What so many People today don’t understand about our Constitution, is that besides crafting the organizational framework for our government it was designed to only restrict the Federal Government and not the People.
So it is with the First Amendment. It only restricts the Federal government from doing anything with religion. Equally important is, as intended, the Constitution concedes the States and the People have the Right to do anything not reserved for the Federal government in the text of the Constitution.
The federal Government is given 18 enumerated rights in the text of our Constitution. Again, as intended. Our Forefathers did NOT want the federal government to have the authority to pass any laws on any subject without the authority to do so written in the text of the Constitution.
The problem was/is, they didn’t say it exactly that way in the Constitution, it was assumed.
As Thomas Jefferson stated:
“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
If there was ever a “Prime Directive” it would have been, Above all things our Forefathers wanted to limit the authority of the federal government. They wanted all American citizens to remain free of ANY FEDERAL government control.
They wanted the Government “Of the People, By the People and For the People.” You’ve heard that many times.
To help get our Constitution ratified by a few nervous colonies, in Federalist 45 James Madison wrote:
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
Laws that required American citizens to comply were intended to be introduced at the local, town, city and State level
I believe, in the minds of our Forefather’s it was the only way the People could remain free and determine their own destiny. In the final analysis it’s only the People who can create laws that could ban a religion at the local and State level.
This may be a bitter pill for some to accept, but when it comes to all other “rights” including speech or censorship, the Constitution acknowledges the States and the People may do as they wish. If anyone believes the Bill of Rights was written as a free pass to immoral acts and pornography, think again.
The Bill of Rights is mute on social and moral speech or actions because morality can change over time. Our forefathers knew this and did not address any moral tenets in our Constitution. They left moral issues to the States and the People. In other words, acceptable social and moral speech can change over time, and it is up to the people to determine what is acceptable—not the federal government.
It truly is Power to the People and only the People, together, can govern themselves.
Finally, the declaration “of the People, for the People and by the People,” can be understood.
The Tenth Amendment closes the loop with:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the CONSTITUTION, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, or to the people,”
I call it the The Big Broom Amendment
This amendment is the big daddy of all amendments. It basically affirms that if our Forefathers forgot to restrain the federal government in the text of the Constitution on any other matter, any unmentioned powers and rights belong to the States and the People. It was no longer assumed, it was written.
As intended, not even the Supreme Court could overrule the Rights given to us by our Creator,* but we had to screw it up.
*For the purposes of discussion, the use of the word “Creator” is meant to describe that man was created by God or by evolution. If you believe in God than he is your Creator. If you believe in Nature (or Evolution), then that is your Creator.