- Amendment 1, The Constitution
America is approaching what is certainly the most important election of a lifetime. On November 8th, we go to the polls to cast a vote for President, choosing between two candidates who have many frailties which are readily apparent. One has been quite open about those frailties, the other hides behind staff, health and other issues and will not admit the issues that are clearly present.
But we're not here to talk about personalities but rather the most important issue of the campaign. That issue is the Constitution of the United States and making sure it remains a governing document, not just a piece of paper which can be adjusted at the whim of a weak Supreme Court or a dictatorial government. This document, which contains the Bill of Rights, is what brings God's unalienable rights into the forefront of the America legal system, maximizing freedoms for all Americans. The rights declared were contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution codifies those rights.
The relationship with God was important to our early leaders and they wanted to make sure that individual rights for freedom of religious expression were included in the Constitution. They had experience with state religions in Europe where such things as burning at the stake, hanging, and torture had been a common finality for those who disagreed with state edicts. The framers wanted to insure that Americans had freedom of religion and the right to live according to their religious principles and beliefs. It was so important that they included it in the first amendment, the first of the the ten amendments called the Bill of Rights which were necessary to gain support needed to ratify the Constitution. After all, these early Americans were skeptical of government from their experience in England and Europe previously and wanted to keep power in reasonable check with balances built in.
Before going further it's important to briefly talk about freedom of religion, for in today's rapidly secularizing society many use that term to support separation of church and state, a term that is nowhere found in the Constitution. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion and because of that the rights of individuals to live their life according to their religious beliefs is critical. But religious beliefs don't refer to a philosophy that is contrary to American law and basic living standards, such as Sharia, which allows many things that are illegal in this country. Such things as honor killings, wife beatings and even home imprisonment cannot be condoned in the name of freedom. And a religion of peace and goodwill would never do such a thing.
As a different but more practical example, consider the case of telling a caterer that they can't refuse to cater a gay wedding, even when they've willingly tried to help the customer find a caterer that will. This has happened in a number of restaurants where gay customers have been served for years but the owners can't commit to actively participate in the celebration of something which violates long standing religious beliefs. Now that is real destruction of religious freedom as is forcing a business owner to pay for medical services that are abhorrent to his belief.
Where is the freedom for such a person of faith? The government silence is deafening. Yet we find that in so many places today, Christians being selectively picked out while others who are egregious in their actions are ignored. A movement which claimed it only wanted tolerance has now become intolerant; even large numbers of gay Americans find their tactics and wished abhorrent.
Sadly, many today would have you believe that the Constitution is a "living document", one which can be changed by the will of a simple majority of the court which is, of course, subject to political manipulation. But changing the Constitution was designed to require an amendment process which would have to be approved by thirty eight of the current fifty state legislatures, a bar which is too high for all but the most agreed upon changes. It was done this way to preclude manipulation of judges or an overpowering executive and as we've seen with executive orders which create substitute documents for law, as do so many administrative regulations, we find our freedoms slipping away.
But here's the main point, if America was initiated by a document which clearly indicates the presence of a Creator who grants inalienable rights to us, and if, following completion of the Revolution, the new nation creates a Constitution by framers who were direct supporters of that original document, it is clear that those inalienable rights were what required the inclusion of the Bill of Rights in the first place. After all the President of the Constitutional Convention, George Washington himself, along with the likes of Ben Franklin, John Dickinson and other heavily involved in revolutionary activities viewed the God-given freedoms and limits to governmental authority against the free will of citizens as paramount inclusions to insure liberty.
So today, we have watered down the Constitution in so many ways and we have appointed Supreme Court justices who think that today's world view and individual experiences in the modern world are more important considerations than the Law of the Land. And we even have one presidential candidate who agrees and has stated the intention to appoint more justices with that view. That constitutes using the court to write law, not make sure that the law stands for what it says. One short look back to John Roberts' rewriting part of the Affordable Care Act gives a good example of a wrong headed court action and if we are not careful more is likely on the way.
And this gets us to the title for today: God and the Constitution. America was founded under God and God gave us rights. God is the ultimate authority for we humans, since we were all created in His image whether or not we like it. Does any mortal man or woman made in the image of the Creator have the right to overrule the ultimate laws of God? This writer says no and if you agree pay very close attention to the statements and views of the candidates and check them carefully. While neither is perfect, there are clues as to which will reinforce the laws of God as opposed to those of weak men and women. All you have to do is look and listen.
You make your own choice but be careful, and vote accordingly. Freedom is to expensive to give it away. We're quite possibly on the verge of doing just that and if we do, God help us. Let's work to make sure that God continues to bless America. He will if we only follow His guidance.