Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bill of Rights and Congressional Violations of the Constitution

If I had my way, people couldn't vote or even graduate from high school unless they could recite these words...

The first ten amendments to the US Constitution which were designed to protect our individual rights as citizens but which are at this very moment under very serious threat by the government that they are supposed to be limiting:

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

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.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

*Following is an excerpt of the actual text of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" which specifies that any institution of higher learning that receives funding from this "stimulus" program CANNOT use the money for improvement of any facilities that are used for religious study, worship, or other religious "missions". This is obviously a violation of the First Amendment which states "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]."

GREEN SCHOOL REQUIREMENT.—An institution of higher education receiving a subgrant under this section shall use not less than 25 percent of such subgrant to carry out projects for modernization, renovation, or repair that are certified, verified, or consistent with the applicable provisions of—
(A) the LEED Green Building Rating System;
(B) Energy Star;
(C) the CHPS Criteria;
(D) Green Globes; or
(E) an equivalent program adopted by the State or the State higher education agency.

(3) PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS.—No funds awarded under this section may be used for—
(A) the maintenance of systems, equipment, or facilities, including maintenance associated with any permissible uses of funds described in paragraph (1);
(B) modernization, renovation, or repair of stadiums or other facilities primarily used for athletic contests or exhibitions or other events for which admission is charged to the general public;
(C) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities
(i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or
(ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission; or
(D) construction of new facilities.


CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Rae Ann,

Your interpretation of the first amendment's establishment clause is ironic, since it has generally been interpreted to precisely forbid use of government funds for: i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or
(ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission; or

It was state support of "established churches" that led to Catholics burning Protestants and vice-versa, both burning Baptists, and all three murdering everybody else. for an introduction, see e.g.:
this, and this.

The word "establish" is being used here in a slightly different sense than is common today, but it was quite clear at the time of the adoption and hardly mysterious today.

Rae Ann said...

cip, you and your liberals try to pretend that the part about "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" doesn't exist or means something else. My point is that if a college/university uses this money to renovate a building that is used for *some* religious activities (and some smaller schools share facilities among departments like 'religious studies' along with history, etc), then they are likely to be told to either move the religious studies department or stop allowing the religious activities in "federally renovated" buildings, which, unless you are really naive, you would realize is interfering with the "free exercise" of religion.

By the way, there are cases of Muslim "public" schools that get all the regular federal funding as other public schools. If you are going to use *your* interpretation then you should be fighting against these things...

The modern idea about "separation of church and state" has been hijacked by angry and militant atheists to instill their own "religion of nonbelief" into all things "public." They are the ones who have shown absolutely no tolerance for freedom of religion or anything else.

And another thing, I am not too impressed with the things that "intellectuals" and "academics" tell us about anything these days.... Their track records for accuracy isn't looking good at all and I prefer to think for myself using my own "classical" education and reasoning. Like it or not, I do still have this freedom of thought, speech, and religion.

Anonymous said...

it refreshing to see that some of my "fellow AMERICAS", have yet to find fault on what is supposed to be upheld and remembered by all of us and not to be soon forgotten!

Anonymous said...