When you can’t even read the Constitution

I clearly hesitate to wade into arguments and battles that just can’t have any resolution in a public forum. They are also discussions I thoroughly like having in small groups or with individuals.

But when an argument is so poor that it causes me to almost throw my computer across a room, I need to say at least SOMETHING on the matter.

Gay marriage.

I will not say anything about it.

Except this.

This column gets something right… and wrong.

What it gets right: There is an obvious clash that has finally come to a head where “freedom of religion” clashes with “human rights” or “civil rights” and that just simply doesn’t end well, in my opinion.

What it gets wrong: A very dumb reading of the first amendment.

The column quotes a legal center from Harvard on the first amendment:

“While the First Amendment was intended to protect individual freedom of religion, speech and assembly, as well as a free press, corporations have begun to displace individuals as its direct beneficiaries. This ‘shift from individual to business First Amendment cases is recent but accelerating.’”

The First Amendment actually says this:

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.

The amendment itself does NOT delineate between “individual freedom of religion” and simple “freedom of religion.” It is a dissection by a think tank to get the amendment to shrink freedom of religion to the smallest possible point.

The clash between “freedom of religion” and “human rights” is at full boiling point right now.

Let’s just read the constitution fairly. That’s all I’m sayin’.

The Fallacy of 100 Percent Security

As an American, we are going through the embarrassment of a government that is actively violating our privacy and then saying things like, “If you’re not doing anything illegal, you shouldn’t be worried.”

The president then offered the explanation the other day that Americans can’t have 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy.

That’s true. But here’s the thing: you can’t have 100 percent of EITHER. The government is using this argument as a smokescreen. As Americans, we are giving up our rights to privacy all the time because we want to feel secure. The government readily plays on this fear. We need to realize that 100 percent security will only ever be a feeling and not a reality.

Until we realize we can’t have 100 percent of either, we can’t debate what balance we want. Until we wake up to the abuses power will continue to take away from us, they will gladly sell us the feeling of security to keep taking away our rights to privacy.

Why I Must be Prophetic

One of the tough lessons I am not learning very well over these past few years is the prophetic call of the Church. I can talk a good game, but I don’t act on it very well.

Confession time. I’m a political junkie. I try and avoid it here, but if you follow me on Facebook, I’m full of it. I am addicted to news. I’m not as addicted to talk radio, but I still read the news voraciously. My political opinions are fairly strong.

When I speak of the Church having a prophetic voice, I mean we should not tie ourselves to any political party. It’s easy for mainline churches to wag their fingers at conservatives for trying to hitch the evangelical wagon to the Republican Party. It’s not a lie. It’s the truth.

Yet, mainline churches consistently hitch their wagon to the Democratic Party and act sanctimonious. Give me a break. We’re all guilty as charged at some point in time!

That said, I used to have a belief that the voter had a voice. That belief has been eroding for the past several years. When I first moved to Minnesota, I could actually call my congressional representatives and get answers. Now, they won’t give me the time of day.

Here is why, and let’s be honest: I DON’T GIVE THEM ANY MONEY. If I did, it wouldn’t be in the range of say, MILLIONS of dollars. What it has come down to is this: If you don’t donate HEAVILY to a political cause, you have no voice. Period.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling only solidified that obvious fact. Make a note. Politicians will not even fake listening to “the people” anymore. They will make their appeals to corporations and labor unions. Why? Because those entities will have huge pots of money to throw at advertising to persuade us, the voters, as to who is right and who is wrong. It was stupid before. It’s about to get insane.

It’s sad for me, as an American. I used to call my congressional representatives with an expectation of being heard. Now, they don’t care. I can almost hear them filing their nails or checking their email while I am trying to talk to them about an upcoming vote. They don’t ask for my name, number, address, nothing.

So, I am being forced into the true understanding that we MUST act prophetically as the Church. It will matter so little in the shadow of the mountains of campaigns dollars being spent on advertising, but stand I must. Stand WE must, as the Church. We may not be heard, but that should not keep us from speaking if that is what the Lord is asking of us.