Published On: March 26th, 2024

“Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
Ezekiel cried, “Dem dry bones!”
“Oh, hear the word of the Lord.”

The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

American Spiritual – Ezekiel 37

“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.” New King James

Miss Constitution has been conducting her own small survey at appropriate times and places to see just what average Americans know about their political history.  She has asked the same question over and over again, “who was the third President of the United States?”  Not wanting to embarrass if no immediate response, she switched immediately to “who was the first President of the United States?”

Not one person has answered the first question but several have answered the second correctly. What are we to make of this result?  Miss Constitution thinks we should interpret the informal result as an indication that most people think our whole system is on auto-pilot.  Most people are not interested in who the third President was and find no relevance in understanding the past.  That we seem to have stable political and social institutions is simply taken for granted.

Most Americans and others, in what has been since 1783 a separate nation-state, wake up in the morning, turn on the lights, brush their teeth, put on the coffee or squeeze the juice, check their phone or computer, take a hot shower, get dressed in clean clothes, feed the pets, and are then are off to school or work.  None think about the fact that the street is paved, that the traffic lights work, that there is a drugstore that is open, that there is a station to gas-up the car, that there is a bakery to get pastries for the office, or that there is a policeman sitting in his car making sure all is well.

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,

Oh, hear the word of the Lord.

It is all connected:  the philosophies that undergird our system, the development of the person not the group, individual liberties against government power, private enterprise and property, economic initiative, checks and balances, the Rule of Law, and the consent of the governed among other critical concepts.  The American system is unique in the world and constantly under attack from its adversaries.

The foot bone connected to the leg bone. . .

The philosophy of virtue, from Aristotle to Frances Hutcheson to Adam Smith and others.  This is not the philosophy of the negative about human nature, but the positive.  Our political and social system is based on the potential of human beings on their life’s journey to make mistakes of choice but then to improve – to fail but then succeed – to have wronged but then repent –  to start slow but then recover.  Deeply rooted faith helps in this journey – religion has essential tools for repair and progress.  Studying the Scottish Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian doctrine helps one understand this aspect of our system.

The leg bone connected to the knee bone. . . .

Each person in each group must be vetted for virtue and helped, if help is needed, individually.  American blacks have had a special status as a group because of their unique place in our history.  Each American black must nevertheless be judged individually relative to the law.  Studying authentic American history helps one understand this aspect of our system.

The knee bone connected to the thigh bone. . .

Our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, lists personal rights against government power.  In addition, power not granted the federal government is reserved to the states or to the people.  Recognized rights not listed in the Bill of Rights still belong to the individual.  Studying American governance (Civics) helps one understand this aspect of our system.

The thigh bone connected to the back bone. . .

America’s economic prosperity is based on private business and the sanctity of private ownership of property.  Government funds its functions through taxation of profits created by private individuals and businesses.  Government policy can help or hinder business but cannot substitute for it.  Adam Smith connected raising capital and the requirement of all who make a profit to give back to the society as a whole. Greed is to be overcome. Studying the basis of American economics, especially relative to other economic models, helps one understand this aspect of our system.

The back bone connected to the neck bone. . .

Unchecked power corrupts. It runs through all levels of our governments, business, and politics without enough unbiased press to expose it. The Founder’s partial answer to corruption is balance – checks on misuse of power and balance between competing power centers. Studying what Journalism is supposed to be in the American experience helps one understand this aspect of our system.

The neck bone connected to the head bone. . .

America’s Rule of Law – four large bundles of it – adopted with the consent of the governed must all be acknowledged and obeyed for a stable society to exist.  In our unique system we have a duty to obey Moral Law (right versus wrong); Natural Law (unalienable rights from God); Positive Law (our Constitutions, statutes, and common law); and Unwritten Law (courtesy and comity between all.)  Without this obedience, America’s stability might simply dissolve away and investment in us with it.

Miss Constitution understands most Americans have taken all this for granted.  Our system now, however, needs your study and your care.  And the third President was?

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Miss C is taking questions you have about the US Constitution. Simply submit your questions and she’ll reply to you with answers. Great questions may be featured in her blog as well as added to an FAQ page. 

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    About the Author: Miss C

    M.E. Boyd, "Miss Constitution" is an attorney, author, and instructor in Business, Educational, and Constitutional Law. She has appeared on television and radio and speaks publicly on American history, the founding documents, and current political issues. Her mission is to help citizens understand the Founding philosophies behind the system so that we can-together-help preserve the blessings of liberty and prosperity. Read more about Miss C