If the U.S. Constitution is so great, why is the U.S so messed up?

American Government & Law Course Syllabus

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If the U.S. Constitution is so great, why is the U.S so messed up?

Part 1: Course Information
Instructor Information

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Paul Michael Raymond
Office Hours: To Be Announced
Contact:  503-433-7733 / E-mail: Pastor@HisGlory.us

Course Introduction

American Government & Law is a unique analysis of the U.S. Constitution from a Biblical vantage point. “Discipling the Nations – The Government Upon His Shoulders” (DTN) takes a sober look at history behind the Constitution. It revisits mostly Christian, Anti-Federalist objections of men like Patrick Henry, raised in the Virginia Ratifying Convention. Much needed critique of critical weaknesses, as well as strengths. Strengths are Biblical division of power, federalism and republicanism. However, the Constitution ‘s failure to acknowledge any Power higher than itself tacitly rejects any Divine absolutes in the civil realm. As “The Book of the Covenant — A Handbook of Biblical Law for Leaders of Church & State” (DC) ably demonstrates, America’s social problems are rooted not primarily in our departure from the Constitution, per se. Rather they lie in hidden seeds of humanism buried deep in the heart of the Constitution itself. Compares
Mosaic Constitution of Exodus 20-24.

  • Tuition:      $275 Premier   OR      Tuition:     $25 Basic
  • Level:         7-8th Grade                  Level:        7-8th Grade
  • Mode:        Asynchronous             Mode:       Self-taught
  • Offered:    Fall                                  Offered:   Fall or Spring
  • Textbook:  See above                     Textbook: See above

Textbook & Course Materials

Required Text: “Discipling the Nations” (DTN) and “The Book of the Covenant” (BC) are available online in the course content.

Course Requirements

  • Internet connection (DSL, LAN, or cable connection desirable)
  • Desktop or laptop computer

Course Structure

  • The course is delivered in 16 weekly modules, divided into 4 broad  topics reflecting the cultural ramifications of the U.S. Constitution over the
    course of 230+ years.
  • Each lesson consists of readings in the textbooks and video recorded lectures and documentaries with exercises and a quiz. The instructor is available during late afternoon and evening hours on the Piazza learning
    platform to answer questions and/or interact with groups of students.

Part 2: Student Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to

  •  Identify the strengths & weaknesses of the civil government created under the U.S. Constitution.
  •  Identify streams of philosophy that shaped the thinking of the drafters of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Explain the distinction between the Social Contract form of government and the Biblical Covenant model of civil government.
  • Trace the broad outlines of historical development in the United States under the U.S. Constitution.
  •  Explain key features of the Foundation, Form, and Function of Biblical civil government.
  • Compare key features of the U.S. Constitution with the Mosaic Constitution for a Godly society delivered on Mt. Sinai and recorded in Exodus 20-24.
  • Apply Biblical strategies and mindset to the task of rebuilding American culture on Biblical principles of government.

Student will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of the following activities in this course:

  • Attendance and participation in the class forum
  •  Written response to Chapter thought questions
  • Listening to recorded lectures & documentaries
  • Study of assigned text material online
  •  Completion of weekly quizzes & Final Exam
  •  Completion of a term project specified for Week 16

Part 3: Topic Outline/Schedule

A. Cracks In The Foundation

WEEK 1-DTN: The Promise of the Constitution

Week 1 Learning Objective: The student will be able to articulate the Federalist view of the Founding Fathers as taught by today’s “Christian Constitution” advocates, such as David Barton.

Read Chapter 1 in “Discipling the Nations,” respond to the thought questions,submit to parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. Listen to Barton’s “Constitutional Christian” documentary then take the chapter quiz.

WEEK 2-BC: Reading & Quiz in “The Book of the Covenant”

Week 2 Learning Objective: The student will be able to articulate the antiFederalist view of opponents of the Founding Fathers as taught by modernday critics of the U.S. Constitution, such as Chris Pinto.

Read “Patrick Henry to James Madison: I TOLD YOU SO!” in the Appendix of “The Book of the Covenant, ” listen to Pinto’s “Hidden Faith of Our Founding Fathers” documentary and take the quiz on page 90 (online).

WEEK 3-DTN: Problem With the Constitution: Constitution Defects

Week 3 Learning Objective: The student will be able to define the difference between a Lockean Social Contract and a Biblical Civil Covenant as explained by Constitutional analyst, Pastor Ted Weiland.
Read Chapter 2 in “Discipling the Nations,” listen to Weiland’s “Bible Law vs. the U.S. Constitution” interview, and respond to the thought questions. Submit to parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete, then take the quiz.

WEEK 4-BC: Reading & Quiz in “The Book of the Covenant”

Week 4 Learning Objective: The student will be able to list from memory atleast 3 critical points at which the Constitution differs from the Mosaic Constitution in Exodus 20-24.
Read “Bible Law or the U.S. Constitution” in the Appendix of “The Book of the Covenant,” listen to Pinto’s “Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings” interview, then take the quiz (online).

WEEK 5-DTN: Problem With the Constitution – Amendments & Judicial

WEEK 5 Learning Objective: The student will be able to list in order and describe 5 important judicial events, starting from the Civil War era, that have led to our current condition of judgment.
Read Chapter 3 in “Discipling the Nations,” respond to the thought questions and submit to parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. Listen to Wasmuth’s “What Happened to the Constitution” documentary, then take the quiz.
Post a question you don’t understand about the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Constitution on the class forum and respond to a classmate’s question.

B. A Collapsing SuperStructure

WEEK 6-DTN: Plymouth to Philadelphia: The Decline From Puritanism

Week 6 Learning Objective: The student can describe the conflict between the two streams of philosophy that shaped early America.
Read Chapter 4 in “Discipling the Nations,” respond to the thought questions, submit to your parents and mark as complete. Watch Pinto’s “America, the New Atlantis” documentary then take the chapter quiz. 

WEEK 7-DTN: Philadelphia to the Present – Descent Into Judgment

Week 7 Learning Objective: The student will be able to list and describe 3 specific devices by which the anti-Christian influence of the secret societies that entered America via Virginia have gradually eroded the Puritan influence.
Read Chapter 5 in “Discipling the Nations,” respond to the thought questions,submit to parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. Listen to Thompson’s “To the Victors Go the Myths” documentary then take the quiz.

WEEK 8-DTN: Remodeling Without A Blueprint Read Chapter 6 in “Discipling the Nations” and respond to the thought  questions. Submit to parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. The  listen to the lecture and take the quiz.
Post a question you don’t understand about America’s decline into judgment  on the class forum and respond to a classmate’s question.

C. God’s Blueprint For Civil Government

WEEK 9-DTN: The Foundation of Political Righteousness

Week 9 Learning Objective: The student can list at least one lawful use and one unlawful use of the law, based on I Timothy 1:8-11. (chap 7) Read Chapter 7 in “Discipling the Nations” and respond to the thought questions. Submit to parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. The listen to the lecture and take the quiz.
WEEK 10-BC: Reading & Quiz in “The Book of the Covenant”

Week 10 Learning Objective: The student can explain what the founders meant by “no religious test oath” in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and describe the Biblical requirement for such a test.  Read “Christ and the Constitution” in the Appendix of “The Book of the Covenant,” listen to the lecture, and take the quiz on page 83 (online).

WEEK 11-DTN: The Form of Biblical Civil Government

Week 11 Learning Objective: The student can explain the difference between  a republic and a democracy.Read Chapter 8 in “Discipling the Nations” and respond to the thought questions. Submit to your parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete.  Then listen to the lecture and take the quiz.

WEEK 12-BC: Reading & Quiz in “The Book of the Covenant”

Week 12 Learning Objective: The student can explain what the New Testament means when it says the Christian is not under law.
Read “I. Preamble” in “The Book of the Covenant,” listen to the lecture, and take the quiz on page 20 (online).

WEEK 13a-DTN: The Function of Biblical Civil Government

Week 13a Learning Objective: The student can define the principle of “Lex Talonis” as it relates to restitution for the victim of a crime.
Read Chapter 9 in “Discipling the Nations,” and respond to the thought questions. Submit to your parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete.Watch the lecture then take the quiz.

WEEK 13b-BC: Reading & Quiz in “The Book of the Covenant”

Week 13b Learning Objective: The student can list the single Biblical purpose  of civil government and explain why it’s the only purpose.
Read “VI. Procedural Law and Role of Government” in the “The Book of the Covenant,” listen  to the lecture, and take the quiz on page 58 (online).
Post a question you don’t understand about Principles of Biblical Civil Government on the class forum and respond to a classmate’s question 

D. Rebuilding By The Blueprint

WEEK 14-DTN: Strategy

Week 14 Learning Objective: Student can define the Principles of War.  Read Chapter 10 in “Discipling the Nations,” thought questions & quiz. Watch  Gentry’s “Understanding Revelation (pt1)” & Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”

WEEK 15-DTN: Tactics

Week 15 Learning Objective: The student can identify 5 passages in the Book of Revelation that identify the time frame in which John’s prophecies were to  be fulfilled.Read Chapter 11 in DTN, respond to the thought questions, submit to your parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. Listen to Gentry’s  “Understanding Revelation (pt2)” and take the quiz on page 64 (online).

WEEK 16a-DTN: The Fruit of Our Labor

Week 16a Learning Objective: Student can describe the historical impact of  post-millennialism on the modern missions movement.
Read Chapter 12 in DTN, respond to the thought questions and submit to your parents for doctrinal review and mark as complete. Listen to Gentry’s “understanding Revelation (pt3)” and Gore’s “Jonathan Edwards and Puritan Post-Millennialism,” then take the quiz.

WEEK 16b-BC: Reading & Quiz in “The Book of the Covenant” Read “VII. Inheritance Law and National Covenant” in “The Book of the
Covenant” and take the quiz on page 64 (online).  Post a question you don’t understand about the Biblical rebuilding of American   Culture on the class forum and respond to a classmate’s question

WEEK 16c-Term Project: Adopt A Politician

Part 4: Grading Policy

Graded Course Activities

Your instructor will update the online grades each time a grading session has been complete—typically 2 days following the completion of an activity. You will see a visual indication of new grades posted in Moodle.

The course grade is determined as follows:

             

             
The course grade is determined as follows

Participation in discussion

10%

Readings & written resp to ques.

DTN   Quizzes

12% (12 Chap x 1pts)

36% (12  quiz x 3pts)

Book &  Covenant Quizzes

Final Exam

Term Project

18%(6 quiz x 3pts)

14%

10%

TOTAL

100%

Late Work Policy: Be sure to pay close attention to deadlines—there will be no make up assignments or quizzes, or late work accepted without a serious and compelling reason and instructor approval.

Letter Grade Assignment

Final grades assigned for this course will be based on the percentage of total
points earned and are assigned as follows:

Letter Grade Percentage Performance

Letter Grade

Percentage

Performance

A

93-100%

Excellent Work

A-

90-92%

Nearly Excellent

B+

87-89%

Very Good Work

B

83-86%

Good Work

B-

80-82%

Mostly Good Work

C+

77-79%

Above Average Work

C

73-76%

Average Work

C-

70-72%

Mostly Average Work

D+

67-69%

Below Average Work

D

60-66%

Poor Work

F

0-59%

Failing Work

Instructor will be using a tracking tool, discussions, chat sessions, and group  work, to monitor your participation in the course.

Part 5: Course Policies

Participate

Build Rapport

If you find that you have any trouble keeping up with assignments or  other aspects of the course, make sure you let your instructor know as early  as possible. As you will find, building rapport and effective relationships are  key to becoming an effective professional. Make sure that you are proactive in  informing your instructor when difficulties arise during the semester so that  they can help you find a solution.

Complete Assignments

  •  Assignments must be submitted by the given deadline or special  permission must be requested from instructor before the due date. Extensions  will not be given beyond the next assignment except under extreme  circumstances.
  • All discussion assignments must be completed by the assignment due  date and time. Late or missing discussion assignments will affect the student’s  grade.

Understand When You May Drop This Course

It is the student’s responsibility to understand when they need to   consider disenrolling from a course. After this period, a serious and    compelling reason is required to drop from the course.

Incomplete Policy

 Under emergency/special circumstances, students may petition for an   incomplete grade. Inform Your Instructor of Any Accommodations Needed 

 Commit to Integrity

 As a student in this course (and at this Academy) you are expected to   maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and   participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior in and out of the  classroom.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic dishonesty includes such things as cheating, inventing false information or citations, plagiarism and helping someone else commit an act  of academic dishonesty. It usually involves an attempt by a student to show  possession of a level of knowledge or skill that he/she does not possess.

Course instructors have the initial responsibility for detecting and dealing with academic dishonesty. Instructors who believe that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred are obligated to discuss the matter with the  student(s) involved. Instructors should possess reasonable evidence of academic dishonesty. However, if circumstances prevent consultation with student(s), instructors may take whatever action (subject to student appeal) they deem appropriate.

Instructors who are convinced by the evidence that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty shall assign an appropriate academic penalty. If the instructors believe that the academic dishonesty reflects on the student’s academic performance or the academic integrity in a course, the student’s grade should be adversely affected. Suggested guidelines for appropriate actions are: an oral reprimand in cases where there is reasonable doubt that the student knew his/her action constituted academic dishonesty; a failing grade on the particular paper, project or examination where the act of dishonesty was unpremeditated, or where there were significant mitigating circumstances; a failing grade in the course where the dishonesty was premeditated or planned. The instructors will file incident reports with the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and for Student Affairs or their designees. These reports shall include a description of the alleged incident of academic dishonesty, any relevant documentation, and any recommendations for action that he/she deems appropriate