I'm writing in response to Mr. Richard Kovac's letter in Port of Call, June/July 2011. The only issue I had after reading Mr. Kovac's letter was the first paragraph. However, I had an issue with every sentence in that paragraph but the first.
He wrote: I'm not too sure we could do better with a different form of government, as long as the Bill of Rights remains in force. As it happens, the framers of the Constitution were not sure we couldn't do better with a different form of government. That is why within the Constitution they provided a legal vehicle for its change. The form of governance, and who may participate in it, has changed dramatically several times since it was written.
Slavery has been abolished. Women have the right to vote. Chief Standing Bear of the Oklahoma Ponca Nation won in the Supreme Court the right of Natives to be considered persons with rights. Voting rights were granted to eighteen-year-olds. The office of the Presidency had term-limits imposed. Alcohol was abolished. The prohibition on alcohol was abolished. Many more changes were adopted. Whole sections of the Constitution have been changed or abolished, as we learn more about the governance of a free people.
My wife and I moved from Oklahoma to Nebraska this month. We strongly objected to our town government in Oklahoma giving tax money to churches and the YMCA to build community centers that we were prohibited from using, due to our religious beliefs.
The rule of the majority, however, is often compared to two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner. The majority of the town government ruled the tax money could be given so, and the people of the town in a democratic majority re-elected them.
Another example is my epilepsy vs. my driving privileges in Oklahoma, which caused my wife and me to move to Nebraska.
The state government notified me last November that I had thirty days to get clearance from specialist physicians, eleven in total, to prevent my driving privilege from being suspended due to my epilepsy, over the last Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The state also informed me this would now happen every year, and that they would not notify me if my license had been suspended (Oklahoma apparently cannot afford stamps). The majority had ruled.
Buying a new house in Nebraska and moving was cheaper.
While the state reserved the right to medical examination when they issued me a license to drive, it seemed to me rather convenient that this came up during a recession that hit specialist physicians and the state hard. Several friends that had other medical difficulties chose to move away from Oklahoma, while others chose to drive without a license and insurance. The rule of the majority seems to be: force those that disclosed medical conditions on license applications out of the state, and arrest the rest who stay.
Citing the Website WebMD (the full article may be found at http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/news/20040927/epilepsy-causes-few-fatal-car-accidents )
Here's something to be grateful for the next time you buckle up. Of all the hazards on the road, epileptic drivers aren't very likely to cause a fatal wreck.
In the U.S., 86 drivers per year died as a result of crashes caused by seizures from 1995-1997, according to experts at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Overall, about 44,000 U.S. drivers per year were killed in accidents during the same period. (Note: most of those were from alcohol.)
The Epilepsy Foundation notes on their own Website (at http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/epilepsyusa/drivingresponsibility.cfm ) that the numbers of automobile accidents are small compared to other conditions. The principal concern of physicians seems to be that if states (like Oklahoma) make standards tougher, those prone to seizures will be apt to lie about them.
But the majority rules: other drivers are scared of us. Since the majority rules, I would have to spend more on specialists every year than the cost of an entire house. So we moved.
No one knows how long the mandate of Heaven will allow our country to continue in its current shape. It is the mandate of the people, not Heaven, which determines the shape of our country and its government.
We should respect government authority and worship God and respect everyone (St. Paul). I respect government authority insofar as it is exercised properly. I will not submit to an unlawful search just because an authority figure asks; it is still unlawful. (IV Amendment) I am quite willing to pay the consequences for exercising my rights guaranteed in the Constitution. If we do not stand up and take our rights, they will be taken from us. (Or worse, they will be freely given up by us for some respect for authority which also does not appear in the Constitution.)
Whatever god or goddess I worship is up to me. The last time I checked, St. Paul nor any god were mentioned in my Constitution, or my Declaration of Independence. Those documents represent all the people. I am one of the people. My religious freedom as a Wiccan, and my wife's as an atheist, are also a guaranteed right by the Government, in the I Amendment, and regardless of what the Government prints on the money.
My wife and I were married in Colorado in 2007, because of the Oklahoma state constitutional requirement for a minister of the Gospel or a judge to administer the ceremony. In protest, we took our money elsewhere. While the requirement may be unenforceable due to trumping by the US Constitution, it is still there, in case the majority changes its mind.
The guarantees of the Constitution are not there for the majority; the majority does not need its opinions and rights protected. They are there for those who hold minority views, so the wolves do not eat the sheep.
I respect those who are worthy of respect. I do not respect those who are not. I do not respect criminals nor hypocrites unless they change their ways. I do not respect those who would tell me how I must think, nor what I may read or view, nor what deity I must worship. I do not respect those who would deny my inalienable rights in the names of profit, religion, or politics.
When the Apostles wrote the Epistles, setting down the role of the Church in society, they had a real chance to make a difference in the treatment of women and slaves. Instead, Paul wrote Philemon. Regardless of whether a person might think the Bible is either the inspired or literal Word of God, I do not respect those who blindly follow either Testament without thinking, either.
I am not subversive, any more than Mr. Kovac. I am human, just like him, with inalienable rights, which the Government guarantees. It does not grant them. That is the nature of their "inalienableness."
AT1 James A Kulacz, USN (Retired)