Friday, July 20, 2007

Turning About The Bill Of Rights---Free Exercise

Mr. Christopher Orlet (1) recently pointed out (2) that the most recent consideration of the Second Amendment (3) to the US Constitution has been to consider its first clause ("A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state," as far less important than the balance of that article and only a preface to its latter words, "... the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.". This shift is apparently that of a majority of the US Circuit Court Of Appeals earlier this year in Parker VS. District Of Columbia. Very strangely, that shift towards making the rights of the People a matter for individuals, not some collective is supported by that one time mainstay of leftist judicial thought, Harvard's Professor Lawrence Tribe. That shift in thinking was, even more strangely, acknowledged by the New York Times.

Therefore, I suggest that we reexamine the First Amendment (4) to our Constitution in the same manner of making all of it apply to the People as individuals, with its first clause ("Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion,...") as only a preface referring to the early desire that our National Government should NOT have a state religion as did England, with its Church of England, Scotland, with its "Kirk" and the other governments of the World with like established Faiths or ideologies. [We should also remember that some of the 13 original States maintained "official religions" after the ratification of the Bill of Rights; And, that Thomas Jefferson's famous or infamous letter about a "wall of separation" was a private and NOT a public statement AND not one reflecting the thoughts of the authors of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.]

After all, the balance of the First Amendment (As to free speech and free press and assembly) have been held to be rights of individuals, as such OR voluntarily as collectives).

Therefore, I fail to understand why the noted "free exercise of religion" should (Only in recent years) be more limited and driven out of public forums (Schools, public buildings, parks, etc.) than that of the distribution of newspapers, pamphlets and public speech on other, non-religious, topics or positions--All of which are the rights of the People as individuals.

I think it past the time when the "free exercise of religion" should be judicially reevaluated and a conclusion reached that each person has that right in ALL public places. (Of course, those judges who are the high-priests or mullahs of the "Law As State Religion" will oppose that to maintain the power of their ideology/religion. as will those illiberal liberals who wish democracy only to empower themselves ).

(1) Blogs at
(2) "Parting Shot"; America's 1st Freedom; August, 2007; Page-64.
(3) A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
(4) 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.

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