N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “freedom of religion

Military Sunday…COST of Freedom

Our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and in various churches, this Sunday, May 17, 2020, will be honoring our brave military who have served faithfully for our freedom and democracy.  We must remember that there was great cost.

fallen brought home with honor

 

What exactly is FREEDOM and its COST to us today?

This might be the time to ask ourselves some hard questions, as we have been told recently that we must forfeit many of our freedoms for the “good of all.”  We have to ask ourselves what will be the great cost to our democracy and freedom, as we see many private decisions slowly drifting…or rapidly falling into someone else’s hands to make choices for us….such as when we can work, run our businesses, shop, go to school etc. etc. ?

We, as citizens, appreciate warnings to potential danger and given a heads-up to prepare individually and within our community…just as we do when a devastating hurricane is approaching Florida or any part of our country.

I can never remember our local news saying “You are mandated to board up your house and stay inside because you could die from this approaching storm!!” 

They just inform us and expect that as responsible people we will prepare and do what is right for us and the neighbors around us.  Is EVERYONE always responsible?  NEVER...not in the past and not in the future. Some houses blow away and people are sometimes killed, but we then try to help as much as possible to rebuild lives.  One thing is certain, people are generous, helpful and outright heroic in many situations.  Most do not expect government handouts unless they are in dire need. Faith based organizations hand out food with these disasters and as they are doing now.

This is DEMOCRACY…and personal responsibility. This is what our military men and women have bravely fought to maintain.

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No governments… local, national, or international are able to have perfect answers when they begin dictating to the masses.  State and community rules/regulations that help our society are expected, when they don’t interfere with with our Constitutional rights that will be discussed later.  The individual is the patriot, the guy next door…like all of our military.

Our honored military have sacrificed so much for their country’s freedom. Do you think they were afraid?  Of course they were, but they knew without freedom we would have nothing to live for.  They went…They served…and they are loved for it!   Are people afraid today? Yes, for certain, if they are about to lose everything they have worked hard for over the years or if they have elderly parents who are facing things alone.   Wars were fought to keep our independence, starting with the Revolutionary War.

  • WHY did the U.S. and other freedom loving countries get involved in the wars listed below?  There is a simple answer….

TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM TO MAKE OUR OWN WAY OF LIFE AND DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERVENTION FROM A DICTATORSHIP...whatever the name may be.

  • Why should we be concerned today?  I’m certain you are pondering your answer.
  • There is also another question that we should be asking ourselves:

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How do countries slowly, or not so slowly, lose their independence and freedom of choice?

“Although regimes vary widely, most dictators have at least a few things in common. They don’t come to power through free, constitutional elections. They often take control during coups d’etats, revolutions or…

states of emergency.

Once they have control, they have absolute, sole power.”  (Encyclopedia Britannica)

  • What about deaths brought on by men who cared nothing about freedom for their citizens…only about their own power?

(Deaths caused by three of the worst dictators: Joseph Stalin 43,000,000 Mao Zedong 38,000,000+ Adolf Hitler 21,000,000)

  • What about the dictators of today’s communist countries to whom we are giving much of our allegiance…wealth and intellectual property?

At the present time, we know there are gulags around the world where thousands are languishing and dying because they have no voice and are arrested with no recourse for protesting or speaking out about their government’s activities.  (The term, gulag, is a prison camp where conditions are extremely bad and the prisoners are forced to work very hard. The name gulag comes from the prison camps in the former Soviet Union.) Collins dictionary

Auschwitz2

AUSCHWITZ WORLD WAR II

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Military conflict has taken place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher.  (from Imperial War Museums)

20th and 21st Century’s major wars:

  • The First World War 1914–1918
  • The Second World War  1939–1945  
  • The Korean War  1950–1953

Slide presentation:  (Give each picture a moment to change)

 

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  • The Vietnam War, 1955-75
  • The Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • The War in Afghanistan 2001–2014
  • The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011
  • The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present

 

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Our freedom today in America and around the world is due to those who were willing to stand up and go into harms way to defend freedom.  This is why we honor them today in our churches, who still have church services…via the internet and TV broadcasts.  Because most churches place the physical health of their congregations as a priority, it was only the wise thing to do until they were able to assemble together again.  How to do this was up to the church to decide what was best to continue giving people the opportunity to worship.   Faith is alive and well, even if it is a family gathering around the TV at home. Underground churches have had to find creative ways to worship God in the past and present throughout the world.

A minister was arrested in Florida for not closing his church, which caused infection to spread from those not knowing they were carrying the Coronavirus. This act of defiance by the pastor, which was totally unwise at the time, lead the Governor of Florida to make this statement as the right to worship was being challenged by the local authority:

“I don’t know that [governments] would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious institution.” Governor DeSantis said in deciding not to shutter churches in Florida. “The Constitution doesn’t get suspended here.”

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  • What does our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us?

Our Constitution, through Amendment 1, guarantees FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY and petition of grievances.  Many young men and women have been willing to die for this freedom.  Many have!

Amendment I

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.

US. ConstitutionBill of Rights

 

To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!

American flag held high

Honoring those who serve

Footnote:

My husband ,who is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, will be presenting the sermon from St. James Episcopal Church in Florida.  This will be taped ahead of time to be aired on  Sunday, May 17.  If interested in watching, it can be viewed on YouTube any time on or after May 17.  (Go to YouTube and type St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida to view and choose the service for May 17.)

 

 


Wake Up, Young People…the Future is YOURS!

It is not often that I make any part of my blogging offensive…or in this case, politically offensive, as most politics is!  However, after years of study, teaching and travel, it is alarming to me that our young adults may have not been taught by adults, parents and teachers, enough HISTORY to make rational judgments as they get into the exciting position of having an actual vote.

Our country and states are gearing up for the “get out the vote”day…whether it is Super Tuesday or another time. Those running for office must be really tired of “running,” but not as much as we are from seeing them run!

Over and over again, we have heard the statement “Let me be clear!” It better be clear …more than clear, if we look at the nations of the world throughout history and what happened to them if they went down the road of total government control.  It is pretty forward and simple:

Socialism is the first step toward Communism…and what a dismal record it has! The voice of the people will eventually be taken away and personal freedom perish. Communism, that started with people rising up for an attempt for change, equality and fairness, never got what they wanted. The leaders promised the world to them and then brought the world down on the heads of those who simply wanted better lives.  Sounds good at first, but doesn’t work because the power-hungry leaders (or dictators) can’t make it work. The first thing that happens is that anyone with a voice of protest or even appears to be anti-government will be taken care of one way or another. We know about some of those leaders from our history books: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Castro… and many more in places around the world like China.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves because this blog is about our young people and what they know about history.  Our youth are enthusiastic, energetic and wonderfully young! God bless them all, but the picture probably is not really clear for them.     Yet, the message MUST BE MADE clear for our young adults if their future is to be one of freedom and opportunity!

The New York Times just printed an article written by Patricia Mazzer and Sydney Ember which proves the point of what I am writing about as they interviewed some of our young voters. Here is what one 18-year-old had to say which may be a reflection of many young people:

“Socialism is a supposedly scary term that we’ve talked about so much, but we really don’t understand,” said Nolan …, 18, a chemistry major at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he cast a ballot early Wednesday, before its primary next week. In a society where technology is so important, where it takes fewer people to produce more things, we’re going to have to have a more socialistic society, where the government needs to step in more,” he said. “The government is going to be required to do more, and it’s something we should welcome, not be afraid of.” 

Are they still teaching about these uprisings for social justice and the results, Nolan?  As a young chemistry student, you have the world ahead of you in science…to explore, to invent, to bring something wonderful to society…unless the government tells you differently.  Think about it! 

OK, any young person reading this blog,  I’m old enough to be your Grandmother, but I have observed a few things as I taught young people, traveled with them to foreign countries and heard their dreams and hopes just like yours!

Young Adults

Intelligent, young adults whose future is theirs!

 

Examples of Socialism that became Communism…the Results: 

As I traveled with students and around the world, I saw the results of socialism that became communism. In many cases, it was heartbreaking…and this is just the tip of the problem with this form of government.   I’d like to share with you what I experienced from firsthand knowledge:

  • When I took young people to Eastern Europe, we visited Russia.  There were large department stores with almost nothing to show on any floor…a table here and there with little to sell.

 

  • A dump truck with grain was in front of our bus and the grain was flying all over the road.  Asking my Dutch driver why the Russians didn’t cover it, he laughingly said, “The government will pay them the same no matter how much they deliver. They don’t care.”

 

  •  Almost every few miles, there were ramps built for cars to drive on, in order to fix whatever was broken.  Parts, of any kind, were extremely hard to get and the people had to make do. Most of the equipment was not for the people but for the Soviet military that continued to move aggressively into neighboring countries.   Things like refrigerators and other household goods, looked like they were from the 1950s.

 

  • As we were leaving Russia for Poland, the bus passed lines and lines of cars waiting on the side of the road. “What are they doing?” I asked.   “They have a one day pass to go into Poland to shop because that is where the supplies are plentiful, which they can’t get in Russia.”

 

  • In Poland, we met an elderly woman who had a fine business and a large home. Her story was when she and her husband were invited to South America to help with an agricultural project, their home was taken over by the government because the authorities believed it was too big for two people.  The house was divided up into several tiny apartments for more people to live in because it was “only fair.”  She had no freedom to complain.  After the fall of communism, she was told by the new government that she and her husband could “buy it back.”

 

  • Also while we were in Poland, we visited Auschwitz Concentration Camp where one of my Jewish students laid a wreath for the millions murdered.  We all know that when a government decides that some people are not wanted what happens to them. There are people around the world who are disappearing or hidden away in some horrible prison…many being political prisoners.  (A political prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment. Wikipedia)

 

  •   When I was in Ukraine, I taught in a beautiful little place called Donetsk at a thriving University. Only recently, Russian-backed troops took over the University and sent staff and students home. Donetsk Christian University now houses the military. 

 

  • A friend of mine that I met at the Ukraine University writes us that the Russian government is now having committees formed by the government to decide if certain churches or Christian organizations can continue to have permission to be open in Russia.

 

  • Recently, I viewed a documentary about the one-child policy in China (now a 2-child policy) and the kidnapping of young boys in that country to be sold.  Couples are forced to get permission from the government to have children. If not, the unborn child should be aborted, as have millions of babies in China…even until the 8th or 9th month.  Should the couple refuse, they said that they knew eventually they would have to sell the child because the government would then come in and take away everything in their home, leaving them totally unable to function.  They told a handler, who deals with the government and those who can pay to buy a child, that they hope he could “find a good home for the child…perhaps somewhere in the West.”  The young couple interviewed talked about the trafficking and selling of children and teenage girls to become mothers, for more trafficking of babies. (UTube “China’s Stolen Children”)

 

  • During the Nazi invasion of Norway, all radios were confiscated from the people. A lady we visited there told us that they raided her home and removed her radio. With any aggression the first thing to go is communication.  Even now, we know that what news comes out of a communist country is tightly censored, which makes one question the real numbers relating to the Coronavirus.

These are only a few of the tragedies that happen when a country thinks it would be better off becoming a socialist country.  Some may say, ” What about the good things that are part of European governments, that consider themselves to be socialists? They get free health care etc. etc.”  Yes, and their taxes are huge!   As to health care, I was once told by a European that it is true that they can get “free” health care, but if you want the best or quickest care….you “pay under the table”, so to speak.

What About Reform?

Is our American government perfect?  Of course not. We need reform in many areas. Reform in areas, like health care, immigration and policies of all kinds, should be seriously looked at by our freely, elected government representatives…that is when they decide to get to work on reforms rather than fighting one another!   No government is perfect because people are imperfect, but some are greater than others.   Ask any veteran who fought to give us freedom of speech and openness of the press, freedom of religion and a right to be, do and live our own lives without government intervention…or fear of imprisonment or torture. It is what we have in America…at least for now…and how blessed we are!

Again, I would admonish our young voters to “Wake up, do your homework and give yourselves a great future that you will work hard for and deserve!”  


56 Men Paid the Price for Independence

flag-on-barn

Happy 4th of July from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

There was nothing HAPPY for the 56 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence at the birth of our nation.  Do you know what happened to some of them?

It was brought to my attention today in our church service that there was a price for freedom that these men  paid. Some suffered right away when they were captured by British troops and others suffered later through loss of fortune or brutal acts against them.  They may have known that they were risking their lives to take such a public stand.  Counting the cost is difficult to do before one acts.  Regardless of how their contributions in becoming signers of the Constitution effected them and their families, we know from history that their lives were not a bed of roses.  Declaration-of-Independence

Standing up for freedom and democracy is not popular, even today, with those who would be against it and wish to destroy it. The following gives us an account of a few of these men who made the choice to stand up and be counted:

  • Five signers were captured by the British as traitors    They were considered prisoners of war while actively engaged in military operations against the British.  George Walton was captured after being wounded while commanding militia at the Battle of Savannah in December 1778, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge (three of the four Declaration of Independence signers from South Carolina) were taken prisoner at the Siege of Charleston in May in 1780.  Richard Stockton of New Jersey was the only signer taken prisoner specifically because of his status as a signatory to the Declaration, “dragged from his bed by night” by local Tories after he had evacuated his family from New Jersey, and imprisoned in New York City’s infamous Provost Jail like a common criminal.

Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington 002.jpg

  • Twelve of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had their homes ransacked and burned.   Their property was subject to seizure when it fell along the path of a war being waged on the North American continent.
  • Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.  Abraham Clark of New Jersey saw two of his sons captured by the British and incarcerated on the prison ship Jersey. John Witherspoon, also of New Jersey, saw his eldest son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown in October 1777.
  • Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts.   
  • Properties of  William Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett,  Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Middleton were looted.     The British needed supplies and these stately homes were a good source.  Little concern during war time is given to the family that dwells therein.

    Home of Thomas Heyward in Charleston SC

    Home of Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Heyward, in Charleston, S.C.

  •  Some homes of the signers, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris were occupied by the British during the war.  They also were unfortunate victims whose property fell in the path of an armed conflict being waged on American soil.

 

  • Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died of poor health.  Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British.   While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British.
  • John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children, who were adults at the time,  fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead.   John Hart of New Jersey, had been  Speaker of the Assembly.

Founding Fathers

Morris and Livingston suffered similar fates.  Lewis Morris saw his Westchester County, New York, home taken over in 1776 and used as a barracks for soldiers, and the horses and livestock from his farm commandeered by military personnel of the Continental Army.  Shortly afterwards his property was appropriated, looted, and burned by the British when they occupied New York.  Morris and his wife were eventually able to reclaim their property and restore their home after the war. Philip Livingston lost several properties to the British occupation of New York and sold off others to support the war effort, and he did not recover them because he died suddenly in 1778, before the end of the war.

Constitution We the People

For your further knowledge:  FIFTY FACTS ABOUT THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE  and the listing of all the signers by states. 

All of our country celebrates today the wonderful independence that we have as a nation.  It is by God’s grace that we can enjoy all that is part of our United States today.   We must never forget the founding fathers who risk everything to make it happen and those who have come afterwards to fight for and preserve that independence and freedom.

flyover the statue of liberty

GOD BLESS AMERICA

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from BOYER WRITES to ALL OUR READERS

boy and dog and flag

Remember to fly your flag!

VIDEO Turn on sound:


FREEDOM What is in a word?

basic-freedoms-of-usa

Our road to freedom for all has not been an easy one, but it is one that is continually worked on in the United States.  Our founding fathers of this nation would not know our country in years past or today as they worked hard to overcome the inequalities of all humans and to build a country where freedom is for all.

They had to work through their own problems of slavery, finally giving freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation.  In later years we as a nation had to make things better for native Americans whose lands had been taken and whose sufferings were evident in the Trail of Tears.   Men of character stood up to speak for the civil rights of all through demonstrations and civil rights sit ins.  Our soldiers have stood duty around the world to guarantee that no nation would take these freedoms away from our homeland.  Evil raised it’s head once more and brought the terror of removing our freedoms in our present day.   We must all know what what these freedoms mean and vow that they will never be taken away.

 

dr-king-and-flag

Dr. Martin Luther King, the voice of Civil Rights and freedom for all. He advocated non-violent protests.

The word FREEDOM is defined as :

  • the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
  • absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government or
    the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
    Just as anyone who has lost their freedom or in our past history, those who had to fight for their freedoms, FREEDOM has  great meaning.  Men of good will have seen the wrongs done and have tried to set things right. We know that through new laws and legislation, all can eat in restaurants, have access to education and much more in our country.   Sadly, the non-violent approach to protest so cherished by Dr. King has lost its way in many cities, even though many try to stay true to his beliefs.  Buildings and businesses have been burned and destroyed bringing no one to a better life or more justice.  Freedom, as we desire it, is lost in this type of aggression for those who want change the most.
    fergerson-burning-after-protest
      We usually think of someone being imprisoned or taken hostage in deplorable conditions when we think of lost freedoms.    It actually is more than that.  If a person has been active and suddenly is disabled in someway that they no longer can do the things they once did, this is a loss of freedom.   Many are courageous and build upon a new life.   As far as the freedoms we enjoy because we have a government and a Constitution that guarantees our liberty and freedom, we may not think of what it would be like to lose it as other nations have.
    Let us think about that for a moment.
    What are some of our basic freedoms in this country and other countries world-wide with a democracy?
    Here in the U.S. we are have the following freedoms guaranteed by the THE BILL OF RIGHTS.  If you are an American citizen and do not know your rights, then you should read this carefully.  Men and women have died for the protection of these rights for you. 
    (Some history in brief)
     “In drafting the Constitution, most of the Founding Fathers believed that the safeguards written into it would protect the rights of Americans. But when the Constitution was sent to the states in 1787 for ratification, a great roar of disapproval went up. In Virginia, Patrick Henry protested vigorously against the lack of a specific statement of rights. Other Americans from different states demanded that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution. A number of states ratified the Constitution only conditionally. That is, they would approve the Constitution only if it were changed to include these rights.  Two years after the new American government went into effect, the Bill of Rights was added as the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Congress discussed nearly 200 proposals for amendments before it presented these ten to the states for approval. The states ratified these amendments, and they became part of the Constitution in 1791:
    FREEDOM OF RELIGION  ...guarantees to all Americans the right to practice any religion they choose, or to practice no religion at all.  (Notice it was chosen first.)
    Congress is forbidden to establish any religion as our nation’s official religion. Congress cannot favor any one religion over others or tax citizens in order to support any one religion.

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH…The right to express your ideas and opinions… Freedom of speech also means the right to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others. This freedom guarantees that Americans are free to express their thoughts and ideas about anything. They may talk freely to their friends and neighbors or speak in public to a group of people. Of course, no one may use his freedom of speech to injure others. If a person knowingly says things that are false about another, he may be sued in court by the person or persons who believe they have been harmed by what he said. Americans are free to express opinions about their government or anything else. They are free to criticize the actions of the government and of government officials. In a dictatorship, where the nation’s government has all the powers, the people have no right to speak like this. They do not dare to criticize the actions of the government. If they do, they may be imprisoned. But all Americans enjoy the freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in the First Amendment.

    FREEDOM OF THE PRESS…The freedom to express your ideas and opinions in writing. This freedom is closely related to freedom of speech…This writing may be in newspapers, books, magazines, or any other printed or written form. Americans are also free to read what others write. They may read any newspaper, book or magazine they want. Because they are free to read a variety of facts and opinions, Americans can become better-informed citizens.  (Reading does not necessarily mean agreement to what is written.)

    FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY …freedom to hold meetings. Americans are free to meet together to discuss problems and to plan their actions. Of course, such meetings must be carried on in a peaceful way.

    FREEDOM OF PETITION…The freedom of petition is the right to ask your government to do something or to refrain from doing something… The freedom of petition gives you the right to write to your Congressman and request him to work for the passage of laws you favor. You are free to ask him to change laws that you do not like. The right of petition also helps government officials to know what Americans think and what actions they want the government to take.

    THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS…The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. In the early years of our nation, Americans needed weapons in order to serve in the militia, or volunteer armies, that were established to defend our states. The militia provided protection during emergencies, too. Many Americans also believed that without weapons they would be powerless if the government tried to overstep its powers and rule by force.

    “NO-QUARTERING” RIGHT…The Third Amendment states, “No soldier shall, in times of peace, be quartered in any house. . . .” Under British rule, the colonists sometimes had to feed and house British soldiers against their will. As a result, Americans wanted this practice forbidden under the Bill of Rights.

    THE RIGHT TO EQUAL JUSTICE…The Bill of Rights contains many rights that are guaranteed to persons accused of a crime. Amendments Five, Six, Seven, and Eight are all concerned with these rights. Our nation places great importance on these rights in order to guarantee equal justice for all Americans.

    1. A person must be indicted, or formally accused of a crime, by a group of citizens called a “grand jury” before he can be brought into court for trial.
    2. A person accused of a crime is guaranteed the right to know what law he is accused of breaking.
    3. A person accused of a crime has a right to a prompt public trial by a jury of his fellow citizens.
    4. An accused person cannot be put into prison and kept there for weeks or months while awaiting a trial. He has the right to leave jail, in most cases, if he can raise a certain sum of money, or bail, as a pledge that he will appear at his trial.
    5. An accused person has a right to a lawyer to represent him in court.
    6. All the testimony and evidence against an accused person must be presented publicly in court.
    7. The accused person has the right to call any witnesses to appear if their testimony will help him.
    8. The accused person cannot be forced to testify or give evidence against himself.
    9. If the accused person is found guilty, he cannot be given cruel or unusual punishment. If the accused person is found not guilty of a serious crime, he cannot be tried a second time for this same crime.

    THE RIGHT TO OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY…The Fifth Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own private property. No person may take away anything that we own. Nor can the government seize our land, money, or other forms of property without cause, or without paying for it. The right to own private property is one of America’s basic freedoms. Our free economic system is based upon this right.eagles-and-flag

    THE RIGHT TO ENJOY MANY OTHER FREEDOMS…To make doubly sure that Americans should enjoy every right and freedom possible, Amendment Nine was added to the Constitution. This amendment states that the list of rights contained in the Bill of Rights is not complete. There are many other rights that all Americans have and will continue to have even though they are not mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Among them are the following.

    1. Freedom to work at any job for which we can qualify
    2. Freedom to marry and raise a family
    3. Freedom to receive a free education in good public schools
    4. Freedom to join a political party, a union, and other legal groups
    5. Freedom to live or travel anywhere in our nation

    flag-on-barn

    As a final guarantee of our rights, the Tenth Amendment set aside many powers of government for the states. This Amendment says that all powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution, nor forbidden to the states, are set aside for the states, or for the people. This provision leaves with the states the power to act in many ways to guarantee the rights of their citizens.

    SUMMARY

    Government is the authority or power that people establish to help them run their affairs.
    Governments serve many important purposes, but the most important one is that government makes it possible for people to live and work together. Government provides us with rules of conduct we can follow. Government makes it possible for people to live by known laws, and helps provide many services that citizens acting alone could not perform themselves.
    Our nation’s government is based on the American Constitution. This Constitution, together with its Bill of Rights and other amendments, provides us with a workable plan of government. The Constitution also guarantees to all Americans many priceless rights and freedoms.
    Our nation’s government is based upon the approval, or consent, of the people who are governed. It is a federal system in which certain powers are given to the national government and other powers are left to the states and to the people. Certain powers are shared by both federal and state governments. In both federal and state governments, powers are separated and balanced among three branches of government.   (From: Hartley, William H., Vincent, William S.. American Civics. N.Y., 1974, pp. 34ff)

    Protesting has its place in our democracy, but the statement below should make us think seriously about the cost of freedom, for it is not free. 

    flag-covered-bodied

    Video:  Our National Anthem:  A tribute to all who love our country and our American flag, the symbol of our FREEDOM.  (turn on sound)

 


THE CONSTITUTION – THE BILL OF RIGHTS

constitution and feather penBen Franklin

Does the average person understand or know anything about the document that lays out the very freedoms and rights that he or she enjoys?   NOT LIKELY!    When the average person on the street sometimes cannot tell us who  the Vice President of the United States is or what happened in  Benghazi  on September 11, 2012, we cannot expect much.   The frightening thing is that so many may be our voters.

This blog is for all   people who would like to learn more or those who slept through their civics courses in high school.   It is also for the intelligent and  educated who would like to remind yourselves how difficult  it was to draft and ratify our Constitution.   I do know that there are also those who will see this blog title and say to themselves..”No, I , don’t care and I don’t plan to be bored.  There is no real action here! ”    Therefore, we exclude those persons and hope that their freedoms are not gone when the Constitutional rights of all of us are ignored.

Maybe someone will pass this guide, The Constitution,  and the book from which I share facts and ideas along to those trying to set up order and freedom in their countries and to those people left in the USA who care about this subject as much as they care about cell phones, emails, Facebook, Twitter and other conveniences of the day.

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My information briefly provided here is taken primarily from a fine book,  The Framing & The Fathers of the U.S. Constitution by Max Farrand  with an introduction by Wayne LaPierre (Privately printed for the members of The Library of American Freedoms)

  • WHO WAS THE AUTHOR, MAX FARRAND?

Max Farran lived from 1869-1945 and was a distinguished historian.  He taught history at Yale, Wesleyan, and Stanford.  Several of his books are known as classics.   He tried to make history come to life by retelling in detail  the exciting story of the Framers, Debaters, and rugged people who wrote and ratified the Constitution of the United States of America.

  • WHAT IS SOME OF THE BACKGROUND LEADING UP TO THE RATIFICATION?

In 1781, the Revolutionary War was mostly over with the surrender of British  General Cornwallis to General George Washington at Yorktown.   The 13 original colonies, now states,  no longer had any allegiance to England, but had their own political freedom.  Now the challenge began to see if they were able to establish and maintain  an effective government.

Founding Fathers

(From time to time, we will quote and highlight words from the Constitution even though we may be jumping ahead in a time-frame before it is actually written.)    Some of these words referred to the challenge that lay ahead and what it would mean to those who had fought and struggled for this new independence.     “…to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…”

Constitution drafting

  • WHAT WERE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS FACING THE NEW STATES?

In many ways, each state was acting on its own…taxing each other…without concern for the another state.  When problems arose, they even considered military action.  Each tried to write out some laws to help in governing themselves. The Revolutionary Declarations, or Bill of Rights, were adopted between 1776-1780.   The Bill of Rights was Ratified in 1791.

HAVE YOU EVER READ THE BILL OF RIGHTS?   READ THESE ARTICLES CAREFULLY FOR THEY ARE YOUR LIBERTY AND PERSONAL RIGHTS!

(Some of these ARTICLES need to be emphasized here in the light of problems in our own government agencies today, and in other countries, especially in the Middle East, that are moving toward a theocracy and not a democracy even though  they have taken to the streets and shed their blood to try achieve democracy.  They simply do not have the leadership that is willing to look at a plan that worked and continues to work after hundreds of years.   One lady who testified before  Congress recently said, ” I am terrified that the rights I knew as a child are slipping away.”   We pray our leaders will not let this happen. )

THE ARTICLES IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS:

  •  Government shall not establish a national religion. (We may worship or not worship in any way that we wish to do so.)
  •   Also in the light of recent possible stifling  the press…“abridging the freedom of speech or the press…”
  • The right to assemble   (Where do we think we got the privilege without fear to have town hall meetings; go to church, synagogue, temples and mosques; demonstrate for a particular cause…political or non-political?)
  • Search warrants and acquiring permission from the owner to enter a home or property
  •  Due process of law when accused and a speedy trial with witnesses
  • No cruel or excessive punishment.…(We struggle with the issue of water-boarding and interrogation  tactics of non-citizens enemies and terrorists since the USA was attacked as well as many other countries around the world. The recent movie, Zero Dark Thirty gives a graphic view of this disturbing problem. )
  • States Rights. which is a separation from the Federal Government.

ALL of which are important to personal liberties that are spelled out in the Articles below.   I did not repeat everything…so read it for yourself.   Be informed.  You may need it someday.

Bill-of-Rights Articles   The Continental Congress was formed in 1774 (seven months before the Revolutionary War began)   This had been established to protest the British in their “Intolerable Acts”.

  • WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE  SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS?

In May, 1775, the Second Continental Congress met and drafted the Declaration of Independence and The Articles of Confederation.   Thomas Jefferson was the author and his purpose was not only to declare freedom but to reach further into the future with what we today would need to govern ourselves. He had great wisdom and fore-sight.  It may be mentioned here also that these men were men of faith and prayers were led and said during this time of searching for the right form of government. They looked not to establish a religion but to acknowledge the God of the universe by Whom they believed they were being led.    One might call the Constitution a  guide-book  or a map to keep us on the right path.  bill-of-rights

Two extremely important principles to the establishing of a democracy were laid out:

  •    Government exists for the well-being of the people and not to be their rulers.   If a government becomes dictatorial, the people have a right to resist and overturn that government.  (Today, we would say “vote them out” since we frown on anarchy.)
  •   All men are created equal.    (Basically  this says that “all members of society  have full protection under the law and a right to participate in public affairs.”   As we know, it was a long time for our nation to catch up to this true meaning… as we waited for the freedom of the slaves; civil rights; women to vote…and now we struggle with the morals of society and what rights people have under the Constitution in the areas of  gay rights, gun owner’s rights (Article II of Bill of Rights), privacy rights  and more.)
  • WHY WAS THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION TROUBLESOME AND DEFICIENT?

The Articles of Confederation was a way for the thirteen colonies to establish what we know as the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.     Some difficulties were that it did not give  Congress the power to collect taxes; make a military; enforce treaties or laws or regulate commerce.

A delegation came to Philadelphia in 1787 and it was not an easy job to design a government with regulations and rules that gave the freedom that they wished for after leaving an oppressive government in Great Britain.. They spent time in serious debate and compromise (unlike, it seems, that our government today is able to do) and they were successful in agreeing on the adoption of the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, which was formally  signed and ratified by the required nine states on June 21, 1788.

When you hear someone say, “That is not Constitutional!”, you may now have some idea of what they are talking about from this brief introduction to the making of one of the world’s greatest documents….if not the greatest.    Was it perfect?   No, and the Founding Fathers knew that there would need to be changes as times changed.  That is why they provided for  AMENDMENTS.

THE NEXT WRITING WILL BE SOME DETAILS CONCERNING THE DRAFTING OF THE CONSTITUTION  AND THE MEN WHO MADE IT HAPPEN.   

In the mean time, you may want to look at some of these links.  Pass them on to your families and especially urge your children and grandchildren to learn about their country’s  liberties and stress that it will some day be in their hands….to protect and honor this great document and those who brought it into existence.  Liberty was and is not free and it came at a great cost….in war and loss of life.  The young people of today will keep it or lose it.  In my title, I asked if most people even “give a flip”?  I believe they do, but being vigilant is part of maintaining the freedoms we have.  It will not be enough to vote with our emotions, but vote to be certain the ones who run our branches of the government are put there and appointed there with the dedication to preserving  freedom and our Constitution.

SITE FOR ALL YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT US CONSTITUTIONbenjamin_franklin saying

TEACH YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION    branches of government