This Discourse Started Long Ago

If America was a “democracy,” which it isn’t, it would be ruled by a vocal majority. However, what is happening in Indiana and Arkansas, while loud and boisterous, is not even majority driven. Accounts continually reference “hundreds” rather than what normally would be tens of thousands. So, what gives?

Constitution_7These accounts stun the readers about an issue which was previous signed into law without any notice or objection. And as a result from what appears to be a minor contingency, two governors have reversed course over night in obvious deference to corporate’s wielding of their economic might.

Indiana’s Governor Pence initially stated that, “We’re not going to change the law.” He added, “This is about protecting the religious liberty of people of faith and families of faith across this country.” Within twenty four hours or so, Pence reversed course.

Convention dates have been or are threatened to be canceled in response to a perception of possible assaults against the gay community. Already, in what appears to be a purely supportive move, the public employee union of AFSCME, has canceled their Indiana convention date.

Such punitive measures stem directly from those protesting “hundreds,” who in turn rationalized that the Indiana and Arkansas’s RFRA legislation would “offer a legal defense for anti-gay discrimination.” These swift reversals from two chief executives seem out of sorts verses the minimal protest numbers.

What has transpired between 1993 and today? Back then, President Clinton signed similar legislation into law and as a State Senator in Illinois, Obama voted for the Illinois version of that law. It would seem that there is legal standing for ignoring the emotional actions of a few hundred.

What is dangling in the balance is the ability to govern. Just what legislation can become law if loud crowds, in conjunction with economic blackmail, hamper or halt a state governor from signing a bill into law? Welcome to the world of individual and governmental hostage taking by the few. Also in play is the economic bullying which seems to have entered the fray.

At stake too are the forgotten rights of the law abiding citizens who happen to seriously value their religious beliefs. In their defense and quite formidable, given our Forefather’s recognition of God’s Blessings at the time of our birth; the term “unalienable” immediately solidifies and protects our rights. So, any worthy barrister should be able to denote that our individual rights, which are defined in our Bill of Rights, are above man’s tinkering since they are legally recognized to be from God. So, why this debate? Why all this fuss for or against RFRA legislation when those rights are bequeathed from a higher authority?

Simply put, many of man’s previous usurpations have led us to this unwarranted state of affairs. Who is old enough to remember nine black robes who took it upon themselves to dash God’s Blessings, as they illegally banished God and prayer from public schools?

Now, what must be remembered is the sanctity of our individual rights. This Godly imprint is what separates American government from all previous or current examples. This is why, when entering the military service of our country, every enlistee solemnly pledges to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. Our religious nature is inherent to our American DNA.

So, as illegality begets additional illegality, we eventually arrive at a place where anarchy becomes impatient. What is happening in Indiana and Arkansas is antithetical to our American system of law. For over fifty years, this inane listening to the lone objector has ravished our domestic and judicial tranquilities. One statement from the bench of our Supreme Court stands apart and is in direct opposition to our Constitutional protections.

On June 17th, 1963, Justice Clark rendered the Court’s opinion with regards to the School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp. Now mind you, these are the words from a Supreme Court Justice who holds his position on condition of “good behavior.”

Clark began his opining with, “Once again, we are called upon to consider the scope of the provision of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Clark ended his opening paragraph with, “…we hold that the practices at issue and the laws requiring them are unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause, as applied to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.”

What immediately stands out is Clark’s “called upon” justification. Who did the calling and his “once again” statement insinuates previous revisits to our First Amendment tenets. Regardless, since the Supreme Court selects their case load, selection of the Schempp case hints of an intent not authorized nor needed. Also, this ruling actually countermands our Amendment process, which should in turn nullify its legal circus.

So, why even hear a case which is so diametrically outside the Constitution? How does one reconcile judging what is inherently an unalienable right? And don’t cite “ignorance” since that is hardly an excuse at this level.

The Court’s Syllabus in part states, “Because of the prohibition of the First Amendment against the enactment by Congress of any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion,’ which is made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, no state or school board may require that passages from the Bible be read or that the Lord’s Prayer be recited…”

What makes this 1963 reference to the Fourteenth Amendment so overpowering verses our First Amendment, which was ratified by acknowledging its unalienable guarantees? Judicially, how does a 1868 Amendment take precedence over an Amendment which was ratified, in place and held to since 1789?

This is an example to the tinkering which has in turn produced this street mob mentality. Added to this mix, how does that “good behavior” condition conform to such an unconstitutional ruling?

Given the original basis from a single family objection to the current voices of “hundreds” in Indiana and Arkansas, what about the rights of the silent religious majority? How can government pass and sign into law legislation when it is impossible to please everyone? Where and when will this roar of protest end if one family can cause the invalidation of an unalienable right?

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Jim Bowman is a 67 year old drafted Vietnam veteran, and a retired boiler maker with 31 years of service. He has been published in numerous newspapers in Florida and Philadelphia, is the author of This Roar of Ours, and the publisher of the Americanism of our Founders website. He is the proud father of a son and daughter, two grandsons and one granddaughter.
Jim Bowman
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