Fight for your freedom, rights
A good friend of mine, Al Kraker, recently gave me a book authored by John W. Whitehead, executive director of the Rutherford Institute, entitled “Stand and Fight.”
Whitehead, a constitutional attorney, founded the Rutherford Institute in 1982 with the mission of specializing in cases that involve the curtailment of American’s religious freedoms and civil liberties.
This is a complicated area. What one person perceives as a curtailment of his religious freedom is perceived by another person as a violation of his civil rights. For example, there are 100 people in attendance at a banquet; 60 are Christians, 15 are members of various other religious organizations, 23 don’t practice any religion, and two are agnostics. The speaker is a Christian and, as is his custom, says an invocation before the meal, asking God to bless the food and bless the activities of the evening. The 60 Christians are okay with that, and 30 of the remaining 40 are also okay with that, but that leaves 10 people who are offended by this gesture of seeming goodwill. Of such things, in today’s litigious society, court cases are made.
One of the 10 offended people is so deeply offended that he sues the organization sponsoring the banquet to stop this outrageous activity of seeming goodwill.
The next time a banquet is held at that place, when the speaker starts to say an invocation, he is told he can’t do that because they were sued the last time it happened. The speaker can’t say an invocation even though 90 people, the overwhelming majority, favored the invocation. When one person overrules 90, the tail is wagging the dog, so to speak. Of such things, more court cases are made.
This is where the Rutherford Institute might step in and offer to defend the speaker’s right to say an invocation. The book details many such cases going on right now throughout the country. All of them are difficult.
I heard a speaker one time say, “My name is not Solomon. I just do the best that I can.” I like that saying. Well, none of the judges deciding these difficult cases are named Solomon either, but let’s hope they are doing the best they can in light of the principles upon which our country was founded.
These principles were laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. The Rutherford Institute advises us to be educated by reading and studying these documents. Long after the United States of America ceases to exist, I believe future generations will marvel at the wisdom of our founding fathers as laid out in these three documents.
The Declaration of Independence contains some of the most famous phrases ever written in the history of mankind. These include: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal,” “They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” “Among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” At the time the Declaration was written, these were revolutionary ideas. Men were not treated equally in any sense of the word. There were classes of people with different rights attached to each class. Not much of the world was free to pursue liberty or happiness. Not many people were willing to stick their neck out so far as to endanger their fortunes, let alone their lives, so that others could be free to pursue happiness.
At only 462 words long, the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, isn’t much different than reading this article. It is an easy read. The Constitution is longer, but it still is only seven articles long.
Whitehead is correct when he says that unless we are diligent and perhaps even if we are diligent, our freedoms will be curtailed.
For those interested in reading these documents, go to www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters. I’m not big on the New Year’s resolution thing, but this area is important enough that I am making a resolution to read and study these documents and keep current on the development of court cases as identified by organizations such as the Rutherford Institute.
It’s important for all of us to remember that none of the authors and signers of the three founding documents of our country was named Solomon (I checked), but they were very wise, very courageous, and very involved in the activities of the day. We could use a few of those types of men to help us out today. This is Jerry Coon signing off. Have a Happy New Year!
Jerry Coon is an Enrolled Agent. He owns Action
Tax Service on Northland Drive in Rockford. Contact
him through his website at www.actiontaxservice.com.