Saturday, December 26, 2015

Left behind at the Temple

A couple of years ago while I was working at the Houston Texas Temple in the Baptistery a large youth group came by to do vicarious ordinance work for their kindred dead. One young man, age 12, was attending the temple for his first time and was a bit embarrassed when, during his turn to do baptisms, he got water up his nose causing his sinus cavities to drain uncontrollably. This was near the end of his group’s visit and when the young man came out of the dressing room he was alarmed, almost in a panic as he looked around and found he was alone in the Baptistery.

He’d concluded that while he’d spent an inordinate amount of time in the dressing room, that perhaps his group had gone on without him, leaving him to find a way home. There was a momentary look of despair which caused me to step up to the challenge.

I explained to him that one time in the distant past another young boy about his same age had accidentally been left behind during a family trip to the temple. I mentioned that it was someone high up in the church that he’d probably heard of; waiting for him to gather his thoughts on who it might have been.

“Was it Thomas Monson”, he asked on his first guess? 

“No, it was someone much higher”, I responded. You could see that my answer puzzled the young man; who would be higher than the President of the Church?

I then explained how Jesus had gone to the temple as a young man and while teaching the elders of Israel his family left him there by accident; but upon going a short distance realized his not being present so they immediately returned to find him with the learned men, expounding great truths with power and authority.

“So you’re in good company, now aren’t you?” The young man thought about what I’d said and the biggest smile came over him, his shoulders squared up and he no longer felt embarrassed for having lost control of his sinuses. An adult member of his group came from the outer foyer looking for him about that time. I wish I’d been able to take the young man down the hall to where the picture of the young Jesus teaching at the temple was hanging on the wall; but that area was restricted so it wasn’t to be.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Getting Around Constitutionally Protected Rights

This past week many sites, to include The Federalist Papers Project, linked to a video of Congressman Trey Gowdy’s public hearings.  Acting on behalf of the American public he carefully and methodically destroyed Deputy Assistant Secretary Ms. Burriesci, representing the Department of Homeland Security, as government officials attempted to explain the ‘process’ by which American citizens could petition the government to restore rights which had been removed, those who’d been denied their right to own and purchase firearms, these same individuals who’d been placed on the Do Not Fly List.    

Congressman Gowdy wanted to know more about the ‘process’; but what he really wanted was to remind Ms. Burriesci about a different ‘process’, one which was being ignored completely…

Congressman Gowdy thoughtfully explained his use of the word ‘process’ as he originally referred to it, to be more specific, the term is Due Process.  He reminded the witness that our constitution limits government’s ability to infringe on any individual’s God given inalienable rights without Due Process.

For clarification purposes, Ryan Williams’s entry to the 2010 Yale Law Journal defined this term and concept more precisely:

“In United States constitutional law, substantive due process is a principle which allows courts to protect certain rights deemed fundamental from government interference under the authority of the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, which prohibit the federal and state governments, respectively, from depriving any person of "life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." That is, substantive due process demarcates the line between acts by persons that courts hold are subject to government regulation or legislation and those acts that courts place beyond the reach of governmental interference. Whether the Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendments were intended to serve this function continues to be a matter of scholarly as well as judicial discussion and dissent.”

Timothy Sandefur recorded in, The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law, as published via the Cato Institute in 2010:

“In contrast, substantive due process aims to protect individuals against majoritarian policy enactments that exceed the limits of governmental authority—that is, courts may find that a majority's enactment is not law, and cannot be enforced as such, regardless of how fair the processes of enactment and enforcement actually are.”

In short, there are laws being enforced (far too many) which are outside of restrictions placed on government, restrictions intended to safeguard individual God given rights (or Natural rights) and it is important to remind those in government that they are not above the Constitution and have no such powers.   We are, after all, a nation dependent on the Rule of Law. 
Let me insert a partial transcription of Congressman Gowdy’s efforts...

“What process is afforded a United States citizen before that person’s Constitutional right is infringed. That [The President] is fine with doing it with the Second Amendment.
My question is, how about the First? How about we not let them set up a website, or a Google account?
How about we not let them join a church until they petition Government to get off the list? How about not get a lawyer? How about the 6th amendment?
How about you can’t get a lawyer until you petition the government to get off the list? Or my favorite, how about the 8th amendment?
We’re going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment until you petition the government to get off the list?
Is there another Constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens than we do the Second Amendment? Can you think of one?”
“The No-Fly List itself is a violation of Constitutional rights all by itself, but to use that illegal list as a way to snatch other rights away from the people is abhorrent and sets a dangerous precedent for the future.”

When our government tries to get around the Rule of Law as if it were outside of restrictions placed on it by the Constitution, at that time we can say without equivocation that tyranny has replaced our representative form of government.

Dan Riehl wrote an article the day after the San Bernardino premeditated attack in which Muslim Terrorists proudly admitted their association with ISIS and then murdered 14 Americans.  Riehl pointed out that Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, on behalf of the Department of Justice was more concerned about anti-Muslim rhetoric’s effect on those of that faith than on the threat posed to the American public.

“Loretta Lynch, at a press conference yesterday, termed the San Bernardino shootings a “wonderful opportunity” to change the nature of police work: “We’re at the point where these issues have come together really like never before in law enforcement thought and in our nation’s history and it gives us a wonderful opportunity and a wonderful moment to really make significant change.”

The Obama administration continues to use any gun related tragedy as a means to launch additional gun control measures.  They went to extreme measures to cover this event, as with other shootings as if guns walked in and shot all those folks without a Muslim Terrorist holding those guns.
Obama has threatened to implement extreme gun control actions via Executive Order, effectively bypassing Congress.  If you put these two thoughts together we have a totalitarian effort (tyranny) to eradicate the 2nd Amendment; but also destroy freedom of speech as protected by the 1st Amendment.

So, back to Congressman Gowdy’s questions regarding our government’s attempts to get around the constitution, to get around inalienable God given rights and deny any American their right to own and bear arms, to express their thoughts without fear of government interference or imprisonment… to get around Due Process...

What part of Due Process, more specifically, what part of substantive due process do these department heads not understand?  (Really, you actually consider that a possibility?)   No, under the Obama administration there is a willful and calculated effort to get around the constitution.

David A. Patten, along with almost every other political correspondent, recorded Barrack Hussein Obama’s comments regarding the Constitution back when he was running for the presidency.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama described the U.S. Constitution as having “deep flaws” during a September 2001 Chicago public radio program, adding that the country’s Founding Fathers had “an enormous blind spot” when they wrote it.

Obama also remarked that the Constitution “reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”

Obama’s promise to America has been, and continues to be a great Transformation, to make it what (he thinks) it should be.  His actions support his promise.  

America will no longer be a land of liberty; but instead will become a totalitarian communist state where your constitutional republic, your God given inalienable rights as set down by the Founding Fathers, and without question, Due Process and the Rule of Law will become a faded memory.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.