Technically, Independence Day is not about the First Amendment. But the principles within the First Amendment were foundational to the thirteen American colonies and they eventually were enshrined in the Constitution. We call these freedoms our First Freedoms.
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.”
There is no doubt that Americans are slowly losing their freedoms. Some courts are willing to entertain Sharia Law in the U.S. Gay rights activists are now going after churches and pastors who preach their lifestyle as sin. So called “free speech zones” prevent people from the full expression of their First Amendment freedoms. In Oregon, Christian bakers are given a gag order forbidding them from sharing their religious convictions about gay marriage. Schools teach sex education in elementary levels and have no regard for marriage as the proper expression of sexual relations. Bakers and florists are not allowed to object to service on grounds of religious freedom. The Ten Commandments are removed from court houses and monuments. And the list goes on.
I suggest that among the First Amendment’s freedoms there is one that stands as far more important and foundational than all others. It is not freedom of speech or press or assembly. Rather, it is freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is the seed to all other freedoms. This is of greater importance than the others because freedom of religion is about what you believe. Free speech and assembly are the outward expression of what we believe in our hearts. Therefore, to suppress freedom of religion is to regulate, deny, and even punish you for what you believe. No society that has ever oppressed religion has remained free. There is a political system today that does this in several countries. Do you know what it is? It’s called, Islam—through Sharia law. How ironic that the world’s leading free nation should be heading down a path previously paved by the least free philosophy on earth.
Perhaps Independence Day should no longer be a celebration of political freedom—freedom which we are clearly losing. Perhaps Independence Day should be a rallying cry to restore what we are losing—our First Freedoms. If we are not willing to stand and defend those freedoms, then we deserve what is coming.