Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Fighting the Good Fight

Every once in awhile (like, two or three times a week!) I have to go back and re-read the US Constitution. Something some Democrat says, or something some group brings up against either a Republican or a judicial nominee, makes me stop and think - "is that right?" Usually it's not.

I'm not a fan of the Republicans, but they're not the one trying to rewrite the Constitution on the sly, and suddenly impose all kinds of new rules and regulations on "we, the People". The biggest problem I have with Democrats are their demand that religion be totally separated from every other aspect of daily life. It can't be done, and it shouldn't be done. In fact, the Constitution specifically prohibits it:

Article VI, Paragraph iii: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution: but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

No religious test means both that we cannot demand that someone be a worshiper, or that he not be a worshiper. We cannot refuse a government position to someone because of how they worship, or if they choose not to worship. We can deny office for membership in a group that is hostile to the government and the people of the United States, but only when such proof is beyond reproach.

There are dozens of groups that demand the total separation of "church and state" - I.E., nothing religious can ever be said, nothing pertaining to religion can be on Government property, and people deemed "too religious" should be blocked from government office. Yet all of this is obviously UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

The First Amendment to our Constitution clearly states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free practice 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 grievences.

Like everything else the Left wants to control, the first thing they do is change the meaning of words. That's not going to be allowed to happen in this case.

Preventing a judge from being approved to any court because of his personal religious beliefs is unconstitutional. Preventing people from gathering anywhere, but especially on federal or state property, unless they're restricting the government functions at that site from their lawful functions, is unconstitutional. Preventing a specific group of words from being displayed, regardless of where they come from is a violation of the freedom of speech, and is unconstitutional. Any attack by the government of the United States upon the "free exercise" of religion, including excluding the public display of religious scenes, objects, or words, is unconsititutional, even upon government property and inside public buildings. Such displays do not in and of themselves constitute "establishment" of a religion, but merely recognition of the beliefs and practices of this nation's citizens.

The First Amendment forbids the government from establishing a church and forcing worship. At the same time, it also acknowledges the right of the individual to pracitice their religion wherever they choose - again, as long as they don't interfere with legitimate activities by others at the same site. Should the government acknowledge the display of one religion, and preclude the display of another, that would be a violation of the First Amendment. Should the government prohibit the founding, practice or gathering of one group of believers, while acknowledging and allowing the gathering and practice of other groups, that would be a violation of the First Amendment. The Government's current practice of prohibiting religious symbols, including quotes, words, displays, and other trappings of religion from public places, is both a violation of the "free practice" doctrine AND violates "free speech" as well.

The only "wall of separation" that exists between Church and State is the wall excluding either the Church OR the State from exercising power over the behavior of people not legally apportioned to them. There is no law that says people cannot be offended by others exercising their faith - such a law would be unconstitutional. There can be no law that states that the exercise of religion is an infringement upon the rights of others without restricting the rights of those who wish to to exercise their faith. Both Article VI and the First Amendment prohibit this. The decisions by judges and courts to the contrary, the right to practice a particular faith cannot be restricted by another wishing to practice a different faith, or to refuse to accept any faith. Again, such a restriction is unconstitutional.

This nation was created by men of faith. They fully expected faith to play a major role in the continuity of both the nation and its institutions. The current attack on people of faith would astound and anger our founders. The idea that "all it takes to change the rules is a willing judge" is the perscription to tyranny. It's time for all of us to go back, re-read the documents that established this nation, and to understand how they shape our freedoms. We also need to stand firm against those that wish to destroy the bedrock of our Constitutional government for their personal gain.


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