To the Editor:
The last few months have been a whirlwind. The COVID-19 virus has taken over our everyday lives...or has it? I am not trying to minimize the virus in any way, but truth be told, most people reading this have not been diagnosed with COVID-19. There is one common denominator that has changed our everyday lives, and that denominator is big government. Big or small, rich or poor, everybody has been impacted. The leaders of our state and our country have difficult decisions to make that don't just impact our current time but set a precedent for the future.
That's what people today don't understand; what we do today impacts our tomorrow. As a 21-year-old, I want to be able to experience the same America that my parents experienced, but I also want my future children to experience what I have. Today, we are walking on a slippery slope. Many people have traded their freedom for so called safety, but when you have no freedom, you have no safety.
Today, even during this pandemic, we still have the Constitution of the United States. When we are stripped of our rights to freely worship and "peaceably assemble", we have started the process of stripping the Constitution word by word. "Well, this is temporary." Some may think. "It's necessary to stop the virus!" Others may add. These thoughts do have some truth, but consider this. Is freedom only temporary? Is freedom only reserved for the good times? My answer to these questions is a resounding, no.
Let's consider the second thought. Are we going to let a virus stop our freedom? Did our forefathers let war stop freedom? NO! Patrick Henry said in his famous speech, " Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?" I hope we can say with him, "Forbid it Almighty God!"
The last few weeks my church, Rio Grande Bible Baptist Church, has had to deal with the result of our state trading freedom for safety. No matter your religious background, this should scare you. On Sunday April 19, my church held a drive-in service. All cars were ten feet apart.
All congregants stayed in their cars. We had fewer than 10 workers outside, each of whom was wearing masks and gloves. On Thursday April 23, my dad was called and told that if he held another drive-in service, he and all congregants would be fined or arrested. Where is this in the Constitution? Amendment 1 of the Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" When one amendment has been violated, what is going to stop the government from stripping the other Amendments?
My answer is NOTHING. Part of the problem is us. Most Americans have never read the Constitution so we cannot hold our lawmakers accountable. Knowledge is power. I was blessed to go to a Christian school where I was taught our Constitution, and the importance of it, and during this time of crisis, we must not stray from it.
As I conclude, it is important to understand that we need to be smart. Don't take this virus lightly, but at the same time, is our temporary safety worth our loss of freedom? “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”- Benjamin Franklin