Constitutional Freedoms - OurLine in the Sand
A Guest Document
by Tal Brooke (*)
Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP)
A Guest Document
by Tal Brooke (*)
Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP)
The national landscape has been changing in alarming ways since 9/11. A once robust nation, a considerably diminished America has embarked on a perilous course--militarily, politically and financially--while abrogating critical freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the nation's founding mandate. A growing number of legal voices believe that, in usurping these freedoms, the government has forfeited its own legal authority by doing the very things that the Constitution, the highest law of the land, forbids.
The government must obey the law. Do you obey a government that has broken its highest law?
The citizens, meanwhile, lack the power to challenge the growing Leviathan of State, able to strip away any privacy and enforce any law with near omnipotent technology. More daunting, the State has used various "crises" to get around posse commitatus in order use the military within "the homeland." It can now turn the military on its own citizens, whose lives could soon resemble the old proletariate under Soviet rule, a situation once unthinkable.
As most 5th-graders should know the Constitutional limitations on governmental power, by implication, are a warning against the rapacious state becoming a tyranny. These limitations also anticipate the erosion of freedoms and liberties through clever arguments and sudden crises used by the State to weaken the resistance of the people. Constitutional limitations were created so that the government would remain the servant of the people, and prevent the people from ever becoming servants of the State. Citizens are to be vigilant against surrendering their freedoms in exchange for government offers of protection, welfare or any other so-called benefit. Benjamin Franklin warned that if they did, they'd be worthy of neither.
SCP's burden is that we, and organizations like us, must have the freedom to write as we see things, a freedom Americans have taken for granted for two hundred years. When SCP is no longer able to write freely--but is required to dance around ever narrowing guidelines enforced by the State--we will be effectually shut down. This is a key reason we are concerned about the issue of free speech and related freedoms, such as individual right to privacy in light of state surveillance. Anti-hate laws present a terrible trap. Seeming to be high minded and benign, they will shut the door for any views at odds with the State. This is a terrible threat.
If today's lawmakers, compromised, corrupted or indifferent to Constitutional protections, pass draconian anti-hate laws, SCP would be unable to make any meaningful moral judgments or critique new religions, Neopaganism, Eastern thought, channeling, Spiritualism, human potential, emerging cults or their various founders, leaders and gurus.
At issue is public distrust of the deceit, corruption and blundering of the government into preemptive wars and mounting debt.
America needs a noble statesman of deep and genuine (not pretended) Christian conviction, broad vision, intelligence, integrity and uncompromising character, who would champion the nation's historic faith, its liberties and freedoms, indeed, its people--an individual free of the influences of tainted advisors with secret agendas, special interest groups and powerful political lobbies. A man who is not a slick, charismatic orator but someone plain spoken and honest, a champion of the people. Such a one may be our window of hope. But if our government is again ruled by another whose ultimate loyalty is to a foreign power or shrouded special interests, America may never recover. Some fear this might be our last election.
America is in trouble with mounting debt, over thirty million illegal aliens who have flooded across open borders (as the government subjects American citizens to humiliating searches), the dollar in free-fall, growing international contempt for America's hubris and preemptive wars, the sub-prime lending crisis, banks and mortgage firms being bailed out as homes are foreclosed, the trillion dollar cost of invading Iraq, and now a "no fly list" in which the government can dictate to citizens whether or not they are permitted to fly. Perhaps most discouraging is the utter indifference of a public distracted by "bread and circuses," a far cry from those early patriots who fought for our freedoms.
One of America's premier writers of a century back predicted:
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."--Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)
This is exactly what comes to mind when you recall American flags and calls to patriotism being invoked to justify meek public trust of our preemptive wars in the Middle East, the Patriot Act and emergency legislation creating an imperial presidency that is above the law--all of it managed like a Hollywood extravaganza as the people stare on numbly, barely comprehending what is going on.
In this vein, Judge Napolitano writes in his latest book, A Nation of Sheep (p. xi), that after 9/11 "the neocons who dominate the Republican Party" commenced three separate wars: one in Afghanistan, another in Iraq, and "the third against the civil liberties of the American people." He states:
[T]he [present Administration] has systematically attacked and diminished virtually every freedom and right guaranteed by the Constitution: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association, the right to privacy, the right not to self incriminate, the right to counsel, the right to speedy trials, the right to fair trials, the right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment, even the right to be set free after acquittal! .... the President has broken laws he swore to uphold, and declined to enforce laws that he has himself signed into existence.
We may well face the very nightmare that the founders of this Republic tried to prevent from happening--a tyranny worse than anything they had seen under King George III. Because, unlike then, the technology of today can bring virtually any individual to his knees: from implantable GPS monitoring chips, ID cards, cameras and tracking devices on every street corner, iris scans, the power of Government to perform unlimited wire taps and email espionage on its citizens, to the present day reality of super-computers with vast databases of information about each and every one of us.
If we "win" the "War on Terror," yet lose our freedoms, we will have lost everything.
(*) Tal Brooke is the President & Chairman of SCP, Inc, a Berkeley-based research organization and think-tank. A member of the Society of the Cincinnati, he has authored nine books and his work has been recognized in Marquis Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in America as well as The International Who's Who of Authors. He has won three first place EPA awards in a nationwide contest. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Princeton, Tal Brooke has spoken at Cambridge (8 times), Oxford (4 times), Princeton, Sorbonne, Berkeley, the University of Virginia, and the University of Edinburgh.
Published on April 1st, 2008
© Copyright 2008 by SCP, Inc.
Reprinted from original publication with Permission
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