The Times Journal & Russell County News
Tuesday, Jul. 22, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Be informed about your government
In May 21 Issue

My name is Megan Chapman and for the past three years I have been attending Liberty University, and while it is not the political Mecca it once was my passion for government and political issues has been nurtured and grown there.

 I wanted to write these articles because our government is becoming bigger and bigger, infringing on our freedom. Every responsibility they take up for us will take one more freedom away from us. The fact that we have to pay so many taxes, specifically, on private property is ridiculous. Despite what some may say the plan of this bigger government will hurt the working class more than anyone else. That’s why I am writing these articles to you, the working class, because it is your freedoms at stake. If you are not informed on what you are entitled to as an American citizen it will be taken away from you.  I personally believe that if this nation is going to change it has to be through the working class. We are what makes up this nation if we become informed and unified I know that we can change back this nation to what it was meant to be.

The first article I have written, the one you’re about to read,  explains a little bit about what the founding fathers were looking for when they came to this country, the freedoms that they wanted this new nation to experience.

I also want to warn that I will be writing purposefully like the way I talk, some of you who know me may be concerned about that, but I believe it will be easier to understand than covering you with technical terms.

What were our Fore Fathers looking for when they came here?  What motivated them to go to such extremes as making their own country?

To shed some light on the subject a person should probably refer to the documents that founded our country.

In the following few paragraphs I will attempt to explain to the reader what exactly our founding documents say and hopefully remind the reader of why our founding fathers sacrificed so much for this country.

-Declaration of Independence

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their  creator with certain unalienable rights, that are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”

To translate-  “We hold these truths to be self evident” means , the truths I am getting ready to tell you about are obvious.

“..all men are created equal…” Depending on what side of the building in Washington D.C. you like the best this could mean a few things.  This means for the right wing thinkers that all men should be offered the same protection from the government to fulfill the rights that they are born with. And because this is meant to be a purely governmental article and not political, I will not state the left wing views because I am not as familiar with them and would not like to misrepresent them.

Also, just so you know, right wing thinkers are conservative thinkers who typically are Republicans. By definition their biggest political stand is individual freedom. Left wing thinkers are persons who are liberal thinkers and who are typically Democrat.  Like I said, I am not as familiar with left wing thought; however, my understanding is that liberal thinkers put emphasis on social benefit rather than individual.

Resuming now back to the Declaration of Independence.

“..That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…”

All men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights.

 I want to highlight the word endowed; this means that we are born with rights that cannot be taken away from us or separated from us. What it does NOT mean is that we are GRANTED these rights by a higher authority such as the government.

Also, I mean, I just can’t overlook another all important word found in this phrase. Creator, it is thought, by some, that our founding fathers were referring to God as our creator. Please don’t tell the ACLU.

I would also like to make a note to say that forty something of the fifty something constitutional signers were either pastors or founders of Christian organizations.  (Barton, David; www.wallbuilders.com)

What I have shared with you of the Declaration of Independence is typically the only portion of the Declaration of Independence that ever gets shared. However, I want to highlight another phrase in the Declaration of Independence.                   “… that to secure these rights Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the governed”

This is a phrase that should NEVER be forgotten by taxpaying American citizens. This phrase states that governments are established for the sole purpose of protecting our unalienable rights as humans and they derive their power from “the governed”, us.  Think about what this means to you as an American citizen, a governed citizen.

The Declaration of Independence says that our rights are life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This seems a little vague but this can be resolved by looking to our Bill of Rights.  The bill of rights is simply the first ten amendments to our constitution.  They were added to ensure that the Federal government would not usurp state authority. Yes, so that the FEDERAL government would not usurp STATE AUTHORITY.  If these amendments were not added there were a number of signers who refused to sign. Some of these signers were founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams. These men warned Americans that unless specific amendments were added to the constitution to limit the powers of the federal government, it might INVADE and USURP the rights of the STATES, COMMUNITIES, and INDIVIDUALS. (Barton, Original Intent) When our nation was founded the states were considered to have more authority than the federal government. The founding fathers understood that the closer the representative was to the people the better they could represent. Therefore, states needed to be in more authority than the federal government to ensure individual freedom.

I will only cover the first amendment because I believe it holds the most vital rights that are supposed protected by our government.

Amendment 1

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 to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Take notice of what entity is limited in this amendment. Does it say school teacher? Does it say Military Chaplain? Does it say citizen? NO the only entity limited in this amendment is CONGRESS,   the federal government. Recall the purpose of these ten amendments, to limit the Federal government for infringing on state, community, and individual rights.

The rest of the amendment is pretty self-explanatory.  The only thing to wonder about is what does “establishment of religion” mean, just looking at it I think it would mean that congress could not declare a certain kind of religion for everyone, nor can they prohibit anyone from practice their beliefs. Thomas Jefferson said that our religion is between us and our Creator. He also declared national days of prayer and encouraged state representatives to do the same. He also, when holding office within Virginia, which was after his presidency, hosted church services in the capitol.

 I would also, like to make mention that while you read through these amendments as I hope that you will after reading this, you may find that you cannot find the phrase “separation of church and state”.  This is because the phrase is not found in the constitution. In fact the phrase will not be found in ANY of the founding documents.

“Much has been written in recent years… to “a wall of separation of church and state”… It has received so much attention that one would almost think at times that it is to be found somewhere in the constitution.” –Judge Elbert Gallagher, Baer v. Kolmorgen

If you continue on to read your protected rights as an American citizen you will find that there is a pattern among these rights. They all relate to your individuality as an American citizen.  You have a right to own property and to run a business without the infringement of federal government and these are just a few. If we do not start pushing back the Government will take all. They already are trying to take control of our free market by these bailouts. Now, the president wants to start putting limits on all business corporations. Not to mention the federal governments talk about national/universal Healthcare.  I must ask when the government is going to do all this for us who is paying for it, you are, the working class. I say the working class because I am including business owners , big or small business owners. There seems to be a trend among people to dislike successful business owners, but it is these people who provide jobs and because of the way our tax system is set up they also end up paying more taxes than any of us because they earn more.

Our founding fathers said that in order for our freedom to remain we must remain in eternal vigilance. I would say that we have not heeded their advice and every single day we are seeing our rights as individuals being stolen away. Only through knowledge can we fight back. So I encourage you now to begin to be informed.

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