CSN - Citizen Voice - 5/24/2022
If readers took the opportunity to read our Sunday edition, they became aware that Citizen Voice was honoring one of our writers who passed away over the weekend on Saturday. This had never happened before when one of our contributors died, and it seemed appropriate to
dedicate the main messages to him. He was an excellent writer, and he will be missed by so very many whose lives he touched in various ways.
We had featured some of his articles in the Citizen Voice our newsletter in days gone by and he
had volunteered to help with the distribution of the Citizen Sentinels Network newsletter in his home state of Virginia until we centralized the distribution. Kevin McCarthy was a teacher as well as a writer, and he appeared in an episode of the “True U.S. HIstory” videos we had been posting before I became the County Coordinator for the Election Integrity Project of California. A link to that interview will also be included in this edition. McCarthy was a contributor, and we are going to share an article he wrote a few years ago that has not appeared in our newsletter.
He and I and some other patriots had discussed the importance of working actively to preserve and protect the 1st Amendment, in such a time as this. We had communicated via texts and via long cell phone exchanges about such a need to stand firm and to hold onto the self-evident truths that the founding generation were willing to die for, and many brave patriots did die for.
In the spirit of his intent and his genuine love for the United States, we are posting this original message from Kevin McCarthy entitled, “America Needs to Preserve First Amendment Rights.”
I’ll definitely miss our three-hour long conversations and his amazing stories, I’m sure his family will deeply miss him, and all citizens will certainly miss Kevin McCarthy’s further contributions to make America and the world a better place.
Take one more step out of your comfort zone this week. Tell others that you love the imperfect America that is always striving to improve. Encourage them to learn what is at stake and vote for candidates that reflect the America they love. Share the Citizen Voice with others. Have a meaningful week!
America Needs to Preserve First Amendment Rights
By Kevin McCarthy
The First Amendment, in the opinion of the Founding Fathers, was the most important amendment of the Bill of Rights. "No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man," Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1809, "than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority."
The First Amendment states simply, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging 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.”
The First Amendment ultimately reflects the essential fact of limited government: that power to govern originates, not from government, but rather from the people who have been endowed by their Creator with the rights and authority of self-rule. Although the people distribute a portion of their power to the various branches of government, and to the States, they reserve a most important portion for themselves. Thus for limited government to function properly, the people must have the freedom of conscience: to worship God, to express their opinion in speech or in writings, to gather together peaceably to exchange ideas and, finally, to criticize their government openly and demand the necessary corrective action.
In essence, the Founders recognized the bad tendency of centralized government to usurp the people; thus, the First Amendment was written to protect the people’s governing role and freedom to implement their portion of separated governing power.
Religious freedom is the first clause of the First Amendment because the founders believed the free exercise of religion is essential for an enduring civil society. Liberty, in their view, is a gift of God; but is one which entails certain responsibilities. John Adams had once said: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In other words, to be worthy of the gift of liberty, the people must govern themselves by the application of those moral truths and virtues that spring forth from religious faith and, unless the people could be successful in their role of self-government, the nation could not endure. The free exercise of religion, therefore, is essential because religion serves to cultivate virtue and, without virtue, none of our First Amendment freedoms would be possible.
Jennifer A. Marshall, in her article for the Heritage Foundation “Why does Religion Matter,” writes: “This reconciling of civil and religious authorities, and the creation of a Constitutional order that gave freedom to competing religious groups, helped develop a popular spirit of self-government. All the while, religious congregations, family, and other private associations exercise moral authority that is essential to maintaining limited government. The American Founders frequently stated that virtue and religion are essential to maintaining a free society because they preserve “the moral conditions of freedom.”
But today, there is a growing confusion about the proper role of religion in the public square. In our efforts to separate the church from the state, it seems we have also managed to separate civil society from its moral underpinnings. As a result, all of our freedoms are being encroached upon by an increasingly overbearing government power and the rise of a selfish, secular individualism that defines freedom as the unfettering of every desire to “do as I please.”
Today, the government presumes an authority to deem what aspect of religious belief will now be considered legal and socially appropriate. For example, recently in San Antonio, Texas, church pastors were even being compelled by city officials to submit their sermons to be assessed for evidence of “hate speech.” We can cite a growing number of similar examples, nearly every day, of conscientious individuals having to stand alone to face the intimidating
crushing power of immoral and unconstitutional government pressure.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “either we stand together or we will surely hang separately.” In order to renew America, we must renew, together, the authority that is meant to be secured by the First Amendment.
This is a mission for every person of faith and/or good conscience. No one religious community, alone, can fight this battle. It will take a unique partnership that is reflective of the true nature of the American Social Compact based upon “self-evident truths” and the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” rather than the particular doctrines of a state religion. These self-evident truths can be universally recognized as the source of those values that are essential to good citizenship and are the foundation of a moral and ethical society that is pleasing to God.
Therefore, we believe that the renewal of America urgently requires a movement to preserve, properly understand and effectively exercise our First Amendment rights. Such a “First Amendment Movement” would entail the following:
1. Our primary frame of reference (starting point) is religious freedom. Without faith, there is no virtue and without virtue, no freedom.
2. We need to articulate that 1st amendment rights must be understood in the context of the American model, which most importantly is intended for virtuous (self-governing) citizens of multi-faith tradition and/or of good conscience. An essential part of that context is the recognition that rights are endowed to all by the Creator.
3. The 1st amendment rights are often misunderstood to be value neutral, and, therefore, can be exercised in ways that are healthy or not. Recall that pornographers look to “freedom of expression” for legal protection, therefore,
4. We are promoting education about a proper understanding of the 1st Amendment, especially in understanding religious freedom and that the “separation of church and state” does not mean America is a strictly secular society.
5. We need to emphasize that protecting our 1st Amendment rights is best accomplished by exercising them. Virtuous self-governing citizens need to exercise their rights in the public square. In doing so (in the current social environment), there are likely to be controversies, which provide natural “educable moments” to address critical issues.
We need a societal reformation and a great awakening to the moral and spiritual principles that are non-negotiables if the American experiment is to endure.
Kevin McCarthy was an architectural and real estate photographer. He was the former Vice-Chair of the Prince William County (VA) Tea Party Patriots. He had also been a research consultant for the Coalition for American Renewal and First Amendment Voice in the development of curricula regarding America’s unique founding ideals.
Mr. McCarthy passed away this past Saturday of a massive stroke. Many good people will remember Mr. Kevin McCarthy of Virginia for all that he could do to make the world a better place. May his patriotic spirit live on.
Onward and Upward!
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We continue to urge citizens to take ownership of the responsibility to keep the Republic!
Remember, an educated and enlightened citizenry is vital for our future. As it has been written:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 - KJV
The Citizens Voice provides information that the mainstream media hopes people don’t receive. Forward these newsletters to your friends and let them witness, first hand, that there is more than one side to a story. Then they will begin to understand the peril that our nation is in and be able to make informed decisions.
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"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." ~ Samuel Adams, 1776
Ownership of our Republic is now the fight of our time! Keeping our Republic depends upon the genuine sense of ownership of the Land of the Free. Either this is our country, or it will belong to those who are actively seeking to take it from us. It is the same mentality that inspired someone long ago to express the sentiment that “All it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing.” Efforts to take responsibility for keeping this nation a free Republic are organically occurring right now all across the nation.