The Constitution --- Plain and Simple

Etymology (Part I): Lexicology and the Constitution

Curtis W. Caine, MD

This column on the Constitution appears in the Medical Sentinel to remind us that it is the unConstitutional (and thus illegal) activities in medicine and all other facets of our lives that have trampled on and outlawed our God-endowed freedom and liberty.

Lexicology is the study of the derivation and meaning of words.

As a sampling, let's study the derivation and meaning of some of the key words in the Constitution of the(se) States that confederated in a Union in 1776. For instance, consider:

1. " the Blessings of Liberty..." in the Preamble; the prefix "se-" is Latin for "without." "-cure" is also Latin and signifies "remedy." So "secure" means "is not sick and therefore needs no cure --- to be steadfastly kept as is." That is, our Liberty is not to be breached and thereby placed in need of being restored. But it has been breached and is in need of being restored because the Constitution has been violated time and time again.

2. "...ordain...this Constitution..." in the next phrase is Latin for "commanded as if by the Deity." The Founders here signified that the imposition of the Constitution to muzzle the central government was invoking spiritual significance. When a State or Federal officer disobeys what has been ordained and he has sworn to obey "So help me God," he has sinned against God, Himself. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the gravity of the etymology of this one word "ordain" were understood and taken to heart?

3. Article I begins with "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress." "All" is te-total, not relative, not "almost all," and has no exceptions. Yet daily from the Oval Office and weekly from the Supreme Court legislation is edicted by Executive Orders and Memoranda, and "opinions" in violation of this little three letter word, "all." Third grade lexicology, where are you? Obviously missing in the curriculum.

4. The Second Amendment ends with "...shall not be infringed..." The prefix "in-" is Latin for "not." And "-fringe" is Latin once more and means limited or hedged about or confined. So, to keep and bear arms is a right that may not be restricted by the central government. QED. Case closed.

5. Article II, Section 1, paragraph 7 sets down the President's oath of office. "...I will faithfully execute..." Faithful means full of faith. Faith is a religious word that conveys the promise that in every thing the Chief Executive does he will seek, and be dependent on, God's help, assistance, and direction. Does that mean that God directed the present incumbent to sanction the genocide of preborn humans? Hardly.

The President's oath is traditionally ended with "So help me, God." This is a prayer in which the Chief Executive implores and invokes Jehovah to guide, aid, and help him to obey his sworn commitment. So, if he does disobey his oath, he has not only besmirched his own honor (a serious matter), but he has taken the name of The Sovereign in vain, which violates the Third Commandment of Exodus 20:7 (an offense of the highest magnitude).

A lexicology/etymology dissection of every word in the Constitution is available from a wall full of manuscripts in the law library and is obviously outside the space and time restrictions of this study, but these five examples are intended to confront us with such an approach to the understanding of "...the supreme Law of the Land." Every jot and every tittle is significant in our comprehension of it, just as with reference to Scripture. Matthew 5:18.

Scripture instructs us that God (from everlasting to everlasting) is good incarnate --- Go(o)d. Goodness is God-likeness. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17, KJV.

The absence of good is the absence of Godliness --- the absence of God likeness is Godlessness. When God is absent, good is absent. So, the absence of God results in the absence of good. The absence of God is a- (without), -theist (God) or atheist. Atheism is the religion in which Jehovah is banished. He doesn't just leave --- He is thrown out. Atheism (humanism) is the religion presently mandated by government (in violation of the Constitution of these United States by lack of delegation in Article I, Section 8 and specifically in the First Amendment) on the pretext of government being neutral. "Religion and government cannot mix," and "You cannot legislate religion," we are told. So, it follows, that if government can't be in religion, then religion cannot be in government, they say.

And yet, the wise traveller Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) attributed America's greatness to the goodness (God likeness) of Americans. "Not until I went into the Churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

Have we forgotten his admonition? In Part II, we will discuss the issue of legislating morality.


Dr. Caine is an anesthesiologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and a member of the editorial board of the Medical Sentinel.

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2000;5(6):215. Copyright©2000 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)