Natives Rising: Thoughts About Freedom - P.O.W. Report

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Natives Rising: Thoughts About Freedom

Natives Rising writes:

As a believer in the future of NDN people I am also a big believer in Freedom with a capital "F". I see no way for us to improve our community without the right of ordinary NDNs to be whatever they were created to be. Some may disagree but no one has ever put forth a convincing argument to me we could be happy and have our Native-ness heavily controlled at the same time.

After an apparently educated person challenged me on whether or not a church had the right to use public property for the expression and exhibition of its ideas I decided to consult the Oxford Dictionary to see if I was misreading the First Amendment which covers Freedom of Expression.

Oxford is considered by most to be the ultimate authority on the meaning of English words past and present and gives a fitting definition for several words either not commonly understood in the First Amendment or which use definitions which are different from the way those words are commonly used. A salmon, for example is a fish, but the word salmon can also mean a color. I invite anyone to do what I just did and look up the meanings of the words in this important sentence to see if I am off base in what I found. After finding the definition for each word that seemed best to fit what was being said I put them in simple language next to the difficult words. I promise every definition I am using is found in the Oxford Dictionary with the only change I made being to make them simple to understand.

The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting (focusing on a specific thing) an Establishment of (naming a particular church the official religion of a country) religion, nor prohibiting (not allowing) the free exercise thereof (referring to the thing they are not supposed to prevent). or abridging (reducing/making smaller) the freedom of speech (expression) or of the press (media), or of the right of the people peaceably (without starting a riot) to assemble (get together) and to petition (ask) the Government for a redress (a solution) of grievances (causes for complaint).

It seems there are many educated people who have very different ideas about what this sentence, that was written at a time when most Americans knew the meanings of a lot more words than we do now, is trying to say. It is very difficult to see how this "Supreme Law of the Land" forbids people or groups of people (such as the congregations of churches) IN ANY WAY. It restricts what the Government may do but it does not restrict what the people who vote for that Government may do.
It seems to me it also does an excellent job of illustrating what is meant by Freedom which we NDNs desperately need in order to rise and thrive.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Ravenspeaker

[Their Website]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.