We participated in two activities today that remind us of the widespread attacks on the Constitution currently underway in our country.
In 1777, a committee, which included Thomas Jefferson, met in Fredericksburg to revise and rewrite Virginia’s laws. They produced a document, known as the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which later served as the basis for the guarantee of religious freedom in the Bill of Rights. In 1932, the monument was erected to recognize this great achievement. The monument is located near Washington Ave. and Pitt St. in Fredericksburg.
Today, August 1, marks the day that the HHS Mandate takes effect, demanding that Catholics and others must now violate their deeply held religious beliefs or face persecution, and prosecution. This morning members of local Knights of Columbus councils and others gathered at the monument to bear witness to their faith and to mark this egregious attack on the Constitution by the Obama administration. I was excited to speak with folks at the gathering who were not Catholic, but who were there to protest the president's attack on First Amendment rights.
It's interesting to note that the mayor of Chicago welcomed the rabid anti-gay leader of the Nation of Islam to the city with open arms. This belies his claim that the indignation towards Chic-fil-A is a "gay rights" issue, when in fact we are facing an anti-Christian and anti-Constitution issue.
I'm reminded of how the Nazis in 1930s Germany ordered a boycott of Jewish owned stores. Now in 2012 Democrats are calling for a ban on a Christian-owned business. A government entity attacking a private business for the personal beliefs of the owner was a scary proposition in Germany, and it's just as offensive today. I even saw a call on Facebook for slashing customer tires at Chic-fil-A today from the "tolerant" left.
Both of these events bring a focus on the First Amendment to the Constitution. These are not specifically issues for Catholics, nor are they "gay rights" or partisan issues. What we are facing today are direct attacks on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech, the very foundations of our way of life. There's a reason our founding fathers placed these rights first. When the First Amendment falls, the rest will go easily. The forces behind these attacks won't stop with just some our natural, God-given rights, they'll deny more and more until we are nothing more than slaves of the state.
We must be resolute in standing up against these assaults with every fiber of our being. The government is not the grantor of these rights. Government is supposed to be the protector of rights. When the government begins taking away what is not its to grant, then freedom is lost. Freedom lost is not easily regained.