“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.” Ref. Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States.
The ongoing and persistent assault on this fundamental protection by uninformed agenda driven secular activists in concert with inept jurists has attained a status where further disregard is no longer acceptable or even possible. The intent of the Authors is clear. “Congress shall make no LAW respecting an establishment of religion,—” This statement carries with it a strict and precisely limited restriction on the Congress pointed at prohibiting the establishment of any legally recognized theocracy which might compete with the branches of government set forth in the preceding document. No other requirement or prohibition is asserted except that, in the same sentence, it strictly prohibits the power of the State to interfere with “the free exercise thereof;” and in the same breath, “or abridging the freedom of speech,—-“.
No power is given to the State or any authority to prohibit or otherwise regulate the free expression of any speech, including and particularly that relating to religion, be it in open discussion, private mutterings, or open and public prayer.
However inconvenient, objectionable, irritating, discomforting or annoying other citizens might find such displays they are obligated and duty bound as citizens of a free Republic to respect and protect the right of their fellow citizens to engage in such speech and expression. The liberties of the few or the individual must never be held hostage to the objections of any other individual or like minded group of individuals and most certainly by any officer in law. Further, the Constitution does not proscribe where such speech may take place, neither in public, nor in private, nor limit such speech to properties not owned by the state in behalf of the people. The traditions of the people are perpetuated by consent of the community. If a group of persons in any congregate activity desire to engage in any activity respecting or acknowledging a common deity, they must not be required to forfeit their right to exercise that activity by any part of the community on the basis of religion or any other objection not specifically proscibed by law. The duty of any and all citizens is to respect that right so long as he or they are not required to suffer any injustice established in law. Having to listen to someone else pray to his god does not reasonably fall into this category. The right of free speech caries with it the implication of being heard, but no requirement or expectation of response or approval. Indeed, the action of any individual or group of individuals who by their deliberate and organized actions intend to prevent the intended recipients of such speech or display from hearing or seeing such speech or display is a violation in and of itself and may beg the protection of Federal law on behalf of the speaker or producer of such speech or display.
The power of an individual or individuals to control the speech of any person or group of people simply because he or they find it objectionable to their personal sensibilities is nowhere recognized in the Constitution any more than it might recognize the legitimacy of a dictator or tyrannical despot.
Nor can the enforcement arm of the State purchase the power of censure simply because it owns the property on which such speech or activity takes place. It must be remembered that the State holds in trust such property in behalf of the community which it serves and must never presume to inflict its censorship on the common traditions of that community. Any Jurist that recognizes such a use of his court participates in that tyranny. The Courts must recognize their proper duty and protect their use from the tyrants and plunderers who only regard them as dens of piracy and political expediency.
Just as FCC regulations require the commonly owned and managed frequencies of the air-ways to be allotted and serve in the interests of the communities in which they are used, so must public property be likewise served. Can the civil or criminal remedies of the State be applied, for example, to exclude or censor religious broadcasts upon the objection of non-religious individuals? What could follow from such a violation of fundamentally recognized Constitutional rights and privilege?
The unreasonable proscriptions of the State regarding the traditions and religious practices of the innocent at large necessarily requires the violation of their fundamental civil rights from the right of free speech and religious practices to the right to peaceably assemble. The burden of civil liability lies not upon the otherwise innocent at large but upon those who would misuse authority to infringe or disparage those rights. No proscriptive law favoring theocracy has been established here and no theocratic authority has emerged nor any hint thereof. What has emerged is a unjustly tolerated cabal of like minded tyrants opposed to the exercise of fundamental liberty in direct conflict to the guarantees set forth in the Bill of Rights. It is time to use the Courts to hold them to that liability.
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