Tag Archives: freedom of religion

Dear Mr. Trump, Restore the Basic Plan

November 20, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump,

First, congratulations!

I am writing to suggest a small piece of the puzzle in making America great again, maybe just a reminder since I learned of your secondary education in military school at NYMA.  There is a need for a common belief in core values.  There is a need to return to schools, public and private, the Pledge of Allegiance and the like to our routines.

Your expertise as a builder and developer gives you insight about the importance of an exact set of drawings, plans, and schematics to drawing a team of engineers and contractors to the start, continuing effort, and completion of a project.  Every ribbon cutting you’ve participated in is a testament to this as fact.  I suggest it is a fundamental Truth of success in building.

Certain factions of our populace have been changing the fundamental plans of our national project, and they have used our courts to do it instead of the voting booths across the nation.  First prayer fell, then the Pledge of Allegiance, and along the way our songs also fell.  God Bless America, America (My Country ‘Tis of Thee), and America, The Beautiful are only a few of such pages of the plan that have been set aside.  All this began during the celebration of our Bicentennial.

These simple songs and words provide a basis of thought for what is the American dream.  Upon this foundation, the stories of the struggles of pioneers from Roanoke Island, and Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, opening the Ohio Valley, the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, and clipper ships to California frame the dream in the passions, struggles, failures, and successes of the People, of “We, the People”.

Some among us have changed the blueprints.  They argue the plans are flawed because of errors that were made.  The argue that genocide was committed in the name of Manifest Destiny and this makes the basic plan flawed.  They see no value in the plan.  They replaced the plan, rather than modify it, singularly focusing it on individual groups, creating divisive cracks in the foundation of the American dream.  The argument made is one based on a freedom ‘from’ religion, rather than an appropriate freedom ‘of’ religion.

I suggest these words and songs mentioned represent the American Civil Religion, the basis for a common belief in the American dream and necessary to the survival of this grand project called The United States.  Robert N. Bellah wrote (from Berkeley) in 1966;

“I think it should be clear from the text that I conceive of the central tradition of the American civil religion not as a form of national self-worship but as the subordination of the nation to ethical principles that transcend it in terms of which it should be judged.” 1

Mr. President, as you work to Make America Great Again, may I humbly suggest that you use “The Midas Touch” to renew the plans for this nation’s future, to correct the misuse of the original blueprints, and restore the ethical principles to the People.  Find within your routine and build within your team the means to restore the teachings of the Pledge of Allegiance, America, and America The Beautiful to our national fabric.  Those wandering in the streets protesting today were never taught that purple shadows on mountains can be majestic, that amber waves of grain feed the world, that it is pilgrims’ feats of blood, sweat, and tears which build alabaster cities, no matter what station in life they start their journey from.

With great respect and awe, I am your loyal servant,

John L. Zoll

  1. Bellah, Robert N. “Civil Religion in America”. Daedalus, Journal of the American Arts and Sciences, Winter 1967 Vol 96 No 1 pp 1-21.

Your Freedom, My Freedom, Our Freedom

Do you like being told what to do and what not to do?  Most of us outgrow the need and/or requirement for this by the time we are in our middle teens.  As a point of pride and of National unwritten laws we proclaim ourselves ‘independent’ and being independent becomes a way of life.  Individualism gets proclaimed and promised to us by our multimedia outlets to the point where great profit is made selling each of us our individual phones and pads, and giving us our ‘individual’ web space on Facebook and Twitter.  So effective is the advertising that we believe this ‘individual’ fantasy and give up our lives in detailed personal information, our ‘likes’, our ‘friends’, and ours and our families photos.

Somewhere along the way, though, we realize that there has to be some inter-dependence, some way for all of us to be collectively guided.  It is a necessity that we have and follow laws that provide for the individual freedoms while giving us the opportunity to protect each other’s individual freedoms.  We call these collective guidance principles laws.  And as a Nation the law of this land is called the Constitution of the United States.  The civics classes of old used to teach this particular set of laws.  Knowing the law, reading the law, practicing the law, this is where our true individual freedoms lie.  It requires that all of us protect and defend each other.

In 2009 the Constitution was exercised according to Article I, section 7 when a Bill was passed by the House and Senate and then signed by the President.  The Bill was called the Affordable Health Care Act of 2008, now known as Obama Care.  Under the checks and balances of our government, the Supreme Court ruled that both the Congress and President acted within their responsibilities of Article I section 7 in laying upon the People a new TAX, a health care tax and additional laws and requirements for the People to follow that will lay on fines and penalties to the People (in 2015) and businesses (also now 2015) if these laws are violated.

Our system gets complicated and sometimes the laws written violate the principles we were founded on.  One of the requirements of the Obamacare law is that all insurance policies must cover what the Congress and the President call ‘women’s health issues’, which is the acceptable wording for abortion and abortion producing drugs.  Applying this to persons and businesses, a family owned company call Hobby Lobby is to be heard before the Supreme Court on Tuesday March 25th arguing that their Freedom of Religion is violated by Obamacare’s requirement.  Hobby Lobby run by David Green and his family since the founding of his company in his garage.  The Greens conduct their business according to Christian principles, including ‘keeping holy the Sabbath’ by closing, like Chik-fil-a’, on Sundays to allow their people to worship and be with their families.  Stephen Covey would call this time to ‘sharpen the saw’.  According to Christians and the other Abrahamic faiths, it is a day of rest.

First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; first part; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”.  This is the point that Hobby Lobby’s legal team will make, that this private company, this family, is being forced to purchase a product by the Government that is contrary to their religious beliefs that the Government is in violation of the First Amendment in laying on taxes and penalties if they do not follow Obamacare and pay for abortions.

Hobby Lobby is not alone.  The University of Notre Dame was recently denied a stay on the fines and penalties it is required to pay.  For a greater list of companies involved simply enter into your search engine “abortion plaintiffs obamacare”.  It will serve you better than it will if I begin a list here.

If more of us would read our Constitution there would be a greater interest generated by the People in events that affect us all.  Our country will only remain the “land of the free and the home of the brave” when the “free” remain educated and the “brave” arise from their seats, get onto their computers and write their Representatives, the President, and the Court, and speak on the streets to defend each other’s individual freedoms.  Otherwise, the few will bind us all to their laws and wills, and good people and businesses will disappear.

Any chance you’d give up half your Facebook/Twitter time to read one of these?