Monday, May 25, 2015
Protect One Freedom?
Most mornings, while on my way to work; depending upon the route I take, I pass a sign placed prominently at the end of someone’s driveway. Signs in yards are not so unusual…especially considering the never-ending election cycles of Federal, State, and Local elections. Toss in the odd “Garage Sale”, “Elvis Lives!”, and “Save the common house wren” sentiments; and they have become a permanent part of the landscape.
However, at first glance, this one is a little bit odd: PROTECT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM it proclaims in bold black print against a white background.
Stark, inexpensive one-color on white stock—if this were a candidate’s sign, it is extremely bush-league.
I have the greatest urge to pull into their drive, knock upon the door, and engage in conversation. My primary question is this:
What about protecting the other Freedoms contained within the First Amendment?
While Freedom of Religion is contained within the first line of the First Amendment; do they want to chuck aside Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Assembly?
If such were the case, their right to post this very sign would be in jeopardy. There would be no guarantee to gather with like minded individuals in order to share in their beliefs.
If we assume the other 9 Amendments are trimmed away from the Bill of Rights; what benefit would there be of keeping just a portion of one Amendment?
Would they advocate forfeiting the right to a speedy trial, and jury of their peers? Would they be willing to put aside protection from unreasonable searches and seizures? What about the provision against self incrimination?
Would they have the Second Amendment be bartered away?
Should we toss aside the Third Amendment, and permit the quartering of troops in private homes, at the resident’s expense; whether in time of war or peace?
Would they be willing to forego the protection against excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment? Perhaps a fine in the tens of thousands of dollars, and two days spent in stocks in the city square would be acceptable for a speeding ticket to some; however not to me.
I would ask the poster of the sign to ponder upon the Ninth Amendment, which states that the listing of certain rights within the Constitution shall neither deny nor disparage other rights retained by the People.
Also, what about States’ Rights and powers, which are found in the Tenth Amendment?
Finally, I would ask; whose religious freedom do you advocate protecting? If my beliefs are polar opposite of their beliefs; are they still worthy of protecting?
Saving just a fragment of one Amendment, while casting the remainder of our Rights and Freedoms aside would result in an extremely unstable one-legged stool at best, ending in utter folly.
As we take time this Memorial Day to observe, remember, and give thanks for those who gave their highest for our Nation and our Liberties, let us not dilute their sacrifice.
We must protect the entire Constitution.