The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Monday, June 30, 2014

SCOTUS Ruling Gives America A Chance To Avoid 1000 Years Of Darkness

Here's the Nonsense:  While today's Supreme Court decision about birth control is important, it's just one of the issues that needed to be dealt with but certainly not the most important one.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Today's Surpreme Court decision is not just about birth control, it's about the most important freedom American's enjoy.  It is critical if America is to survive as a constitutional republic.

I've said that America is about to fall into the thousand years of darkness that Ronald Reagan warned us about.  And with that I've said that two issues this year would determine whether there is still a chance to save our nation.  One of those issues was ruled on by the Supreme Court this morning.  That is the issue of religious freedom and was brought to the court in what most know as the Hobby Lobby case.  The ruling of SCOTUS gives hope for America.  It is the first of two issues America must deal with this year and that are pivotal in the fight to save our nation.

The battle to save our constitutional republic focuses on many areas, but this year there are two that are pivotal in whether we will still have a chance to save America.  One was ruled on this morning by the Supreme Court, the other will be the outcome of the midterm elections in November.  And with the SCOTUS ruling, which protects religious freedom, the most important of the two has been won and should give hope and new energy in our fight for our nation.

While many are writing today about the four drugs that are the basis of the specific objection of the companies involved in this case, and others are writing about women's "rights" and even about Christians forcing their beliefs on the population of the U. S. (and those are all valid and interesting discussions), I would like to remind all of us of how important religious freedom is to Americans and why it is the basis of the single most important amendment to our constitution.

The First Amendment says, "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."  

Notice that the very first thing that is addressed is religious freedom?  Why?  Because they understood how important freedom of thought and belief was to all freedoms.  Without that freedom, all other freedoms fall apart.  It is the foundation stone upon which a free society is built and secured.

To understand the importance of religious freedom we must look at a brief history that led up to and dramatically affected the mindset of many of our nation's founders as our nation was formed.  Much of the beliefs were based on the thoughts of John Locke.  Locke was especially influential when it came to his views regarding the repeal of the French Edict of Nantes.

The French King Henry IV, as Wikipedia shows, was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610.  He was baptized as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, the Queen of Navarre, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on the death of his mother.  As a French "prince of blood" by reason of descent from King Louis IX, he found it prudent to abandon his Calvinist Protestant faith.  His coronation was followed by a four-year war against the Catholic League to establish his legitimacy.  He promulgated the Edict of Nantes in 1598, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby effectively ending the Wars of Religion.

The Edict of Nantes gave Protestants the right to hold public worship in many parts of France, except in Paris.  The Huguenots (Protestants) were granted full civil rights and a special court was established to settle disputes arising from the edict.  The schools at Montauban, Montpellier, Sedan and Saumur were permitted to be Huguenot.  One hundred cities were given to the Huguenots for an eight year period.  For areas where Catholicism had been interrupted, they were reestablished and extensions, by Protestants, into these Catholic areas were prohibited.   

Pope Clement VIII and the French Catholic clergy disagreed with the Edict of Nantes.  In 1629, the chief minister of King Louis XII annulled the edict’s political clauses.  In 1685, Louis XIV revoked the entire edict and took away the civil and religious liberties of French Protestants.  Within just a few short years more than 400,000 French Protestants had emmigrated to other countries, which severely impacted the French economy.  (A separate study of the impact of Protestantism on an economy is not a topic many people find easy to accept, but will reveal that Protestantism was a core ingredient in the rise of prosperity in nations where it flourished, especially America).  Those Protestants who were still in France did not see their civil rights restored until the French Revolution of 1789 – 1799.

With that history in mind, Locke wrote A Letter Concerning Toleration in 1689 where he shows that Martin Luther's work in the Protestant Reformation created views that each person should access God through individual prayer and Bible study and not rely on a church to determine a relationship with God.  This is often known as the priesthood of the believers, where Luther embraced the original New Testament teaching that each believer is seen as a priest serving God.  That belief puts the individual in a position above the church and the state, with direct access to God and truth. 

Each person now had the duty and right to seek this truth from God, through both the Bible and through nature.  The church and the state exist to support and protect the rights of the individual.  There is a separation between church and state because their jurisdiction is limited to their separate spheres of concern:  spiritual and civil.  The separation is of equality and mutual respect, with each respecting the sovereignty of the other in its own sphere.

Thus the individual's rights resulted from the duties that they owe to God, thereby also placing a resistance to the state when it tries to infringe on the spiritual rights of man before God.  This was the underlying thought that was embraced by many of America's founders, and thereby inspired the thoughts behind the First Amendment.  

The right to freedom of religion includes the right to freedom of thought and belief.  Without that right, there is no foundation for any freedom.  This is why the Supreme Court's decision today is critical if we are to maintain a chance at turning our nation back to what it was founded to be. Our freedoms depend on it.  

Now, the second most important event in 2014, the midterm elections, are in November and will determine how big the task ahead of us is to restore America's constitutional republic.  From what we've seen in the primaries it is a huge task that if we embrace will mean it will take many generations to turn this country back to what it was founded to be.  If we are successful, our children and grandchildren will have to pick up the mantle from us and carry the battle on so that their grandchildren will have the nation our founders gave us.