First Amendment Under Attack
By: Craig Chamberlain
“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 assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”- First Amendment to the Constitution.
Sounds pretty straightforward doesn’t it? Yet, more and more, the freedoms granted to the people of this country by the first amendment find themselves under constant attack. There is a reason that this is the first amendment. The founders considered the freedoms listed in it to be the most important to a free people, and without it we wouldn’t be a free people at all. That is precisely why it is under attack. Without these freedoms it is much easier for the state to take over more and more, and to exercise even more control over us.
This attack is exclusively coming from the left. They are the ones in control of the government right now, and they are attempting to use that power to undermine our first amendment freedoms as much as possible. In Connecticut two lawmakers, Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, and Sen. Andrew McDonald, both Democrats, have introduced a bill specifically targeting the Catholic Church. If passed the bill would strip the church of the ability to control its own finances. Instead the purse strings of church would belong to lay councils, with the clergy only legally allowed to act in an advisory role.
Even to a non Catholic like myself this bill is dangerous. If the state can attack the Catholic Church what’s to stop it from attacking any other church. But that’s the point. If they can’t eliminate religion like they want to, then at least they can attempt to put it under state control. It’s the worlds version of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. With the money in the hands of lay councils, who will almost certainly be more liberal than the clergy in charge of the Church, the left can force changes it would like to see. They are hoping that these new councils, should they actually get away with it, would tell the priests that since they have the money they will decide what is taught. No more of this pro life traditional family stuff, thank you. If liberal lay members control the money they would be controlling the church.
The ones who are always screaming about a wall separating church and state are always the ones actively tearing it down. The boogeyman of the left, the conservative Christian, you know the Christian who actually believes in Christianity, is not the one threatening religious liberty. They want to be able to practice their faith, without the state coming down on them every time they bow their heads in prayer. They aren’t trying to force people to go to church, they never try to make prayer mandatory, and you certainly never see religious conservatives go after a liberal denomination, like say the Anglicans, or the Methodists. Yet, here we have the left actively and gleefully trying to use the state to control a religion that they disagree with. Whatever happened to the free exercise of religion?
Why is the left doing this? It’s not just their personal atheism that motivates them. While it’s true that most of them don’t believe in God, they are on this unholy war because traditional religion stands in their way. They have a vision of how the world should work, and in that vision that state has replaced God. So since they have deemed there is no more use for God, there is no more need for religion, especially a religion that might have congregants who give more loyalty to God than they do to Caesar. They can’t have someone who places more loyalty in anything besides the state. If the left can’t get rid of religion then at least they want to replace it with a religion that won’t challenge them.
But it’s not just about freedom of religion, freedom of speech is under assault by the left as well. They call it the “fairness doctrine” but all it amounts to is a revival of the sedition acts. We have a very thin skinned President who does not take well to criticism, so he’s been antagonistic towards anyone or any media outlet that bothers to question anything he does. Though to be honest, the idea of restoring the fairness doctrine came along before President Obama. President Clinton attempted it but was stopped by a GOP Congress. The left doesn’t like the idea, it never has, that someone with a different view can offer it. What is it leftists always scream as their charging a conservative speaker? “You have no right to speak!” This Stalinist mindset goes to their totalitarian worldview. I guess freedom of speech and freedom of the press don’t count for anything unless you share in the groupthink of the left.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that both the fairness doctrine, and the attempt by the state of Connecticut to control religion are unconstitutional. The left has never had much use for the highest law in our land. They view it with contempt as an ancient document written by dead white men. For that reason alone it is to be tossed aside, and a new law, their law, is to be created. But if we don’t have a constitution, a foundation for our laws, then we don’t really have any law at all.
It’s long past due that the people of this country get some lawmakers who actually read the constitution that they are sworn to defend, this current group just isn’t cutting it. Our constitutional liberties are under attack, and they will continue to be as long as we let our elected leaders get away with it. They can’t be allowed to get away with it anymore.