May 27, 2024 | David F. Coppedge

Life and Liberty Threatened

On Memorial Day in America,
it’s urgent to remember
the roots of liberty

 

President Ronald Reagan warned that America is under constant threat of losing something most precious to individuals:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

This year, more than any in recent memory, those rights appear to be slipping away.

Biden DOJ targets more pro-life individuals and organizations for prosecution (Live Action News, 21 May 2024). Conservative Americans are distressed that district attorneys funded by billionaire George Soros are letting hardened criminals loose on the streets without bail. But when it comes to peaceful protests by those trying to protect human life at its most vulnerable, our current administration has targeted them with threats of jail for years.

The incidents in question involved a Planned Parenthood in Bedford Heights and the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center in Cuyahoga Falls. At least two couples at the Planned Parenthood facility left after speaking to Handy and Miller, which Miller described as “a very good sign” that “gives us hope.” At Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, the other group engaged in a Red Rose Rescue, in which pro-lifers enter an abortion facility and hand the pregnant mothers red roses with cards offering them options beyond abortion. “You were made to love and to be loved,” the cards state. “Your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.”

Those participating in Red Rose Rescues often know they face the possibility of arrest. “The pro-lifers refuse to leave the clinic should they be ordered to do so by law-enforcement,” the group has said, as “an act of solidarity with the unborn about to be aborted.” They often peacefully resist by kneeling or lying down on the ground.

The DOJ [Department of Justice] is seeking compensatory damages, monetary penalties, and injunctive relief. On the first count, the damages can be up to $20,516 for first violations, and up to $30,868 for subsequent violations; there could be an additional $5,000 in damages for each person “aggrieved by Defendants’ actions.” On the second count, the DOJ merely asked the court to “order appropriate injunctive relief.”

Peaceful protest is one of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Many anti-government protestors burn the American flag and chant hateful slogans, block traffic, topple historic monuments, and even burn cars and buildings with no consequences. Why are those trying to protect the right to life being targeted in what appears to many to be a two-tiered system of justice?

Leaving a Void (World Magazine, 21 May 2024). Reporter Leah Savas relates how a pro-life protestor, Heather Ioni, has been imprisoned for 9 months awaiting trial for the crime of sitting peacefully in the doorway of an abortion clinic. She and her friends are facing multi-year sentences for this action, while protestors supporting Hamas had recently blocked entire highways and bridges for hours for their cause, putting thousands of travelers at risk of missing work, flights, and family.

Also, the Department of Justice and the FBI made its largest investigation in years to find and punish anyone who was in the Capitol on January 6, even when many were ushered in by police and did nothing but stand in the rotunda and leave. Many of those protestors have now waited 3 years for their “speedy trial of their peers” (promised in the Bill of Rights), not even told what they are being accused of. Some pro-life activists have been raided at their homes by SWAT teams with guns drawn in front of their children.

The Declaration of Independence that began America’s war for liberty famously stated that our rights come from our Creator, and include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Constitution was written to guarantee those God-given rights, not to grant rights. The Bill of Rights was added to clarify specific rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and more. The 10th Amendment specified that any rights not enumerated in the Constitution were reserved to the states and to the people.

On Memorial Day, we remember many thousands of service men and women who died to protect American liberty. Will they have died in vain because of one generation’s failure to fight for, protect, and pass on that most precious of rights?

Freedom isn’t free. The time has come for this generation to stand up and not let liberty slip away before it’s too late. Watch out for anyone with totalitarian leanings: those who want to control what you can say, what you read, what you drive, what you eat, what you drink, where you get your news, your right of self-defense, your healthcare, and what your children learn. Like the proverbial frog in the pot, citizens who allow those things to go unchecked are on the path to tyranny, and tyrants are hard to dislodge once in power.

Totalitarians believe rights come from government. As Reagan also said, a government that give you rights can also take them away. The American system has been unique in the world for asserting that our rights come from our Creator.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  —US Declaration of Independence.

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