What If I Told You That You Must Own A Gun

The other day I mentioned in one of my articles that Senator Ted Cruz had made the statement that if elected he would try to repeal Obamacare. First of all I was wrong by saying that. What Senator Cruz had said was that he would sign legislation sent to him by Congress which repealed Obamacare. So the Senator was not stating that if elected he would bypass his Constitutional authority as president by unilaterally repealing a law. I just wanted to correct my misunderstanding of what the Senator stated.

See, I will admit when I’m wrong unlike many I know. But I’m not quite done yet.

You see, I overheard a couple people discussing/arguing, the constitutional legality of Obamacare. Guess my article might have got someone thinking after all. Anyhow, this one person was arguing that it is perfectly legal for the government to force someone to purchase health insurance. I didn’t want to say anything right then and there because an idea began to take shape and I wanted to see where it went before I opened my mouth without fully thinking it through.

But here is what I came up with.

So some people think that it is within the government’s authority to mandate that I purchase health insurance? Although I can find no constitutional basis for that belief let’s just for a moment pretend that they are correct in their position. I’m not saying they are, I’m just playing devil’s advocate and saying let’s for a moment imagine that what they say is true.

If we are gonna play this game let’s just say that the government does have the authority to force you to purchase something you do not want to purchase or else pay a fine, or go to jail.

Okay, I’m up for this game, but I have to warn you, you may not like how I play.

So to those of you who say that I must purchase health insurance because the government has made it law that I do so, I have something to say. How would you like it if the government passed a law saying that every male in America must purchase a gun?

I know for a fact that there are certain women I work with who wouldn’t like that law at all as they have told me, in no unclear terms, that they will not allow their husbands to buy a gun. So how would they like it if owning a gun became a requirement backed by law and enforced by fines and prison time for noncompliance?

I’m thinking they would raise holy hell, saying “You can’t force us to buy guns.” Wait a minute though, the government can require that we buy health insurance but they can’t require us to buy guns? How is that fair? You see if you take health insurance out of the picture and just work on the premise that the government can require that you purchase one thing, how is it that you won’t allow them to require you to purchase ANYTHING?

If you begin giving the government the authority to tell you what you are required to purchase who knows where this will end up? They could begin telling you what you must eat, what you must read, and what you must listen to. The moment the government begins interfering with your freewill and starts requiring that you do anything against your will you have lost your freedom.

You see, what’s at stake here is not whether or not too many people are going around uninsured and placing a burden upon the hospitals and clinics in America, it is the idea that government can force you to do anything. You don’t like the idea that government might require that all males in America purchase a gun? Well I don’t like the idea of government telling me I MUST purchase health insurance. It should be my choice as to whether I purchase it or not.

Sure I understand that our health care system has made it so that some people cannot afford health insurance, and yes, maybe something could be done by government to reign in the costs of health care so it is affordable. But to make it a law that those who may not want health insurance must buy it or else goes against everything that I believe our government was established to be.

Also, if you put aside the Supreme Court’s twisted interpretation of the taxing and commerce clause of the Constitution, I find no legal and historical background to justify Obamacare.

That is not the case however with requiring that all males own a gun.

Have you ever heard of a militia? You’ve heard me harp endlessly about the 2nd Amendment and my right to keep and bear arms. Yet for all my talk I have primarily kept my comments on only part of the Second Amendment. You see, there is another part that I have not addressed.

The Second Amendment also says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…shall not be infringed.” You see, the Second Amendment not only protects our right to keep and bear arms, it also protects our right to form militias. In fact within the body of the Constitution itself the militia is mentioned numerous times. Can you say the same thing about health insurance?

It wouldn’t surprise me if the only knowledge you have regarding militias are what you may hear on the news. More often than not they are painted as extremist anti-government groups who pose some sort of terrorist threat to society. That is not true.

Re-read that portion of the Second Amendment I just posted and think about it for a second. It says that militias are necessary for the security of a free state. You could very easily switch two words around and it would become much clearer. Consider the meaning had the Second Amendment instead said, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a state of freedom…”

Our Founders believed that an army of men, comprised of the people, was the best means of defense against tyranny. They loathed the idea of standing armies that could be used by government to impose its will upon the people. Bet you didn’t know that within the Constitution there is a clause which states that the longest time any appropriation of funds for an army is two years. They did so to prevent a perpetual army that could be used as enforcers of tyrannical laws against the people.

You see, Thomas Jefferson once said that, “The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that…it is their right and duty to be at all times armed…” That right there is at the crux of what a militia is, an armed populace, ready at a moment’s notice to take up arms and defend their freedom…from whomever. That is why all oaths of loyalty to the Constitution state that those taking them defend it against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

But you say we no longer have a militia, or even the need for one. Are you sure about that, or is that what you think, or have heard? When has it even been considered that a free people must give up their right to defend their freedom and transfer that right to another body of men?

You may ask then, what is the militia? Well in a 1788 speech in Virginia George Mason both asked and answered that very question. In his speech to the Virginia Assembly Mason said, “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people.” The militia is everyone, and just because it is not active today does not mean it does not exist. It is just that it is dormant.

You see, the militia is defined by law. That’s right, the law says what is and what isn’t the militia. Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 311 states;
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia. (my emphasis)

So like it or not, if you are 17 or older, you are part of the militia of the United States. That does not mean that you are going to be called into service and sent abroad to fight our countries seemingly endless wars. No, the sole purpose of the militia is to protect America and the freedom this country stands for. That is, as Jefferson stated, your duty.

And how, may I ask, can you fight if you do not have a gun? Just for a moment play along with me here. Let’s just for the sake of argument say that the government finally reverted to all out tyranny, using the armed forces to impose unjust laws upon the citizenry. If it is the purpose of the militia to protect America from that every happening, do you think the government will provide the arms needed for the people to fight…THE GOVERNMENT? No, as Mason also said in his speech to the Virginia Assembly, “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

No, for the most part members of the militia are supposed to provide their own arms when called into service. In fact, and I bet you didn’t know this either, in 1792 Congress passed a law entitled The Militia Act of 1792. In it was a requirement that every citizen enrolled in the militia provide themselves with a musket, a bayonet, a belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. If you owned a rifle you were required to provide a powder horn, 1/4 lb of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, (bullets), a shooting pouch, and a knapsack.

You see, militia members were required by law to be armed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. You often hear the term minutemen in regards to our country’s history. Minutemen refers to the ability of men to be ready to go off and fight at a minute’s notice.

That was the law, and even though there are few well regulated militias in existence today, the law still stands that all able bodied males over the age of 17 are part of the militia of the United States.

So, getting back to my initial point, you may believe that the government has the right to mandate that people purchase health insurance. I find no Constitutional or historical evidence to support that claim.

On the other hand I find ample evidence to support my argument that all males be required to own a gun.

My point in the little exercise is to try and get you to think. You see, you may support an idea or belief, and support the idea that government be allowed to force people to comply with laws enacted to forward your agenda. Yet you would not like it were the government to use its power to force you to comply with laws you disagree with.

I’m sorry, but that is a double standard, or as my friend calls it, intellectual dishonesty. If you truly believe that the government can require people to do one thing, then by the virtue of them having the ability to require that people do one thing, it can make them do ANYTHING.
Anyway, this is what happens when I hear a snippet of a conversation, and then have a job that does not require me to think about what I’m doing. My mind is free to let that idea tumble around inside my head until it crystallizes into a train of thought that ends up becoming another article to entertain/enrage you.

So my advice is to either remain quiet when I am within listening distance of your conversations, or be willing to open your mind to beliefs that may run contrary to yours. But please, whatever you do, don’t go off the handle when you hear someone say that they are a member of a militia. They are not a member of some radical extremist group which plans on overthrowing the government. They are more likely than not to be men who value their freedom and are willing to defend it from those that would take it from them.

If that makes them enemies of the government you may want to ask yourself who your enemy really is. Is it the militia, or is it the government itself? If you are honest with yourself you may find yourself going out and buying a gun or two without me telling you to.

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Above All Be Honest

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an Honest Man.
George Washington to Alexander Hamilton (August 28, 1788)

People exhibit many character traits which I find offensive with laziness, apathy, and complacency being a few. However there is one trait that I put at the top of my list of those which truly offend me, that being dishonesty. When someone speaks of honesty most people immediately assume they are talking about not telling lies. Yet there is more to being honest than simply telling the truth all the time…much more.

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary honesty is defined as fairness and straightforwardness of conduct and adherence to the facts : sincerity. I have few friends and most of the ones I do are people I have never met face to face. Most people I have met face to face have proven to be dishonest to me, and to themselves and that is simply a characteristic in people that I cannot abide. Those who I call friends have proven by their actions that they are honest in their dealings with me and with themselves.

You see, a person could live their entire life without ever telling a lie and still be considered dishonest. Have you ever made a promise that you didn’t keep, and I’ll understand and forgive serious problems that precluded you from keeping that promise. But have you ever made a promise and then just blew it off, or forgot? That is a form of dishonesty. So is telling someone you’ll meet them at a certain place and time and then never showing up, or showing up two hours late. Again I’ll forgive someone if something important came up which caused them to be late. But a repeated pattern of being late or not showing up at all indicates a level of dishonesty in their dealings with me that I simply do not need in my life.

Those are just a couple examples of dishonesty in how one person deals with another, but there is another form of dishonesty that I would like to take a bit more time discussing; that being dishonesty with self. I find this form of dishonesty to be much more prevalent among people than the aforementioned form of dishonesty.

Do you have a job? If so you may be guilty of dishonesty yourself. I know for a fact that I witness this form of dishonesty on a daily basis. When you go to work for an employer and take a job in their company there are usually certain job requirements and standards that you must meet. You are given a paycheck for performing certain tasks to a certain level of proficiency. If you do your job half-assed then you are being dishonest with your employer, you are not EARNING the pay you are getting for the job that you are expected to do.

You may not particularly care for your job, in fact you may even hate it, but as long as someone is paying you a salary to do it you should attempt to do it to the best of your ability or find another job. I cannot count the arguments I have gotten into where I work with people about this. They say, and when I say they I am almost exclusively talking about women, that they should not be required to work the same as men do.

That’s perfectly fine. I’ll accept and admit that for one reason or another some women are simply not capable of doing some of the things that men can do. But my wife is one of the tiniest people in our plant and she outworks me…by a long shot.

But let’s just say that you simply cannot do everything that I can. Then can you honestly tell yourself that you are EARNING the pay your are getting if you don’t do these things? If you can’t, or are unwilling, to do the tasks that the job requires than maybe you should move to a position within the company where you are not expected to do so. If that results in a corresponding loss of pay then so be it. But if you are in a position where you are expected to perform at a certain level, and you don’t, then you are being dishonest with your employer.

On the flip side of this if you are an employer are you being honest with your employees? Go back if you must and read that definition for honesty again before I proceed. Do you treat your employees fairly? Do you give them the pay that is deserved for the amount of work being performed? Do you create a work environment that fosters a sense of contribution and fulfillment? Or do you treat your employees as mere expendable items to be used and replaced when they have been worn out?

I love my job, I truly do. But there are times that I see others who don’t and therefore refuse to do the things this job requires. Do you want to know what happens in scenarios like this? What I have seen is that those who do like their jobs are tasked with picking up the slack of those who refuse to do their jobs up to standard. Now this could be due to the Union mentality but I also see it as a company policy of all that matters is the end result; that the end justifies the means. As long as X number of cases are packed at the end of the shift it does not seem to matter how hard they work the hard working employees, (while the lazy ones get by with not doing their job) to get their precious standard. That’s just how I see it. I could be wrong, but if I am they haven’t given me ample reason to prove otherwise.

Then there are double standards, a form of dishonesty that I truly despise with all my being. I see this all the time in people. It is okay for one person, or group to do or say something, but when someone else does the same thing there is a public outcry over it. This makes my blood boil.

I see this in politics where it is okay if YOUR political party, or office holder, does things that are morally or legally wrong, but when a person belonging to the ‘other’ party does them you get upset. I see this in regards to racism as well. How many times have we seen on the news stories where folks like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton have cried out against atrocities committed against blacks by whites? Yet how many times have we seen these two men, and ministers of God to boot, remain silent when black youths commit atrocities against white people? I’m sorry, but right is right. Right knows no skin color, it owes no allegiance to political party, it is right and the standards it requires that we adhere to apply to all regardless of our party affiliation or nationality.

And while I’m on the subject of nationality, let’s talk for a moment about immigrants. If you are a person who has come to live in this country from another country can you honestly say that you love America, that your loyalty is to America? Or do you come here just to take advantage of the many benefits that America has to offer, yet your love and your loyalty remains with your native land?

This also offends me greatly. Theodore Roosevelt once said something about this, and this will be the only quote I use in this commentary. In his Children of the Crucible, Roosevelt wrote, “From the melting pot of life in this free land all men and woman of all nations who come hither emerge as Americans and nothing else. They must have renounced completely and without reserve all allegiance to the land from which they or their forefathers came. And it is a binding duty on every citizen of this country in every important crisis to act solidly with all his fellow Americans, having regard only to the honor and interest of America, treating every other nation purely on its conduct in that crisis, without reference to his ancestral predilections or antipathies. If he does not act, he is false to the teachings and lives of Washington and Lincoln; he is not entitled to any part or lot in our country and he should be sent out of it.”

If you come to live in this country then by God you should do so because you love the freedom it provides, not because of the benefits you can obtain from it. You are a guest in our land and you should be required to observe our laws and our customs. It is not okay for you to come here and demand that we speak your language for you to get by. It is not okay that you force us to tolerate your customs or beliefs which run contrary to all that this country stands for. If you cannot abide by our laws and customs then you are being dishonest with your hosts and do not deserve to live amongst us.

And from immigrants I move on to another, even more volatile subject; religion. I don’t care what religion you belong to, if any. But if you follow a faith are you honest about it? As with doing your job, do you follow your faith to the best of your ability? Or are you one of those who say that they believe in God but throughout the week you live as if you’d never read any of the things Jesus commanded we do, then on Sunday you put on your best suit and tie and go to church. Is that the extent of your faith?

That is why I cannot abide some of the tenets of the Catholic church, especially confession. Do you think that by going into a booth and confessing your sins to a priest, then repeating a few Hail Mary’s or Our Fathers, absolves you of those sins, especially when the next time you go to confession you admit to the same things again? Did not Jesus repeatedly tell people to go and sin no more? Did not Jesus command you to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

Do not the Ten Commandments tell you to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy? Yet how many Christians sit in front of their televisions on Sundays watching hour after hour of football? Honestly, do you believe that God considers that keeping the Sabbath holy?

Finally, are you honest with yourself in your own beliefs, be they what they may? Are you willing to stand up for what you believe in no matter how many enemies it makes you? I have been accused of being outspoken, of being insensitive, and of being politically incorrect. If by those charges it means that I am willing to stand up for what I believe in, regardless of what happens, then I stand guilty as charged.

What I cannot abide is people who say that they believe in something, yet won’t stand up for their beliefs. I also cannot abide people who hold beliefs then demand that someone else enforce those beliefs on those who believe otherwise. Take for instance those who don’t believe it is our right to defend ourselves or our families.

Honestly, if you refuse to take measures, be those measures be buying a gun, or learning a martial art which allows you to defend yourself and your family, how can you expect someone else who has a gun, or has obtained a level of proficiency in self-defense techniques to come into your home and protect you when trouble shows up. Is that honest in your dealings with those you expect to protect you? Why should anyone be expected to risk their lives to protect you when you won’t lift a finger to protect yourself? That is the epitome of dishonesty as far as I’m concerned.

I honestly don’t mean to get your feathers in a ruffle when I say all these things. But sometimes the truth hurts. But if you would be honest with yourself you would see that I speak nothing but the truth here. That is another thing about honesty, being willing to accept the truth no matter how painful it is.

I could probably find more examples of dishonesty if I cared to think about it more. But I’m sure by now that I’ve pretty much pissed off everyone, so I will stop while I still have a chance of not being beaten to death for what I’ve already said.

But that is why I have so few friends, it is because I find it hard to find a large number of people who are truly honest in their dealings with me, and in their honesty with themselves. I don’t care what you believe in or what you stand for. I only care that you are honest about it and willing to stand for your beliefs on your own two feet without forcing your beliefs on me, or upon others. I also wish that you would remain constant in your beliefs, not saying one thing when the political or social winds blow one way, then change your position when the winds blow the other way.

And above all honesty demands that your decisions and your beliefs be based upon facts and evidence. If you are unwilling to examine both sides of an issue, no matter how painful the resulting conclusions may be, you are being dishonest with yourself.

And like I said, of all the character traits people exhibit, dishonesty is the one I hate the most.

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Apology Or Explanation-You Decide


Yesterday I took my last article, Are You Nuts, to work for people to read. Someone who doesn’t normally read my articles happened to pick up a copy and start reading. After finishing the first paragraph she put it down and said, “You know Neal, you are a very good writer, but I don’t know why you have to be so negative and so insulting.”

Was I insulting or was I simply speaking the truth? You know, sometimes the truth does hurt. That does not make the person who speaks it negative or insulting. Maybe I could have been more tactful, on that I will agree. But when I said that making voting mandatory would only ensure that there were more idiots voting I don’t think it would have made much of a difference had I used dimwit, moron, or imbecile. Honestly, it is hard to find a polite word to describe people who don’t think before they act.

Still, I stand by what I said. Our country is in such sad shape because of the people that occupy it, not because of the politicians who occupy the seats of power in our nation’s capital and the capitals of the assorted 50 states. We elect them and it is our job to ensure that they do their job in accordance with the Constitution. If they do a bad job it is because we tolerate it or because we don’t know the first thing about the Constitution and therefore have no guide by which to compare their actions against. When we keep voting for clowns from the Republican party, or clowns from the Democratic party to office, thinking that we are really changing things, then we prove that we are, in fact, idiots.
But I see that you’re not convinced yet.

It’s bad enough that most people can’t see past the superficial facade these candidates present on the campaign trails and see their true nature. It’s bad enough that we compare them against each other by the statements they make regarding the ‘issues’ without for a moment comparing what they say against the Constitution. THAT is bad enough, but it is not the only problem.

Americans also have very short memories and can’t remember what candidate so and so said once they have been in office for awhile. So they cannot see that what they actually do once they are elected is rarely what they said they would do while they were campaigning.

Take for instance the following. On January 21, 2009 the newly elected emperor Barack Obama declared that his administration is “… committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

Then just yesterday the White House announced that it will no longer be subjected to regulations set forth in the Freedom of Information Act, which will allow the Office of the President to reject requests for records.

I won’t go into too much detail on this, but for those of you who don’t know what the Freedom of Information Act is, it was a law passed which allowed the people to request the release of certain documents held by the government.

So now Obama is unilaterally saying that he is no longer subject to these requests and can rubber stamp them NO, essentially thumbing his nose at us and reversing his own position on transparency in government.

All I have to say about this is a quote made by Patrick Henry in the Virginia Ratification Assembly on June 9, 1788, “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

So you see, Americans, for the most part, can’t remember what a candidate said two weeks ago, let alone six months…a year…two years ago. So when they see them say something today it simply does not register that they are reversing the position they held on an issue previously.

While it is a person’s prerogative to change their position after learning new facts, it is not acceptable that a sitting president make decisions that limit our access to their decisions and actions, and which actions violate the Constitution. Government should be on full display for the people, aside from certain highly classified material. But as government grows bigger, and more powerful, it has deemed to make more and more of its actions classified and off limits for public viewing.

Unfortunately I have more evidence to provide to prove that there are a lot of idiots out there.

Do you know what a double standard is? A double standard is when a set of standards or principles is applied to one group while not being applied to another. I see this all the time. At work I see in that certain people are not expected to work to the same level as others, yet they expect the same pay as those who perform the same job they do. But this is not about work, and since I picked on Democrats for my first example I’ll pick on Republicans for this example.

The other day Texas Senator Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring as the first Republican to announce his bid for the presidency in the 2016 election. The Republicans, particularly some of them considered to be ‘Tea Party’ Republicans, (Ted Cruz being among that group), have stated that Obama is wielding almost dictatorial powers with all his Executive Orders and end runs around the legislative authority of Congress.

Well Senator Cruz has declared that should he be elected he will repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Really?

I can’t count the number of messages and e mails I got from people saying they would vote for Cruz if he just did that one small thing. Every time I read one of those messages I shook my head in sadness because these people are such hypocrites.

As much as I hate the fact that Obamacare became law, it is in fact law now. Americans may nullify it en masse by refusing to comply with it, if they so choose. But the job of any president is to ensure that our laws be faithfully executed.

So where do double standards come into play? Well many Republicans accuse Obama of not ensuring that our laws are enforced, with immigration law being one of the hot topic laws that they accuse the president of not enforcing. Yet I didn’t hear them complaining about it when George Bush was in office and he didn’t enforce them either.

And as far as Senator Cruz’s pledge to repeal Obamacare, what the hell does he think he will be elected as…emperor or king? Show me where the Constitution allows a president to just up and repeal a law. Show me, I’ll wait while you look. Yet these same Republicans jump on the chance to accuse Obama of acting unconstitutionally.

That is the double standard. Either standards apply equally to all, or they apply to no one.

Should Senator Cruz become president he would have options, but repealing a standing law is not one of them. He might reject/veto any Congressional Spending Resolution as long as it contains funding for Obamacare. But that would lead to a budget showdown and possible shutdown of the government. I’m not sure he has the cojones to stand behind his principles enough to face the public’s outrage when their government goes into shutdown.

The point is that one party, or the people who support that party, are perfectly willing to allow their party to violate laws, assume powers the Constitution does not grant them, but then the moment the ‘other’ party does it they cry foul. That is a classic example of double standards…and I see it all the time, over and over and over again.

The point I’m trying to make is, when it comes to politics, most people don’t think. They don’t care to learn the system and how it is supposed to function, so they base their voting habits upon emotion or the best sounding liar running for office.

And if you ask me, that is the perfect example of idiocy. So yeah, I stand by what I said about mandatory voting just flooding the system with more idiot voters. It’s bad enough when barely 50% of the people vote in a presidential election. As George Carlin so famously said, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

I rest my case. Prove me wrong…if you can.

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Are You Nuts?

On March 18th Mr. Obama, (it still sickens my stomach to use President in the same sentence with his name), floated the idea of making voting mandatory for all citizens, saying it would change the political landscape in America. I’m sure it would. What mandatory voting WOULD do is ensure that there were more idiots voting than there are now, that’s what it would do.

I’m against this idea for many reasons, all of which I will explain.

First of all, unless it were a constitutional amendment which required that voting be mandatory I would not even consider supporting the idea. The government cannot make participating in an event mandatory, no matter how beneficial it may be to the overall health of the union. They could no more make voting mandatory than they could make watching the Super Bowl mandatory. Making participating in anything mandatory destroys freewill, and yes this includes making having health insurance mandatory.

The concept of freewill demands that you be given a choice to either do, or not do something. But at the same time it demands that you accept the responsibility for your choices. If you choose not to do something and your choice causes problems for you then you cannot demand that others shoulder the burden of your bad choices. That is what freewill, hell, that is what liberty is all about. So making voting mandatory goes against all that I believe in from that point alone.

Most people in this country consider FDR, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be one of our better presidents. I’m not among those who do, but still, many people do think of him that way. Very few think about his wife, Eleanor. She once made a comment that holds true to this very day, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

I believe that quote is at the very center of why so many people want government to do so many things for them…make them mandatory. People fear the responsibility of having to live on their own without a safety net of some sort in case they fail, or make bad choices. People fear that responsibility. I’ve heard it myself in regards to some people’s excuses for not owning guns, especially among women.

I can’t count the times that I’ve heard some women say that they won’t allow a gun in their house. They tell me that they fear their husband shooting them and that they will leave their protection in the hands of law enforcement…or God. I have a few choice things to say about this. First, if you fear your husband with a gun maybe you ought to stop nagging him so much, or stop being such a bitch. Yes, you heard me.

Don’t give your husband a reason to get tired of you in the first place. Secondly, if you truly fear the thought of your husband having a gun to protect YOU and the rest of your family, maybe you married the wrong guy in the first place. And finally, many of these women I have heard who say that they will rely on God to protect them also vote Democratic. Do you honestly believe that God is going to protect you when you vote for candidates who support concepts that go against His will? Do you think God likes it that you vote for candidates who support abortion and gay rights? Just saying you ought to rethink your position if you want God to watch over you.

Although I may not agree with your stance, it is your right to make that choice. But the moment you decide that your viewpoint on an issue is the ONLY viewpoint and demand that it apply to the rest of America you have crossed the line. Locke considered the right of self-defense to be the first natural right of man. For you to demand of your elected representative that this right be taken from those who choose to exercise it goes against all that freewill and liberty stand for…and I will not abide it!

But I stray from the subject at hand.

The idea of making voting mandatory for all is bad enough when you consider that it takes away freewill, but when you add to the mix the number of constitutionally uneducated people in this country it is bad news.

Now when I say what I’m about to say it may seem like I’m making this more about guns than I am voting, but I’m not. I’m simply using this as an example. People say that there should be stricter laws passed for who can and cannot own guns. Already, at least in California, you must take a firearms safety test, at a cost of $35, before you can purchase a handgun. Then, if you want to carry that gun in public, concealed of course, you must again pay a fee, prove that you are proficient in the safe handling and firing of that weapon, and then you may be granted a permit…which has to be renewed every so many years.

Should not the same requirement apply to voting? Should you not be required to prove that you understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights prior to your being allowed to vote? After all, my right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Bill of Rights, your right to vote is not. Maybe you ought to learn a little bit about the history of suffrage in the United States before you open your big mouths in response to what I just said.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights do not protect your right to vote. The only mention of voting is found in the Constitution itself in discussing how members of the Legislature and the Executive shall be elected. It makes no mention of who should be allowed to vote.

Did you know that at the time the Constitution was ratified that only white males could vote, and then only if they were property owners or had some form of taxable income. Although you may disagree, I find that there was some wisdom in that. If you owned property, or had some form of income that was taxable, you tended to be more educated and therefore more cognizant of what the Constitution said and the limits it imposed on government.

If you understood history, especially the period in which our nation gained its independence and wrote its Constitution you would know that our Founders did not want a democracy, which they considered mob rule. In some ways it was almost an aristocracy in which only the higher ups, the better educated, were allowed to choose who would represent the people in government.

Then they ratified the 15th, the 19th, the 24th and the 26th Amendments which, collectively, gave the right to vote to everyone over the age of 18. As with any right it is your choice as to whether you exercise it or not. If you say making voting mandatory is a good thing, what if they suddenly say going to church becomes mandatory…even if you are an atheist? If you do not believe in God you should not be forced to attend church services. If you no longer believe the political system functions properly you should not be required to vote. You should not be required to vote either if you are simply apathetic and don’t care one way or the other who is elected.

In fact I would rather that the uneducated not vote. It’s bad enough already with so many still believing in the two party system and those who vote yet know nothing at all about the Constitution. Flooding the system with more ignoramuses would just make things worse. America is in sad enough shape now because of the ignorance, apathy and complacency of those who do vote. If we were truly a people who valued liberty and freewill we would vote resoundingly for candidates who stood for the same principles we did. We WOULD NOT fall for this lesser of two evils bullshit or say that a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for __________.

No, we vote for the candidate who promises us more of what we want than the other candidates do. I would much rather vote for candidates who would lessen governmental regulation and interference in my life, not more of it. But that’s just me…and a few others.

We are not a democracy where the majority gets what it wants. We are a Constitutional Republic where the rule of law is above the will of the majority. Unfortunately the only thing separating the two is the people. If the people adhere to the law, then the law reigns supreme. The moment we abandon the law for our will we become a democracy.

And let me tell you what happens in democracies. Alexander Fraser Tytler once said, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

In 1814, after serving as President, John Adams wrote a letter to an associate named John Taylor where he said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”

That is the path that America is on now, a path fueled by an uneducated and apathetic populace. And you would agree with a president who wants to accelerate our progress on that path by adding more uneducated and apathetic voters?

Are you nuts?!? America might just as well put a gun to its head if that happens.

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Oh America, What Has Become Of You?


Imagine that you have a favorite band and that band is known because of the talents of one individual…say a singer or a guitarist. Then that person dies, or leaves the band but the band continues on using the same name. Pink Floyd is a perfect example as, to me at least, Pink Floyd is not Pink Floyd without Roger Waters.

The reason I ask this is because while we may still call ourselves America, or the United States of America, we are not really America anymore. America is not just some geographic location on a map that someone slapped a name to, it is a place where certain ideals and beliefs existed and those ideals and beliefs have long ago died, leaving an empty husk of what once was a great nation.

Whether you want to believe it or not America was founded by great men with great ideals and this country was given birth with a perfection of principles that had they been adhered to America would still be a great, powerful, and respected nation. But as we have abandoned those principles we have lost our status and stature in the world and now America is a pale shadow of what it once was.

I have made similar statements before and invariably someone throws slavery or our treatment of the Native American Indians right back at me as a repudiation of my claim that America was founded upon great principles. These people ask me how I can say that America was founded upon great principles when the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, yet slaves and Indians weren’t allowed the same rights as white men. Sure, America has some dark stains on its ledger but it wasn’t the principles that were flawed, it was our interpretation of them. To put it in simple terms, slaves and Indians were not considered as being men. Slaves were property and Indians were savages and therefore not accorded the same rights as white men were. Not saying that was right, but it is not the fault of the principles, it was the fault of men who interpreted them.

All the problems that this country faces boil down to one simple thing, a lack of values among the people in this country. It has nothing to do with whether we have a bunch of liberals running things, or a bunch of conservatives running things, it is a lack of values, or a code of conduct if you will, among the general population. That is what is wrong in America today.

Allow me to give you a few examples of what I’m talking about.

Language

The means by which people interact is through language. If you want to ask for something, or explain an idea or concept, you normally do so with words. Regardless of the fact that our government has yet to proclaim English as the official language of the United States, it is still the language that is used to do business in this country. It’s nearly impossible to go anywhere in this country these days and not hear four or five languages being spoken in public places.

I have no problem with people who wish to communicate with others of their nationality in their native tongue, but if you want to communicate with me then do so in English. Why is it that we should be required to bend over backwards to provide translators or provide official government documents to people in their native tongue? Believe me, as one who has traveled a pretty good portion of the world, not many other countries, aside from tourist hot spots, provide these services to foreigners.

Former president Theodore Roosevelt once said “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” That is as it should be. If you want to live among Americans you should be required to become proficient in the language they speak or leave. Yet there are people in this country who can barely speak ten words of English. You talk to them and you may as well be talking to a cow for all that they understand you. A country cannot thrive when the people are wandering around like it were the Tower of Babel.

Self-Reliance

America did not become the thriving industrial giant it was because people sat around collecting welfare and food stamps. Much has changed in this country since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and had to forge their own path to survival. Now, unless you own your own business, we rely heavily upon others to provide jobs for the vast majority of people. Corporate greed, economic downturns, Union interference in the workplace all contribute to job security and there are times when people find themselves out of work and may need a safety net to provide for their needs until they get back on their feet again.

But when I was growing up taking government handouts was frowned upon; it was considered shameful if a man did not have a job that provided all that his family needed. These handouts were a last resort when families became desperate. Now I see entire generations living on handouts, taking their place at the public teat and sucking away our countries vitality. This shift has taken place so much that they are no longer called handouts, they are called entitlements as if they are something you have earned, and not something that someone else has to pay for without you having earned them.

Oh but ask that those receiving these handouts submit to a drug test to be eligible for them and you are violating their civil rights! How so when I have to submit to drug testing to earn the money that is taxed to provide you with these handouts?

America will not thrive when a large portion of the population are too lazy to work, or when they do work they do a half-assed job; just enough to get by without being fired. The America that became the leader of the world in production was fueled by hard working Americans who took great pride in doing their jobs to the very best of their ability, not just people lounging around doing the bare minimum and complaining when they are expected to break a sweat.

Morality

This, above all others, is where America has truly dropped the ball.

I honestly don’t care whether you believe in God or if you don’t. The important point is that the men who created this country did. George Washington declared “I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.”

Thomas Jefferson declared, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

A country which has forsaken the laws of God, of virtue and morality, is doomed to fail as God is just and will not shower His blessings upon a people who disobey His laws. You may not believe this, but I do and until the day we all die neither side can claim proof positive that their view on the matter was correct. I only know that I have faith in the things I believe in and these are my opinions based on that faith. You may chose to believe otherwise but I see all our countries problems as stemming from a lack of virtue, and yes, of morality, in America.

While there are those who do not believe in God in this country, and while there are those who practice other faiths as well, the majority of people in this country still proclaim some form of Christianity as their religion. So like it or not America is still basically a Christian nation.

How is it then that we have allowed any mention of God to be removed from almost all public discussion? How is it that all life is not considered sacred and therefore any God-fearing American would be repulsed to support any political candidate who stood for abortion which is the taking of an unborn life? How is it that we are being told that we must tolerate lifestyles that God has told us are sinful?

On top of all this there is rampant promiscuity, and broken families which produce children who grow up lacking a good moral and stable upbringing. In 1778 John Adams wrote the following entry into his diary, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families…. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

Finally, how is it that we expect to survive and thrive as a nation when the truth and honesty is not cherished? When we are afraid to confront lies and call them for what they are; when we tolerate lying as normal behavior; when we refuse to tell the truth, no matter how painful it may be to hear, we cannot thrive as a nation. Deceit and dishonesty are cancers that eat away at a people until no one can be trusted to do or say what is the right thing.

Conclusion

Being an American means more than a piece of paper which states you were born, or naturalized, as a citizen of the United States. It is a sacred obligation upon us all to uphold the principles enshrined in our Founding Documents and taught in Scripture.

Life is not supposed to be easy, a bed of roses that we may lie down upon. Life is work. Learning the truth takes work. Standing up for what you believe in, hell even having some code of morals or ethics takes work.

But just as the Scriptures say, those who stay true till the end will be rewarded. Had Americans continued to stand for the principles their country was founded upon it would not be in the sad state of affairs it is now.

I cannot force anyone into believing the things I have just said. Yet it would seem pretty obvious that the further we strayed from those principles the worse things got in America. That alone should cause one to question their own beliefs and code of conduct.

America could be healed, could return to its former status as a country which was respected and thrived. To do so we must repent and change of our wicked and slothful ways. As it says in 2 Chronicles, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways’ then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This is not something we can do by voting for this candidate or that candidate, supporting this political movement or that political movement. It must be an individual choice, taken by each person in this country, to change themselves and begin living according to certain principles which George Washington so clearly referenced.

Americans may think of themselves as proud and vain, but without those principles, without the help of God, this country will fall, just as others before it have fallen. The choice as to whether that happens sooner or later depends entirely upon the people that inhabit it.

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Don’t Take This The Wrong Way

“Given enough time, many scientists believe that humanity would eventually degenerate into a bunch of gibbering idiots incapable of rational thought.”
Michael Snyder-It’s Official: Americans R Stupid

Last night before going to bed I read the article that quote came from. The author claims that scientists at Harvard University have proven that for generations our genes have been mutating, accumulating errors that are causing human beings to become more flawed, and in particular, more stupid. The author does not state that this is a unique American phenomenon, rather it is a worldwide problem. However Mr. Snyder does go on to provide evidence that across the board Americans fall way behind the majority of the world in the education our children are receiving.

I hate having to use the word stupid when describing people because it is insulting and they find it offensive, but sometimes the truth hurts. When we come into this world our brains are pretty much empty slates; aside from the basic functions the keep our hearts beating, our lungs breathing, and our muscles moving, we are born with no knowledge. In some ways we are born much like a computer that comes with a basic operating system and no other programming. Everything we learn has to be programmed into us.

Therefore the adult human mind is the accumulation of the information and critical thinking skills that have been programmed into it since birth. I remember back in the 70′s the United Negro College Fund used to run these ads with the slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I couldn’t agree more, but unfortunately I see a lot of wasted minds out there.

As you all well know I have been quite critical of my fellow countrymen and their lack of desire to learn about their own countries history and its system of government. I really didn’t think anyone was paying attention to what I was saying. But then yesterday I got an e mail from my publisher with some comments written by another author of political commentaries. In his comments he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “I’m beginning to agree with Neal Ross in that there are very few people in this country who are capable of thinking beyond football scores.”
All the time at work I hear people tell me that I’m so very smart. BULLSHIT! I have a mind just like everyone else does. It’s what I chose to put in it that sets me apart from them. It’s a matter of priorities in that I chose to read, to study, to THINK, instead of gluing myself to a TV screen, a video game, or an iPhone.

If knowledge is not high on your list of priorities than the end result is that you will go around being an ignoramus. I’m not that smart, at least no smarter than anyone else I know. The difference is that I chose to apply myself until I believe I have a firm understanding of the material I am studying. Hell, I barely made it through high school, passing with a C average. If I were smart I would have passed with straight A’s.

There are two quotes I’d like for you to ponder. The first is from a man I despise, Alexander Hamilton. Yet even people I hate can get things right once in awhile. Hamilton once said, “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind. I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”

The second comes from the Frye Chronicles, written by English actor Stephen Frye, “There are young men and women up and down the land who happily (or unhappily) tell anyone who will listen that they don’t have an academic turn of mind, or that they aren’t lucky enough to have been blessed with a good memory, and yet can recite hundreds of pop lyrics and reel off any amount of information about footballers. Why? Because they are interested in those things. They are curious. If you are hungry for food, you are prepared to hunt high and low for it. If you are hungry for information it is the same. Information is all around us, now more than ever before in human history. You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.”

The ability to think is not something you are born with. You may disagree, but I stand by my words. People are born capable of thinking, but the actual process is something that has to be learned. Learning comes about through two processes; either you are taught something by someone else, or some personal experience has taught you a lesson. Take for instance fire. If you didn’t know what it was you may put your hand into it to try and touch it. When you burned your hand you would learn a lesson; fire is hot. That is the way life teaches us things.

Life provides us plenty of opportunities to learn, especially from our mistakes. But if someone goes around covering for you every time you make a mistake you will never learn not to make them. That is why I disagree so much with social programs. Aside from the illegal theft of money from one group to subsidize another, it breeds a dependency upon these programs and people do not learn from their mistakes, they just go on being parasites living off the handouts of others. But I’m getting sidetracked here, so let’s move on.

Then there is the other way where other people teach us things. We can learn from others in two ways; we can go to school and have teachers instill knowledge into us or we can read books on subjects we are interested in to learn for ourselves.

Unless parents take the time to teach their children at home, the schools are responsible for teaching our children things. They start with the basics of the alphabet and numbers and work up from there to more complicated processes. Our son could read Dr. Seuss books and count to a million by the time he started kindergarten because we taught him the alphabet and numbers with flash cards from the time he could sit up straight on his own. Yet most parents either don’t have the time to do that or don’t care enough to provide their children with a good head start.

So the school systems are where most children get their knowledge from. But parenting also plays a big role in this process too. If a child goes to school for from 6 to 8 hours a day then when they get home the parents leave them alone to watch TV or play video games you will run into problems. You see, human beings are fundamentally lazy. Aside from a few who make conscious choices to exert their minds or bodies, most people will take the easy path through life. That is why we have so many obese people and so many stupid people in this country. It takes effort; a conscious monitoring of what foods you eat and getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight. It also takes effort to become informed or knowledgeable.

Like I said, most people take the easy path.

When I was growing up we didn’t have all these convenient toys that kids grow up with today. There was one TV in our home; it was black and white and our parents decided what shows to watch. We didn’t have video games or cell phones either. Hell, Pong, the very first video game didn’t come out until I was already in high school. So growing up I either was in school, outside playing, or reading a book. Maybe that is why people of my generation, and those older than me, value knowledge more than our younger American friends.

Regardless, the school systems are the primary place kids today get their information. I have watched, at first unknowingly, but watched nonetheless as our schools have gone from teaching our kids how to think to becoming programming centers designed to fill their minds with lies and a blind obedience to authority.

This is all by design if you want my honest opinon. George Carlin stated it pretty well in his sketch called the American Dream, and I’m sorry if his language offends you, “…they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork.”

That is exactly what our schools are producing, mindless drones who have the basic knowledge to run the machinery that keeps America ticking, but who are unable to think for themselves and realize how badly their government is screwing them over.

When I went to school they taught U.S. history and civics and even though it may have been revised somewhat from the truth, it was still taught. Today it is not taught, at least not to any extent where we can say our kids are learning about their country or their system of government. Add to that the fact that many kids today are graduating with a 5th grade understanding of the English language and we are in sad shape in this country.

We think we are so damned smart, that we can select good honorable men to run our government, yet we can’t tell you the first thing about how it is supposed to run. Does the obvious problem with that scenario even register with you?

Whenever one discusses politics with another it would be hoped that both have a decent understanding of the subject before engaging in debate. However that is not often the case in America today. Often one side may be informed while the other side is totally ignorant regarding the subject matter. They argue based on emotional beliefs, not facts. It is hard to win an argument with someone when facts do not even register with the person you are arguing with. It’s like that quote by Isaac Asimov where he says, “My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

It’s kind of like an experience I had when I was in the Air Force. I was assigned to Inoges Radio Relay Link in Spain. When I arrived in Spain I thought my high school Spanish would be enough to get me by. The first time I said hello to someone in Spanish they began chattering away at me at 500 miles per hour. I realized right then and there that I could not speak Spanish. So I locked myself in my room for a few months with a phrase book and a dictionary until I felt I could attempt to communicate with the locals. The first thing I taught myself to say was, (and this would have been in Spanish), “Please, could you speak slower, I am still learning to speak Spanish.” Once they realized I was trying they would slow down and help me out. But had I just went around thinking I knew it all I would never have learned to communicate with anyone over there.

The same thing goes with political discussions. If you don’t know the subject you can’t have an intelligent discussion. The person with more knowledge than you will not accept your emotionally based bullshit and you will not accept the facts. No one can win an argument like that.
Ignorance, or stupidity if you will, is a conscious choice. You may not have been given the information you should have while attending school, and that is not your fault. Yet the fact that you remain ignorant is your fault. Knowledge, the truth, it’s out there but you have to want to go out and find it.

But like I said, it is human nature to be lazy. So I can almost guarantee that upwards of 90% of the people reading this won’t take the time to become better educated and informed as to what is really going on in America, not what the Nightly News is telling you.

So while ignorance may be a lack of facts while stupidity is the inability to think, it is my belief that most Americans are stupid. For if they could think they would realize that knowing what is going on around them is more important than sporting events, stupid YouTube videos, or Facebook.

Like I said in the title, don’t take this the wrong way. I’m afraid most American have let their brains go to waste by filling it with garbage instead of knowledge. But you can change that, there is a cure. It’s up to you to heal yourselves though.

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Where Is Our Justice?


I know for a lot of people legalize or legal mumbo jumbo is confusing. Believe me, I fully understand because some of it is still confusing to me. But the more I read about it the more I begin to understand it. That being said, some of what I am going to talk about may take repeated readings for you to understand. First, let’s start with some very basics.

Prior to the Constitution being ratified in 1789 we did not have 3 branches of government, there was only the Congress, and they were weak and unable to fully manage the affairs of a young nation. So a group of men got together in Philadelphia and sought to remedy the flaws in the Articles of Confederation. After coming up with this ‘new’ Constitution they had to get the states approval for it to go into effect.

During that time there were heated discussions on both sides of the issue, from those who supported this new Constitution, and those who opposed it. The two main issues which fueled the debates argued by those who opposed the Constitution were; the safeguarding of individual rights and the protection of state sovereignty in regards to the powers granted this newfangled federal government. These anti-federalists felt that the new Constitution provided too much power and would lead to the erosion of rights, both by the states and by the individual. I’m beginning to believe they were wiser than we all gave them credit for, but that is the subject for another article.

Anyway, this new Constitution was agreed upon, ratified being the correct term and went into effect creating the outline of the system of government we have today. It established 3 named branches of government; the Executive, or President; the Legislative, or Congress; and the Judicial, or the Supreme Court. Each brand was given specific duties and limits were imposed on their powers. The Legislative was to create law with the qualification being that it could only enact law upon the specific subjects found in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. The Executive was to either give the thumbs up by signing a law, or the thumbs down by vetoing it. Once enacted though it was the Executives job to see that the law was fully implemented. In that the Executive is like a CEO in that it makes sure things run smoothly. Then the Judicial was to settle disputes under the law.

The Constitution is supposedly the Supreme Law of the Land, as stated in Article 6 where it says, “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Therefore I have a question. We all know what happens when we break the law; the police come and charge us with a crime and if found guilty we are either fined, face jail time, or if the crime is serious enough, we may even face the death penalty. I can’t count all the agencies with the power and authority to enforce the various laws they have passed, yet I can name a few. We have our local police departments, the sheriffs who represent our counties, then there are a myriad number of state agencies which impose regulations upon us, and then there are the federal agents who can come after us if we break one of their laws. Among these are the FBI, the BATF, U.S. Marshals, and Secret Service Agents, just to name a few.

All these agencies can punish us when we break one of the laws they have enacted. But what happens if one of these laws they enact is unjust? It does not matter to them if the law is unjust, the enforcers, as I prefer to call them, come after us no matter what. But how do we obtain any kind of justice when those who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution no longer do so and enact laws which the Constitution does not grant them the authority to enact? Is voting them out of office the next time they come up for re-election justice? I don’t think so, not when they can take our property through fines, put us in jail, or take our lives should the offense be serious enough.

Now this is where it gets a bit complicated.

Have you ever tried to read a Congressional Bill? I didn’t think so. I have, and believe me, they are a nightmare to untangle. More often than not they are written in such a way that it would take a team of lawyers months to figure out what they actually say. Often they read as follows: “Subsection 3, subparagraph b of Section 301 of Title 26 USC is amended to read... ” and then you have to go to that section of the United States Code to see what it originally said, then read how the amendment modifies it. You have to do this over and over and over again to see what a Congressional Bill actually says. And then there are the idiots like Nancy Pelosi who say that we have to pass a bill before we can find out what it actually says.

You know, back in 1788 James Madison wrote the following, taken from Federalist 62, “It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow.”

Yet these laws are binding upon us all and enforced with an iron will and often without any mercy.

If you have ever served on jury duty at the end of the trial, before you go into deliberations, the judge gives a little speech to the jurors. He tells them what the law is and to only consider the law and how the facts of the case apply to it. You are never asked to consider whether the law is just, or unconstitutional. Yet that is the right of every juror.

Our nation’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay, once stated, “The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” Compare that to what Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes once said, “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”

In an 1819 letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “If [as the Federalists say] “the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government,” … , then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de so. … The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they may please.

Judges, and the court system in general, are supposed to provide us with justice. How can people’s and state’s rights be secure when the justice system twists the law to defend those who enact unjust laws from the get go?

I’ll give you an example. Now I’m only using this subject because I am more familiar with it than I am with others, it does not change the topic of this article to one about gun control or the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It does not say that the states may enact laws which violate the rights of the people, or that the federal government may put restrictions upon people to better the public safety, only that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Also it does not define arms any more than the First Amendment defines means of communicating when it protects our privacy. So for those who say that back in 1789 there were no automatic weapons, I would throw back at them that back in 1789 there were no cell phones or internet and therefore your privacy is not protected there either.

Yet depending upon what state you live in you may find yourself subject to laws which prohibit you from owing certain types of arms, limits upon the capacity of magazines, restrictions or requirements for obtaining a permit to carry the arms you are allowed to own. What part of our right to keep and bear shall not be infringed do these lawmakers not understand?

Yet increasingly I have seen videos of local police harassing people who openly carry arms when it is perfectly legal to do so…just because someone who is afraid of guns calls them to report someone with a gun. I have read numerous articles where the BATF has performed military style raids on businesses who were suspected of violating some federal law regarding the sale or transfer of firearms.

If keep and bear shall not be infringed means that no agency can tread upon that right then how are these laws justified? Yet the enforcers come after everyone who violates them, the Courts prosecute us for violating them. And our lawmakers continue to push for more restrictive laws which further violate our unalienable right.

Again I ask you, if our government is bound to adhere to the Constitution as being the Supreme Law of the Land, and they continue to enact laws which are unjust, how do we obtain justice against them when the entire system is corrupt?

I have used this quote many times before, but I will use it again here because I think it applies nicely. The Sixteenth American Jurisprudence is the nation’s legal encyclopedia. It provide definitions for legal terms and legal maxims; things that are commonly accepted as being legal truths. In Section 256 of the Second Edition of 16th American Jurisprudence it states, “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, and no courts are bound to enforce it.” Yet try disobeying an unconstitutional law and see what happens to you.

So again, I ask, where is our justice?

I’ll tell you where it is, it has gone down the toilet with the rest of our liberty. When a government becomes so big, so powerful that it can enact whatever laws it wants and then has the manpower, the ‘standing armies’ to go around enforcing the laws they enact, no matter that they be unconstitutional, we have tyranny.

Our rights are supposed to be equally protected for all. When the rights of one group are diminished because other groups do not like us exercising them we do not have justice. If the rights of one group; be it based upon religion or nationality are given priority over those of others than there is no justice. We are told that our children cannot pray in school because it offends others, but our children are being forced to learn about Islam. We are told that if we stand up for White heritage we are racist yet every other race in this country has organizations, and even months dedicated to their heritage. Where is the justice in that?

Again I will tell you, it has gone down the toilet.

I do not have an answer to this, especially when so many are completely ignorant regarding what the Constitution says our government can and cannot do. I do not have an answer when we are so divided along our beliefs regarding certain key issues that are of important to us with little to no regard for equality of rights for all.

I can tell you though that our government will continue to take advantage of us not being the United States of America and will continue to enact laws which violate all of our rights. Until we unite, all 300 million of us, there will be no change in this country. Unless we put aside our petty differences and begin demanding equal rights for all, and by equal rights I do not mean rights provided for some at the expense of others, then this country will remain divided and things will continue to get worse.

I leave you with a final quote taken from Commentaries on the Constitution by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, “Who can preserve the rights and liberties of the people, when they shall be abandoned by themselves? Who shall keep watch in the temple, when the watchmen sleep at their posts? Who shall call upon the people to redeem their possessions, and revive the republic, when their own hands have deliberately and corruptly surrendered them to the oppressor, and have built the prisons, or dug the graves of their own friends?

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Say What You Will About Me

Last Friday at work I mentioned to a friend that I as getting a tattoo this weekend of a Minuteman with the word Oathkeeper above him. My friend jokingly said something like it was sure to reserve me a bunk in a FEMA camp. After I got the tattoo I sent photos of it out to some friends via e-mail and one responded that now I am ‘officially’ a terrorist. While I take these comments seriously, I do find them funny to a certain extent. Allow me to explain why I say that.

I fully realize that, with the current political climate in America, that public displays of patriotism, or at least public displays of the Founding principles, are not widely accepted as being politically correct. Self-reliance, limited government, gun rights, opposition to the war on terror, and a whole host of other beliefs can easily get one labeled as anti-social or a threat to the government. My fears about this were confirmed in 2009 when the Missouri Information Analysis Center issued a report listing Ron Paul supporters, people who display political bumper stickers, equating them with hate groups and potential domestic terrorists. I see this trend increasing as more and more people are becoming unhappy with the direction their government is taking this country because the government fears that the people will one day rise up against it so they have to begin labeling us as potential threats to its very existence.

But I also find it funny that by public displays of the principles that this country was founded upon can be considered anything but patriotic. I recently saw a graphic on the internet that said “Patriotism is not obedience to government. Patriotism is obedience to the principles for which government is supposed to stand.” I find it both funny and sad that people such as myself who make public declarations of support for the principles America was founded upon can be considered terrorists. What a crazy mixed up place America has become.

Some people who read my commentaries are under the assumption that I am proposing armed rebellion against the government. Let me make something perfectly clear, I am not saying we should take up arms against the government. Although that time may come, I don’t believe it has gotten to that point where it will be necessary at this point in time. But if things continue on their current path that day will become inevitable.

What I am proposing is a revolution of sorts, just not one were people are carrying guns. What I am hoping to do is start a revolution of the mind. By that I mean that I am hoping the I can get enough people to stop believing everything they have been, and are currently being told. By providing all the quotes I do from our Founders and other sources I hope to get enough people to think, “Hey, the guys who created our system of government said it is supposed to only do this, this and this, but it is actually doing much more. Maybe it’s time we time we changed how government is viewed in America.” That is all I am trying to do at this time, and so far I have not been very successful. A good friend of mine suggested that perhaps America is being punished with spiritual blindness due to her sinful nature. If that truly is the case then I am beating my head against a brick wall because nothing is going to change until the people in this country stop sinning. But I don’t want to turn this into a condemnation of the people of this country, rather I want to show that my so-called revolutionary beliefs are not something that is unique in American history.

There are plenty of quotes from notable figures in history who support the belief that when a government becomes tyrannical, or oppressive, it is the right of the people to stand up to it, to change it, or to abolish it altogether. Take for instance John Locke whose writings influenced many of the Founders. In Section 202 of his Second Treatise Locke states, “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command to compass that upon the subject which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate, and acting without authority may be opposed, as any other man who by force invades the right of another.” If you truly believe that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, then when government violates that law then what Locke said applies, it loses its authority and may be opposed.

Locke goes to much greater detail a bit later in Section 222 where he states, “The reason why men enter into society, is the preservation of their property; and the end why they chuse and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set, as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society, to limit the power, and moderate the dominion, of every part and member of the society: for since it can never be supposed to be the will of the society, that the legislative should have a power to destroy that which every one designs to secure, by entering into society, and for which the people submitted themselves to legislators of their own making; whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who. have a right to resume their original liberty…” Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but you really need to read it, and re-read it until you understand what he is saying.

Now the idea of opposition to government may sound radical to some but it was this very belief that led to our country coming into existence. After all what is the Declaration of Independence but a statement that reflects the very things Locke speaks of? So why are people such as myself who support these beliefs today labeled as terrorists?

I see you’re still not convinced. Guess I need to try harder.

In 1794 the Supreme Court heard the case of Glass v. Sloop Betsy wherein it ruled, “The sovereignty of a state does not reside in the persons who fill the different departments of its government, but in the People, from whom the government emanated; and they may change it at their discretion. Sovereignty, then in this country, abides with the constituency, and not with the agent; and this remark is true, both in reference to the federal and state government.” I have used the word sovereignty many times in my writings yet I still don’t think people understand what it means. Basically sovereignty is the supreme power or authority. So the government does not tell us what to do, we tell it what to do. How then can an entity which we created, call those who demand that it adhere to the limits we impose upon it, terrorists?

Still not convinced?

Well how about this. During his tenure as a Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglass wrote, “When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen’s constitutional rights it acts lawlessly and the citizen can take matters into his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.”

Then there is this. From the Second American Jurisprudence, the definite encyclopedia of legal terms and premises I quote, “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law, and no courts are bound to enforce it.” (Section 256 137, 180)

Then there is this, taken from the same source, “Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection and justifies no acts performed under it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.” (Section 177)

I think I have provided ample proof that my beliefs are not that uncommon, or at least not without precedent. Yet there are still those who would say that this is the way it’s been and this is the way it is always going to be. Well to those who say that I would remind them that in Amos v. Mosley the Court ruled, “If the legislature clearly misinterprets a constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right.” So just because that is the way they’ve always done things does not make how they are doing them right, or, in this instance, legal.

In closing I would like to leave you with one last thought. In 1979 I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. That is the meaning behind the tattoo I got this Saturday. Every person who has served in the armed forces has taken a similar oath as have every elected official who has sat in the halls of power in the state and federal government. The difference between many of them and people such as myself is how seriously have we taken that oath?

You also have to ask yourself, if one who takes that oath seriously and is then labeled a terrorist by those who have not taken it seriously, what does that tell you about the nature of the people you have been voting for? And one final question. If they can label us terrorists today for standing up for what we believe in what is to stop them from labeling you as a terrorist tomorrow for standing up for something you believe in?

Ponder these things and have a pleasant day. I have weeds that need to be pulled.

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Is This Really That Hard To Understand?

Where I to write an article about our system of government and style it after the first chapter of the Book of Genesis I might begin by saying, “In the beginning there was man, and man was without government.” All joking aside, when one considers what is the nature of and purpose for government one must consider that age old question, “What came first; the chicken or the egg?” In this particular instance the answer is obvious, man came first. Mankind existed long before government was ever thought of. Therefore if man existed prior to government, so did man’s rights.

That is why that quote from Locke’s Second Treatise is so vitally important to understand, “To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”

So if man existed prior to government, then government must be a creation of man, something that man established on his own. Putting aside the shapes that government may take there are but two ways that government may come into existence. First, it can be something that the people decided that they need and therefore they establish a system of government. Second, it can be something that is assumed; that is someone, or some group, may decide that they intend to rule over others and amass enough power to enforce their will upon others.

In the early years of our nation’s existence the first people that came to America did so by charters granted them by the King of England to establish colonies that would be subject to British rule. The King ruled by what was known as divine right, meaning that the people believed the King derived his authority directly from God and therefore his actions where not to be questioned without the fear of questioning God Himself.

However America in the 1700′s was unique in that prior to the American Revolution there had been a huge awakening in political thought and philosophy known as the Age of Enlightenment. Many had written questioning the divine right of Kings and discussing the nature of the rights of man. Therefore, when things came to a head in the British colonies in the late 1700′s and America gained her independence, the men who lived here had the unique opportunity to establish their own system of government based upon all these great political thinkers who had preceded them.

Many of their beliefs regarding government can be found within the opening of our Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote that governments were instituted of men and derived their authority from men. He wrote that the purpose of government was to secure man their unalienable rights. He wrote that when a system of government no longer serves the purpose for which it was established that it can be altered or abolished. These were all new thoughts and ideas and they served as the foundation upon which our Constitution would later be written.

When I hear people speak of government today it is with a tone the implies that government is this all powerful entity capable of doing all kinds of things and that it is not to be questioned without incurring its wrath. That is so far from what the men who wrote the Constitution intended that I hardly know where to begin in explaining it. I suppose the best, and simplest, way of explaining it is by using a quote that is often misattributed to Thomas Jefferson, but true nonetheless, “When government fears the people there is liberty. When people fear the government there is tyranny.”

Depending upon which dictionary you look in you can probably find slightly different definitions for the word tyranny. I, however, have my own definition for the word tyranny. To me tyranny is when any government exhibits, or assumes, powers it never was granted, and then enforces them by way of fines or imprisonment, there exists tyranny.

People believe that government is to be obeyed because it is omnipotent and all that it does is for our own best interests anyway. That is not so. Government was established by us to perform certain specific tasks and when it assumes other tasks, and then enforces its will upon us at gunpoint, tyranny exists.

Say what you will but the Constitution was written by men and agreed upon by the inhabitants of the American States in 1789. By their agreeing to it the states gave up some of their sovereignty and ceded it to this new federal system. Yet this new system was not endowed with unlimited power and authority, it’s powers were clearly defined and each branch had its own specific function. Like it or not, the Constitution is a law, and it is binding upon us and upon those whom we elect.

That fact was established by Article 6 of the Constitution which states that it is the Supreme Law of the Land, and later reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in 1866 when they ruled, “The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of men than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism.”

When a Bill of Rights was ratified and added to the Constitution it became part and parcel of that Supreme Law of the Land, making the prohibitions imposed upon government in regards to our right sacrosanct. And for those of you who do not understand the meaning of sacrosanct it means, sacred, holy, untouchable. This fact was also reaffirmed by the Supreme Court when it ruled, “The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

Therefore, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are the law. You do know what a law is don’t you? I would also hope that you know what a person who breaks the law is called as well…a criminal. Therefore, if the Supreme Court has ruled that no provision of the Constitution can be suspended by government; and if the Supreme Court has ruled that our rights are beyond the reach of officials and outside the scope of political controversy, then what would you call our government today with its numerous laws which clearly overstep its Constitutional authority and which violate our rights? There can be but one word to describe the beast that our government has become…criminal!

Yet there is something about power, be it power gained by those in positions of authority, or by those who have accumulated great wealth, that being that those who have power are loathe to give it up. Yet in the very first sessions of Congress records state that James Jackson declared “We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic government.”

If that was said all those years ago, can you even imagine what they would say about what we have allowed government to evolve into today? And that’s just it, the fault lies with us. Those people in our nation’s capital who pass these laws are only there because we put them there, we voted for them, and continue to vote for them over and over and over again. I hear people complain all the time about how bad things are in this country, yet when asked who they are going to vote for it is either an incumbent or some two bit hack promoted by their political party as the alternative to the other two bit hack promoted by the opposition party. Not once do I hear people talk about voting for a candidate based upon character or their desire to adhere to the limits the Constitution imposes upon government.

Statesman Frederick Douglass once said, “Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Yet there are a few quotes you need to read…and understand. First off is a quote by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, “The people made the Constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will.” What this means is that government exists only because we allow it to exist. We can unmake the charter which grants government any power over us whatsoever if we should see fit to do so. Not that they would give up their power willingly, but it is within our right to do so.

Second, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” And who said this? Why none other than Abraham Lincoln. What this means is that they work for us, including those who sit upon the bench in the Supreme Court. We can overthrow them when their actions become unconstitutional.

The government we have today no longer comes close to resembling the one outlined in our Constitution. Those who sit in the seats of power no longer care about the limits that document imposes upon them. They care only about adhering to their party platform and getting re-elected.

These political parties care nothing about the Constitution. They care only about keeping happy their corporate and banking sponsors who fund their operations. In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech entitled the Progressive Covenant in which he states, “Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”

Playwright Arthur S. Miller, who was forced to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, once said, “Those who formally rule take their signals and commands not from the electorate as a body, but from a small group of men. This group will be called the Establishment. It exists even though that existence is stoutly denied. It is one of the secrets of the American social order… A second secret is the fact that the existence of the Establishment – the ruling class – is not supposed to be discussed.”

Finally, former Congressman John Rarick, in 1971 declared, “The Council on Foreign Relations is “the establishment.” Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also announces and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high level decisions for converting the U.S. from a sovereign Constitutional Republic into a servile member state of a one-world dictatorship.”

That is the true state of affairs in America. You may believe that just because you go to the polls every couple of years to cast your vote for one candidate or the other that you have a democratic government and that it is doing the job it was designed to do. That is the illusion that they wish you to believe. The truth is that our government is out of control and you have done nothing to stop it because you aren’t even aware of what the limits the Constitution imposes upon it.

Science Fiction writer Isaac Asimov described exactly what is going on in America when he said, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story once warned us of what might happen should Americans lose their spirit of liberty, ” This dark picture, it is to be hoped, will never be applicable to the republic of America And yet it affords a warning, which, like all the lessons of past experience, we are not permitted to disregard. America, free, happy, and enlightened, as she is, must rest the preservation of her rights and liberties upon the virtue, independence, justice, and sagacity of the people. If either fail, the republic is gone. Its shadow may remain with all the pomp, and circumstance, and trickery of government, but its vital power will have departed. In America, the demagogue may arise, as well as elsewhere. He is the natural, though spurious growth of republics; and like the courtier he may, by his blandishments, delude the ears, and blind the eyes of the people to their own destruction.”

Whether or not you are willing to admit it, that day has come, the America envisioned by our Founders has died and what we have left is the creature of our own making. I firmly believe that the only way left to restore what once was is through force and violence, and I dread that day that it comes to that. It is an inevitable outcome of the people’s unwillingness to reign in their government as best stated by Winston Churchill, “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Yet such talk today gets one labeled as some sort of radical, or worse, a terrorist. Yet listen to what H.L. Mencken said about radicals, “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

And that alone ought to tell you how bad things are in this country, that when a person who loves it and stands up for the principles it was founded upon is branded a radical or a terrorist you know that the public has lost all sight of what this nation once stood for and is now ruled by criminals and thugs.

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What If You’re Wrong?

I know that these commentaries I write may be read by a few people here and there, but for the most part the people who read them are those of like mind and not the folks I was hoping to reach. I’ve yet to hear from anyone who told me that something I had written gave them any sudden insight or changed the way they thought about something. Yet I continue to write them nonetheless because the truth is important and it does not matter if no one reads or heeds it, the truth needs to be told whether people listen or not.

This little missive is going to cover the First Amendment to the Constitution, specifically the religious freedom part of the First Amendment. The First Amendment says, “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.”

Before there can be any discussion about the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom one thing must be made perfectly clear. The First Amendment is not about God or whether or not you believe in Him. The first part of the First Amendment is about your right to worship, or not worship, as you see fit. It has nothing to do with forcing anyone to believe in God.

I wonder how many of you know that most of the settlers who first came to this country did not do so for the opportunities it offered them. In fact there were no opportunities, they had to struggle to build a life for themselves because there was no infrastructure to support them like there is today. No, the first settlers to America came here because of the persecution they suffered from due to their religious beliefs. They came to America so that they would be free to worship as they saw fit. Just as many people flee their homelands today as political refugees, the first settlers to America were religious refugees who only wanted to worship God as their faith required without the persecution they faced back in their native countries.

Our Founding Fathers were, for the most part, deeply religious men. Anyone who has spent any amount of time reading their writings can attest to the references to God, or the Creator found throughout their writings. Even Thomas Jefferson, who many have said was a non believer, was devout in his own way. He may have felt that churches as institutions had perverted the teachings of Jesus, but he still believed in God and said so in many of the things he wrote. Take for instance this quote from his Summary View of the Rights of British America, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

When Washington first became president he was the first to repeat the oath of office required under the newly ratified Constitution. However, upon completing the oath Washington added of his own accord the following words, “So help me God.”

It is imperative that you understand, whether you believe in God or not, that the men who established our system of government did. However they did not want for government and religion to be intermingled. They felt it best that government stay out of religion and that religion stay out of government. In 1777 Thomas Jefferson drafted a bill entitled the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, wherein he declares, “Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief…”

That is much tamer than what the people of Massachusetts agreed to in their own Bill of Rights, Part the First, written in 1780, “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe.”

Today I sit here and see, on the one hand, those who would have religion taken completely out of any public displays of worship. Then on the other I hear of the so-called Religious Right in the GOP and think that these conservatives would have us under a theocracy where government forced morality and their particular brand of religious doctrine upon us. There seems to be no middle ground where people are free to worship as they please without the government telling them what they are required to believe, or prohibiting the free exercise of their faith as was intended by the First Amendment.

In the 1780′s there were two camps of thought in regards to religion. Patrick Henry introduced a Bill requiring that every person in the Commonwealth be assessed, (taxed if you like) to support religious teachings and institutions. James Madison, a devout man himself, believed that this went against the idea of religious freedom. So Madison wrote a response entitled Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.

Madison begins by declaring that our right to worship is an unalienable right, ” Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” [Virginia Declaration of Rights, art. 16] The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him.”

He then goes on to explain why he opposed any assessment to fund religion, “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?”

Due to its very nature there has always been, and probably always will be, disagreements over religious beliefs. Maybe that is why as I was growing up my parents taught me to never discuss politics or religion at the supper table.

Even after the ratification of the Bill of Rights there was still religious persecution in the United States to some extent. In 1801 the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut wrote to President Jefferson complaining that their state legislature was infringing upon their religious freedom. President Jefferson wrote a response which has since then become the call to arms used against any and all public displays of religion. In his response Jefferson stated, “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.”

You see, the First Amendment does not prohibit religion, it only says that the government cannot respect and establishment of religion. This means that it cannot force you to attend religious services, nor can it declare one particular sect to be the national religion. But the free exercise of your religious beliefs was also protected by the First Amendment.

It wasn’t until 1947, in the case of Everson v. Board of Education, that Justice Hugo Black misrepresented Jefferson’s meaning when he ruled, “…[t]he First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable.” Up until that time religion was not prohibited in public, particularly in schools where prayers were often recited prior to class.

Although most of us have grown up when religious teachings have not been part of the curriculum in publicly funded schools, this was not always the case. In the case of Vidal v. Girard’s Educators, (1844) the Supreme Court ruled, “Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as a divine revelation in [schools] – its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained and its glorious principles morality inculcated? … Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”

I have heard so many times the statement that America is not a Christian nation. While Christianity was never intended to be forced upon people who did not wish to worship, this country was established by Christians, and it was for the preservation of our religious freedom that they wrote the First Amendment. Yet even in 1892 the Supreme Court declared that we are a Christian nation. In the case of Church of the Holy Trinity vs. U.S the Court ruled, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian…this is a Christian nation.”

You do not have to worship if that is what you choose to do. But for the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom to work you cannot deny anyone the right to freely worship as they see fit. If a child, or group of children, wish to pray in school they cannot be told that they cannot do so. It only becomes a violation of the First Amendment when the school requires that all children pray whether they believe in God or not.

You see, there is something else Thomas Jefferson said that you must consider. Jefferson wrote, “One of the amendments to the Constitution… expressly declares that ‘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,’ thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others.”

What that means is that if you deny a person the right to pray, or discuss religion, in any situation, you are also violating their freedom of speech. As long as public discussions of religion, particularly in schools, do not disrupt class, children cannot be prohibited them from having them.

There is another Court ruling that you must consider, that being the ruling in Texas vs. Johnson in 1989 where Justice William Brennan ruled, “If there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” So just because a person is an atheist and finds religion offensive, they cannot simply ban all talk of it to protect their aversion to it, no more than I can ban rap music because of my aversion to it.

Religious freedom is just that, freedom to worship as you see fit. Madison declared it to be one of those unalienable rights and therefore no one can restrict it…not even the almighty Supreme Court. But with any other right, you may only exercise it to the extent where it does not restrict anyone else from exercising their own rights on an equal measure. Religious discussion and even debate may take place, but the moment one side begins imposing its beliefs upon another group then they have overstepped their right and are infringing upon the rights of others.

And here is where Islam comes into the picture. Islamic tenet is that their faith is the true faith. While most Christian faiths also hold that to some extent; the Mormons believe theirs is the true church while the Catholics believe theirs has the direct authority from God, etc etc, but that’s all it is, claims to authority. The Catholics do not go around killing Mormons, Baptists, Lutherans, etc. etc. That is where Islam differs. Their faith demands that all unbelievers convert or be killed. It is in their Koran and it is only the moderates who do not practice that. Yet why is it that they say that those who do have hijacked Islam and are practicing a radical form of it when they engage in jihad? Why don’t they say the same about Catholic priests who undergo vows of celibacy as their dogma requires?

Islam does not believe in religious freedom, they believe it is their way or the highway. In that sense they are like the Borg in the Star Trek TV shows, assimilate or be killed. They are a scourge and a cancer that will destroy us if not contained.

Yet what is happening in America, the nation that the Supreme Court declared is a Christian nation? Why they are banning any and all mention of Christian beliefs in our schools but they are teaching our kids about Islam. What the hell is going on there!?!

I have been reading more and more about how schools are requiring that our children be taught about Islam so that they can show tolerance towards its followers. Just recently in Seminole County Florida I read about a father who saw a text message on his son’s phone from his teacher telling him to not forget to recite a prayer from the Pillars of Islam and to make his own prayer rug.

Have we gone insane? We ban all mention of Jesus from our schools because it supposedly violates the separation of church and state, yet we are forcing our kids to learn about a religion that wants to kill all Christians?

These are just the facts as I see them. I may be wrong in my interpretation of them, but I don’t believe I am. Like I said, you do not have to believe in God, or in Jesus, the First Amendment does not require that you do. It only protects my right to do so and to worship as my faith requires no matter how offensive or ridiculous you may find my beliefs.

But for a nation that was once believed to be a nation of Christians to allow for a religion to be taught, at the exclusion of all others, which religions declares non-followers to be unclean and worthy of death, that is about as insane a thing I’ve ever seen in my life, (except for possibly the re-election of Barack Obama).

As I said, you do not have to believe in God or Jesus to be an American. But our nation was founded by men who did. And to conclude this little tirade I would like for you to read one final quote by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, “One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law … There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations … I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society.”

You may not believe in God, that is fine with me. But just keep this Jefferson quote I used earlier in mind, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

My final question to you is to ponder what Jefferson said and ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong?”

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