Thursday, February 24, 2005

FREEDOMS

Certain freedoms were most important to the framers of our Constitution. So important, in fact, that they gave them a title...The Bill of Rights...and the ideas incorporated into the First Amendment had pride of place.

Having broken the ties to the mother country, England, where there was a state religion, the freedom to worship, as one chose, was at the top of the list. It was important enough, to them, to see to it that the government never be allowed to establish a state religion, that no one religion take precedence over another, or that one religion be persecuted by another or by the state.

Freedom of speech was next as, again, to have spoken freely, or against the government, under English law, could have resulted in a jail term. Freedom of speech guaranteed the free flow of ideas, the pros and cons of an argument or a particular stand on an issue. This also goes hand in hand with the right of the people to petition their government for a redress of greivances. Speak up about what is bothering you. Those who fomented our Revolution had done so at great peril when speaking out publicly, or printing "subversive" material.

Freedom of the press allowed the press to print material which may or may not be pleasing to some, but nonetheless allowed, once again, the free flow of ideas.

"The right of the people to peacably assemble" and "to petition their government for a redress of grievances."

It seems today that most of these rights are being slowly undermined by a government which sees them as anathma to their agenda. They speak of Democracy and yet, at every turn, we see another example of our democracy, those freedoms in the Bill of Rights, OUR freedoms being eroded.

We have a religion which is striving to have the government operate in a manner which is to their liking. We have a President who adhers to this religion and feels he is in direct communication with God, and it is his duty to let us know that there are things which God does not care for. The last I knew, God made all the peoples of the earth, warts and all. We are all free to worship as we see fit, or not at all.

Our freedom of speech has been curtailed when we have a president, who is OUR representative, not allowing We The People into assemblies where he is speaking. We apparently no longer have the right to address our concerns to the man who was elected to govern us? ALL of us.

The press nowadays just seems to be along for the ride. They parrot that which the religious and political zealots have to say and hardly have been the keeper of the trust of giving the public the truth about issues. Their major concern these days seem to be keeping their corporate owners happy. Investigative journalism seems to have faded into the night with Richard Nixon and Watergate.

It has been my experience that we all have choices.
If you do not care for the radio program change the station or turn the radio off. If what you view on TV is unpleasing to you, again, change the channel or turn it off. You may chose to buy a newspaper or not. If you are a parent it is YOUR job, not the government's, to regulate that which you want your children to know about, see or hear.
As a parent it is my right to send my child to a public school without the fear of them being force fed prayer on a daily basis. That is the job of Sunday school or the family. Not the government on any level, state or Federal.

My fear today is that all those Freedoms, which we have taken for granted for so long, are being slowly and deliberately taken from us by a government that sees those freedoms as an impediment to their greater goals.

I would urge you all to take another look at our Constitution. A document which men, at the outset of our country toiled so hard and long to get "just right" so that we would never, hopefully, be at the mercy of those in a position of goverance.

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