By Elizabeth Rogers Kotlowski
Constitutionalism is a product of Christian thinking. Sir Winston Churchill wrote that under the reign of Henry II, "
The underlying idea of the sovereignty of law ... was raised by Magna Carta into a doctrine for the national state. And when, in subsequent ages the state, swollen with its own authority, has attempted to ride roughshod over the rights or liberties of the subject, it is to this doctrine that appeal has again and again been made--and never as yet, without success.
The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution is a constitutional monarchy; that is, the supreme administrative power is vested in a single person (the English sovereign), who is, however, limited by the laws embodied in the Constitution. By way of contrast, the Constitution of the United States of America is republican in nature (a government by representatives chosen by the people) and forbids any title of nobility. It also allows for the election of a national legislature at odds with the chief executive, while
Moreover, despite the differences between the founding documents of the
These words taken from the Coronation service , expressing the Lordship of Christ over
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
The purpose of Section 116, modelled on the First Amendment of the
To rightly interpret the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, it is necessary to understand covenantal principles. American constitutional lawyer, Herbert Titus, has identified seven principles of covenant or constitution making. These are also the principles of civil government since civil government is a covenant made between two or more parties. These seven biblical principles flow from the Magna Carta. The author wishes to show that Australia has a Christian constitution by demonstrating that it incorporates all seven biblical principles of covenant and by comparing the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution to the Constitution of the United States of America and their common source, the Magna Carta. Finally, the author will compare the covenantal principles with Miss Slater's seven biblical principles of government.
The seven principles of covenant are divided into two groups: contract principles and perpetuity principles. The three contract principles are: the rule of law--justification of authority; mutual obligation--reciprocity or mutuality of choice; and community--communal trust. The four perpetuity principles are: the irrevocably binding nature of a covenant; the provision for limited modifiability; the binding nature of a covenant on future generations; and the necessity of a legal framework for the administration of law.
These seven covenantal principles, which apply to covenant making, are distinct .; from Slater's seven biblical principles of government and education already discussed in this book. However, they overlap. For example, the contract principle of the binding nature of covenant on future generations relates to the Principle of the Planting of the Seed of Local Christian Self-government, because God commands parents to constantly tell their children about the wonderful works of God and to remind them that God is a covenant-keeping God. (The similarities will be discussed more fully at the end of this chapter.)
The rule of law is basic. A constitution is the "fundamental law of a nation or state". The great contribution of the Magna Carta is that it confirmed the rule of law as opposed to the arbitrary rule of men. "It is this characteristic which has provided throughout the years the foundation on which has come to rest the entire structure of Anglo-American constitutional liberties".Chapter 39 of the Magna Carta stated that no one shall be deprived of his liberties except "by the law of the land". The rule of law necessitates that the authority to rule be justified. Blackstone strove to do this when he wrote: "Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator". God has a right to rule man because He is the uncreated Creator (Rom. 9:20-1).
The insertion of the phrase, "the people ... humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God", in the Preamble to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, shows the people acknowledge God's right to rule them. Further, the Constitution emphasises the rule of law. "Every law" shall be "subject to this constitution" and if not, it shall "be invalid". The governor-general, the Queen's representative and chief executive officer, is responsible for "the execution and maintenance, of this Constitution, and the laws of the Commonwealth".
Since God made man with a free will, he can choose whether or not to enter into a covenant. A covenant is a contract made between two or more parties with mutual obligations or conditions clearly understood by both parties. Though Samuel had anointed David, it was not until 25 years later, when the people came together at Hebron to make a covenant with David, that he became King (1 Chron. 11:3). David promised to be "father, feeder, healer, protector", while the people pledged their loyal support. The Magna Carta was a covenant agreement between King John and the barons to certain conditions--the protection of individual rights and "no taxation without representation". In the same way, Article V of the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America says that no man shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". The president, senators and representatives are bound "to support this Constitution".
The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution is a compact between "the people" of the states of Australia for the performance of certain limited functions which are best conducted by a federal government. Although there is no bill of rights in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, such individual rights are protected under the common law, inherited from Great Britain, and based originally upon the Ten Commandments and statute law (including the Magna Carta and English Bill of Rights).
The making of a covenant is "the creation of a unique unity of the covenanting parties". As a result of the commitment of two parties to each other, through the terms of the agreement, they become one nation, one people or community (1 Sam. 10:24; 11:14-15). As a result of the agreement between King John and the barons in the Magna Carta, a kingdom of Englishmen was created. Similarly, it was "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union (who) ... do ordain and establish this Constitution," and it was "the people of New South Wales, Victoria (and other states, who) agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth". The essence of community is commitment.
Unlike an ordinary contract, a covenant is irrevocably binding on both parties. It cannot be revoked by mutual consent. Just as the marriage covenant is "until death do us part" (Book of Common Prayer; Rom. 7:1-3), the civil covenant is forever. Once the Israelites chose Saul as King and cut a covenant with him, they were bound to honour it; they could not back out, in spite of royal oppression (1 Sam. 12:13).
The taking of an oath makes the covenant irrevocably binding. The Magna Carta was confirmed by both parties taking an oath to observe the liberties of the people.The framers of the Declaration of Independence declared: "We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour". In the Constitution of the United States of America , the president "solemnly swears (he) will faithfully execute the office of President". The judges, senators and representatives "shall be bound, by oath of affirmation, to support this Constitution". The Australian people "agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established". The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution requires the taking of oaths by members of parliament, the Federal Executive Council, and the governor-general.
Because of man's sin-prone nature, a covenant, while irrevocably binding, may be modified. God's mercy triumphs over judgement. Out of His love for Israel, God renewed the covenant with them many times after they had broken it because of sin. However, a covenant can only be modified according to the provisions of the covenant itself. The terms of a covenant contain two types of laws: obligatory and discretionary. Discretionary laws may vary according to individual or national conditions and may be changed. Obligatory laws are binding and can never be changed. Blackstone said that if a law was made that violated a higher law, such as "the laws of nature and of nature's God" (as revealed in the Bible), it was not "law" at all.
The barons, who framed the Magna Carta, recognised this when they wrote that any law made to reduce these liberties shall be "invalid and void". This idea of fundamental law, found in the Magna Carta, was later embodied in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America. The framers of the Declaration wrote: "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [to secure inalienable rights], it is the right of the people [acting through lower magistrates] to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new government". In fact, it is not only their right, but "it is their duty to throw off such government". The framers of the Constitution of the United States of America also made provision for amendments, subject to certain conditions (Article V). Those conditions included no infringement of the right of the people to give consent to any changes. Changes are made via constitutional conventions in the US.
In Australia, until 1986, proposed changes had to be approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The procedure is now basically the same except that the proposals do not have to be passed by the British Parliament. Changes proposed are presented to the eligible voters for referendum within two to six months of the proposed changes passing both Houses of the Australian Parliament with an absolute majority (or, of passing either House twice after an interval of three months). Then, if the changes are approved by a majority of the electors voting in a majority of the six states, the proposed changes are presented to the governor-general for the Queen's assent.However, since 1901, owing to the conservative nature of the Australian people, only eight out of 42 constitutional revisions put to referendum have been successful. Those defeated were proposals that gave the federal government more powers.
"God's covenants with man have always been made with the individual man in a representative capacity". From Adam to Jesus, they brought blessing or cursing to future generations (Gen. 17:1-9, Rom. 5:12-19). The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation; so God's blessings are passed from generation to generation (Exod. 20:5-6).
The framers of the Magna Carta recognised this perpetuity principle when they wrote that this charter is "for us and for our heirs forever". The binding quality of the covenant on future generations was implied by the framers of the Declaration of Independence when they wrote: "It is our duty to throw off such a government, and to provide new guards for our future security", in the event of a government's failure to protect our liberties. Similarly, the framers of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution declared: "The people ... have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and under the Constitution hereby established". Thus, this statement implies perpetuity. "God has chosen the covenant as His framework within which to administer his law". The type of law varies according to the type of covenant. The marriage covenant operates by the law of love (Eph. 5:22-6:4), while the civil covenant operates by the power of the sword (Rom. 13:1-4).
The legal framework for the administration of law is assumed, rather than stated, in the Magna Carta, but the Constitution of the United States of America spells it out clearly. Legislative powers are vested in the Congress (Article I), executive powers in the president (Article II), and judicial powers in the Supreme Courts and the lower courts (Article III). This separation of powers acts as a built in system of checks and balances against arbitrary abuse of federal government power.
However, the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution is a compromise. While the judiciary powers are separate (vested in the High Court of Australia), the executive and legislative powers are combined in Parliament. The Queen is still the chief executive officer, but her power is normally exercised by the governor-general as the Queen's representative. Until the Statute of Westminster of 1942 (confirmed at the outbreak of World War II), the parliament of the United Kingdom could also legislate for Australia. Although this power was terminated, the Queen was retained as the Australian sovereign; therefore, the constitutional "covenant" remains in force, providing the framework for the administration of law. A comparison of the Constitution of the United States of America with the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution reveals there is a unity between the two constitutions because of the common constitutional background of the framers. Both constitutions are based on the seven biblical covenantal principles--the three contract principles and the four perpetuity principles, so both are Christian in conception. In this respect the constitutions are similar.
The reasons for the differences in the constitutions are found in the different colonial and constitutional histories of the American and Australian states. The American colonies were established by people with a strong religious mission. Because of a history of religious persecution in Europe and a long train of abuses by the English monarch in America, they were very protective of their inalienable rights (of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness), since their rights as Englishmen had not been respected. Hence, the Constitution of the United States of America contains a Bill of Rights, while the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution does not include a declaration on the rights of subjects. Such are protected under common law (inherited from Great Britain and based originally upon the Ten Commandments), and statute law. The United States was born out of the blood and tears of revolution so their appeal was to "the Supreme Judge" rather than to the "mother country", which had betrayed them.
However, while the Americans declared their independence of Great Britain, the Australians wanted to retain their ties with the "mother" country. Why was this? The Australian colonies were established by a people who had been deported from Great Britain as convicts, similar to the founding of the State of Georgia. Though shipped to the colonies against their wills, the Australians had not been abused in the same way as the American colonists. Possibly Britain had learned from the American experience. Australia was also further away from the "homeland" than America. The Australians were keenly aware of their geographical isolation in the southern hemisphere and of their vulnerability to the potential threat of the hordes of Asia to the north.
Like the American colonies, the Australian colonies inherited the English form of government. They both operated under British charters, but while the Americans drew up their own state constitutions modelled on the Mayflower Compact all the Australian legislation was enacted by acts of the British Parliament. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia is different from the Constitution of the United States of America and from most other national constitutions.
It did not establish a new principle of government, purport to be the 'fountainhead' of law or to establish or guarantee citizens' rights.... Rather than being a constitution in the same sense as the constitutions of other countries, it has the nature of a treaty, fitting into the pre-existing and unchanged previous constitutional structure inherited from Britain.
Because Australia started as a penal colony, its constitutional history was one of slow development from an autocratic monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. However, both constitutions are Christian in conception because of their mutual English common law heritage.
Herbert Titus' seven covenantal principles and Rosalie .;Slater's seven principles of government are both biblical and both relate to civil government. Titus' covenantal principles relate specifically to constitutional law, while Slater's principles pertain to the individual, but also apply in a broad fashion to civil government. They supplement and interrelate with Titus' principles. The covenantal principles of the civil covenant and the marriage contract are very similar, while the American Pilgrim Fathers modelled their first civil contract, the Mayflower Compact, on their church contract. They had learned covenantal principles from their former pastor, Robert Brewster. This shows that if biblical principles are first learned and practised in the home and the church, they can later be applied to civil government.
The covenantal principles of the rule of law and the covenant as the legal framework for the administration of law relate to Slater's Principle of the Christian Form of Government. Reciprocity or mutuality of choice presupposes evidence of Christian Character and also relates to the Christian Principle of Political Union. Community or communal trust parallels the Christian Principle of Political Union. God is always faithful, so the covenant is irrevocably binding, relating to the Principle of Conscience [as] the Most Sacred of all Property. Although God made man in His image (Principle of Individuality), He has had to substitute one covenant after another with man because of sin, so limited modifiability is permitted. Since God has always dealt with man in a representative capacity, His covenants have always been binding on future generations. The Seed of Local Christian Self-government is planted through the education and training of future generations in Christian self-government in the home, church, and local civil government. The basis of all government is the Principle of Christian Self-government, which is what makes civil covenants work.
In his paper, "Origins of the Australian System", Australian High Court barrister, David Mitchell, affirms that Australia is a Christian country because its government and law are based on the Bible. He points out that historically the English monarch and the parliament are both subject to "the law", as embodied in the Bible. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, swore allegiance to the Laws of God in the Coronation service. While parliament acts in an advisory capacity to the Queen of Australia or to the governor-general as her representative, she is not bound to follow parliament's advice. In the event of a conflict of interest, it is assumed the Queen will obey God's Law, as she promised in her Coronation service. Christianity was "parcel of the common law of England". It was believed that any attack on Christianity was also an assault on civil government itself, because civil government had its origins in Christianity.
When the colonists came to Australia in 1788, they brought the law of England with them. The Australian Courts Act of 25 July 1828 put into effect the same governmental system in the Australian colonies (and later the states), that had operated in England for centuries. Both governors and their parliaments "exercised their authority under God". The Australian courts resolved disputes in the same way, and from 25 July 1858, the Privy Council sat as an Australian court to resolve Australian cases.
The biblical character of the structure of law and government established in colonial Australia is supported by Mr Justice Hargrave in the case of ex parte Thackeray (1874 13 SCR (NSW) 1 at p. 61). He said:
We the colonists of New South Wales, 'bring out with us' (to adopt the words of Blackstone), this first great common law maxim distinctly handed down by Coke and Blackstone and every other English Judge long before any of our colonies were in legal existence or even thought of, that 'Christianity is part and parcel of our general laws'; and that all the revealed or divine law, so far as enacted by the Holy Scriptures to be of universal obligation, is part of our colonial law--as clearly explained by Blackstone Vol. I pp. 42-3; and Vol. IV pp. 43-60.
This statement of the historic Christian basis of law continues unchallenged until the present time. In 1992, the Supreme Court of Victoria stated that Australia is "predominantly a Christian country" (Noontil v. Auty 1992 1 VR 365). That, however, does not mean that the sovereignty of God's Law has not been challenged. Last century, A.V. Dicey wrote about the "sovereignty of parliament". Today, we face the same dilemma. Can parliament make laws that are not in agreement with the Constitution and biblical law? Dicey's statement was approved in an Australian court for the first time in 1983, but that does not make it right. Legal theory still recognises that the Bible and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution are binding on the governor-general, both federal and state parliaments, the law courts, and the administration or bureaucracy. Therefore, any laws made by a parliament that do not agree with the Constitution or the Bible, are "unconstitutional". Note however, that although Australia as a nation is founded upon the Christian religion, parliament cannot legislate that all citizens must practise the Christian religion.
The power of parliament is limited by the Constitution. The responsibility of the judges is to interpret the Constitution according to the "original intent" of the framers of the Constitution. The reason the Constitution was written was to limit the power of the federal parliament. A constitution is a limiting document. Sir Kenneth Wheare, author of Modern Constitutions, explains:
It means government according to rule as opposed to arbitrary government; it means government limited by the terms of a Constitution.... The real justification of Constitutions, the original idea behind them, is that of limiting government and of requiring those who govern to conform to law and rules.
The Australian Federal Parliament was set up with limited legislative powers that had been designated to it by the states. ABC broadcaster and legal commentator Richard Ackland, succinctly makes the point:
The founding fathers wrote the Constitution as though Australia was to be six States with one little Commonwealth government tacked on to look after customs and defence. State Rights and powers were to dominate. Instead, the High Courts over the years have virtually re-written the Constitution to hand power from the States to the Commonwealth.... The Court has brought about 'The Great Centralist Dream'.
J. M. on interpreting, Macquarie University professor L. J. M. Cooray points out in his paper, "The Centralist Tendency: The Role of the High Court", that there are two competing methods of interpreting the Constitution. The first, and traditional, approach is to interpret the Constitution according to the original intent (or intended meaning) of the framers, in the context of its historical setting, and by following the procedures provided in the Constitution itself. The second, and popular, approach is that of adapting the Constitution to suit changing circumstances. 
But, "can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" (Jer. 13:23). A constitution is the fundamental law of the land; it is not made to be changed. Cooray argues for the interpretation of the Constitution according to its original intent. Contrary to the intentions of the men who drafted the Constitution, substantial state powers have been transferred to the Commonwealth government by High Court judges, who have felt they had a right to change the Constitution without the consent of the people. The majority of Australian voters, as indicated in referendums over the last ten years, are opposed to any changes in the Constitution.. J. M. on interpreting;
The alternative to constitutional law is arbitrary law. The alternative to federalism is centralism, and with it, tyranny and the loss of liberty. As Judge Bork noted: "The interpretation of the Constitution according to the original understanding ... is the only method that can preserve the Constitution, the separation of powers, and the liberties of the people".
The introduction of the United Nations' Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief into Australian law, raises the question: Who is in control of Australia? Are we to be governed by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, representing a fundamental body of laws based on the Bible, and drawn up with the consent of the people of Australia? Or, are we to be governed by a foreign body that does not represent the Australian people, that is antagonistic to Christianity and biblical law and has no regard for Australia's historic Christian traditions? That is the question.
Since God, the uncreated Creator, is the source of all power and authority, He is the rightful owner of man, the earth and all that is in it. Man owes his allegiance to God, first and foremost. The first commandment is clear. "Thou shall have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution recognises the supremacy of the Law of God.
The United Nations does not. By declaration and implication, its mission is to replace God with the United Nations, as the "Saviour" of mankind. It wants to make Australia "One nation under the UN" instead of "One nation under God". Writing in 1970 about the religious mission of the United Nations, R.J. Rushdoony stated:
'We the people of the United Nations determined to save ... have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.' The phrase 'determined to save' is expressive of the high religious resolution of the United Nations. The United Nations is, by its own Charter, clearly a humanistic organization, dedicated to ... 'humanitarian principles.' We will either fail to understand the U. N. or to cope with it unless we recognize that it is religious in inspiration and a religious necessity for humanism, for the religion of humanity. First, man needs an agency of certainty in order to meet this world of change and decay and give it meaning, and, second, man will make of that agency a substitute god.
The United Nations is as much a missionary organisation as the Church Missionary Society. However, its adherents worship a different god--man and the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present state. The UN was established after World War II by a group of humanistic idealists who believed that inequality was the main cause of war, so that by changing a man's environment, inequalities could be eliminated and peace would reign. However, war does not originate in man's environment (external) but in his heart (internal), where sin resides. "From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1). Sin, not environment, is the cause of war.
It is not the author's purpose to debate the ramifications of the introduction of the controversial UN Declaration on The Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief that has now become part of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Act. Readers are referred to an excellent discussion of the subject in a recent publication, edited by Ian Hodge, Is This the End of Religious Liberty? Its relevance to the present discussion on the Constitution is the intrusion of a form of law, completely alien to Australia's Constitution and historic Christian form of government. Is it right that a foreign humanistic UN Human Rights Committee decide religious human rights' disputes in Australia?
According to John Heininger, an executive member of the National Alliance of Christian Leaders (NACL); and an alumnus of the UN-endorsed International Institute of Human Rights:
It is a contradiction in terms for Australians to reject a foreign British monarch, who has sworn to uphold traditional Judeo-Christian values and the Lordship of Jesus Christ, while at the same time actively embracing the foreign human rights agenda and oversight of the United Nations which is founded on the relative values of humanism.
No British monarch or previous Australian government has ever sought to introduce such a vast body of foreign laws and regulations into Australia. UN human instruments comprise 1000 articles that define and control every area of conduct including the way Australians practise their religion and raise their children.
Dr Graham McLennan, National Coordinator of the NACL, is concerned not only with the content of certain articles of the Declaration, but also with the vague language of the Declaration which could lend itself to a variety of interpretations--a view shared by the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference and other religious bodies. In spite of government reassurances to the contrary, there is no guarantee that the Declaration could not be used to restrict religious freedom. For example, this could happen if the Declaration was interpreted to mean that Christians' right to proselytise was "interfering" with the right of others to religious "freedom". Such an interpretation could violate Section 116 of the Constitution, and the issue would then become a question of sovereignty. Any law that breached any section of the Constitution would be invalid.
If Australia is to maintain her sovereignty as a nation; if the states are to maintain their sovereignty apart from the national government; if individuals are to retain their liberties--freedom of speech, religion, and voluntary association, then Australian citizens must be aware of the agenda of the United Nations, and put a stop to it before it is too late. Why? The UN law is not Christian law; neither is their goal of one-world government God's government; nor is their god, the God of Australia. As long as Australian Christians allow another "Christ" to make laws for them--laws that will override every state law on religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of association--then, they will not have the liberty to spread the Gospel as the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded them, as His representatives on the earth. The UN agenda violates every principle of the Christian Form of Government--representation (by the consent of the people), separation of powers, the dual form of government, with arbitration or settlement of differences by their own judges (rather than the UN world court, which has no understanding of, or sympathy with, our Bible-based historic laws). All these provisions are essential to protect our inalienable rights and to prevent Australia from becoming a slave state.
God created nations, not the United Nations, which is a modern Tower of Babel, which means "confusion" (Genesis 11). As God confused the language of the people and Nimrod's global schemes, so God intends Christians to confuse the work of the Enemy--by every legal means available to them: by educating themselves in biblical principles of government; by teaching their children; by raising their voices in churches and public places; by electing Godly representatives; by taking an active part in local and state government; by prayer and fasting; and by choosing to obey God rather than men, if necessary (Acts 5:29).
In the words of the Preamble to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution, if Australian Christians "humbly rely on the blessing of Almighty God", seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, God will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14). That is why it is not enough to have a written Constitution or the "letter" of the law; the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution must be supported by a people in whom is the "spirit" of the Law of God. Christian civil government must begin with Christian self-government because Christian character is the foundation of a nation.
The Principle of Political Union: The states were self-governing. The basis for federation (union) was a common constitution and allegiance to a Christian monarch (who swore allegiance to the King of Kings in a Christian coronation service).
Quoted in Paul Johnson, A History of the English People (London: Casell, 1981), p. 202. For a fuller discussion, see Churchill, A History of the English Speaking Peoples: The Birth of Britain, 1: pp. 252-56.
The reader might ask why the author has elected to compare and contrast the Australian Constitution with the American Constitution, rather than with the Canadian Constitution of 1867. The reasons are several. The American Constitution is universally recognised as a model of constitutional government; it was developed almost a century before the Canadian Constitution. Like the Australian Constitution, the Canadian Constitution was similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom. The Canadian Constitutional Act 1982 "was founded upon principles that recognized the supremacy of God and the rule of law". See Albert P. Blaustein & Gisbert H. Flanz, eds., "The Canadian Constitution" in Constitutions of the Countries of the World (Dobbs Ferry: Oceana Publishers, 1991), p. 103. The Constitutional Act 1982, included a Canadian Charter of Rights which proposed "freedom of conscience and religion ... freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication". It did not guarantee property rights nor did it restrict legislatures from limiting these rights. A later amendment attempted to rectify these shortcomings, but failed to address the fact that these rights cannot be granted and taken away by the state because they are God-given.
Quoted in "The Coronation Service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II", Understanding Our Christian Heritage 1 (1989): p. 51. The Archbishop admonishes the Queen "to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the Law and the Gospel of God as the rule for the whole of life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords". The Moderator of the Church of Scotland continues: "Here is Wisdom; This is the royal Law; These are the lively Oracles of God." (p. 49)
Richard Eason, "Australia is a Christian Nation", Understanding Our Christian Heritage 1 (1987), p. 43. For the full text of "The Coronation Service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II", see Graham McLennan, ed. Understanding Our Christian Heritage, vol. 1, pp. 48-56. This biblically based Christian service has remained almost unchanged since the Coronation of King Edgar at Bath in AD 973. As Eason pointed out, the service was written several hundred years before the advent of Henry VIII and the Church of England as a denomination.
See Herbert W. Titus, God, Man, and Law: The Biblical Principles (Oak Brook: Institute of Basic Life Principles, 1994) and A Syllabus for Constitutional Law: Christian Covenant Framework (Virginia Beach: Regent University School of Public Policy and School of Law, 1988).
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England in Blackstone's Commentaries, 1: p. 39. The Principle of the Christian Form of Government is based on biblical law and the Christian idea of man made in the image of God.
H. Titus, "God, Man, and Law: The Covenant Framework", Regent University, Virginia Beach, p. 82. The Principle of Political Union is based on the principle of contract--unity with diversity. The states combine together to form a compact (covenant) for certain purposes (such as defence and justice), but each state retains its individuality and powers to manage its own affairs in matters of policy not specifically given to the federal government. The danger in recent years has been the tendency for the federal (commonwealth) government to take over more and more powers that do not rightly belong to it. Increasing centralisation leads to tyranny and a loss of local self-government and individual responsibility.
and The Principle of Property (no taxation without representation).
David Mitchell, "Origins of the Australian System", in Ian Hodge, ed. Is This the End of Religious Liberty? The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (Homebush West: Anzea Publishers, 1993), p. 28.
Regent University Professor Jose L. Gonzalez enumerates several listings of biblical concepts relating to nation building. Contributors include Paul Jehle, Stephen McDowell and Mark Beliles, and Rus Walton. See "The Relevance of America's Christian History to the Nations: A Latin American Perspective", The Journal of the Foundation for American Christian Education 3, (1991): p. 121.
David Mitchell, "Origins of the Australian System", in Ian Hodge, Ed., Is This the End of Religious Liberty?, pp. 24-31. Available from the Christian History Research Institute. The following is a summary of Mitchell's argument.