Ben and Joel discuss "the Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It" with Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. His latest book, The Founders' Key (Thomas Nelson), makes the case that the United States government today operates outside the controls of the Constitution and contradicts the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
Dr. Arnn was previously president of the Claremont Institute, where he hired Ben not once, but twice. He has not made that same mistake a third time, however.
Among the questions we discuss:
• What is the connection between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
• What do we risk by losing that connection?
• Who or what is the God of the American Founding?
• Suppose one doesn't accept "the divine"? Can there be a good, secular understanding of the American Founding without God?
• What did the Founders mean by justice? How does equality fit in?
• Is much of what government does today "necessary" or "proper"?
• What happened to separation of powers?
• Is the Constitution of 1787 mostly gone?
• What happens to free elections when government is bigger than the society that supposedly controls it?
• And much, much more!
(Questions not discussed in this podcast: Whose dog is that I hear in the background? What's his name? What breed of dog is it? Answers, in order: Dr. Arnn's; "Jack"; a Boxer.)
Music heard in this podcast:
• Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," Beethoven
• Enigma Variations, "Nimrod," Edward Elgar
• Carnival of the Animals, "Personnages à longues oreilles," Camille Saint-Saens
• The Sea, "Storm," Frank Bridge
• A Lincoln Portrait, "Fellow Citizens, We Cannot Escape History," Aaron Copland
Programming note: This episode of "The Ben and Joel Podcast" is Vol. 5, No. 4. Please visit and "like" the new Ben and Joel page on Facebook for updates about the podcast and our weekly syndicated column with ScrippsHoward News Service.