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Home / Opinion / DID OUR FOREFATHERS GET IT RIGHT?

DID OUR FOREFATHERS GET IT RIGHT?

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There is an awful lot of noise and clatter about the first amendment to our constitution…the amendment that allows us to disagree – loudly and in public . It says we have the right to believe what we want, that likeminded people have the right to come together to discuss and debate, celebrate and educate around those beliefs, that the government cannot show favoritism to one particular set of beliefs – religions – often referred to as “separation of church and state .” This is known as The Establishment Clause . The Free Exercise clause protects behaviors – sometimes even when they violate the law – as long as the action is required for one to honor the tenets of his or her religion . Free speech, a free press, and the right to assembly are all guaranteed by the first amendment . Growing up in a newspaper family, I must admit that my father, and his father, would be horrified by the types of news that claim a journalistic standard . By the same token, I believe that our forefathers understood all too well how easily tyranny can rear its ugly head when one group is shown favoritism over another or one voice is allowed to take precedence over another . They knew that, as a people, we would never speak with one voice on every matter and so they designed a government – messy and unruly – that would give every voice, no matter how contentious,
the opportunity to be heard . They believed in the ultimate compassion of the human spirit; the ability of its people to discern between right and wrong; to value the freedom our constitution afforded each and every one of us enough to respect our differences . Here at The Post, we focus the majority of our print space to celebrating that human spirit . We look for – and easily find – examples of mutual respect, an appreciation for diversity, a willingness to help a neighbor in need, an understanding for the importance of the rule of law . We hear all the time how exhausted our readers are by the sniping back and forth among our political representatives . The constant barrage of shootings, starvation, weather disasters, on and on and on weary the spirit and sap our energy . Yet when we look around us, we can see opportunity abounds, to reach out and discover the amazing work being done by ordinary citizens to bring us closer together, to teach us more about our combined history and what brought us to where we are today . It is our sincere hope that the news we bring into your homes, gives you hope, enriches your spirit, and most of all encourages you to share your experience, your knowledge, your life events and your contributions to the wonderful fabric we all come together to weave that is The Mainland .

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