experiment in governance. A country of the people, governed by the people and for the people. No nation up to that time had ever attempted this type of government. For the past 239 years the United States has been the gold standard of democracy.
Or has it??
Our constitution lays the groundwork for our government, while the amendments do the fine tuning. The first amendment is just one sentence long, but it covers so much ground.
Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.The first phrase, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", allows us the freedom to believe what ever way we want. The government can not tell us what to believe, or how to believe. In fact we even have the freedom to not believe if we choose.
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.
Throughout our history, individuals, groups, and organizations have tried force our government to violate the first amendment by forcing their particular religious beliefs on others through laws. Laws that were based on certain personal religious views. Your beliefs are yours, and you have the freedom to follow them as long as they don't hurt another.
This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can not intact laws restricting same sex marriages. Laws that are based on certain individuals religious beliefs. I will not take a side on this issue here. As someone who believes in our Constitution, I feel that the Court has upheld the first amendment by restricting laws that are based on certain religious beliefs being forced on others.
Of course others feel differently about this, and I have no problem with that. It is part of what freedom is all about. As is often quoted, "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 28 September 1868 – 13 April 1956), The Friends of Voltaire)
Since the decision came out I have been following the quotes made by some of our Presidential hopefuls.
"If I become President, I just want to remind people, please don't complain if I were to put a Nativity scene out during Christmas and say, 'If it's my house, I get to do with it what I wish, despite what other people around the country may feel about it,' " Mike Huckabee said on ABC's "This Week."I like Mike. Some of his thoughts are quite good. BUT we should remind him that IF he ever gets to the White House as President, his residence is only temporary. Why not decorate the White House, symbol of our great nation, for all of the religious holidays that our citizens celebrate?
Other 2016 GOP candidates, including former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, also slammed the Supreme Court decision. If elected, he vowed to use the presidential "bully pulpit" to talk about the importance of marriage "for the survival of our country" — instead of combating global warming.Does this mean Rick has found the cause of global warming? This seems like a real apples and oranges comparison. Comments like this are truly scary to me.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he believed the GOP should back off the idea of pushing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The proposal would never make its way through Congress, he said on NBC's "Meet the Press.” "It's a process that's not going to bear fruit," he said, arguing it should no longer be included in the GOP's platform.Now, Lindsey seems to be making some sense here. It is time the Government stop trying to rule and run other folks lives. With so many other dangerous, possible disastrous situations both here in our country and around the world, it truly is time to move on.
Responding to the high court’s gay-marriage decision, the most mainstream among GOP presidential candidates – former Florida governor Jeb Bush – said, “Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage.” (Mr. Bush is Roman Catholic.) But he also said: “I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side.”Don't get me wrong here. I am not a Jeb fan (nor am I a fan of anyone else), but he may be onto something here. It is time we get back to loving and respecting each other. Quakers have long believed that we are to respect the beliefs of others. I also seem to remember the Almighty making these part of the primary, golden rules.
Freedom. It is sometimes a double edged sword. But it is what makes our country great.
Here's hoping everyone has a happy and safe
Independence Day Weekend.
Grenville, letting FREEDOM ring!!!
LATE ADDENDUM- This just in:::::::
The Attorney General of the nation of Texass has announced that he will not force any County Clerk to a issue marriage license to same sex couples if the clerk feels it is against their religious beliefs. As usual, being a Constitutionalist, I have to agree.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereofNo one should be forced to do something that violates their religious beliefs. Of course this means that the clerk is not able to perform the duties of their office for which they were elected and get compensated for.
A definite conundrum !!!! Now, if you were working at Mc Barfies, and said that it was against your religious beliefs to serve Big Yucks, what do you think would happen?????? You were hired and are getting paid to serve Big Yucks. As the manager who does not want to interfere with someones religious beliefs, what would you do?????
Instead of violating someones Constitutional rights, I would replace that person with someone who had no problem serving the Big Yucks.
AH yes, the double edge sword again.
Happy Independence Day!!!!