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Editorial: Constitutional rights in jeopardy in today’s America
About politics and other thingsJune 19, 2013 | 1,281 views | 6 comments
A school principal cuts the microphone in the middle of the valedictorian’s speech because his remarks wandered from his approved text to the Constitution. Kindergarteners are expelled from school for drawing stick people with guns or eating their favorite snack into the shape of a weapon.
The message: Don’t even think about guns; don’t talk about your Christianity in a public place. It is outrageous, but it is happening all over the country.
In Colorado, a memorial for veterans is at the center of controversy because it features a rifle. Imagine that -- a rifle as part of a memorial to veterans of war.
As was reported on a Denver Post blog, park officials were concerned that the bronze sculpture would create “controversy and confusion about the true purpose of this memorial.”
The true purpose is to remember those who served their country in -- and especially those who did not return from -- wars. Its purpose is not to join the gun control debate. Nor is it to ignite debate over First Amendment rights as is happening with another veterans memorial where the battle is over a Christian flag. Just as schools are telling children not to even think about guns, so too are they trying to banish Christianity from the minds and hearts of children.
Take the case of Remington Reimer of Joshua, Texas. As valedictorian of his senior class, he’s been in the news since his graduation-night speech. He was told, in effect, to sit down and shut up if he wanted to talk about constitutional rights, specifically freedom of speech and freedom to exercise one’s religion without governmental restraint.
It seems that these once-revered rights are now being turned upside down. The argument about Reimer extends beyond his speech to wanting to punish the kid by hurting his future at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Whether or not this is part of a growing effort to eliminate Christianity from our schools by restricting free speech, the actions by this principal have been so egregious that it has prompted at least one prominent graduate of Joshua ISD to write a letter to the principal. He registered his dismay at the way an honorable young man was treated.
“This is America where we have the right to free speech. I expect the treatment you gave that young man to be found in Russia or China, not in Texas,” wrote Jack White, a 1951 Joshua High School graduate.
White, now a resident of Floresville, has a long and distinguished career as an artist, a friend of presidents, and the author of 12 books. He was recognized as the official Texas state artist, and named an Honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy.
White writes that he got his start in Joshua High School and is “asking the same for Reimer. This is a sad day in my life to see my beloved high school making a revenge attempt to destroy the life of an honor student for wanting to abide by the American Constitution.” He asks for a second chance for Reimer.
This is an alarming example of America gone amuck. Reimer stands up for his rights, and his principal wants to destroy his future. This is not unlike all the little kindergarteners who have been kicked out of school for drawing pictures.
Instead of enjoying their experiences and feeling good about school, they and their parents are involved in lawsuits trying to clear their names. As for Reimer, he is fighting for his career. Unfortunately, he is only the latest in a long line of citizens whose constitutional rights have been trampled.
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