of the people who live therein. We could see, in some places, states that appeal to Christian morality in their laws, and some that may even recognize established churches, as they once did before the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.

In short, the repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment would set the stage for the return of Christian governance in the United States, something not seen in 160 years. The federal government will always remain secular, prohibited by the First Amendment from recognizing an established religion. However, that limit on the federal government only applies to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. Repeal the Fourteenth Amendment, and there would be no constitutional obstacle to one state symbolically declaring Jesus as its King, and another state recognizing Christianity as its state religion, or even a particular church as its state church.

Of course this would not mean citizens would be required to acknowledge such things in their personal lives, as all states already have “free exercise” clauses in their state constitutions, and there is literally no chance of that going away. For example, a Catholic could still be a Catholic living in a Protestant state, just as it was in many states before 1868. However, it would stop organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from forcing states, counties and cities to remove all reference to religion in official acts and displays. It would also stop similar organizations from prohibiting prayer in public schools and so on.

Shane Schaetzel is an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism and was trained as a catechist through the University of Dayton – a Catholic Marianist Institution. Shane’s articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. Shane is an author of Catholic books, which can be read here.

3 responses to “Repeal the Fourteenth Amendment”

    • Not so. Costa Rica has established Catholicism as its official state region, and yet it has a free exercise provision in its constitution. The state religion is used to guideline moral laws and economic policy. Catholic symbols are protected on public property too. But if you decided you want to be a Baptist, or a Buddhist, that’s your business, and the state leaves you alone.

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