GUEST COMMENTARY: Our basic rights are under attack, daily


Are you tired of seeing and hearing the daily assault on our constitutional rights under the First Amendment of the U.s. Constitution? I am.

Let us be clear on exactly what the First Amendment says:

“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 informed U.S. citizen knows this Amendment was written to ensure that any and all U.S. citizens have the right to practice the religion of their choice and that no one religion would be imposed on anyone.

The First Amendment provides for the freedom of religion and the freedom from a single religion. It was written to prevent the “establishment of religion,” but not to prohibit the promotion of religion or the open encouragement of religious practices. Unfortunately, the ultra-liberal courts and ultra-liberal minority interests have distorted the true and intended meaning of the Amendment.

All too frequently, we hear of incidents like Janie who was told she could not wear a necklace with a cross on it, because it may offend someone in her class. Or Johnny, who was told he could not bow his head and say a prayer in silence over his lunch, because the school did not allow praying in school. Or mary, who was removed from her classroom after saying, “God bless You” after one of her classmates sneezed.

Most frequently, freedom of religion rights are being attacked relative to Christian religions. However, the “anti-religion” activists and atheists do not and will not limit their actions only to Christians. these highly vocal and active minority groups have extensive goals to remove religion from America.

Some of their activities and actions are obvious and overt. some are more subtle or covert, designed to undermine our basic rights and religious values. by assailing our history and traditions, these vocal minorities attack our religious rights and moral standards. some attacks are as open and as obvious as those by individuals and groups that attempt to remove the word “Christmas” from events and situations. It is both sad and misguided.

To a further extent, these activities become attacks on our freedom of speech and the principle of majority rule. these highly vocal minority groups, using behind the scenes maneuvers with community leaders, continue to insist that their agenda should prevail over the community’s majority view.

Those who stand up to maintain our religious rights, or freedom of speech, or to preserve our moral standards, are often branded as “bigots” or “racists” or even “anti-semitic.”

In the pursuit of a singular agenda, these groups attempt to gain credibility and personal protection by gathering a few like-minded individuals into a self-promoting and self- preserving group with a clever label like the “Diversity and Inclusiveness Group.” these myopic individuals push their individual agenda by dragging out old history of the La Jolla community to demonstrate incidents of prejudice, bigotry or discrimination. Naturally, they fail to note that today La Jolla is most diverse and inclusive in religion, in ethnicity and in race.

The world has changed and La Jolla has changed. take a look around and appreciate what this community stands for and its values. Let us not live in the past, and let us be grateful for who we are and what we have today. Let us not allow a few biased individuals to tear apart our wonderful community.

The silent majority cannot be silent when our basic rights are being attacked. As Edmund Burke stated, “evil will prevail when good men do nothing.”

— J. E. Ward, La Jolla resident

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