I just read this speech on religious freedom and wanted to post a link to it right away. This is a topic that I want to explore with greater detail soon. Dallin H. Oaks is an Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and also a former justice of Utah State Supreme Court. Any person, of any faith, who values religious freedom should read this speech.
I'm thinking that perhaps I should rename the blog, or start another one. Does it really matter what I call it? As any reader can see, Constitutional issues and politics dominate my thoughts right now. Two of my favorite classes in college were taught by Dr. Dennis Dorin and both focussed on Constitutional law and the Supreme Court. I have always had a keen interest in history and politics. As a young boy I would read about world events with fascination. When I try to delve into my earliest memories, there are two things that I have always believed and known to be true. First that God is real, He lives and He is mindful of us. Second, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness... From the time I first heard these words, they matched the values in my heart, and I have known that this country is founded upon true principles of personal freedom.
While much can probably be said about the education that I received in rural North Carolina in the early 1970s, one of the greatest gifts I received was from Mr. Ronnie Benton who taught, among other things, US History in the 7th and 8th grades. Mr. Benton spent several weeks with our class reading the U.S. Constitution, along with all of the Amendments, and we delved into the various articles, and the their purpose. We explored the background and reasoning - the guiding principle that the Founders followed. He prepared me for Dr. Dorin, whose insights and insistence on Socratic thinking helped deepen my understanding and appreciation for the application of correct principles in government.
I believe that many bad decisions in government are born out of a desire to accomplish some good in the world. However, many others are the result of those who seek to gain power, money or some advantage over others. Our Constitution is the single greatest protection of individual liberty, not only in the US but around the world, and above all, the human soul yearns to be free. If I have a hope for America today, it is that we awake to the fact that our beloved Constitution, and by extension our liberty, is under attack from both side of the political aisle. Let us save it before it is too late. God Bless America.