Rebecca Hagelin, Washington Times
Dated: December 16, 2018
An important anniversary for our nation came and went this weekend, largely without notice.
It is the anniversary of what allows Christians to openly extol the birth of Christ, and Jews to celebrate Hanukkah without fear of being locked up. It is what enables The Washington Times to be a watchdog on government, exposing the ugly truths about our entrenched bureaucracy.
Dec. 15 marked the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the First Amendment.
Don’t feel too bad for missing it. I almost did too.
Martin Nussbaum and Ian Speir, two brilliant constitutional attorneys, circulated an email about this anniversary for the freedom of speech, religion and the press, and for the right of the people to peaceable protest.
For the masses who did not receive their email, the anniversary went unnoticed. How can it be that our nation celebrates so many other events, yet fails to remember this critically important one?
Celebrating the First Amendment should be a unifying factor for all Americans, regardless of faith, political persuasion, sex, race or socio-economic status: The First Amendment guarantees the liberty for each and every one of us to practice our faith; it protects the voice of the poor, of minorities, of all who feel powerless.
Its ratification marked an important milestone for mankind. As Messrs. Nussbaum and Speir explained: “For the first time in history, a government accommodated religion, protected religious exercise, and forbade both religious establishments and religious tests for public office. The law that grew from the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment is truly the most distinctive feature of the great American experiment. As [James] Madison predicted, it has given a ‘lustre to our country.’”
Perhaps we fail to celebrate this anniversary because “progressives” have increased their attacks on personal freedom so much that our national “lustre” has begun to fade. Or are their attacks possible precisely because we have failed to teach our children that personal freedom is something worth celebrating?
Do we collectively just take our freedoms for granted — or worse, actually think it is permissible for men to destroy what God himself created to enable us to thrive?