My Thoughts

I have lived in many places over my seventy-three years on God’s green earth—well over thirty places, but then who’s counting? It might be more; might be less; in the end I doubt much of it matters one spot at all. I have never seen the garden of Eden; never been to heaven, though I sure would like to get there someday. I have no doubt at all that I have been through the gates of hell a time or two and have no craving to ever spend any more time there. Too hot and not much on air conditioning (the devil controls the thermostat.)

Seen a lot, both good and not so good, but mostly good if I don’t stop and think too much about it. Got to meet and know a lot of people, good people for the most part; the piddling few bad apples not worth wasting cerebellum space for the memory. For the most I have enjoyed every second of every day, though there are some, those who believe they know me better, who might argue with that rather brash assertion. I suppose it is my Missouri stubbornness and downright orneriness that could leave them with that impression. I did grow up in the shadow of Samuel Clemons after all.

Woke up this morning with a rambling thought, where it came from or where I first heard it I have no recollection, but that I heard it somewhere by somebody of that I am certain: “Been thinking around about this, here lately.” Though just writing it down doesn’t do it quite right. Too formal, not enough dialect, say it with a southern drawl or a Missouri twang: “Binthinkin’ round’bout this, eerlately.” That is what I heard this morning—in my head—and it has been caterwalling around there ever since.

What I have been thinking around about, here lately, seems simple enough but it sure is anything but. Three dates, important ones, keep popping into my head: August 2, 1776, September 17, 1787, and December 15, 1791. I cannot help but wonder how many recognize the importance and significance of these dates, after all, they are really old dates. Who can remember old dates, dates that came a calling long before anyone now alive? Just so we can all stomp on the same page at the same time, I will enumerate in order to elucidate.

August 2, 1776

The Declaration of Independence was signed at the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 56 delegates to the Second Continental Congress represented the 13 former colonies which had declared themselves the “United States of America,” adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, with 12 of the 13 colonies voting in favor and New York abstaining (are Cuomo and de Blasio that old?) While the final draft of the Declaration was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, the date of its signing has long been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed on August 2, 1776, nearly a month after its adoption, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.

September 17, 1787

The signing of the United States Constitution occurred on September 17, 1787, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, representing 12 states (all but Rhode Island, which declined to send delegates), endorsed the Constitution created during the four-month-long convention.

December 15, 1791

The Bill of Rights is the name by which the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are known. They were introduced by James Madison to the First United States Congress in 1789 as a series of articles, and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three-fourths of the States. The Bill of Rights confirmed the fundamental rights of the citizens of the new United States. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights of peaceful assembly and petition. Other amendments guarantee the rights of the people to form a “well-regulated militia,” to keep and bear arms, the rights to private property, fair treatment for accused criminals, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from self-incrimination, a speedy and impartial jury trial, and representation by counsel.

What I have been thinking mostly around about here lately is the dreadful assault against and abject derogation of the First Amendment in particular by the left side of Congress, the media, and the progressive left in general. The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Seems straightforward and simple but as we all know, looking in a rearward mirror, things have a tendency to look far simpler than they may first appear. Leave it to a politician to royally screw things up, most often using invisible ink. While the framers of the Constitution prohibited Congress from making laws that restrict or abridge our rights and our liberties, the founders forgot the courts; nothing prohibits the courts from doing just that and so they have and so they do. It is all a matter of interpretation, don’t you see. While you, ordinary Joe Citizen, cannot read all the fine print that the Congress has written in invisible ink, the courts have special glasses which give them x-ray vision to see what no one else can—all those exceptions and derogations (exemptions from or relaxation of a rule or law.) You know:

  • everyone has the right to freely express themselves
    … except … deplorables who disagree;
  • everyone is free to exercise their religious beliefs
    … except … when unelected bureaucrats say you can’t;
  • freedom of the press is sacrosanct
    … except … when the press hops in bed with the bureaucrats and politicians, then the only exercise they get is pornographic manipulation, odious mendacity, and gut-churning exaggeration. If any truth results from their hedonistic foreplay, the press can always fall back on their favorite fall back: abortion.

Just my thoughts for a Monday, for what it is worth.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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