Righteous Dominion

The Fortress Stone: An Anthem To The Constitution

In 2007, I collaborated with close friends and fellow organizers of Gilbert Arizona's Constitution Week to compose an anthem to the Constitution called The Fortress Stone. We love our country, we love our freedom, we love our founders, and most of all, we love our Constitution and the principles that it is built upon. Extensive detail and background are here. On this, my web site about balanced, fair, righteous, and most of all Constitutional government, I'll break down line by line what the words of that anthem mean to me.


The Fortress Stone - Detail and Background

Constitution Speech by Judge Janice Rogers Brown
(US Court of Appeals) Referencing The Fortress Stone



The Verse 1:

Since time began the greed of man
Has sought to bind his brother's hand.

While humanity is capable of immense nobility, decency, compassion, selflessness, service, charity, and brotherly love, it is also capable of immense violence, greed, cruelty, destruction, and unrighteous dominion. No matter how many good and decent people there are in a society, and no matter how much respect they have for other people's rights, freedom, and dignity, it is absolutely inevitable that other people hungry for power, wealth, and domination will rise up to rob humanity of rights, freedom, dignity, and happiness. I'm an optimist. I believe in the inherent good of humanity. The most fundamental aspiration of my religious faith is a world with no contention, no greed, no domination of one man over another, where all are made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. However, I'm also a realist. To think there is no evil in this world, no incessant urge to plunder and destroy is naive and dangerous. History is stained with Hitler's and Stalin's, and there are countless more of them yet to come. There are people in our government today who have little or no regard for individual liberty. Some are just fundamentally vicious, power hungry, and greedy and trample others in their climb to power. Others likely believe they are acting for the good of humanity as they seek to bind their brother's hand with excessive government overreach or failed ideas like socialism and communism. Sadly, they are tragically misguided as they rob humanity of it's most essential foundations of agency, freedom, and the dignity of choosing and acting for the good of one's self, family, and society. This fundamental truth of man's inhumanity to man in all it's degrees begets the fundamental and urgent need for a powerful defence against that tragic truth.

For those who wish to concentrate power over others and exercise unrighteous dominion, the most sure and formidable means is to leverage and usurp government. It is immensely difficult to resist the unrighteous dominion of those who trample others in the name of government and their immoral cloak of authority and supposed legality achieved only by abuse, deception, manipulation, and distortion of otherwise righteous government. This comes in a vast spectrum of severity, but all of it must be resisted. The tyrannical Hitler's and Stalin's sit at the extreme end. But, you don't have to be Hitler to advance tyranny or abuse of power on others. There are rouge police officers that abuse their noble profession and our sacred trust. There are elected and professional government officials at all levels who expand the heavy hand of government at the expense of individual freedoms. I believe deeply that many people in government are truly there to serve and do so with pure hearts. To them I am grateful. But, I also believe deeply and have seen first hand countless times the absolute inevitability that people in government, people in power, often succumb to the "nature and disposition of almost all men" to abuse that power at great cost to the freedom, dignity, and happiness of us all. It is because of this inevitability that a means to defend against, check and balance against, that "nature and disposition" to exercise excessive control, most especially in government, is essential.

Yet noble Father's sword and pen
Built up a fortress to defend.

These fundamental and inevitable conditions of the human struggle against unrighteous dominion have existed through all history. But, in 1776, those conditions reached a critical, divinely appointed juncture in human history. The Founding Fathers of this great nation were not the first to love freedom and aspire to a better, more free, more just form of government. They weren't the first to want to protect humanity from its own worst tendencies. They built their revolution and their resultant Constitution on the backs of much blood and sacrifice that had gone before. But, they were brought together and acted together at a critical moment. What they built changed a brand new nation and the entire world. At the birth of a new nation, they had the rare opportunity to build a new form of government. In order to protect from that "nature and disposition" of man to unrighteously dominate fellow man, they wisely saw the need for a protection, a defense, a barrier, even a fortress against humanity's inevitable hunger to abuse power. Those noble ideas, that grand Fortress of the Constitution, was bought and paid for by their blood, and etched into all history by their sacred ink and pen. The Constitution of the United States, with all of its imperfections, all the imperfections of its founding, all the imperfections since then, remains the most perfect fortress ever built for humanity to protect itself from it's inherent nature to abuse power and from that ultimately self-destruct.

Verse 2:

Though kings and tyrants seek to reign
And dim the light of freedom's flame,

Government is essential to the safety, peace, and well-being of a society. But, there is no end to people's hunger to control others and to abuse and stretch any form of governance beyond its appropriate bounds. From the almost comical yet thoroughly problematic power freak on the HOA board, to the overreaching professional government staff who lacks restraint, to the city council member who doesn't know the proper limits of their authority, to national leaders who put their power before our freedom, all is destructive. There is no end to people, whether of good or ill intent, using the authority of their office or position to dim the light of freedom's flame. That is an essential light that must be fiercely protected.

The shelter of the fortress wall
Endures until oppression falls.

The sheltering protection of the Constitutional fortress wall is what should protect us from the oppression of man's "nature and disposition" to abuse power. Most of the time it does. But, not always. I say that it will endure until oppression falls. That is not just the passionate aspiration of an anthem lyric, I truly believe that it can. But, that aspiration is far from assured. The Constitution absolutely can fall to the natural hunger of people to oppress and control. If we don't protect that which protects us, it will fall! The fortress of the Constitution is only as strong as we are to protect it. In so many ways, the Constitution is us, person by person, stone by stone, and our resolve to live and protect the principles it embodies. It is rare for an injustice to be taken all the way to the ultimate Constitutional protection of the Supreme Court. But, every day, millions of times a day, people who love freedom and the Constitution that protects it can reinstill and reinforce in daily interactions the essential values and principles of freedom, dignity, and protection from oppression.


In our soul there is a fire,
To choose the path of our desire.

Freedom is an essential human hunger and need that burns within each of us. Agency, the freedom to choose our path in life, is a divine gift. We must defy all attempts to crush that or convince us that forfeiting that essential truth can somehow benefit the common good.

From ancient ink the wall ascends,
The flame of freedom She defends.

The protective walls of this great fortress that protects our freedoms was born out of words written in founder's ink. Over two centuries ago seems ancient, and this struggle for freedom is ancient back to the beginning of all time. But, the struggle for our freedom today is ever-present. Each day we must do our part to raise up and hold up the protective fortress wall of the Constitution. Without that protection, that flame of freedom can and will be snuffed out.

Hear the call to raise up the wall.
Sing the song of freedom and it will not fall.

This protective fortress is not something we just count on other people to take care of for us. This is not just some automatic protection that will always just be there. We must join in the song, the call for freedom, we must take our place in raising up and holding up that protective fortress, or it will not remain.

Liberty flows in the blood and the soul

It is the essence of being human to hunger for freedom. We are not meant to be held down by the crushing hand of tyrants and oppression. We are not meant for others to decide our destiny, make our decisions, choose our purpose, or solve our problems. We must and will fight back and for our freedom.

Of We the People sheltered by the Fortress Stone.

Every city and every nation through all history has had the fundamental need to build defences of protection. All these defences have been under constant threat of being torn down by enemies. Countless actually were torn down and the people they were supposed to protect were destroyed. The fortress has always been one of the most essential forms for defense as a means to keep the invaders out. The idea and need for a fortress is every bit as real and relevant today as it ever has been. The Constitution is our Fortress Stone, protecting us from the power hungry invaders that would trade our freedoms for their power or some fraudulent counterfeit path to human liberty, dignity, and happiness.

Verse 3

When time has past and we are gone,
Will freedom's fortress still be strong?

There is nothing guaranteed or inherently permanent about the Fortress Stone of the Constitution and the protections it provides. Even now some of those freedoms seem to be eroding before our eyes. The generations that have gone before, through many wars, through many literal and political fights for freedom, to our founding revolution, to the centuries of struggles that let up to that, countless people paid an unthinkable price in blood and tragedy for the freedom we have today. Each generation has a deeply sacred obligation to ensure those sacrifices are not wasted and that the sacred inheritance of freedom is passed on to future generations. There is much concern and political strife, as there should be, about preserving things for for future generations like a healthy planet, knowledge, opportunity, culture, arts, literature, ideas, and so on. All these matter and are an essential part of our stewardship. But, it would be catastrophic preserve all of these yet neglect to preserve for future generations our most fundamental desire for that which burns most in our blood and our soul, liberty!

Would we become oppression's hand,
If stone by stone we fail to stand?

Our personal, individual role and duty to the Fortress Stone, the Constitution and the freedoms it protects is the true message of this anthem. We are the fortress wall of the Constitution. Stone by stone, we build it up and hold it up. A fortress is not just one massive stone. It is hundreds and thousands of stones one by one stacked up, just as the millions of us are stack up together to be that protection. It WILL NOT "endure until oppression falls" by itself as mere ancient ink and paper. Words can be forgotten and disregarded. Mighty fortress walls can be easily torn down if enough of the individual stones are pulled away. The Constitution is not just some dusty old document that magically, effortlessly, and automatically protects us for all time. It is a living document that requires the living passion of people and generations to keep it alive, person by person, stone by stone. The importance and meaning of the Constitution can fade with each new generation unless we pass along the necessity, love, and duty to it. As a living thing, it can die! If we cease to love freedom and therefore cease to be the stones that hold up the fortress wall of protection against tyranny and oppression, the Constitution is no more, then freedom is no more. If we cease to be the living fortress holding up the very fortress that protects us, if we allow the living Constitution to die, we ourselves become the hand of oppression to our posterity through our apathy and negligence.

Chorus Again

Liberty flows in the blood and the soul
Of We the People sheltered by the Fortress Stone, The Fortress Stone.

The flame of freedom burns in our veins. That freedom is sheltered by a truly sacred and divine gift, bought and paid for by the blood of generations of patriots. We the people it protects must also pay the price, person by person, stone by stone, to build and preserve the sacred Fortress Stone, the Constitution of the United States, a fortress of freedom for all people of all nations, and if we choose, for all time.

Pendulum Jail for Morrison

Graphic: The Balanced Pendulum of
Government Control
(PDF Version)

"Still Mine" Movie: The Proper and
Balanced Role of Government


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Jason Barney | jason@jasonbarney.com
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