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The First Amendment being spit upon… October 21, 2014

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics, Venting.
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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/10/29/houston-drops-controversial-pastor-subpoenas/?cmpid=cmty_plus_fn

The United States of America is supposedly a nation governed by laws which, in theory, comply with the dictates of the United States Constitution. You may recall this document from your history classes as the establishing standard of government and law in the USA. It establishes the construct of our government, the rights of our people and the restrictions to law and governance as it pertains to the actions of our government.

It appears however, that various governments, Federal and State, seem to forget about the allowances and restrictions put forth in the Constitution when it comes to the pursuit of personal or political agendas.

Regarding this disdain for the dictates of our Nation’s founding document I could write about our President’s misuse of the Executive Order – which has no constitutional provision or statute explicitly permitting them – but what I really want to touch briefly on the First Amendment to the Constitution, part of what is known as “The Bill of Rights”, and the societal trend to use the unconstitutional phrase “separation of church and state” as a club to beat down religion, or in cases such as which I am now discussing; to completely ignore this Amendment in order to repress, intimidate, and control citizens exercising their freedom of religion.

Think about this:

The text of the First Amendment reads:

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.

This Amendment – this right – guarantees the citizens of this nation two sides of the same coin. In common terms we have the freedom of religion, and the freedom from religion.

The atheist activists in this country have long pushed the ‘freedom from religion’ argument as the governing concept of the first amendment and for the most part the judicial arms of this country have embraced that agenda and have passed laws enforcing that concept. However, what the spirit of the amendment really embraces is the opposite idea. We have the freedom OF religion. We have the freedom to exercise our religions without the influence of the government, or the restrictions of the state.

Two news stories have caught my attention being the impetus for this writing.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/20/city-threatens-to-arrest-ministers-who-refuse-to-perform-same-sex-weddings/?cmpid=cmty_plus_fn

“The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights they will be cited, prosecuted and sent to jail.”

– Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Jeremy Tedesco

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/14/city-houston-demands-pastors-turn-over-sermons/

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/17/houston-to-pastors-forget-your-sermons-now-want-your-speeches/

The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees all its citizens the right to exercise their religion without interference of the governments of this nation. Thomas Jefferson coined the often misused concept of ‘separation of church and state’ in an 1802 letter to Danbury Baptists in which he wrote:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties

It is time for us, as ministers of the Gospel, to stand against the flawed idea that the First Amendment guarantees only the right of freedom from religion and to promote the idea that we have the right, by law, to exercise our freedom OF religion.

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Comments»

1. LGBT rights trumping all other rights | JP's Mind - February 6, 2015

[…] spoke of this rejection of the First Amendment in the post “The First Amendment being spit upon…” and the news continues to grow darker. Todd Starnes relates several cases where state governments […]


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