I sincerely wish all of our (and the few of my) readers a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, along with a prosperous new year. It’s my hope we all can take time to celebrate the birth of our savior amongst the hustle and bustle of the season. And whether people like it or not (and that should not matter, as this column will attempt to show), I firmly believe that what Christ and our founders brought to this country are one in the same when it comes to one subject: freedom.
And we would do well in listening to all of them in making our lives better.
So let’s start with what one might refer to as the ultimate in freedoms in terms of man’s rights. And yes, one of those rights is something as silly as me using the term man when referring to humankind. And yet, there are people who would attempt to use the force of government to shut down my voice because they didn’t like the reference. Which bring us to the Bill of Rights and the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. It’s all pretty simple to me. I’ll highlight a few.
The First Amendment. Say what you want, worship how you want, print what you want and protest the government or anything you want as long as you stay within the law and don’t violate anyone else’s rights. This is why “safe zones” and “anti-discrimination” laws are unconstitutional. The right to discriminate is in the Constitution, and we all do it daily in thought, word and deed in almost everything we do.
The Second Amendment. Four words: shall not be infringed. Take a minute and read what the founders meant, and it ain’t hunting and target practice with muskets.
I think every American has the right to own as many guns as they’d like or none at all. And none of that is the government’s business.
The Fourth Amendment. The problem we have now is in who’s watching the watchers. “1984” was a warning, not a how-to manual. Almost everything the government does any more related to “our security” violates this amendment. This also goes into how much you earn, what your business does inside the law (this is a main reason there are so many laws) and with whom you associate.
The Fifth Amendment. I pray that this one stays strong for the reasons above. And that no one ever has to use it in the face of an over-reaching government.
And finally the 10th Amendment. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people.” One would find this pretty simple, but this is the most violated amendment there is for the simple reason any violation of the Constitution by the states is a violation of this amendment. Folks, we’re losing this one on a daily basis to the feds and our state and local governments. You do realize most federal laws are unconstitutional regardless of how it passes Congress or being ruled as such by the courts, don’t you?
My interpretation of the Constitution is pretty simple: You should be allowed to do whatever you want as long as you don’t violate the rights of others and stay within the law. And nowhere else on the planet is (was) there a better place to do it than the good ol’ US of A.
To me, you can worship your god but not kill in the name of that god. You can own a gun, but not bring that gun into someone’s property if they say you can’t. You can say anything you want about someone or something, as long as you don’t hurt that person — and no, feelings don’t count. You can’t make everyone happy and there’s no sense in trying. Nor should we be mandated to by the government. No matter what government does to make one person or group happy, it’s also doing one other thing: the exact opposite in making others unhappy. This is why there’s a Constitution and a Bill of Rights, because laws take away rights. And today, the worst laws on top of bad laws are destroying what little freedom we have left. Simple as that.
So I’m for one new law: No new laws and any law passed automatically rescinds all previous laws it affects.
And while I’m waiting on that law, my promise to respect others’ rights will come from this lesson in Matthew 5:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Christ made things as simple as our founders. Christ brings freedom through love and our founders through our rights. May we all live in love and freedom in the new year.