Friday, March 19, 2010

Standing On Our Rights

... And Knowing what they are

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
- John Adams 2nd President of The United States of America

First amendment to the Constitution of the United States states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Whether you choose to believe in God or not, you should know why this country became great. Basic moral principle found in The Bible was the foundation upon which the Constitution of The United States was written.. Most people are not aware that there is no such phrase in the Constitution as “Separation of church and state”. This phrase is a quote from Thomas Jefferson in a letter written to the Bishop of a church. It has no legal standing in deciding the Constitutionality of any law! Yet it has been the reason for many Supreme Court decisions. If letters and journals of the founding fathers are to be consulted in order to find the intent in the Bill of Rights, then the same must hold true in all court decisions and all writings of the various founders. Yet this has not been the case.

Few people argue against most of the morals found in the Bible. “Thou shalt not commit murder, Thou Shalt not steal.” and much more. The entire concept of liberty and justice is found in the scriptures. The Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence are both written from a Biblical perspective. The very rights that society expect are, according to these documents, granted to mankind by God. Our Constitution is the written law of government that is supposed to guarantee that government will not take those rights away, because this earthly government does not hold authority over God.

The first amendment to the Constitution begins with the statement that “Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion (italics mine). The key word is religion. Religion is the way in which people worship God. Religion is a church denomination/organization. Going back to some of the reasons for the American Revolution, and even for the emigration from Britain, the King had established a specific religion and decreed that all must worship God in this particular religion. None had denied the existence of God the creator. The first part of the first amendment was to prevent government from telling a citizen how they must worship. It never once was to indicate that government could declare there is no God or deny God. Indeed, God is the restraint on government to insure citizen’s rights according to the founders.

Without acknowledging that higher authority, John Adams warned that government would not recognize the Constitutional restraints placed upon it, and will continue to strip away citizen rights and erode the Constitution. When fighting to maintain our Constitutional rights, we can’t exclude any part of them and yet maintain them, neither exclude or deny who granted these rights without weakening the very foundation of the Constitution we are defending.

Responsible citizenship requires that we read and understand the Constitution. If we try to tear it apart based on our selfish desire to deny the highest authority and grantor of our rights, then we are left to trust that government will honor the Constitution based only on the oath of office. That hasn’t worked out very well for a long time. Without God, what authority do we have in demanding our rights? This is the very thing John Adams, 2nd President of the United States of America, warned us about.

Over time the Supreme Court has eroded the first amendment to exclude all things Godly from our Constitution and government. Our current government has taken steps to continue to erode the first amendment. If you know where to look and follow the news, you will find reports where peaceful citizens who believe in the Constitution, God, and the first and second amendments are coming under government scrutiny and have been labeled as possible terrorists. Included in this assessment are the people who have sworn to defend the Constitution and have been trained in arms, military personnel returning from Iraq.

When that which is honorable is outlawed, the only thing that remains is corruption. The first step toward a totalitarian rule is the erosion of the rights of the citizenry. The Patriot act was an essential step towards this end. Of all the Presidential acts that were undone, this one was the more dangerous, yet this current president allows it to stand. His reasoning is it is still necessary for the protection of the nation. It brings to mind another quote. "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
- William Pitt

I finish with a final quote from someone who was there at the birth of this great nation. I believe that in order to fully understand and defend our rights, we most acknowledge the foundations for those rights and the beliefs of their authors, without which our house will fall.

. "A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society? ... The Scriptures tell us "righteousness exalteth a Nation."
- Abigail Adams

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