Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Fundamental Orders of 1639

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In 1639, the English colony of Connecticut adopted a set of laws governing the establishment, powers, and limitations of government. Some historians consider this document, which would become known as The Fundamental Orders, to be the first written Constitution in Western History. Today, Connecticut is often called The Constitution State due to this claim. 

The Fundamental Orders are notable for declaring the rights of individuals and limiting the power of government. The full text of The Fundamental Orders is presented below:

The Fundamental Orders of 1639 

For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, to order and dispose of the affairs of the people at all seasons as occasion shall require; do therefore associate and conjoin ourselves to be as one Public State or Commonwealth; and do for ourselves and our successors and such as shall be adjoined to us at any time hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation together, to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess, as also, the discipline of the Churches, which according to the truth of the said Gospel is now practiced amongst us; as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed as followeth:

1. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that there shall be yearly two General Assemblies or Courts, the one the second Thursday in April, the other the second Thursday in September following; the first shall be called the Court of Election, wherein shall be yearly chosen from time to time, so many Magistrates and other public Officers as shall be found requisite: Whereof one to be chosen Governor for the year ensuing and until another be chosen, and no other Magistrate to be chosen for more than one year: provided always there be six chosen besides the Governor, which being chosen and sworn according to an Oath recorded for that purpose, shall have the power to administer justice according to the Laws here established, and for want thereof, according to the Rule of the Word of God; which choice shall be made by all that are admitted freemen and have taken the Oath of Fidelity, and do cohabit within this Jurisdiction having been admitted Inhabitants by the major part of the Town wherein they live or the major part of such as shall be then present.

2. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the election of the aforesaid Magistrates shall be in this manner: every person present and qualified for choice shall bring in (to the person deputed to receive them) one single paper with the name of him written in it whom he desires to have Governor, and that he that hath the greatest number of papers shall be Governor for that year. And the rest of the Magistrates or public officers to be chosen in this manner: the Secretary for the time being shall first read the names of all that are to be put to choice and then shall severally nominate them distinctly, and every one that would have the person nominated to be chosen shall bring in one single paper written upon, and he that would not have him chosen shall bring in a blank; and every one that hath more written papers than blanks shall be a Magistrate for that year; which papers shall be received and told by one or more that shall be then chosen by the court and sworn to be faithful therein; but in case there should not be six chosen as aforesaid, besides the Governor, out of those which are nominated, than he or they which have the most writen papers shall be a Magistrate or Magistrates for the ensuing year, to make up the aforesaid number.

3. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Secretary shall not nominate any person, nor shall any person be chosen newly into the Magistracy which was not propounded in some General Court before, to be nominated the next election; and to that end it shall be lawful for each of the Towns aforesaid by their deputies to nominate any two whom they conceive fit to be put to election; and the Court may add so many more as they judge requisite.

4. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that no person be chosen Governor above once in two years, and that the Governor be always a member of some approved Congregation, and formerly of the Magistracy within this Jurisdiction; and that all the Magistrates, Freemen of this Commonwealth; and that no Magistrate or other public officer shall execute any part of his or their office before they are severally sworn, which shall be done in the face of the court if they be present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose.

5. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that to the aforesaid Court of Election the several Towns shall send their deputies, and when the Elections are ended they may proceed in any public service as at other Courts. Also the other General Court in September shall be for making of laws, and any other public occasion, which concerns the good of the Commonwealth.

6. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the Governor shall, either by himself or by the Secretary, send out summons to the Constables of every Town for the calling of these two standing Courts one month at least before their several times: And also if the Governor and the greatest part of the Magistrates see cause upon any special occasion to call a General Court, they may give order to the Secretary so to do within fourteen days' warning: And if urgent necessity so required, upon a shorter notice, giving sufficient grounds for it to the deputies when they meet, or else be questioned for the same; And if the Governor and major part of Magistrates shall either neglect or refuse to call the two General standing Courts or either of them, as also at other times when the occasions of the Commonwealth require, the Freemen thereof, or the major part of them, shall petition to them so to do; if then it be either denied or neglected, the said Freemen, or the major part of them, shall have the power to give order to the Constables of the several Towns to do the same, and so may meet together, and choose to themselves a Moderator, and may proceed to do any act of power which any other General Courts may.

7. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that after there are warrants given out for any of the said General Courts, the Constable or Constables of each Town, shall forthwith give notice distinctly to the inhabitants of the same, in some public assembly or by going or sending from house to house, that at a place and time by him or them limited and set, they meet and assemble themselves together to elect and choose certain deputies to be at the General Court then following to agitate the affairs of the Commonwealth; which said deputies shall be chosen by all that are admitted Inhabitants in the several Towns and have taken the oath of fidelity; provided that none be chosen a Deputy for any General Court which is not a Freeman of this Commonwealth.

The aforesaid deputies shall be chosen in manner following: every person that is present and qualified as before expressed, shall bring the names of such, written in several papers, as they desire to have chosen for that employment, and these three or four, more or less, being the number agreed on to be chosen for that time, that have the greatest number of papers written for them shall be deputies for that Court; whose names shall be endorsed on the back side of the warrant and returned into the Court, with the Constable or Constables' hand unto the same.

8. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield shall have power, each Town, to send four of their Freemen as their deputies to every General Court; and Whatsoever other Town shall be hereafter added to this Jurisdiction, they shall send so many deputies as the Court shall judge meet, a reasonable proportion to the number of Freemen that are in the said Towns being to be attended therein; which deputies shall have the power of the whole Town to give their votes and allowance to all such laws and orders as may be for the public good, and unto which the said Towns are to be bound.

9. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that the deputies thus chosen shall have power and liberty to appoint atime and a place of meeting together before any General Court, to advise and consult of all such things as may concern the good of the public, as also to examine their own Elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the greatest part of them find any election to be illegal they may seclude such for present from their meeting, and return the same and their reasons to the Court; and if it be proved true, the Court may fine the party or parties so intruding, and the Town, if they see cause, and give out a warrant to go to a new election in a legal way, either in part or in whole. Also the said deputies shall have power to fine any that shall be disorderly at their meetings, or for not coming in due time or place according to appointment; and they may return the said fines into the Court if it be refused to be paid, and the Treasurer to take notice of it, and to escheat or levy the same as he does other fines.

10. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that every General Court, except such as through neglect of the Governor and the greatest part of the Magistrates the Freemen themselves do call, shall consist of the Governor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, and four other Magistrates at least, with the major part of the deputies of the several Towns legally chosen; and in case the Freemen, or major part of them, through neglect or refusal of the Governor and major part of the Magistrates, shall call a Court, it shall consist of the major part of Freemen that are present or their deputiues, with a Moderator chosen by them: In which said General Courts shall consist the supreme power of the Commonwealth, and they only shall have power to make laws or repeal them, to grant levies, to admit of Freemen, dispose of lands undisposed of, to several Towns or persons, and also shall have power to call either Court or Magistrate or any other person whatsoever into question for any misdemeanor, and may for just causes displace or deal otherwise according to the nature of the offense; and also may deal in any other matter that concerns the good of this Commonwealth, except election of Magistrates, which shall be done by the whole body of Freemen.

In which Court the Governor or Moderator shall have power to order the Court, to give liberty of speech, and silence unseasonable and disorderly speakings, to put all things to vote, and in case the vote be equal to have the casting voice. But none of these Courts shall be adjourned or dissolved without the consent of the major part of the Court.

11. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that when any General Court upon the occasions of the Commonwealth have agreed upon any sum, or sums of money to be levied upon the several Towns within this Jurisdiction, that a committee be chosen to set out and appoint what shall be the proportion of every Town to pay of the said levy, provided the committee be made up of an equal number out of each Town.

14th January 1639 the 11 Orders above said are voted.

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China: Crackdown on House Churches Continues

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Links in the press release are to ICC web pages. Also, please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

Preachers from Zion Church in Beijing Arrested, Detained 

The Disbanded House Church Continues to Face Persecution

05/04/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 28, two preachers from the Beijing-based Zion Church were taken from their homes and put in detention.

According to urgent prayer requests sent out by the now disbanded house church, local police removed preacher Qie Jiafu from his home in Changping district at 11:30 pm on April 28 for the purpose of interrogation. Despite multiple phone calls to the Shahe Police Station, Zion Church members were unable to learn about the motive behind Qie’s detention.

Qie’s wife received only one phone call from police at 1:00 a.m. on April 30, informing her that Qie was placed under a 10-day administrative detention for violating Art.54 of the Regulations on Administrative Penalties for Public Security. He was also fined 500 Yuan (77 USD).

Preacher Huang Chunzi’s detention, despite taking place at the same time, was only discovered three days later, and her church was occupied with assisting Qie’s family.

The last time her church members heard from her was on April 28, when she notified them that local authorities were at her door. She soon went missing.

After being detained for more than 72 hours, local authorities still have not notified her only contactable family member. They also refused to reveal the why, when, and where of her detention.

The church is asking for prayers so that Preacher Huang will be given all the strength she needs from the Lord, and that the Lord will make way so the church can gain current updates. They also pray for sufficient grace for Preacher Qie and the many servants who are paying the price for Christ in this day and age.

Zion Church, established in 2007, used to be the largest house church in Beijing, drawing 1,500 congregants every Sunday. The church was shut down in September 2018 and legally banned as it was accused of “conducting unauthorized activities and disturbing social order under the name of civil organization.”

Zion Church Pastor Ezra Jin Mingri has been banned from leaving the country for nearly three years, while his daughter Grace Jin shares the same fate – she failed to join her law school in the states in July 2019 due to the travel restrictions placed on her by the authorities.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said, “The arbitrary arrests of the two Zion Church preachers indicate Beijing’s intention to root out house churches. Along with the ‘Administrative Measures for Religious Clergy,’ which came into effect on May 1, the Chinese government wants all religious leaders to submit to the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership and its ideology. Those who do not will face persecution. The ongoing crackdown against Christianity in China deserves the world’s attention.”

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Congressional Resolution Calls for Azerbaijan to Release Armenian POWs

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Links in the press release are to ICC web pages. Also, please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Urge United States Government to Lead in Gaining Freedom for an Estimated 200 Armenian POWs

03/16/2020 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) –International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the five co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for the United States to lead in gaining the freedom of Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) still held by Azerbaijani forces, despite the end of hostilities from the fall between the two sides in Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh). The co-chairs, U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), David G. Valadao (R-CA), and Jackie Speier (D-CA), are part of the bipartisan group of 31 members on the caucus cosponsoring the resolution.

Although the agreement signed by Azerbaijan after the war and international law both require that Azerbaijan is to release any POWs it still detains, reports indicate that as many as 200 Armenian soldiers and civilians are still in Azerbaijani custody. In response, the resolution urges the Biden administration to “engage at all levels with Azerbaijani authorities…to make clear the importance of adhering to their obligations…[and] to immediately release all prisoners of war and captured civilians.”

In a statement released by Rep. Schiff’s office on the resolution, the congressman strongly condemned Azerbaijan’s actions. “It is unacceptable that more than 100 days after the end of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, hundreds of Armenian service members and civilians remain in Azerbaijani custody, where little is known of their condition, treatment, or well-being,” said Rep. Schiff. “Azerbaijan is already guilty grave atrocities committed during the recent war, and this compounds the problem.”

ICC has been concerned about the status of Armenian POWs, and recommended that the United States support efforts to ensure their freedom in its recent report entitled, The Anatomy of Genocide: Karabakh’s Forty-Four Day War.  ICC has worked to bolster this resolution by continually reporting on the status of POWs and conducting outreach to Congressional offices on the issue.

ICC will also be hosting an event tomorrow on the recent conflict in Artsakh and the persisting problems facing Armenian Christians, including ongoing plight of POWs. The event will take place at 10am EST and will be open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, click here to RSVP.

In response to the resolution, ICC’s Director of Advocacy, Matias Perttula, said, “We welcome the introduction of this important resolution by Rep. Schiff. Azerbaijan’s continued detention of Armenian POWs – both combatants and noncombatants – is not only a grave abuse of human rights and international law, but also illustrates the broader religious and ethnic implications of the recent conflict. We hope the rest of Congress and the Biden administration follow the lead of these members of Congress in showing Turkey and Azerbaijan that the United States will not stand for these atrocities.”

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Pakistan: Christian Family Attacked by Muslim Mob of Two Dozen

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.


Christian Family in Pakistan Attacked for Unblocking a Sewer Drain

03/12/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Last month, a Christian family in Pakistan was brutally attacked by a mob of Muslims after they unblocked a sewer drain coming from their home. Local police have taken no action against the attackers, leaving the Christian family feeling unsafe and marginalized.

On February 14, Munir Masih and his family were attacked by a mob of their Muslim neighbors in Jindry village, a neighborhood in Lahore. According to Masih, the mob was led by Ashraf Alamgeer and wielded axes, sticks, and stones.

Masih told International Christian Concern (ICC) that the attack happened after his family unblocked a sewer drain from their home. The drain was blocked by Alamgeer because he viewed the Christian family as “untouchable” and did not want the family’s waste water to flow by his house.

On February 14, a mob of more than two dozen men, led by Alamgeer, attacked Masih’s home. They threw bricks and stones at the house and broke down the iron gate. Once inside, the mob thrashed everyone within, including men, women, and children.

Reporting the incident to ICC, Masih shared that this is the second time his family has been attacked in the last two months. On January 1, the family was attacked by their Muslim neighbors as they left home to participate in a New Year’s Day prayer service.

Following the February attack, Masih reported the incident to police.

“I submitted an application to the Superintendent of Police on February 19,” Masih told ICC. “No action has been taking against the attackers till today.”

Masih also submitted an application to the Prime Minister’s online compliant system. This application has also yielded no positive results.

“I am a Christian, therefor I am not heard by any department of the government,” Masih explained. “I feel insecure when I go out because the Muslim families carry guns with them. I want to life for my family, but at the same time I want equal rights for my people.”

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Woke America: The End of Free Speech

Disney pulls Peter Pan, Dumbo, and a number of other classic movies.

3-10-2021 - Woke America continues to demand the end of free speech, and this time it has a willing victim in Disney, which is imposing self-inflicted wounds on a number of its classic franchises.

First, Disney labeled The Muppets (the Jim Henson creation now owned by Disney) as "unsuitable for small children" due to characters and humor that could be considered "socially incorrect."

Now, they are pulling a number of their classic movies from the Disney streaming service due to content which may be considered "racist." The movies include Dumbo, Peter Pan, The Aristocats, Lady and the Tramp, and the live-action movie Swiss Family Robinson. 

Disney stated that these movies will still be available for "adults only,"  but will be labeled with warnings about their content. Disney did not immediately explain how they plan to enforce the adults-only rule. 


Ad: As of this morning, you can still find The Aristocats and many other classic Disney movies on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, purchases made through the links on this website help support this website at no extra cost to you. 
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