An observant American over fifty years of age can tell you without
hesitation that our freedoms have been eroded. Freedom is a frail
sickening and dying easily. Its enemies are many and ever-present, but
they are almost never identified as enemies of freedom! The turn from
limited government to limited liberty during the past century happened
a very subtle way. American citizens allowed the change on the basis
the only ones to be harmed would be the "bad guys." By the time "good
guys" were effected by changes made against "bad guys," few could
understand what had happened. The "bad guys/good guys" process has
out repeatedly over the years, and is still being used by freedom's
because it works so well.
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark
which violated precedent, redefined the powers of the judiciary, and
jeopardized Constitutional guarantees of individual and states' rights.
The justices got away with it because this bold departure from their
rightful role was directed against "bad guys." The decision is called
"Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka," and it ruled that states could
no longer operate separate school systems for children of different
races. The enemy seemed to be racial prejudice, but the victim was the
Constitution. Should public schools be racially segregated? Of course
not, but a bigger issue was addressed in the Brown case. The justices
virtually admitted that a previous Supreme Court decision made in 1896
on the segregation issue was in line with the intent of our
"Plessy v. Ferguson" had ruled that racially separated school systems
were allowed by the Constitution, and therefore another amendment or
laws would be required to force integration. This old decision was
constitutionally correct, but the Court felt that it was no longer
suitable for the sentiments of the times. So they ruled on the demands
the Constitution contrary to its grammatical and historical meaning.
case made the justices of the United States Supreme Court the most
powerful men in the country. They can make or change laws contrary to
legislative intent under the guise of interpreting the Constitution.
of the foundational principles of American government were undermined
overturned by the 1954 decision. How did they get away with it? The
decision and its implications prevailed because they were directed
against "bad guys." The Constitution was undermined by action taken
against "bad guys," but now the precedents set are used against "good
In July of 1964, President Johnson signed a Civil Rights bill that made
it a federal offense to discriminate by race in the hiring and service
policies of private businesses. The voices that protested against this
law's obvious violation of property rights were silenced quickly
again, the enemy seemed to be racial prejudice. Since then, Americans
have accepted the idea that the government can regulate who is hired or
served by private companies. Groups organize as "minorities" in order
convince Congress to give them advantages in the business world. Nobody
in 1964 thought that a businessman would be forced to hire open
homosexuals in violation of his moral principles, but that is a
possibility now. Nobody back then believed that anybody in America had
"right" to a job, but that is public policy today! How did it happen?
was the "bad guys/good guys" process!
In 1973, "Roe v. Wade" prohibited states from outlawing abortions, and
millions have been killed in the womb since. How did this happen? The
framers certainly did not write abortion-on- demand into the
Constitution, but the Brown decision freed the Court to issue decrees
without applying the intended meaning of the framers! A woman came
them that seemed to have a hardship situation which might justify an
abortion in some minds. The state laws that forbad her from getting
abortion seemed "bad" at the time. However, because of the Court's
decision, tens of millions of abortions have been performed legally
without any hardship situation at all! Abortion-on-demand is called a
"woman's right" today because of the "bad guys/good guys" process. It's
the same old thing.
In the 1980s, several high court decisions effectively negated the
exercise" clause of the provision for religious liberty in the First
Amendment. This happened because the cases involved groups with
politically incorrect religious practices. Because we felt comfortable
about denying religious liberty to "bad guys," "good guys" find their
freedom in jeopardy. "Good" churches have lost their rights because the
court denied them to "bad" churches. Here we go again!
The threat that "gun-control" proposals pose to the Second Amendment is
another example of "bad guys/good guys." In response to the criminal
of firearms by "bad guys," the right of "good guys" to bear arms might
denied. Because drug dealers and juvenile offenders have used guns to
murder people, law-abiding citizens have their rights threatened. It's
wrong, but it's obvious how it's happening.
Can we see what we have been doing? Free people must be vigilant to
their liberty. Freedom will always be in danger, because there will
always be good arguments against it! Somebody will always find "bad
who ought to be stopped, and if we are not careful, these folks will
persuade us to restrict the freedom of the "good guys" in order to stop
the "bad guys." The love of freedom and respect for the Constitution
be revived and passed from one generation to another if our country is
remain free. We must remember that if "bad guys" lose legitimate
Constitutional rights, everybody loses freedom!
Wed, 1 Nov 2000
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church|
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data
Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)
- Articles published in the;
- Sword of the Lord
- Baptist Preacher,
- Christian View of the News,
- Pulpit Helps,
- Maranatha Watchman
- Church Bus News,
- and other national periodicals.