Freedom of Speech in a Religious Assembly
Let Freedom Ring
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (KJV Psalm 9:17). An average of over 160,000 Christians have been killed every year since 1990 (Colson). Statistically speaking there have been more recorded Christian martyrs in the twentieth century than all other centuries combined. In our technologically advanced, sociologically evolved society how is this possible? Weather one believes this is a Christian nation, this is not a Christian nation, or this is a nation of citizens, regardless of their opinion statistics cannot be ignored. What type of social climate leads to such devastating acts of religious genocide? Events such as these transpire when a people begin to ignore a very simple constitutional concept. “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”(First Amendment: Farish). Unfortunately it is through much turmoil, persecution and oppression when a people with a great vision for the common good rise up out of the ashes of tyranny. This vision is the same vision our forefathers incarnated and shared over two hundred years ago when we declared our independence from Mother Britain. Therefore freedom of speech should remain our first constitutional right without limitation regardless of circumstance. The Preamble states “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”(Hennessey). Our founding fathers, with an understanding of what copulates tyranny, set out to seek and to construct a better country. A country that once edified will not encroach on the God given liberties dictators so commonly set out to destroy. Liberties ordained to a people by the “Supreme Ruler of the Universe” (Bechtle). However through the process of time and what some call social evolution, the freedom of a people is inevitably stripped and tyrannically regulated. The framers appeared to be standing with the birth of a great nation on one side an oppressed one on the other with a fixed impassible gulf in between. They were left with the task of designing a machine that would unify both sides. How does one design a sort of living machine without the machine turning on its designer? How do a people initiate freedom without freedom taking on a metamorphosis? The ability to design freedom for one group without limiting it to another became a sort of a double edged sword to the framers. William Douglas, in his book, stated “The United States, we say, stands for freedom. But just what is this freedom and how is it expressed in our daily lives” (Douglas)? His book exhorts on the concept that the understanding of our founding fathers was that freedom is not self endowed but given to us by our Creator (capital “C” in the original declaration) that many of the colonist who came from the old world, which denied them the freedom of belief and worship, came in search of liberty. Douglas declares the birth of our nation dates back to the Declaration of Independence which states “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Excerpts from the Bill of Rights, the first Amendment to the Constitution, the first Article in the Declaration of Rights under the state of Washington Constitution, and various Constitutional documents show a clear pattern of the peoples mindset who designed our present means of freedom. The design of our present day system was initiated...
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