Saturday, January 16, 2010

Are These Our Rights As Americans? You Decide (Part I)

My Fellow Americans,

I want to share with you another article that I first published on

I want to do a little experiment with you. I feel America has lost its way. I feel we have strayed from the value system that helped define this country at its inception. We have neglected the teachings of the Founding Fathers so much, in my opinion, that this country would be virtually unrecognizable to them.

To that end, would you recognize the country as it is today back in November or December of 2008? Because I know I sure would not. This is not the America I know and love. And if the Tea Party movement that has swept through the country since April 2009 is any indication, many of you out there would agree with me.

President Barack Obama and his administration can keep their “change.” America does not need change. We need to return to our roots. We need to return to the principles that made this country a beacon of light for so many people. Our ancestors came here for a reason — to escape persecution and be free.

What is sad is many of us have forgotten why America is so great. Our perception of reality has become so twisted that we do not even know what our basic rights are. The same rights that are “endowed by our Creator,” not granted to us by a government bureaucrat.

We need to remember who we are, America. That is why over the next several weeks I want to talk to you about your rights. I want to remind you of the rights recognized by The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution. Each week, I will post about one right and state my case for that right. Then, I will get out of your way. I want you to tell us why or why not you believe that right is essential.

I believe this exercise will be enlightening. It will allow for an exchange of rational ideas and rational debate. It should also tell us how far off course we are from the early days of this country and what the Founders intended – and how we can get back there once again. My hope is we can get to a general consensus one way or the other.

Right #1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

I combined the “Establishment Clause” and the “Free Exercise Clause” because they are so closely related.

I have to agree with this one. I believe it is essential for the government not to endorse or promote one religion over another. I also agree that people should have the right to practice any religion of their choice. In my opinion, both are vital aspects of a free nation.

However, I have often struggled with the Establishment Clause. It is not that I am retracting my earlier statement, it is just I am a bit biased because I am Christian. I don’t like the fact that the Ten Commandments have been removed from court houses or that prayers are prohibited in public schools.

What I have come to realize is that the Ten Commandments are not necessarily just a set of rules from one religion’s God, but a fundamental value system for life. When you read the Commandments, are there not at least seven of them you should live by? Leave out the ones about God and the Sabbath. What about “thou shall not kill” or “thou shall not steal?” Can’t we agree that maybe the criminals in the court house about to be sentenced for first-degree murder or grand theft auto could have used those rules?

As for prayer, I think anybody that wants to join in a morning prayer should be able to do so. Don’t take it out because of political correctness. Just allow each student to pray to their religion’s God. There should be time set aside for it.

At the end of the day, people should be allowed to have their own spiritual [experiences] — without any government interference. The government should not be involved in something that personal. The only reason to do so would be to control you.

Now, I want to know what you think. I have stated my case. I am in favor of this right and believe it is essential.

Do you think this right is important? Would you consider it an essential right? Why or why not?

These are your rights at the end of the day, America. It is up to us to make sure we remember that and do not let them be taken away.

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