Your Constitutional Right to Freedom of Conscience

The prescient genius of the United States Constitution is manifest—recognizing individual rights are from God not the government; all powers being vested, in the first instance, in the people; and requiring the consent of the governed before their duly elected public servants can exercise enumerated, prescribed powers. By incorporating these verities and more, the Constitution resonates more necessarily and powerfully during this communication revolution, in which individuals are empowered to shape and guide their lives to an extent undreamt in human history. 

And the Left hates it.

The Left wants to “fundamentally transform” America. Because in America all power is vested in the people and this means you. Thus, the Left must fundamentally transform you to fundamentally transform America. And they seek to do this whether you like it or not. 

Fortunately, the Constitution protects the individual from those in government, corporations, and any other entities or persons who would infringe upon your rights. (Again, the Constitution does not grant but merely recognizes your existing God-given rights in a partial, not exhaustive, enumeration.) 

Tragically, our locked down country is rife with infringements of those rights, and ripe causes for constitutional litigation abound. Some infringements, however, have been extant prior to the pandemic—a prime instance being the Left’s enforced “implicit bias” training, which constitutes coerced political indoctrination in Marxist “critical race theory.” 

In sum, the government and private entities are subjectively presuming an individual’s thoughts—and not that individual’s actions—are “racist”; and, upon penalty of job loss and financial ruin, compel said individual to submit to political indoctrination. As a dire consequence of the Left’s implicit bias training and a host of other brazenly unconstitutional thought policing, the vast majority of Americans hold political positions they are afraid to air publicly.

In his speech before the Federalist Society, Justice Samuel Alito warned of the present danger to Americans’ constitutional rights:

For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It’s often just an excuse for bigotry, and it can’t be tolerated, even when there is no evidence that anybody has been harmed . . .

Support for freedom of speech is also in danger . . . I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes. But if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots, and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools. That is just what is coming to pass . . . [W]e need to do whatever we can to prevent it from becoming a second-tier constitutional right.

One could also add how during their mandated COVD lockdowns, state and local authorities allowed their ideological allies to freely and peaceably assemble (though they were permitted also to riot), while denying the same rights to others.

Bluntly, because the Left must fundamentally transform Americans to transform America into a totalitarian socialist sewer, the Left will necessarily and incessantly violate an individual’s First Amendment protected freedom of conscience.

Unlike the supposed “right to privacy” the Supreme Court found in the “emanations” of “penumbras” in the document, the right to freedom of conscience is intrinsic on the face of the First Amendment:

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.

Clearly, the First Amendment guarantees the right to engage in actions that are only meaningful if the individual has freedom of conscience. What good is the right to free speech, if one has been coerced into speaking (or silenced)? What good is the free exercise of religion, if one is compelled to believe in a conflicting secular “civil religion” above all else? What good is the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for the redress of grievances if the government can preemptively judge your dissenting thoughts as illegitimate? And, for judicial activists, what good even is the right to privacy if the government can pretend to read and rule over your most private and personal possession—your thoughts?

The list of leftist policies to fundamentally transform the citizenry by turning the powers of the state, corporations, media, and any other institutions at their disposal against the people is as lengthy as their calls for political retribution are dangerous. The Left’s cancerous cancel culture is a deliberate, direct assault on Americans’ freedom of conscience. 

To end the Left’s cancel culture, we must at all costs defend the freedom of conscience. Recognizing, respecting, promoting, and protecting an individual’s constitutional right under the First Amendment to the freedom of conscience is a critical measure in safeguarding our citizenry—be it for an employee or a Little Sister of the Poor—and the entirety of our free republic. 

 

About Thaddeus G. McCotter

The Hon. Thaddeus McCotter is the former chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, current itinerant guitarist, American Greatness contributor, and Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show."

Photo: Jorm Sangsorn/Getty Images

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