I actually sent this to each justice individually through the mail.
Re: Our country is based on beliefs that are only found in Christianity. Government neutrality toward religion breaks that connection and essentially alters the very nature of our country such that it essentially destroys what our Founders fought a war to create.
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I hope you are doing well.
I will be [blank] years old next year. Our country has changed a lot in that time.
We used to not worry about locking our doors, whether it was the car or the house. We used to not worry about walking alone at night. We felt safe, when we went to school or when we went to church. Yes, there were “bad neighborhoods,” but they were only neighborhoods, and we avoided them.
Our country has never been more divided nor in more turmoil than it is now. Yes, I lived through the Civil Rights and Viet Nam eras, but those were basically single-issue matters. Now we are divided on everything. What intrigues me is that our Founders fought a war in order to give us a government that would “form a more perfect union” and “ensure domestic tranquility” (Preamble to the Constitution).
I tried to figure out what is going on. How did this happen? What was the root cause behind all of this? And then I did. And what surprised me was that nobody is talking about it. Nobody.
The United States was founded as a unique nation in human history, based on the concept of unalienable rights, rights that precede and supersede government. That uniqueness is best described by a paragraph in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
God gave people unalienable rights. The courts today would call that a religious opinion. The Founders called it a fact.
But wait a second. What God gave people unalienable rights? Every nation had their god(s) and religion(s), but none of them believed in these unalienable rights.
It wasn’t Allah, Krishna, or Buddha. It wasn’t Moloch, Baal, or Thor. It was the God of the Bible, and the Bible and Christianity were seen as the vehicles through which God revealed Himself and His purposes for humankind.
If you separate Christianity from our nation as a core founding principle, then you don’t have unalienable rights. Unalienable rights require a Higher Power, a higher power that the country as a whole accepts. Without that higher power, then rights can only come from the government, just like in all the other nations. The United States would then no longer be unique. It becomes then simply a blending of all the nations.
And a government that does not acknowledge and accept the God of the Bible will not believe in unalienable rights and will not protect them. Such a government, Jefferson says, we should alter or abolish it and institute new government, one more likely to effect our safety and happiness.
Since the Court ruled that our government cannot aid, favor, or essentially even acknowledge God or religion, thus essentially establishing our nation as a secular nation, the only rights anyone talks about now are government given rights. Nobody calls them that, of course, because nobody today knows of any other kind. So they just call them rights.
But government-given rights are different from unalienable rights. Unalienable rights are things that you can do, things you have a right to do, and that government does not have a right to stop them. It has the power but not the right. Government-given rights generally pertain to things that you have a right to have, things that generally require the government or other people to give to you, meaning that they require the government to compel the compliance of everybody else so that you get something.
Unalienable rights focus on freedom. Government-given rights focus on the government and government power.
And now that rights are seen as things that people are entitled to, the list of rights keeps expanding as politicians see them as ways to attract voters. And since we started on this course, we have been unable to control government spending, and we are now so far in debt we can never get out of it.
If our government is supposed to be neutral toward all religions, favorable toward none, uninvolved in any (Did you know that we used to have church services for over a hundred years in our Capitol Building?), if our government removes God from the public sphere including our public schools, then we are denying the founding principle on which our country was built.
If all religions are considered equal, then none of them can be considered true. All religions purport to be descriptions of reality. They believe themselves to be conveyors of truth, about how things really are in the world. They cannot all be true, because they portray reality differently.
For our government to be neutral toward religion is to say that they are nothing more than people’s opinions, their personal preferences, like one’s taste in music or food.
If all religions are just people’s opinions, then our country was based on an opinion with no basis in reality. God did not then, in fact, give people unalienable rights. We don’t have unalienable rights. Unalienable rights don’t exist.
But our Founders believed that what Christianity taught was indeed the truth. God giving inalienable rights to people was an event that actually happened in history.
We no longer teach this to our children, because it is considered to be religious. And we certainly aren’t teaching it to the millions of people who are moving to our country, because we are supposed to be neutral or indifferent toward religion. And when our children and these millions of people start voting, get elected to public office, and make laws for our country, they will do it without any knowledge about what exactly made the United States what it is, or at least used to be. They will effectively change our country over the course of several generations into just another country like all the rest.
These unalienable rights include the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
True liberty requires high personal moral standards. You can’t focus on a nation’s freedom unless the people are already personally committed to a strong moral code; otherwise, you will need myriads of laws to regulate human behavior, and you will no longer have true liberty. Laws have to apply to everybody, so to address the problems of a few, you have to make laws that will affect everybody.
For almost 200 years, the moral code of the Bible was the moral code of our country: the Ten Commandments, Love your neighbor as yourself, Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
This has essentially been replaced by political correctness, where tolerance, equality, fairness, and diversity are the supreme moral values of the land. And, frankly, they are not working. The only duty put on individuals is tolerance, which can mean nothing more than to simply ignore your neighbor. The other values rely on the government to fulfill. There is nothing that binds us together as a people.
Since the courts have removed Christianity and God from our public schools and life, nobody talks or even knows about unalienable rights anymore. And so, all rights are now seen as just government-given rights. And hence subject to change.
We see it in free speech laws. While the First Amendment prohibits the abridging of freedom of speech, we make laws limiting that freedom in order to protect people from being offended. A person’s right not to be offended now supersedes a person’s right to speak. The Founders would never have put a person’s right to free speech in the hands of someone else, so that they would determine what a person can say rather than the speaker himself.
But doesn’t the example of a person crying “Fire” in a crowded theatre prove that speech is not really free? Actually, no. Because if crying “Fire” in a crowded theater were to result in death or injury, then the person who said it can already be charged with crimes for causing those deaths and injuries.
Another example is the matter of guns and security. We used to have gun clubs in our public schools. You could buy a gun at the local hardware store like you were buying a screwdriver. And gun violence was not a problem.
We lowered the voting age to eighteen 40 years ago, and now communities are raising the age at which people can buy guns to 21. We consider people who are too immature and responsible enough to buy guns to be mature enough and responsible enough to vote. I find that an obvious contradiction, but it shows some of the confusion that now surrounds this issue.
In the Federalist Papers (No. 46), our nation was described as an “armed” people, and that was considered a good thing, unlike all those countries in Europe who were unarmed and ruled by kings and dictators. Guns in the hands of ordinary citizens was considered an essential check and counter to tyrannical governments.
If guns are now a problem, then something changed. Well, the people changed.
As a secular nation, we are no longer teaching our children to love our neighbors as ourselves, or Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, or do unto others as you would have others do unto you. These are considered to be religious values, and we can’t have that. But secular values don’t give us any reason to value human life. Humans are just talking animals anyway, and all life is just an accident of nature.
An unalienable right to life would give a person an unalienable right to protect that life.
That same First Amendment that protects freedom of speech also speaks of religion. And the understanding of religion there has also morphed into something wholly different from what it meant when they wrote it.
Establishment of religion has to do with having a national church like they had and still have in Europe today. The federal government was not allowed to favor one denomination over another. Most of the original 13 colonies had a state church as part of their original state constitutions. They soon came to see that they were just duplicating on a smaller level the same situation so many of them had fled from in Europe, so they gradually removed them from their constitutions. But the fact that they had them in the first place shows that the First Amendment has nothing to do with a government having nothing to do with religion or forbidding even the mention of God in our public schools. How can we teach our children about the founding of our country if we don’t tell them that God gave unalienable rights to people?
But the First Congress had Bibles printed to be used in all the public schools to teach morality to our children. It was wrong to say almost 200 years later that prayer and Bible reading in the public schools was unconstitutional. The Founders knew what was meant by the First Amendment. Read the original McGuffey Readers, which were the common reading books in public schools for over a hundred years.
The First Amendment could not guarantee freedom of religious exercise unless religion was consistent with the highest values of the land. Otherwise, there would be inevitable conflicts between religious values and those of our government. And this is what is happening today.
We call ourselves a secular country, thereby making secular values the highest values of the land. These inevitably conflict with religious values, and they now take precedence. So, freedom of religion doesn’t really exist anymore. Some people try to get around this by calling it freedom of worship and hope that nobody notices. This is proof that our country was founded and intended to be a religious nation.
It is also confirmation that our country was founded as a Christian nation. Every religion has a unique moral code. Islam believes in the subjugation or killing of those who are not Muslims. We fought our first war against 5 Muslim nations in northern Africa. They told our leaders that they were attacking our ships and enslaving our sailors, because that is what Muslims do, showing them that from the Koran. Hindu nations at that time would burn widows alive on the pyre of their dead husbands.
So, while every person has an unalienable right to practice their religion according to their conscience, our Founders were not saying that all religions were equal and that the government should be neutral toward all. They couldn’t because they based our country on Christianity and the Bible. And they relied on the moral code of the Bible to minimize the need for too much government involvement.
Obviously, I could go on and on, but everything stems from that one statement which our Founders called a fact and based our country on: we were endowed by our creator with unalienable rights.
I wish you well.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.