Site menu:

 

April 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-6

   

A Commentary on the Bill of Rights

   

Part 7

   

 

It is at this point where our view can become clouded because these government entities themselves have it within their power to create still other entities, which can beget still others, etc.  What all of these newly minted entities have in common is that none of them are greater than the entity that created them.  They are less than, and subject to, all the entities that created them and thus preceded them in the corporate chain.  One of the entities that the state creates is known as a 501c.3 nonprofit corporation.  The purpose of this particular corporation is to obtain a tax-exempt status in the eyes of all those greater, or superior, entities in the corporate chain that came before it.  This is a status of “privilege” granted by a superior entity to an inferior entity.  To first obtain and then continue to maintain this tax-exempt status, it is necessary for the inferior entity to abide by all the conditions set forth by the superior entity.  That is, the inferior entity must subjugate itself to the superior entity.

 

Right now you are probably asking yourself how any of this can be pertinent to the subject at hand.  The answer is that almost all of our mainline churches have taken upon themselves a 501c.3 corporate tax-exempt legal status.  (Ask your local clergyman.)  For 30 pieces of silver, they have traded the superior status they once enjoyed as a sovereign church for the inferior status of a corporate entity.  They have allowed themselves to become subject to the laws of man, in the form of government.  Again, this is clearly not their intent; but it is the de facto reality.

 

The voluntary assumption by the churches of a corporate tax-exempt legal status and financial dependence on government unquestionably leads to involuntary behavior on their part.  The fear of losing their tax-exempt status and the government largess they have come to depend upon to finance their good works and charity induces churches to both action and inaction, as the case may be, which is contrary to the tenets of their religions.  Examples would include the acceptance of the politically correct grant of the same benefits of marriage to nontraditional partners as is customarily granted to traditional marriage partners and reticence to speak out from the pulpit in direct opposition to political candidates who support the murder of the unborn.  Dependence on government begets subservience to government for churches just as surely as it does for individuals.

 

The current state of relations between church and state promotes the violation of the commandment:  “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.”  The churches and people of this age can no more successfully serve two masters than those of ages past.  Today, the national government has seemingly become the master of all it surveys, including our churches; yet our churches are politely quiet and compliant.  Though I hesitate to say so, this could be construed to be perfidy on their part.  This nation was established as a nation of laws, those laws being in conformity with“the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and upon the premise that the government was to be a servant of the people, not their master.  It would appear something has gone horribly wrong.  This is what the Lord said:

 

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.  They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.  From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day, I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.  Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed; they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.  When you speak all these words to them, they will not listen to you either; when you call to them, they will not answer you.  Say to them: This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction.  Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.  (Emphasis added).  (Jeremiah, 7:24.28). 

 

How ironic it is.  How blind we are.  Whenever there is a discussion these days concerning the relationship that exists between church and state, the focus of the conversation invariably shifts to the effect religion has on the state.  We just can’t have religion affecting the state.  It won’t do.  We find ourselves suffering in the state of apoplexy.  Our attention and concentration have been completely diverted from the reality of the situation.  The reality is that the state doesn’t just affect religion; it has come to almost completely dominate it.  And it is my personal opinion that if we persist in not perceiving this state of affairs and remaining in a state of inaction, the state will very quickly become anti-religion.  The mere act of dominating religion is perfidy. 

 

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”  Of all of our rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it seems the Court has provided the staunchest defense for these.  We should be most grateful.  Without the ability to communicate freely, especially in political (and politically incorrect) matters, our liberties would not last long.

 

Unfortunately, even this is changing.  With the appearance of “hate crimes,” we have begun to prosecute persons for their beliefs as well as their actions.  In fact, the penalties for hate crimes are greater than for the same crime without the determination of hate coinciding with it; therefore, the remainder of the penalty must be for their hate (belief) — a belief with which we do not agree.  Our contempt for their belief may be justified; but if we are only going to protect speech with which we do agree, the right to free speech is abridged.  As a consequence, at times the Courts may even have to protect some “speech” that we, as individuals, may find it questionable to do so.  Be that as it may, this is much better than starting down the path of diminishing these rights.  But isn’t the same thing true of all of our other rights?

 

Why should the Courts be more solicitous of these rights than of the others?  My personal opinion is that, for better or for worse, the Courts are sometimes swayed by public opinion.  On these two particular matters, “we the people” are probably more of one mind than on any of the others, and our word and deed has made the Courts well aware of this.  In turn, the Courts act accordingly.  It seems then that it is up to us, “we the people,” to impress upon the Courts that we are no less solicitous for all of our other rights. 

 

Some possible actions on our part might include writing letters to the editor to inform other citizens of our concerns, being careful to only support individuals for elected office that share our disposition as to these rights, supporting organizations that work to enhance these rights, and, as a last resort, agitating for the impeachment of those justices and elected officials who refuse to pay due heed to all of our unalienable rights.  These actions are not only permissible . . . they are our duty.  And if we would maintain all or our rights, they are necessary.

 

The First Amendment also states, “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  The whole of this series of essays is written for the express purpose of pointing out some areas where I believe our rights and liberties are being diminished.  This would be of little consequence if at the end of this enterprise we have no method to affect a remedy.  Our Founders knew from personal experience that from time to time this would be necessary.  This short clause of the First Amendment is our gateway to reestablishing the Constitution as it was intended by them to be understood.  We must act.  Some modes of action were suggested, and it was stated that those actions were permissible.  Indeed, they are our right.  If we are to reclaim our rights and the construction of the Constitution, as our Founders understood them, it is fitting that we petition government for a redress of our grievances in these matters.  If you leave this obligation to others, it is unlikely to be accomplished to your satisfaction, and the consequences of our inaction will befall our children and grandchildren.

 

   

 

Click here for pdf copy of this Policy Study

 

All of our publications are available for sponsorship.  Sponsoring a publication is an excellent way for you to show your support of our efforts to defend liberty and define the proper role of government.  For more information, please contact Public Interest Institute at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org