Attacks on the 1st Amendment Mark the Anniversary of the Bill of Rights

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“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Natural law theory is the belief that all humans are governed by basic innate laws of nature which are separate from legislation. Some believe it is the law of a Supreme Being.

It has greatly influenced the United States government among many others. The theory originated in Ancient Greece with Greek philosophers discussing and codifying the concept and implementing it in Greek government.

Later philosophers such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke built on the law and used it to reform legislation.

Our Bill of Rights, ratified on December 15, 1791, was influenced by Natural Law Theory.

The first ten amendments to the Constitution are not given to us by the writers as some try to say so they can be free to abridge, suppress and limit them.

The amendments are our pre-existing natural rights.

The HHS Mandate attempts to rob us of this natural right by redefining it as a right given to us by the government.

People who ignore this intrusion on the First Amendment by the government with its HHS Mandate seem to believe that freedom of religion can be suppressed without impinging on all our other First Amendment rights.

If one of our freedoms falls, they will all be open to the same change of philosophy – the government gives you your liberties and you have none by natural right.

One could reasonably make a case right now that our freedoms of speech, press and petition have been greatly suppressed. People who try to advocate for the right are immediately slapped down with cries of racism by the media – that’s not freedom.

People who think they can limit the freedom of some and not eventually lose their own are misguided.

If religious liberty, which is freedom of conscience and the right to practice it, is replaced by the government will, the very foundation of the First Amendment will collapse. Our right to be left alone by the state will be dismantled and other rights will fall quickly.

Our society is ripe for this type of overreach. People have been convinced that the Constitution is not just a document to be amended but it is a living document subject to the will of government.

The President’s website recently changed the wording of the second amendment to read that not as a natural right but, rather, as one given to us by government.

We have gone from the Greatest Generation to the Me Generation, Generation X  to the Cupcake Generation – Generation Broke. We no longer remember what it means to be free.

We give up freedoms with a barely audible whimper because we believe we must. Economic freedom is one of our important rights which we are relinquishing more-and-more of each day.

Most under attack is freedom of religion. Choosing Sebellius to lead HHS was a clear message. She was an avid supporter of Dr. Death and does believe in partial birth abortion and abortion to the moment of birth.

Cardinal Francis George of the Chicago Catholic Diocese said the Obama definition of religious liberty is so narrow that he limits it to church services, Obama calls it “the freedom of worship.”

The Cardinal said:

Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship – no schools, no religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice, and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long, cold war to defeat that vision of society.

“People of faith cannot be made second class citizens because of their religious beliefs,” Cardinal George wrote in a February letter to the members of his diocese.

Obama is a strong proponent of abortion, even late-term abortion, and that is reflected in his cancelation of the “Mexican Policy” which prevented tax dollars from being used for abortions in other countries.

Obama believes it is his right to force taxpayers who are opposed to abortion into violating their conscience, thereby putting limits on their freedom of religion.

Obama eliminated the “conscience” exemption that allowed pro-life nurses and doctors from participating in abortions or other procedures that violated their conscience.

Like the Soviet Union, in his view, they are allowed to go to church and worship, that’s all they are allowed.

I have always contended that President Obama wants the Catholic Church out of hospitals, charities, schools, to be replaced by secular institutions. He is an extreme secularist.

Cardinal George said that Catholic hospitals and healthcare institutions will be gone in two lents under Obamacare,”…the Catholic Church in the United States is being told that it must give up its health care operations. “

Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching,” said Cardinal George. “The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.”

Cardinal Dolan recently wrote in the Catholic New York that he is concerned about our increasingly callous culture and, without mentioning the Bill of Rights, this certainly could stand as a defense of it, while bringing attention to our declining cultural values:

“I am concerned about a culture that has become increasingly callous about the radical abortion license, and a legal system that affords more protection to endangered species of plants and animals than to unborn babies; that considers pregnancy a disease; that interprets “comprehensive health care” in such a way that it may be used to threaten the life of the baby in the womb (and, it should be noted, to exclude the undocumented immigrant as well).”

“I am concerned as well for the infirm and elderly who are nearing the end of life, that they will not be treated with the respect, dignity and compassion that is their due, but instead be encouraged to seek a hasty death before they can become, according to some, “a burden to society.”

“I am worried that we may be reducing religious freedom to a kind of privacy right to recreational activities, reducing the practice of religion to a Sabbath hobby, instead of a force that should guide our public actions, as Michelle Obama recently noted, Monday through Friday [Michelle Obama recently pointed out: “Our faith . . . just isn’t about showing up on Sunday . . . it’s about what we do on Monday through Saturday.”]

“I am bothered by the prospect of this generation leaving a mountain of unpayable debt to its children and grandchildren, whose economic futures will be blighted by the amounts of the federal budget absorbed by debt service.”

“I am anxious that calls for a fiscally responsible society are met with claims that those calls come from men and women who don’t care about the poor; that we may be tempted to write off the underprivileged as problems to be solved, or as budget woes, rather than treating them with respect and dignity as people with potential and creativity; that we’re at times more willing to cut programs to help the sick, our elders, the hungry and homeless, than expenditures on Drone missiles.

“I am concerned that our elections increasingly resemble reality TV shows rather than exercises in serious democratic conversation.”

“I am bothered that we are losing sight of voting as an exercise in moral judgment, in which certain priority issues-especially the life issues, with the protection of unborn life being the premier civil rights issue of the day-must weigh heavily on our consciences as we make our political decisions”.

“I am worried by attempts to redefine marriage, and to label as “bigots” those who uphold the traditional, God-given definition of marriage.” [I believe people have the right to believe this]

“I am anxious that we cannot seem to have a rational debate over immigration policy, and that we cannot find a way to combine America’s splendid tradition of hospitality to the stranger with respect for the rule of law, always treating the immigrant as a child of God, and never purposefully dividing a family”.

“I am worried about the persecution of people of faith around the world, especially with the hatred of Christians on a perilous incline; and the preference for violent attacks upon innocents instead of dialogue as the path to world peace.”

“I expect that many of you share these concerns. In the words of “Faithful Citizenship,” how we should respond is clear. The document says, “Our focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economics, or even competence and capacity to perform duties, as important as such issues are. Rather, we focus on what protects or threatens human life and dignity.”

“As you consider these concerns, I will be praying for you in Rome that the humble, joyful Poverello of Assisi intercede for us, and that Mary Immaculate, patroness of the United States and Star of the New Evangelization, will inspire in us wisdom, prudence, and courage.”

Sadly, people of faith are under siege in this country and they are losing their freedoms, yet 55% of Catholics, including some priests and nuns, voted for this. I ask myself why?

As I read the Cardinal’s responses to the HHS Mandate, I wondered what our Bill of Rights will look like five, ten years from now. Will it be recognizable? Will they one day reflect our increasingly bankrupt culture?

Will we fight for our liberties or lay back in apathy?

People who believe in the Bill of Rights but support the HHS Mandate should also stand up for church rights because the government will come for their rights next.

Arizona recently established the first monument to the Bill of Rights on stone tablets. There are fewer than 500 words on the tablets, but they set out the basics of American law:

1. Free speech.

2. The right to bear arms.

3. Freedom from having soldiers take over your house.

4. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

5. The right to due process of law.

6. The right to confront your accusers in an impartial court of law.

7. The right to sue and be sued.

8. Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

9. A recognition that other rights exist.

10. The right for states to make laws where the federal government has not.

Will this one day merely represent a time-gone-by as we race towards a secular Progressive culture which is an evil Marxist system barely disguised.

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