First Amendment Considerations – Free Speech – Freedom of Religion – Free Press – Freedom of Assembly – Right to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances

Copyright October 28, 2015 by Thomas R. Abdow, J.D.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution contains many “rights”.

Among the most important to all Americans are its guarantees of Free Speech, Religious Liberty, a Free Press, the Right to Peaceably Assemble and to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances.

Why include such “rights” in the founding documents of this nation?

Why does this country, America, or the United States, have freedoms and liberties that so many others do not?

To find the answer, you have to be something of a history aficionado, and you have to be willing to learn from the past.

“Learn from the past” you say?

Yes, Indeed!

When the founders of our great Liberty loving nation set out to write a permanent set of rules by which the nation could be governed, and by which the People of our nation would retain ultimate control and say over their government, they had just come off of a bloody war, The American Revolution.  Everyone probably knows this.

But why talk about this when it happened in 1776, some approximately 250 years ago?

The answer is not easy, but is obvious.  The blood and treasure spent by Patriots of that day, to secure Liberty and basic human rights for all future generations to enjoy, came at such a high price and against such amazingly difficult odds of their winning this “Revolution”, that the founders believed, as do many Americans today, that some of the most significant battles of the American Revolution were unwinnable, except through divine intervention.

Some may ask, why does a lawyer, in the year 2015, state such things?

Well, as an attorney, and prior to being an attorney, and in situations where I worked for the state or was a member of the military, I swore an oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.  Even before making such solemn oaths, as a junior high school student, I had one of greatest American Social Studies / History / Government teachers ever to be called “teacher”.   He taught Government, Constitutional Rights, History and allowed free debate, but always guided the class by showing principles, law and Constitutional provisions that explained, in the context of world history and particularly American History and Freedom, why it was so essential to understand and fully exercise our rights as Free Citizens, while learning to protect Liberty for the future.

What the heck does that have to do with this discussion some might ask?

A lot.

In fact, it is central to why I get up each day, deal with client matters, listen to politicos claiming what they will or will not do and what they will or will not support in America, and I have to tell you dear reader, Liberty is as much at stake today as it was 250 years ago.   Why?   I’ll let you answer that one yourselves, in your own manner, by your own analysis.

Still, what’s the big deal about the First Amendment, and in particular, Religious Liberty???????

Here’s what I believe, based upon my historical analysis and general knowledge of founding documents, that is the Declaration of Independence (which most of you have heard of), the Constitution of the United States, and the ever-present and decidedly important Bill of Rights:

The Patriots who fought for Liberty almost a quarter millennium ago, knew how hard it was just to raise food or otherwise provide for and keep their families safe and warm, this when there was almost no running water as we know it, no electricity, no “health care plan”, no central heating, no police force as we know it, and almost none of the other benefits and luxuries we have today.   Only the most advanced thinkers or visionaries had any idea of what the future, some 250 years in the distance, might actually look like, and even they did not have an accurate idea.

So why Religious Liberty, why is it often referred to as the FIRST FREEDOM?

The Patriots, (who were actually not a majority of the populace at the time), knew that in order to have the Right to worship or not as they might personally choose, and to keep that precious freedom safe with all our other liberties; they would have to win the right by fighting for it.  They realized this reality because King of England (Dictatorial, Despotic Leader), gave the Patriots no other choice, given the King’s decisions leading to the Boston Massacre and the long train of other tyrannical atrocities.

Doesn’t that sound “Revolutionary” though?   Well of course, …that’s why it was called a Revolution.

So this First Amendment thing, why Free Speech, Assembly, Free Press, Religious Freedom, Right to Assemble and to Petition Government for Redress of Grievances?   Again, let’s think about it a bit more.

The King of England was for all intents and purposes a tyrant.  A Despot.   A Dictatorial, Pompous and Vengeful Leader.

Is that the kind of leader Americans would ever want?      I will answer my own question with an emphatic  NO!

So part religious freedom, and all this other stuff?

Right.  The colonists petitioned the King of England to attempt to get him to agree to their right to conduct business the way they wanted, without repressive taxes or unfair rules or laws, and especially without the effects of crippling taxation, and especially against the government demanding new taxation without “REPRESENTATION”.   History and records of the time show the colonists had unreasonable, too large taxes and tariffs forced upon them, literally taking the food out of their families’ mouths, all by the “Executive – like” actions of the King and his corrupt Parliament.  Does anyone recognize any similarities between what has been happening in America, slowly, but surely during these last 40 years?   Do we now suffer from over-taxation and over regulation and over-interference by government in almost every aspect of our lives?  Yes has to be the answer for anyone who looks beyond the glossy surface presented by the already bought and paid for media in many areas.  Just look at the outrageous bias of the media in recent presidential debates.  The tactics employed by so-called moderators or “journalists” were and are disgraceful.  I can speak from experience as I have been a journalist in the past, both for the United States Coast Guard and for private newspaper publishers.    When the media was a truly “FREE PRESS” as protected under the First Amendment, there was a time and place for editorial opinion, and it was designated as just that, OPINION, not fact as it is represented to be today.  The lines of journalism and editorial opinion or manipulation have been blurred so completely that American Citizens are at risk of being so seriously misled by their own media outlets, that they may never know the truth about government if they do not demand accountability.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy knew the importance and value of a totally Free Press under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and just some 10 days before his gruesome assassination, (not by Lee Harvey Oswald by the way), followed his nationwide speech about Liberty and the First Amendment, and that the Press was the only private entity, the only business protected by the Constitution, and that he, as President of these United States, expected that the media would investigate, report upon and hold accountable the government, and even the Presidency, because, as Kennedy stated, based upon the Constitutional genius of the Founders, that the Press should be inspired to keep the American People fully informed about their government and their leaders, because, to paraphrase President Kennedy “A fully informed American Public will always make the right decision”.    Truer words about protecting Liberty and Government of, by and for the People have not been spoken by any President since.

So when the colonists and Patriots made their appeals to the King of England, did he listen?   The answer again is:  NO!

He believed that all of America was his personal property or that of the royal family.  All of the assets and future productivity, profit and treasure to be made from America were his, and no one had better question his authority!  That it all belonged to the British Crown was what he believed to be his destiny and his right as King, and he would damn well see to it, at whatever cost, that no one, absolutely no one was left standing or alive who might question his Kingly authority.   Sounds pretty tough doesn’t it?    Not so different from over-stepping executives and governmental despots in many situations around the world, including right here in America today.   If you don’t think so, then stand on the sidelines and let it all unfold before you.  However, this statement comes with a warning:  If you wait too long, you will not be able to reverse the trends downward that weigh against your personal liberties, your freedom to work and engage in free enterprise, your rights to exercise and speak about your religious beliefs without retaliation, your essential liberties, too many to list, will be effectively lost in the socialist adoption shuffle.  …Now getting back to the American Patriots and the English King…

Well, as some of you may know, the British Crown had the power, enforced by the most powerful and well equipped military known to the world.  He had seemingly almost endless riches to fund his Repressive Atrocities against colonists and particularly Patriots.   So why take the King on?  Maybe the better question is why challenge any despot, big or small?

The answer is simple:

LIBERTY!

The Patriots and the colonists who helped them behind the scenes, (in ways most of us will never imagine having to do), knew full well that if they lost the battles or the Revolutionary War, that they would be “drawn, quartered, had their entrails cut out and burned”  or at a minimum, hung by the neck until dead.

There is a famous Revolutionary quote that, to paraphrase, goes something like, “We had better stand together, or we will certainly hang separately”.   All Very True, All Very Real, All Very Serious.

So what of their requests for the King to allow them certain basic rights and freedoms, didn’t they “owe” their lives, the proceeds of their labors, even their freedoms to the great King?

Answer:  NOT ACCORDING TO THE COLONISTS AND PATRIOTS OF 1776!

They realized that after their requests went unanswered, except with the King’s “executive” imposition of more and more rules, more and more restrictions, more and more controls over their lives, and more and more taxes, this being a very “long train of abuses”, which began subtly enough, but which increased and became ever more egregious and intolerable, and which were designed by the King of England and his Parliament, to “subject (the colonists) to absolute despotism”

The Patriots knew it was finally time to break the bonds with England and her King, and to eliminate the controls that the English King held over them, by further establishing their own nation, their own, self-government, and they were willing to do this by pledging their own Lives, their own Fortunes and ultimately their Sacred Honor.

To fight this horrid dictator in the form of the King of England with his army and navy meant either ultimate Freedom and Liberty or ultimate destruction.

The Patriots had a choice:  Submit to absolute despotism, or risk ultimate destruction for LIBERTY!

The Patriots and their families knew that not only would these brave Minutemen (the Patriots who were self-armed and ready at a moment’s notice to defend their new country and their newly self- Declared Liberty against tyrannical decrees, orders or atrocities)  and those brave liberty loving soldiers who followed would have to be willing to fight to the death for Liberty;  but knew that the families who remained behind, were at certain risk of being destroyed in the process if the Revolution did not succeed.  Tyranny, they knew, snuffs out dissent or anyone related to dissenters.  We have seen this develop with every despot, every tyranny, every socialist / communist regime the world has been forced to deal with.  So as the families said their good-byes, and watched their husbands, fathers and sons march off to battles in places unknown, against foes that they knew were well equipped, well trained and determined; they knew not whether they would ever see these Patriotic men return home again, nor did they know what was in store for those who waited at home, should the Revolution fail.

Talk about bravery!  Talk about the highest risk!  Talk about the highest gift to those generations who followed!!!

As history points out, and as we all know full well, the Revolution did succeed.  The Winds of Liberty Blew Across This Land, and Still Do Today!

When the Patriots defeated the most powerful military on earth, the reality was much loss of life, many left fatherless, widowed, homeless, forlorn and forever scarred by the battles and losses.  Was it all worth it?   YES!

For the first time ever on this earth, men and women were entitled to enjoy and exercise what were deemed to be  “inalienable rights”.   Among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Also, very important, was a right called “Due Process”   I will discuss this particular right soon enough.

Getting back to that “inalienable rights” thing.  What does that mean?

It means that the rights demanded under the Declaration of Independence and won so dearly at such a cost,  and which are so completely protected by the work of the Founders in pounding out the language and letter of the original and unadulterated U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights (or the First Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution); were very special rights, because they were so very seriously won at the cost of much sacrifice of Patriotic Blood and Fortune.

These inalienable rights were not special or precious solely because of the Patriots who sacrificed their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to win them and secure Liberty in the face of tyranny.

Indeed, these unique rights, (that is unique as compared to those of any country, any government and any nation in all the world since that time), were deemed to be and are today “inalienable” because of how they were created, endowed and given to Americans.

THE EXAMPLE OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE WITH LIBERTY AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS, has proven by example, that these rights and liberties are so important and essential to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,  that they should be given to all men and women the world over.

In fact, these rights are a literal part of all men and women as human beings, as people, as living entities who walk this earth, and it is why, if given a chance or a choice, People always seek Liberty over Tyranny!

Unfortunately, for most of humanity today and historically, they have only seen glimpses of just some of the rights and liberties that we as Americans enjoy daily.    We may never forget that the rest of the world is essentially subject to despotic, over-puffed tyrants or regimes whose leaders or followers would kill you just to look at you.    Especially if you dissent.

These rights are called “inalienable” because they are not rights granted by any government or king or president to the People, but are pre-existing rights, embodied in each and every human being.

These inalienable rights are a sweet, blessed legacy left to us by those who stood and refused to give up their Arms and Powder to the despotic King’s forces (interestingly similar to Anti-Liberty Politician’s demands for more Gun Control or Gun Confiscation of today, all in the false name of “safety”).

Those who first stood at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts and who fought the long battles of the American Revolution and all the wars and battles in which Patriotic Americans have stood on the side of Liberty ever since; in short, the Patriots who would not allow themselves to become “disarmed” by the King of England and his military, nor by any government in the almost two and a half centuries which followed, deemed these rights to be “inalienable” because they were bestowed upon mankind by their Creator, that is, by God.    “Whoa! Hold them there horses!”,  I can hear the naysayers now!

Listen, it’s your right, that is your protected inalienable right under the Constitution, to believe in something, or if you don’t believe in anything at all, but remember, it is the U.S. Constitution and Freedom of Religion which protect your right to not believe anything I have written here, or to believe in God as you may choose.  It is also your right, as it is mine, for you to talk about your beliefs, disagree, or state your opinions…it’s that pesky Free Speech thing again now isn’t it?    Well, yes.

I would be absolutely remiss however to forget another Patriot, who was actually a Revolutionary Ware Hero and veteran.

His name was Daniel Shays.  After the first American Revolution that we all know about in 1776, there was a second, smaller, but just as powerful Revolution.   Daniel Shays Rebellion.   It is the combination of the first American Revolution and Daniel Shays Rebellion and similar post American Revolution uprisings that have given birth to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and of course, as a result, our current, INALIENABLE RIGHTS to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Assembly and Association, a Free Press and the Right to Petition Government for the Redress of Grievances.       I promise that in another article I will talk extensively, and hopefully introduce you to the true American Patriot, Daniel Shays of Massachusetts.

For now, how about you doing a little research into Daniel Shays and Shays Rebellion.  I believe that if you love your Liberty, you will enjoy what you find.  Now, another question, do you think anywhere in your public school system, the history of Daniel Shays has ever been taught?  I’ll get to this question later.

So what about the Religious, Free Speech, Free Press, Free Assembly & Association and Petitioning stuff?

By now you may know from your own knowledge of history that the colonists, Patriots and Founding Fathers of the United States knew that they were not free to exercise their religious beliefs under the rule of ‘Merry Olde England’ under the King’s laws and mandates.  This is why the Pilgrims first came to America, braving the fierce Atlantic Ocean on small wooden ships, with limited provisions and not knowing where they would actually end up or under what conditions they would find themselves at the end of their journey, or even if they would survive.

Again, they had the knowledge that they could only be free to believe what they wanted to believe and worship God in the manner in which they chose if they left the comforts of their homeland, and set out across the ocean to find a new homeland.

To many Americans today, this is the only homeland they will ever know, and they will not leave it for anyone, and they will particularly NOT leave America in the face or religious persecution or socialist influences that are at work challenging they and their children’s Constitutional Religious Freedoms and their Free Speech rights.  In fact, this is why the First Amendment guarantees Religious Freedom. It is so that the People can be and are guaranteed Freedom from interference, infringement, invasion or impediment to the Free Exercise of their Religious Liberties.  This is why SOCIALISM will never win in America.  Period.   Unless the People are duped that is.  Can the average American Citizen be duped by socialism which tries to undermine their Constitutional Rights and their way of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and tries to ultimately subject them to “absolute despotism”?   This question is for you to answer.  Maybe some help is in order.

You may still find video interviews and presentation on YouTube, (unless someone has required them to be deleted), made about and by a former Russian KGB Agent who defected to the United States and received Political Asylum.  He explains how socialism is introduced to a society through the younger generation and the schools in particular.  He also, in the early 1980’s, warns all Americans who love American Freedom and their Liberty, to immediately demand changes so that the socialist attack, from inside of America, will not succeed.  At the time he made his statements, (from his experiences of taking over the governments of several nations or nation states by subversive activities on behalf of the former Soviet Union), that is in the early 1980’s, he had then warned about the dangers to Liberty of the socialist movement in America, and how it appears good at first, therefore People are fooled, and by the time it has full reign over your government, it will be TOO LATE, because of demoralization, divisionist tactics and brainwashing.  He explains what has happened and what is coming, and without proper education, how the People are duped.  He also warns about DESTABILIZATION!   Please pay very close attention to what this former KGB Agent says:

Now do you think an Attorney at Law in the United States of America has the Liberty to so Speak?  I do, no matter what the alleged powers that be may say.  Why?   Because I am an American Patriot first, a Citizen Second and because I support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America as is my sworn oath and solemn duty, made when I was sworn in as a lawyer and counselor at law at Faneuil Hall in Boston, and as was my sworn duty as a former service member of the United States Coast Guard.  The “support and defend the U.S. Constitution” oath doesn’t just end when active duty service ends, or a career change happens, or we retire.  It continues, because True Liberty under a Constitutional Republic is something that is first internal, a part of the human spirit, which then becomes external in every day life.  It is also eternal, True Liberty, that is!

So getting back to the problems of the pilgrims, the colonists, the Patriots and the Founding Fathers, (and yes, Daniel Shays himself in his own special way); they all knew that despots throughout the ages, were intolerant toward RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.   In fact, they knew that tyrants and despots throughout known history always attacked Religious Liberties first, this as a way not only to keep the people in control and to remove hopes of strength and deliverance they might have, but also, more insidiously to keep them functionally “illiterate”.  Most of the tyrants and dictators in the last century have arisen under socialist or communist inspired ideologies and regimes.  That is absolute fact!  Most of the killing of innocents and religious killings as well as genocidal purges occurred under the heavy boot of socialist and communist regimes.

Are you following me here?

Today, we see many in powerful positions, some public and some private, who state openly that the People have rights, but who behind closed doors do everything in their power to abrogate and violate those rights!  We have even seen news reports from which a Citizen can determine that some national level politicians and appointees have been warming up to the idea of favoring one religion over another, and attacking the rights of one religious or political group in favor of another.

So ever wonder about the separation of church and state and what that means?   It means first and foremost that government must not interfere with the People’s individual rights to exercise Religious Freedoms.

So why did the first significant American schools teach, as part of their lessons, the pages of biblical scripture?  They knew that there needed to be a separation of Church and State as they had just won their Religious Liberty from the English King.  So why teach the bible in school in the face of Religious Liberty?

The Answer is simple:   They had the freedom to do so.  The colonists, now free American Citizens, not only considered the Bible to be the divinely inspired word of God, the one true God who to them was actually the one who created the heavens and the earth, and who also, as burned recently into their minds by the terrors of war, actually delivered them from the despotic control of the King of England…

These newly free Americans also knew and believed that the Bible contained within its pages much great writing, enormous wisdom and ways to seek and obtain many blessings, both spiritually and physically.  This is what they knew and believed and what many Americans know and believe today; this in spite of the attacks on Religious Liberty by certain segments of American society and politics!      You must be wondering, does this lawyer think we should teach scripture in the schools?

What matters more here is the fact that I think you have the right to decide individually what you know and believe.  This is part of the search for truth that most people face in life.  It is part of self-determination and it is an integral part of the inalienable rights that protect your rights of self-government.   This is why there are private educational entities and private schools that allow and encourage religious instruction for children, teenagers and adults alike.  You have the choice, and the government does not have the choice of telling you what to think, know or believe.  The free exchange of ideas, even sometimes radical appearing ideas, so long as those ideas are not designed to to encourage illegal acts or violent acts, are fully protected speech under the First Amendment.  It goes much deeper than this one sentence explanation though, and the volumes of law reports, case reporters, legal briefs, opinions and dissertations about Free Speech can fill entire libraries several times over.   So why so much about the First Amendment?   Didn’t the Founding Fathers make it short and sweet?

It is true that the Founders did write the Constitution so well, so expertly, and with a TOTAL  LACK OF WHAT SOME CALL “SLEAZE OR LOOPHOLE” LANGUAGE, that to some of us, we can hardly believe how distorted the interpretations of the Constitution have become by some politicians and lawyers who apparently have no respect for the rights embodied therein.

Truly, if you want to understand the Constitution, READ IT.   It is abundantly clear, and will probably amaze you with its incredibly well organized, far-seeing, even visionary look into the future of LIBERTY, that is of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.   Please do read it as well as the Bill of Rights if you love your Liberty, and read it to your children or encourage them to do so.

What about your school system?  Do you think they teach the U.S. Constitution and true American History today?   Have you ever written a letter to your school or school system curriculum board to inquire about such things? You may be utterly surprised, either happily or in a disturbing way depending upon who serves on your School Committee, as School Administrators, Teachers, etc., and where their political leanings and agendas lie.   Notice that last word.  We all want to see truth, not lies, don’t we?  Maybe most of us do.   So ask away and see what the responses are.   I caution you though, the responses may not be forthcoming, nor what you expect.  You may even be ignored.  Yes, ignored.  What about your youngsters in school.  Ever wonder how they may be affected by your asking?  Well the Constitution protects your rights to so inquire.

The socialists would not want you to know what they are doing, behind the scenes, in some of our schools.   It depends where you live, who is “in charge” and whether they are Constitutional Law supporters or are a member of the class who loves dis-information and mis-information and a watering down of History to seem “politically correct”.   I have to ask, politically correct, by whose standards?   If those standards result on a direct hit at or attack on your Constitutional Rights, than I respectfully submit that they are entirely “POLITICALLY INCORRECT” but not in the way that some who stand for Liberty may seem.   In short, there is “political in-correctness” of the type that Liberty loving individuals and Constitutional supporting politicians and authorities engage in, and this is all good.  Then there is the kind of egregious, insidious  ” p o l i t i c a l l y    i n c o r r e c t n e s s ”  that is just a cover for Anti-Constitutional, Subversive activities and individuals, who are trying to sell your children, and some adults, a wholesale brainwashing that Free Enterprise, Freedom of Religion and Free Speech are bad, and should only be reserved for the “politically correct” and “politically polite” who are usually handpicked by one politician or minor despot or another, all at the continuing challenge to and expense of your Constitutional Rights.      Yes, this is what I believe, because i have personally and professionally witnessed it in action.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3nXvScRazg

So how does one describe this better?   Well earlier, I referred to a former KGB Agent who defected to the United States and who gave Americans dire warnings about the long term effects of complacency and of substituting “safety” for “liberty”.

Maybe now would be a good time to take a break from reading this article and look at his videos if you can still find them on-line.  Here is just one of several links to Mr. Bezmenov:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3nXvScRazg

But why would an attorney practicing law in the year 2015 bring up all this history when to many, the Bible is termed as “outdated” today?   Why would a lawyer from Massachusetts, (one of the most liberal leaning states in the United States),  discuss the founding principles and history of this great nation, and make such a big deal over the U.S. Constitution?

The answer again is simpleIt is not just about Religious Liberty, even though I believe maintaining absolutely our  Religious Liberty freedoms and that they are essential to all freedoms which follow.  And yes, it is about being able to meet with other Citizens, associate with whom you wish,  and to talk and discuss freely the matters of the day with other Citizens, (whether or not you agree with their view);  Yes, it is about being able to pick up the newspaper or listen to a report on the news that is accurate, true and not distorted or manipulated by the agendas of the sponsors or the government; and Yes, it is about having true Internet Freedom, not an internet that is censored like in socialist, communist or dictatorial regimes (and today more than ever, the right to Free Speech on the Internet is essential to Liberty and to spreading the word about Liberty under attack, as well as dispelling the manipulative and deceiving messages of those who hate Liberty and favor socialism and totalitarianism over Freedom.  Recall that in recent years, major political leaders have taken shots at Free Speech, have attempted to “qualify” the Free Speech Media only as those media outlets which somehow meet governmental standards and definitions, thereby attempting to censor, stifle, defeat and even criminalize dissenting opinion or informational websites, including blogs and free speech writings which are critical of government, (with one major politician even stating in his first term that “Americans don’t need this much information”).  Yes, it is not about just being an attorney with an opinion, or who knows something about history, in fact it is less about me than anything else.

So what then:

Well the answer sounds simple, but is it enormous.   Absolutely E N O R M O U S !

The answer is the Right to Petition Government for the Redress of Grievances!

Without that right, without your being able to exercise that right and to do so without fear of retaliation, or black listing or backlash from governmental officials, agencies or other enforcement arms of the government, (or from the school systems which have grown to be such a large part of the government, or from individuals or agencies working for or providing contracted for “services”, “safety” or “security” for or on behalf of the government (including the myriad of “non-profits” largely funded by and which are nothing more than an extension of the long arm of the government, put in place specifically to displace Free Enterprise and a Free Market and to ultimately bring more regulation, less freedom and to cause ultimate irreparable damage to the American Free Enterprise system);   your Liberty would quite simply be an EMPTY, meaningless thing.   I’ll repeat that for emphasis:  Your Liberty will become and empty, Meaningless thing without truly protected rights to petition the government for redress of grievances without fear of retaliation or retribution being taken against you or your family, associates, business partners, employees, neighbors or friends.

Today at least, your Liberty still is not empty nor is it meaningless.  But for how long?     If you fail to appreciate and exercise your many important Liberties, or to do your part to continue to secure Liberty for the future by being active in government and in being critical of government when necessary, or by taking the time to file those appeals or make your grievances known, or by speaking out in public about what is wrong with government, the schools, and the handling of major world issues today; in other words, unless you actually exercise all of your “inalienable rights” and do so with strength and proudly, the naysayers, many of them socialists, will swoop in and continue to diminish your rights, and ultimately destroy your Liberty.

Realize that you have to have some bravery in you to do so.   Remember that word, bravery, for it is not only something that soldiers and war heroes must have.  Bravery is required of all who love Liberty.  It is necessary for you to engage in the political process, and without Bravery, you will fail.   Some people believe they have nothing to lose, and nothing to fear, but fear itself.  By standing for you Liberty and that of your family, friends and neighbors, you show just how brave you can be.

Retaliation and retribution are real things.  That is why in its wiser and more forward thinking moments, the Congress and Senate, as well as most Presidents, will act to provide laws that protect Citizens from Retaliation and Retribution because they exercised their rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States or of the states themselves.

Some of these laws, most well recognized by many, include legislative enactments like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  Others include Wage and Hour Laws and Regulations, Consumer Protection Laws and even Whistleblower statutes.  As you may know, there are many, many more.   Remember, unless you seek enforcement and protection of your rights when needed, and sometimes just exercise your rights because by doing so you protect them for you and your progeny; these precious rights can be undermined by the haters of Liberty and Freedom in as short a time as one generation.  Your rights, though you may not want to admit it or hear about it, are under incessant attack now.   Did you know that?

Now what about redressing grievances with your government?   Can you do it alone?  Well, yes and no.

There are some things you are probably better off doing alone, and an excellent example of this can be found in the following video of a seventh grade student from Katy, Texas who “petitions” her town’s school board for a redress of grievances for the outright violation of her Religious Freedoms:

and see news report at:

There are also many rights the enforcement of which you may want to seek the help of zealous legal counsel, an attorney or lawyer to help you.

In short, the U.S. Constitution sets up a wonderful set of “checks and balances” that if we made our elected and appointed governmental officials obey, we would see little of the problems we face in America today.  OBEY!   Big word from a big shot? Hardly dear reader.   I only state what the U.S. Constitution says, and only what the Government, your own inherited, legacy of self-government, which was in fact set up to be a GOVERNMENT OF, BY & FOR THE PEOPLE, not a government of, by and for the governing class.   You are self-governed and you have a right to truthful, zealous representation, not only in Governmental offices, but in Court as well.  That is how it is supposed to be.   So what did the founders do to perpetuate such Liberty for future generations?

An important part of the system of Checks and Balances has not much to do with actual “checks” in the form of negotiable instruments (such as money orders, bank checks, personal, business or governmental checks).

It is more a series of intertwined safeguards of Liberty and Freedom, a guarantee to the self-governed that their Liberties MAY NOT BE INFRINGED UPON BY THOSE THEY ELECT OR WHO ARE APPOINTED BY THOSE THEY ELECT!   This is actually true, though it is almost never stated by anyone today.

As an aside, have you asked you child’s school curriculum committee just what they are teaching your kids about the U.S. Constitution, American History and Liberty? After seeing the video about the 7th Grade Texas student Jordan Wooley who bravely stood up for her own Religious Freedoms, would you be afraid to contact your school administrators or school board to get involved in curriculum questions?

If we become afraid to do so, especially because of those “aggressive types” who claim to be “politically correct” as they try to stifle or completely shut down our Free Speech, other First Amendment and other important Constitutional Rights; then we have already for all intents and purposes, lost those rights and liberties.

My advice:   Stand up and be heard!  …as the saying goes.

So government, rather than being so much about money as the media portrays it, (and though the “power of the purse” is a Constitutional power reserved to Congress to keep spendthrift leadership in check and ultimately to keep the powers of government in the hands of the PEOPLE, not the wealthy few or the banks or the monied corporations, or worse yet, the socialists);  the balances of power include, as you read further into the Constitution, a literally amazing system of government, including an exceptional Court system, which often works hard to continue to guarantee our Liberty.

But how might you ask?  How do the Courts, Judges and Lawyers work to protect LIBERTY?

Some of the most important words in the U.S. Constitution include that often stated but also often misunderstood phrase or clause about “DUE PROCESS”.      Due Process at its essential basic level means “Notice and an Opportunity to be Heard”.

It goes much deeper though and has many, many subtle nuances and variations depending upon the matter, this issue, the proceeding and what is at stake, again, being centered around those three major areas described in the first extremely all important document of freedom, the Declaration of Independence, and its declaration of inalienable God given rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Well Due Process involves Life, Liberty and Property, but couldn’t we say those three also significantly involve HAPPINESS?

The essential nature of the Due Process Clause is that it provides basic but also absolutely accurate guidance for the Courts, for attorneys and litigants, to be certain that people have a chance to be informed of claims or charges against them, and a chance to be heard or have a voice about such matters.

Add to this the rights to Jury Trial determinations, appointed counsel for indigent defendants, Rules of Evidence and Procedure, our great Sheriffs and Constables who perform the essential services of delivery of notices, summonses and other court papers, and who are sworn to be officers who PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, as are all Judges and Attorneys; and you have a system unlike any other on earth.

Even the courts of modern day ‘Merry Olde England’ cannot rival the United States Justice System.

So if you haven’t taken the time to read the First Amendment, and for that matter the Bill of Rights and the entire U.S. Constitution, you should.

You may see, if you take the time, and possibly take the time to read it several times, that it provides an amazing foundation and highly workable set of processes and safeguards for Liberty, Self-Government, Free Enterprise and ultmately, happiness.   So many of the rights and liberties that so many take for granted today are so blessedly protected by the wise words of the Founding Fathers.

But why were they so wise?

Some believe they just were.

Others believe that the Constitution is such an amazing work of legal draftmanship that it resulted from not only the genius and great gifts of the Patriots and Founders, but because they listened to their “constituents” the Citizens of these United States, including Revolutionary War Hero Daniel Shays of Massachusetts and many others like him.

Still others believe the Founders were divinely inspired, partly by the outcome of the Revolution and the overwhelming odds against winning the War of Liberty, and some just believe, as do I, that Inalienable Rights are a part of the heart and soul of mankind, given to them by their Creator, to be protected for all generations to come.

We still have Liberty enough to demand such rights, for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.

One last thought:    While you may be thinking about the many blessings of Liberty, and though you may not be a Veteran of the U.S. Military, do you know that you personally are responsible for maintaining your own Liberty, for making sure that your Constitutional Rights are not trod upon by over reaching individuals or officials?  Do you know that you have the same responsibility of the Patriots of old, and their families, that is to Guard Liberty for Future Generations?

It is said that the true flame of Liberty is kept alive from generation to generation by a very small group of people.  Are you a member of that group?   It is also said that America can only be destroyed from the inside…  and it can take as little as one generation of mis-information and incorrect teaching of our younger generation… to see tyranny rise uncontrolled!

Will you stand for your Liberty in your heart, mind and with your every breath if need be.   That was what the Patriots did so you and I could enjoy these gifts of Freedom!

If you have a question about Constitutional Rights, important individual rights or your rights as a business owner, or a particular problem that you may be facing; (or even if you would just like to send me a comment about this article); then please feel free to email me at abdowlaw@gmail.com.  

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