Principle #1: God is the Author of Free Government
If there is no higher power to which a man can appeal, than to the powers and laws of men derived from conquests and dependent upon the temperaments and whims of men, then there is no rule of law. The rule of law depends upon God given rights.
What is the rule of law?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as:
Rule of law: A situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone.
This is of course is a terrible definition! I truly hope that students who come across this definition would be properly corrected and instructed in the principles of freedom that our founders taught and understood, but somehow I doubt it.
If the rule of law were to simply mean that one is obliged to obey the laws of the land as a duty of citizenship regardless of the nature of the laws under which they are bound, then any law or action of enforcement by a government, no matter how grossly it abuses it's citizens, would be considered legitimate. Therefore, even governments of tyranny could claim to be operating under the rule of law. Notice I say under the rule of law. It is instructive that a government operates under the rule of law rather than lording over the rule of law. The Rule of Law is dependent upon the Laws of Nature and Nature's God and government's who violate these natural rights of their citizens are outside the Rule of Law as understood and articulated by our founding fathers.
"Good and wise men, in all ages, have embraced... a theory... that the deity, from the relations, we stand in, to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is, indispensibly, obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever." (Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775)
"This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original." (Of the Nature of Laws in General, William Blackstone)
This is what is called the Law of Nature
Our founders taught the principle of the Rule of Law as the prerequisite principle to all forms of legitimate and free governments. Only governments who recognize God as the author of free government and establish and act within legal parameters that respect and protect the God given rights of their citizens, and adjudicate such law with equity among all its citizens, could be considered living under the rule of law.
"Upon this law, depend the natural rights of mankind, the supreme being gave existence to man, together with the means of preserving and beatifying that existence. He endowed him with rational faculties, by the help of which, to discern and pursue such things, as were consistent with his duty and interest, and invested him with an inviolable right to personal liberty, and personal safety. Hence, in a state of nature, no man had any moral power to deprive another of his life, limbs, property or liberty…"
Too many Americans in our times are untethered from the absolute truths of the eternal principles of freedom. They have the dangerous idea that it is the government that gives rights and the government has the legitimate power, when the majority decide it is right, to take away those rights. We will further discuss this principle in greater detail in principle #3 of the "Six Foundational Principles of Free Republics," but for now we must understand the source of our rights and our law if we are to retain our freedoms.
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” (“The Farmer Refuted: or, a more comprehensive and impartial View of Dispute between Great Britain and the Colonies,” by Alexander Hamilton, Feb 25, 1775)