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Passionate contrariety of political and religious opinion is nothing new in our country! Blessedly, in a Great America, peaceful public demonstrations and free individual expression of diverse public, even unpopular, viewpoints are allowed: but, “not” physical violence, destruction, civil disobedience; nor, individual suppression of another’s contrary public opinion by intimidation, violence or lawlessness! Freedom of speech and religion in the United States is the envy of the world! Violent and forceful restraint of those rights by some may lead to anarchy and loss of those public freedoms! Freedom of speech does not automatically mutate into freedom of physical violence!

Our nation was conceived through an unwise attempt by Great Britain to violently suppress by force free speech, free expression and practice of religion; and, limitation of some citizens from participating in government!  Such tactics whether practiced by governments or groups of individuals produced anarchy then and will produce lawlessness and anarchy now!! England’s oppressive effort ended in a fratricidal and inter-neighborhood domestic war “pitting Americans against Americans”; and, a destructive national war with Great Britain. Even after the Revolution ended many thousands of Americans left this nation; and, intense passions and violence simmered within the borders of the new nation prompted by memories of neighborhood war violence and fraternal killings committed during the revolution.

Miraculously, after the anarchy of our revolution that began in earnest in 1776; and, after a severe battle over limiting individual colonial sovereignty, a united Federal Constitution for a nationwide government was formally formed in 1789 between two very diverse and near contrary cultures north and south. It was and is a masterpiece! There was nothing to match its genius before the revolution and there has been nothing like it since! John Adams observed: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (Massachusetts Militia, October 11, 1798) James Madison, often referred to as the Father of our Bill of Rights, wrote that our Constitution requires “sufficient virtue among men for self-government,” otherwise, “nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.” (Federalist Papers, 55) Madison also felt that “those who enjoy the precious gift of Christianity” should desire that “the light of Christianity” should “be imparted to the whole race of mankind.” He just did not favor “legislative” enforcement for some powerful independent Christian Denominational Church. (Memorial and Remonstrance) It is noteworthy that every original colonial Constitution of the Thirteen Colonies, except New York, promoted Protestant Christianity over all other world religions. We today need to ponder these truths and remember Protestant Christianity is the foundation of the Constitution! When Christianity is fully removed from the public sphere, and it is rapidly happening, this nation will descend further into anarchy.  

Violent suppression practiced by England forced a revolution; but that anarchy did not produce our Constitution! The men who drafted the Constitution were “elected” through an orderly process by each Christian colony.  Patience, reason, logical discussion of opinions, compromises and a will to avoid arbitrary violence produced the Constitution of the United States. It was not so fortunate for France in their revolution in 1789! Their revolution, supposedly based on the “brotherhood” of man, produced many thousands of lawless deaths in brutal murders of those with contrary opinions; revolutionaries were replaced by other revolutionaries-alive today but dead tomorrow! No one from the garbage man to the King was safe! Citizens of any rank could be arbitrarily executed for their real or alleged politics for years. There was nationwide physical destruction of and arbitrary appropriation of private property and collapse of a nation in universal anarchy that led to dictatorship in Napoleon; and, then further years of war, death and destruction because of him for France and all Europe. America escaped that!! America was a practicing but evolving Christian nation with flaws! James Madison had observed that government, after all, is but a real reflection of the people governed. What did that say for what immediately “evolved” out of the American Revolution and what immediately “evolved” out of the French Revolution!

George Washington early had problems and he had to be firm but fair in a rebellion in a state over federal taxes by sending in 13,000 federal troops. But the issue was resolved without arbitrary violence!  But there continued still strong contrary opinions about politics and religion. When Thomas Jefferson was elected president, newspapers claimed Jefferson had a slave concubine named “Sally” and that Jefferson was no Christian-two very “divisive passionate” issues in that day! But there was no destructive violence or over throw of government. Just voting! Other newspapers claimed John Adams was an English Monarchist-another very divisive issue because of the Revolution and dislike of King George III! The Alien and Sedition Acts designed against French influence and agitation were very fractious. Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had such violent political differences those differences led to Burr killing Hamilton in a duel-but no uprisings of the people or over throw of government! The Louisiana Territory purchase by Jefferson was fractious; and, possible War with Mexico over Texas led to efforts in newspapers for the north to secede from the Union! That did not occur. Then the worst, the Civil War over state’s rights, prompted by the base catalyst of slavery, after the North invaded the South to preserve the Union. Hundreds of thousands were killed and untold thousands permanently maimed; with untold millions in property destruction in the South that perpetuated hate, north and south, for decades. Some even now! Should Lincoln have invaded the South to immediately force his northern views or should discussions about the union and slavery continued? He did not think so even though there had been progress against slavery since the revolution. Very slow but sure! Importation of slaves had been early forbidden. Some restraints on slavery in the territories and new states had been implemented and some existing states had outlawed it altogether. After the Civil War came the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. There were the Dredd Scott case and Jim Crow laws and other acts of discrimination and violence against blacks (even in the north) in the Democratic Party controlled south for decades after the Civil War that fostered violence and stirring animosity probably lasting until today. There were mass demonstrations to stay out of WWI. Early 1900 demonstrations saw public upheaval over a women’s right to vote that ended in a Constitutional Amendment granting that right. There was upheaval about states appointing Senators to the US Congress as opposed to election by the people. That upheaval ended in a Constitutional Amendment allowing the citizens in each state to vote directly for Senators. There was a great upheaval over the Eighteenth Amendment (alcohol) that lasted years before its adoption and the crime wave it created for some sixteen years until repealed. The 1960’s were fractious with rioting, media gutter talk and destructive demonstrations and continuing blatant public insults to honored members of the military over the Vietnam War. But the 1960’s also produced legislation guaranteeing many equal rights for all-blacks and whites. We also presently have some 300 divisive “Sanctuary Cities” now openly defying federal immigration law in secreting and supporting illegal aliens. If administrations-Republican or Democrat-had protected the borders earlier we would not have this anarchy about immigration. Lawlessness only ends in destruction.

Then the divisiveness of the Kennedy Administration and assassination, Johnson deception, Clinton impeachment, Martin Luther King assassination, Nixon fiasco; and, the deep divide of Barak Obama policies along with Donald Trump impeachments and political divisions. Twelve states since the 1980’s have had wide spread public discussion of secession and California recently, after Trump’s election, announced plans to put secession on a state ballot. But nationwide physical anarchy has not ensued!

The Constitution of the United States was an imperfect document at the beginning-and the Forefathers knew it, but it was also full of genius as a method of government to bind “thirteen (13) individual sovereign nations” into “one” federal government. It is far better than the anarchy suffered in most all nations of this world! They want what we have and we should not advocate what they presently have for our nation! The Constitution was, and still is, a miracle of wisdom created in a tumultuous time; and, America, through that imperfect but evolving Constitution, became the envy of the world for what it stood for and still stands for-for as long as it is administered by a Christian people.  Our country is still the envy of the World! Every one wants to come to America! They want what we have so badly they will break the law and add to anarchy! That document wisely provided for correcting imperfections in its inception by providing an orderly means for adoption of Amendments-but it was so perfect and precise that amendments have only occurred some Fifteen (15) times since the Bill of Rights (1791). Many countries have hundreds of amendments to their Constitutions in shorter time so that the documents are actually as useless as daily changing whims! Our Constitution and the genius of its drafters has held us together for some Two Hundred Fifty (250) years: and we later, still today in a free society; should still be supporting the right of free individual divisive, public speech-even for viewpoints we passionately dislike-in a dramatically changing world with dramatic new problems. We have done this not by over throwing every disliked government in internal lawless street rioting! This grand document, our Constitution, has adapted and grown according to the wisdom of each successive generation and their combating their divisive issues with amendments; and, then in the Congress and states with laws after debate, not street destructive lawlessness or illegal immigrant border invasions!

The problem to me is not public “gutter talk” or public divisive, even “fractious opinions”-those are simply “words”, but the problem is people who quit “sharing” their opinions through public speaking and turn to “physical violence” or “assault” and “intimidation” through “force in the streets”, and usually “just a few”, to ram their opinions on many others by lawlessness. Lawless, physical street violence, intimidation (assault or battery) should be met with arrest and incarceration. Free peaceful speech should be protected. We should talk, explain, reason, suggest, and complain. Just don’t get violent-vote for your Political Party-don’t defy existing law you don’t like by lawlessness but try to change it legally instead. If you can’t change it politically and legally it simply means the public does not agree with you and you have no right to anarchy to “force” your views. A few lawless and reckless people-but passionate and dedicated-whether news media (paper and electronic), Senators or Congressman or vicious uncontrolled demonstrations in the street, can push an entire nation of many millions, who may agree with neither side, into violent destruction! Verbally persuade, don’t physically destroy!

Some public free speech, however, is not just a different view point that incites opposition passion but seems to earn in itself severe public abhorrence and rejection. Maybe that is even good as it demonstrates the horrible attitudes of some of our citizens are not “generally” acceptable and sets the citizenry against them!  Three fairly recent examples are the (a) Westboro Baptist Church; (b) those who dishonor the American Flag and Military; (c) and those who dishonor the Office of the President of the United States. Westboro Baptist Church is a clear apostasy from Christianity; many fathers, brothers’ sons, and even these days many ladies, have died from 1776 until now serving their nation and its values including protecting the right of free speech, even for “twisted” expression, and our freely voting; proudly under our flag. How some can dishonor soldiers, sailors, airmen, veterans and their sacrifice for our nation is beyond me! After the flag, the Office of the Presidency is the next most well-known symbol of America around the world. You do not have to honor the occupant to honor the office-many, including Republican-Abraham Lincoln and Democrat-John F. Kennedy; have been assassinated and lost their lives in that office serving their nation, also under that flag! If you are a Republican and dishonor the office you dishonor Abraham Lincoln and if you are a Democrat and dishonor the Office you dishonor John F. Kennedy. Each sanctified that office with their life and blood! But there were not revolutions as the result of their martyred deaths.

Assassination attempts have been made against American Presidents: Andrew Jackson, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The Office began in honor with George Washington and has been elevated in stature by these men-even with their flaws!  They had sincerely held diverse political views and put their life on the line for their country! Whatever their views were-the people elected them and their views under the terms of our Constitution. None resigned nor hid after those attempts of assassination but continued service to their country in open public exposure! Many Americans didn’t like Obama-but he was president! Many Americans didn’t like Trump-but he was president! And many don’t like Biden-but he is president!

Vote: don’t shoot or physically attack your political, religious or cultural opponent! Violence only leads to lawlessness and lawlessness leads to uncontrollable anarchy and anarchy leads to the “destruction of a nation” no matter how sincere your views may be. We have seen examples in history! Do you feel your political view is the only just cause worth destroying a nation for! If you bring down government and create anarchy who will formulate and administer your views? Every one, in violence, will enforce their own views; and, you may be the “first eliminated” in the complete disorder, confusion and lawlessness that will follow! History has examples of what follows in most revolutions. Look at the anarchy beginning in Russia in 1917 and lasting some 20 years and France in 1789 and lasting nearly 30 years; or, years of horror, death and destruction in China! We don’t need their philosophy of government!

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Jim S. Brooks, retired, inactive attorney, Bar # 911, 2400 E. Blackstock Road, Roebuck, S.C., 864-909-3695, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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