Weatherford Democrat

October 18, 2012

COLUMN: Exercise the right to vote this election

William J. Kelly

— I recently read an article by Professor Matthew J. Franck on “The Supreme Court: History and Current Controversies.” It is so good that I will quote from it frequently.

I believe it is a citizen’s moral obligation to vote and, yet, only a small percentage of the electorate vote. Why is that? We citizens, for the past two and a half centuries, have taken for granted and enjoyed the many freedoms given us by the Constitution (one that too many of us do not fully understand). This brings up two problems. First, we think that all our political leaders will follow the Constitution. Second, we do not fully understand our freedoms and where they come from.

One important thing that most all people understand, educated or not, is that the Constitution definitely says that the government (state) is the servant of the citizens, not the master. The Constitution and the first 10 amendments clearly clarify our rights as citizens.

Today we see the will of the people frustrated by political judges appointed by the state. For example, the people of California voted and won a political referendum to define marriage as between one woman and one man. Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that this proposition was unconstitutional. He went on to say — and I quote professor Franck: “that religious doctrines holding homosexual acts to be sinful are in themselves a form of harm to gays and lesbians.” This is a perfect example of the state dictating to the people to achieve their political objective.

Religious freedom is not a minor issue. Today we have an attempt, sometimes successful, to deny religious expression in schools, universities and in public owned facilities of government. Employers are required to provide services which violate their conscience to their employees. The ACLU constantly bringing action against religious activities desired by the majority of the citizens. New York state has banned the use of public school buildings by all religions, no other organizations. The federal government intrudes on states rights. There are many more examples available.

James Madison said in 1785: “It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes acceptable to him. This duty is Precedent, both in order of the time and in degree of obligation to the claims of civil society.” The second Vatican Council in the “Declarations on Religious Freedom” described religious freedom as something “men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God” and this worship is the means by which “we may come to God, the end and purpose of life.” Professor Franck states that “this puts before us our end what Madison places before us as our beginning.”

Folks, as some actor said, “We own this country — politicians are employees of ours.” Professor Franck states and rightfully so, “the states authority comes from us, and its power — the power of our elected employees cannot be greater than what we rightfully give it.” To continue, “We cannot give the state power over the conscience of men and women because we do not ourselves have any right to come between God and our fellow citizens.”

Scripps Howard columnist Star Parker said “Our nation, dangerously, and many fear fatally, is losing its way. The greatest concern for all in this critical time should be truth, not word games.” How true! Listen carefully, the truth is there.

I suggest what when you go to vote that you consider the terrible trend to our loss of freedoms caused by our “elected employees” now running the country. The time to stop this freedom loss is now, the November election.

Our founders pledged their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to give us our great Constitution. It is our duty as citizens to elect people who will believe and support our inheritance.

Please vote for our Constitution on Nov. 6, 2012.

Guest columnist William J. Kelly is a Parker County resident and served as 2nd Lt. in World War II in the Eighth Air Force of the US Army/Air Corp.