Friday, September 29, 2023

The Constitution of the United States, a Miracle Worth Celebrating

On the 17th of September, we recognized the birthday of our United States Constitution, a document signed by eleven delegates 236 years ago, establishing the United States as a Constitutional Republic. It is the longest-lived document of its kind in all of history.

The Constitutional Confederation first met in May of 1787, intending to revise the problematic Articles of Confederation, but by June it was realized that an entire revamp of the government was needed. The convention suffered several hot months of thorny debate, in which the representatives were sword to secrecy so that they might be able to speak freely. One of their fiercest discussions surrounded whether or not the new country would be known as a Republic or a Democracy. 

Republic vs. Democracy

I think it's important to take a moment, and very basically recognize what separates a Republic from a Democracy, as that seems to be often confused. 

Both systems provide a political system in which citizens are represented by elected officials sworn to protect their interests. However, in a purely democratic government, laws are made directly by the voting majority, leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected. In a governing republic, laws are made by representatives people have chosen to express their will, and they must comply with the laws of their constitution in carrying out the will of the people, while protecting the rights of the minority from the majority.

An Unparalleled Agreement

Even in the 1700s, the two terms were sometimes used interchangeably, which, like today, is confusing. The fact that the Founding Fathers debated over whether the nation would be known as a democracy or a republic, among other hotly divided topics, shows why at least two of themGeorge Washington and James Madisonsaid that the signing and subsequent ratification of the Constitution was nothing less than a miracle. In the final wash, many would describe the government they formed as a type of "representative democracy". 

It remains important to emphasize that a Constitution is the unique feature of a Republic.

The National Archives, where you can read a transcript of the document and find other wonderful records and learning tools regarding the constitution, describes the miracle of the Constitution this way:

"The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun."

Transcript of the Constitution, Image by John R Perry from Pixabay
I took note this year of the Constitution's birthday. As moves are continually made in substantial ways to make changes to this treasured document, I believe it behooves every citizen to be aware of what it says and how it came to be. I hope that everyone who enjoys citizenship in our great land will, from time to time, read and review the Constitution. It would be wonderful if our United States Constitution would continue to stand the tests of time until Jesus returns, but that can only happen if it is defended.

Celebrating Our Constitution,

Naomi Musch's heart beats for historical fiction. She writes to bring hope that will change the story—maybe even her own. Author of numerous novels (mostly historical) and first-place, award-winning short stories, she has been a finalist for the Carol Awards; Faith, Hope, and Love Readers’ Choice Awards; the Selah Awards; and twice nominated for Book of the Year. Naomi is at home in the Wisconsin Northwoods, where her perfect day is spent writing, roaming her family’s farm, snacking from the garden, relaxing in her kayak or vintage camper, and loving on her passel of grandchildren.


  1. Thank you for posting today. I'm left a bit confused over whether we're a democracy or republic, but I gather from your clarification point that we were supposed to be a republic. I think I haven't had enough coffee to ponder this yet this morning!

    1. Yes, you're right. In the final wash, we're still a Republic.