The Freedom of Religion

While searching for something else this morning, I ran across my little pocket-sized copy of The Constitution of the United States. I brought it back to my recliner and started looking through it. I’d forgotten how dry and detailed some of it is. My hat is off to anyone specializing in the study of Constitutional law.

This small booklet opens naturally to the very middle, which is where the Amendments to the Constitution begin. As I hope most of you already know, the first ten are the Bill of Rights.

After reading some of the dry detailed other parts of the Constitution, the first amendment  was wonderfully straight forward:

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 peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What too many people don’t realize is that the statement regarding freedom of religion was included for a very specific reason. Several of the colonies had a state-dictated religion. The founders of my church, Winn’s Baptist Church, had been beaten or jailed during colonial days for preaching illegally here in Virginia, where only the Anglican Church was recognized and tolerated.

So the framers of the Bill of Rights were making certain that Congress would not be guilty of establishing a state church the way England had done with the Anglican church. And Congress wouldn’t prevent people from worshiping freely at their choice of churches.

Did you notice the key word in that amendment? Congress. The Constitution of the United States doesn’t say anything about protecting people from religion, a concept that has become a real thorn in the side of this country and of the various states. Neither does it prohibit the practice of religion, even in government meetings or schools. It certainly doesn’t forbid the display of nativity sets in public places or the placement of the Ten Commandments (upon which all law is based) in courtrooms or anywhere else.

Yet our First Amendment rights are under attack daily. How can that happen when the meaning of the First Amendment is so clear?

The Supreme Court is largely to blame, although Congress and “We the People” have allowed the Court to do it. The Constitution originally contained 4,543 words, including the signature of the signers. The addition of the amendments brings the total to 7,591. Decisions made by the Supreme Court have expanded its interpreted meaning to many hundreds of pages.

The Harvard Law Review published a scary article called “The Constitution Means What the Supreme Court Says It Means.” And too many Supreme Court Justices openly ignore the text of the Constitution and apply their own biases to create meanings that are completely contrary to the Constitution. When liberal justices are in the majority, that happens more and more.

Several months ago I wrote that the most important reason for Americans to vote in the November election was to select a president who would appoint only conservative justices who are committed to upholding the Constitution. The president-elect has promised to do that. Appointing a conservative to the bench will result in a conservative majority–one we can count on to uphold the Constitution and make decisions based on it.

I pray daily that God will enable that to happen.

This is a controversial subject, but your comments are welcome.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Final Thoughts before the Election

Even though I haven’t written about the election before except to urge everyone to vote, I couldn’t keep silent today.

If you’re like me, you’re probably sick and tired of this year’s presidential election. Even though it’s only two days away, there’s no telling how much more political junk mail will show up in my Inbox between now and Tuesday. That may be true for you, too.

Unfortunately, we can’t bury our heads in the sand. This election is one of the most pivotal–probably the most pivotal–in America’s history. Our very future depends on the results.

Yet most of us look at our choices (feel free to disagree with my viewpoint) and cringe…

  • A woman who will possibly soon be facing serious criminal charges. A woman who would build upon the policies of the president who I believe will one day be remembered as one of America’s worst. A woman who claims to have accomplished great things, but has done little more than grow extremely wealthy.
  • A man whose mouth is as big as his hair and who does much of his speaking without thinking about the consequences. A man who seems to get angry easily. A man who bravely opposes everything that’s wrong in Washington but doesn’t have any experience in governing, even at the local level.

What will happen to this country when one of these individuals becomes POTUS (President of the United States)? That’s the big question. A mystery. A scary one.

I’m not afraid of the election, however. God can use either person to accomplish His purposes for America. There must be hundreds of examples throughout history of the good things even the most evil leaders have accomplished, but what comes to mind immediately is King Herod. Yes, the same one who had all the male babies killed in order to try to prevent Jesus from becoming his rival. A truly evil man. Yet he rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem. Even the worst of leaders isn’t always all bad.

We typically get caught up in what the candidates say or claim to believe about the issues each of us cares most about, whether it’s the sanctity of life, the protection of religious freedom, gun rights, ISIS, the economy…

The list seems endless.

I believe there’s only one important issue. Everything else will be affected by it one way or another–the Supreme Court.

If you look back at the Constitution–have you read it recently?–you’ll see that the Supreme Court was designed to have VERY limited powers. And Congress alone was given the power to make laws. Yet over the years, the Supreme Court has become the most powerful branch of the government rather than the weakest, and those appointed officials on the bench–we the people don’t get to vote on them–effectively use their own prejudices and beliefs rather than the Constitution to make decisions about things the Constitution never intended for them to have any say about. And those decisions effectively become law, even though technically each one applies only to a single case.

That kind of power is dangerous, and it’s leading America downhill. The ability to appoint new Justices will make the difference between America becoming a third world socialist state or remaining a model constitutional republic.

I can’t tell you who to vote for. I wouldn’t deny your freedom to vote for your choice of candidates, no matter how much I might disagree with your choice. It’s truly pathetic, however, that because of the biases of the media we depend on for truth, few Americans have the information they need in order to vote intelligently.

I believe I know enough to vote for Donald Trump, however. Not because I like the man. I don’t. Not because I think he has enough experience. He doesn’t. Not because I think he’s a model American or even a man I would want to be like. I have many doubts about him.

But I believe he is sincere in wanting to change things in Washington and make America great once again. And that he is committed to choosing future Supreme Court Justices wisely. That makes him worth my vote.

I never know who reads this blog. I have expressed a combination of fact and opinion today. I trust you will be as tolerant of my views as I promise to be of yours if you express them courteously. Your comments are welcome.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger