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August 17, 2022

America's Freedoms are in Grave Peril

Are you worried that your children and grandchildren may not grow up in a free country? Millions of Americans are concerned, including countless immigrants who fled tyranny and came here seeking freedom.

The recent unprecedented nine-hour search by heavily armed FBI agents of President Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, will inevitably magnify those concerns.

Was the search constitutional? Here is what the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution in the Bill of Rights says about our right to be secure in our homes:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Notice the phrase "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." That means a search warrant must be very specific. Government officials can't just enter your home and take every piece of paper they can find. That is what British soldiers used to do to citizens in the American colonies. That abuse is why our founders prohibited such searches in our Constitution. The raid on Trump's home appears to be a constitutionally questionable search that took voluminous amounts of material.

Just as troubling is the fact that federal authorities who answer to President Biden have conducted this questionable search against a former president who may be Biden's opponent in 2024. Efforts to criminalize political opposition to a current government happen regularly in communist countries and dictatorships, but should not happen in America.

Finally, the public notices that prominent conservative and Christian citizens appear to be treated much more harshly than prominent leaders on the left. If we are going to preserve our constitutional republic, it is imperative we restore the faith of the American people that we are still a nation built on the equal protection of the laws. We have to push back against all efforts to erode our constitutional liberties, including our freedom of religion.

Christian citizens who have been blessed to live in a nation with religious liberty have a particular obligation to speak up against all threats to the Constitution.

We have a right to petition our government. We have a right to be critical of government officials. We are allowed to be angry at our government without fear of punishment. We have the right to join with other concerned Americans and publicly assemble to protest an action of our government. We can run for public office, seeking to defeat an officer holder we don't like. We have the right to vote in free and fair elections. We have the right to safely worship God.

That is the American way.

But now all of those rights, including freedom of speech, are under attack. When we object to out-of-control government, we are told our words may cause someone else to engage in violence against government officials.

This line of attack was hurled against concerned parents, many of them Christians, who complained at school board meetings. Parents were justifiably upset that our taxpayer-funded schools were exposing young children to inappropriate material on human sexuality, gender fluidity, and racism. The Biden Justice Department threatened concerned parents and suggested they could be considered "domestic terrorists." This was an outrageous effort to intimidate them.

Now we're seeing this effort to silence speech used against those raising questions about the FBI's raid on former President Donald Trump's home.

We must not allow government officials or the media to intimidate us to surrender our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion or any other constitutional right.

When somebody engages in unlawful violence, they and only they are responsible for their unlawful acts and they should be prosecuted. But speech is not a crime.

There's an often repeated story about an anxious woman asking Benjamin Franklin as he left Independence Hall, "Well, Sir, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic," replied Franklin, "if you can keep it." Franklin was right. Just as previous generations of Americans have done, we must pray, speak up, and vote to save our constitutional republic.

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