—HAPPY 800TH ANNIVERSARY—
Eight hundred years ago this year, the year 1215, Stephen Langton wrote Magna Carta in a moment’s notice, King John signed it at the points of swords, and the Roman pope outlawed both Magna Carta and its drafter Steven Langton—
because it is contrary to the canon law of Rome. Stephen Langton, King John, and that Roman pope are now gone. Magna Carta, however, —the result of the sharpest adversity, a foundation of our common-law way of life—lives on. Since its signing, Magna Carta—as now also our United States Constitution—has been hacked, amended, cussed, misconstrued, and even chucked into the dustbin of
history. Powerful men have put it into a coffin, dug its grave, and formed its funeral procession. But somehow the intended corpse has refused to stay put, andunderstandably so, because its principles are timeless.
MAGNA CARTA IN A NUTSHELL
Magna Carta begins—and ends—by declaring the Church in England free from all other powers, both foreign (Rome’s pope) and domestic (England’s Crown). It next follows with detailed protection of widows and orphans—a constant theme of the Bible. Then it limits the power of the banker’s cabals of usury and bars the national government (the English Crown) from direct, personal tax-collection power over individuals; forbidding tax collectors, for instance, from taking a man’s draught animals and tools necessary for him to feed his family or to satisfy, a claimed tax obligation—also the Bible’s first principle. It then follows with guarantees of due process (timely notice, a meaningful opportunity to be heard, and consent) before being taxed and trial by a jury of one’s peers (neighbors). And above all, Magna Carta affirms the required consent of the common-law jury of one’s peers before the power of government may be used to take a man’s life, liberty, or property—thus echoing the jury principle of both the Older and the Newer Testaments. Indeed, our own United States Constitution’s limits for government are strikingly alike to Magna Carta’s—not only in general principles but also in particulars.
REASONS FOR MAGNA CARTA = REASONS FOR U.S. CONSTITUTION
The reasons Englishmen insisted upon Magna Carta are even more curious for their strong likeness to the threats Americans now face: oppression of Islamic law, plundering of our valuable land by foreign powers, and enslavement to usurious debt. Consider these facts: First, King John, forced signer of Magna
Carta, had promised the Islamic Sultan of Morocco that he would decree all England Islamic if the Sultan would loan him all the money he needed to fight the landholders of England, thus allowing Islamic law to replace England’s common
law. Second, King John granted all of England’s land to Rome’s pope as the pope’s personal fief, thus allowing the pope to collect as taxes a lion’s share of all the produce of England’s land. Third, King John had borrowed money from the
cabalistic moneylenders of England at outlandish interest rates of between 43 1/3 and 86 2/3 percent, per year, thus enslaving all England’s landholders and descendants in never-ending debt—from the richest old Thane in the county to the lowest serf chained to the field. Simply put, King John had sold his own country, high-born and low, down river into the three-fold tyranny of that ancient, yet ever-threatening antagonist of
freedom, called Babylonianism: (1) Babylon’s law of the city (in this case, Islamic law), instead of God’s law of the land (called our common law); (2) income taxation by demand of a foreign power (in this case the Vatican), instead of taxation by consent of the country; and (3) enslavement of the country by bondage to usurers (called moneylenders, bankers), instead of freedom from debt. Bottom line: King John had sold his own country into slavery by false law, fleecing by foreigners, and usury by financiers—the same three evils Americans now face.
MAGNA CARTA PASSES THE TEST FOR RELIABILITY
Without question, Magna Carta is a solid expression—in a long line of expressions—of that common law which our Declaration of ’76 calls the law of Nature unwritten in creation, meant to be observed and recognized, but always to be tested against that second grand volume of God’s revelation of His will, which
our Declaration of ‘76 calls the laws of Nature’s God written in our Bible. As such, Magna Carta did that which our own Constitution of the United States also did: it sought not to establish anything new, but rather, to reach back, capture,
re-established, and strengthened that which is old, namely, the laws of nature called the common law of the land.
And this common law, says U.S. Supreme Court Justice James Wilson, is cleaner and more sensitive to individual rights of liberty, respecting life and property, than is the law of the city. John Wycliffe accords, calling the law of the city evil
menes law, such as the civil law of Islam, of Rome, and of usurers. But these laws of Nature, observable in the nature of things, in life, and in relationships are, as our common law and Declaration of ’76 both put it, consonant with the laws of
Nature’s God written in our Bible. And this consonance stands to reason: Magna Carta’s drafter Stephen Langton was the foremost Old-Testament commentator of his day and provider of our Bible’s present chapter divisions. Thus does Magna
Carta reflect our Bible’s leading principles. Accordingly, it is said that Magna Carta not only remains in force but will always
remain in force because it recognizes and affirms timeless principles, which, even though unwritten, are, nevertheless seeable—indeed obvious—in the nature of things; and further, are consonant with the laws of nature’s God called the Bible.
MAGNA CARTA: THE GREAT PAPER DEMANDS OUR RESPONSE
To be sure, Magna Carta with its first principles are best understood in light of the threats faced at that time. But the three threats of those times that drove Stephen Langton to draft Magna Carta, again rear their ugly heads: false law of
Islam, unlawful taxation of income, and enslavement to banker’s usurious debt. But further, the remedy to all such lawlessness remains—even now as then—true law. Thus must each American seek in his family, locally, and at every point, first, to purge the false law of Islam with our Declaration of ‘76’s two-volume set of laws, the laws of nature learned from creation and the laws of nature’s God learned from our Bible; second, to purge unlawful taxation with State and national legislation overturning the income tax; and third, to purge the banker’s cabalistic monopoly of usury with the revival of real money, gold and silver coin.
©Brent Allan Winters 2015
Brent Allan Winters is an American geologist, common lawyer, author, teacher, and radio commentator. Brent grew up on a farm north of Moonshine, Illinois; served as diver, U.S. Navy Mobile Diving Unit 1 and aboard carrier USS Coral Sea; worked as a geologist and mine operator; and ran for U.S. Congress. Brent has briefed cases in the United States Supreme Court, argued before the jury and appellate courts (both State and Federal), and has represented clients in foreign countries, and served as clerk for a state appellate court
judge. Our common-law way of life and thought, says Brent, is not only the lifeblood and backbone of our U.S. Declaration of '76 and Constitution, but is also the object of zeal that delivered our country to nationhood and remains the fellowship that defines Americans to the world.