Taking a look at the First Amendment to the US Constitution

The First Amendment

Over the last couple of years, we have seen more than a few attacks on freedom of the press, and a push by some religious groups to prevent other religious groups from exercising their rights.

Rather than take sides in any of that (my side is always with Constitution, with all its (amendable) flaws, it presents all the opportunity we need to self govern without the need for murderous revolution.), I have elected to talk about the Amendment to the Constitution which governs both, and hope that these thoughts somehow reach the masses.

Lets start by noting for those who have not studied the Constitution, US History, or the republican philosophy; that the first ten amendments (known as the Bill of Rights) were not granted by the government. Rather they are what is referred to as natural, or inherent rights. Congress was merely codifying them into the Constitution as a reminder to the government, and us, that we the people have those rights.

The next thing we need to do, is to simply read the text of the First Amendment.

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.

As the Amendment is pretty broad, we will have to break it into three sections. Those sections will be known as Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, and the Right to Assemble and Petition the government. Today we will only address the first.

Freedom of Religion

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

It seems pretty simple. The government declared it was just going to stay out of the peoples way when it came to religion. Let people find their own way with their Creator.

But someone always comes along and reminds us that the US was founded by Christians, and that all of our early law was based on English common law that has its own roots in the Christian Church. They aren’t wrong.

But what they are missing in the equation, is the republican philosophy of the VERY religious Father of the Constitution and author of these Amendments. James Madison, who was by the way a member of the dominant church of the time. His philosophy was that no man could come to know God through force, and had to meet their Creator on their own terms.

Besides Madison’s personal views, we should also look at this from another pragmatic angle. The groups of Christians who are so quick to attempt to subdue other religious groups, be they Muslims, Atheists, or even Satanists; are forgetting something very important historically. With ZERO exceptions, every one of their faiths had been declared to be illegal, satanic, and unholy by either Roman Catholic Church or the Anglican Church at some point in the preceding 500 years.

The very notion of them gathering up to “protect Christianity” is preposterous and ironic. They don’t even agree on what real Christianity is.

As such, if we ever allow our nation to slide down this slippery slope, it would be a disgustingly short period of time before whichever group became dominant would be oppressing the others.

It was happening in Virginia before the revolution, and had it not been for Randolph, Jefferson, and especially Madison; we would all still be paying taxes to the Anglican church today.

So lets consider before this deeply before we backslide to far on that little note in the Constitution

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About Robb

A husband, Dad to 5, and Grandpa to 9. US Navy Vet. 18 Year Postal Employee turned full time Realtor. I enjoy a wide variety of things, but you will find that here I mostly write about Indianapolis, government/politics, recent news, and whatever book I am reading or have just finished at the moment.
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