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Conservative values mean different things to different people. One of the biggest items of contention after the end of the Revolutionary War was the role of the federal government. Early on the framers of our government knew that the federal government’s main job was to provide for defense and to help settle commerce disputes between the states. Some of the early statesmen warned against an intrusive federal government that would worm its way into the fabric of everyday life.
Let’s look now to the Bill of Rights, specifically the First, Second, and 10th Amendments. The First Amendment says nothing about separation of church and state, NOTHING. Our founding fathers were Christians, and thus applied those morals when establishing our government. The purpose was that the government would not establish a religion such as the Church of England which was overseen by the monarchy and the reason why the first settlers of this country left England. The First Amendment clearly states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridge 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. Now does it say the government should be free of religion? Recent court cases have assaulted the free exercise thereof in the name of
separation of church and state.
The Second Amendment states A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. This was included so that people would not have to live in fear of the government and its armies. Over the course of human existence rulers had forbidden the non-privileged from possessing weapons as a way of keeping them in check. Over the years this has been attacked as being out dated and irrelevant but let’s look to just the past decade and our involvement in Iraq. Iraq, prior to Sadam Hussein coming to power, was the regional leader in food production and at the time had the most advanced irrigation system in the world. Hussein took the weapons from the people and destroyed the irrigation system to keep the masses poor, hungry and unable to challenge him and his followers. Many have asked if he was so bad why they did not rise up against him, why we had to take him out. Simply put, the government had taken away any means that the people could put together to prevent an uprising.
Now let’s look at the 10th Amendment, possibly the most abused by the federal government. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Our founding fathers did not want the federal government ruling our daily lives. The people at the state and local level knew best what they needed or wanted in their government.
There is no perfect government just as there are no perfect people. As we move forward in another election year and the years to come I feel we should look for those who can move us closer to the ideals on which this amazingly free country was founded.
Stephen Korte of Bowling Green
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